Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Still It.

Here it is, friends. My second interview, with questions from the amazing Julochka.

1. how long have you lived without a t.v. and how did you come to that decision?

It has been eight or nine years since we've lived without television. Becoming TV-free was quite an easy decision for us. Increasingly, we found ourselves watching instead of doing. For us, it is too easy to sit and watch something stupid rather than getting up and getting busy. Being, experiencing, reading, talking, playing, and walking are all pursuits we think are more valuable than watching. But. We just kept watching. We also found ourselves watching shows that portrayed morals and values we did not share, and we wanted to be more intentional with our entertainment. We do have a computer and watch DVDs through it. We have an old TV set that we drag out for big events like inaugurations. For two or three weeks this summer our living room was taken over by this odd creature with bunny ears and tin foil so we could watch the Olympics.

2. what is the best thing about your job?

All day, every day, what I do matters. Someone once asked me how I could take such a big pay cut to become a teacher. I told them that I had spent several years making money. Now I was ready to make a difference. I don't mean to say that you have to teach to make a difference, just that this is my way. In teaching, I've found my calling, my passion, my commitment, and my conviction. Teaching allows me to bring every part of who I am and what I've experienced into the classroom. I don't live two separate lives; one me for work and one for weekends. I try to distill all that I've learned and experienced, all my training and education, each of my interests and passions into creating an environment that nurtures children's minds and spirits. The best thing about my job is that I am doing exactly what I was created to do. What a powerful joy that is.

3. what is the worst thing about your job?

The worst thing about my job is the nation-wide epidemic of vigorously criticizing public education while doing nothing to help. This is a hard job; a really, really hard job. Where else will you find over-educated, under-paid, highly-skilled employees willing to work 70 hour work weeks so they can go home, open the paper, and read about what a terrible job they are doing? If things are so awful in the schools in your area, how about showing up? Lend a hand. To paraphrase Gandhi a bit: Be the change you want to see in your school. And, please, please understand that educators can only do so much. We can not change the home environment, take the test, or raise IQs. Most teachers I know show up every day with a heart full of love, a head full of knowledge, and a willingness to do everything it takes to kindle a spark. The criticism may sometimes be deserved, even needed, but please. Be gentle. And be involved.

4. in a busy, hectic everyday, how and when do you make time for blogginess?

I guess I just take the time. This is what I need. Blogging feeds my soul in ways that are difficult to name. Mostly I blog late at night while the world sleeps. I try to include my daughter, Sloane, in things I do. So, I often do the visual and technical aspects of blogging with her after school. She loves it, and even has a blog of her own. She hasn't updated in a while, but has been asking me to help her on a new post.

5. are you a morning person or a night owl?

Well, it is exactly 1:49 AM as I write this. I guess that answers that question. I love the night.

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain --and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
~ Robert Frost

Good night, dear ones.

The image above is by SF buckaroo. I'm still willing to interview you, if you are interested.


Indyeah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Indyeah said...

Please do drop in and pick up something:)

A Cuban In London said...

Lovely interview. It gives us a better idea of the person behind the blogger. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Derrick said...

Hello Relyn,

Thanks for part two! Some 25 years ago, I lived without TV for a while and listened to a lot of radio instead. BUT, I can't say that I used the time as constructively as you obviously do!

ELK said...

love this series meeting so many wonderful people!

spread your wings said...

You live a life i admire so much - the dedication you give to your teaching, the young lives you are growing ; and the fact that you live without a TV is highly respected in my book - to be so true to your values and morals.
I'm so glad you participated in these interviews. It's wonderful to get to know you better.
Have a great week.

Christina said...

I love this post. I never get enough of learning more about you. ; ) You are a beautiful, thoughtful and conscious, person.

Love ya, my friend.

Jessica said...

I have enjoyed reading these interviews so much. I just received my questions and I cannot wait to answer them-they are so perfect! Your words on teaching are right and you exactly capture why I love teaching as well. And me, I'm slowly going TV free.

Patti said...

Hi! I loved your part 2 Interview- especially about teaching. I couldn't agree more about why we do what we do! Even after 25 years, I still am hopeful with what I do and sometimes it seems like I am the only one. Enjoy your day!



Suvarna said...

Now that I've read part two, I want to read part one! so interesting to get to know you. I am with you re giving up t.v.
Next to parenting I think teaching is one of the most difficult jobs out there. Thank goodness for dedicated teachers like you.

smith kaich jones said...

I have had & still have so many friends who were/are teachers, and it is a job that wears at them, but still they go back. You did a great job of helping me understand why.

And the poem was just perfect. Perfect timing - I'd just listened to Heaven Stood Still, and the poem seemed to move to that rhythm.

Thank you.
And go to bed. :)

Enigma said...

