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Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Empty Stage

My parents were classically trained actors, stars in the Lithuanian National Theatre. They remained active in theater as immigrants. Not surprisingly, I spent a good deal of my youth hanging around greasepaint, costumes, actors and stages.

An empty stage is magic. It literally throbs with potential. Add an actor or two, a stage set and lights, and the mysteries and panoply of the human experience come to life before our very eyes.

Here I stand...in the wings...stage left. I came to be here via a circuitous, tortured and wholly unexpected route. But now I’m here. An empty stage...lit by a solitary spot...awaits.

An empty stage...what an amazing proposition! All my life I had performed on stage in roles prescribed by others. The lines I recited were not quite mine. Now, the stage is empty. Sure, I still have my ever-present Greek Chorus of family, friends and former loves, but an empty stage now waits for me.

Opportunities such as these don’t come often, perhaps only rarely. My circumstances are uniquely mine (let’s just say I wish I had arrived here via a different route). I know this: I am free to live a life of my own choosing...play a role of my own devise. I don’t want to waste the time that’s been allotted for this performance. I want to be genuine, affecting, enthusiastic and lovingly human.

I found a few answers this weekend...answers to questions I’ve been pondering for years. I concluded that I want to teach. Teaching is a form of theater, is it not? Granted, the audience is captive. It’s up to the teacher to captivate. I want to be a teacher.

I found the answer I was looking for when I stumbled across a web-article about alternative teacher certification programs...proving, yet again, the old yoga adage: “When the pupil is ready, the teacher will come.” The article provided a link to a database of teacher certification programs. My goodness! There is an amazing array of programs. Most have been developed with the goal of making teachers out of older careerists who now wish to teach. Perfect. I will become a teacher.

OK, a fundamental question has been answered. New questions now require answers. Which students do I seek to teach? Grade-schoolers, high-schoolers, adults? I’m not sure yet. Which subject(s) do I wish to teach? Not sure about that, either. I have a love for many subjects: biology, earth science, writing, art history, photography...well...it’s a lengthy list. Where do I want to teach? Inner-city, Indian reservation, overseas? I have to figure that out. I’ll take my time. I have to plumb my heart’s depths to find the answers that resonate the most and the loudest. I want to find the best answers...the right answers.

* * *

I also decided that I want to ride my motorcycle again.

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2 Comments:

Blogger bct said...

Jonas, that's a momentous decision! You'll be a remarkable teacher; you have such a gift for expression, and so much experience to share. As far as specifics of what grade/what subject/where, have you considered special ed? It seems like you'd be perfect for teaching Life Skills, because living something you've elevated to an art form.

--Bernice

Wed Nov 16, 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Bernice, for your thoughtful and kind comment. I had not thought about Special Ed, but it's a worthy consideration. My answers tend to come once I ask the right questions. My only goal is to find the opportunity I would feel the most passionate about. Inspiration will come. It always does.

Thanks again!

Wed Nov 16, 11:23:00 AM  

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