These last two weeks, I went back to school. In a sense.
I actually took a 40 hour certification class for some volunteer work I’ll be doing, and so not technically “back in school.” Nonetheless, I came away with a rememberance of what it was like to be in school, an appreciation for students and teachers everywhere, and these TOP 5 THINGS I LEARNED BEING BACK IN THE CLASSROOM.
- Learning is exhausting. While the topics were fascinating, and the instructors did a great job of mixing it up and keeping it engaging, I left each of my 5 full days feeling like I was run over by a Mack Truck. (Hey! That’s some good advertising Mack Trucks…really, if a Ford truck ran me over, it might likely feel the same, but we always say “Mack Truck” don’t we?) Anyway, every day I left there at 6pm feeling great, and by 7, I felt anything BUT great. Emotionally wrecked. Drained. Mentally Fatigued. Just plain tired.
- People are Annoying. So much so, that evidently the “3 Limit Rule” is a thing. Meaning – as per our handbook – “Everyone’s perspectives are important and can greatly enhance our understanding. In order to give as many people a chance to speak as possible, please observe the three limit rule. If you have spoken three times, please give others a chance to speak before speaking again.” Trust me when I tell you, whilst in the handbook, and discussed out loud, certain people do not care.Raise hand every time the instructor takes a breath. Insert personal antecdote or “What If” question. To calm my nerves on day TWO, I decided to keep track via tick marks how many times one particular student disregarded that ground rule. Evidently for her, we needed a 37 Limit Rule. Now here’s where it gets really fun! Another student decided that she wanted more air time as well, and she started a competition of comments. It was awesome! (read: it was NOT awesome). There were however two students that come to mind that I don’t think uttered a word during the entire course. How painful that must have been. Interesting observation: I felt myself holding back some of my questions and comments, for fear of becoming viewed like “that girl!” You’re welcome, class.
- You Might Be Doing Something for a Great Reason, and Still be Pissing People Off. (People are Annoying, Part 2) When I came into class Day 2, I chose not to sit in the same spot, so I moved to a new seat. I wanted to get to know more people in my class, change things up a bit, and have a different view. Of course, me moving seats, created a domino effect, and others had to change theirs, in turn. Day 3 when I came in, and went to choose yet another seat, I could literally SENSE the angst in the room. Wait! Hold Up! Did I just upset everyone by changing my seat? Turns out YES. Yes, I did. The (young) girl next to me told me that in one of her college courses, they taught them that the seat you sit in for your first class is the seat you should sit in for the entire course. Evidently it helps you to retain information, and aids in the learning process. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I had no idea. Nor did I realize until that moment that I was the annoying person. Now, hereinlies the problem. I can’t go back to my Day 1 seat – that would make people have to move again. I can’t go to a new seat burdened with this new enlightenment – that would just be me running amuck. So I did what any any rule-following citizen would do. I sat in the same seat for the rest of the days. And I was annoyed about it. HOWEVER – because I had to be just a bit more annoying to my classmates – I came in after lunch one day and asked “Hey! Who took my parking spot?!” CRACKED MYSELF UP. Come to think of it, I don’t think anyone else laughed.
- Ice Breakers Don’t Really Break the Ice. I don’t think we all became closer learning what super power we would choose (hard one! Either flight OR to be able to eat anything I want without consequences!) or whether Peanut Butter or Jelly would win in a fight? (Peanut Butter. ALL THE WAY!) During one session we were asked to share a “prevention program” that we experienced when we were younger. When I was in high school, we did have a unit where we had to carry a “baby” around and care for it, keep it from harm, yadda yadda…But back in the day, we didn’t have the actual dolls that they have now, we used an egg. Decorated, named and toted around with us everywhere. The purpose of course was to disuade us from becoming mothers at too young an age. Because of course, the seriousness of that was illustrated perfectly by carrying around an egg. (Spoiler Alert: She did, in fact become a mother at too young an age.) I digress. Anyway, mine was decked out in zebra stripe, and I aptly named him “Eggie Van Halen.” The class seemed to enjoy learning that tidbit about me, and I’m sure they did finally gift me with some giggles, but I’m fairly certain it didn’t win me any points. I was afterall, still the one who ruined everything by switching up the seats.
- You Certainly Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks. I made it through the course. Exhausted. Annoyed. Annoying. A little smarter. With a big fat binder full of notes and a shiny new certificate. And I’d do it all again! (I just need a few weeks to recuperate, first.) Oh, and can I personally vet my classmates ahead of time?
You Heard the Lady,