Summer To Do’s

June 21, 2014

Thanks to humanity’s understanding of planetary motion and geography today marks the official beginning of summer. 

Huzzah!

Now, I’m not a typical summery kind of person. For instance, I live in Florida, where’s it’s summer 9 months out of the year. So if we were to break this down into formula (heat+humidity)/tolerance = insanity threshold. (The unit of measurement is a “Frick”, or “F”.) So when the insanity threshold reaches a full Frick unit we all start to say things like “It’s way too fricking hot to do anything outside.” 

So…yeah…I like it when it’s a good deal cooler. 

But this year, that changes. This year I’m going to be actively more engaged in going outside and doing things. And while I’m at it, allow me to throw together all those things in one of those old fashioned lists of things I say I’ll do but never get around to doing.

Heh, maybe I should get my named changed to D.A. DOESN’T…

You get it…? 

It’s because I’m lazy…

So, here’s the summer to do list:

  1. Read: During the school year I’m working hard. My brain is fried like the golden batter of a eight pack of nuggets from Chick-fil-a…(drools). Since we’ve last spoken I’ve pretty much only read 4 books. Some of them were read completely; some were not. (I feel ashamed, I do). I did a little non-fiction kick at the beginning of the year (which I will certainly make a post about later) and I’ve delved deeper into the Dark Tower Saga from a guy named Stephen King. (This guy is going somewhere one day, take my word for it.) Right now I’m on the book Wizard and Glass which is the fourth book in the series. I plan to have book five done before the middle of August. I’m trying to be realistic because I might get sidetracked into reading other books. Also, two books is a lofty goal for my addled brain right now, so if I fail on two books and one read one…I still win. Or maybe I lose because it is not Ka-tet and I will have forgotten the face of my father…(OooOOooOOoo…seewhatididthere?)
  2. Write: This should be number one…but I didn’t think of it first when I wrote this, so it’s holding down the deuce. I plan on using the increased use of this site to ignite the pyres of words hidden in my mind. I’ll likely publish those shorts here as they pop up. Let’s go ahead and say…a story every 2 weeks? Seem realistic? sure…sure…why not? I’ll also try to limit posting here on the blog to a few times per week. You know how pacing helps you win the longer races. 
  3. Move: I’ll be moving this summer to a house. Like a bonafied real house. With windows and doors and neighbors that aren’t sharing walls with you and have very strange noises coming from behind those said walls. I’ll have a backyard and a front yard (that I must mow). And I’ll have big empty spaces that I can play guitar really loudly in without disturbing the already disturbing neighbors. 
  4. Play Music: And do it loudly. I’ve even contemplated purchasing a new amplifier for this noise making endevour. Hopefully people will come over and play music with me also, which would be nice. 
  5. Do something about my laptop: This is a very tricky area that I may just allowed to happen organically instead of forcing the issue. My only computer is this laptop. It’s not that old (maybe 4 years) but it most certainly needs help. I’m considering buying a new battery and just gutting the whole thing. Maybe that means buying a portable hard drive and backing up the important stuff, resetting to factory settings, deleting bloatware and see how far that gets me. I’ve also entertained the idea of changing the operating system to Linux. This is a little unnerving because I really don’t know much about computers and have grown up only on Windows. So to pull away and do something different (but still well supported as I understand it) is a hard thing to do. The nuclear option will be to purchase a brand new shiny thing which would be more capable of some of the other goals I might have down the line. (Maybe even join the desktop community).
  6. Plan for the next school year: I really want to try getting a good deal of work done BEFORE the kids come back and I got to do the whole thing again. I always like to get better at things. Every year I’ve taught I change at least half of what I did previously. My goal would be to get everything for the 1st quarter planned (in the newly required format), assignments copied, new strategies thought up, and create a new method of sharing content. That method of new content delivery would preferably be shooting some fun little videos that give kids content and also make it fun. (think Bill Nye meets poor high school teacher). I’d like to have units or certain topics that could become “flipped classroom” content. More on that later.
  7. Design a board game: Well…that’s not totally true. I plan on re-theming a board game and then focusing on some of the key mechanics of that game. Then I will tweak that game until it comes out with a more unique playing experience that is wholly different than the game it was based on. What game is that? It’s going to be based on the game Lords of Waterdeep but with a theme of shopping on during Black Friday sales. It’s a pretty fun game that I think could be a little bit more fun with a bit more satire and or humor. (But honestly, if you’re into board games, check out the reviews on boardgamegeek and consider playing it, it’s quite a bit of fun despite everybody’s reluctance to want to be roped in with the DnD crowd.)
  8. Play more disc golf: Yeah, I somehow got hooked on playing disc golf a few months ago. Is it just a kick that will die out shortly? Is it a long term habit of forming new friendships and skills in a hotter than Venus environment during the summer? Is it a way to get easily frustrated when you lose a disc in some unholy thicket full of barbs and thorns that forbid you to enter and retrieve your molded plastic you paid $10 for? I’m not sure…but I do know I like it right now…so I’m going to be doing a good deal of that. 
  9. Paint: I want to paint more. Because I’m elegant and crap. I’ve had some ideas strike me that I know I will not turn out the way I want them to, but man…I’d still like to try. Also, I paint watercolors now…sorry if I haven’t mentioned that as part of what’s happened in the past year…my bad. (don’t worry, I’m not some hidden savant of the brushstrokes, I just found it pretty neato and was something I tried.) 
  10. Poop my pants if the U.S. moves out of group stage in the World Cup: This would be sudden and unexpected to occur, but if it does happen, the stinkies will happen.
  11. Clean pants if that happens: See above.
  12. Try eating Kale: Because that’s a thing now and I want to judge for myself before I start badmouthing its trendiness. 
  13. Learn a new skill: I don’t know what it is. Could be knitting or cooking like a pro with a wok. It could be learning the basics of finance or learn to canoe. I’m not sure what it is, but it would be nice to learn something new every once in a while. Add some extra flavors to my life. (Which may or may not taste like Kale) 
  14. Stretch: In high school I won the class award for “least likely to be confused with Dr. Richard Reed AKA Mr. Fantastic”. With that honor came the great inconvenience of not being able to fully expand without something popping inside of me. Most people liken the sounds to that of a submarine diving deep and the hull crinkling due to the pressure. 
  15. Buy some new music: Yes, I’m one of the 26 people on earth who actually still purchase all the music they listen to. Why? Because morals. That’s why. Because I want to give my money to a band to support them. That’s why. Because I’m a little dated. That’s why. So deal with it. 
  16. Climb Mount Everest then jump to the moon while on fire and winning the world cup with the sweetest bicycle kick in stoppage time: Because who DOESN’T have this goal? Right?

