Monday, July 8, 2013

Fun teacher quotes

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.  William B Yeats

Your education is worth what Your are worth. Anon

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.  Leonardo da Vinci

A good teacher is like a candle-- it comsumes itself to light the way for others.  --Unknown

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of you mind. --Kahlil Gibran

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. -John Cotton Dana

The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you just learning this morning.  --Unknown

Don't try to fix the students, fix ourselves first.  The good teacher makes the poor student goo and the good student superior.  When our students fail, we as teacher,  t0o, have  failed -- Marva Collins

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools.  The miracle is that at time they accomplish this impossible task.  -Haim Ginott

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery -Mark Van Doren

The only reason I always try to meet and know the parents better is because it helps me to forgive their children.  --Louise Johannot

Friday, July 20, 2012

'Ol inner workings...

It's been so long that I had to reinstate my account and figure out how to post via this bloggy-thingy.  I've been motivated to post, maybe more often this start up- again.  *tap, tap.  Is this thing on?

Depression brings me here.  Its truth, realness, darkness.  I'm not depressed now, you see... but the last few days have been rough on the 'ol inner workings.  Depression is something I've learned about through my years-- mostly that I have it from time to time and that there isn't a magic pill that keeps it away.  Though I do take medication and I've been to therapy, depression is in my DNA.  It's a part of me, who I am, how I operate, why sometimes I can't get up to do anything... Yesterday I mad a sandwich.  It was a breakthrough.

It's refreshing that this thing called depression isn't something I have hide so much these days.  It use to send me in fits of, "I don't feel good."  "My head." "My back." It wasn't a lie.  But I've learned through the past few years that the actually body pains was the ramifications of said depression.  It's a dark place.  It's a scary place.  It's a place that many don't understand, but unfortunately, it's a place that many people visit.  Much less frequently for myself-- thanks to medication, therapy, wife, friends, and GOD.

I wanted to kill myself a few years ago.  Actually, I had wanted to kill myself for many, many years-- I only came to a breaking point, where that thought was very real a few years ago.  I was blogging a lot in those days.  Looking back, I guess a lot of truth was written to hide the fact that I was going to kill myself.  I had a plan.  It was in the works.  Everyone was going to be better off.

I'm lucky.  While the last few days have been rough, I've been fighting off those thoughts-- something I use to revel and roll around in like a fat pig in the mud.  Oink, oink.

It's a dark and lonely place, plotting your death.  Some call it selfish, but in the inner workings, well... it's a feeling of giving up so those you love can live better, happier lives.  It's not that love isn't enough. It's that you don't deserve that love and everyone would just be better off-- in the long run-- after the initial sting-- if you were just gone.

We need to rip at the truth and expose it.  None of that crap is true.  People do love you, me.  You, me, we are deserving of that love.  I have love to give.  I am not spoiled goods.  People need and appreciate you, me.  Suicide cause deep, everlasting scares-- scares that don't fade.  Find help.  Say it out.  Shout it.

As the death settles fromt his round of dark times, I'm so very thankful to be alive.  The air seems brighter today.  I see more clearly.  I'm standing up straight and walking with purpose.  Tomorrow will be better too.  And the next day.  It does get better.  Promise!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why do you think...

Despite all the kidney stone drama the past few days (ok weeks), The Wife and I were about to sneak away for a night to Colonial Williamsburg. Twig stayed with the in-laws while The Wife and I partied our hearts out (In bed by 10:00-- and that's with a 2 hour afternoon nap). It was our first night away together since Twig arrived. We didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it, either.

Cruising around town in our little Ford Focus, we stumbled upon something that bothered us both—a vanity plate. I read somewhere that Virginia has the highest number of vanity plates in the nation. I’m not sure that’s true, but we do seem to have a lot of them. Such plates typically don’t bother me, but this one read MKZYMOM.

Mackenzie’s Mom.

Really? Is that how you identify yourself? It made me itch uncomfortably. Not so much for the mother, but because I felt for Mackenzie herself.

