Monday, May 2, 2011


Passion has been a big topic in my life recently.  Not the passion that turns a PG movie into R, but rather the palpable energy that fuels so many dreams, plans and actions.  Personally, passion is the label I give to those things I do that seem to take no effort.  It erases fatigue, it makes how I perceive crisp and clear, it brings a bloom to my cheeks and a rush of energy to what I am doing.  It feels positive and heartening.  And, it is so difficult to translate to others, so they understand exactly what I am envisioning.  It is that energy and excitement that gets translated most of the time; and that is often nice enough.

My level of passion gets turned way up when I am doing something, and it looks successful.  I really love teaching and watching my student make the connection.  But, I really, really love it when they make the connections and their enthusiasm for what they are learning blossoms.  That has happened with my kids over the years; not with everything but with some things.  Recently, something happened that kind of made my heart break, if I can apply that to a learning situation.

During home schooling some things work and some things don't, but the positive thing is the opportunity to change the situation to try to make it better or more interesting.  Watching my kids express a love of learning has given me so much pleasure, even when they don't even realize they are doing it.  And, even when it's possible to tweak the situation sometimes the situation is just not working.  I get that.  But, over the last two years my high schooler has seemed to become disengaged from Science.  It never appeared that he was heading toward a career based in science, but now it seems like it's just a chore to get through.  When I realized this it was like a large, dull thud.

So, my question to myself "is it more important to have that spark in one or two areas, or is it more important to have spark, and apply it everything?"

Then, moving along to the rest of the world...
Passion can be kind of dangerous, too.  People who don't have a positive and loving base can really cause a lot of harm.  I'm listening to the news about Osama Bin Laden and Gaddafi.  Not long ago Charlie Sheen had the world's attention.  All of those lovely politicians in Washington have been sharing what they say they are so committed to.  All very passionate people who appear to believe they are involved with something life-changing and essential.  And, don't forget Greg Mortenson and his three cups of tea.

I digress.

I think I believe for learning that spark of passion must be in place for everything, and that sometimes it really helps kids, or adults, make a really deep connection.  And, it really makes me sad when whoever is at the helm isn't bringing that spark along.

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