Ability to look beyond present circumstances,
beyond the current horizon line, and see
a different, or better, outcome and often
the means by which that outcome might
be obtained. A prophet or poet.
Elizabeth Crawford 2/7/11
Journal Writing Prompt # 16
This week’s prompt is to write about lessons learned. I firmly believe that each person I meet has a lesson to teach and one that I need to learn. That doesn’t mean that every lesson is a wonderful experience. Some teachers are really good, while others are quite awful. But, no matter how bad they might be, the lesson can still be learned.
When I was in college, I had three writing professors. One seemed to feel that a course of belittling, condescension, harassment, and ridicule would toughen the individual and also allow him/her to feel the pain necessary for the creation of great, or good Art. While another prof was quiet, more apt to aim his humor at his own person, but also encouraged his students to try new things because that’s what learning was all about. Perhaps even more important, he kept his critique of the outcome private, between himself and the student. The third teacher presented the material, history and background, then asked for a written response to that material in whatever form the student chose. I learned a great deal from all three.
Although I did learn a great deal about writing, I also learned more about what type of teacher I would prefer to be, and later, when I actually became a teacher, I could look back and see clearly how I wanted to proceed in that role. We are not born knowing how to be the people we eventually become. We learn that on the way to becoming whatever it is we do become. We learn it both through experience, but also through example.
This prompt is actually two fold. I would like you to look back on your own experiences and choose two individuals who taught you things through example, both good and bad. They do not have to have filled a role as a defined teacher, could be a bus driver, a housewife, a political figure, etc. Write two different pieces. One like my first prof, who showed me on a regular, ongoing basis, what I didn’t want to be. Another about an individual you respected enough to want to be like. Be specific about the lessons, how they came about and what you took away from them. What you do now because of those lessons you learned. School is always in session as long as we breathe.
When you have done the writing, you are more than welcomed to come back and share it, if you choose. Perhaps only a part of it. You can do that in the comments section, or leave your URL here, so we know where we can go and read it. If you choose not to share it, at least enjoy the writing. Have fun.