I don’t know. Maybe Sunday night I checked my blogs to see what my students had written about the identity crisis thing we have been reading and talking about. And I just freaked out because what I saw there was pretty awful, like no comprehension of the topic and poorly written too. I felt really upset: frustrated and rejected. I mean teaching this stuff is new and I wanted it to work.
But I got up the next day and wrote even more on the assignment pages for the classes about the ID crisis, and hit the ground running in the classes trying to turn the situation around if possible. Don’t know if I did or not.
I said stuff like, “In your previous blogs on you as students nearly everybody reported stress. Stress, stress, stress. Now where is this stress coming from?” And I went on to talk about how going to college could be part of an ID crisis. As Erikson says it’s a developmental step that brings with it a sense of increased vulnerability AND a sense of increased potential. The ID crisis is not a bad thing. Call it a growing pain.
I brought up the issue of a major and picking one. Quite a few students in my classes are still undeclared. So going away to college—and I stressed the away part—as a movement from parents towards autonomy (standing on your own two legs) brings with it, on one leg, increased vulnerability (now you have to decide), and that, on the other leg, goes along with increased potential (multiple roles lying ahead that were not there before); so part of the stress I tried to say might come (not so much from tests and all that) as tripping over your own feet.
I had them get into groups to read to each other what they had written and then I went around and checked in on the groups to see what they were up to. I stopped especially with one group that had a young woman in it who had been talking before about troubles picking a major. She says she has no idea what to do and had been taking “random” classes to try to find out like the Biology of Cancer, and Astronomy, and Art History, and I forget the other but something pretty “random.”
And I suggested to her that maybe taking all these “random” classes was her way of exploring the possibilities and potentials. But she didn’t seem to be listening and said, out of nowhere, that the real problem was “I don’t want to get old.” And another student in an adjacent group, piped up, “Yea, that’s so funny. I was thinking about that on the way to this class.” And a guy in the group said something of the same thing. So I figured this young woman was onto something I hadn’t thought about and said, “Old? What do you mean by that?” She said, “Old, you know. All wrinkly and baggy and old.”
And there I stood, exhausted, with hair falling out on the spot, and all wrinkly and baggy and old.
Speaking of old, Brother Dan sent me a link to a video he put up on U-Tube featuring “Good-Bye Blue Monday,” with Dan playing bass and Kim rhythm and Chris on drums in a converted garage clear back in 1985. Damn, seeing Dan looking so young makes me feel so old. I almost started crying. But, really, check out the video at.
Here’s another link to more recent songs Brother Dan put up on My Space.
Truck on! Musical Tingles.