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Quick Write 080711 “Feeling of oneness”

A speech by Thandie Newton, a British actress, titled “Embracing otherness, embracing myself” has been added to the line-up for my morning speech practice since last week. It’s about a 13 minute presentation at TED talks. Her delivery of the speech is so powerful and inspirational, so I obtained its interactive transcript available on the website as soon as I finished watching the video. In her speech, she disclosed that she was struggling with her low self-esteem, but her career as an actress had me find the way to get out of this constant agony. The following is one of my favorite parts of the speech:

But there is something that can give the self ultimate and infinite connection- and that thing is oneness, our essence. … And that can happen with awareness- awareness of the reality of oneness and the projection of self-hood. For a start, we can think about all the times when we do lose ourselves. It happens when I dance, when I’m acting, I’m earthed in my essence, and my self is suspended. In those moments, I’m connected to everything- the ground, the air, the sounds, the energy from the audience. All my senses are alert and alive in much the same way as an infant might feel- that feeling of oneness.

I’ve never consciously thought about that “feeling of oneness”, but her rendition reminds me of my teaching job. I bet almost nobody who personally knows me is not gonna believe what I’ll say here. My students and fellow teachers recognize me as an all-time-perky-positive-powerful English teacher. Oh, yes, that is not inaccurate to describe “Aya in the classroom”. But while I’m away from my teaching job, I’m constantly fighting with the unwillingness to go to work, the temptation to absent myself from going to classroom, and the constant monologue inside my head doubting the meaningfulness of what I do. Before I go into the classroom, I’m kind of “plugged-off”, so to speak. I don’t know why, but it’s just what this is since I started my career as an English teacher more than a decade ago.

When I somehow manage to drag myself into the classroom and go into the classroom, my switch will suddenly be turned on and I’ll be “Aya in the classroom” whom my students recognize me as. Ms. Thandie Newton’s speech seems to explain part of what happens to me here. Facing my students in their classroom makes me lose myself, I suppose. I try to be connected to the energy from my students with the help from “English Teaching God”, if he ever exists, and transmit whatever my students need or want to learn. I often realize that I’m speaking what I’ve never prepared, but that seems to work fine anytime. If Thandie’s words are borrowed, it’s just like “All my senses are alert and alive in much the same way as an infant might feel - that feeling of oneness.”? Oh, well, I could be totally and ridiculously wrong, but her speech has made me conjure up such a thing

(30 min / 512 words)

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Thandie Newton
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Aya

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