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.

 

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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.

Just Dropped Off A Cliff

April 12, 2012

Sorry again everybody. I’ve been a real lazy bum for the past few days.

I’m not sure why, but I have been totally drained of energy. Today was the first day in a while where I think I could actually type something legible.

I guess it is just work. Been very busy lately. Feel totally drained when I get home, then I can’t fall asleep. What’s up with that?

And there are tons of emails I haven’t even responded to. I’m a bad person. Sorry again.

So what can I do to make it up to you?

Stub a toe? Rip a pair of pants? Sneeze so hard it makes me double over and hit my head on my desk?

Well, I’m not that kind of guy. How about I just pick up where I left off?

Now that I’m typing away again, I should also respond to some of those emails I’ve neglected for too long.

Tomorrow I will post something of substance. I’ll just prompt you with this. It will easily be the most delicious post I’ve ever written.

EVER.

0_0

D.A.

But when I am, I try to write stories the old fashioned way.

This is what I did today during one of my classes that had to take a midterm. That goes to show you how bored I was. I was also not capable of using a computer at the moment because I didn’t want to sit there in a silent room with me pounding on a keyboard the whole time. That’s right, I’m a nice guy.

My handwriting clearly needs help. It looks a lot like an old form of Klingon. I’m not sure if you can really see this writing up close but it’s mostly a ugly hybrid of cursive and print. Each letter only resembles those found in the English alphabet. And it’s very tiny. Like Hobbit tiny.

One thing that does sort of make me proud is how straight the lines of text are on the unlined paper. I’m pretty impressed with myself. Usually when I try something like this it looks like half the words are sliding off an invisible shelf.

And if for some reason you’re trying to read what I wrote, please stop. That’s my next little project/goal. If you want to keep it a surprise don’t look at the answers. Oh, I guess I should tell you what that goal actually is…

5,000. 

Yup. 5,000 words is my goal. I think I can accomplish it. I think I could kill it. I just don’t know if I can hit 5,000 and still keep it interesting to read. I’m starting to think I have a short attention span when it comes to writing because I have pretty short attention span when I’m reading.

When is it going to be done? Whenever I decide it’s ready…that’s when. I’ve had the idea for about a week now, but yesterday I actually planned out what’s going to happen (most likely, things can always change later).

I wrote a lot (for my standards) last month. While I thought it was great, I want to try something that I put a little more effort into. I also want to allow myself to be lazy. I did a lot of work last month. So far I haven’t really stopped that pattern, but I don’t want to get my hopes up that it will continue only to have it all fall apart in a couple of weeks.  So I think pacing myself will be for the best.

Oh, and I think this story is going to have some Elvis impersonators. Because what story doesn’t get better when you read about overweight and uncommitted Elvis impersonators?

So I guess you’ve got that to look forward to.

I’ve got a teacher work day tomorrow…but no work. So that means I’ll probably end up writing a little while I’m there. I’ll probably listen to music and make my coworkers wonder what’s wrong with my musical taste…

THHHEEEE HIIIIILLLLLSSSS ARE AALLLIIIIIIVVVVVEEE WITH THE SOUND OF MUUUUUUSSIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCC…..

D.A.

Weird Day

March 27, 2012

(One thing I’ve learned about writing a good blog post is to give your audience an interesting opening sentence.)

Today I taught a bunch of immature 15 year-olds about penises and vaginas. There was only a little giggling. I was even paid to do this.

(Pretty good, huh?)

Normally this would be a really traumatizing experience for a human being. Think about it. What if I walked up to you and said something like “Hey, you’re going to stand in front of a bunch of teenagers and talk about female and male reproductive anatomy for about an hour and a half. Twice.”

Your likely response would be to scream “You’ll never take me alive!” and kick me in the epididymis as you turn and run to your escape.

But I performed my professional duty without any hitches. No biggie.

This was far different that last experience of doing this last term. Last year I was a nervous wreck. I could hardly collect my thoughts and didn’t know how to approach such a delicate subject. This year I didn’t even bat an eye at the thought.

