I teach people for a living. No, seriously. I teach Art History four classes a semester (no summers, that's madness) and then I teach two yoga classes a week on top of that, and I have a kid, which is a constant teaching-learning exchange and becoming more interesting by the month. So I teach people for a living, both financially and in broader senses.
Today I taught 15 people in the yoga room (that's pretty freakin' big for Indianapolis) and then 8 people in my "jump through, jump back" workshop, and it all rocked. Six people of those 15 chose to be dropped back, which I've been offering every Sunday for over a month. Dropping back is REALLY rare in Indy; you don't get that in just any class. In fact outside of workshops I've only been invited to do it in ONE standard yoga class here. MADNESS.
There's a young guy (I mean like 21) who did the studio's teacher training, but on top of yoga, he climbs rocks, and is really into Budokon, which means he can float a jump through or back ALL DAY LONG. He came to my workshop and then talked to me for a while after, about how his teacher (Cameron something....Shayne? Is that how it's spelled? That's what's in my head...and how do I know that?) said that he would have to "find his voice," so he asked me if I'd be willing to share poses and moves, basically, some morning, and be sort of a teacher-mentor for this voice-finding. I said, yeah let's do that, and we negotiated Thursday morning.
I liked the idea but didn't want to do it, because I'm desperately pressed for time, all the time, but helping someone at 21 find his voice is something that SHOULD BE DONE, so in the name of imagining myself at 21 mentorless, I said yeah.
And everywhere, this realization is happening. I asked students to put in for a video art panel at the upcoming Womens' Studies conference and a few did. I am going to meet some MFA student next week to see if I want to be on his committee (and I probably do). I'm going to teach graduate Art Theory again in the fall, and my group of undergraduate "fans" (I lightly refer to them as the "fan club") are going to pursue me from Video Art to Avant Garde Film in the fall.
The boy speaks more and more English, and he listens to us all the time. 21 months tomorrow. He and I work on his walking on tilted couch cushions (to me, he looks like the rock climber of the future; the way he pulls up onto chairs, the way he adjusts his weight, develops proprioception...) and read books (TONS of books) and go outside to see and say "bird" and "snow" and all of the other things he knows.
So with Budokon guy, I was thinking, "I should be part of some studio's TT regimen." Not ashtanga specific, necessarily, but a few of my students come to my classes because they like how I teach it (they love the sequence too, but I have ARRIVED, in my teaching voice, which is another reason I said yes to that dude). So I feel like I should be some element in some kind of multi-instructor TT, maybe the way that It's Yoga did it. You had Larry sessions, Marie sessions, Katie sessions, Yariv sessions. I'm into that. But I don't know how it'd play out.
I like mentoring; I like education (although I do NOT like its bureaucracy, but that's a take-it-or-leave-it bargain, eh?); I like parenting best when it is a teaching-learning exchange, that's what I always wanted it to be.
And it's service. A long time ago I read Life and Gannon having said, "When you step on the mat, you are SERVING, don't think that it's for you," and it took YEARS before that made any sense at all, I just couldn't wrap my head around that. Parenting has opened my service economy, my service psychology. I end EVERY yoga class with some lesson that I learn from my one-year old. People DIG that, because in my head, which is a very synthetic place, the parenting blends with Freeman's book MIRROR OF YOGA (which is really great) and with all the Trungpa I've been reading, and it comes out as some weirdly authentic lesson, without me "trying" to make it authentic, which is precisely how you make something sound inauthentic. I try to speak to the real experience with the language I've got, the Buddhistness of parenting itself, and it comes out as a marvel.
It's all service; you serve people. That's what it is.