Thursday, June 25, 2009

Teaching is not my forte

I almost fell over with an aneurysm when the editor came up to me yesterday afternoon with an intern in tow.

"This is ____. Can she sit with you for awhile while you show her what you do?"

Does. Not. Compute. My brain twitched like a malfunctioning android as I struggled to find my composure, finally managing a weak smile.

"Sure," I croaked, and I quickly clicked away from the website where I was reading about William Shatner...aka Captain Kirk...aka TJ Hooker...aka.....has-been-hottie. He'd just written an autobiography that I was reading on my Kindle, and I wanted to figure out if he was doing a book tour in Seattle, and if I could somehow interview him. That would be my ultimate interviewing dream.

It's a good thing he doesn't look like that anymore, or I might have dressed up like a green alien and gave him a big smacker.

Put that ray-gun away, Captain Kirk, that's innapropriate!! I digress. Back to my story.

The intern, who's incredibly sweet, sat next to me with unabounded curiosity written all over her face. She looked at my expectantly, like "Teach me! Teach me!"

I panicked, stuttered, and pointed at the screen.

"Here is what I did today. Ummmm....this story, that story, and that story." My finger tapped the wraps, debriefs, and writes. I had no idea how to explain what I'd done. Eventually, with her questions, I was better able to explain what I had done, why I used phone tape, how reporters operate, how I edited soundbites.

I've always been a terrible teacher, and have never particularly enjoyed teaching. I just want people to watch what I do and pick it up, without my having to explain anything.

"Kristin, how do I move my hips like that in salsa?"

"Like this!" I show them, thinking that should be enough.

"Well, do you twist a certain way? Just HOW do you DO it?"

This is when David swoops in, the natural teacher, and explains it perfectly. Timing, steps, movement, frame, spins, rhythm. I look at him in wonder, curious how he can compartmentalize these things into speech. He's a natural teacher, and he loves it. I wish to see him in that type of profession one day. I love to write, I know how to put images to words, but teaching? No way. Just give me Captain Kirk.


McRiguez said...

Haa haa. I love teaching, but more of a one on one or one of 5.

dog grrrrl said...

I found out late in life that I love to teach and have no problem doing it. At one point I had between 4 and 5 obedience classes a week with 10-15 students each in them. But I am utterly comfortable with the material and I prepared ahead. Being thrown into something like that with no forewarning is uncomfortable at best

Kristin said...

Melissa you may have hit the nail on the head. It might not be that I mind teaching so much, it's being thrown into it with no time to prepare or really think about the best way to describe my job. But really, my job shouldn't be that hard to describe. haha.

abigail said...

Having time to prepare yourself always helps. Not nice to be thrown into something!

Paula said...

True, different when told in advance to be ready to share something vs having someone drop a person on you like that. I like teaching, but only when I am completely prepared in my subject (which I am, at work, so always ready). I think if that intern is supposed to observe you, it is up to her to ask the questions while you do what you do, making occasional comments (like for her, she's probably star struck just observing someone in the "media"). :-) If you had a week to prepare you might be a great teacher!

Kelly said...

Hahaha! Zach has an intern right now! I can't image how wide eyed I was interning places. I'm sometimes amazed they let high schoolers go to college or college students out into the real world w/o a chaperone. Like literally right there next to them. How did our parents have enough faith in our ability to merely chew our food enough to not choke to let us out of the house?

But I digress.