What was the difference? I think it was probably due to my familiarity with the subject material now. I’m just a little bit more comfortable in my skin. And I have some pretty decent kids in my classes that “get me” and are usually willing to listen (or just not disrupt).

But I also think today was a day where I was in true autopilot.

And that’s a little terrifying.

Today I taught a whole bunch of little humans about how they came into being. Today I ended up grading tons of papers. Today I ended up attending a very early meeting that started at 6:30 a.m. Today i ended up running a practice for a quiz team after school. This is all very involved and thought demanding stuff to do.

Today I did all of that…and I don’t remember using my brain. This lasted about nine hours.

In hindsight I don’t think I was in control of my body today.

Now I know that I’m not the only person to ever experience this before. But this is the first time in my memory that it’s happened to me. And the other thing is, I feel like I did a pretty decent job today. Is this common? I’m hoping not.

I’m starting to think I may be under the control of a small contingent of fratboy aliens that are hovering over our planet with remote controls that will work on human beings. Today I was their play toy. They probably think it’s funny to steal a person’s brain for all those hours of a day and see how he reacts when he regains thought control again.

And on top of all that, today felt like a Wednesday.

Weird day.

D.A.

Been Writing a Little

March 13, 2012

Actually, it’s very little. But that’s the intention. I’m going to try my hand at a little “flash fiction”.

Why?

Well, why not? It seems like it would be a fun little exercise. Convey much with very little. That’s a concept I really enjoy. So I’m going to take my time with it and see if I can edit it into something that makes sense.

I don’t want it to be more than 300 words. And I think that’s about right.

So why don’t I go ahead a post it instead of talking about it? One simple reason. I’m very tired. I used up the last of my constructive capabilities just coming up with the tiny thing. Now, my brain (which looks more like an old prune you would find under a couch after you lost it there for a few years) is depleted. So I will edit that tiny thing tomorrow and maybe post it then.

That’s fair I think.

As a side note I should mention that I’m getting a little too regimented in how I write. When I write for you on this blog, I write in the first person. When I write a story I write in the third person. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to write a story in the first person. So I’m going to try and write this “flash fiction” in the first person.

We should always push ourselves right? Even if it is in very tiny and seemingly annoying for no reason at all.

As a matter of fact, If you have an example of excellent writing in the first person, point me toward it. I’m very interested in seeing how a master works in that medium.

Beddy Bye,

D.A.

Late but still counts

March 9, 2012

I’m a little concerned for my health. This is due to the fact that yesterday (Thursday and the day of my open house) I didn’t panic about anything when I probably should have been panicking about something.

Yesterday was strange day.

I wake up in the morning in a strange state. As soon as I opened my eyes I was wide awake and ready for the day. This is strange because I don’t usually become fully alert until around 2nd period. This didn’t worry me at all. I was actually pretty happy to be able to feel so awake so early in the day. (This still didn’t prevent me from laying in bed relaxing until I had to wake up.)

At work I realize that I have to plan and set up an entire “cell size” lab and create an instruction sheet for it. I also have to write up some notes in a presentation so the kids can learn some actual material as well. I also have to turn in some paper work and actually plan what I’m going to do for the entire day. Good thing I’m all alert today, right?

In any other circumstance I would have been panicking right about now. “Oh no, I’ve got an hour to plan a real and effective lesson for these kids today.” But not today. Today I was a man that didn’t fear anything no matter how big the event.

Cutting it to the last second (including working on the powerpoint in homeroom) I was successful in my little goal there.

While helping some kids in the lab in 3rd period I ended up teaching by a non-example. This means I was telling the kids that there are proper and improper ways to hold and use a knife for cutting items in a laboratory. The non-example part is when I cut a nice little hole in my index finger. (The things I do for these kids.)

I should have been concerned here as well but I was too busy being a stoic today. I just cut my finger with an old dirty knife. (You should note that the last thing the knife was used for was cutting calf livers. They probably weren’t that clean after that lab either.)

I simply washed it off, put on a bandage, and kept on truckin’.

