Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kittens Are Liars

I can never really predict what I will see when I walk into my office since I share it with the two other core faculty members of the General Education department, but I don't generally come across things that make me roll my eyes so intensely.


Seriously, this was in my office.

While I am used to seeing terrible cheesy motivational posters (I work at a career college, after all), this one really got my goat. I love kittens, mirrors, and lions, individually, but this is the most ridiculous exercise in lying to people that I have seen in quite some time.

This might be a controversial opinion, but I think how you see yourself is important, but it is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, the most important thing. No matter how hard I imagine I am, I am not an award-winning gymnast, a milllionaire, or skinny.

In fact, I have dealt with this exact problem for years. I have an image of myself in my head, but over years, as I have steadily gained weight, my self-concept has not changed size or shape along with it. Some people might not see this as a problem, but it is when I confidently plan an outfit only to step in front of a mirror and realize it looks startlingly different on a person of my size or when I smack my hips against a student's desk or a doorframe because I don't realize my hips take up more space than my brain thinks they do (which actually happens more than you might think).

I think the real problem with "motivation" like this is that it gives people false hope, and, what might be more dangerous, an over-inflated sense of entitlement. I see this played out on a daily basis at my college. Students greatly overestimate their skills,their importance in the grand scheme of the college system, and what they "deserve" for the money they pay for classes. No matter how hard a student imagines that they are an A student, they might never be if they don't have the drive, motivation, skills, and dedication to learning that other people do. And, unfortunately, some people are likely never going to be A students, no matter how hard they try. And that's FINE.

I know, I know, as an educator you are supposed to give everyone room to be the best, but I don't think that being confident that there are, in fact, people in this world who will never be the next Einstein is not stopping people from learning, growing, and improving in realistic ways.

And I really do believe, more than anything, that I am an award-winning gymnast.

7 comments:

  1. And I get to sing duets with Andrea Bocceli....

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  2. I'm never going to work again if that is there!

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  3. Haha, it's just in my office, so you can shield your eyes when you walk in to see me!

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  4. The very best motivational posters can be found at http://www.despair.com/lithographs.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. And I get to sing duets with Andrea Bocceli....

    ReplyDelete
  6. The very best motivational posters can be found at http://www.despair.com/lithographs.html

    ReplyDelete

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