Posts tagged with “passion”

A Lesson in Passion

Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

I was  chatting to one of my students this evening after class. He asked me if he could ask me a personal question, and I thought, here we go… boundaries! (ah, the skeptic). It turned out that he wanted my opinion on a dilemma he is having about the next step in his education. His question related to whether he should pursue a degree or a diploma; swap from a more training-based approach to a learning approach.

I almost wish he’d asked me something about me!

This is such a hard question to answer, for so many reasons. The student is not from Canada and is planning to go home at some point, to a different culture, with different expectations and different needs. We chatted for a long time about how when you lack a degree, you often hit a ceiling in your career, and the advantages and disadvantages of his quite varying career options, and then I realised that I wasn’t really telling him what I really wanted to tell him: that it doesn`t matter what you do or where you go if you are not passionate about it.

And so I told him.

I told him how unhappy I had been when I was working full-time at teaching and felt that it wasn`t what I really wanted. I told him how I feel that passion is so important, because if you love what you do, you will be successful no matter what. I also told him that it makes me sad when I talk to students and they tell me they have chosen their studies based on what their parents have told them they must do. And I told him that it also makes me sad when people do things out of fear – a fear of failure, or of a lack of money, or of letting others down. And I also told him that some people work to live, and others live to work, and that he needs to decide what he loves to do, what he is passionate about, and worry about the rest later.

What was interesting was how easy it was to give him advice and talk to him about his path, and speak of fear and passion and risks, when these same things have been plaguing me lately. Funny how it is always easy to dispense advice, but not to hear it oneself. I am following my passion, most definitely, but at the same time, there have been some fearful voices popping up and a lot of stalling and procrastinating. And I have been listening to the fearful chirpings a little too much. I think it is so important to take stock, and to make changes if something is not serving you well, but at the same time, you can`t let fear take hold and cause paralysis, blocking you from achieving what you want to achieve.

Tonight was a great lesson for me, but funnily enough, it was not in the classroom, but rather afterwards where I was able to teach something valuable not only to my student, but to myself as well.


Indulging Both My Passions

Thursday, 9 July, 2009

book I count myself very lucky. Not many people can identify what it is that they love to do, nor can they create the opportunity to do it (for whatever reason). I feel so fortunate, then, that not only do I know what I love to do, but I get to do not just ONE thing I love, but TWO!

After a year’s hiatus, I have returned to teach at BCIT – this time in Part Time Studies and Continuing Education. Although I don’t entirely enjoy the admin and the preparation, nor the marking (so what does she like, I hear you ask?), I love the feeling of engaging with students, drawing them out of their shells and being able to help them achieve their goals. This is the same satisfaction I get with writing and editing work for clients.

For me, both writing and teaching revolve around idea development. I love being able to coach someone through the process of taking their ideas and turning them into concrete, tangible results – whether it be an essay or a company website. The satisfaction on a person’s face when they see those results is such a reward. I remember one student that I had who was so upset when she got 60% on a paper, but she listened to my comments and took them to heart and worked so hard that her end result was 80% – a fantastic achievement considering English is her 2nd language.

What really touched me was how proud she was of herself, especially when she came to show me a letter she had written, using all the Business Writing principles we had covered in class, to her neighbour to explain to him that he was damaging her car by bashing it with his car door. She said that he came over and apologised profusely and they sorted the matter out. Her face shone as she told me that she knew it was because of the letter she had written and she thanked me for my help. I told her that she was the one who did it, by working hard and by not giving up even though her initial grade had upset her so much.

For me, it is not a grade, or a professional title that defines someone’s worth. It is the hard work, effort and passion they put into it, as well as the refusal to give up in the face of adversity that does.

That’s definitely what I tell myself when I face a pile of marking 🙂