I was re-reading some of my notes – scraps of deep, philosophical thoughts which make a lot of sense while I’m thinking them. I found this little gem, which I apparently scribbled last fall, when I had way, way too much free time:
As a teacher, I cannot judge people. I cannot have too many opinions about people or things, because that might interfere with my teaching. I cannot, for instance, say “War is bad”, as that might imply defeating Hitler was a negative thing, or that the Easter Rising cannot be an interesting study. I cannot say, “Evolution occurred”, because such things have been proven wrong before. As a teacher, to judge would be to inhibit my students. What they like, what they think, what they know is all important.
*snerk* What the hell was I thinking? I should know better.
Ten days ago, I went to my first rock concert. It was not a voluntary outing. My daughter desperately needed to go see (get this) Mindless Self-Indulgence. I figured she’d change her mind pretty quick if her only option was to pay for me to come with her. I tried to backpedal, but she grinned as she handed over her savings….
So there I am, dressed as if I were 13 years old, standing for 5 hours, gripping the back wall of the theatre for dear life. My daughter has been transformed into some sort of extra-terrestrial being. There are swarms of teenagers, dancing in such a way that they resemble a pile of maggots on a rotting carcass.
It takes me about 20 minutes to realize I need to stop judging. While there is no way I am letting go of my wall, I do need to let go of a preconception or two.
I learn. I learn there is musical talent to be found in the punk genre. I learn that Jimmy Urine has no shame, which makes for an enlightening performance. I learn that the pile of maggots has manners, feelings, opinions. I learn that how one looks to the adolescent crowd is important, but nowhere near as important as the way one behaves. I learn that other parents also accompany their young teenagers to the concert, and that it’s better to be tolerated as an “acceptable parent” rather than be labeled an “old fogey”, but one should be prepared to be both.
I learn that a punk rock concert is not really so bad. Loud, yes, but not bad.
My daughter learned, as well. She learned this is the sort of thing she wants to do on a regular basis, and that punk rockers are her sort of people. Her father is not amused. However, parents are nothing more than the ultimate teachers. I cannot judge, because that may interfere with my teaching.