Dr. Phil’d

April 27, 2013

Tonight I drove home stuck in a very thoughtful mood. 

Actually, I drove home and ended up thinking about things I don’t usually think about too often and sort of talked about things (not out loud) that were going on in my life. I think I was my own little psychologist.

I guess you could say I Dr. Phil’d myself in the car. (And no, that’s not a euphemism for “I pooped myself while driving”; though it should be.)

I’m not sure if you get these moments as well.

This isn’t a super rare occasion for me either. Periodically I’ll  find myself feeling incredibly aware of how things in my life really are while I’m just cruising around by myself.  It’s sort of like getting a progress report on your life for that 20 minute car ride. Or maybe it’s my brain’s way of saying “hey, you need to download some updates right now.” It just helps me stay aware of who and what I am.

After that little drive I feel like I’m conscious of why I make/have made/will make the decisions I do/done/will do and it feels good. Makes me feel like I’ve still got autonomy in my life. I think I get some clarity at those times when I wasn’t really expecting it, but it’s greatly appreciated.

Overall, I felt that things were okay. I like my job. I don’t have any major health concerns I’m aware of. I get along with the people in my life. My closet doesn’t have any grotesquely large skeletons inside (except, of course, those of my enemies whom I have slain in battle), and I have money. Those things alone put me in a much better position than so many others.

Now, I’m not saying everything is perfect. Honestly, who could? I still wish my job stability was much more solid (teachers in the sunshine state are only hired on yearly contracts with no obligations to keep said teacher for any period of time beyond that contract). I would like to buy a house but I’m sort of dependent on that job situation. If I try to buy a house and then I get “bumped” from one school to another, would I even want to live in that home anymore if it was far away from my school? What if I simply don’t get rehired and I can’t find any open slots anywhere?

Another byproduct of the quiet ride home is looking as some of those more… troubling aspects of my past. I really look at those whom I’ve lost over the years. There are even some who just aren’t lost (meaning they’re still alive) they’ve just moved on in life to other places.

Still, considering those things, I’m happy. I’m glad I don’t have to walk 3 miles to the nearest “clean” water source. I’m thrilled I have a car that gets me where I need to be. I’m proud I can say I could potentially become a homeowner. I’m even joyed in the idea that I can live a simple enough life that I can share my little moment of existentialism with strangers staring at glowing screens from all across the globe.

I know that’s all kind of general and sappy, but it means a lot to write that down. Thanks for reading it if you did, fellow human. You’re special.

So what about you, where are you when the thoughtful mood strikes you?

D.A.

 

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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.

From the Beginning

January 3, 2012

I told you.

Well? Didn’t I?

I remember clearly. I said to you, “You may see a lot of me or you may not see any of me.”

It was the latter.

I have been hiding in a hole for my entire 3 week break just loving not doing anything. It was glorious.

Tomorrow will restart the process to putting my brain to work trying to educate the minds that will become our future.

And I’m not very excitied. Wanna know why?

The average “fall-asleep time” for me for the past 3 weeks was aroooooouuuuund …. 3 a.m.

On typical workdays I wake up at 4:30 a.m.

Tomorrow will be a hard day. Very hard indeed.

Hey, if you watch the news tomorrow and you hear a story of a teacher in Florida who suddenly became Rip Van Winkle after a hard day at work, you’ll know who it is.

At least it’s a short week. 3 days. I’m putting my hope in time to somehow go by very fast. I’m also putting hope in my recently developed “scramble up-something-good-for-the-classroom” skills. I’m really hoping they work tomorrow.

Now I’m going to stop writing and try to find a way of putting myself to sleep. Wish me luck.

Why don’t you go ahead a tell me how you get out of the back from vacation funk? I would be willing to hear anybody’s advice.

P.S.- I have no idea why I titled this post “From the Beginning”, but just pretend that it fit in and that it was really intelligently put together.

List of Things I Did Today

December 7, 2011

I have had a busy day. Here’s a very brief description on what I did today.

  1. Got to work.
  2. Read email.
  3. Panicked about emails not answered.
  4. Proofread test I made on the previous day.
  5. Printed test.
  6. Ran to library to print test.
  7. Signed in.
  8. Almost killed a person as I ran toward front office.
  9. Ran back to classroom.
  10. Stapled tests together.
  11. Filled out a report form on student.
  12. Talked to kids about playing guitar and how they shouldn’t quit trying.
  13. Started class.
  14. Almost forgot to do attendance.
  15. Proctored a test.
  16. Wrote another test for my 4th period class.
  17. Found out that I never filled out an accident report from Monday.
  18. Filled out a very desperate accident report.
  19. Told a student about the global political environment surrounding most of the major wars of the 20th century. (lasted about 25 minutes.)
  20. Learned how to get student report data so I could fill out my long overdue IPDP.
  21. Filled out IPDP.
  22. Finished Test.
  23. Skipped lunch to print copies of test.
  24. Asked a kid if he wanted to fight me in the hallway. (He said no)
  25. Proctored 2 more tests.
  26. Found out I have no faculty meeting.
  27. Graded over 75 tests.
  28. Entered grades.
  29. Forgot everything else. ( I can’t actually remember… anything)
  30. Left work.

