My Blue Valentine

I thought I would come out of my self-imposed exile to write about something that happened a couple of weeks ago.

I had chosen a film to watch with my girlfriend. My Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. See the trailer here – 

It´s a brilliant film. A great portrayal of how even the best relationships, no matter how much in love the couple are, can suffer from the slow erosion of daily life. A great script, combined with great acting allowed the film to have the appropriate effect on the viewer. My girlfriend was in tears and I was left feeling angry at the two main characters, for not being able to see the problems and deal with it in an adult way.

Don´t worry, I haven´t hijacked this blog to start writing film reviews. I wanted to write about one of the scenes that really stuck with me after the film had ended, which was a short piece of dialogue between the two main characters, Cindy and Dean.

CINDY

I’d like to see you have a job where you

didn’t have to start drinking at 8

o’clock in the morning to go to it.

DEAN

No, I have a job that I can drink at 8

o’clock in the morning. What a luxury,

you know. I get up for work, I have a

beer, I go to work, I paint somebody’s

house, they’re excited about it. I come

home, I get to be with you. That’s

like… this is the dream!

CINDY

It doesn’t ever disappoint you?

DEAN 

Why? Why would it disappoint me?

CINDY

Because you have all this potential.

DEAN

So what! Why do you have to make money

off your potential?

CINDY

Look, I’m not even saying you have to

make money off it. Don’t you miss it?

DEAN

What does potential even mean? What does

that mean, potential? Potential for what?

To turn it into what?

Okay. I´m not about to admit that I´m drinking at work, but I instantly associated this way of thinking/feeling to my current teaching year. At first, I was going to say that you should replace the drinking for a coursebook and that would be that. But the more I thought about it the more I realised that I was being unfair towards coursebooks. Undoubtedly, the drinking/coursebook takes the edge of. It makes life easier and keeps you cocooned in your comfort zone.

It was this part that hit home;

CINDY

It doesn’t ever disappoint you?

DEAN 

Why? Why would it disappoint me?

CINDY

Because you have all this potential.

Then I knew I was stuck in a rut, content in my comfort zone and happy just to make it to the weekend. It made me look at everything I had done this year or should I say, haven´t done. I´ve ghosted through the year, telling myself that I deserved a break from the previous year`s exertions.Yet, deep down I´m bored. Bored of the coursebook, bored with not challenging myself or my students.

I feel that it´s time to get back out there, integrate myself back into the amazing PLN I built up during last year´s teaching. I´ve missed the interactions on twitter, the blog comments, the conferences and generally being part of something awesome. I owe it to myself to push the boundaries and to simply see what happens. (And of course blog about it) I owe it to my students to make them realise that there isn´t just one way to do something, be it learn, read, write or speak.

Comeback is a good word, man. Mickey Rourke

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2 thoughts on “My Blue Valentine

  1. Pingback: 7+7: A February blog roundup of great ELT posts | Teach them English

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