Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Teacher Wanted

I started a new job in October. It actually started in September, but I moved into the new office in October.

It's a really new job, as in, other people have done parts of it before, but most of the legislation that defines what I'm doing got passed January 2012, and I'm the first person trying to make practical sense of the new legislation, so no one has really done any of it yet.

It's scary. I'm very good at presenting a calm, knowledgeable exterior, but I'm not very good at figuring things out by myself. I've always - always - had a teacher, until now.

TT: You might think this is an opportunity for me to "grow up" and "act like an adult." I would argue that's an "American" way to think and rather silly. There is nothing wrong with wanting a teacher. Jesus Himself said no student is above his master. If I'm my own teacher, I cannot do better than I'm doing now.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not completely alone. I have a deputy and two part-time support folk who are doing their best to get me where I need to be. It's just not as...structured...as I would like. The most irritating part so far - other than how often I forget things I do know in the scramble to learn other things - is how my support people seem to think my freaking out is a normal part of the process. They all did it; therefore, it's completely normal.

No one should have to freak out as part of their job. I know it happens. I was a foster care case manager, after all. Had I freaked out a little earlier and more publicly, I wouldn't have had a nervous breakdown. However, it is my nature to limit the trauma of change, mostly because I find change so traumatizing.

It may be a difference in learning styles. I would never throw a child into a pool with the admonition "sink or swim." I would never drop someone off at the DMV for the first time and say "go pay your taxes." I wouldn't hand someone the phone and say "order a pizza" without showing them how. You know why? Because my student nature learns the wrong lessons. I don't learn "Hey, I can swim" or "Hey, I can survive the Portal to Hell" or "Hey, I can feed myself as long as I have cash or a credit card."

I learn "Hey, I can't ever trust that person again. They will frighten and abandon me because they don't care enough about me to show me what to do."

TT: If you followed the Lavender Squeak fiasco (still on-going, btw), you know this is the major issue I had with God. We've gotten past it, by His grace, but my nature hasn't changed.

I believe I will enjoy this job. I see a future where I'm competent and caught up and able to teach a successor how to do what I do with competence and efficiency.

I just wish that future didn't look so far away.

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