All posts by nenalope

The Implications of a Milkshake

In the Classroom: My feet tap nervously on the tiled floor.  My mind is on cognitive overload and I have the feeling of wanting to throw up.  I wish for an interruption; a fire drill, a phone call to the room, an announcement over the school’s speakers, a yellow slip saying I have to  go to the office because my mom is picking me up early, just ANYTHING to get me out of the current activity we are doing.

I look at the picture on my desk.  It is covered in plastic so that the teacher can torture another child with it the following year.  It is a fancy glass, curvy with white liquid.  On top is a mountain kind of looking thing, white and perfectly done with a red cherry on top.  I have already figured out that the white liquid is milk so I know it comes from a cow.  I know this because even though I may not know enough English, I have had many interactions with milk: I pour it on my cereal every morning, my mom uses it to make a delicious breakfast we call “arroz con leche” (rice with milk), my dad loves to pour it over hot yams, my brothers and I put some into coffee to make it so yummy, I always have to grab a little carton of it for lunch and the carton has the word ‘milk’ in bright red, capital letters so without anyone telling me, I already know that “leche” is milk.

I know all this, but I still don’t know what category this picture belongs to.  And soon it will be my turn to go up, in front of the entire class, and stick this thing into its food group.  But I can’t figure it out.  There are six groups up on the board, each represented with a different color.  The teacher put the names of each group on a bright label, but that is all and I don’t know all the words. I already used my Spanish to help me know that fruit is “fruta” and vegetables are “vegetales.” But the other four are a big mystery and I just can’t make sense of them.  One label says, ‘Bread, pasta, potatoes.’ I have never seen or heard those words and so far it is empty.  Another says ‘Meat, fish and alternatives,’ and it already has a picture of what looks like a naked chicken all plucked and hunkered over.  I am guessing that is the place to put things that come from animals, but I am not sure.  The yellow group says, ‘Cheese and dairy.’ A student put a picture of a block of yellow in it.  What is that? I scramble through my mind, trying to think of my family’s once a week visits to the grocery store.  Had I seen anything like that? Did we ever eat something that looked like a yellow block? I didn’t think so.  The last group was small but it had an extremely long label, ‘Fats, oils and confectionaries.’

“Lorena!” the teacher hollered my name and it threw me out of my long chain of desperate thinking.  Time was up.

With my heart hammering in my throat and my legs feeling like gelatin, I pushed away from my desk as if it was pulling me back, and slowly made my way to the board.  My sweaty, nervous hands began to tug at the picture, folding the corners.

“Don’t do that!” admonished the teacher.

His reprimand accompanied with his glare that I was getting all too familiar with, only made me feel small and to wish I could run away.  But I was stuck and my feet made their own decision to move me closer to the board.

The gaze of 20 something pairs of eyes on my back was tangible.  I couldn’t see my classmates, but I knew they were all watching.  I took another frantic look over the food groups pleading for a miracle.  None came.  No interruptions either.  With hesitant hands, I quickly jabbed the picture next to the naked chicken.  Milk came from cows and cows were an animal and this group had an animal in it.

The class burst into laughter.  Did they think I was being funny?  Or was this like all those other times when they laughed AT me, thinking, ‘jeez this girl knows NOTHING!’  I swallowed the hard lump of my heart in my throat, snatched the picture back and slapped it on the bottom group: Bread, pasta, potatoes.  More laughter, uncontrollable this time.  The teacher immediately stepped in, but first he shot me another glare.

Teaching Implications: No child, not even language learners or children of a different race, are empty vessels.  They come to the classroom having had experiences AND language that they can use to make sense of what is happening within the classroom walls.  We need to know our students, all of them, so we are familiar with who they are because they are people too. Let’s tap into their experiences, their knowledge, and most of all their language instead of thinking they know nothing.

Develop a community where students support and learn from each other.  We are not the only teachers in the room.  And our behavior is used by students as a model of how they should respond to each other.  Glare at a child and the students will take your cue as a sign of how this student deserves to be treated.  So they pick up on your glares and other body language and begin to treat the student in a similar fashion, often in worse ways.

