Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope that the coming year is one filled with prosperity and joy. I think that this country is taking a turn in the right direction and I am excited to witness that. More than that, I am excited to be part of that.

I have hopes, you could even say borderline resolutions for 2009. Mine are:

1. Be more organized :)

2. In some ways, not give a fuck.

3. In some ways, care more.

4. Look for the best in people despite my own misgivings.

So thats it. Short and sweet. What are yours? Happy New year once again...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Reflection Inspection

You Feel Humbled By Your Family

You are very quick to forgive your family for wrongdoings. You don't expect them to be perfect, and you try to help them out whenever it's possible.

You believe that your family is truly happy, even if there are minor disagreements and squabbles.

You've improved your family relationships through introspection. You always look at your own behavior first, and you've made changes to how you act.

You are honest and very outspoken with your family. You sometimes hurt feelings by saying things they don't want to hear.

Thats pretty spot on. I do need to shut it and zip my lip more often. That could be a New Years Resolution baby.

The next one.....

You Spread a Lot of Holiday Cheer

During the holidays, you represent the true spirit of Christmas.

You give freely, and you enjoy this special time of the year.

There's a good chance that you spread cheer every time of the year... not just during the holidays.

You're kind, upbeat, and generous. Anyone who crosses your path is lucky.

This one I like. You have to teach the value of being charitable. Whenever we are together and see a red kettle, I give them the money to put in themselves. My folks did that with me and it has stuck. You got to look out for those less fortunate. You just have to.

Christmas was fab. I think after all these years in the kid business, we have figured out the path is less is more. Everyone did so well. I will always cherish the 2008 holiday season:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Everyone deserves a bit.......

Of Beach time!! Wish we could all celebrate it together at the beach. One of my fondest Christmas memories does not involve snow, presents or any of that stuff. Waking up before dawn, getting the beach prior to sunrise and being out in the surf as the sun rose on a Christmas morning always connected with me. Of course, if the waves were good, there is your present!!

Merry Christmas to you all. You've already given me so many presents this past year. Thanks!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

So Long

End of the semester are times of transitions. You get used to one group of students in a class and poof, they are gone. I was/am so fortunate in the kids I see and the two guys I team-teach with. Like I've said, I really like my job. Mr. D and I collaborated, of course, on the following letter to our 10th grade World History class. Good kids, I'll miss them.

Friday, December 19, 2008… our last “World History class” but an ending is really only the beginning of something new. However, before we go our separate ways, there are a few things I would like to share. Although, this is Mr. D's my third year as a teacher, and Mr. F's 15th … watching you learn, helping you find pieces of yourself, watching your world expanding before my vary eyes .. And still we are filled with awe.

As it was in the beginning, at the end of the school year we write for our students. It is a time to reflect on where we have been and where we are headed next. As we reflect on our semester with you, We really realized that we truly belong in this practice. Reflecting through writing is a powerful experience that changes both the writer and those who read the words. And now, from us to you, here are a few rambling thoughts …

This is what we want to share with you now --- in these final moments together --- the power each of us has to influence other and the world. Remember this, “you are a shaker, a mover and a builder of society” all you must do is be engaged. Do not stand in the side lines of life. We think about the last few weeks and what we hope you have learned and experienced, that you have gained something of value by the time we have “used” on each other.

Here are a few secrets we can share: (a). There is no substitute for hard work and if you will commit yourself to doing whatever is necessary, regardless of whether you receive a momentary payment or even a positive recognition, then you will do what’s right. (b). Know that the joy is in the doing, in the getting there, in the process. Everything is a process – learning, doing, living … it is all a process. (c) Embrace the in-betweens, the unknowns, the letting go, and good fortune will guide you through those moments of darkness. Listen within and you will find your way and know what to do next. Be personal. Be true to yourself.

It is time for you to move on. This piece of excerpts summarizes what I, Mr. D, feels about my role in your education and the role I have played in your lives:

The teacher said, “Come to the edge.”
The students replied, “We are afraid.”
The teacher said, “Come to the edge.”
The students replied, “But we are afraid.”
The teacher said, “Come to the edge.”
They came. He pushed them, And they flew.

You are my little eagles. It is time for you to fly and you are ready to take the next step. Be fearless and embrace life – everything is possible. And remember, take nothing for granted and know in your hearts that you once had a teacher who cared about you, who wanted the best for you, who believed in you, who was proud of you, and who respected you.

Enjoy life.
Laugh often.

So that was it. It took about 3 minutes. Some parts of the farewell message were his and some were mine. Part of their final was a reflective essay on what they had learned in World History. Many of the kids wrote the nicest things. Not fluffy things like you are my fav teacher but cool things that they learned this and they looked at things differently know that they knew this.

Like I said, I really like my job.....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still well kept...

I hear some people
been talkin' me down,
Bring up my name,
pass it 'round.
They don't mention
happy times
They do their thing,
I'll do mine.
Ooh baby,
that's hard to change
I can't tell them
how to feel.
Some get stoned,
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.
Walk on, walk on,
Walk on, walk on.
I remember
the good old days,
Stayed up all night
gettin' crazed.
Then the money
was not so good,
But we still did
the best we could.
Ooh baby,
that's hard to change
I can't tell them
how to feel.
Some get stoned,
some get strange,
But sooner or later
it all gets real.
Walk on, walk on,
Walk on, walk on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Cycle

Probably one of the more painful, albeit interesting, things to witness in SL is the cycle. By that I mean when someone comes to the point where they realize that very few people are their friends and that very few people have their back.

No, I'm not talking about myself. In both worlds, I'm a person that dispenses friendship, true, enduring friendship in small measures. The few I have mean the world to me and thats that. It's just a dynamic I grew up with and has been reenforced occasionally in my life.

