Copyright © 1997, Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 08:17:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Random Thought: What Would We Do?

I was out walking on the pre-dawn streets of Valdosta this morning, just enjoying this "getting to know myself" time, not thinking about much of anything--so I had convinced myself--when during the last leg of my five mile route little bits and pieces of a an on-going conversation I had had on the interent with a virtual friend in Australia a while back about some difficulties she was experiencing at her institution started floating into my consciousness and coming together as if I was leaning over a table and putting together a jug-saw puzzle.

I don't know why it popped into my head. Sometimes it's better not to ask. No, that's not being honest. Actually, I do know why. I've been thinking a lot about something that recently occurred and has put my integrity and authenticity to the test, but is better left publicly unsaid. Anyway, it seemed her comments were always punctuated by the hesitant-inducing, looking over the shoulder "If only" and "What if" phrases that so often are cold, hard links in the restricting chain we forge around our hearts and bodies that chill our spirits and weaken our daring and drain our energy and sap our enthusiasm and slow if not halt our movements: "If only I could...." "What if it didn't...." "If only they would...." "What if it causes...." "If only it didn't affect...." Her last message ended with a resigned, tired, almost surrendering, verbal sigh, "Oh, well, maybe it would be better if I shouldn't....."

I know I am being cryptic. And, I apologize for that, but recalling that old exchange from last year unexpectedly stirred something in me this morning and gave shape to some of my feelings that I would like to share.

I started thinking over and overin cadence to the final steps of my walk: what would we educators do inside and outside the classroom if we weren't afraid to be wrong, if we weren't afraid to fail, if we weren't afraid of how we would apprear to others, if we weren't afraid of what others would would say and do, and if we weren't afraid for our reputations and positions?

Make it a good day.


Louis Schmier  (912-333-5947)
Department of History                      /~\    /\ /\
Valdosta State University          /^\    /   \  /  /~ \     /~\__/\
Valdosta, Georgia 31698           /   \__/     \/  /     /\ /~      \
                            /\/\-/ /^\___\______\_______/__/_______/^\
                          -_~     /  "If you want to climb mountains, \ /^\
                             _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -\____

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