So there you go. Another list of lists to end all of the other lists have have surely popped up in your reader feed today. Thanks for reading. Actually, what I’m more willing to be is that you just sort of looked at the title of this post, saw that it was a guy who wrote more than 200 words and said, I will click follow so maybe he clicks follow. If I did that, dear friend, then we’d all be followers…right?

If that last statement offended you please keep in mind I still have this powerful stench of bleach in the air from cleaning out this place from yesterday. The plummer is coming tomorrow. To add to that, I discovered what went unchecked in the fridge. It’s currently sitting on my couch eating old hot dogs and learning to speak English by watching T.V. commercials. 

As for you, what do you plan on doing this summer? Travel? Meeting up with friends? Carving a image of yours truly into a stump of a tree with a chainsaw? I’m just asking. I’m not trying to encourage any odd behavior like that. 

But, if you do…make sure you get my eyes right. People always mess up the eyes. 

D.A.

Not Sure…

September 18, 2012

As a teacher I get a small opportunity to peer into the lives of my students. I get to see those qualities that make them special. I’m sure there are some kids out there that I get to see the angelic side of. I’ve probably seen a few acts of kindness in the classroom that could make a patron saint give a tear of joy. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to see the…other side…of some students. It’s just a fact of the profession. Some kids are tough to get along with. Okay, that’s an understatement. Some kids make me want to rip out my eyebrows and move into some cave in Nevada while following a new religion that consists of knocking myself unconscious with a claw hammer and drinking pickle juice to survive. 

One of my mistakes I make while I’m teaching is that I sometimes feel like I’m the only one experiencing these problems. I’m the only teacher on campus that these kids don’t work well with. I wonder if these misbehaving students means I’m a bad teacher. I start to question the small amount of confidence I have in the classroom. 

Today I was reminded that I’m not alone. Other teachers get frustrated with the same kids. They get referrals from other teachers, so I shouldn’t feel bad if I have to write one from time to time. Sometimes it’s not my fault that a kid decides to make those decisions that make us have to punish them. 

I also realize that I sometimes kids that make bad decisions consistently will continue to make those decisions whether they’re in my class or not. 

