Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday - let your principles show

Photo at left: Durant High School

Teaching is much more funner (yes, even professional writers are allowed to mutilate the English language while blogging) when standing in front of motivated crowd who actually want to be there.

I haven't shared much about my 18 year teaching career in this space, and that's mostly because the blog concept works best as a "real time" journal. But one of the chief difficulties when teaching classes for behavior disordered and emotionally disturbed students in the public school is the unavoidable reality that 99% of the kids didn't want to be there, period. That alone gave the typical Monday morning an extra zing of challenge!

So, this past Saturday afternoon an invitation to speak to a writer's group at the public library exposed me to an entirely different audience. First, they had limited space available so attendance was by reservation only. Then, most of the group are already taking "Life-Story" writing classes - so they're serious writer's to begin with. Lastly, a few of the participants confessed they do read my newspaper column once in a while and even admitted they actually like it.

I talked about writing in general, what do do and what to look for when conducting an interview, some of the foundational principles that guide my work, and my personal context. Wednesday, I'm going to share some of those principles in this space; but it's the context I want to remind myself about this morning. (photo to right from last month's Atlanta conference)

Here's what I told the writing group about my context:
  • Everything about me is colored by the fact that I am a person of deep personal faith. If you read my work at all then you already know that I have no interest in proselytizing. But, at the same time, it would be dishonest of me to keep such a key element hidden. Consequently, my conversations, my writing, my public speaking, and my work in general will all reveal evidence of my ongoing spiritual journey from time to time. Living by the principles of A LIFE EXAMINED necessarily involves honesty; I plan to be honest today.
It's a new week. Happy Monday everyone. Don't forget to let your first principles show.
Love and blessings - DEREK

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