Allow students to talk.  Establish your expectations for partner talk routines and group work.  What would have happened had I just been allowed to talk to one of my classmates about the picture in my hands?

We take for granted how much we teach with words, spoken words.  It doesn’t take too much time (especially now when we can easily search with Google images) to get visuals and incorporate them into lessons.  We can even make quick sketches in the moment to support new vocabulary.

Lifelong Implications: I am certain we all have nuggets of memories from our early school days.  There are many different reasons of why we cling to those memories.

This memory tugs at me quite often.  Because of it, I now see how in the preceding years of school I put my efforts towards fading into the classroom walls and becoming invisible.  I was not the student with a hand raised or the student who wanted to be table monitor much less line leader.  And if ever I was called on by the teacher, my face would first turn bright red and it always made my stomach go upside down and then I would barely mumble something out.  This still happens.

I was suddenly embarrassed by my family and our culture.  I had witnessed firsthand how everything I knew and was familiar with was not validated in school.  So what if we had milk in our house? The way we used it didn’t count in school.  Apparently all our visits to the grocery store didn’t matter because we didn’t buy yellow cheese in yellow blocks (ours was white and came in a wheel shape and we crumbled it over enchiladas, beans, and lots of over foods).  And our language wasn’t helpful.  Actually my first language got in the way of me learning.  All of this came to my realization from that milkshake.  And it has taken many years (honestly I am still working on it) to undo the damage and embrace who I am (Mexican culture and all) and to see how beautiful Spanish is and that it is a language worthy of knowing.

Lastly, I am so afraid of getting up in front of people.  After that moment, I recall almost dying every time I had to do a presentation or a report or a speech or whatever other confounded project teachers made up to get students to show their learning. I remember many sleepless nights as I lay worrying in bed.  Would they laugh at me, would they think I was dumb?

Just Forget It

The New Year is well underway, so make sure to get off on the right foot by forgetting about these items.  Just forget it!

10.  All the people that you slept with (or not) last year

9. The amount of times that you did not blog in 2017

8. The time you overpaid for some thing at the grocery store, by the way, toss the receipt

7. All previous attempts to lose weight

6. The evenings when you concluded a healthy salad dinner with a big slice of (insert flavor here) _____ cake with ice cream, whip cream, chocolate drizzle, cherry, banana on top while downing it with a (insert flavor here) ____ milkshake

5. Any and all cashiers who never ask about your day or you or how it’s going

4. The series of days you committed to watching an HBO series that went nowhere (the main character wasn’t ever dead and the mom was the real mom all along)

3. All mornings when you woke up crying…because you didn’t want to go to work!

2. Promises, promises, promises – do you EVEN remember what you promised? It’s to your benefit to forget them

1. Your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions

Caught!

I was staring at my teacher plan book.  Admiring the blue lined boxes that indicated days and subject areas.  I took such joy in filling it in and seeing what the week would look like.  I was completely lost in it, still trying to see what I could do for Wednesday afternoon and what could get plugged in for Thursday morning.

Suddenly my classroom door opened.  I just heard the click of the knob turning and in walked the district personnel, four of them.  A whopping four DISTRICT people.  They entered in a line, fake smiles plastered on their faces because they always said, “smile when you walk in to the room, no matter what you see happening, just smile.” Then they each took a position at the back of the class, leaned against the counter, and held their precious papers close to their chests, still radiating those fake smiles but already I could see in their eyes the disappointment of walking in to the room and NOT witnessing any teaching going on.

I scrambled out of my desk, nearly knocking over my chair, heart starting to race, lump in throat forming and beads of sweat already on my hairline.  I looked wildly around for that damn book.  Jesus where was it?  Oh, I knew they were seeing this, but there was no way to hide it. Where the hell did I leave that thing?  I glanced back at my desk, nothing there aside from my mess of papers, confiscated toys (the ones I bothered to collect), water bottles, pens, erasers, more papers from the students, my beautiful plan book and hand sanitizer.