First, to have a mother that is so wrapped up in motherhood that she identifies herself simply as "mom." Second, because she’s not just any mom… she’s MACKENZIE’S MOM!!!

Perhaps I'm being judgemental. I mean, I didn't even see Mackenzie's mom. I don't know the lady at all. It just seemed to screamed pageants and toddlers in tiaras—mothers screaming not for their daughters but because they secretly wished that could live through their daughters.

"Look at me. I’m beautiful, talented, and special. I’m Mackenzie. And that is my mom! Oh wait. NO!?! I'm Mackenzie's mom!"

It did give me a chance to reflect on the pressures society puts on mom and how under appreciated the job of mother has become. I see that pressure build as stress in The Wife’s eyes. And you see, she's pretty lucky...

I’m a hands-on type of dad. I change to poopie ones and bath the bare bottom. I’ll heat up the bottles and get up in the middle of the night when teeth or bad dreams intrude the soundlessness. I take our girl for walks, or to the Home Depot to give mom a few hours rest. I pick-up and help fold the laundrey (though I could do a bit more of that)

And people are impressed with this… I’m "a good dad."

Moms do not get the same accolades for doing far more. And though most moms and dads don’t become parents for the praise, moms most definitely get overlooked at trophy time. A hands-on dad trumps an outstanding mother any day of the week

Moms are the ones looked at with the evil eye when the kid throws a fit in the middle of the grocery store. Dads, not so much. If the little girl’s hair is a mess, mom should “do something about that.” Dad, well, “at least he tried. Isn't it adorable?”

It was cute and funny when I spaced the diaper bag the first time I took Twig to the doctor. If mom would have dropped the ball, CPS would have been notified.

Moms. They've got it rough-- unless you're Mackenzie's mom. Things must be perfect for her.

Why do you think?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scars...

I’m not sure how I got headed back to this here blog, but here I am, nonetheless. Gesh, it’s funny reading about some of the insights (or lack thereof) I’ve had in years past. Browsing the posts, I’ve stopped and question if I in fact wrote what I was reading—often because of stupidity, but also too because it was well written—even funny.

Awkward at times, this blog-revisit has provided a pretty cool way to capture some of the growth I’ve experienced that past few years. Dare I say growth?
And since today marks a pretty significant milestone in my life, I thought I might provide myself a little update in the off change I again become nostalgic in a few years. Hell, who knows. Maybe I’ll pick-up blogging again.

So, the milestone: Today is my tenth anniversary with The Wife. Pretty cool, huh? Why I’m a wasting time blogging about it? Well, it’s because I’m at work—my part-time gig proctoring babied athletic scholars at my former University. Did you brainy-folk know that athletes not only get a one-up on scholarships, but they’re also required to attend study halls where there are free tutors, computers, and resources to ensure they keep a 2.0 GPA. Yup, and they all bitch about it, too. I’m here, paid ten bucks an hour to ensure they stay focused and don’t try to cheat their time. Shuyeah, pretty sweet deal… especially for me because it typically provides me with the chance to get teacher work done on the University’s dime, when I’d normally do that work for free.

So, back to the milestone: Ten Years! It’s pretty amazing. Gosh, we were babies when we got married. And though much hasn’t changed, so much has!

1) My wife is an amazing woman, but I no longer put her on a pedestal. She isn’t perfect. She has faults. And though I’m certain she could have done better in way of a mate, I’m not so bad. In fact, I’m a pretty good husband. I dye her hair. I try to remember to put the seat down. I’m learning to fix things around the house.

2) Yes, a house. The Wife and I bought a house about two years ago. It’s nothing fancy. It’s a 1,300 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch. But it is ours and it is our home. Ownership is a wonderful, but strange thing. It’s nice being able to paint at will. It’s not nice having to pay for a broken heater or leaky roof. With our house came my 1 car man-cave. I’ve got hammers, and power drills, air guns and miters saws these days. In nearly two years, I’ve learned to lay tile, drywall, do basic electric and plumbing, and build things—like shelves for the library/guestroom and for my daughter.

