Monthly Archives: February 2014

Original Poem

No more bridges

Today was the first day I heard the truth in the non words you speak.

Today it sank in that when I think you are saying nothing, it isn’t because I am not listening.

It is because there is nothing to say.

You do not need me, nor do you want me.

And here I thought that we just didn’t speak the same language.

It has never been that.

It has always been me speaking for you.

Stop making bridges you say.

Then don’t leave a gap to be filled I respond.

I didn’t realize you wanted the gap. You wanted the empty space.

While I reached and yearned for you, you were trying to create a rift.

Message received.

I shall burn the bridges as I run back into myself.

To hide from the pain, and the I told you so’s.

I should know better.

I should have known better.

I will know better next time.

depressed and need some love

Sometimes You Just Need a Hug.

This is a shameless request for some love. The cold front must be rolling in because it is suddenly a sad and gray and nasty day outside again. And I had been doing so well! I woke up early enough to work out and eat breakfast at home (eggs and toast and milk, plus a multivitamin). I even posted a Twosday blog for the first time!

I didn’t let the kids get me down…too much. I was able to get things put together for the next couple of days so I don’t feel like I’m skittering around trying to figure out what I’m doing. I got copies made, and the kids wrote. My 3rd period class was a holy terror, but they did their work… for the most part.

I’ve got dinner cooking as we speak… Beef and broccoli stir fry. Well the rice is cooking. I’ll do the rest in a minute.

Why do I feel so… blah?!

Granted, I had a misunderstanding with the boy, but surely I’m not letting a boy get me down this much. Surely it must be the weather. And I will not let the sadness overtake me today.

I’m thinking about doing some yoga or meditation, which will help if I’m strong enough to actually do it. Right now that seems dubious.

So, if you’re reading this, and you understand, or even if you don’t, but you at least value me or my words, please send some happy thoughts my way. I need an emotional pick me up at the moment.

Twosday: Up Close and Personal

Twosday: Up Close and Personal

Weekday coffee

The difference between Weekend and Weekday coffee treats.

*I’m obviously trying something new. We’ll see how it goes. I was inspired by the images I saw on this blog, which then sent me scurrying over to this blog. A very long time ago, I took photography classes (had to develop the film and everything! Still have nightmares about that silly bag you have to use to put the film into the developing canister or whatnot…), and so I thought I’d give this a go.

Twentieth Street
when administrators break the rules

Your AP said what?!

I’ve been teaching for a bit now. Over 5 years isn’t enough to call myself a veteran teacher, or a master teacher, or any of the other wonderful titles they give to the battle worn people who continue to do this job. But it is long enough to know when something’s not quite right.

One of my students (from before the move) came to visit me last week to tell me goodbye… because he was dropping out… because an administrator asked him why he hadn’t quit school yet.

Wait… What?! Surely that can’t be correct. Surely an administrator, an assistant principal whose job depends on this school staying open, wouldn’t try to convince a kid to leave for no reason. Surely we haven’t gotten so locked into test scores that the fact that he hasn’t passed yet would be reason enough to try to push a kid out. Have we learned nothing from Pump Up the Volume?

Is that movie really almost 25 years old?!

talk hardI understand the need for the testing, I really do. We want to make sure that everyone is on an equal footing, but we’ve been lowering the bar to ensure everyone was equal for so long that now the kids don’t know how to think for themselves.

Nor do they seem to want to. Coming down from, or probably actually rising up from the realization that I’ve been losing my battle with seasonal depression (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD), I may just be a wee bit cynical. Today when I arrived at the school, I felt like I could be successful. I could walk in there and teach my heart out and these kids would listen. I believed that they wanted to learn, to better themselves same as the other people in my life (the boy keeps telling me he’s working on making himself better, as do several other people I know).

I should have known better.

With the new one-to-one initiative, or Power Up, or whatever goofy name they’re calling it this cycle, the kids have access to all the brilliance that could be found on the internet, and instead they play pool. Somehow the skill required for pool seems lessened when playing with pixilated balls. I lost at least 45 minutes of instructional time in each class today trying to keep them off this silly game. That and some sort of hide and seek with pixilated tanks…

The assignment was to make a comic strip using all the elements of a story (ESL, remember… Pictures to show understanding and then an essay). The story was supposed to be roughly based on Cinderella. They have a program in Edmodo that they can work with… This should have been a fun assignment.

Instead, I walked back and forth from computer to computer turning off games and slowly losing my temper.

After a successful weekend of cleaning and getting my life in order, I had expected a wonderful day, and instead was ready to give up before noon. Way before noon…

So I get it, I do. When a student seems to be a lost cause, I understand the desire to politely convince him to leave. We’re supposed to be catering to the ones who want to learn and help them be successful, not hold the hands of kids who don’t want to even be there. But aren’t we supposed to not give up on these kids?

I can’t decide if I’m more frustrated with my students, or the people who run the school…

Somebody tell me it gets better.

Confessions of Depression and Other Things

There are certain things I don’t usually talk about because I feel like I’m admitting something is wrong with me if I let other people know. For instance, *I* can know that I like the Ewok movie better than the whole original Star Wars Trilogy (for sentimental reasons), but I don’t often say it out loud for fear I will lose some of my “Geek cred,” as a friend of mine says. And apparently today is the day for confessions, so I’m starting off big!

As if that wasn’t a big enough confession, the thing I really wanted to talk about today was Seasonal Depression.

I sometimes fall prey to seasonal depression. I sometimes see how grey and cold and nasty it is outside, and that grey and cold and nasty feeling seeps inside of me and makes me not care about things I should.

I stop cleaning.

I stop eating healthy.

I quit caring about work.

I find most things just too hard to do.

I don’t throw things out. I let the mess pile around me until my room or (as happened this time) my entire apartment looks like it belongs to the Trash Lady muppet from The Labyrinth. 

seasonal depression causes this.
This is why I wouldn’t open my door all the way when people came to visit…

When this happens, I usually can’t see the best place to start. I clean one room, usually a small one like the bathroom or the kitchen. It’s something that makes me feel like I’ve made some sort of progress, because I believe that any progress will motivate me to get the rest of it done. And if I’ve caught it early enough, it does! I can successfully pick everything up, and there will be no problems… until the next grey and cold and nasty series of days or weeks. In Texas, we don’t have that much cold and nasty weather, so I can usually catch it fairly quick.

Sometimes, I just don’t. Continue reading Confessions of Depression and Other Things