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Showing posts from April, 2013

How Bad Do You Want It?

In four weeks, this school year will come to a close. Spring quarter can be very difficult, and this year is far from an exception. There is a sadness of saying goodbye to students I have spent so much time getting to know. There is a culmination of sorts as I evaluate all the efforts I've put forth this year to try and assist in their being successful, and there is an emotionally draining frustration of watching some students fall apart, seemingly incapable of performing their very best for whatever reason.

I had always heard about people who are their own worst enemies...those who sabotage their own successes. Based on my own teaching experiences, I have encountered at least one or two students like this each year. Those experiences did not prepare me for this year. Our population is largely transient. They come and go so quickly that it becomes exhausting attempting to make connections. They have drug addictions, and I'm definitely not talking about a kid getting drunk or h…

House Stressing

The weekend that Tyler and I were married, we tried very hard to provide a place to stay for as many of our guests as possible. It was not possible to fit everyone, even with the small numbers invited to our little backyard wedding, but we tried. One small bedroom was wall to wall air mattresses intended to house seven friends. As we learned over the course of the weekend, this particular room is also the last room in our house to receive any cool air via the AC ducts that wind through our house.

It was 112 degrees the day of our wedding and the air cooled only by a few degrees throughout the rest of the weekend. The bedroom, which quickly became known as the orphanage, was soon characterized by its sauna-like qualities. Guests crawled out in the morning glistening with sweaty skin and matted hair and pleaded for liquids of some sort necessary to replenish their lost hydration from their fitful night's sleep.

This was our first realization that we probably had a situation that ne…

A Love Story

Mr. Anderson, a teacher at E.V. High School, was spotted behind the school in the little fenced-in nook. He was pacing, uncomfortably, based on his corresponding, jerking movements and he kept bringing his pen to his lips as if he was smoking a cigarette. His other hand was gesturing dramatically, as if he was trying to explain some difficult idea and the recipient wasn't understanding. When he pulled the pen from his mouth you could see his lips on one side of his mouth opening and closing...like in an attempt to form words, but no one else was with him.

What was especially weird is that I had just seen Mr. Anderson a few minutes before supervising the gym. He seemed completely fine...smiling and laughing and chatting with some of the students. Something was obviously wrong now and I was genuinely concerned. Something must have happened to make him so upset...so frustrated...so seemingly crazy. I approached him calling his name, but he gave no indication that he heard me. As I go…