3) Yup, I said daughter. Twig turned 1-year old at the end of January. Though I can’t believe it’s been a year already, it’s difficult to imagine our life without her. More so, she’s so big now that I can’t even remember what it was like to hold her when she was just an infant. I miss those days, but each day is filled with newness and happiness. She’s walking, learning to talk, problem-solving, causing problems. Last night she woke up screaming. Her back teeth are breaking though and she wasn’t taking it well. The cries were scary. They hurt me. I almost cried myself. For me, fatherhood has evoked clarity and perspective. I’m still me, but only a better version.

4) I’m fat again. It bothers me, yes. But not like before. My self-image use to be so tied into, well image. And though I’m sure that I will never be fully secure in the image of me, I’m alright with me. I’m a pretty good person. And if anyone is judging this book by its cover—even if that anyone is me—it’s not really worth my effort.

5) With that said, I miss the former fitter me. I miss the burn; the sweat; the skinny jeans. I don’t miss the constant analysis of calories; the obsession of what is going in must come out. My working out was not a one of health. Thought it brought outer confidence, I was still a mess inside—burring it all with miles, reps, lifts and laps. And when I had shed 60-pounds and could almost be happy, I was my most unhappy. I shed it, and at the core I was just a fucked up little boy trying to pretend that I was a man.

6) Perhaps it is only the happy pills I take daily or the therapy I attend (at one time weekly), but I’ve started to uncover a happiness that I never thought I deserved. I’ve spent a lot of time looking back, seeking an answer as to why I’m such a depressed and self-loathing person. I’ve looked and looked for the reason why I feel so fucked-up in my head. I wanted so badly a title or diagnosis or affirmation that there is something in fact wrong with me so I didn’t feel like there was in fact something wrong with me.

I guess I’ve learned in these last few years that there isn’t an answer for any of it. Seeking clarity from the past only fogs the present. I don’t need affirmation that I have the right to be screwed up a bit from my past. And that celerity actually makes me feel less screwed up. The bouts of depression are probably going to be a part of my make-up, as I’ve learned they’re part of my genetics. Taking a look inward, being honest, and hell writing about it here has helped recognize the onset of the lows and gives me a bit more stability when riding out the wave.
And since I’m pretty sure I’m the only person going to read this, keep that mindset if you hit any bumps in the road in the future. Bruises from bumps in the road are a part of life, no use self-inflicting scares because of those bruises.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Test of time...

I woke up about an hour ago hacking up a lung. I've had this "cold" for little over a week, and ever time I feel I've passed through the threshold, I'm knocked back on my ass.


I realize this is, perhaps, the theme of my life I realize.


In an attempt to be productive, I signed on to my trusty computer and did my typical Facebook peak before activating the brain to do anything, well... productive.


Behold, my college roommate was online. And we did our conventional catch-up. "How's the baby thing coming. How's the LA life?" And it it all enevitably lead to quotes referening inside jokes, the gaggles of gals-past, and frat-boy bullshit. But something real was brewing and our "talk" got pretty real, pretty fast. He inspired me to jot some thoughts down here.


A year ago this month, I sat in my doctor's office for a physical I had scheduled for the kid's sake. It's something I read that expecting fathers could and should do. And though we lost that kid, I didn't think a physical and check-up was such a horrible thing, so I kep the appointment.


I remember the inner debate I had before checking the yes box to the question, "Do you ever get depressed." And the explination I'd give when he enevitably asked about the next yes I was to check, "Do you ever have thoughts of suicide."


"Sure. Everyone does. I'm fine." I mean damn, the doctor would see me as a liar if not... "It's a natural thought to have."


A year later, I'm a changed man.


If you've followed me here, I've shared much about my past. It was probably clear to see that this past defined me. It was something I held onto. It was something that haunted me. It was something that I needed to sort though, to find the answers to, to pin-point a why.


I shared a bit of this with my ol'roommate-- the guy I hated our freshman year simply because he put his shoes in front of my closet.



He responded with a verse from The Bible.