My eyes flew to the shelf beneath the whiteboard.  Giant TE’s were nestled in there with their bright spiral bound cardboard covers showing.  I saw the orange, yellow, and blue spirals, large enough to tear up and wear as bracelets, but nowhere was that small book with the black spiral. Now my palms were sweating, my heart was drumming in my throat that had entirely closed from the lump in it and I could feel the heat on my face letting me know my cheeks were turning the color of a bright cherry. I stole a glance at the district people still leaning against the counter, now making it very obvious that they were judging the class walls, no fake smiles anymore.  I wish I could just tell them that I meant to update the student work that still bore September dates and that the pumpkin decorations would get put away soon, I just hadn’t had enough time to get to it.  But talking to them was a cardinal sin, it was prohibited, it would mean breaking all protocol for a district visit.  THEY were not to be talked to.

I was certain that five painful minutes had passed since they’d entered and so far all they had seen was the teacher scrambling about the front of the room.  Dammit, I knew it was here somewhere. Eyes swiveling in every direction, I neared the easel overloaded with old charts, some dated from the previous school year (that was on my list to be removed too). I eyed the basket beneath it, crammed with markers, papers, whiteboard erasers, more papers (why was there so much paper everywhere?) but no sign of that stupid, freaking, damn book.  I was about to cave in and ask the students if one of them had seen it – they always could tell me where to find things – just as my eye saw the bloody thing behind the easel, opened up to the last lesson that I probably taught.  My heart settled back into my chest and a smile crept on my lips as I saw that I had even put post it notes into the book, well that would impress them.  I lifted it up off the shelf and was momentarily surprised to see a layer of dust slide off it.

“Ok, boys and girls come to the carpet and sit down,” I announced as I saw my third graders look up at me from their reading books. They slowly started moving and were soon seated in front of me.  I took the chair near the easel and flipped through the book to find the next lesson. As my eyes searched for where to start, I said, “Ok, so boys and girls, we have been doing a lot of writing…ummm we worked on our stories…”

“You mean small moments?” a student chimed in.

“Yes, our small moments,” I agreed. The damn thing was hard to navigate, I was still flipping pages.  Weren’t these district people leaving soon?  Didn’t they have a torrent of work to do at their offices? Then I saw a beacon of hope, the title of the lesson! I could figure it out from that. I launched into what I thought was spectacular teaching of writing.  And soon enough, as if they had seen what they needed to see, the district people left the room, single file, fake smiles back on their faces.  As the door slowly clicked back into place, I heaved a sigh.  One of utter relief.  I leaned back in the chair, drained from the maddening adrenaline rush. A small laugh nearly escaped from within me.  I closed the book, I was not losing this thing again. I knew exactly where I would put it.  Dismissing the children from the carpet, I tossed the book with its black spiral onto my desk to lay among the stash of papers.

 

The Best New Year

You know what I did once?  It was New Year’s Eve and already well into the Eve part, around 8 at night.  I was at a friend’s home and we were getting festive by making our own party hats with construction paper.  Her kitchen table had scissors, glue, glitter, bits of confetti, markers and lots of vibrant colored paper strewn all over it.  Quite a scene.

And there we were, having a great time using all these art materials.  Somehow it happened that when we got to sprinkling the glitter, it ended up on our faces.  We howled with laughter and took pictures to immortalize the moment. We even sprinkled more glitter on our faces, purposefully.

Then my phone beeped loudly, a text message coming in.  I checked it, it was a complete wrong number.  It beeped again, another wrong number. Another beep.

“Time to meet your friends at the club?” My friend asked as she adjusted her party hat.  I hesitated for half a second, then lied. For the next thirty minutes we put the finishing touches on the party hats and then I politely excused myself and headed out to my car.

