|First workshop at the Poetry Yurt: 5 participants, quiet, lots of space and light|
|Second workshop at Artworks: 11 participants, espresso machine nearby, tight space|
Not that I have that question resolved or anything, but I have realized that a complete change of one's self-perceived role in life every now and then is probably a good thing. I had no idea that I was so completely sheltered in my comfortable routine of working when it suited me, exploring esoteric ideas in stitch, dwelling on philosophical questions posed by needle and thread, and rambling on about such things in this blog.
Demonstrating how to do a running stitch for a complete beginner is another matter all together. Suddenly I was supposed to be an expert, which was a very unfamiliar feeling for me. (Those who know me well may scoff, given my inclination to spout the answers to all questions, all the time. The thing is, I do that just because the answers are there. I certainly don't feel like an expert, given the corollary that "The more you know, the more you know you don't know.")
Teaching requires a very different attitude, and even though I did lots of preparation, and had taught the workshop a few times before, I kept being surprised when people asked me questions like they thought I knew. Most of the time I did know, and could explain, so I'm pretty sure none of my participants guessed that inside I was panicking: "You're asking me?"
I guess that all my efforts over the years to dissolve my ego have begun to work. The experience of teaching served as a good shake to my self-image. I'm not sure where I should go from here, but I'll keep moving, remembering the Anne Patchett quote I use as a signature on my email:
"Sometimes not having any idea where we're going works out better than we could possibly have imagined."P.S. Many thanks to the wonderful workshop participants, who taught me more than they could guess, and to the Gabriola Arts Council and especially Kate Wood for organising the Isle of the Arts Festival.