11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. --Jeremiah 29:11



I had read it before, I had realized after Googling. But it wasn't a verse that had stood the test of time with me. Probably because at the time of reading it, I didn't quite buy into it.



A plan? Prosper? Not to harm me?



HA!



Double HA!

HA! HA!



But now it resonates.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Connected in disconnect

I sat in the terminal watching my plane get a deicing shower, the younger, fatter boy sitting next to me. I check out all the guys now that I'm feeling fitter and trimmer. Our arms share the rest, as the the holidays have filled the port with folks running back from here and there, presents in hand, bluetooth attached to the ear. We're so connected in our disconnect. I pray there is no layover. The boy chats on his phone and I don't really hear him until he starts to whisper. I feel my ears perk and my head move slightly towards his direction. The book in my lap become an incoherent mess of nouns and verbs. Blah! Blah! Blah! What's he saying?

"I'm sad, mom. I'll miss you, mom. I don't want to go back, mom."

These are foreign sentiments to me. My saddness reflects in that of my mom's. Missing isn't much in the cards for the pain she's caused. And I was more than ready to be back. So I clicked my heals, looked at my wife and whispered in her ear.

"There's no place like home."

The visit back to where I played t-ball and spent my summer swimming miles in the community pool was not horrible. I enjoyed it, in fact, thinking that it could be home again. The city, it's offerings... it could be mine. The pro-hockey, the season tickets to the college games, the drinking with dad. I could fit here, find my way, make a life.

But my cats are chasing tail in our little apartment and there are friends there, near the ocean, that are like family. I feel some drifting away and I recognized no one is to blame. Placing blame is not important. What is is that I miss them, even though I'm home, here, today. And since this writing took this turn, I allow myself to hope. Hope we'll find a way back to that place, that place when I was younger and fatter.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tears...

And today there were tears.

It felt good to finally let it go, let it out, let them fall. My baby being gone knocked me into a bit of depression that I really didn't think related directly to the loss. But these tears were for the little one.

They were not all tears of sadness.

The Lord needed my child in heaven, for whatever reason, now. I'm happy this one was a chosen one, one that can watch over and do good work now.

Still, the what could have been on Earth saddens me.

I know this baby will watch over its younger brother or sister, when he or she makes it here. I know that one day we'll all be united and perhaps laugh and play together.

I loved my unborn child before I even knew it was growing inside my wife. And I still love that child, though our eyes never met.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things will be alright.

Yesterday a letter from my brother appeared in my mailbox.  I was expecting it.  I had recently written him in reference to The Wife being knocked up.  I knew he hadn't received word that our little one was without a heartbeat and thus hadn't made it.
 
I normally look forward to receiving mail from my kid brother.  Despite everything, I love the guy and look forward to our longhand communication; however, I wasn't looking forward to this letter.  I sat it on the table and prepared myself for the excitement that would be read through his chicken scratch and horrible spelling and grammar ability-- worse than mine, even.
 
Eventually, I worked up the courage to open it.  And it read as I had expected.  He was thrilled.  He was excited for me.  He assured me I'd be a great father.  He wished he could be around to share it with me and The Wife.
 
What I hadn't prepared myself for was the anger that would follow.
 
My little brother is a father himself.  He and his girlfriend became pregnant with my nephew when she was 15 and he was 19.  They had made plans to abort this child, but never got around to it.  So, when my little nephew entered the world on September 11, 2001 they were not at all prepared.  All of this could be forgiven, I suppose, but my brother failed to ever step up to the parental plate.
 
In the letter he wrote about how having a child brings such joy, how it completes you, and how it causes a life revaluation.
 
Yet, my brother is currently serving a 48-yearr prison sentence for murder.  Clearly, I can't say he's much of a father.  I can't say that he ever took his fatherly responsibilities too seriously, especially the night he became high, and put a bullet in another man's head over some drug deal gone bad.  Of course that all brought to the surface that he use to keep drugs and guns under my nephew's bed, among other disgusting displays of parental irresponsibility.
 
Of course, he voiced all that in his letter... listing his screw ups, regrets, and remorse.
 