So whats the better way? To give of yourself freely and without hesitation or playing it very measured? I think the answer is both and as individual as the person is. I got to be the way I am and other people are the way they are. It's all good!

It's hard to see someone struggle inworld. During the conversation it dawned on me that the ever present silver lining was in effect. I told my friend, "be grateful that you know them in this context rather than RL." Frankly, I don't know if that statement was of any comfort, but some how it made sense to me.

People can be such shits. I know I can. I have always attempted to be upfront with people. If I do something harsh, I'll tell you why. If I fuck up, I'll cop to it. One thing I will not do is play both sides and the middle at the same time. That's just way too messed up.

Big changes are on the horizon. I think the Bistro's toast. It's sad but then again, its the cycle. While its true than some stops on the cycle are more challenging than others, they all have something to offer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roots.....Just Beautiful

Love this place....may be gone soon

Time for a grab bag

Ok you know the drill! An odd assortment of news stories, mayhem and strange bits of nonsense. Here we go....

Randall Webb, 42, of Hobe Sound, Florida, and his girlfriend had a dispute with two men from whom they purchaed twenty dollars' worth of crack cocaine. In the course of the altercation, Mr. Webb was shot in the right thigh. He proceeded to drive home, where he removed the bullet with a box cutter. He then smoked the crack. (Mr. Webb is available for ammo-removal by appointment only.)

The girlfriend. Where was the gf?

On October 9, 1562, the esteemed Italian anatomist and physician Gabrielo Fallopio died at the age of only 39. He is the namesake of the fallopian tubes--the two tubes leading from the ovaries to the uterus -- which he first identified. The aquaeductus Fallopi, the canal through which the facial nerve passes after leaving the auditory nerve, is also named after him. Fallopi, a professor of anatomy at Ferrara, Pisa, and University of Padua, inagurated many anatomical terms, naming the cochlea, the placenta, the vagina, and the clitoris.

This guy needs a holiday in his honor. Come on now....

Regarding the topic of body size, I think of SL. In an article "Distorting Reality for Children: Body Size Porportions of Barbie and Ken Dolls," two researches used hip measurements as a constant to calculate changes necessary for a young, healthy, adult woman and man to attain the same body proportions as Barbie and Ken. The woman would have to gain 24 inches in height, 5 inches in the chest, and 3.2 inches in neck length, while losing 6 inches in the waist. Ken wannabes would have to gain 20 inches in height, 11 inches in the chest, and 7.9 inches in neck circumference. If Barbie were a real female, she would be 7'2" with a 22" inch waist and a neck that could barley support her head. Ken would be 7'8" with a 43" inch waist. A little unrealistic, no?

I know them!! I am them!!

"Das ist absurd! Das ist absurd!"
(Translation: This is absurd! This is absurd!")

Last Words of Sigmund Freud...... I wonder what he saw :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

I advance masked....

I have been trying to blog this week. It hasn't been easy. At first I contemplated writing about my newest peeve. That would be the Tom Cruise picture where he plays Count Von Stauffenberg who tried, and failed, to assassinate Hitler in July 1944.

This topic is so absurd I couldn't squeeze out a blog about it. Nazi hero? Irregardless of the fact that Von Stauffenberg whole heartedly supported Hitler's desire for "living space" in Eastern Europe. This character only wanted to keep the German Army intact by negotiating a settlement with the western powers during WW II. Hero? Tom Cruise is just whacked.....

So........ I figured I would relate the feeling that I'm becoming a bit of a recluse in SL. I just don't reach out like I used to. I should feel bad about it, but I don't. I do indeed suck.

2008 has been a tough one. In both worlds really. Not a bad one but challenging as all hell. Sometimes the langour of sadness of our times is unbearable. I don't get paralyzed by it, I try to help more, scrape a few bucks together for the Salvation Army kettle and stuff like that.

In my corner of the world people seemed to have slowed down a bit. Toned it down a tad really. I don't mind that at all. I just want things to get better for us this coming year. Will they? I hope so.

This has to be one of the lousiest blogs I have ever posted but its right here, right now.

I have a ton of things that I continue to be grateful about. I never lose sight of that. Perhaps that what is required of all us these days. Find an area of gratitude and use that for an anchor during these anxious and turbulent times. Maybe what we all need to do is find our safe harbors and bring in others that could use a place to weather a storm.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's in the air.....

Something hasbecome readily apparent to me these past few days. Everybody is looking to make a buck, no matter what the circumstances, or ethics involved, off everyone else. Now I'm aware of the dynamics of the free enterprise system at work, but is there any breaking mechanism?

Let me provide an example. There is a special funding source that was created by our glorious state legislature to ensure continued quality teaching practices in our state. I guess other locales and regions call it "merit pay". Basically you are being rewarded for being an effective teacher. 1,500 bucks in your check prior to the holidays. Again I say nice, huh? Well our district has fiddled around with a way to make a buck of off our merit pay. Rather than us receiving a tidy sum to buy presents with and pay bills it has been altered that we will be receiving the aforementioned amount over 10 pay periods!!

Now please don't think I'm being another ungrateful teacher. I love my job and I'm blessed to have a job in these troubled economic times. But come on! You don't pay me enough, you mandate but do not fund, I try my damndest to always to what you ask of me.

Now you want to make a buck of the interest in my merit pay. I was looking forward to having my bills caught up to start the New Year and you even took that from me. This just sucks and is so beyond the pale.

The ultimate challenge is not become one of the faceless others that have an attitude of "you do that to me I do this to you"! Thats just pointless. It helps nuture that attitude of greed and avarice.

The only thing that comes to mind is a snippet from a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Lunatics on pogo sticks". Some how that makes sense to me.

Give to those less fortunate this Holiday Season! It's more important than ever.