Scared – #5Days5Words

Posted: 10th August 2018 by kkeerybi in Uncategorized

I need to get back to blogging, but didn’t want to set too lofty a goal.  So I gave myself a challenge:  blog every day for my last 5 internet-friendly days of summer vacation about 5 little words I have been reflecting on this recharging summer.  Here’s word number two.


I could make you scared, if you want me to
I’m not prepared, but if I have to
He said, I can make you scared, it’s kind of what I do
If you’re prepared, here’s what I propose to do

Okay, you made me scared, you did what you set out to do
And I’m not prepared, you really had me going there for a minute or two
He said, you made me scared too, I wasn’t sure I was getting through
I got to go
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you

Select lyrics from Scared, The Tragically Hip (writers – Gordon Downie, Gordon Sinclair, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, Robert Baker)


This Tragically Hip song has always been one of my favourites, although it is, admittedly, most confusing.  The melody is so sweet and light, in sharp contrast to the threatening words.  Who is he making a deal with?  The devil?  The monster under the bed?  His inner demons?

The older I get, the more afraid I seem to become.  Age is supposed to come with wisdom, not fear.  But I think as I age, I realize more and more how lucky I am to have what I do have and I don’t want to lose it.

I’m afraid of a plethora of normal things like dying or disappointing people, plus a few more non-traditional things like falling down the stairs (this one is a legitimate concern – I am wobbly on my feet and work and live in buildings without elevators), and banana slugs (don’t judge until you’ve met one on a walkway while wearing flip flops.  Shudder).

As we approach the first day of school around here, I can feel the associated fears bubbling up for students, families, staff and myself.  What if I don’t like my classmates/teacher?  What if I’m not successful?  How will I know where to go/what to do? How will I ever accomplish ___?  Sometimes these fears are just niggling worries, but at other times these can be debilitating fears that affect well being and productivity.

I think one mistake we make is to always put on a brave face and refuse to outwardly acknowledge our fears.  What are we teaching others if we believe fear is to be hidden?  That the fear they feel is bad and weak and deserves to be hidden too.

Above I quoted the Tragically Hip song “Scared”.  Their live aired final concert was mesmerizing and heartbreaking as all of Canada watched Gordon Downie very publicly mourn and celebrate and share his fears while we mourned and grieved and celebrated and honoured along with him.  It was so human a reaction.  Maybe, as educators, we need to let down our guards and show that we are fighting human fears every day.  Maybe, that kind of modelling is just as important as modelling how to sound out a word or how to add fractions.



  1. Aviva says:

    Kristi, I really think this modelling is just as important. Not only does it make us human, but it also shows that it’s okay to have all kinds of different feelings, including scared. Wasn’t there a great movie that dealt with this very topic?! There’s something powerful about teaching kids that it’s okay to feel, and as adults, that we have these same emotions.