The Gorilla PositionJanuary 16, 2017
The Gorilla Position was named for Gorilla Monsoon – one of the biggest figures in the early days of the professional wrestling world. Wikipedia describes it thusly,
The staging area just behind the curtain where wrestlers come out to the ring, named after Gorilla Monsoon. Refers to a wrestler who is in the early stages of their career and, as a result, may be prone to make mistakes because of their inexperience.
Three years ago, I turned my world upside down. I started working full time at Starbucks and took one class from MSU Denver. I had taken over a ten year break from college and was facing the reality of not having a lasting career. I had to reinvent, refresh and re-imagine who I thought I was and where I was going in my life. Back then it seemed so overwhelming. The long road of taking general education classes, low level English classes, and starting from the bottom felt overwhelming and unending – the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t terribly bright. I did my level best to stay optimistic (writing here on this blog helped me process and wrestle with the challenges). It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but I learned plenty in the intervening three years. To continue the wrestling theme – I started out at the local promotions losing to the local and state stars – they call it ‘jobbing’ in the industry. I was learning how to do this college thing all over again – and it was a constant wrestling match for me. But eventually I started winning my matches as the semesters went on and I was moved up in the standings (aka upper division classes). I got paired with bigger names – and was allowed to win a match or two. There were long hours of training and practice in the ring (aka studying, reading, and essay writing) but it was paying off in the main event ring (aka classes).
There is a moment in every professional wrestlers life when they called up (or not called up) to the main roster for the big show. For the wrestling world, it’s WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) or nothing. The main show is ‘WWE RAW” and has featured some of the biggest names in professional wrestling world. When a wrestler debuts on RAW, it’s a big deal. It’s a statement on the wrestlers talent, microphone skills, and abilities. As a student, my moment was this last semester. There are certain classes that serve as the door to the final stretch of the secondary education teaching track. If a student passes these classes, they’re on their way to the final year of the program – aka the main roster. They are a harrowing experience that tests one’s stamina, strength, courage, mettle, and passion. It’s like having a match in the ring to show them you’re worth the investment.
Today I stand at the Gorilla Position of my teaching career. I’ve been passed through the various levels to now standing ready to get my final instructions before I take the stage as a teacher. There’s one year left of classes – and these are the ones that expand on what we’ve learned in the first level of the teaching courses. They are the polishing and final training to help create in us the best teaching candidate possible. Because in January of 2018, I step onto the stage of student teaching and begin to show my quality. My entrance music will hit, the lights will shine bright, and the adventure will truly begin.
It’s time to stand and deliver.