Still, it did not make it easy to read.  Him and his advice.  Him and his joy.  Him and his talk about the child he can't raise.  Sometimes life is just unfair.  It's unfair that I won't be a father this go around.  It's unfair that my nephew was dealt a crappy father.
 
I wonder who I'll be unfair to when I write him back assuring him that he does what he can to be a good father, and that I'm alright with God's plan... that things will be alright.
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Untelling process...

Some folks say you should wait to share your news until after the first trimester.  You know, just in case something goes wrong.  After all, I've read that nearly 25% of pregnancies end in natural demise.  The Wife and I couldn't hold back with our baby news and once we started to tell, we couldn't stop. 
 
I've learned, the untelling process is an interesting one.
 
Some folks seem to know exactly what I need to hear.  Those folks are few.  Others seem to take the news harder than The Wife and I had taken it.  I end up assuring those people that everything will be fine, that it happened for a reason and that me and The Wife are fine.  Other find comfort in the corners of the room, diverting direct eye contact.  For some I've found, it opens wounds of their own personal loss.  Many hugs follow the news...  sometimes tears. Is it odd that I have yet to cry?  Or do I rest assure, like some friends have stated, it will come in time.
 
It's rainy this afternoon, the tear drops tap outside of my classroom rather than stream down my cheek.  I feel a mute of depression, but it's not something unlike the cycle of depression that often seeps in from time to time.  But unlike those times, I don't want to jump off a cliff or put a bullet though my brain.  Something in me is still smiling, a joy much like that which invaded when The Wife told me we were going to be parents. 
 
Those helplessly happy thoughts of what is to come are still swimming. 
 
I don't regret the joy I spread to others, too early for some.  It was a joy that should be shared, a joy that I was happy to share... that I'm still happy I shared.  The pain that followed this time is just the journey to a greater good, a goodness I'm sure I can't completely comprehend.
 
How could I? 
 
You see, I don't feel defeated.  I almost feel inspired.  And though so much of the future is unknown right now.  Will we ever have children?  It's a journey I'm excited to take, with my wife, the woman I love more and more each day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I see the beauty...

When I found out that The Wife was pregnant it was a surreal experience.  Cognitively, I knew that it really wasn't all that amazing in the grand scheme of things.  I mean, people get pregnant all the time.  The Virgin Mary... that was impressive.  Still, I couldn't help but be proud, excited and thrilled.  I felt like little ol' me (for the record: not a penis reference) had accomplished something pretty miraculous. 

I was a man!  I'd spread my seed.

Reading, it's also not that uncommon for things not to work out.  Medically, doctors call it a "natural demise."  Us commoners call it a miscarriage.  When I told my mom this morning that yesterday our little 9 week baby had no heart beat, she asked if The Wife's body had aborted it.  She meant no harm, but the term made my stomach turn.

We knew there was some issues the first time we went to see the doctor.  Then, the heart rate was well below the norm.  After rushing home to Google through medical journals, I knew the chances of things working out weren't in our favor.  Still, I didn't think it would happen to us.  My Wife is in perfect health.  More, she has a sole that is filled with peace and love.  Horrible things shouldn't happen to such a wonderful person.  Hell, even in my unwonderfulness, I beat the odds years ago when the cancer cards were stacked against me.

People have babies all the time, yet the joy is so unique and surreal.  It seems, though miscarriages are not uncommon, the pain is just as unique and surreal.

Some might call it fear, but this is when I most wrap myself around my faith.  I believe that God has a plan for us. I've learned, humbly, that His does not always match my own.  I'd still have a baby on the way if it did. But I've also learned, that in time, His plan has always worked for the best even when I don't fully understand it.

Is there sadness?  Yes.  Is there disappointment?  Sure.  Still, there is no anger.  I don't feel rejected.  There are no lingering questions of, "Why us."  More so, I don't feel forsaken.

Right now I feel closer to God than I have in years.  I feel closer to my wife than ever before. There is a force that makes me love her more.

Even though muted a bit by sadness, I see the beauty that is all around me.  And if God willing, I can't wait to share it with my future child.
 

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