Sunday, November 7, 2010

New realizations

A couple of things I have noticed, this week.

I think I'm going to have to ask for some additional accommodation at church. Today, I spent most of my mental effort into figuring out how not to fall over while singing the anthem, rather than executing the music. Fortunately, my ear is good enough that even on "autopilot" I can sing something in an appropriate chord, but I was missing notes (with luck, only I noticed, but still, I noticed). I'm going to need a stool; I can't use both hands on canes and hold the music and turn the pages, even with a music stand I can't hold two canes and turn the pages. The folks at church are very reasonable and more importantly, very kind, so I may be a little embarrassed by needing to ask, but it's going to be an easy fix. They'd rather have me on a stool than out of the choir.

I noticed something this week about how my teaching style has changed this year, how it has evolved within my "MS world"... I don't approach things on the physical level, "You need to color within the lines," I come to things on a "what's upstream of the problem" level ("You aren't getting this operation right because you don't know why you're picking this operation in the first place, or why the operation works. Clear those two up, and you'll get this correct.")

Self-empowerment through not through "discipline" (by that name), but by clarity and integrity of effort. Fix the problem that's upstream of what is expressing itself as "the problem," and "the problem" will go away.

Which, interestingly enough, is how my oriental-medicine practitioners are approaching MS. From the Chinese point of view, MS isn't a disease, it's just the name you westerners have given the symptoms; we're looking at what's upstream of what you call MS.

Which approach is not why I seem to be taking the "solve the problem upstream" approach. Although I think the MS itself is what's leading me down that road.

But my students are finding this road also very interesting. They're used to teachers saying "work harder" or "do it THIS way and I'll give you the A." They're not used to hearing teachers say "change the way you're thinking about this, and the problem will go away."

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I think I've heard that somewhere before...

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