Two small milestones.
Neither of these are worth an individual post or commentary, but...
SMALL MILESTONE #1: I RAN 20km TODAY.
SMALL MILESTONE #2: I HAVE OFFICIALLY RECEIVED MY M.Ed CREDENTIALS.
I just wish I had something musical to announce. But I don't. So meh.
I'd heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect before, but this episode of This American Life hit a little too close to home a couple times.
Here's the episode:
To make this entry easier, I'm going to use the official transcript from the episode:
Here's the main section that hit me:
Sean Cole: That's because other people can see when we're doing the Dunning-Kruger dance, but we can't. Which makes you think, why doesn't anybody say anything? When it's little stuff--your fly is down, you have stuff on your face—your real friends, and even some strangers, will tell you.
Now, I don't tend to think I've done well at anything. I think I'm a terribly incompetent guitarist and I hear faults in my singing voice practically every time I open my mouth; despite plenty of people's assurances, I didn't think I was going to finish my Master's project at all, let alone on time; as far as being a husband and father, I think I'm frighteningly negligent and unempathic; I don't market my blog, my photography, or any of my creative endeavours because I think they're worthless and nobody wants to hear me; I don't think I'm adapting to the newer models of teaching very well.
Simultaneously, I wouldn't've started the Master's program if I hadn't looked at different administrators in Smithers and thought "I can do that;" I had somebody send me a facebook message recently that basically suggested that he could understand the things I'd written here at this blog, which is a little bit of evidence that my writing is comparatively cogent to strangers; I know people enjoy my music when I show it to them; most people assure me that I'm an adequate father and husband. So no matter how much I beat myself up, most of the evidence reveals that I'm a comparatively well-adjusted person. This was what was so heartbreaking about October-December of this year: I was faced with accusations that simply didn't line up and I had no idea how to deal with them. But as I climb out of that mess, I see that I shouldn't've doubted myself in the first place, that I catered to those accusations and it ripped me apart because they just didn't make sense.
The Dunning-Kruger connection is this: I just got myself a degree in Leadership Studies and I'm totally frightened to do anything with it. I don't want to boldy go into leadership-like positions because I am afraid not of failure, but of people not telling me when I fail. I don't want to be a leader who thinks everything is going OK, and nobody has the guts to tell me that I'm incompetent. I don't want to be a Dunning-Kruger victim, even though we all fall into that camp now and then.
But I need to step forward into something. I can't afford to keep putting these ideas off. I will need to start applying for more intensive teaching positions over the coming years, but I'm frightened to do it. I've never been a leader at anything. I've rarely volunteered and never stood at the end of a board in order to arrange something. I can't think of anything I've ever influenced anybody to do. I've got myself a degree in something in which I have no experience, so I will have no idea as to when I'm being incompetent.
Now, since I don't really have a huge ego about anything, perhaps I'm less likely to fall into the Dunning-Kruger camp. Perhaps I will never delude myself into thinking I'm competent at anything. But it's still a little frightening, nonetheless.
Because I can handle being incompetent, but I really want to know if I am.
I just read this story to my daughters. It was so ridiculous that I decided to make a video about it.
It's strange because the Squids Will Be Squids rendition of the tale isn't much more crazy.
There is no way that I could have ever imagined that I'd be in this place even a year ago. My life is practically unrecognizable to myself. From the outside, I think things look pretty-much the same, but on the inside the changes have been enormous and unprecedented. I'd like to keep most of those changes "on the inside," but I'd also like to share some of them a little. Just a little bit.
Here are the main "lessons" or things I've had to come to terms with this year, at least that I can think of tonight:
Me, I'm here on my own with the girls, working through my own stuff my own ways: through competence and relationships at work, the maintenance of positive, empathic relationships with my daughters, through reading, and through creation of content of different sorts. I've set up the microphones at the computer and hope to track down some inspiration of things to talk about and create. Here's to hoping it works out a bit.
I enjoyed running back in high school. I enjoyed doing the long-distance runs and regularly came in 4th place in my PhysEd class for long-distance runs. I always took pride in this because it was the only thing in PhysEd that I did well.
Recently, I've started running again. I've started trying to run at least 10 kms twice a week, and to push myself hard on the weekends. This is my plan to get back into running and enjoy it, to get a little bit back in shape.
On Friday, I planned to do the following route:
I wound up doing that route, but it took a lot longer than the original map suggested. It was suppoosed to be 12 kms and it wound-up 16. And I didn't even come close to finishing the loop.
I take a lot of pride in this because it's the classic "get yourself out of a rut" advice: get outside and start running. And I'm actually doing it.
As I run, I enjoy the act of making choices: I choose to keep running to hear the next song, or to the next intersection, or to the next kilometre, or to the next round number on the clock. Between all these little checkpoints, I get a sense of agency in the act of running. It feels good.
As long as I stay away from running injuries.
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