The Calm

So, today is my day.

I mean in theory, everyday is my day, but today is REALLY my day. After video games, lounging around the house a bit, one load of laundry, some time spent playing and reading with my daughter, I finally left the house.

Four games of chess, one business meeting, three books and two coffees later, I’m sat in another coffee shop about to: charge my various devices, plan some lessons, read one of said books, push out a draft of a poem and try to avoid being sucked into the black hole that is the internet. For some reason I can’t explain, though I haven’t done a lot, I feel strangely productive.

I mean there’s still quite a bit to do- going to the gym, calling my parents, cleaning around the house, working on the America trip feedback… you know how this goes. But, even with all of that left, I don’t feel overwhelmed. Ooh!

I almost forgot to breakdown how my ‘mad scientist’ moment went.

Amazingly!

It was great to see the students’ reactions both on stage and in the audience. Their responses were very thoughtful and demonstrated sound knowledge of the poems. And, the fact that they were interested and engaged throughout, whether or not they were on stage, was also very reassuring. In fact, I had a number of students ask if we could do it again! I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my colleague A.M. for being equally as adventurous and curious and super flexible. And, I also have to thank E.C for being patient and allowing me to steal some of her time and brain cells to make sure my ‘telemetry’ in putting it together was sound.

For the curious, the game ended up being a hybrid of Jeopardy and Family Feud. I may attach the rules and questions later.

Now, what’s my next mad scientist idea? Hmm… Watch this space.

Anyway. Time for me to go. Infinite to do list to wrestle, and limited time in which to do it.

Have a great Sunday folks; I know I sure will.

Daddy Daughter Day

After a long week, today my daughter and I had our usual day out.

Breakfast, laying around the house, second breakfast, library, french lesson, book store, dinner, ice cream, stories, games, songs and then bedtime.

I know I sometimes complain about how busy my days can be and how tired I feel, but Saturdays with my daughter regardless of how tired I feel is incredible. She is just so energetic and emotive. And smart!

I’m so happy to be her dad. I only hope that I can prepare her well to be successful and fulfilled.

The Simple Things

Today I’m just trying to take pleasure in the simple things:

The bright, sweet, cool taste of orange juice; the dull ache of muscles after three sets of back squats; the way that time stops as snowflakes rest on your skin before melting, their liquified remains streaming down, down, down; the care and comfort of having your hair washed for you.

These are the things that I am contemplating today. Why? I honesty couldn’t tell you. But, does it really matter why? Isn’t it enough to recognise the importance of taking time to appreciate these discrete sensations? I think so.

I am happy with myself. Today marks my eighth posting. I know that I promised myself that this would be a place for poems and pedagogy, but I think that for now this is good. That because I’m showing up and punching the keys, eventually both will arrive. I haven’t particularly been the best or most accommodating to them.

Always too busy to really sit down, take my time and listen to their voices…

So, today, I will revel in the small victory that I have written for more than a week, even in the midst of teaching, tutoring, parenting and husbanding- or is that spousing? Hmm… I’ll need to have a think about that one. In the meantime, make sure, whoever reads this one to really take your time and enjoy it all. Otherwise, what’s the point?

SO…

So, If I miss my writing deadline by a few minutes does it mean that I didn’t follow through?

Wednesdays were always going to be tough. I have three tutoring clients; today, I had to train my new personal assistants, and I also managed to work out. So… by the time I got home and ate and watch he a few episodes of One Day at a Time on Netflix, it was today and not yesterday. Hmmm…

Well I’ll write again after on today, too. I think that that will make I okay. I had no plans of going to bed without putting more grind equity into this blog.

The mad scientist idea I had, seems like it’s going to work out. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out in real time in real life. So far so good this week. I’m feeling good about everything and now I just pray that I can keep it up.

Money in the Bank

So, tonight as I write this, I am tired. Like, DOG tired. I debated on if I should stay up to punch the keys or not until I remembered something.

The more you put in the more you get out.

Cliche, I know, but there’s something about putting ‘money in the bank,’ so to speak that is appealing to me. Something about the idea that as I continue to push through the fatigue and doldrums and ennui, the easier and better and stringer I’ll become. Call it sweat equity or whatever you want- I’m just happy to keep it going at the moment.

At the office today I was reminded of two things: One, EVERYONE has a breaking point, even young people with their whole ives in front of them. Two, when a person can’t see what’s in front of them because they refuse to get out of their own way, step off. It’ll only burn you up trying to help them see past themselves. And finally, now with so much happening and so many people counting on me and trusting my word, scheduling is not optional. In order for me to be my best and perform at an optimum level, I have to create and -except for some rare occasions- stick to it.

I wonder how it will go over with everyone else. Guess I’ll find out who is really for me and who is just for me when I’m useful to them.

Finally, day two without a head teacher… things aren’t in complete chaos, but there’s a noticeable difference. To me it feels like there’s a chill in the air that wasn’t there before.

First day back

Well, one full day of teaching done and I’m still alive! My personal assistant wasn’t in today so I ‘hired’ a temp to fill in for him in the meantime: so far so good. It was nice to look up and see that I didn’t need to put the books back on my shelves, pick up stray bits of rubbish or move the tables back into position. In fact, in the time that all of that took to complete, I had punched out three e-mails, made adjustments to my schedule for tomorrow, chosen the students I wished to focus on for this half term almost forgotten the travesty of justice my former head teacher had to endure for doing the right thing. I always tell the students that life is hard. I remind them that life is unfair and not to expect it to change for them. I think what I might need to do a bit more of is sharing when I experience that unfairness and how I deal with it.

Aside from all of that I proposed an insane project to one of my colleagues and… she accepted.. What’s the catch? We have to pull it off by Friday! No pressure right? So, tonight and tomorrow I’ll try to put together the rules and some resources so that each class has an equal amount of time to prepare. I’m looking forward to the challenge of it and seeing it in action. AQA Poetry anthology clash! I’ll pay with the name a bit more, I think.

In any event, it’s time for me to head out of the office and onward to the homestead. Books to mark, mad scientist lesson plans to make, young Palawan to train… you know- the usual. -Later.

‘Twas the night before…

Going back to school tomorrow with a heavy heart and very mixed emotions. My head teacher has left and I need to spend a LOT of time in my classroom to get to a place I feel comfortable with and I also have a number of personal things to sort: budget, bills, tutoring, business plan, trying to procure tickets home… It feels like the list gets longer by the minute. But, for now at least I’m still writing and that is good. I need to make sure I check in on my dad too. So much! Lance’s birthday, Lamar’s birthday, Winston’s birthday and Aunt Shawee’s passing… There is quite a bit for me to process- right before I head back to school. C’est la vie.

Legacy

To my daughter: if you ever read this, know that I was not perfect and that I never claimed to be. Know that I have only wanted the best for you and have striven to provide that for you. Forgive me for my mistakes and missteps, please. Please forgive me for any times it seemed I was aloof or unconcerned or too busy to interact with you. Life as an adult is complex sometimes, and even now as I write this, it pains me to know how much I’ve sacrificed with you… I promise however to leave behind enough in tools and memories and artefacts so that hopefully, all of the sacrifice will be worth it and you will never feel alone. Because you aren’t. I love you my little heart. -Papa.

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