Father's Day is this weekend! It's always so interesting to see how different the marketing is, for this day, as opposed to Mother's Day.
Dads get gifts they don't want, like ties and pens... Dads want tools and barbeque stuff... Dads can't/ don't cook and throw entire onions into the stew because they don't know any better.
I've always been mystified by the mainstream media's continued ability to uphold male stereotypes, in an age where it's become increasingly unpopular to promote female ones....
I think we've all probably heard or read something on the topic of the evolution of masculinity in the past few months. It is a bit of a hot topic. Here is a timely excerpt from The Current, on CBC that I listened to a few weeks ago. It's an interesting peek into what I think, is a long overdue look at gender stereotyping in the mainstream. We've become very conscious of the messages we're sending our girls. I am glad to see a shift in the culture of men & boys beginning to evolve as well.
This has been on my mind as we've been approaching Father's Day. So again, as we head into a day that means different things for everybody, let's celebrate diversity & our evolution, as well as all the great dads out there, doing some exceptional, thoughtful fathering.
My Dad was a natural born teacher. But.. unconventional in his ways.
He taught us about classical music by blasting Vivaldi's Gloria in Excelsis Deo, full blast through the house on Saturday mornings. He was overjoyed to help us memorize of Hamlet's soliloquy and explain the dark prose, (in much detail) to our tween brains. He urged us onto the tennis courts weekend after weekend hollering at every bounce, "move your feet, move your feet"! And after a bad day he'd remind us, with a growl "Illegitimi non carborundum"! ("Don't let the bastards grind you down!", in case your Latin is a bit rusty.)
He loved the arts, literature and a good debate. He was a mixed race man in a mixed race marriage in the 60's onward. He left home to study medicine in England when he was 18 years old. He worked hard and became a successful anesthetist, and as such, held us to rather high standards. He was never busy. He was "busier".
Looking back, I think a lot of what he wanted us to learn, was buried in his desire to leave his 'old identity' behind. He had a great sense of humor, but some of his family stories and calypso dancing spoofs had a touch of derision to them.
And so despite being a great teacher, there are things I learned from him that weren't the most useful to have in my toolkit. (Work above all else, feeling not good enough, a bottle of wine might make me feel better... just to name a few and keep you interested).
Whether you're a teacher in the home, or a teacher in the classroom, I wonder if there is any way around that? We are after all, only human. We can only "do our best with the tools we are given", to be mindful of the messages and implications we are passing on to those around us.
But some people, spend a LOT more time in that zone of leading by example, molding minds... teaching, coaching. Curiously, some make a career of it.
June sees us acknowledging all variety of teachers as we reach the end of the school year. I have the utmost respect for the people who devote their time and energy to teaching our next generations.
Having said that, let's not also forget to take a moment this month, to reflect on those who have taught/ guided/ enlightened/prepared/coached YOU, on your own little journey to become the brilliant person you are today. :)
Thank you to the teachers all around us!