One of Those Thought Dumps

Random notes from my phone, edition 562:

-The sunset doesn’t belong on concrete

-Alison Krauss, Oh Atlanta

-They’re joyous versus jaded. They haven’t been burnt yet. They aren’t tattered or worn down by ignorance. They are bliss at it’s finest.

-I find a sense of home in these people. These roots. From long nights. And dingy apartment living rooms. They return with ease eagerly.

-Everyday I wake up before my alarm, scared I missed it because my whole life is on someone else’s deadline following their made up guidelines.

-Arugula, goat cheese, chicken, toothpicks

-Her shoulder, freckled in vineyards and mountain ranges, kissing ocean’s sandy hairline

-When the seasons change, I will too

-Even rocky water can sing lullabies. It doesn’t complain or whine, cutting under ice, sweeping solid river banks

-This bar is my city. Ten people and the tender singing song with camp guitar and drunken voices. Stoop pictures and stoop music making with accordions. And dance parties.

 

brave-faced

Brave-faced I sit in class.
I put on this mask before my backpack gets thrown over my shoulder and I walk up to those steps-
Second floor…
        I’ve
                Done this before.
Walking these same steps
Taking these same breaths
It’s monotonous
      Monochromatic doors
                 Same color tiled floors
White tiled ceilings
White board washed walls
It’s appalling
Graveling over content
      Grumbling and stumbling-
                -no,
Bullshitting through papers
I’m numb to this
My fingers grew cold-lettered last year
I’ve mastered it,
Procrastinated it as long as I can
               To keep sane,
To keep my brain from exploding out of my mouth
               mixing with chunks of my lungs
                        smoldering with the ashes of each wish I’ve ever made
I put on this brave-face with my collared shirt and tan shoes
I sit in class
        Raise my hand
               And cooperate
Since I’m already two years late for my passion
I’m blue-faced from boredom
            Exhaling with exhaustion
I use syllabi as numbing cream and Blackboard for bubble bath
All to mask my appetite for
                                A different
                                                Craft.

To My Long-Distance Traveling Buddy,

712 got a new door.

The house looks a little less run down these days. You know how the faded, dirty yellow kind of just blended in to the chipping dark green door? The door underneath those three windows. Sometimes I stare at them as I drive by on my way home and think of crawling out them. Your technique was a little different than mine..but both worked just the same. We would catch cars going the wrong way down Main Street and talk to people walking underneath us. We escaped the ground in that way.

Well,

I don’t know if the door fell down or what…

But now the front door is not the same color as those porch posts and it doesn’t just fade into the blur I see through my drivers side window as I head down town.

It stands out.

Kind of like how we moved out. It just…feels different.

The door is bleach gone bad. The brand new white clashes. It’s starting to become every other new house on Main Street: so clean and cut just right, white trim, white doors, white fences. So… alike in every way. We fell in love with 712 for it’s character. It was so crooked. It creaked with every step on every floor. It had nooks, and overly large slanted ceiling closets. It had a bathroom the size of a bed room with carpet. It didn’t always make sense. It wasn’t always up to code (like when a mushroom was growing through the bathroom floor by the shower upstairs) but that door…

I picture never locking it because I couldn’t figure out the perfect amount of pull in order to flip the key.

I picture you opening the front window and reaching in to unlock it in the rare case that someone else did.

From my room upstairs I could tell exactly who was coming through the door. I always new it was you. I could tell by the slam before I heard the scream,

“I’M HOOOOMMEEE!”

I can feel it. Whatever emotion that is. When your whole body flashes back to that one collective moment. Because there were some variations from time to time (I can slightly remember you walking in one day and just screaming). “Nostalgia” may or may not be right but whatever it is, I’m sad you’re not here but I’m so, so, so happy you’re traveling for us. Because I hope you know I’m traveling through you (so you better do some rully, rully cool stuff) and if you’re ever longing for a little bit of home, think of walking through that crooked door, through that creaking house, up those teeny-tiny stairs, down the diagonal hallway, into my door and scooting right out that window. Onto the roof that sits right above that crooked door.

Also,

544757_2912163844114_2123059868_n

Camp: Summer 2

A few days ago I had a conversation with the Program Director at Rocky Mountain Village, the camp I worked for over the summer. She asked me some questions, I gave some answers, and…I got a job!

At the beginning of this school year, I couldn’t dream of doing anything other than camp this up coming summer. I knew I needed to go back to get some more camp love. During the middle of first semester, I learned that I need one more class before I did student teaching, and my schedule for second semester was already full. Realizing I needed to pray to the class scheduling gods, I got online to look up summer availability for SPE 522. The only session? Monday-Thursday 6-10pm for four weeks. That sounded awful to me, but I was sulking at the thought of another month spent in mount pleasant, michigan while I could be working at camp.

Then, a few days later, I found an opportunity to study abroad in Denmark for special education. What classes were they offering? SPE 522 and SPE 519. The Denmark opportunity was a must in order for me to keep my sanity, but that meant raising money for the program, plane tickets, and tuition. My family has helped me travel before (many of you may remember my Kenyan travels) and I didn’t feel right asking for them to help me again, so I started saving. As the money in my account starting increasing, the reality of Denmark set in and all of a sudden…

Sadness.

I was hit with the thought of not being able to get a job at camp because Denmark cuts half way into the camp season. I knew I would be welcome to come back and volunteer during the weeks I was back in the States, but with being one summer away from student teaching (unpaid) I knew I needed to have the time to make some cash before next school year, and a volunteer position would keep me from being able to do so. 

All of my sadness crept away as the Program Director said they would split a position for me. 

