Archive for January, 2008

Garage Band Teacher? I Don’t *Think* So!

January 14, 2008

Alright, Tribe,

I’ve been writing my personal friends list about my latest foray into education. Some of them get it, but some of them write back with “Why do you need another degree?”

In the back of my mind, I hear echoes of pre-pubescent teenagers whining, “Mom, do I have to go to school?” every morning at the breakfast table in some 60’s sitcom. You know, Beaver Cleaver or Eddie on the Munsters.

Do you know how hard it is to grow up LOVING SCHOOL?

Think about it:  what’s “your thing?”

Do you paint? Play music? Fiddle with electronics? Swim?

Yeah, those were electives! Almost nobody was forced to take those subjects. I don’t do any of those things. I sing. In choir. At church. Which is a whole ‘nother story.

But everybody was forced to go to school 5 days a week, 9 months a year for about 12 years!

Many of you hated it. Some of you were neutral about it. A very precious few of us LOVED IT.

Remember? We sat in the front of the classroom. You called us Teacher’s Pet. We answered all the questions and chatted with the teacher like we cared. WE DO CARE.

I can’t help it that you were made to do what I love to do. You have my sympathy.

But when I tell you I’m going on with my plans to get a doctorate, it’s like I’m practicing for the World Series, the Thingamy Cup, the London Symphony. You know? 

I make A’s like falling off a log. I’m a student. That’s who I am. That’s what I do. I would love to be a teacher, too. Yes, I’ve been a teacher in many ways. I’ve taken more new age psychology meditation you-name-its than you can shake a stick at. I’ve hoped to work into teaching BreathWork, NLP, ISP, tantra and many other things. Did any of those work out of me? No. For whatever reason, no, they did not.

I am reminded of my dear friend, Peter, who in high school was well on his way to becoming a famous violinist. Peter once asked me, “Stacy, why is it that I really love the British rock bands, but I just can’t seem to get into the American bands?”

I hardly had to think twice about it. “Peter, the British mommies made their little boys take music lessons. They are grounded in the classics and it shows in their music. Listen to the Moody Blues, and you’ll see what I mean. American bands are made up of guys who bought a guitar out of their Coke money and set up in the garage to play with their friends.”

There’s nothing wrong with American garage bands. There often is something unique and fresh about artists who are self-taught.

Hell, Ian Anderson, musical genius of my favorite (yes, British) rock & roll band, didn’t take flute lessons until long after he became famous for playing it. I heard that one day in a radio interview. His daughter took flute lessons and one day she came in and said, “Daddy, you’re holding it all wrong!” Out of the mouths of babes, and all of that, but he said her information corrected fingering problems he’d been having for years. Imagine that.

Well, I’ve been holding the flute all wrong, apparently. Wisdom University just wasn’t doing it for me. I’d like to get my own foundation in the classics of my field. I want to research. I want to write. Right now, I’m hoping to write a dissertation on mysticism and religious experience. I’m investigating a few different programs, but I’m primarily interested in Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. In the process, I’ve found that Rice in Houston, and The University of Kent at Canterbury (yes, England)  actually have programs in mysticism. I dont’ know why, but neither of them sings to me the wqy GTU does.  The first place I heard of it was in Rabbi Lawrence Kushner’s author bio in the back of Kabbalah: A Love Story.  (Amazing book on many levels.)

I’ve been asking friends, and receiving the catalog and finding out where and when to take the GRE.

I am going to need to learn two new languages.

I can hear the *gasps* from my readers.

Pipe down out there!

I love language and while Spanish is the only one I can claim fluency in, I think it will be a relatively do-able thing to learn French, German, Hebrew, Latin, even Aramaic, if that suits my course of study. I can do this. It’s my thing.

I’d like to stand before a group of college students and look out on the sea of faces (even if some of them are asleep) and say, “My name is Stacy Clark, and I’m the new Professor of Mysticism. I’d like to get to know you.”

Do you have a tissue?

It’s a lifetime dream. I want this. And I’m willing and eager to take the steps to build a firm foundation in those teachers and writers who went before me. This is my passion. I’d like to do my best.

I was 5 years old when I first marched my little self into my mother’s bedroom, and stood in the doorway to tell her, “Mommy, I want to be a teacher.”

I’m 48 years old. I’ve done a *lot* in my life. I want to do this now.

Love,

Stacy

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