This may not seem like a whole lot to you. But to me it was terrible. That’s because it felt like it happened in a period of 32 minutes.

Oh, and part of me thinks it’s Tuesday and the other thinks it’s Thursday.

I could be going crazy.

I feel like doing this: (╯°□°)╯︵ ʞɹoʍ

D.A.

In the short period of only 3 days I have become more responsilbe and feeble than my grandparents.

Case in point. I saw my grandmother today, and she told me how she was up until midnight playing cards with her friends. She even told me how she went to a store and just browsed around…

When she said this I could only respond in a very Napoleon Dynamite-esque “Luckeeyyyy…”

Oh how my life has changed.

For the past three days my alarms has been set to go off at 5:12 a.m. 

Yes, there are no typos in that last sentence. Allow me to highlight the areas that probably concerned you.

For the past THREE DAYS my alarm(S) have been set to go off at 5:15 A.M.

I have not woken up, consistently, that early in over two years. I will now continue to do so until I die/retire/quit/have a real weekend.

Yes, I own and use multiple alarm clocks. Does that make me a little crazy or paranoid? It sure does. I have a more “classic” alarm clock that has two separate timers as well as my iPod as a secondary alarm. The iPod usually has two alarms set to go off as well. That make a grand total of four seperate alarms every morning.

Have I ever slept through the first one? Oh yeah, all the time. The second? That’s a big “Youbetcha.” Third? I regretfully say I have needed it’s graces. The fourth? I- I- I don’t want to talk about this anymore…

I should also mention that I woke up at 3:57 a.m. today. That is so early even the sun is still rubbing sleep out of it’s eyes. Why would I be so crazy to do something this irrational? I had a lab that I needed to prepare for, so I had to go shopping. At 5 in the morning. At Wal-Mart.

In a side note:

Have you ever been to a 24 hour Wal-Mart that early in the morning? Probably not, and you probably wouldn’t want to. But allow me to inform you that it is actually really nice.

The people who are working are mostly restocking. So they are just doing their work, running around the store, and getting some of the most important work done for a very large department store. But these people are rather cheerful. They actually said “hello” to me as I walked by. (It might have been the tie, people always dig a guy in a tie. Especially if he looks like a zombie that stole a normal man’s tie.)

There was an open line in the checkout section as well! I know stores are notorious for building over 40 checkout counters and only have 2 open at once, but this was a good thing. Nobody else was there, so no more operators were needed.  The customer to employee ratio was outrageous. I was easily outnumbered. I only saw three other customers in the entire store. So it was a relatively easy operation.

(This last paragraph was edited to make sure I used a word that begin with the letter “O” once in every sentence.)

Look at me know…I must have grown up. I am rambling about check out lines and neck ties…

Oh, I lament the days of summer. How I would wake up in the afternoon and wonder what I was going to do that day. Then I would eat entire meals. And enjoy them. I didn’t have so many voices ringing through my head.

It’s always the same conversation.

“Mr. Bancroft can I go to the bathroom?”

“No.”

“Please.”

“No. You know the policy. And I’ve already allowed you to use your only emergency hall pass for the grading period. So, once again, no.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Hey, spit out you’re gum.”

“Oh, okay.”

Man Alive! Why do they think I won’t notice the larger chunk of blue goo in their mouths? And why is it always some unnatural color?

Maybe I should just give in and start carrying a cane? I mean, I already sound mean a crotchety. Why not, right?

I also wrote my first referral today. Much easier than I expected it to be.

Oh man, I’m picking up that cane this weekend after that last sentence.

****

So yeah. I’m surviving. But just barely. I would love to be able to take my mind off the whole thing, but I can’t. It’s becoming a real part of me now. It’s kind of scary.

Still, I’m going to actually try to enjoy this weekend. Even if there is a slight possibility that a hurricane could kill us all. (I live in Florida, so we will be missed by Irene, but a guy can fantasize.)

I’ll be honest with you, if this post is hard to read, it’s because it was hard to write. I just wanted to get on here and feel a slight resemblance of my life from four days ago. I’m actually struggling to stay awake and the sun hasn’t even set yet.

Remember when we used to argue about Batman and I drew stupid comics? LOL, I used to think about stories to write… Good times man… Good times…

(Did I just use a LOL back there? Yeah, It’s bed time…)

Now on a farmer’s sleep schedule,

D.A.

And it turns out that none of you, with the exception of a dog that can miraclously use the internet, gets on WordPress during the weekends. 

I’m going to view this as a very good thing. It means that you either were too busy interacting with real human beings during this time period, or you were purposely neglecting to participate, in which I warmly shake your hand.

Why?