Then the end of my workday finally arrives. Since I’m starving, I need to pick up a late lunch from somewhere and get home real quick so I can take care of some other business. (That other business will be a post for another day.) On my way home something happens to me that I should have been very concerned about.

I was in a car accident.

I’m fine. All parties were fine. Just a little old lady ran into my bumper going 35 mph.

We both climbed out of our cars and checked the damage. My car was totally fine and the scratches buffed out. Her car took some damage but it was all good as well.

I climbed back in my car and went on my merry way.

I didn’t care that I was just in a car accident. I was more upset that I got a stain on my tie courtesy of the accident. (I had late lunch in my lap in the car.)

I went home. Finished my food. Took car of business. Went back to work. Did an open house for 2 hours. Came back and promptly forgot about most of what happened.

If you knew anything about me you would know this: I have a special talent for worrying about things. I’m good at it. I try not to feed it, but I just end up worrying about a lot of things. (This is one of the reasons why I’m never late anywhere.)

But I went through that entire day without panicking at all. My heart rate didn’t even go up that much.

So I think I may have a hormone imbalance. It’s the only way I can make sense of all of these strange behaviors I’ve been experiencing lately.

D.A.

Open House Part Deux

March 8, 2012

Here’s my idea.

I have another open house tonight for incoming 9th graders and students parents that feel like meeting their teachers.

This will likely be a very quite event. The only problem is that I will have to go to work for a few hours well after school is over.

Bummer.

So why not change up everybody’s rhythm? Let’s enjoy ourselves while we’re doing our assigned duty.

Lawn chairs.

Are you with me?

What do you mean you want me to explain? Come on! Lawn chairs? Beach chairs? Fold-out chairs? Are you not following?

I seriously considering coming home after work and picking up some chairs to take back to work. I could also grab a giant beach umbrella and a bucket of sand. In the hallway we can set out our chairs and stick the umbrella in the bucket. Drink some lemonades and wear sunglasses.

We could even yell at the kids when they walk by. “Hey! Bring me some suntan lotion!”

No…there isn’t really a big association with sunbathing and open houses…but so what?. Let’s just have fun. Let’s relax. We do enough through the year. What’s wrong with a little R & R while at work?

I’m sure behavior like this would really scare the incoming 9th graders because they would think that their science teachers are actually insane. (Which we are). Then maybe they would start taking us a little more seriously when they see us next year. (More than likely they would end up NOT taking us seriously at all.)

In all reality, I am happy I am writing this post one day before I have to go to the open house. I will likely be exhausted after a few impromptu parent teacher conferences and a whole lot of trying to scare/encourage 9th graders that may walk though my door next year.

Mittens Does It Again

March 5, 2012

I saw that relative today who just happens to have a blog as well. I’m sure you remember me mentioning her.

Now, she said some things that got me both very interested and a little confused. Maybe you can help me out.

In short, she follows around her husband who is a professional athlete. The blog covers this subject. Since he’s not in a sport that really makes big money, they are living very meager lives. They had talked to each other about how she could start seeing some income due to the traffic on her blog.

1. She mentioned how she didn’t expect to see any money from her blog “for a few years”

This is possible? We can make money doing this?

I know asking this reveals one of two things. It shows that I am really slow on picking up on things considering the number of months I’ve done this, or it shows that she has no idea what she is saying despite her very limited experiences blogging.

During this time period I have never once heard of or noticed anything about people getting paid for their work on their own blogs. There is no advertising…right? Maybe WordPress itself is advertising on the blog…but other than that…nothing. So how can you see money from a blog?

I would even understand that you may be able to work for a blog. One that is large enough and needs many different writers could realistically receive enough traffic to pay some money to their writers. Still, I don’t see any ads anywhere. So where is the revenue coming from?

I personally thought this idea was totally wrong but what do I know? Can you get paid for running your own little blog on WordPress?

Had she been running her own website and allowed for advertising on this website…I could totally understand. But…a WordPress blog? I think not.

