Mildly Manic Mondays

To tell the truth, my Mondays aren’t very manic at all.

These days I wake up around 5:30 and head to the Zen center for a couple hours of meditation, chanting and bowing, and cleaning. Often I bike to the grocery store at some point during the day, and in the evenings it’s three hours of rehearsing with the Austin Civic Chorus.

The manic part comes in during the long gaps between these events. Like right now, when I’m staring at a computer screen and wondering both what I’m doing and what I should be doing. Today, I think I should work on organizing my blog entries and drafts, creating a spreadsheet to keep them all straight and get some sense of what topics get the most views (as well as a Word doc of published posts for backup and easier searching).

But is that really the best use of my time? I need to look over my music for tonight’s rehearsal, but again, how much time can I afford to spend on that? Shouldn’t I rather be focusing the bulk of all my waking, working hours on CASE, converting my dreams into reality and generating a steady income?

It would certainly seem smarter to embody my blog’s essence—creating a sustainable life pursuing my passions—than to simply add more verbiage to it. Yet inertia plus distractions is proving a rather formidable combination these days.

Why inertia, though? Isn’t Sudbury schooling the passion of my professional life? Well, yes; it is. At the same time, CASE marks a new, potentially unorthodox effort within this unorthodox movement. I say “potentially” because while some may disagree, I believe an ongoing, consistent focus on collaboration is as natural and logical for us as it is necessary. Yet I also suspect that concerns expressed over the years—concerns that more organized collaboration could have unintended, negative consequences; concerns that have slowed CASE’s progress—still linger in some quarters.

Also contributing to CASE’s inertia is the fact that I do not possess the ease of the “average” Sudbury alum at carving out a new niche. Whether by temperament or conditioning, facing a proverbial blank canvas is still fairly daunting for me. Not that I’m afraid to leap (my recent scrambling of life circumstances should easily counter that theory): rather, too often I find myself hesitant or confused instead of plunging boldly into action in areas where I’m inexperienced, where I’m blazing a trail, building something out of nothing.

Glancing over my posts from the past couple Mondays, this also appears to be a day for checking in publicly on the status of my quest. I’m glad that, like CASE, this blogging tactic (and the blog itself) has emerged spontaneously out of my experience, as I continue learning to trust myself in confronting the new and the unknown. I hope that you find reading my words worth your time, and that before long Write Learning’s audience will grow into a widespread, tangible source of support.

For now, I think I’d better get back to work.



Filed under My Quest

3 responses to “Mildly Manic Mondays

  1. I find it interesting there is resistance to your collaboration method when you have stated time and again about assorted under staffing issues because of low enrollment. It really does not matter how forward thinking and independent you are if you fail to exist…The kids and the interaction with them is key and anything that would promote that to a broader audience should be embraced. Has the feel of “Leave my sandbox alone!” while failing to realize you just have a wooden box on the beach.

    If this is your path Bruce then to follow the canvas line from earlier…grab the nearest paint can, open lid, throw at canvas…no matter what it looks like it is a start and I have faith from there you will line it up as needed.

    • Ross, I truly appreciate your comment and support (especially as you once knew me as Mr. Smith, the high school teacher). Obviously, there’s a lot more to the hesitation than I hinted at here, and I do appreciate the substance of the concerns. Sudbury schools cherish their autonomy: no one wants to see a centralized authority saying who can and can’t call themselves Sudbury, or influencing schools’ decision via funding or favors.

      That said, I do believe it is possible to avoid these pitfalls while addressing, as you suggest, the immediate, critical obstacles to our survival, let alone our growth. In the long run, I believe the Sudbury model will grow: I just don’t want to wait; don’t want to see schools stay small and/or close if there’s anything more we could be doing.

      Thanks again, my friend. Your past and continuing support means a great deal, perhaps more than you know.

      (Also, yes, I think I could learn a thing or two from the likes of Jackson Pollock… 🙂 )

  2. Pingback: No Time for Self-Doubt (?) | Write Learning

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