Because you a crafty enough to avoid appearing on the internet as “having no life”. Now the joke is on me because of my lack of life has caused me to ask a silly poll question involving internet usage.

Well played…

In other news, my feet feel terrible. I am standing on them for hours at a time and they don’t seem to like that. I’ve been contemplating whether or not to graph some old scissors I found in the lab storage room to my feet. So far the only thing I could use to help me do that would be some yarn. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

Still, even if I did do that, it wouldn’t make much sense at all.

How would scissors on my feet help?

They wouldn’t. I am simply writing this despite the lack of sleep and higher order thinking skills. This may also explain the swing in thoughts you just experienced back there. So… sorry about that.

And I think I’ll leave you with that,

D.A.

Why Am I So Lucky

August 10, 2011

Today I was at the county office for some more paperwork and meetings in order to make my hire “official”.

Everything went smoothly and I am all tidy with that. At the end of my entire day, I needed to do one last thing, and that involved using a computer. (A very slow and outdated one). So, I was in the front office, where the computer was located, for about 20 minutes.

While I was typing and clicking a middle-aged woman walked into the office and talked to the receptionist. She wanted to know if there was any way for her to check the status of her job application for the county. She was trying to get hired to become a custodian. The receptionist informed her that it had not been received and she may want to try the website again. So she showed her over to the other computer next to mine.

She was going along just fine but she was looking for a little small talk. So she tried talking to the receptionist despite the pane of glass between them. During her mouth diarrhea session with a glass wall (maybe I didn’t look friendly enough to talk to) she mentioned how she had been trying to get hired for a month. Money was tight and she had already lost her house cleaning business a few years ago. She really even tried to show enthusiasm for the whole idea of cleaning up classrooms during the summer.

She just wanted to work.

Then I said to myself, “Why am I so lucky?”

Allow me to tell you something that will disgust and sicken you…

The job I just received, is my very first.

:::Spits drink out all over computer screen:::

That’s right. Not only am I a rookie teacher, I’m a rookie employee of anything.

I’ve never had a summer job, paper route, or lemonade stand. I’ve never been told to get one and I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve needed one. That also means I’ve never paid taxes on “income” because I’ve never had any. I’m sure Uncle Sam has secretly worried about my economic condition but now he’ll be receiving my little bit soon enough.

I’m so lucky.

Somehow, I got hired during one of the worst national economic conditions since before my grandparents were born. Despite my lack of professional experience. Despite my lack of any experience at all. Despite my age. Despite my youth. Despite my crooked nose and eyes. I still have a job.

Wow.

I want to apologize to anybody who reads this and has gone through those weeks where you’re not sure how you’ll get by. Or maybe you’ve gone through your checkbook and don’t know how you’ll eat after Thursday. There could have been a time where you have had to make the decision to not pay your house mortgage so you can keep your car. Maybe you’re two months away from collecting your last unemployment check and aren’t sure what happens after that.

I’m sorry I’ve been this lucky.

But I promise I’m not going to take this for granted. I will always be mindful of how I got here. I will not waste my money because I can. I will not complain about not getting my paycheck soon enough. I won’t say bad things about how much time I spend at work. I will not say that the whole idea of retirement is a waste of time. I will not scoff when I see somebody use food stamps in the check out line ahead of me. I will be mindful of what I have, what I need, and what I don’t need.

I may not understand why I am so lucky but I will always keep in mind to not waste the opportunity I’ve been given.

D.A.

The contest continues

June 15, 2011

So, I’ve been in hiding again. 

But that’s okay because I’m back again. No. It was not mutant corn husks this time. I’m just trying to become an adult and get a job.

You know how that goes, it’s kind of time consuming.

Anyway, my contest is still running.

If you have participated, then your odds of winning are extremely high. So far I’ve gotten as many spam comments as I have real comments. I even got a ‘denial of comment’ comment. So I guess that makes it two and a half. If I don’t get beat by the bots then I will consider this a victory.

If you have NOT participated, then get ready. Maybe you’re at work when you’re reading this. Take an early lunch (or just slack off like you usually do) and write a paragraph about something ridiculous. The goal of the contest is to make me laugh, and I’m sure your talented enough to make me of all people giggle. I even laugh when I stub my toe sometimes… You can be funnier than pain, can’t you?

Maybe you’re at home, and bored out of your mind. Since your so creative and you really feel those juices flowing, go ahead and drop me a few lines on my post with my contest. You can find that here. Trust me, the prizes are beyond your wildest dreams.

Hey, you don’t even need to accept the prize, just make me giggle.

So, 12 more hours until somebody becomes the victor. (Not the name “Victor”, but a champion of contest, victor.)

(Actually, I probably won’t declare a victor until that night).

Don’t worry though, the original content will come back online shortly. As a matter of fact, I’ve pretty much written my next post, but will wait until I claim a winner and then we will be firing on all cylinders again!

I shall rise again,

D.A.