That’s why we sometimes have to have to police show up to school to remind students that those decisions have “real world” consequences. 

It’s a shame that’s what it comes to sometimes. 

Don’t worry, I didn’t send a kid to jail today. I was just simply reminded that things like that happen. 

Also, I learned that I forget about clothes in the dryer too often. 

Food for thought I suppose. 

D.A.

 

Today Was The Day

June 12, 2012

Today marks the beginning of my self-proclaimed “Summer of Doing Things”. 

So far?

I went to a friend’s house and wasted a day away while making up a board game and eating pizza. That sounds like a pretty good start to me. Later I fell asleep on his couch and rediscovered that stretching out on the floor is amazing. It just cracked my back and realigned everything. I couldn’t believe it. I rarely lay on the ground…but if I can…I highly recommend it for you.  

I’ve also learned something about myself. Actually, it’s not so much that I’ve learned something but have finally defined something about myself. 

:::takes deep breath:::

Do you know what a “kick” is? Not the one for scoring goals. Not the one that you saw in Inception. 

A “kick” is a period of time when you obsess over something. It can be something real or it can be an activity. It can even be a place or a person (think like a crush). It’s not to be confused with an addiction. Addictions are long term and result in bad things. A kick is a short lived love of something. Most of the time you end up doing that activity for a few weeks and then you suddenly tire of it and stop. Then..weeks…months…even years later…you return with a newly revived vigor. 

They’re wonderful.

My life in recent years has been defined in different kicks. 

Such as…

  • Writing
  • Guitar
  • Sound recording
  • Exercise
  • Computers
  • Board games
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • Making stupid internet videos
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Reading
  • Lamps
  • Zombies
  • Comic Books
  • And many, many more…

So…why am I pointing this out this potentially obsessive compulsive behavior for all to see? Because I think it is actually a very healthy thing to do.

Really.

I think the more interests a person has it shows that they are keeping themselves stimulated and active. Yes, it might mean that our thoughts are sort of roller coaster at times but how is that any different than anybody else? Everybody goes through “phases” in life. My phases just happen to be focused around different activities rather than bouts of depression or relationships or life events. (I’m not saying living life in a way that is guided by these moments is bad…I’m just saying most of my life has occurred in bursts of interests from time to time.)

I think most people go through these “kicks”. At least I’m hoping that most of you go through this. Otherwise I guess it would seem that I’m a little crazy…

Am I crazy?

I guess it doesn’t really matter…I’m going to keep explaining anyway. 

I also think there’s a reason why kicks are defined over a certain period of time (usually short). It’s simple; we run out of fuel. When I’m in the middle of a kick I’m pouring out my juices of attention. (That’s a thing by the way…juices of attention. The trademark belongs to me D.A. Bancroft. All rights reserved. You can buy your T-shirts that feature this awesome catchphrase very soon.).

And trust me when I tell you this, I pour out until I run dry of everything I have to give. Then, when the well is dry, I allow myself to fill back up. But that takes time. 

To fill it back up all I have to do is just wait. The daily routine around me will cause me to remember certain aspects and interests as I go along my merry way. Sure enough when that cup becomes full once again it starts to pour and the kick begins again. Usually my efforts are a little more focused and contained the second or third time around. It’s almost like I pick back up right where I left off.

So…since I’ve told you about my past kicks…let’s explain my latest one. 

Right now I’m going through a “I really need a DSLR camera” kick. It’s got me in such a tight grip that I’m starting to think I might actually pull the trigger and buy one.

Do I really need one? Absolutely not. It’s almost ridiculous to imagine me running around trying to take pictures and videos of things (In 1080 p might I add…). But it could be a whole lot of fun, and for the “summer of doing things” it could be perfect. A new interest and a wide open horizon of possibilities. 

So if I end up purchasing one…what do I plan on doing with it?

Probably a lot of things. Maybe not much. I dunno really until I actually follow through and try this thing out. 

I might use it to really try my hand at photography. I’ve never really tried before but I think it would be a lot of fun learning a lot about it and seeing if I can develop the “artistic eye”. I could also start recording some of those silly videos me and my friends keep talking about. (And no, these friends are a dozen teddy bears that I keep in my closet, they’re real people.) 

