The Waiting Years

tumblr_m4piw0IuDI1r0mn2co1_500I have a question for you, especially the younger readers: Do you think we get better when we get older? I think some do and some don’t. I remember the 80’s movie, “Peggy Sue Got Married” where the dork of the class ended up being a rich and famous inventor. I drew a parallel to that character in high school because I was spindly legged and dorky in some ways. I would be 27 years of age before I met a steady girlfriend. I think I was definitely a late bloomer. Still, it was good in so many ways that I waited to have relationships because I matured in those “waiting years.” We all have a story, or we will have one someday. Someone once said the 30’s is the decade where you really grow into your own skin. That was certainly true for me. The 40’s are the time to sit back and enjoy the spoils! That is, until they run out. We should always be preparing. Continue reading

Fascination and the Good that Comes from it

1961 Remco FASCINATION Maze Game Vintage 1960s BI’m tech at my school so I always get people asking for tips and advice on how to use technology. I always tell them, “Play with it.” Through play we lose fears and inhibitions and we become fascinated with things. I learn more through fascination than I do through reading the owner’s manual.

In a similar way, I think we are healthier when we are in a trance of fascination. Instead of fearing a doctor’s visit, looking around inquisitively in the waiting room and finding a fascination with the process that is going to keep them healthy. I think fear and fascination are polar opposites, in fact. One cancels out the other. Continue reading

Talked to the Boss

Ttumblr_mhpsk2i52Z1qzleu4o1_500alking to the boss hasn’t always come easy for me. I had one boss who was very careless with people’s feelings. When I was around her I felt a lot of tension. She was one who got results but at the expense of good people and their ideas. The boss I have now is really amazing. She is understanding and takes the time to listen as she attempts to understand. I think bosses, especially in the education field, have a lot of pressure on them. They have to produce something that not only is wholesome and productive but it has to appear that way which is sometimes the hardest part. As a leader, my boss is awesome because she seeks to empower us employees to do our best. I feel supported by her which I haven’t always felt from prior bosses.

We talked and I realized she supports teachers. Going in to talk to the boss should never stress one out. With her, ad almost 100% stress free when we have conversations. I’ve heard people talk about bosses like that but never experienced them first hand. When I got home tonight I did some work on our new typing program. No one mandated that I do it, I just figured work needed to be done. It was my pleasure to do it. I emailed my bos telling her about the typing rogram I set up. I hope it encourages her in her quest to be a leader. Being a teacher is a bit of a lonely road these days. I can’t imagine it with a boss who wasn’t supportive. Well, maybe I can imagine it … I just don’t want to.

No Regrets

tumblr_mghhy6rxzT1qzr04eo1_500.jpgI live and then plan. I write papers and then title them. It’s a lot easier to name something there in front of you than to stay focused on a predicted concept. In life, I have no regrets. Even the most embarrassing event made me who I am today.

I signed on for too much stuff at work this year. I’ve had to be humbled and pull my hat out of a few rings. Still, I don’t regret over committing because I needed the sting to remind me that “the man who chases 2 rabbits catches none.” It’s the embracing of my failures that helps me learn and make better decisions down the road. All living is educational. I have no time to ponder regret.

Dealing With Annoying People

tumblr_msgwviDEfK1sa7d1io1_500Ok, we all know those people.
People we hate. (Is that a strong word?) Sometimes we hate people, and we don’t know why. That is not the case here. I’m talking about the kind of people who are just horrible, God knows why. They just suck. Now what I mean by that is, the kind of people who steal candy from babies, or practically run over little grannies crossing the street. You know who I’m talking about.

So why can’t we shun these people? Because sadly, they are part of our society too. Sometimes you just have to get over it and deal with these people, instead of shipping them to some distant place, like Antarctica. (Sorry Antarctica, by the way.)

So we can’t ship these people away, on a never ending journey to anywhere but here, but what can we do about them.

TACTICS THAT DO NOT WORK!

