Doing some work
May 27, 2011 § 15 Comments
I clicked End Call with a feeling of exhilaration. I’d just Skyped Rick, prompted by Brad’s excellent activity for getting to know your PLN better. Here are others who have participated. Whether they had seeped in unconsciously, or whether the questions were spot on, or whether Rick and I just hit it off right from the start and all our talking shop covered them easily enough, with neither script to hand nor the need to dig them out, I realised later that we’d got through four out of five of our own accord.
Rick is a thinker, his blog Doing Some Thinking tells us so, here he is look, wrapped in a toga, head in hand, laurelled by nature and civilisation alike, ruminating on rhetoric, postulating on pronunciation. I’d chosen Rick precisely because of this. I love listening to someone who enlightens the world, someone who digs deep and carefully dusts and polishes trinkets of wisdom and holds them up for scholars to admire and reflect on, like Vladka the archaeologist.
Except this image I had couldn’t be further from the truth.
Rick is a man of action. Sleeves rolled up, he’s a doer, emanating energy. He talks non-stop. I had considered taking notes but got too involved right from the start, as very soon, the focus had shifted from general chitchat to exploring how we could work together in some way in the future.
He set up his own company a few years ago, a language school, first with just one partner, then taking on another. They all balance teaching with running a successful business with six other full-time teachers on their payroll. He struck a good deal renting classrooms in the school he went to as a boy, taught at as a teacher, and now profits from as a businessman.
His immediate agenda is to find and rent new premises so he can expand into teacher training throughout his home suburb of Brasilia. Elsewhere, he’s involved with #breltchat and is organising a regional conference for 150 English language teachers in July, also in Brasilia. As a result, recent books he’s read are on business, Blue Ocean Strategy and the like. Brad asks what else you’d be. This isn’t a dream, it’s real, he’s a businessman. But he needed to be a teacher first.
Here are my adjectives I’d describe him with. Caring. He cares about doing the best for his students, like taking them on a trip to the US a few months ago. Precise. He’s prepared to put in the effort to get things right; his pronunciation is native-like. Modest. Though he wouldn’t admit to it.
Knowledge shouldn’t be treated like pieces of antiquated jewellery, to be displayed behind glass. It’s living, to be applied, a journée from A-Z where learning never stops, reflecting and wondering close up on a cruel world of dandelions, and this was my overriding impression of Rick. Oh, that other question, what’s in his fridge? Dunno, never asked, could be empty, could be chock-a-block, certainly more than just food for thought.
“When I get a little money I buy books;
and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”