Hi Relyn,
First time commenting, I found you via soul aperture. I really love your site, especially the music that is being played below. I love the way that you think! I always believed that teachers should teach - because it is their calling. Thank you for sharing your world & yourself.

Edi Style said...

One of my favorite Adam's quotes is " A teacher affects eternity he can never tell where his influence stops

I took a long walk last night and it was magical! Read Frost and dreamed all the way. I will email you the pictures


paris parfait said...

From one night owl to another, fascinating stuff! My mom was a teacher (now retired) and I know what an important - and tough - job it is. Bless your heart for caring enough to make a difference in these children's lives.

Beth said...

this has been fun....but I don't think I knew you were TV free!!!

WOW...I don't think I could do that...maybe for a few days, but not forever.

that's kind of sad isn't it ?

good for you and your family !!!

Susan Tuttle said...

i really admire you for not having a television.


Ragamuffin Gal said...

Love your responses to these questions dear heart. So good to share a DP and WM moment with you today! Many Many Blessings! K

Relyn said...

Thank you my thoughtful blogging friend with the marvelous blog name. ~R

Cuban in London,
You have no idea of the little thrill it gives me to receive "greetings from London". Isn't it marvelous how blogging makes our world so small and friendly? ~R

I once had someone ask me what I did with all the spare time being TVless left me. I said, "Read!" Now I would have to say, "Blog! and read." Speaking of radio, were you listening to old-fashioned radio shows? I ask because for Christmas I gave my Dad about 80 listening hours of vintage radio shows. We've all been enjoying them. ~R

I know. It is such fun. And, such a great way to meet new bloggers. Let me know if you ever change your mind... ~R

Thank you, my sweet friend. Now if I could just get moving. Exercise is one conviction I need to act on more frequently. There are just so many books (and blogs) to read. ~R

Love you, too. Much. ~R

I'm excited to read your answers, too. Especially number five. ~R

Twenty five years? My hero!! I mean that. ~R

I think they are probably two of the most rewarding as well.

Now I want to listen to Heaven Stood Still. Isn't Robert amazing? No matter how many times I read this poem, it never grows old. Only more true.

Thank you for your kind comment. I am so glad to know you are here so that I can come visit you. Of course, I already know I'll find something that delights me. After all, your name is Enigma; one of my favorite words. See you soon over at your place. ~R

I've missed you, my friend. I want to meet up again over at your place. Until then, I am so glad to have you here. I can't wait to check my email when I am finished here. A magical night of Robert and stars. That's my kind of night. Our kind of night. Yes? ~R

Paris Parfait,
What did your Mom teach? How long? I wonder if teaching changed as much from the start of her career to the end as it has already in my eight years. It seems logical that it would, but I know technology has had an enormous impact. ~R

Now I am wondering what you love on TV. My Mom would never give up her design shows. I think that may be all she watches but news. I'm pretty sure that there is an entire channel of design shows. My parents haven't gone tivo, so she always has piles and piles of videos to watch. I love it. She's so smart - she watches them while she does the treadmill every day. ~R

Oh, thank you. It works for us. My students think we're totally weird at first. At least I don't have to talk Disney channel with them. ~R

Always so good to chat, isn't it? Besides, how do you beat Sonic and shopping? Oh yeah. Lola's and shopping. Let's do it soon. ~R

dutchbaby said...

The more we learn, the more we love you. I thank you for pouring your heart and soul into teaching your second-graders. I agree with your plea to show up in the classroom. I was very sad when our kids went to middle school because the parents were no longer welcome in the classroom.

Jaime said...

There are some people in this blogiverse that feel like old friends, even though I have never met them. You are one such beauty. Each new thing I learn about you makes me want to meet this wonderful soul named Relyn...she has a heart of gold.


julochka said...

relyn--i'm catching up after being more or less away from the computer for a week. so great to read your answers, especially what you had to say about teaching. wonderful thoughts. thank you for asking me to interview you, my fellow night owl!


It's Just Me said...

Aren't these interviews just a blast! A great way to delve into one's self really! I was too honored to answer my own questions from julochka!

My dearest is a teacher- high school math. It is amazing that the assumption of teacher's hours are still there as well as the lack of respect.... It is sad when teachers qualify for the free and reduced lunches and have to work night and summer jobs just to keep doing what they do. This is why I did not finish my degree in elem. ed. (I was sooo close too) It is sad because the system is missing out on such wonderful people who could give so much but won't because of the stated reasons!

tangobaby said...

What a great interview! I'm so glad julochka and you got together.

I still remember (vaguely, as it's been a looooong time) my second grade teacher, and that I loved her. Lucky are your little kids who will remember you for many many years to come because you loved them so well and helped them get started in their educations.

ps. we should do a post together on Why You Won't Die if You Don't Own a Television. Maybe we can dare some people to go without for a week, a month and see if they can break the addiction.

Oldies, but Goodies