Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ever the Teacher

Today's Prompt: Teach a class. What’s something that you’re uniquely great at and could teach a class on? Write the tutorial in a blog post. Bonus points for images, links to resources, and video.

There are a few things in which I'd consider myself qualified enough to teach a class, but I'm going to choose four.

Topic 1. I'm a bit of a grammar freak. I don't think it comes from being an English major; rather, I think it's the kind of quirk that may have driven me to it. It drives me crazy when people misspell. The root word of "definitely" is "finite" and has no "a" in it! (See this hilarious take on misspelling from I have to chuckle at "If you put an A in "definitely," then you're definitely an A-hole.")

I will admit that I cringe when people use words incorrectly, and I try to catch the fabulous weekly radio show A Way With Words as often as possible in the hopes that I'll both ease up and learn something new to be more rigid about.

I hate when people mix words up like yea vs yeah vs yay. When I text someone that I got a promotion, "Yay. Good luck with that." is a lovely sentiment. "Yeah. Good luck with that." is sarcastic and dickish. It took me multiple instances of seeing this mix-up before I realized two people I know were celebrating whatever I'd messaged them and not just shrugging me off! LOL

I'm a stickler about the Oxford or serial comma (and most comma usage rules).

And I hate when people mispronounce words (it's especially, not expecially, familiar not furmiliar, February not Feb-u-ary).

I'm also one of the only people besides my favorite college English professor who prefers that "only" immediately precedes the noun, condition, or prepositional phrase it limits. I hate when I see it precede a verb. ("I only eat at that restaurant" indicates that you don't drink or talk there, while "I eat only at that restaurant" indicates that that's the only place where you eat.) I've been trying to ease up on this one.

That being said, there are rules that I flagrantly violate in blog writing for specific effect. I use incomplete sentences because they accommodate my flow. I play fast and loose with dashes and ellipses. I start sentences with And, But, and So when I like the way it sounds. I'm guilty of ___ and ___ constructions (see the sentence 2 sentences ago regarding dashes and ellipses!) as well as ____, ____, and _____ constructions.

So I think my grammar Nazi status is up for debate.

(See? That's an incomplete sentence AND it starts with So.)

Moving on... (incomplete sentence...with multiple ellipses....)

Topic 2. As a private voice lessons teacher by trade, there is much I could explain to you about how our vocal folds produce sound, how we employ breath, how our posture affects airflow, how projection works, how to improve your tone production...but it can't be taught in a blog post. There are people who claim to be able to train you vocally via expensive DVDs, CDs, and books, but to solve your vocal issues, you need a trained instructor listening to you and watching you sing. You need it tailored to you.

There's no one size fits all approach, which is partly why I love what I do for a living. I'm able to glean what afflicts them, diagnose and correct, and ultimately figure out how to make a concept click for someone on a case-by-case basis. Each student teaches me something new about teaching and singing and improves the quality of both in my life.

Topic 3. I could teach you about the attachment parenting and green parenting choices I've made: co-sleeping, babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, homemade baby food. But there are sites and spokespeople that are better resources for these strategies than I will ever be (and I've linked to those for you!).

I am hoping to blog about these choices more honestly with the birth of our next child. AP is not very supported where Hubster and I live. You're seen as a hippie freak for choosing any number of the options I mention, so you tend to stay a bit closeted. Even some friends who trust our judgment will tease me occasionally or tell us that our daughter shouldn't share our bed. Formula feeding is the norm here, the bare breast nurturing a child is an obscenity, wearing your child is seen as coddling, and babies are believed to sleep better in solitude. In leaving my blog open to discussing parenting though, I'm hoping I open myself to discussing what we have found works for our family, regardless of its popularity.

Topic 4. So I suppose that's why I've mainly tried to teach you about my life with diabetes. (Not to mention that I know a good portion of my audience is comprised of other diabetes bloggers and I'm inspired to continue in that vein.)

Because it's about me and what weighs on my mind. Sweetly Voiced is my story - a story of personal revelation, the surprises of motherhood, the reflections of a private teacher and public performer. Highs and lows - literally and figuratively.

In everything I do, the teacher or the nurturer in me comes out - in the way I listen to you, engage with you, commiserate with you, comfort you, and share with you...

...and perhaps also in my use of the Oxford comma.

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days:

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