As I drove, I was surprised that I did not have a single hint of guilt for leaving my friend’s party early, this put me in a good mood.  I was afraid that by leaving early, the guilt would consume me and make me miserable the entire night.  I parked the car, bounded inside, took a few minutes in the bathroom to change my clothing, choosing a baby blue top that I knew would keep me comfortable and warm through the entire night.  I threw on black bottoms and kicked off my sneakers for something more appropriate.  Giving my hair a final tousle, I headed into the room.

Soft rays of orange light from outside the windows greeted me.  They were soothing and I figured they were just perfect for the night ahead.  All else was pitch black, but I already knew where I was.

I crawled under the familiar comforting blankets, glancing at the clock, 9:45pm, perfect. I gazed out the window near my bed and sighed deeply.  Just perfect.  It was me and me.  I snuggled deeper into my blankets and let sleep consume me.  This was the best New Year’s ever.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I am in the middle of preparing sweet potatoes and recalling why I stopped eating them.  They are hella hard to slice and dice.  Seriously, you need an electric drill to cut one up – or could it be that all my knives are dull?

With the sweet potatoes in the oven and the smell of the bell peppers that I mixed in with the potatoes infusing the air, I thought back to Laura’s words.  “Finding your voice.” How lucky that children get to hear that phrase for a writing class.  Even though I am an adult, may I attend?  You see, no one told me as a child that I should find my voice, well no one even told me that I had one to start with. Here’s what I did have:

I sit at a desk, the kind very like the ones in the Peanuts cartoon.  The wooden seat is connected to the desk and the top of the desk opens so you can sneak all kinds of non-school stuff into the space beneath.  There is a little cradle for my yellow pencil and a crisp, white sheet of binder paper is in front of me.  The teacher is talking.  I hear his voice, but I don’t know enough English to know what exactly he is saying.

He’s old, white tufts of hair poke out of his head.  His large, thick glasses give him the appearance of an owl, but they don’t hide his eyes that often glare at me.  He’s wearing what he always seems to wear: plaid shirt in boring colors of brown, red, black and brown slacks with brown shoes that have little laces.  Because I’m lost in examining this aged man and looking over the details of his clothing, trying to imagine what he is like outside of the classroom, I miss the directions.  It wouldn’t have helped me to pay attention anyway.  The words would have just floated over my head. Without any images, I grasped nothing.  Without having the chance to talk to a classmate, I understood nothing.

As I move my eyes away from the brown shoes with the little laces tied neatly, I see that all the students are furiously writing on their sheets of paper.  I can almost hear the soft scratching of the lead on the page.  I see Emily, the girl with the longest blond hair in class, scrawling on her paper, her face intense, her skinny legs crossed in the way that she always did when she was in absolute concentration. Or maybe she just really had to use the bathroom.

Panic! I see everyone writing, but about what?  In a useless attempt that I know won’t work, I try to peer over Sam’s hunched back to get a glimpse of his paper, to see what he is doing. His back is too big and I can’t even see his arms.  More panic.  I want to be a good student, I try to follow directions, I want to please the teacher and make him smile the way I see he smiles when Emily talks.  My efforts have only gifted me glares and snickers so far.

I focus back on my sheet of paper.  I have to write something.  I start by slowing etching out the letters in my name.  Then I take three minutes to lay out the letters of my last name.  Five more minutes to write the date as neat as I have ever written it.  I glance around, hoping that something has changed, but the room is still silent with all the students hunkered over their papers, their hands flying over the page. I look at everyone, all in the same position.  I notice the obvious that I noticed on the first day I walked into the room: everyone has a backpack tucked into the bowl that is beneath the wooden seat.   Backpacks of beautiful colors, yellow, bright red, sky blue, pink. I look under my seat.  It is empty. My family can’t afford a backpack for me.

The beeping oven brings me to the present.  Aaahhh, the smell of bell peppers.  I take the tray out of the oven and poke the sweet potatoes.  Perfectly soft. I know they are violently hot, but I can’t resist.  I stab one with a fork and bring it to my mouth.  Yup super hell hot.    But even through the heat, I savor the mix of the sweet with the tang of the bell pepper.  So good.

