Friday, January 30, 2009

Following Chris's lead...

I'm poaching something from Facebook.

25 Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. It took me 20 minutes to figure out how to post a note. (On Facebook.)

2. I am still waiting to be really impressed by Obama. I didn't vote for him, and I'm pissed that most people assume that that means I voted for the other asshat.

3. I don't believe in God.

4. I am still not sure I'm an atheist.

5. I used to be an athlete - for real. I wish I'd never stopped.

6. I own more than one firearm and I consider it to be responsible citizenship.

7. My grandfather was easily in the top 20 names in Southwestern Archaeology, and he achieved it all with only a bachelor's degree. I am proud of that heritage.

8. A bachelor's degree from the 1930's was probably more like a PhD today. That's not about me... but I'm an educator, so it's relevant.

9. My dream car is a 1949 Mercury Lead Sled - chopped, channeled and LOW.

10. I'm seriously considering a motorcycle - but I have to come to turns with being a fatalist.

11. I am really concerned that by my last statement, people think I don't really know what fatalist means... my intellect is my greatest vanity.

12. Dammit - I don't think I can come up with many more.

14. I purposely left out 13.

15. I saw a girl naked before the age of 10. (To clarify - she was a teenager. She was mormon. Not that that is why she revealed her naked flesh to me... I'm just saying.)

16. Seeing a girl naked for the first time made me physically ill.

17. I love my bicycle.

18. Losing our unborn child this summer was the most painful experience of my life - with the possible exception of going to the ear doctor.

19. I added the tag ear doctor tag on the last one because I feel that I wasn't taught how to properly express emotions without feeling really embarrassed by them. (How's that for a fact about me.)

20. *** Censored *** (This is too public a forum.)

21. I wonder if people are very shocked by that.

22. As a child, I desperately wanted braces. I can't explain why. It was the closest I really ever came to wanting to really fit in.

23. For most of my life, I've been largely unimpressed with myself.

24. That's not depressive - it's my motivation.

25. I am torn between being a writer and being a teacher. I know I can do both, and make something cool out of it... but I am a purist at heart.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Old hat.

Before I start... Gina: I met a lady from one of the schools in our district the other day, and whilst discussing the television program "Dirty Jobs" she said, "What a fine program that is." I immediately thought of you and almost hugged her with a jubilant "Rubies and Pearls!"

So, there's this guy named Ken Robinson. Sir Ken Robinson to be exact. And I've found a few things of his and generally think he's the bees knees. I've posted this before, but his TED talk can be found here.

If you are involved in education in any way, as a teacher, student, parent, or overall fan... take a minute and watch it. I revisit it frequently and, to regress slightly, love the shit out of it.

Anyway... on with it. At the beginning of the speech, he says that when you talk to someone at a party and tell them that you are in education, their first thought is 'Why me?'

I use that as a preface - for here, dear friends, comes another EduBlog. *GROANS*

I am flummoxed. I am distraught. I am at my wit's end. I am some big word from a Bad Religion song.

We are at this crossroads, I think, of humanity. We have massive quantities knowledge at our fingertips (quite literally), and we are not teaching our kids how to access it. Our fragile, ill-equipped bodies have evolved for a million years (as a general ballpark) to be super high-performance thinking machines... and the best we seem to muster are slight moments of passion from an otherwise bland malaise. G.D. Betsy Bingo does that make me mad!

I don't know the answers anymore. I thought I did once, but that was arrogant and ignorant. I had to lock the boys' bathroom today because their was gang graffiti in there. I know who did it, too. Almost all the teachers do. But there response was anger. They wanted him strung up as an example. "These kids need to know that damaging the property of others will not be tolerated." I felt like all the air had left the room when I said, "They need to know that a gang kills possibilities and steals dreams." They looked at me like I had pooped out a goat that subsequently ate all of their shoes.

I just think there is a huge difference between discipline and punishment... but sometimes I feel like I'm the only one. Being punitive is about ego... discipline is teaching.

All I'm saying is that these kids know being in trouble like the backs of their hands. Punish them, and the moment is lost in a fog of suspensions and letters home and detention centers. Teach them, and who knows what could happen?

Ah, well... Maybe I should become a barber.

Wishing you could smell my stinky, medicinal eardrops,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Random Sh*t From the Fray

1. So, I get home today, and my mom asks, "Why did you lock the dogs in when you left?" I didn't. Which means that our neighbor came over - came INTO OUR HOUSE, and locked them inside. There is something creepy about that. We've known him for a very long time, and he used to work for/with my dad... but still - who does that?

2. I am trying to figure out a route by which I might ride my velocipede to work. The only such path seems quite treacherous. I may just suck it up and go for it.

3. I am training for a marathon with Tracey. We will be (knock on wood) running the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon at the end of May. Yay us... wtF is wrong with us?

4. Chris and Steve - your journey sounded epic. I hope you sang lots of inspirational training sequence songs from eighties movies. "Steve, I don't think I can make this last rise, man." "Dammit Chris! Hang in there! *sings* You're the best... aroouund... and nothin's gonna eva keep ya doooowwwwnnn!" Props if you know the movie.

5. The muse paid me a mighty visit over the break. I am going to embark on my novel... I have what I consider to be an acceptably amazing concept and story idea. Keep me motivated, please. Verbal taunts are acceptable.

6. Chris... this would be my "Congrats on Being a Dad" present were I wealthy.

7. Emery... you can enjoy it too... that was wrong of me to leave you out. Also, my friend from college just named her baby Ellery... which is kind of close to Emery... and I like to think that there was some cosmic connection via myself which made that possible. So, congratulations Emery. My friend named her baby after you. Kind of. But not really.

8. I've decided to suck it up and try to get an employment verification letter from Compass. Any thoughts? Advice? Previous successes? Please share.

9. I still really like my job - but I am never teaching Special Ed. again! I hope.

10. I will be in Tucson on January 24th -ish. Who's available?

11. I might be back in Tucson in February for the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Race... but probably not.

12. I miss Tucson a lot. We both do.

13. 'Cuz it's a good number, despite some beliefs... I miss Theater. A lot.

Love to everyone. Hope you have an awesome New Year. Whoo hoo. Amen.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New year. New shoes.

So, it's Saturday, and I am up at 5:30 am. This sucks. I am also sick, having had an ear infection (which renders me deaf in my right ear) for a solid two weeks now. Things, I suppose, could be better. I take a moment in self-pity.

Then I realize that things could be much worse. Tracey and I both have great jobs (knock on wood)... something many people are struggling for. We have our health, for the most part. (See above.) We have plans. We have a tangible future... I suppose that makes us pretty well off.

I am glad that 2009 is here. (Subconsciously, I just typed "hear"... wishful thinking.) 2008 had some ups, for sure - but it wasn't my favorite year to date. We survived it, though. And we are positive that this year will be better.

School starts Monday. I miss my students. It's such a bizarre feeling to become attached to kids that aren't related to you. I am looking forward to charging in with both barrels blazing... a lot more responsibility is on the horizon, though, as I am starting a Creative Writing club and a monthly Guest Speaker Series. Hopefully.

We are off to Flagstaff today for the memorial services of Clifford E. White. He was an institution at NAU Theatre. He took me to lunch many times... just because. R.I.P. Cliff. You will be missed.

Happy New Year. See you all soon.