So, there is this stream…
Wait, haven’t we been there before? Twice? And what is it now? Should we go against or with the flow? Can’t you make up your mind?
I wrote Going With the Flow after seeing a large group of teachers silently accept something that seemed outrageous to me. I couldn’t believe how easily we accept the things that are expected from us even if they limit us in the way we work and live. So, I went on a stream-of-consciousnessy rant on everything I don’t like in our culture. I was happy. Then I was worried that I might come across as too arrogant. Who am I to tell anyone what to do and say and listen to and watch? If there is no one right way to live, then going against the flow shouldn’t be seen as the one right way. Then a student in one of my classes said, after another discussion on how we could change the student-teacher-dynamic: “Mr. Turgay, you’re always talking about this, but nothing will change. It’s really boring!” So I thought, you know, there is another side of this story and maybe it’s not strictly better. With all the stuff I’m trying to do, especially in school, sometimes that thought does creep up on me: What if no one cares? And then I wrote Going Against the Flow to try to see the problems with this way of doing things.
There are no easy answers is something I’ve been telling my students more and more lately, fighting against the black/white-notion that is so prevalent in our culture (which is hard because you can’t talk about “shades of grey” anymore without reminding everyone of whips and handcuffs). Interestingly, both of these posts are among the most viewed posts on this blog, which I wouldn’t have expected and I don’t know exactly why (only The Film List and Why I’m a Teacher are more popular). I really enjoyed writing both texts and I plan on writing more like these because they allow me to put myself in someone else’s imaginary perspective. I obviously lean more towards going against the flow, but I misstepped often enough to know it’s not always the right or only answer.
And because I always want to have more feedback (and because my time during the holidays might be shorter than I expected, so I have to make it short, and I might not be able to keep up the daily routine during the next week), I ask everyone what they think about these two-and-a-half thought pieces. Which side are you on? Does there have to be sides? Should I write more like these or less?
Speak up! I’m asking! I’ll answer!