I might try to make some recordings of me doing some science demonstrations for my classroom. This could come in handy because sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to set up a demo for students. While they can be wonderful learning moments we may not have all the materials to repeat the demo 3 or 4 times a day. So…if I recorded myself doing this (let’s say over the summer months) then I could just throw them up in video and can actually point out some pretty amazing things while not having to worry about burning down my lab room. 

I have even heard of something called the “flipped classroom”. This is where the teacher puts all the lectures and lessons online for students to access at home and all the homework is done while they are in my classroom on school days. Then the kids receive help from me on their homework and we won’t lose any class time to me teaching stuff. 

I dunno…that’s a little extreme but it’s a possibility. It’s even more possible if I gave myself a few trials to see if things like that would even work. 

Hey…I could even try…blogging…on video…”vlogging” as they say. 

But…I dunno…that would be awfully….different…

Still…I could try…

So you see? The sky’s the limit! I could do anything! (Well, I don’t think I could cook with it…or bathe with it…or perform a jet engine repair with it either…)

Anyway, maybe in a week I’ll tell you about how I have successfully navigated away from the strong current that is pulling me toward buying a camera. Or maybe you’ll see a nice crisp picture of a pile of leaves that made me “feel the artistic urge.” 

So I end with this… If you were me…in my position…would you do it?

D.A.

Naps Are The Devil

June 7, 2012

Seriously. Naps are the devil.

Today was the first day of no students for us teachers. You would probably suspect that this means today was an easy day.

I regret to inform you that it was not. I moved more textbooks than should be asked of a human. Cleaned all the materials off my desk. Began my scavenger hunt for administrative approval. Played to politicking game. All that and I’m only half done with my checklist, still need to finish grades, and we still have some textbooks missing from inventory…

It also didn’t help that today was a day that was so full of moisture that you practically needed a paddle to push yourself through the air.

So, I got home and decided to “rest my back”.

And you know how it is whenever you rest your back. You lay on your bed, and try not to move. You also have the fan on so you decide that you should close your eyes. It would be annoying to stare at the fan and let your eyes dry out…right? And then, hey, since you’re already there, you might as well slow down your breathing.

And then you start to think about soft music and unicorns…

BOOM!

Then you wake up two and a half hours later.

I’m 99% certain it was a nap. 1% possibility of time travel.

Either way, I’m groggy and tired…still.

Only one thing left to do.

Go to bed.

Goodnight,

D.A.

Something I Learned

June 5, 2012

As the school year winds down, I would like to share a little experience and lesson I learned yesterday. It’s what I’m going to call a “teaching constant.” It is as follows:

In every single situation, despite your best efforts to make sure otherwise, at least one person will not follow instructions.

Oh, you better believe I wouldn’t make a statement like this without some sort of back up.

You are now entering TRUE STORY LAND.

For the last lab I did with my kids this term, me and another teacher had set up an empty classroom as a “crime scene”. We put a dummy in the room and dropped some fake blood around and generally made a mess. It was pretty nifty. We even managed to get fingerprints on the windowsill and make it look like a struggle occurred.

Our two classes had been going through a forensics section in order to have a little fun before the school year was over. So we thought we would teach them a bunch of crime scene analysis methods and, for a final test, make them use those newly developed skills in a “real world” environment.

Pretty sweet deal, huh? I’m that cool teacher that let their kids leave the classroom and pretend they were cops.

In order to sell the whole idea to my kids I decided I would make up a ridiculous back story so they would feel a little more involved with everything. Just in case I offended or scarred a few kids, I decided to tell them that everything was made up. This is exactly how that moment happened:

The tardy bell rings and I begin my normal routine. I walk into the classroom and make sure my door is locked. As the door closes I check my lab door and office door to make sure the noise from my class will not spill into the neighboring classroom. I then take perch behind my demonstration table and begin my blabbering.

“Good morning!” I announce to the class. “If you have anything to turn in to me, make sure it’s put in the green bin. Today marks the beginning of the last week of school, so I have decided to give you guys a chance to change things up.”

This is the point where I usually have to field silly questions about something stupid that occurred over the weekend. But not today. Today I have an energy about me that is making the kids know that today is a special day.

“Before we begin today’s lab I want to be clear about one thing. Everything I’m about to tell you is false. It is fictitious. It’s fake. I made it up. It did not occur. It’s a lie. We’re just having fun, so I’m making this a little more interesting. Does everybody understand?

The peanut gallery only mumbles their acknowledgments.

