I’m wondering today how far I can go in washing out of my mind any expectations for the Thai Peace Corps experience, because unfulfilled expectations (or in appropriate expectations) are so troublesome. I’m telling myself not to expect, just to accept. (There’s an easy link to Buddhism here, but I’m letting it go for today to follow another thread.)
Now are you willing to come along with me on a side trip for a moment? There’s something I want to say about science education that applies, I think. We often identify three outcomes of quality science education: science knowledge, science skills (e.g. measuring, designing investigations, etc.), and scientific attitudes. In that third category we try to help students develop their curiosity, objectivity, skepticism, humility (i.e. that the data are more important than our predictions), and willingness to sustain uncertainty. That last one is the one I’m thinking about today. Maybe putting that into lesson plans and teaching it and practicing it has helped me to be ready for this battle against my tendency to develop expectations.
Honestly, over the last few months the more I read Peace Corps memoirs and blogs the more I saw that a wide range of experiences are possible, and this is the ironic part: the more I have been able to blank out my expectations. That’s a good thing, I think.
Tomorrow we fly to Thailand, after today’s truly exceptional orientation sessions. The folks are magnificent. Best case scenario, we’re all so flexible and adaptable that we save ourselves from a few lumps and bumps crashing up against our expectations.
More about that later?