The more I think about it…I don’t even remember how giving any real personal information to WordPress. So how on this planet would I get a check?

2. She mentioned how she didn’t want to post “too often” because she only wanted to publish things that were of good quality. 

I think she’s a fine writer. I think that idea makes total sense. She only wants to put out things she can be proud of. What’s wrong with that? That’s an admirable quality.

I’m not a very good writer.* and I post pretty regularly. (I even recently challenged myself to make sure I post every day this month). I don’t think all my posts are crap. I think some are written to be fairly entertaining. But I do think some are a little…tired… at times. But don’t even some people who write blogs for a living end up writing pretty lame posts?

Think about a journalist. Sometimes you get to break the story that the CEO of a major corporation is committing adultery with a circus performer in Russia. Sometimes you tell people about the 3rd annual Cutest Kitten Contest at the local VFW where last year’s champion Mittens did it again. (Mittens IS cute….you can’t deny that…)

So am I the one who is being ignorant or is she?

Once again. I’m not trying to pass judgement on her. I’m really interested in knowing the truth behind these matters. Should I post less? Should I expect a check in the mail one day for blogging services rendered? Should I end up training and grooming kittens for Cutest Kitten Contests around the country?

D.A.

*Edit: I realize that it looks like I’m fishing for compliments but I’m not. It’s a fact that I’m not a good writer.That’s why I made a blog. So I can become a better one. So…don’t get all “Awwww…you’re a good writer.” At least wait until I come up with a solid story at least.

Sunny Sunday

March 4, 2012

It direct contrast to what the title is, I should mention that I was woken up by a storm this morning. I have a metal roof so it is significantly louder than what you might expect. The noise was almost like the sound of thousands of pennies in a cardboard box that are sliding around. Also, the thunder helped to wake me. And the lightning. And the whipping winds that kept the plants outside of my window cry out in pain.

Rarely do I wake up in the middle of storms, but when I do, I usually awake in a panic. Not because I hear plants scream my name in pain, but it just seems like the world is ending. And when it’s 5 a.m. and still dark outside, it’s almost like the earth is just getting the jump start on you. When we sleep we usually expect the weather to sleep as well.

Stupid weather…

:::too-low-to-understand-grumble:::

I always get a little jazzed up because of rainfall. My heart rate increases. Sometimes I start to feel clammy. I usually have a knee jerk reaction to look out a window and inquire what destruction is happening outside. (I also pulled out the old computer and looked at the radar to make sure that there wasn’t some tornado hiding outside of my door.)

But this morning I was super tired, and went right back to sleep despite my increased heart rate and clammyness.

Weird stuff.

***

Changing gears here:

So this is the seventh post I’ve made in a row. Yay for me. This is probably the first time I’ve successfully attempted and completed this little achivement in several months. (I’m guess early Fall or late Summer was the last time).

Why is this an “achievement”?

3 Reasons:

1. I’ve been pretty busy since I got hired in the fall. I’ve always wanted to make sure that I’m writing, but I’ve also grown to enjoy trying to type up something that somebody is going to read later. It’s something I really enjoy and I have felt like I’ve neglected that for a long period of time.

2. My ability to keep up a good pace on this thing may be a sign that I’m officially adjusted to the workload that I have week by week. It’s hard to really adjust to things, and I think I’ve overcome that hurdle. Now I just have to make sure that the work I do isn’t in vein…

3. It’s just hard to write everyday.

One thing I learned over and over again since middle school was the idea of creating or breaking a habit. I was always told it take “at least” 21 days to create a habit. 28 days is reccomended, but 21 can usually create it.

Writing is something that I’ve always wanted to be apart of my daily life. So, now that I have the venue to make this a common occurance I should utilize this as often as possible.

New goal: 1 Post a day throughout the month of March. 

Considering that today is the 4th, I’ve already gotten those days done. So…yay me again. That’s 27 more days for consecutive posts. Aren’t you excited?

What will I write about? I have no idea. What the benefit of doing this? Not totally sure, but it’s a short term goal that I think can be accomplished and may boost my confidence.