“Okay then…” I know the mumbles meant nothing. I know that the kids had turned off their brains as soon as I asked a question. I knew somebody was going to end up embarrassing themselves in front of everybody, I just didn’t know who it would be. So I decided to change my tone of voice and expression. I took a solemn form and spoke with authority.

“I hate to be the one to tell you all this…but there was a murder here on campus over the weekend…”

And do you know what I heard from no less than 5 different kids .03 seconds later?

REALLY?!?!?!

A little bit of my brain leaked out of my ears that day. (Summer’s almost here…)

Want another example?

Do you know how many times I told my kids we won’t be having a final exam because they already took the End Of Course Exam earlier in the year? I”ll tell you. Over 20,000 times. Do you know how many kids asked me last week for a review pack so they could study for the final? Almost every single kid.

For a blood typing lab I told all my kids to only use three drops of blood in each of their tests. Do you know how many times I told them to only use that much blood? That’s right, 18 billion times. Do you know how many kids had to have me reiterate those instructions to them during the lab? Every. Single. One.

So there you go…no matter how many times you tell people to stir and not shake…they will shake. No matter how many times you request that people use centimeters instead of inches. No matter how many different ways you can write down and explain instructions. Despite your best efforts… Despite your harshest tones…

Despite your genuine care and concern for their safety you will always have at least one person not follow instructions.

If it sounds like I’m getting mad about this, I’m really not. I’m simply stating the truth. Kids (and people in general) don’t do a good job at following instructions. We mess up. That’s something I’ve come to learn this school year.

So the best thing we can do is be ready for it. Just do a facepalm and move on.

D.A.

Didn’t that one guy used to blog on occasion?

Yeah…he did…he did… It was even almost entertaining at times.

Sad times.

But that will be fixed up here soon enough. As of Friday evening I will be seated on the football stadium field while I watch many seniors I have never met graduate. It will be hot, boring, and will most certainly test my bladder’s ability to survive the two hour long ordeal.

Then the weekend will come.

Then Monday is a short day. Tuesday and Wednesday are exam days (so they’re even shorter), and then it’s teacher work days Thursday and Friday.

Then…freedom. Summer starts.

It’s like the weekend, but longer.

I’m so excited.

(I may stop wearing pants.)

Sorry, you didn’t want to know that. But realistically I will be free of a creative burden for some weeks. That means I will likely end up expressing more of my mindless droll toward you rather than my students. This will be good for all of us.

I also have some plans-a-cookin’ this summer. Interested?

Possible ideas for the summer:

  1. Read. A lot.
  2. Write. A lot.
  3. Stare into the sun. Very little.
  4. Do some conferences for school. (I will not be using my brain for those activities)
  5. ROAD TRIP! (I’m particularly excited about this, more details will follow)
  6. Buy a DSLR camera.
  7. Reconsider my position on the pants topic.
  8. Move out of the house.

Woah…

That’s…quite a bit of stuff there big guy. Moving out? B-but…That means…

Yes. I will grow up a little more. Expand my maturity levels. Becomes more than what I am now.

Seriously, that’s pretty crazy for you. What ever made you think you could pull of something like this out of the blue? You haven’t blogged for over a week and now you’re talking all crazy. Are you ill?

No, I’m completely fine. Well, not totally fine. I’ve got this rash on my-

NO! Stop typing. We don’t want to hear that. 

Who are you anyway? What is happening here? Am I having a conversation with myself? You’re just me but in a different color. 

See? That’s another reason why I suspect that you’re not well. You’re talking to yourself via a blog. That’s a sure sign of crazy in my book.

Alright Fake Me, you shut it up. I’m through talking to you. This is getting too weird.

As for the rest of you, more blogging will resume shortly. Just allow me to find my head in the final stretch of the school year. After that I should be back to my normal self. Maybe.

D.A.

This Place is a Mess

May 1, 2012

Just look around here! There are digital cobwebs in the corners of this page for Pete’s sake. All the pixels are very dusty. There is even a new section of my blog called “even older posts.” It’s a lot like an elephant burial ground. Very morbid. Very sad.

No, don’t look for it. It doesn’t really exist. I’m just pointing out that this place is practically falling apart without me.

So we need to spiff things back up! But a little elbow grease into those dusty areas. Spruce it up a notch or two. Maybe put in a nice potted plant to  balance the room. Feng Shui if you will. How about a bonsai tree?

Now that our chakras are in line, let’s meditate on the vastness of the universe together.

Remember, breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.

:::Deep breath:::

:::Deep cough due to the dusty room:::

So whatever happened to that girl that said she was going to take care of this place anyway? She’s a real slacker.

So…

Hey!

What’s up? How have you been? How’s the wife and kids? Or the cats? Or the nothing?

That sounds much better. “How’s the nothing?”

Oh me? Oh, yeah, things are fine. As always. They’re just dandy…

Since we’re being so personal let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room. I haven’t posted in a little while because I’m a lazy bum. Don’t feel bad though. I’ve neglected everything else as well. It wasn’t until today and yesterday that I finally caught up in grading homework from about three weeks ago.

Yeah…I’m a bad person.

As for what’s been going on at work:

We’re hitting the part of the year when everything HAS to fall in place. If it doesn’t then we screw everything up. Grades need to be ready soon. Testing starts back up next week. I have to do inventory for the lab supplies. And I’m certain there are going to be meetings out of the Wazoo. (For those of you who don’t know, the Wazoo is a small and secretive hut used by teachers to have very cramped and pointless meetings. It is usually found behind the cafeteria dumpsters.)

As for what’s been going on in writing:

Not a whole lot. These words you see here are actually the first words I’ve written in about a week. (This means if you received any email/messages from me you are either 1) very lucky because I haven’t done much of anything lately or 2) It’s not actually me it’s an evil doppelganger that somehow found out how to log on to my account.)

As for what’s been going on in life:

I have taken up a new hobby. I drink “gourmet sodas” and I am currently in the search for the perfect cream soda. My journey thus far has taken me to some interesting places. I’ll be sure to share some of these awesome sodas with you soon enough.

Oh, you know why you’ll learn about them? Because I’m going to introduce my very first weekly post.

NEW GOAL: (I love making up goals too much). Create and maintain a weekly segment of posts. They shall henceforth fall on Thursday.

It shall also be known as THIRSTY THURSDAY. It will be my weekly review of another silly soda that has gourmet credentials. (I.E. says “gourmet” on the bottle.)

Sound good? Cool.

So that’s Thursdays planned for the next foreseeable future. (Or until I find that perfect cream soda.)

I’m also going to do my best to make sure that I’m trowing up (bleh!) something on here for the next week. That’s right. It’s another goal of 1 post per day for a week. (When it rains, it pours.)

Maybe some of those posts will be meaningful. Maybe some of them will feature kittens (because everybody loves kittens, right?). There’s even a chance that they could feature me ranting about how I almost killed myself at work the other day. I dunno, but the real point is, expect some more activity on my side of the screen very shortly.

We got things to do.

D.A.

Into The Fire

April 24, 2012

Occasionally, the world seems to crash down around you. Other times it seems to put itself on your shoulders like an ugly sweater made of lead. And sometimes the world just keeping poking you until you yelp out in pain, then it keeps poking.

Different people deal with stress relief differently. Some people have to surround themselves with friends. Sometimes people need to be alone.

Most of the time, I’m the person that needs to be alone.

Even if I got in an argument with somebody or I had to make a very heavy decision, I would need to chill out.

Actually, I would need to look into the fire.

I mean this both literally and metaphorically.

Literally, starting into fire is a comforting thing to do. Almost any fire will work but most of the time it should be a campfire. A fireplace would suffice as well. As long as it has an orange flicker and wiggles as it destroys something it’ll work.

Why fire? Well, it’s pretty simple. Men like myself have always stared at fire. Way back in the day when humans were wearing loin cloths and banging rocks together men still stared into the fire. It’s a beautiful thing. The flames seem to draw you in. It’s relaxing.

It also means I can focus on the fire. I can let it cook my thoughts away. Not permanently however, only for a short period of time. As soon as that flame goes out, I focus back on the situation that put me there.

But at least I was able to take my brain off the topic for that little bit.

Metaphorically, looking into the fire could be a way of refining or cleansing my mind. It burns away all the underbrush so it will prevent a much larger fire from starting. Inside of just being a small fire in a confined area, it would spread to the entire forest. This is like a little disturbance messing with my head but later spreading to insert itself into my heart and personality.

We all need to let things burn away every now and again.

If some of these thoughts made you say something like “Wow, this guy’s really saying something here.” then you probably need to stop. I’m not really saying it. It sort of stolen from this couple who writes books for couples and relationships. The book I’m referencing is called Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Read Maps. The people who wrote it are Barbara and Allan Pease.

No, I didn’t read this book, only heard some people today talk about the subject of it. And it sort of makes sense to me right now.

