Better to tread lightly than force out of the crowd. Difficult people are a constant. They weave in and out of your life. I have learned the best you can do to deal with them is to pamper your needs first. You can’t help anyone or deal effectively with a difficult person until you are whole. You might say I am dealing with some right now. You might also conclude that I took a photo of this gorgeous High Desert sunset in front of the Olive Garden, waiting for a table. There’s a reason for everything you see. I gotta be faithful to me.
It does something to ones brain watching Grey’s Anatomy reruns every night. I actually know a lot more medical terms than I did when I started. One thing I notice about interns is they get really excited when they get to “scrub in.” I also know about who’s sleeping with who season to season. In a way, binge watching the show is relaxing. My wife likes it so I indulge her. Got any binge watch recs? Grey’s Anatomy can’t go on forever, can it?
I’ve always been good at making goals for the future. They start with dreams, then you whittle them down. I remember as a kid I always wanted to be a doctor, do you remember your dream occupation? I never pursued being a doctor because as I got older I saw blood and open heart surgery on PBS. That got me away from that dream pretty fast. There’s talk of a “5 year plan” in job interviews. Coaches and bosses want to know yours. In my teens, I imagined my 20’s as all about rock n roll. The next decade it was college degrees and teaching at a university. After that the reality of teaching elementary school took hold and I;ve done it ever since. I’m still making imagined “5 year plans,” are you? I think I will until the 5 year mark is starting to be on the other side. I wonder what my 5 year plan will be like then.
Today was awesome. The child that was having troubles on Friday told me today I was “his hero.” I never thought he would say something so kind to me. I thought he didn’t care for Mr. Riley much at all. It reminds me that we never know what kinds of day these kids are having and/or their homelife. Sometimes their bad behavior in class is related to that and not you, the teacher. My role is to take care of my students, even on their bad days. I like to write down anecdotes about days like this and bring them out on rainy days!
When the heat is on in the city and systems aren’t humming, even New York City makes a new game plan. In the same way a simple individual like a teacher in a sleepy desert town can make a new plan when things just aren’t working. I’ve had a little of that lately and today I planned for success like a boss.
Tomorrow I’m trying some new approaches to the same standards I’ve taught for years. I hope they work. My goal is to engage every child, even when the standards aren’t as “exciting” as each child would want. I think we as teachers need to always be reinventing the wheel because the track changes often.
Planning like a boss is my secret weapon against adversity. I do it very well. Today I spent some time making a new lesson plan template and I feel energized to go in tomorrow and make stuff happen. Actually, I like the word “foster” better than “make.” You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make her/him drink. This weekend’s rest and home improvement jobs have renewed my mind and I am ready to be super teacher tomorrow.
I saw a bird in the road today. It was flapping its wing so I pulled to the side of it and took a good look. It appeared disoriented and I watched it flap a couple more times, then take off rapidly rising into the sky and away. It looked so strong flying. I thought about how we are like that bird sometimes. When we are knocked down, maybe even with a broken wing, we feel powerless and confused. We might even be at risk of losing our life flat on a dangerous road of our own.
It’s in those times we hope that someone will not hit us but pull over to give us time to recover our senses. Then, after we’ve gathered all the strength we can muster, we can remember the things that matter, like getting back in the air and exploring the day. If we take deep breaths, we can ascend and find the day waiting for us as it has been all along. We can separate the small stuff from that which matters and get to the business of flying until our dying breath. I know after that we’ll fly away to heaven, or something like it.
Sorry if you’re reading this 12-24 hours later, I hope it doesn’t mess you up. A little reminder to mind your own watch not the ones of blogs you read. This week has been lagging so I’m glad it’s Thursday already, if it were only Friday.
One thing I am sincerely aggravated about is that we haven’t had much rain. All that El Nino talk was bullshit. Bring it on! I have firewood! I monkeyed with things that stole my time tonight, hence a short online diary post. At least it got done, that’s the daily goal.
So much for my “no sweets” night. Maybe another time.
Sarah and I were out a couple nights ago, walking around an outdoor mall area known locally as Victoria Gardens. Our purpose was to cash in a PF Chang’s gift card from my sister for Christmas. We had a great dinner and proceeded to walk in the crisp night air, window shopping and such. Our second destination was the Apple store. Our 11 year old wanted an ipod for her upcoming birthday. That’s where the problem in the story begins.
Sarah stopped at the MAC store to get a lip liner she needed and I remained outside because if you know that store, it’s very small and it was very crowded that night with people. Looking for photogenic sources, as I usually am, I was struck by the neon sign. I take really plain and ordinary photos, I even have an album called “Signs” in my flickr account. This was supposed to be a photo for a place like that. I also use all sorts of objects and places in my blog posts. I was tapped on the shoulder by a security guard.
He asked why I was taking photos. I was shocked by the question. He told me I could go and talk to the concierge to get a photo pass. Mind you, this is a public outdoor strip mall, I’ve never heard of restrictions on what you can take pictures of before. We went back and forth a bit, I got a little standoffish at one point. I still think the guy was being a real asshole. After a time, I stopped talking to him and put my camera away. He stuck out his hand and I shook it. It was rock hard and cold. Maybe I’ll beware of security guards when snapping photos in public places from now on. Kind of ridiculous. In a perfect world he’d read my blog and see this terrible photo that caused all his fuss.
I sing the Beatles to Chewy, our new canine infant in the Riley home.