Sound like a strange title? Well, it's a strange week. Halloween is approaching, or as my character, Mistress Midnight would say from our play, Dr. Frankenstein's Party --- "All Hallows Eve", it is interesting that I should be reflective and have a sense of renewal. (That's suppose to happen around Spring not when the leaves are falling off the trees). Life is interesting though. Today my husband and I spent time setting up lights, the stage set and everything else that needed to be done for the play tomorrow. Yet as tiring as it was, it was also rejuvenating. We were working in sync with each other, as we have been known to do for many years (probably why we stay so happily married!), and it all hit me! It was fun and not just 'fun', it was really, really fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat (okay, maybe a few months from now...but definitely again). There is something about us getting a job done that is like nothing I have experienced before with anyone. My husband is so great at getting something accomplished. I know it sounds like I'm surprised, but I'm not. I have known that for many, many years. I just love seeing it in action. It makes me love him even more. If that's possible. Thank you, honey. It was great! Let's hope the show goes just as great tomorrow!
Well, that's the part about Halloween. Here's the transformational learning part. I have my final, final, final paper due for this first course and as I have said in previous blogs I had difficulty picking a transformational change that occurred in my life to use as an example. There were too many. Finally I wrote the paper, choose a change and proof read, edited and edited again. Still I am hesitating clicking that 'submit assignment' button that looms on the screen. So I ask myself, why? I said in my paper that I still can feel fear and anxiety over my college class, but that I am 'formulating a plan of action' (that's one of the seven phases people go through during a transformational change according to our textbook) so what is it? The plan, I mean? Just stop feeling these feelings. That's really not a good plan (I don't need to be in college to figure that one out). Going through this kind of change can mess with your head. It's not just about experiencing a disorienting dilemma (like something that messes with your head), conflict, or problem. It's all about reflection and seeing if you can challenge your own assumptions about life. Crazy?! Who would want to go through this. Well, frankly, all of us, adults, do it all the time.
According to Jack Mezirow who suggested Transformative Learning in 1991 it's far from crazy. It is how we, as adults, learn, grow, and eventually change. We go through all these phases to get there and then, here we are -- in a new way of thinking. Literally. And it doesn't work like the fairy godmother in 'Cinderella' either, it's painful...very, very painful. Kinda seems like Cinderella started her transformational change after she attended the ball, doesn't it? She had to realize that living at that house with those step sisters of hers was living in hell and it was time to move on. Of course, it depends on the version you read of the fairy tale. I think that's probably why I liked doing transformational changes with the characters when I adapted fairy tales for my theater group. Long story, anyway, we need to have transformational changes so that we can learn and grow. Okay, I'll accept that. (And before we get off the subject of 'Cinderella', just how hard of a transformational change is it to marry the rich guy who will one day own the kingdom? Then again, she did have to 'transform' eventually into a Princess. That just might have been terrifying for the girl. But Brothers Grimm and all those fairy tale writers didn't tell us about that. Just Disney. Yes, they made a sequel and yes, it was all about 'Cindy's' transformational change into being a Princess. And yes, I did see it. But hey, I worked for Disney for a few years and I really like fairy tales.)
I think what is most frustrating about this transformational change for me, going to college again, is that I can simply fall into my old habits. Bad habits. Fear, anxiety, worthlessness, and so on and so forth. How can it be that I can be proud of my accomplishment (creating a theater group, writing books) and yet, I can still see college as a place where I am small, insignificant, and unworthy of. I know it is strange, but then again look at my title to this blog -- strangeness is just the beginning of this week of Halloween. Will I ever feel like I can truly be this college girl I want to be? And when I do, at times, feel like that, why can't I hold onto it? Frustration is only the beginning. But then again, 'Jack' wouldn't have called it a transformative change for nothing.
I wish you all the best with your transformational changes (if any of you are experiencing one right now) and a very Happy All Hallows Eve!
Until next time...