All caps, I know. Its getting heated in here. Here are things that we do to get rid of these people, but don’t work.

1. Ignoring them. This is probably the #1 piece of advice that adults give – (and not just adults, everyone says this.) and they all figure that if you just ignore the people who bug you, eventually they will get bored and give up. In most cases, this is not true. Irritating people are incredibly persistent. Mostly, ignoring them will just make them more annoying, which is not what we want.

2. Fighting back. This is probably the worst possible thing to do, fighting back just gives them what they want – a rise out of you. What happens is, these people start doing things to irritate you, and you try to irritate them right back. This does not work AT ALL! I have had first hand experience, ladies and gentlemen.

3. Avoiding them. I know what you’re thinking, “uh, dude, isn’t this the same thing as ignoring them?” Well its not! Avoiding is completely different, ignoring is when they call your name and you turn around and pretend you didn’t hear them. Avoiding is when you change your route to your next class, or hide in the bathroom stall until you think they’re gone. Now, this tactic technically works, but there are definitely some consequences. For one, you have to change your entire day, just to get rid of these people, and in most cases, you really can’t go anywhere, these annoying people inhabit every nook and cranny of this entire earth.

TACTICS THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY WORK.

Ok, from my experience, these are some things that might actually do something positive.

1. Dealing with them. By “dealing with them” I don’t mean go up and punch them in the neck. (Although that sometimes works, too.) I mean just tell them to bug off, in a nice way. Kind of like saying “hey, why don’t you go bug someone over there? You seem to be getting bored of me.”
(okay, not like that, but still.) What I really mean is, just tell them to knock it off, in a really serious way, until they get the point.

2. Tell someone about it. Now by this I don’t mean run to your mommy, I mean just talk to someone about it, smash a lamp. Go for a run, you can’t always get rid of these people, but you can always express your anger and irritated attitude is some way.

3. Move to Alaska. Not much works to get rid of these people, because once again, they will pop up continually all over your life. It happens. So, the best thing to do in this case is either deal with it, take it one day at a time (with a whole lot of angry music.) or, you can be a coward and move to Alaska, and become a hermit, because I can promise you that if you are a hermit in the middle of a giant block of ice in the depths of the earth, no one will bug you. Maybe.

I hope I encouraged you to deal with these annoying people in some way, I know I have a lot of trouble dealing with them, too.

Opportunity and Where to Find it

tumblr_nayz0badVw1srtllio1_1280We look for what is familiar to us. Is it even possible to look for what is not? We see the success of others and are instantly tempted to compare it to our own, or lack thereof. I’ve pretty much learned in my time alive that no two success stories are the same. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, had a vastly different path than say Wrigley of chewing gum fame. Both became rich and that’s what a lot of people seek. Still, millions have tried to emulate their stories with mixed results. Opportunity can mean a positive thing. There are times in life when a chance to succeed lay right in front of you. Continue reading

Get Ready for the Storm

That’s it. Take the bull by the horns.
There is no better time than the present. Having just celebrated my 12th anniversary of my wife and I meeting, I am more aware than ever of the passage of time. I feel confident that I have seized the opportunities before me. When I have wanted to do something I have gone for it. I set priorities in direction of goals and make every choice based on the end I hope to achieve. Of course, sometimes I get lazy, and afraid. But those times are not the majority. I am proud to be able to say that. Continue reading

Mr. Curtoon Time and My Standards Train Song

1-24-2010 CurtoonI used to love substitute teaching at a particular school in Capistrano Unified School District because the Principal was kind of famous. His name is Curt Visca and I’d catch his show sometimes on a local cable access show Curtoon Time. He taught kids to draw cartoons that were, by his definition, “simple and silly.” I thought that was a great way to reach kids. After all, isn’t that the real language of childhood? I used to walk by his office on my break and try to go in. It was like the final scenes of Willy Wonka when he gives back the everlasting gobstopper. Larger than life he was, to me anyway. I was finishing my studies in English and trying to get into college teaching. To me, Curt was living the dream. He was making music and art with kids on tv. I had to meet him. Continue reading

