Sunday, September 25, 2016

Grief



Grief jumbles up my soul inspiring me to cull out all behavior that exists for others and does not serve my heart.

The ache of my mother’s death echoes this new loss of love.
Strings of hurts entwine like a knotted necklace.   
Without patience, I try to fling the hurts away.

Impossible.

I will not be who I am not.   
Life demands my happiness.

even when I throb within the void acknowledging the hole left behind
even when I sob within the void
even when I …

Time marches onward making the void bigger and smaller.

I am lucky, love is beside me always. 
With love I am able to conquer fear.
With love I am able to soothe my soul.
With love, I will find what I need.
and I miss those who came and had to leave

Copyright 2016 Heather L. Corwin, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Losing Your Job

A dear friend of mine was recently laid off.  My first reaction was to jump on a plane, surround us with chocolate, and watch "I'm glad that's NOT me" themed films or historical romances. Since that's not possible, I went straight to the internet for inspirational stories around job loss.  These stories were mostly thank God I was forced to re-evaluate my life and now I'm happy!  And all I could think was, it's too soon to send this sort of stuff.

Loosing your job is a big deal.  People you spend the majority of your day with for years are people you will no longer see regularly.  What's more complicated is the idea that your boss, the person who may have cheered you on last week, is now the person telling you your services are no longer needed.  That hurts.  Betrayal and trust are often at the center of this event, which can erode confidence.

What brings little comfort is being let go was not a result of misuse of social media or lying on a resume, it was as simple and devastating as the company did not drive as much business as it once had, requiring down-sizing.  Facts do not help the heart feel better immediately, but they do soothe eventually.

What I do know is my friend needs me now: to listen, to laugh, to cry, to support grieving and recovery.  The truth is, life can offer us better opportunities than we can hope for when we are open to the possibility - which usually occurs when seeking work.  Here's to life healing the hurts and celebrating possibilities!!!

Copyright 2016 Heather L. Corwin, Ph.D.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Teaching Problem Students

Maybe I've been reading too much Bren√© Brown, but I'm going to dedicate this year to articulating my vulnerabilities.  Recently I've been thinking about what keeps me up at night.  As a teacher, what keeps me up most is when a student is not thriving or succeeding in my class.  My common go-to thought is, "I must not be enough."  I gently put that aside, awaken my curiosity around the students and situation, and see what I can bring to the equation that may evolve the situation in the direction of success. 

Allow me to introduce one of my undergraduate students who I will call "Jane."  Jane loved the teacher who instructed last year who had a totally different focus on the material.  That happens.  The student felt very loyal to that teacher.  I'm not sure where else she and I have challenges, but she stated that she doesn't believe I can teach her anything, which is a little mind boggling, especially since we've already spent a semester together.  Ego aside, I've been teaching a long time and this sort of problem has never occurred in my class - especially when I'm teaching majors.  This is usually when I have my biggest awareness epiphany's, in the face of challenge.  What I find interesting is this student also failed to complete substantial amounts of homework required of the class, which is no coincidence.  So is this blame game an attempt to assuage her guilt at not committing to the class or might she simply dislike the material... or me?  I'm always looking for logic.  I'm not into taking these challenges personally, but it's hard not to do so. 

Sometimes, as a teacher, the answer after you've exhausted all teaching angles is, "this student is not interested in engaging in this class for whatever reason."  That is a last resort thought for me.  Plus, there's always a reason the student does not want to engage.  However, discovering what is holding the student back can shed light on a multitude of blocks the student may have, which will allow the student to soar in her academics as well as in her life.  Most important, teaching requires both parties to engage.  If a student chooses not to, I have little recourse other than a grade reflection, which is lame.  Learning isn't happening.  Well, not the learning I have in mind anyway.

I'm not the perfect teacher for everyone, that's not possible.  So 2% of all of my students who do not connect to what or how I teach is a pretty good average.  Sadly, that doesn't salve me.  Logic doesn't ease my heart when spreading love of acting is what drives me.  I don't even care if a students does not have enthusiasm for the material, the assignments still have to be done.  Engaging is required of adults who do more than survive in the world.  Clearly, I'm more than a survivor.  Can I lead by example and hope that's enough?  We will find out.

Copyright 2016 Heather Corwin