Opening Scene

FADE IN:

EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – DAY

The surrounding hills make Warbler Elementary School seem like a beacon of hope, a place to breathe fresh air and embrace young children.  Its sign glows like an invitation to come learn.

DISSOLVE  TO:

INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – ROOM B2 – DAY

Teachers sit in table groups.  The lights are off.  Only the glow of the Powerpoint on the SMART board illuminates their faces.

LORENA, fizzling out instructional coach,  desiring nothing else but a writer’s life, blindly staggers into the room like a drunk.

LORENA

Is this an empty..?

SCHOOL SECRETARY, 47, closes the door behind Lorena, its heavy thud announces Lorena’s arrival and indicates there is no escape.

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, 52, bitter, struggling to stay above water, doesn’t check emails, drives home and bathes in vodka, only glances at the door.

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

SST process will help us in finding support for students.  If you go back to the timeline, you can see that the process starts early, not too early, but early, it could be earlier, but it is early enough.  This early detection is going to be great, just great.

5TH GRADE TEACHER, 46, more bitter than the principal, scores every damn piece of paper her students produce.

5TH GRADE TEACHER

Why doesn’t THE distriiiiicct make the SST process start earlier?  This is a disservice to the kids.  By the time they get to me, they are soooooo LOW.

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

So I said, that the process starts early, yes it could be earlier, but this early is early enough. Go back to the timeline and you see it is early.

KINDER TEACHER, nearing death in age, head full of thick, dry hair, the bitterest of the group.

KINDER TEACHER

This is just toooooo much work.  THE district is asking for too much.  I fill out the forms and then what? I sit and wait! No! No! No! I won’t do that.  Kids need help now!

5TH GRADE TEACHER

What? Did no one hear what I said? By the time THOSE kids get to me, they are so far, far, far below grade level.  They can’t add, they can’t read, and they can’t write!

KINDER TEACHER

That doesn’t just apply to you, that goes for all of us! We have too many kids who can’t do anything!

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

And the district didn’t send anyone out to talk to us.

ALL, 28 teachers, sitting in a dark room in the late afternoon of a bright, sunny day, dreaming of making die cut pumpkins.

ALL

Hahahahahaha!!! (several snorts)

TO BE CONTINUED…

Life on Vacation

I spent the last few days away from work, an early October break.  Here is how it went:

I confided in a friend that I was secretly going to seek a position with the U.S. Post Office and that way, I could A.) leave my current position B.) focus on my writing life C.) still manage to make the house payment D.) have benefits.  That idea came burning down like a house of straw on fire as she confided in me that her boyfriend had read the works of a famous poet who had once been a part of the USPS.  Apparently he had referred to it as a “life sucking, trauma inducing, soulless place” or something like that.

I rented a car to  drive up two hours north of San Jose and visit my mom.  After all the paperwork, I was ushered upstairs to get the car.  I walked out of the elevator, handed over the papers from downstairs and was told, “you pick. Either the black one or silver one.  Keys are inside. Someone will help you on your way out.  The exit is that way.” Friendly. Real friendly.  I gazed at the two cars and chose the black Ford Fusion.  I got inside, grabbed the keys and…there was no key.  I looked around the steering wheel and saw it: a black button that said Push to Start. I did, the car then told me to step on the brake, I did and all the lights came on.  I didn’t hear an engine, but the blinking light indicated the car was ready.  Great. I tried to turn on the radio.  And could not figure it out.  All those damn buttons and knobs.  I turned up the volume loud, nothing, I adjusted the Tune knob, nothing. This car was too complicated for me.  I finally figured out how get the spaceship into Drive and began exiting the parking garage.  On the way out, I asked the attendant how to get the radio to work.  She didn’t answer me and instead requested to see my driver’s license.  Then just before sending me away, she mumbled, annoyed, “push the power button.”

