I’m not sure what’s happened over the course of this last round of practicum.
For those not in the know (and I’ve been talking about it nonstop, so people not in the know are probably, like, someone in Cote d’Ivoire that has bigger things to worry about right now), I’ve been working for the last couple of weeks at Operation Come Home (http://www.operationcomehome.ca/frame.html) as my alternative practicum. They’re an organization that works with homeless kids, and one of the programs they offer is an education program. I’ve been working as a tutor, programs advisor, and general kind of educational dude for the last two weeks.
It feels like it’s been years.
Not because I don’t like it or anything like that. I love it, more than I think I’ve ever loved work before. The staff is incredible. The kids are so raw and real and open that I feel like I’m really affecting them and interacting with their souls, or soul equivalents, or fundamental truths of self, or true selves, or whatever. They’re some of the most human human beings I’ve ever worked with, and their stories are going to inform how I live my life from now on.
My politics. My ambitions. Probably my career path. Where I volunteer. How I see my peers. How I see people as I walk down the street. Who I choose to judge (or not judge) and associate with (or avoid).
I don’t know how, but this placement, these kids, have reduced me to a gloopy pile of introspective mess recently. I tend not to dwell on how fortunate I am to have the family, friends, and general sense of security that I have. I take for granted the fact that I made it through high school with nothing more dramatic than some bullying to impede me (although it seemed, and was, legitimately dramatic at the time). I take for granted mental health, creativity, and ambition that is bolstered by a sense of self-confidence, of self-worth, and the feeling–even better, the profound, unshakeable knowledge–that I have something to offer. I take being a natural with computers, even high-end hardware and software, as part and parcel of being part of the original internet generation (Facebook O.G., I called it once). I have writing as my outlet, and creative projects in film and video and art as my hobby, and I have the resources and support and education to continue to learn and develop and push those things. Even this keyboard, these screens that I’m typing on, are blessings. The roof over my head. The ability to make money. The chances I’ve had. The second and third chances that I’ve managed to use to my betterment.
These are realizations, thoughts, that are long overdue. I feel more self-aware, less selfish, more relativist.
I don’t know if I like feeling this way.
I said this on the last episode of the podcast. With everything happening in the world and in my day-to-day workings on prac, between Libya and Japan and Gloucester Street where I spend my days, I’m finding it hard to get fired up about things that I would have been gushing over three weeks ago. Take, for example, the Green Lantern footage that came out at WonderCon:
Okay, I’m not that far gone. That’s freaking AWESOME and I’m going to write an article on Bent later about exactly why.
But you know what I’m getting at. It’s harder to find Charlie Sheen at all relevant… well, ever, but I should be dropping a podcast about his show tanking, or about anything else happening in entertainment right now, and I just do not give a shit.
I wonder often if I’m changing a little more each day, or if I’m just growing into myself. And as much as I love the work I’m doing now–as much as I kind of hope I get to do this kind of work for years–I kind of want a break to recalibrate and enjoy things that are totally irrelevant for a while.
Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals.