Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I got started reading this novel because really, I just wanted to get away…I liked reading on and on about aimless things (fixing some part on a motorcycle that I’ve never heard off, using some special soap to clean off the metal on the handlebars…).  Whenever Phaedrus wondered or got off topic, I did too.  Maybe I’ve had that feeling before, where I felt like I was just going , going with a lot of places where I was just passing, seeing absent expressions, not really seeing anything vocal, or wanting it, just watching people’s mouth’s go up and down with noise in my head silencing whatever they’re saying.  Maybe was Phaedrus, because when something gets into all of us when we’re just riding along we are someone knew or we change or getting something added onto us, and then we’re different…I liked seeing him pass through these different phases, watching the weather in my head chnage his hair or how to talked or acted and what he said…Book’s thumb’s up.

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Following your dreams

I’m glad someone had the guts to go with it and do their own thing. I think everyone probably has more potential then they give themselves credit. I’ve been at a dead-end job for seven years and every morning that I drive to work I want to steer the wheel towards the highway so I can go someplace else. I don’t care where, Cleveland, Missouri, Frankfurt. Just to pick up a guitar and do something creative. I find more and more that I stay at my job, I need more and more to to be creative and add color to my job. I go throught the motions and the in’s and out’s of filing paperwork, grading papers, making up lessons, helping students, making myself familar with new objectives/core learning goals, and smiling when I don’t feel like it. I guess what we want to do deep down keeps reaching out of us like plant. The tenticles and stems get thicker and longer until they spread out and take over and some of us let them and feel that it’s our breathing tool.I’m glad I’m creative because its helping to add color to my world and helping me to create my own path for what I need to do. I think the greatest thing about being creative is that you can make it what you need it to be.

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Black Swan

So I get that we all have black and white swans in us, and that combined with being perfect in ballet must be hard…but…what does this do for the industry?  Some art really sweeps us up, and lets us obsess over it ..I think you should try and be good at art but but I think you’re good at it when you let go.  I liked this movie because Natalie Portman seemed like she was holding onto her craft with a tight fist and to be great at something you just have to let go because you either know it , or you don’t.  In a moment, you have it or you don’t, you can’t try for it because that wouldn’t be real.  I liked this idea in the movie.  I think the guy Tomaz saw that if she let go and relinquished a passion that it would take over and she wouldn’t have to recite by memory all the steps.  The other parts?  The blood, the cutting …well who knows.  Stuff takes over when you’re caught up; who knows who are real demons are or why they dominate.

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Who’s Kid are you?

Sometimes I feel that I’m the one taking care of parents’ kids.  I currently work in an inner city school and students pass through my door who haven’t eaten in three days, who aren’t getting correct attention, and who constantly need refuge from stuff at home by listening to headphones and or music in class.  Sometimes I look at the lesson plan in my hand and feel stupid for even thinking that I could discuss Harper Lee.  We’re so far away from each other , the kids and I.  I, feel I gotta go along with the curriculum, follow straight through with plans, expect homework everyday, inspect kids desks for electronics that aren’t supposed to be there.  But every day’s a fight.  “Put away your headphones,”, or “Why are you cursing in class?  This is English.  Come on, you know better,” and “Please.  Go back to your class Deone.  No you may not keep disturbing mine to borrow one of my student’s headphones.”  I feel like I have to take Psychology 101, and I have run into the school psychologist’s office begging for therapy.  Sometimes, I just don’t know.  I have to back up a few steps sometimes and say “What is the issue here…what do I really HAVE to teach them?  Manners?  Correct language?  Respect?”.  I start to feel like I’m the parent in the room, but then I look around and I see a chalkboard that needs to be erased, and a desk that needs to be cleaned up, books that we haven’t gotten through, and I feel behind.  Am I supposed to be the babysitter?  Or am I supposed to be the teacher?  How do I know when one starts and where the other stops.  You hear from other teachers what THEY do and then you think, will this work for me?  Am I that type?  Is that who I am with my students?  Because some teachers have the rule of force method, which works for them, but I’m more docile and ugh often yielding when my kids bar up their arms to something they don’t want to do.  I gotta figure out a way to develop the skills in raising my student’s with classroom manners side by side with going through with the lessons for which I planned.  Someone comment!

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Technology’s moving to fast

Heck yeah technology’s moving too fast…Before two years ago my classroom had computers from 1990. 1990!  They could barely process, and, now that we have computers that are move fast? Well how do I juggle teaching my kids to type with teaching English because where as before, we didn’t have access to the computer labs.  Now we do.  I feel so intimidated by other schools.  I’ve read about some who have laptops at their school for every student.  Every student?  How am I supposed to compete with that, and, I just learned how to use United Streaming two years ago which I feel sure has been replaced by something faster.  I feel out of date and behind , but luckily I’m not a CTE teacher so I can still make my kids write two page essays instead of one typed, and I can still do volumes (with books) from the ones piling up in the school’s English department.  For someone like me who where’s big glasses and pages twenty minutes through directions to get through a manual, I ‘m not the best trouble shooter.  When a computer shuts down, I freak.  When my kids have trouble on one I grab my hair and run for the nearest person wearing in a headset (sometimes its all the way down at the AT&T store).  WHat do we do for some schools that have technology and for other schools who just don’t?

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Wallstreet: Money Never Sleeps

Yeah…Wallstreet (times 2) was alright…it was going down a bad memory lane watching the housing crisis toilet and each time Casey Mulligan cried I wondered how many light bulbs on the set were wasted on her working up tears. But…the main guy was cute and you could see his potential…he’s earnets….hmmm would I invest stock in him? Well not in anyone/anywhere…I’m Jewish! Wallstreet, no matter how CERTAIN the investor plus no matter how orthodox isn’t worth 5 bucks; I’m 100 lbs, it goes a looooooong way at the grocery.
Yeah. thumbs up (maybe three times, or depending on how much you like seeing money flow.) If your really for it, or against it you could always read up on Abbey Hoffman…he threw bunches of it in front of the Dow and watched people trample over briefcases to get to it…

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Thumbs Up

I feel that boundaries are in the arms of the beholder…some students need you to open up more when you eye in on the problem; other’s want you to be hands-off.  I’ve seen some teacher’s rule with force and you could say this is enforcing morals: sit down, stay in your seat, be quiet.  But I’ve never been in the military and wake up too late to ever TO be…so in my room I think listening is key.  If a kid’s talking…well what’s he saying?  Is it imporant enough to be a personal problem that’s getting in the way.  What if he can’t move on unless you address it.  I’ve put up the Parking Lot poster on my wall before, but sometimes it just doesnt work.  I want my student’s to connect.  If I ‘m listeing to them AND their problems, finding maybe a link to my lesson with those, I usually get what I want.  I think most teachers would agree that we start off with a standard lesson, with high hopes that it will follow through like it’s (we hope it’s) supposed to…but sometimes it meanders and we all go down a different way with it.  I think, teaching is about being open to where a lesson goes and being functional enough to bend its corners so that everyone has a good time and takes something from it.  Before Gloria Steinem got up to speak for my college’s liberal art’s forum, she asked US what we felt about her topics…THEN she spoke about them (with our interests in mind)…I’m not a control freak…I think some teachers are…I think that’s the first rule of thumb that needs to be BENT, not done away with, when you step into a classroom…if a gardiner can have a kind of thumb, we can too..It can go up when we’ve accomplished a goal, and we can pull it down when its okay, but our lessons aren’t going smooth as they should be.  I ‘ve run into different teachers more than once who were doing really hands on lessons, and while holding my lesson, I scribbled down everything they had to say and added it to what we did for that class.  I know its not perfect, but other teachers have GREAT ideas…even if you have the meat of your lesson and you hear another idea from a teacher down the hall, use it!  Kids aren’t perfect and neither are we…wouldn’t you rather add more to your lesson rather than skimp less cause it wasn’t organized enough?  Sometimes…more is better too.

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