Journal

Tonight

Night Sky Under the Church of the Good Shepard
Image credit: Neil Creek

There was supposed to be cell group tonight, but it got canceled, so I found my Wednesday with no plans. Usually I’d be irritated if my regularity gets disrupted, but not tonight. Maybe it’s because mid-week respites are something that should be welcomed, especially if you already go to church weekly, and sometimes you spend an entire weekend in church preparing for worship since you’re part of the band and play two services on Sunday. I also know that this isn’t about keeping score, and what’s the bare minimum about being a Christian, it’s simply taking respite when it presents itself.

So, it’s been about a month since I typed into this journal of mine. Life has happened for me. I work a job teaching kids English and Social Studies, sometimes it isn’t easy holding their attention, sometimes I wear myself down too much because my lessons are never fully prepared to the best of what I think my abilities are, sometimes they are not presented the best way I’d like to present them, sometimes, they’re not involving the students as much as I’d like. More importantly, sometimes I don’t know whether my methods are effecting in helping these kids learn something.

In that sense, there’s so much more to improve on, and I want to improve. By george, if there’s a better way of doing something, I’d want to learn from people around me, from their experience, from their methods. Some people say that you must have a passion for youth when you teach. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. What I think is more pertinent to the calling of a teacher, is that you want to impart something. So in that sense, you cater your methods to the comprehension levels of your audience. And you just want to help bridge that gap in knowledge, for someone to learn, even if they don’t know it yet.

Anyhow, because of me pursuing this new aspect of a professional career, I also find myself putting my old life behind me. Y’know, that thing they call social media, the field I was working in before everybody thought doing social media was cool. Right now, I have better things to think about then what the best way to influence somebody is, which marketing campaigns are cool, which one makes people buy things or makes people talk about things. Right now, I don’t have to convince people that we should choose Facebook over blogs, or tell companies what the best way of reaching out to their audience is. Because, now I know something that plagues agencies who’ve never been on the client side.

We have our own problems. And I know why we’re skeptical about some social media strategies or campaigns that get presented, because they don’t address our concerns. While I did not cross over to the client side of marketing or communications, I leaf through education blogs every now and then, and the same thing plagues teachers or educators. People saying that social media makes everything better, but not being empathetic to the challenges that people on the ground face.

I’m an early adopter, so it’s easier for me to sieve past the bullshite. Not so much for some older colleagues perhaps, who have tried and tested methodologies of getting results, but are being pressured to change for what seems to be a shiney-object-syndrome. My heart goes out to these stalwarts, the old guard, the people who have something I will never achieve overnight, the experience of carving out their own niche. I think we should be respectful of such people, especially when they are doing good work with old methods, and when they are ready, when younger folk like me have proven ourselves to them that we are not just talk, and can produce good work too, only then does that qualify us to collaborate and show them some of the things that we’ve learned in our use of technology.

I’m just saying is all. Because this has what’s gotten me quite depressed every time I look at my Twitter feeds. Young know-it-alls who constantly push their own agenda, without realising how antagonistic they can be at times. Hell, maybe I was like that at one time. But I’ve always been critical about media, and I damn well should be critical about social media. I love how Pat put it, you’re not trying to cure cancer. I love how she’s brutal and blunt like that, and I think that makes her great in the field that she is. No bullshite, there’s a method to the madness, and we walk the talk. But there’s still a lot of catching up to do in the marketing sector, plenty of other people who don’t really care and just pretend that they’re good at their jobs.

Maybe I felt like I was just pretending to care sometimes, and that’s why I left marketing and communications. But now I’ve found something that I care about, that I want to protect, that is cause for professional pursuit. So, for now, this is enough.

Anyway, that’s what it’s been like on the professional side. In terms of personal interests, I’m really glad, and proud to say that there’s a new songwriting unit in town. Ave’s the brains behind Penpusher, and well, I guess I’m her co-brain. She asked me out of the blue if I was interested in forming a band. I still maintain that Penpusher is not a band (yet), but as a songwriting unit, we’re doing good work. We’re writing songs, we’re understanding how we operate, we’ve roped in Thomas who’s been an incredible help and joy to work with, Rudi who sits in sometimes, offers creative input.. and slowly but surely, the songs are starting to take shape, and when they’re ready to be interpreted by a band instead of just the two or three of us, we’ll let that happen. It’s nice when you start with a blank canvas, and you’re working on a particular space of the canvas, and you see that there are other portions that could use work, and you start planning how it’s all going to come together, how the dots will be joined, and how the finished product will look like in the end. Well, we can only imagine. I’m of the romantic notion that songs birth themselves, and we’re merely the midwives bringing them into the world. Hippie, I know. Kill me now.

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