Sometimes I just want to get away from everything, not just people, but from my brain as well. And just like a child being distracted by shiny keys I get distracted by fire.

Of course this doesn’t HAVE to be fire. It could be working out in a wood shop or just browsing the clearance section at Books-A-Million. Either way, I don’t have to talk to anybody, I can just focus on the pretty colors of the covers and move on to the next.

I think this explains my weekly ritual of going to the comic shop every Friday after work.  I unwind by just looking at the same comics that were on the wall last week. I don’t call anybody after work and ask them if they want to take the 25 mile drive just to got buy 8 bucks worth of comics.

And nobody in the store really questions why I’m there. They know I’ll talk when I’m ready.

It’s good to know what my fire is.

D.A.

 

I Really Did

April 19, 2012

I honestly posted something on here hours ago. But for some reason it never…worked…it was a very odd thing.

Actually, it was probably for the best. I think I just included some unecessary items. It wasn’t much writing, but a lot of very vital and personal information.

Name. Address. Phone numbers. Social Security number.

You know…stupid stuff.

So since that post is no longer, let’s go ahead and replace it with some real content.

I’ve been thinking about what writing really is. Or at least I’ve been thinking about what I think writing is.

I think it’s mostly a more sophisticated way of saying “Hey, look at me.”

It’s pretty egotistical at it’s core.

When I write, I’m trying to tell a story. I’m also trying to tell it in a way that makes the reader respond. Maybe they say “Good job.” or maybe they don’t speak and just send me money via Paypal. (Both are great reactions.) But even at it’s more basic level, I’m wanting the attention it brings.

And let’s be honest. We all want attention. Even animals want it. What do you think they’re trying to do when they pee on your sock or bring you a dead snake on your back porch? They want your attention. “Look at me.”

This blog is a lot like one of those dead snakes. I know I don’t get a whole lot of traffic through these dusty trails of the internet, but they’re my trails, and I like to know if people are walking through. It makes me feel a little better than I did before. It’s good to know you have been here.

This was probably true for the earliest storytellers in history. It was true back in the middle ages. It was probably true way before written language existed. Storytellers needn’t write their stories… No.

People who would travel from village to village trying to get food and find shelter because they could spin a good yarn. Whenever people hung around and listened, they took a deep satisfaction from that. They had to. It not only meant that they could get food and shelter, but it also had to mean that they were important.

It made them feel like they had something to do in this world.

I think I’m liking the metathought on why I write. I want to feel the same way they did.

D.A.

 

5 Days

April 17, 2012

Wow. Holy smokes. Hot cheetoes and rice.

Five days since my last post. It’s almost like I relapsed. I got a whiff of the laziness and I just fell back into the old habit. It has been so long since any original content on here I think my little red moon has some cobwebs around it. You see that?

I guess it hasn’t all been laziness. A good portion of it can be blamed on the increased workload toward the end of the year. For example:

FCAT.

No, I’m not incorrectly cursing about a cat. It’s the state mandated test that occurs in every school in the state of Florida. This week is offically known as FCAT week.

This means kids take a two hour long test on Monday and Tuesday. Then the school scrambles to make sure that every kid who missed taking it on those days end up taking it on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. If they don’t take the test, they fail the test. If they fail the test, they can’t graduate. Luckily this test is given to the 10th graders. So they got 2 more years to make it up. (That happens the week before FCAT Week).

So, this also means the normal hours of the day change. Kids are shuffled around and classes are shorter. Not to mention, we all know kids who just took the test as tired from taking one of the most important tests of the school year. So your day for teaching new material is pretty much shot.

Then I’m getting kicked out of my room for the Wednesday/Thursday Panic-and-make-sure-everybody-has-been-tested days-so-we’re-going-to-steal-your-classroom-all-day sort of thing. That means tomorrow and Thursday I will be in a room other than my own. That also means 12 kids will probably not remember I told them to go to a different room tomorrow. Which means many kids are going to get tardies (teacherism) for not showing up to class on time.

Since I’m in a different room (with a shorter class period might I add), the kids will be distracted and won’t want to learn.

So it’s an uphill battle all week. A guy can’t win.

Oh, and in three weeks the kids take their End Of Course Exams. This exam determines if they pass the class or not. And yes, it occurs four weeks BEFORE the class offically ends.

So what do we do for those four weeks after the class material has all been taught?

I dunno…ask me in about four weeks.

D.A.