Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Making of a Difference

Not so long ago I was going through a new teacher orientation which was designed to alleviate my disorientation with hours of meetings so riveting they left me longing for Tom Daschle's autobiography on tape. The Series. During one orientation presentation, I was given a rubber bracelet that said "I make a difference". It looked like one of those Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" bracelets, except it was red white and blue and it didn't say "Live Strong" it said "I make a difference". So it looked like it, but was different, you might say they were not the same, but similar.

I wore it for one day, I didn't want folks to think I was opposed to difference making. I am not. You see, I just don't go in for all that bling bling stuff. It also struck me as a bit presumptuous, being a new teacher and all, to think I was going to start manufacturing differences right away.

But I have since embraced the ambiguity of it all. Making a difference doesn't have to mean I changed a young life for the better. I could, theoretically make a difference in someone's life by using the last of the toilet paper, leaving the next patron of the facilities to fend for themselves.

I do hope to one day make a positive difference. And then have a major motion picture made about my difference making. As KJ of The Cheese (because it's The Cheese that makes it taste so good) has pointed out, you can't really say you have been a successful teacher until a movie is made about the difference you have made. You have to "fight the system", "buck the odds", "break the rules", and help an at risk minority student overcome adversity, so he or she can become a successful something or other. Then he/she can "give back" to his or her community, thus completing the circle of difference making.

What I really look forward to is the "E" Entertainment Television show, "The Making of The Making of a Difference". I find those "the making of" shows as riveting as the West Coast Offense directed by an imaginative genius like Bill Callahan. I also eagerly await having a knock down drag out cursing match with some bastard director who wants to bastardize my original screenplay by putting in some stupid love interest and a ninja fight scene. I look forward to people dragging us apart right before I go all "El Salvador Plan" on his sorry little Hollywood ass.

But I am a reasonable man, willing to compromise. The ninja scene can stay.

In the mean time, even though I don't post as often as I used to, I am still making a difference in the blog world.