Thursday, April 16, 2009

Being Van Cliburn

"An artist can be truly evaluated only after he is dead. At the very 11th hour, he might do something that will eclipse everything else."

--Van Cliburn

This is the ever-evolving process of a great artist, the expectation of creating something greater still. Can the same be said of other professions? I can see this mindset in scientists and engineers. Are there others? Many of us have become merely satisfied with ourselves in our professions.


Cynthia said...

As an elementary school teacher I
don't have the luxury of ever being
completely satisfied. Not only are
we required, as teachers to keep
constant vigil in new methods and
refining old methods of teaching,
we must, especially in these times
be super-skilled at discipline and
a diplomat when dealing with parents. New York is one of the
several states that requires a
Masters Degree, and more than one

In my mailbox are tons of information daily to apply to my
class regarding learning or
behavior or record keeping.
One must be a very organized
mulit-tasker, all while listening
to a large group of individuals
who want your time and attention,
on school matters. Not to mention
when a child just wants to tell
you about a problem fitting in
or about what a parent or sibling
said to them last night.

I attend required seminars as well
as workshops I pay for myself in
an effort to be the best teacher
I can me. I pray each night that
God will mold me into an excellent
teacher. Oh, and my school is
very into the "Assembly". Each
month a different grade puts on
a performance for the Assembly,
my grade is coming up. This means
writing a play - which I did-
rehearshing the words, songs, dance
and prayers to be said. And mind
you the teachers cannot fall behind
because the State Science test is
only weeks away! AGHHH!

What was the question again.
So, if I do seem flaky at time
and scattered on line, frankly I
love it because the zany-iness
{yikes! spelling} is welcome after
a day in school. Oh yes I have to
get up at 5:30 because this school
starts early - an eight hour day,
and on most days I stay late
speaking with parents, because
they know I'm always theres.

And P.S. so many other teachers
are doing the same thing every day.
Okay, I'll stop, after all I LOVE
MY JOB!!! Thank you, God.

Sorry I took up so much space
Judith, ahh me.

Cynthia said...

Oopsie, just to be educationally
correct - I forgot the question
mark after -What was the question?
again and typo, last paragraph,
the word there, no s. Which is why
I'm reluctant to tell people I
teach because my words may get
raked over my a fine-toothed comb.

Ummm...I think that's enough coffee
for one day. LOL!!!

dave wheeler said...


I think most folks who take pride in their work and their "brand", are always looking for ways to top what they do...raise the bar if you will. I'm a much better trainer now than I was when I started in large part because my age and experience enables me to relate to the more "junior members" of the team. Big Poppa...that's me!

I recall a quote about your work being your legacy and you should sign it with excellence! Perhaps Talent Developer should be "Talent Artiste!" of the things I enjoy doing most is spending time volunteering in public schools and working with Building level administrators and teachers on planning and parental involvement. The members of our Armed Forces and Teachers...thank you for your service. We as a collective community do not provide you with enough recognition and support, That needs to change!

judith ellis said...

Ah, Cynthia, thank you so much for your dedication. I so honor it. When working on my PhD I taught as a substitute teacher for many years and absolutely loved it.

Many principles would request me and I even paid house visits to parents. I mainly requested the areas where the need was the greatest.

All kids need and want the same thing: to be loved and listened to. In fact, that's all any of us ever really want.

Again, thank you for sharing, Beautiful Poet. I so appreciate you, now even more.

judith ellis said...

"Big Poppa...that's me!"


judith ellis said...

And, Cynthia, you may ALWAYS take up as much space as you so desire. I like it when you pass through.

Cynthia said...

Dave thank you for volunteering,
that is the ultimate service of
goodwill and compassion.

septembermom said...

I worry when people feel compelled to classify their professions as "ordinary" or uncreative. I hope that many feel like great moments can be achieved in all lines of work. Personally, I look at my mother's example. She is 70 years old and works as a payroll manager at a college. She is extremely underpaid and juggles many responsibilities. I admire the way she treats all the employees who come to her for help. She achieves greatness each day as she listens respectfully and addresses all their needs happily. She never complains and I believe that the employees value her friendship. She has raised the bar for any successor who follows in her footsteps. It is no longer just an ordinary job. She has made it a type of vocation.

judith ellis said...

Thank you for those words, septembermom. Your mother is a great example.

dave wheeler said...


A class many years ago applied the label after the Notorious B.I.G. song. I tell 'em I'd throw my hands in the "A-uh" but my shoulder's killing me! I have the best job in the building as I get paid to class clown with different groups of terrific folks everyday. Not bad at all! would be difficult to find a place where I feel more welcome or where my time is more valued than in a public school. It really is amazing how little the public knows and understands the challenges that each school and the building level administrators, teachers, and support staff face on a daily basis. Billions get spent and very little of that money actually finds it's way to the building level. The list of challenges is endless yet teachers still warrior on. Thank you for what you do!