Monday, July 4, 2011

Hate something bud dar dar, change something bud dar dar (Honda campaign song)

You've had a lot of pictures recently so this post contains an abundance of words to get your teeth into instead. You may want to boil the kettle.

Okay - good to have you back. First up is a nifty little advert to get us started on the change stuff.

MMMmmm, I know - it's trying to sell cars but this ad is also talking about our ability to change behaviour if we have the desire. I believe this is possible. But is it possible to change our core personality? Nope - not possible. Problem is they are kinda wrapped up together in some ways - hence a blurring and the room for argument.

This has come up before but it seems to be a theme of some recent discussions. My advisory team was spitballing the idea yesterday that good teachers are born (i.e. they have certain attributes that they cannot learn) and, at home, we (Jade Jacky and moi) were talking about whether people really can change or if we are born a certain way and whether we can ever escape our genes. I don't believe we can.

First the teaching thing - the advisors arrived at the belief that, while incremental improvements and additions can be made to core teacher skills and abilities, no fundamental change can be made to a bad teacher to make them good. I have yet to see a poor teacher miraculously become a good teacher via an intervention. Every teacher I have worked with on competency measures in the UK and Nu Zild has not been transformed by the process.

I have often thought it would be a better idea to do the military thing and rip off their epaulettes after saying, "You've given it a good try, but, sorry, this is not a job for you."

Teaching is a calling. Something deep inside a teacher has driven them in that direction (even if you made a mistake and headed down the wrong line at the recruiting agency).

I suspect this is true of a lot of vocations. I could not be a businessman, doctor, scientist, airline pilot, dentist, a pharmacist, a vet and on and on. These jobs are done by people with (I hope) A) a passion for that field and B) (I hope) distinctive skills that have grown because of A.

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book; a personality which, by birth and quality, is pledged to the doctrines there set forth, and which exists to see and state things so, and not otherwise.  Emerson (yes the Brazilian footballer again).

I know this is true for me. I was born to eventually become a teacher. This ends part one - you may want to refresh that cuppa.

Part 2

I look at those two semi-permanent photos of me on this page - one in the popular post section on the steps of my great grandfather's house in Auckland in the sixties, and the other of me at age 21 in the early eighties, used for my profile picture, and I realise I haven't changed.

Yes okay - I'm not delusional - I know I no longer look like those two earlier incarnations but I am, in essence, the same as that little boy and that naive young guy.

The core things are the same - my values and moral compass haven't changed. My naivety hasn't changed. A slight tendency towards obsessive compulsiveness is still with me. My desire for routines - check! Jade observed recently to Jacky that I appear to be more set in my ways these days. But I have always been set in my ways (and I always will be) because that is who I am.

Mostly, I have the DNA and examples of my parents to thank for this. I love the expression - apples never fall far from the tree! All of the above can be clearly traced back to one or both members of the dream parental team of Dulcie and Graham. They proved the raw material and gave me the basics. I grew from there.

Why on earth did they ever get together? On the surface they were such opposites! Easy - because they shared the same core values and attitudes that my brother and I are imbued with. They had just enough surface opposites to complement their personalities but not enough to force them to go in different directions. It was destiny that brought them together (and a twist of fate that broke them apart).

Jade asked me the same question recently about me and Jacky and I gave her the same answer - we share the same core things. Our attitudes, values, and perceptions are the same and our different interests are not enough to interfere with our lifestyle.

The superficial things haven't changed for me either - my interests have remained essentially the same as when I was 12 or even younger: I buy and listen to a lot of music; I have always read a lot of books; I love to write; I love to teach; I love words and I love the idea of solitude; something about the movie going experience hooks me every time; I am slavish about my passions (currently: in music John Mayer, Lene Marlin, movies by Antonioni or Krzysztof Kieslowski, TV shows like Mad Men, books by Murakami).

I've enjoyed writing this post - hope you've enjoyed sharing it. Your thoughts and comments are always welcome!

Love and peace - Wozza

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