It’s been a while since I’ve written and that has been for a number of highly important, ultra-relevant reasons:
- Visiting relatives (and visiting relatives);
- The boy;
- The house;
- The job;
- The current, pre-/post-apocalyptic political landscape;
- More or less covering up ties to Russia, which I can hardly believe we’d actively not work together toward figuring out…
Fortunately, all of the relatives and trips and such has had me fairly removed from politics and current events. That’s been a nice little vacation, girly drinks with umbrellas and all.
But, man, has the job ever become hard. I’ve hit such awesome crests in working with the most dedicated, respectful, and hard-working group of juniors and seniors I’ve ever encountered. I feel truly fortunate and as if our culture changes might have finally worked (since they are seniors and our administration / group has been going at this for a while, we’re finally seeing some results; booya!).
However, we’re two weeks from the end of the quarter and grades have tanked. Effort has tanked. Respectful behavior is even starting to take a nose dive, and I’m totally unaccustomed to that from this group.
Quoth the Immortal Doctor Gonzo (as portrayed by Benicio del Toro): “Goddamn, what a bummer.”
It’s more powerful when you see him on acid and ether and coke and whatever else he’s ingested alongside Johnny Depp as Hunter S.
It’s times like these that I start to stress. I start to get negative. I start taking it out on my students.
I’m reminded of awesome advice I’ve received from COACHES in the past, advice I’ve received more from coaches than from veteran classroom teachers.
Especially with our clientele, which is to say economically disadvantaged kids, often gang-affiliated or living in an abusive household or not getting enough to eat despite their ownership of Air Jordan’s and Beats by Dre, etc, etc etc.
There I go, getting negative AGAIN. The negativity, at best, affects me in an obviously negative way. At worst, I spread it to my students who spread it to their peers and other teachers and community and… well, I start to understand why a Buddhist’s main goal is to be happy and promote / spread happiness. The two can be terribly infectious… and, I suppose, wonderfully infectious.
As you wander through this world, in and out of buildings, in and out of relationships, through people’s minds and dreams and waking thoughts and worst nightmares I implore you:
Be a force for good.
And, for the love of all that’s holy to YOU, always look in the bright side of life.
“When life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.”