I am returning to the great Rocky Mountain Village for another summer living the camp dream after a few weeks stay in Denmark. Suddenly, my future is looking pretty hot.

Image

 

A Degree In Hipocrisy

I’m sitting here with a pit for a stomach watching kids find slopes of lines that only exist on worksheets. There has to be another way to teach children necessary math skills. Or maybe we need to rethink our necessities. I’m watching instruction that resonates with only some students. He’s on number 4 when every else is finished with 23. I could only imagine the frustration.

I can remember my parents attempting to help me with math in middle school. They did well. I was struggling- frustrated with content that had no meaning and no relevance to me. I didn’t get it and I didn’t care to.

I don’t want to force people. Especially kids. I’m starting to think I’m getting my degree in hypocrisy.

‘Sure, yeah. You’re totally going to use this in real life. It’s important. You need to know it.’

I have yet to find the slop or plot any points outside of algebra class. I’ve never needed to use a proof or prove anything other than my ability to function in society, which I start to doubt more everyday. They only thing society has taught me is that I don’t agree with the masses and there are a mass amount of students who, un-doubtfully, feel the same.

Alternatives to public school make more sense to me with every time I see a kid give up. They turn in empty chapter reviews and blank worksheets. They misbehave to avoid work so they get sent in the hall, which only furthers the gap in their learning. The system isn’t set up to help them.

Food has become a reward. Jolly Ranchers have taken the place of high-fives and check marks as if extrinsic motivation is worth the  furthering of childhood obesity. Motivation is depleting as fast as instruction is being ignored and avoided by all the students who can’t seem to grasp grade level concepts.

Me? I was a good student. I understood concepts pretty easily, enough so that frustration was immense as soon as I was stumped. I can’t imagine the defeat being constant.

So yes, I’ve become a hypocrite, telling these students what my teachers told me and what I still don’t really believe just in order to get a degree. And one day, hopefully, that degree with land me a steller job with incredible children and I’ll be the best teacher and people will write books about my philosophies that will one day be taught to students just like me.

Or maybe not. 

My pre-student teaching placement in a middle school resource room is hitting me hard right where my tolerance sits. I’m stuck between feeling almost like these student’s friend, wanting to joke around and agree with their negative attitude towards school, and being the adult “teacher” figure I am supposed to be. It’s hard because I feel closer to their age than my host teachers. On top of the small age gap, I also am finding that (and sorry to all the middle school teachers out there) I truly don’t use a lot of the information they are teaching those kids. It’s hard for me to stand behind that.

I do, however, fully enforce their ability to get up in front of those pre-teens and teach them lessons day in and day out all while handling behaviors. It’s just that, from the back of the room, I notice those kids that are slipping behind. I’m wondering if they are really in the cracks or if I’m just not there often enough to see the extra help being given. I’m wondering if information would click better for those kids who sit there, day in and day out, tapping their pencil and resting their cheek on their palm if the path of instruction was different. What if the students were in charge of their own learning?

Sleeping Dreamer

You’re a sleeping dreamer in that you never let your ambition get out of bed in the morning when you throw on your three day old socks-
Too broke for laundry detergent and too pathetic to even recognize laziness when you see it
You sit in your destiny like a shit filled diaper, letting it smear you with the waste your body couldn’t stomach
At least you know what you can handle
But you’re a walking dream catcher who cares too much about everyone else’s future plans
You can’t even picture where you’re going
Or what you love
You can’t describe what your passion is
There’s a passion pit in your heart pumping question marks through your bloodstream
Why can’t you learn to scream your shortcomings at the mirror for motivation to stop being so complacent
You’re so content with sitting on your couch surrounded by week old mess created in a desperate attempt to feel something
Drinking does not make you feel nothing
Thinking that finding fake friends will replace memories is false
You’re a lost dream who slid out of your mother’s womb
Full of wishes for an offspring
You’re a spring board absorbing only enough to project back defeat
You deflated a long time ago
Leaving only your wrinkled skin as proof that you once were full of breath

I’m a wandering wonderer.

I’ve been wondering a lot lately.

I wonder about our sense of being and if there really is a “sense” to all of this or we just pretend there is to make ourselves feel better, because as one, we aren’t really all that much. So I wonder where I could go if my feet were railroad tracks and how far I could carry myself if I stretched into wings.

I wonder these things because I’ve already wondered so many others.

I’ve wondered about distance and how we measure it. Because feet and miles are two different things and feet and motors are two different things, too and I wonder if I could measure my distance to you in heartbeats or blinks.

I don’t think it would be possible but I’ve wondered the color of a sun firing through naked winter trees. I’ve wondered in colors of blueberries and plums.

I wonder if trees feel it when we pluck their fruit. Or if fruit screams from it’s core so loud that we can’t even hear it when we rupture their skin with our teeth.

I wonder if our teeth like their job. I wonder if hands can feel guilt and eyes can taste the back of our eyelids.

I’ve been wondering a lot lately.

I wonder when I wander and I often wander because I’m wondering. I’m wondering what land would better suit my feet. I’m wondering what ground my shoes French kissed and fell in love with. I’m wondering what will happen when I rest my soles on their solid ground soul mate. Will I feel it?

Will I feel the sense of being everyone is talking about? I wonder if it exists;

The,
            I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I wonder what would happen if I didn’t imagine somewhere else.

Somewhere new.

I wonder if I’ll ever fall for being still and I wonder what a content mind sounds like. 

For now,

I wander while wondering, wondering if I’ll ever stop wandering.

Image

seen somewhere between Colorado and Nebraska