#3: The best and brightest follow the rules.
I always thought this was a given, until I moved to topsy-turvy world where challenging the norm is the way to go. For once I wasn’t punished for being different, but rewarded for being original and creative. I am being educated and taught in such different ways it is bringing out a side of me that I never dared entertain because it was too “out of the box”. For most tasks, instead of being told what to do and how to do it (with a full set of instructions that brings penalty if you color out of the lines), I am mostly given an end goal and complete freedom to get there any way I see fit. The processes become so individual and exciting, as I learn more about myself and what works best for me.
I find myself teaching that to children now, to pull myself out of the picture and not try to do everything for them. I needed to learn to hand them the crayon, let them make their messes, mistakes and masterpieces, and never never “correct” no matter what color they painted the cow.
Everything I thought was wrong with me, suddenly became all the things that were interesting and right about me. I started to appreciate my own differently-wired mind and being ‘weird’ started to lose its negative connotation. It still boggles my mind how the same traits can be seen so drastically differently halfway across the world. I still appreciate my education back in Asia as I think I am a creative and emotional person by nature, and being taught systems and formulas made it so that if I ever needed to “play by the rules” (or draw up a color-coded, way too detailed spreadsheet) or be organized/systematic, I could do it.
But right now, I think I found my stride and an unfamiliar sense of belonging with my fellow weirdos who think outside the box (with no bigger box outside of it). S has to constantly remind me “You’re not in Asia anymore, stop worrying. This is seen as a great thing here, we teach our kids in school to do that.”
HAHA. Topsy-turvy world I say….
I am probably going to spend the rest of my life to un-learn these dangerous things I’ve learnt in my childhood, and refuse to pass these on to kids around me. I am also learning what education truly is and what it means to me, and realizing how much fun it all can be! My classes are extremely informative and amazing, but my biggest lessons in my time here have all been learnt outside the classroom. The truly important things like how to be kind, generous, radically empathetic, resourceful, to really listen without judgement, and how to dance in the rain…. 🙂