Saturday, July 19, 2008

Flamingo Fun!

So yesterday we had lunch at Panera and then went to a pottery workshop-store thing. It was sooooo much fun. I didn't realize how much I'd enjoy painting something - not just a doodle, but something I know I'll keep and use. Since we often spent the last few free minutes of the morning (before the bell rings) in the workroom together chatting and drinking coffee, we all painted coffee mugs. I can't wait to get it back and take a picture so I can show everybody! ;D

It's odd, though - generally I get cold feet right before something like this. I guess I've still got some pretty deeply rooted issues about friendship and belonging.

Even though I've been here for three years now, I'm still the newcomer. The others have been here for ten years or more. Most of them grew up in this area. They know a lot of the same people. All of them have years and years more teaching experience than I do.

I expect that I will continue to feel like the outsider, in varying degrees, for quite a few years yet. It doesn't help that I don't fit the local culture, either: I read comic books. I don't want to have children. I collect penguins. I take dance lessons.

Perhaps as a result, I am acutely conscious of attempting to find a balance between Ostritching (hiding from social situations in which I don't fit - which is very nearly all of them) and Trying Too Hard. Like yesterday at the Pottery Parlor (not its name, but I can't think of what it's called). J decided she wanted to put a flamingo on her mug, but they didn't have a flamingo stencil. As it happens, I can sketch a decent flamingo (though the one at the top of the post is not mine), so I offered to pencil one onto her mug and she could paint it in.

But I hesitated before making the offer. I didn't want to seem sycophantic or boastful. The latter can be particularly difficult because I object on principle to the feminine tradition of belittling one's own abilities or achievements.

I look up to these women, and to some degree, I am intimidated by them - by their skills as professionals and by their apparent ease with each other. As a fairly practical person, I usually align what I say and do with the result I hope to achieve. And on a strictly professional level, it works very well. But it seems to me that most people do not interact with their friends that way.


Melissa B. said...

I say you need to go for it! If you keep your talents a secret, who's going to know about them? Plus, I'm not sure my group would have thought you were bragging in any way! I'd LOVE it if you sketched a flamingo for moi! BTW, don't forget that today is the Super Summer Sunday Sweepstakes. Please stop in and leave a caption!

Unknown said...

Sounds to me like you navigated that one just fine. I feel ya. I'm a total introvert and almost always avoid social situations. I don't even feel awkward anymore if I'm sitting by myself at a function; I've realized I'm perfectly happy that way. The big mystery for me is how I got into a profession as intensely social as teaching.

Clix said...

I did end up drawing flamingoes - I'll post pictures as soon as we get the mugs back.

loonyhiker said...

I think it was great that you took this step. Many times the veterans are afraid to take the first step. If you open up, you might find out you have more in common with others than you thought. I think you are wonderful!

Clix said...

*furious blush* Thank you! That really means a lot, especially coming from someone I look up to as much as you!

Ms Characterized said...

I came from a "do it right the first time, or it's not worth doing" family -- and I strive to get rid of that every day. I'm learning to get better at reading when I need to 'ostrich' and when I'm just plain scared to be with people. You're an inspiration! Keep flamingo-ing!

Clix said...

*laugh* I try!

(Sometimes I think I'm the most trying thing people around here ever encounter...)

Do you have plans for next year, OKP?

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