Friday, February 06, 2009

Insight Insight: Pencils Ready?

SupermanImage via Wikipedia

I was sitting in the tub reading a snarky movie review by Anthony Lane when I had ....

A thought.

Super heroes with secret identities engage us because we think that our drab normal everyday selves are masks behind which our greatness lies, ready to emerge at any moment. At some point. Down the line.

That's obvious. And a little sad.

But I was thinking about teaching and how that's a real Clark Kent of a job, earnest, loose fitting, unflattering even, disguising our true and noble shape, which self someday will emerge....

No, I thought. We relate to Superman and Spiderman not because of our notions of latent greatness but because our greatness already *has* emerged.

Sort of.

I mean, most of us don't have lives as integrated as a fine Swiss watch, but I think more like a fine Swiss cheese, a combination of density and vacancy. I mean cheese with holes.

Okay, enough of the mouth-watering metaphors. I mean that if one part of your life isn't going so well, you compensate by thinking about the part that is. I have a bad day in class -- I told you I was thinking about teaching -- and so I think about that part of my life which the kids don't know about, the potent part, the *transformed part*, at home, where *the garbage gets in my way, the garbage goes down.*

Out, really. But then down.

Big bags of garbage. Kind of an Incredible Hulk kind of thing.

And then I thought. That's not much of an insight. Well, we all can't be Anthony Lane, all snark and elegance.

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