cedar_grove: (Stormcloud)
I have a bee in my bonnet, and I am not alone. There's no real point to this post, it's just an outlet, me venting to a degree... and recently I haven't vented nearly enough and I'm feeling it.

Recently I 'unliked' a fan page of a certain public figure because of what I considered to be conduct unbecoming such a site, a very hypocritical admin, and due to content being posted - family photos and such, which is where the admin hypocracy comes in, since she had gone on record saying she would never post such things and then did.

Now, one could argue that, being a public figure, celebrity, however it could be framed, that the posting of such images, not to mention speculation about all aspects of such a person's lifestyle, are simply an occupational hazard, as it were. However, this particular person is a very private person in respect of his family and personal life, and on the whole that seems to be respected by media outlets, surprisingly enough.

Then, last night, other, more reputable fan pages for the same public figure responded in disapproval to the continued practice of posting such images, which has only strengthened my disquiet in respect of the unliked page toward the anger side of the spectrum, and why? Two reasons: firstly, the pictures posted had be poached from the private page of a genuine family friend of said celeb (their page had allegedly been hacked and the photographs taken, and subsequently posted), who had since asked for the posted pictures to be removed from all sites that had shared them, and secondly - the photographs included children, (nieces and nephews of said celeb). It's one thing for family members to post pictures of their own kids, or friends with permission to do so, but random sites/pages, no. That crosses a line - and no, I don't care that the faces of the kids have been covered up by big yellow smileys. It's still no.

The unrepentant admin of the page, openly and defiantly said she (I'm assuming she), would not remove the photographs from the page and has removed all negative comments made on the page, including one very polite warning comment posted that if she did not remove the offending pictures, she would receive a cease and desist notice... anything posted in criticism of her disrespect has been deleted from the page. (We used to call these 'flames' but whatever the term is now, Gods alone know, everything changes so fast - LOL).

Are we truly such a desperate people that we must use social media in such a way? Maybe someone should report the page.

Cynicism

Sep. 28th, 2011 05:47 pm
cedar_grove: (stop)
From The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have.

I tried so hard to please
that I never realized
no one is watching.



I imagined, like everyone else at school, that my parents were sitting just out of view like those quiet doctors behind clean mirrors, watching and reprimanding my every move. As I reached adulthood, the habit continued. I walked around constantly troubled by what others must be thinking of what I was or was not doing. In this, we are burdened with the seeds of self-consciousness. From this, we trouble our spontaneity and the possibility of joy by watching ourselves too closely, nervously unsure if this or that is a mistake.

It's true... every single word, and even when I manage to break out of the cycle of self consciousness, someone or something always comes along to grab me up and drag me back inside.

When I was little, and by little, I mean very small, I was made the chief angel among the angels of the nativity, simply because it was my birthday. I argued with my teacher when she graded my story as being no good. A little older and I sought the approval of my peers (never got it, I was too much of a geek/swot for that), and my parents (by doing well in school – I was going to be a doctor!)

At some point late in my primary school, I auditioned for, and was accepted to the County School of Dance – but gave it up some time soon afterwards, as puberty made my body the wrong shape for ballet, and in any case, my school work was priority... and continued to be the priority, in spite of my suddenly growing and burgeoning creativity... which was a shift in direction, albeit only slight. I excelled, I strove to be the best I could be... I kept on track to be the doctor that I was going to be when I left school...

But was I happy?

I realised way too late that I was working so hard for everyone else's happiness and approval rather than my own. I'm not saying that I had a miserable childhood, because that would be a lie, I didn't. I had a good childhood, just that it was one dominated by striving to do well academically in preparation for a future that I came to realise I didn't really want. I wanted to be creative.

On the first day of the school year in which I would have begun my studies that would allow me to prepare for university and med school, I walked into my mentor's office and declared that I wanted to drop Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, and take English, French and Theatre Studies instead. You can imagine the expression on the teacher's face, I'm sure. To be fair, my parents didn't appear to mind overmuch... and were very supportive of my efforts to try and get into acting. As I was auditioning for various drama schools, my mum was saying that it was okay if I didn't get it, and had I considered teaching.

And yes, I have ended up as a teacher, but by choice, not by the need for anyone else's approval...but then here's where bitter irony rears its ugly head. Teaching when I qualified and got my first job was no longer the profession it was when I decided it was what I wanted to do... and it has become less so during the 15+ years that I've now been a teacher. Teaching now-a-days is dominated by... yep, you guessed it – jumping through hoops and satisfying someone else's criteria for approval. Now... I realise that in any job the employee is going to get an appraisal or two... maybe a yearly review, whatever... but in teaching it's gone to the extreme. Teaching isn't about teaching children any more – it's about hitting government check boxes against standards set, not by the individual needs of the individual children in one's class, but against... 'this is what a child that age should be able to do.'

They're CHILDREN, no robots!

Pardon my frustration, but something I wanted to do for so long has had the joy leeched from it for me by this enforced expectation of seeking approval. It's not enough to want to be a good class teacher these days, and teach children what they can learn and how best they can achieve their potential. Teachers are expected to want to become leaders, specialists, and advisors... all those things that take them away from the classroom where good teachers are sorely needed. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, and our children in the heads – metaphorically speaking.

I don't want to be insecure and self conscious – not in this, not in anything... but society has become a place where those in power want to keep up that way in order to maintain their own security, and yes... I have become cynical and jaded.

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