Nowhere Man (Beatles Cover)

A garage song today. This is me strumming out my rendition of the Beatles’ legendary tune. Such a great song. It’s really about the individual and self analysis, not judgment of others. I use as my support for that the line that reads “Isn’t he a bit like you and me.” We point fingers and it’s really we who are the nowhere man. We are “here” he is “there” but in the truth of this song we are both here and there, as is he. When we think of the nowhere man, we are imagining the “other.”
Continue reading

Chocolate Cake from Staters

photoLast night I was swimming as I am wont to do on a Friday night and I got a sudden craving for chocolate cake. The only problem was I didn’t want to drive to get some. I got out and opened the sliding glass door to mention my impromptu vision with my wife. She them yelled to our son that I wanted said yummies and he agreed to run get it. This was one of the first times since my son got his driver’s license that I really truly wanted to thank the DMV. He effortlessly jumped in the Jeep and brought back the most amazing, rich, and sweet chocolate cake I think I’ve ever tasted.

I was glad we were able to get the Jeep cleaned up and put new tires on it so my son could drive. Otherwise I wouldn’t have enjoyed this cake from Staters quite as much!

Kindness Shortage

tumblr_mqf5cau04C1qz4d4bo1_500.jpgin 2002 I was hired as a teacher in the High Desert town of Adelanto. There were tumbleweeds rolling down the Main Street when I went into a small building for the interview. After moving up here, I was in a meeting where the Superintendent at the time, a Mr. Steve Vaughn, told us all to be kind with kids, parents, anyone. He said that 80% of his job consisted of repairing situations where people had not been kind. That resonated with me.

Now, I must tell you I am not always kind, but I aspire to be. Kindness heals and strengthens bones. I think it’s easy to convince someone to be kind when everything’s going her/his way. The grandest charge however is to be kind in all situations. It will send out a reverberation and cause people to take notice. In theory, it will catch on and we’ll all feel it coming and going. Do you know someone who is genuinely kind? Emulate that behavior. After all, 80% or more of the world’s problems are likely caused through a kindness shortage.

Make Today Great, The Choice is Yours

555638_10150800451356117_849061364_n.jpgTuesday I woke up feeling good and most the day I had hope running through my mind. Sometimes that stuff is not automatic though. I met the parents at back to school night and realized I am getting older. That was tickly but as I’ve said here before, maturity has its advantages. It’s nice to hear a parent earnestly ask if their kid is ok and, because of my years, I can answer “yes.” (Or “yes and this year were gonna gain even more success.”) I thought about my guitar last night. What if I was playing a coffee house or a bar instead of an open house night?

I played my “Morning Positives Song” on my Autoharp for the families and I felt it connected my dreams to theirs for their children. We need to share positives with each other. Let me be frank with you on this blog, I can be a bitter, pissed off, negative person. I know however that I have a choice to act in that way or sing a positive to someone else. The choices are much clearer when Im rested. Tomorrow is a new day. I’m writing my life as I go. No one can write it for me. Sound good? Well it takes a lot of work sometimes. Knowing the goal helps.

Try

tumblr_mk0vbzXjwD1qz6f9yo1_500You can’t win if you don’t try.
I once had a coach who told me he’d rather have a no-talent kid who tried than a gifted one who didn’t. As a teacher of 15 years I can say I feel the same way. Like the tortoise and the hair, arrogance eventually loses. So how about you? Feeling defeated, like you lack the talent, the health, the ability to make the grade? Think again. If you can take a breath you can sing a note. If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can walk across the floor. Don’t let those who are too rich define your pursuits. The same with super talented people or those who just seem lucky at whatever you’re interested in doing. Don’t study the guy who recorded an album in his parent’s garage and became a household name. Instead, be the girl or guy who kept at the craft of songwriting and after a while earned her place in the rock and roll hall of fame. Continue reading