What are you good at? Not surprisingly, your answers to that question are likely the same as the things that interest you - the things you like to do.
We often quibble that we aren't good at certain things because we don't have a natural gift; however, researchers have proven that innate talent is, mostly, a myth. We become skilled because we practice. Additionally, not coincidentally, those things that we practice are the ones that bring us the most joy.
Sadly, for the most part, our children don't have the freedom to discover their interests; therefore, they don't have the luxury to develop their talents. From an early age, adults guide their every activity - even play, through coercion, reward, and punishment. Whether it is an attempt to "keep up" with other kids of the same age, fear of judgment for failing as a "good," attentive, and involved parent, or of injury, children are losing out through their over-protectiveness.
Consequently, many of the kids who sit across from me during our initial meeting can not answer the title question. The responses vary from verbal stumbling, blank stares, or an embarrassed side-eye. But, sometimes, they go into detail about something they are utterly passionate about, with glowing eyes, expressive hands, and enormous grins of enthusiasm. Suddenly they stop short, place a hand over their mouth, and apologize because they realize they had been expressing their love for something that is not considered "academic." At that moment, before I can rush in to reassure them that everything "counts" - I am the unwilling witness to the draining of pure joy.
Why is our culture so very determined to shut that beautiful energy down? I have asked these questions many times before: why do we let external forces determine validity? Why is our children's worth measured by what they can "learn" in school and not by those things they love and excel at? And, why are they told they can pursue their passions after they sit through 13, 17, or 19 years of "education" - when we know that practice of a craft increases the likelihood of success and overall happiness?
Among other things, I am a writer because I love to write. I am a cook because I love to cook. I am a mentor because I take pure delight in providing the resources, standing back, and watching while kids explore all their possibilities and discover what they want to practice.
I ask again - what are you good at? What brings you joy?
DRC has increased the number of SLU students, from the Community Based Learning Program, who are facilitating remote sessions, from nine to twelve over the past week. Thanks to these new folks, we have added some very cool sessions to our already full calendar - including another Animal Geek Club for all of our animal obsessed peeps, a character and setting development session, as a companion to our drama class, and we are re-working our make-up tutorial class to include body painting techniques to create a double header with the new cosplay class where participants are able to fully develop their characters image.
Everything in our schedule represents the direct requests of our student members. If you are seeking a way to take control of your own education - get in touch. Deep Root Center accepts new members throughout the academic year.