I went to visit my very sick and elderly uncle with my mom.  It was early in the morning and as we walked into his hospital room, his eyes looked me over. I saw it.  He didn’t know who I was until my mom yelled out, “Look who came to visit you! Lorena!” Even then I am not sure that he fully understood I was the girl that he had teased so often.  I hung back, watching the way my mom cut up his french toast in little pieces and prepared his coffee then fed him.  I wondered if I would ever be able to do the same for my older brother.  I watched my uncle take little sips of coffee from the mug held by my mom. I saw how little he ate.  I decided to have a talk with my older brother just to make sure he was watching his health.

I saw Old Faithful for the first time.  As we walked into the park, Pete,  my mom and I saw the geyser blowing.  Jets of water squirted into the October sky.  Vapor came off it to show that this was HOT water.  We stood watching it for a good two minutes before it just sputtered off and went silent. We fed the smelly goats, lounged in practically all the cabanas, swings and patio chairs there were and read everything in the geology museum. We gazed at the water when it came squirting out and I decided that I had let too much life pass me by.

I took a long afternoon nap on my mother’s couch.  I hadn’t even realized how it had snuck up on me, but it happened.  The TV was talking softly in the background, my older brother was playing with his dog and the air carried that perfect warmth that just murmurs, “close your eyes, close your eyes, close your eyes.” So I did.

I made my own breakfast and then checked the mail.  Only four items in the mailbox.  One I could already see was some invitation to refinance the house.  I sighed and ripped it then tossed it into the recycle bin, refinance THAT.  The next one was an update about my retirement funds.  Woo-hoo, let’s see how that’s going! I couldn’t make sense of the summary.  I tried turning the paper upside down, thinking it would help, but it looked the same.  Anyway, I figured it probably was saying I did not have enough to retire.  On to envelope number three: an offer for a credit line.  I held it for a moment, then tossed it in the recycle bin too.  The last item left was a postcard sized invitation.  A workshop on Saturday from 9 – 11am and I would walk away with: knowledge about how to apply online, job descriptions to make sure this was the place for me, and job opportunities. I clipped it to my fridge magnets, it had to be a sign.  The invitation came from the USPS.

You are a Writer

You are a writer if…

5.) You think the characters you write about are real

You are sadly mistaken. MINE are real.  I eat breakfast with them everyday and they cheer me up when I get home from work. At night, we sip tea together and when I fall asleep with my laptop in bed, they tuck me in.

4.) All you see are stories.  And all the people you meet are like characters from a book or you think about them as potential characters for your stories/books

Hmmmm, this one is tough… Are you telling me that when I sit outside the coffee shop and “people watch” that I am actually looking at them as characters for a story? Or that I am thinking of stories to put these people into?  You mean that I am constantly humming up stories as life passes me by?  Are you actually indicating that I pay attention to the world around me and that I notice all the stuff going on like the way that lady’s hair bobs up and down as she walks or the way that old guy has a funny little limp cuz maybe he had a door slammed on his ankle when he was a child..?  What the hell are you getting at?  This is some freaky shit! No way in hell is my mind as convoluted as THAT!! Oh hell no, you did not just insinuate that my mind is a freak show!! The circus did not come into my town!! (Deep breaths, shake off some shivers, close eyes and rub temples, lots of sighs) But, yes, that does, happen, sometimes, here and there…on occasion, possibly… EVERY DAY, ALL DAY!!

3.) You read more than the average human being

Like how much more?  Can you please quantify that for me?

Like you don’t shower, eat, or get out of bed just cuz you wanna keep reading! You don’t cook, clean, or even leave the damn house so as not to interrupt your reading! You stay in your damn pajamas all day, barely even getting up to use the bathroom and that’s only because nature has really got a hold of you then!! You don’t answer the door, you don’t pick up the phone, you don’t text back, you don’t even click on the TV! You stay up hella late, reading, reading, reading and then you DREAM about it!  You go so far as if to feel like you are LIVING in the damn book! You neglect the world around you, you don’t think about your loved ones…(whimpers)

Mmmm, I see…well, I guess with that kind of description…CHECK!

