What was learning like for you while growing up? Was it something you loved? Something you dreaded? Something that felt like wrestling with a huge and slimy sea creature?
I know someone who slumped through school, garnering Cs and Ds at regular intervals, but it turns out he’s a genius. The traditional school setting and pace bored him. He didn’t see the point, and he needed much greater challenge. It wasn’t until a sixth-grade teacher saw him for who he was and gave him room to be himself and get creative that he began to gather a greater sense of self and confidence when it came to learning.
I’ve already shared with you that athletics were a bust for me and that I learned to read at quite a young age. The schoolroom and books became a haven. I loved to excel at my studies, and I was the kind of kid who felt (mostly) safe in a classroom, sitting at a desk with my notebook and school supplies, learning from the teacher at the front of the room.
Since this was the place I excelled, it eventually became quite tied to my identity. I thought being solid in academics meant I ought to be in an academic setting the rest of my life. I eventually made plans for doctoral studies and expected to live my days in the halls of universities as a professor.
It’s all I thought I was good at: books.
It turns out there’s more to me than that. Part of my container analysis had to do with examining this part of my life, then deconstructing, then reconstructing my identity as it concerned these things.
What about you? What was your school life like? How did it affect the way you came to see yourself?