So, the Prince of Procrastination finally sat down to do his latest independent learning project. This is our third “ILP,” and as some may recall, this time we had to challenge one of our fixed mindsets, mine being drawing–or really, just art. I don’t need to be good at art; I am married to an art teacher; she is good enough for both of us. But I do need to be a good model for my students. I can’t just talk the talk. I also have to walk the walk. Yesterday, I started walking, the path unfamiliar.
The photo, taken in July of ’72, is of my grandpa’s barn; it represents one of my earliest memories, and though it has long been torn down, I carry a vivid memory of an early, not-yet-light-out morning when my I was with grandpa as he fed the cows. I was just over two-years old. The cows were these huge shapes in the early morning light, both fascinating and frightening, but bigger yet was grandpa, my earliest and still biggest hero, though he, like the barn, has long been gone. So, upon deciding what I would draw for this project, I decided to honor he who has always given me the strength to do the things I thought I could not.
Having the great fortune of living with an art teacher, I sought my wife’s help for this project. Of course, always willing to engage me in the “art of art,” she jumped at the chance to teach me some of life’s finer things. I had the same mindset when I tried to teach her golf, but for that she either had a more formidable fix to her mindset, or I just wasn’t a very good teacher. I suspect it’s the latter. And of course, as all married couples know, teaching our others something–anything— is always a challenge, so I braced for this reality; I prepared myself to fully acknowledge my fixed mindset, let go of all doubts, and let my wife lead the way. And though–as you can see in the sketch, I have a lot to learn and a long ways to go, I made some progress yesterday, and three small miracles occurred. My wife taught not an easy student. I drew. And, most importantly, I grew.
And that is I why I am doing this, to grow and be a model for my students, especially in arenas outside my comfort zone. As a writer and teacher of writing, I am supremely comfortable and confident, and I can both talk and walk that path without end, but if I am really going to help my kids grow, I need to get them to walk where they won’t, and I have to walk with them. So far, it is shaping up to be an incredible journey.
Magnificent Monday, all.