Textbooks tell us passive voice isn’t a good style choice for academic papers, but sometimes I like to write in passive voice. It makes me feel all reflective and philosophical. Breakthroughs in thinking are achieved by thinkers thinking thoughts around here. Yeah.
At this point in my life it isn’t likely I’ll find answers to my most burning questions in a textbook. Where did I park my car? Did I remember to lock the back door? What did I do with my glasses? Will there be a long line at the ladies room? Can I make it to ladies room? Should I have the cheesecake or another cocktail? Or both?
See, I don’t believe there are any theories about communication that haven’t already been beaten to death. I don’t rely on formulas to wrap up life’s challenges in a tidy little package. Tables and charts and graphs, oh my! They give me a headache. I want to do. I’m a doer. I want to experience the world around me in a meaningful way. I want to make people happy. I want to make some people just uncomfortable enough that they question what they are doing, but not so much as to cause a fist to cuff response. I want to share what’s in my heart and experience the satisfaction of helping someone realize their dreams.
There is nothing more exciting to me than to make a connection with someone based on a common experience or common goal. I have known great joy and passion. I have also survived the undercurrent of deep sorrow. No textbook ever written will come close to capturing my life experiences thus far or those yet to come. Alas, these days I find myself forced to dig into textbooks to find answers to other people’s questions. Of course, the benefit to me for taking this small step is an A in the classes I must take to reach my goal. Another unexpected benefit for my giant leap of faith, in going back to school, is that I’ve encountered people who challenge me to adjust my communication style. They challenge me to think and to respond in ways I usually don’t. Who are these people? They are the Millenials! It’s like being in class with my son to the power of forty and if I were anyone else, this might make me feel self-conscious. On the contrary, it is energizing.
I received quite a compliment today. As the instructor was writing something on the board, he commented, “Stephanie could have written the textbook for this class.” I may have been the only person who heard his comment. That’s okay, I heard it. He may have meant it sarcastically. That’s okay too. You see, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years. I can get by without constant praise and turning an insult into a compliment is a hobby of mine.