In which I can work with this

Got the House back.  Things will continue getting worse, but the curve might bend a little bit now.  And there were some bits and bobs of really, really good news last night.

I actually took a leftover Clonazepam before bed last night because I was so keyed up, and today has been busy as hell, so this is gonna be a short note just because I’ve got shit to do tonight.  Watch this, then— I wish I could embed it, but I can’t find a way– and then afterward find somebody who thinks Democrats “don’t have a message” and punch them in their stupid face.



REBLOG: Sikh Captain America: The Man Behind the Shield

I love this story, and the more attention it gets the better.

The Nerds of Color

Is America ready for a Sikh Captain America — a superhero fighting hate crimes and intolerance? In the wake of 9/11, the massacre of Sikh Americans in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and America post-Ferguson, my answer is a resounding yes! If superheroes can battle aliens, cyborgs, and fellow villainous superheroes, why can’t there be one that fights for social and racial justice?

In 2013, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh wore a Captain America costume for the first time with a royal blue turban to match his ensemble. The short documentary Red, White, and Beard is a quirky, lighthearted glance into Sikh Captain America and the man behind this growing phenomenon.

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WARNING: whiny

calm-whining-toddler-800X800Do you think this kid’s parents know he’s a meme now?  Do you think they’re upset about it, or do they think it’s awesome?  And do you think he’s old enough by now to have an opinion on it?

The following things are all true, if vaguely contradictory:

  • I really miss my old school;
  • I have no real desire to return to teaching there;
  • I have no particular desire to return to teaching at all at the moment;
  • I nearly changed something somewhere where I referred to myself as a “teacher” and then didn’t do it because the thought made me really sad.

I like my job in a concrete sense– in that, when I am at work, I am generally happy and I enjoy the people I work with and the work itself is in my wheelhouse and not generally unpleasant to perform.  I don’t like that I’ve been there for several months now and I still don’t know what to say when people ask me what I do for a living, and I’m still prone to simply lying and saying I’m a teacher.  I don’t want to teach, but I really don’t want to not be a teacher.  Which is… kinda weird, y’know?

It’s going to be really interesting to see what four days in Nashville edutopia later this week is going to do for my feelings about the future.  If this can’t get my head back on straight, I’m not sure what can.  We’ll see how it goes.

A goal for this year

(Note that I do plan on going back to talking about things other than teaching again eventually; for obvious reasons it’s just what’s been foremost on my mind lately.)

Here’s the goal I’m setting myself for 2013-14: I’m going to go the entire year without yelling at any of my kids. And by “my kids,” in this context, I mean “any kid in my building,” not just in my class.

Now, let me be specific on what I mean here: I emphatically do not mean “I will never yell” or “I will never raise my voice.” My job would be impossible without occasionally having to raise my voice, and frequently a good loud “YO!” at the front of the room can refocus a classroom when more traditional, gentler methods fail.

What I mean is this: I’m going to make it an entire school year, or as close to it as I can, without ever raising my voice at a kid. There’s a difference between generic Loud-Talkin’ to a roomful of kids and raising my voice to a specific kid. If you know me, y’all know that I tend to have a bit of a temper and I tend to be a bit on the volatile side.

I spent last year working for a guy who I saw defuse potentially nasty situations (and situations that were well past “potentially” nasty) on any number of occasions without ever once speaking harshly to a kid. Not one single goddamn time. And he got results over and over again. I don’t want to be yelly guy any more. This may well sound shocking coming from me, but I need love to be a bigger part of my pedagogy than it’s been in the past.

I’m a good teacher. I need to work on being a better person at school. I need to be someone who is better at de-escalation. I need my temper squashed. And I’m going to find a way to do it this year.

2013-14: no more yelling at kids.


“Write every day, no matter what,” they tell me.

“Stay in practice,” they tell me.

“Have good ideas and something to talk about every day,” NO ONE EVER SAYS.

Stupid writing advice.

I made friends with a bug last night.  But the story ends in tears so I’m not going to tell it.  Instead, I’m going to go make soup.  I like soup.  It’s tasty.  Tomorrow, I will make risotto and invite Joe Bastianich over to eat my food.  He won’t come, but at least I’m trying.

The end.