Thursday, April 23, 2009
Today, one of our fellow classmates asked me, "How come you don't usually participate in class..you didn't say anything yesterday" After thinking about this comment I realized that is actually rather true and, indeed, I do not typically participate in whole group discussion. Debating hot topics has always made me extremely uncomfortable and anxious. As comments are brewing and discussion becomes heated, I will, without fail, be the girl in the corner slowly inching down in her seat and averting all eye contact with others. Though Deb discourages us from becoming paralyzed and failing to say anything at all as a result of paranoia about saying the wrong thing, I cannot help but let this intrusive form of thinking dominate my mindset. I have never thought about the various reasons underlying my feelings until I realized that my behavior was noticeable by others in the class. Coming from a strict private catholic highschool (and elementary and middle school for that matter) it has been quite difficult for me to adjust to the radical views presented in courses at Michigan State University. I think my discomfort then, does not necessarily lie in the fact that I disagree with the issues being discussed, but rather lies in that these controversial issues simply maintained a "dont ask, dont tell" position in my former educational experience and were certainly never openly discussed. Though I have attended Michigan State for 4 years now, I still have not been able to overcome my reservations and it is frustrating. I think the issues we are discussing in this course are fascinating, crucial topics of conversation, however, I just cannot bring myself to be one to openly engage in the dialogue and discourse of discussion. Does anyone else struggle with this or have suggestions for overcoming this plight? I guess I am posting about my issues surrounding the discourse of hot topics because I worry that if I am not even able to discuss these issues with my peers, then how will I ever feel comfortable introducing them into a classroom. And, suppose I do sporadically find the courage to discuss these issues with children, how would I ever feel confident enough in my choice to stand my ground when parents and/or school administration question my motives? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!