Saturday, May 18, 2013 | By: Elizabeth

Guest Post: Elizabeth vs. Miss Hudson

Ok, so, Brianna offered me the chance to do a guest post on her blog. Now, Brianna is epic, which makes her blog pretty epic, so really any posts on her blog should also be epic. I have to live up to transitive property.

(Am I off to an awesome start?)

In any case, I spent all day trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about. And while I was helping various students, I was struck by the realization that, while my friends know me as Elizabeth Hudson, they haven't met "Miss Hudson" -high school English teacher at Lowpoint-Washburn High School.  And just as my friends don't know Miss Hudson, my students don't know Elizabeth.

So who is Elizabeth, and who is Miss Hudson?

Elizabeth (n): 1). a reflective, introverted individual who opens up to people over an extended amount of time. 2) a middle child with a strange sense of humor but fantastic laugh. 3) a surprisingly morbid individual with more talents than what meets the eye. 4) an perceptive listener who weighs words wisely before offering advice. 5) a great lover of sleep, cats, books, and the color blue. 6) 7) me.

Miss Hudson (n): 1) first-year LWHS English teacher (10th-12th grade). 2) A supporter of dreams, artisan of intellect, and innovator of minds. 3) a weirdo with a creepy/awesome obsession with death, cats, and purple pens. 4) A beautiful individual in a skirt whom all the boys try to impress. See also: THE QUEEN. 5) A hilarious individual with a contagious laugh. 6) a stressed individual who tries to take everything in stride. 7) me.

And it's interesting to me to see the balance between the two.

(NOTE: I rarely if EVER refer to myself in the 3rd person, so don't judge me too harshly for the rest of this entry.)

I'm Elizabeth when I wake up and wish that I could still be sleeping. I stay in that mode while I put on make-up and dress professionally in preparation of being Miss Hudson (yes, I have purple and silver eye-shadow on, and hell DIDN'T freeze over. What. has. happened?!!??) The entire drive to school, I'm singing and waking up to my music, which brings me to the first clash of selves. Allow me to explain:

There is a male student who lives in Peoria with his mother, and has the same drive to school as I do. He's one of my favorites, but I'm fairly convinced that he has a crush on me (who tells their teacher that they "<3" them?). And since I'm still Elizabeth while driving to school, I find it really awkward to acknowledge his presence in any way. But since he's so used to Miss Hudson, capable of being beckoned simply by raising a hand, being ignored is totally weird...which is no doubt why he honked at me the other day. To get my attention. "I was waving like crazy but you were just singing away to your music with your little sunglasses on!" When he told me this, I smiled. What I didn't say was that I HAD noticed, but chose to speed up instead of wave back. (Which is why I also have to keep an eye out for cops as well as students).

This clash continues when I first get to school. The kids all stand in a line outside of the building before the bell rings at 7:50. They chat and mess around and whatnot...but they also have a tendency to STARE and maintain eye contact as you walk up towards the building. I find this to be especially true if I'm wearing a skirt or a dress. And, being an introvert, I like to have a little bit of time to mentally prepare for conversations. I can't tell you how many times a student has tried to greet me in the morning, only to get a half mumbled grunt back.

But the moment I enter my classroom, my domain, Miss Hudson is in control. Somehow I can make quick, witty comments on the fly. I can make small talk like none other. The boys try to impress me, the girls love talking to me, and they all try to make me laugh and smile (which, let's be honest, really isn't that hard). I make fun of myself, which they find fantastic. I'm patient and caring and genuinely concerned. They call me beautiful and a good teacher, and they truly believe it.

As of late,I believe it as well. It feels like my two selves are coming together as one. Maybe this is just what growing up and becoming an adult feels like. Teaching as Miss Hudson has done wonders for Elizabeth's self-esteem, which shouldn't surprise me as much as it does. My self and personality existed before I started teaching, so clearly it was in me all along.

I remember taking an education night class with a professor/high school teacher whom I wasn't too fond of during my time at IWU. What really destroyed my respect for her was a conversation in which she told me that she was surprised that I did so well in her class, since she thought I would be "too quiet" to become an effective teacher. And that's not the first time I've heard that comment. When I first applied to be a RA, I was put on the waiting list, because they didn't think that my personality was forceful enough to take control over a stressful situation.

If there's any point to my ramblings, I guess it's just this: don't underestimate the introvert. When they do finally speak, you'd best believe that they have something worth listening to.

And this introvert has had her voice all along.


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