Thursday, July 1, 2010

Recording Life

I once read a book about a preadolescent girl who recorded the "rating" of each day in a diary. I have a vague recollection that it was a Judy Blume book. Regardless, being a preadolescent girl myself, I thought this was a wonderful idea.

I began my rating system in a small red journal. This red journal held a lot of sacred writings for a 10 year old girl, and consequently was kept in the very secret and safe compartment at the back of my desk drawer. I wrote about my true love and composed fake love letters to myself from the future, when I was married and barefoot in the kitchen with little ones all around. (Tangent: why in the world was this a dream of mine? Not that I don't want to get married and have children, but why at 10 years old was I ready to be a housewife? Is this just some kind of intrinsic instinct for a time? My own mother certainly never wanted this for me, or for herself. Children are one thing, but domestic goddess she NEVER aspired to be- I didn't have THAT as a model!) I wrote my first swear word about my dad and then blacked it out after the guilt poured from my heart. I wrote about my friends at school and my little brothers and my parents. And I recorded my daily rating, on a scale of 1-10.

And this being BEFORE I learned about assessment and having qualitative data to measure and a defined set of standards and a rubric, the system was totally based on the hormonal leanings of a 10 year old girl. (Or more likely, the hour before I went to bed and wrote.) 12 times in one month I had a "10" kind of day, and 10 times a "1." This leaves just 8 days of normalcy, but no matter. I was confident and certain that recording my current situation would do wonders for my future. Perhaps I would lead some kind of extraordinary life and someone would want to read my journal! (I had just finished reading the Diary of Anne Frank.) Perhaps (as in my fantasy) my secret crush would find my journal and declare his true love for me as well. Never mind how he noticed I existed in the first place- I was convinced that I MUST record.

And now, I do the same thing. I started a blog about teaching in Romania and I feel a need to spill something onto the screen each day, though Romania is two months away. And I still have ratings. They are usually based on the following things:

1. Amount of sweat lost throughout the day
2. Quality of moments with my little friends
3. Amount of positive and meaningful interactions with adults :)
4. Convenience of travel and commuting
5. Exact harmful nature of the day's sunburn
6. Amount of laughter

This compulsion to record is still present. I am actually a little frightened to think about the depth of thought and wisdom of experience that I will have in just one more year, while reading back with a new perspective. But in this there is growth, and this should be our ultimate goal.

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