My daughter is 17. Funny, laid back, easy going, personable. She makes friends easily and socializes without a thought.
At least that’s what people think.
She’s in a virtual charter school and they do all of their classes online. They have lessons that are computer driven as well as live classes through a conferencing program. Honestly, it’s a pretty cool deal that I wish I’d had as a student.
The problem with it is everything is very … limited. At least in perspective, that is. Her teachers only “see” what she interacts with them during their 30 minute sessions once a week, and then through assignments she turns in. That’s it.
But they have NO idea what goes on behind the scenes.
Early on we knew that she needed to have a solid organizational system if she was going to get everything done in her courses. So we developed one together. And when she uses it, it’s great. Problem is, she doesn’t use it most of the time so she doesn’t get her work done so I’m spending hours helping her over the weekend to catch up.
But her teachers don’t know that.
This week, after one more excuse and lying to me that she’d “really really tried” on a simple assignment that she’d read 2 out of 16 pages on, I took a stand and laid down the law. And I informed her teachers of it.
Two of her teachers insisted that she was doing perfectly in their classes and they saw no problems whatsoever. One of them was adamant that she was brilliant and sailing through her class with no issues at all.
Of course it’s The ONE class where I have to repeat every single lesson because my daughter has no clue what she’s doing and can not comprehend the online lessons as they are written. I have to explain everything in a different way to her because the presentations that they use are horrid for her learning style.
It all reminds me of just how little we know about another person based on a few words here and there, a smile in passing, a thirty minute conversation, a class once a month. It’s all just surface dirt, really.
So much of who we are is not on display for the world to see, and yet the world perceives who we are based on the snippets of information that they receive. And then we turn around and think about ourselves based on what others say … even though they don’t really know us at all …
No wonder depression is rampant in our society.
It isn’t bad media, or violent programming, or non attention by the medical community, or whatever else may be blamed this month. It all boils down to what we believe about ourselves.
If we base those beliefs solely on what others think of us, we are going to be mislead somewhere along the line. Because no matter how perceptive someone else is, if they only have bits and pieces of our lives to work from, they don’t know who we are or what we are capable of.
Nor can we look at someone else and understand them in the same regards.
Which all goes back to what I’ve said before, many times over … promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate and the world will be a better place.
Be kind to yourself. You are your own best friend … or your own worst enemy. Love is the better path.