2.) You have stories inside you

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Nope, you are not getting me on this one! All I have in me right now is my breakfast: one egg, fake bacon, and a slice of whole wheat with peanut butter.  I drank some hot tea, but it warmed up me too much that I started sweatin’, feeling like I was starting to cook from the inside.  I thought the sweat coming out of me was like little tea drops, jasmine flavor because that is what I was drinking.  One of them slid down my forehead, like going down a slide and probably yelled, “Yippeee!” as it cruised off my nose and splashed on to my hands.  Then it waved at me with its little tea drop fingers curling up and down, a big tea smile on its face…Oh…FUCK…

1.) You neglect your hygiene when THE writing has a hold on you

Just so you know, you are really creeping me out right now

Oh, how’s that?

Neglect hygiene? REALLY?

Yes, really

I am a very clean person, you know that.  I can’t go without brushing my teeth

Have you brushed them today?

No, not yet, I just ate, remember?

Uh-huh, so when did you shower?

…I will get to it…today for sure

Did you know it’s almost afternoon and you are still in PJs?

They’re comfortable dammit! You think I wanna be all up in here wearing a suit?  A freakin’ power suit right now?  You gotta be kiddin’ me!!

Sure, so how’s your hair?  When did you last put on makeup? Have you thought about jewelry? Got a bra on? Are you still wearing yesterday’s underwear?

FUUUUUUUCK! How you bug!! Who the hell are you??

Only the voice inside your head

Well, get the fuck out! What the hell are you doing in there?

Just being the other sign that you are a writer

No, I am not! Get outta here! Take all your crap and get outta here!

You really want that?  You know what will happen if I go…

Yeah, I know exactly what will happen! It’ll be QUIET!!!

…Oh I guess it really left.  Wow, this is nice.  Silence. Now I can enjoy my own thoughts… Uh, hello, brain?  Are you there brain? Total silence, weird…Wow, can’t remember the last time it was like this…blank page on the screen…Hmmm, I wonder what I …

Should write about??

AAAHHHHHHH!!! You again!! Dammit, dammit, dammit!!

Accept it, you are a writer.

Born for It

There are people who live and breathe principalship. They wear the position as if they were born for it, which they probably were. I always admire them from afar, wondering if they like waking up early in the morning (which I hear happens around 4am) and then staying late for all those school events.  I always wonder how they keep up the energy to flutter around the school and deal with all the crap that lands on their laps.  How do they  resume a “normal” life after the school day has ended…doesn’t the position just consume them?

Anyway, I compiled a top ten list of why I admire school administrators:

10.) They can sleep at night, even though they know that they are in charge of hundreds of lives

9.) The complaints. From. Everyone. Students. Parents. Guardians. Aunts. Grandpas. Teachers. Teacher Assistants. Staff members. Community. Volunteers. District Office Personnel.

8.) The ongoing investigations of who hit who

7.) Managing the school budget

6.) Hard conversations with teachers (about their instruction)

5.) There’s no Administrator’s How-To Manual

4.) Sub shortage

3.) The real lock down

2.) They have to be great…EVERY DAY

1.) They don’t get a break or a lunch (and if they do, it’s the same stuff the kids ate earlier that day) and they never get to use the bathroom when they need it…

With that said, kudos to all you school admins, I am a big fan of yours and admire your spirit.  Keep at it, because if you don’t, there won’t be people like me to write about it.

Needs

I have written about why I write, but today I saw that it is not about why, but the need to write.  I have all kinds of reasons to satisfy why I write, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I NEED to write.

I need to write because:

  1. I am alive
  2. It is typically the only way that my voice gets heard
  3. A therapist is too expensive, but writing is free and in my world, I need all the therapy I can get
  4. The thoughts in my head deserve to live on paper.  They are precious and as unique as me.  I owe it to them to get them on the page
  5. Life is confusing and it doesn’t make sense until I write
  6. One day I will not be here, but my writing will
  7. No one else has my life so I must share it
  8. When I don’t, I can feel God’s hot breath on my neck and I feel guilty
  9. A child, somewhere, must know that I feel what they feel and that there is hope
  10. I am Mexican and others have to know that I am as human as them

Writing is life.