Sunday, November 12, 2017


I'm still learning to find something good out of a bad experience or situation. Like the diamond in the rough. Just because there's someone who is acting a fool and causing all kinds of trouble doesn't mean A. that its my fault or B. that I can't have success with someone else, even at the same time.

I've had some potholes this week, but have also some major strides with some kids. There were situations that I foresaw being rather stressful and frustrating, and they were, but at moments I also experienced unexpected triumphs. Maybe just crisis aversions...but that's fine, too. I haven't looked forward to going to work, or liked going to work, or even not minded going. Most often, I actually dread going. I never really know what I'm going to face - other than emotional spasms, some mediocre lesson plan, and a little bit of disorganization - and that causes more stress than I expected. Hey, I like spontaneous. I AM spontaneous! I don't mind meandering off the path or whatnot. But this, everyday, standing against defiance and disrespect and a lack of self-control, is quite taxing. There have been some days I felt completely defeated at the end of it.  Like I left without any points.

Lately, however, I've been counting points differently. Some are barely noticeable, but if I stop and pay close enough attention, I can count them because I was able to get a kid to do something or not do something that is not typical for them. These moments aren't like popping up all the time, maybe not even every class period, but there are there.  This past week I've had some kids who are just bent on not being successful; they do not care and there isn't a lot you can do with that. And I will admit: there have been split seconds when I would have no remorse about smacking one of them (or a couple) in the face. I am getting better though. I do have kids that love to talk to me, that look for me in the halls and confiede in me. Sure, there are those who curse me out, ignore every direction/request, and have a general disregard for authority or even other people.... but I guess that's why they're there. I can't be everyone's friend or fix everyone. That's not realistic and I might as well try to hold dozens of corks underwater at one time.  I also might as well go for a hard workout, drink some wine and eat some chocolate, and call it a day. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Bomb Went Off

I'm a tad stressed. Just a bit. Its a restless, tired, I don't know what to do with myself stressed.  Not really your typical mental and emotional strain...

I said the f-word in front of a kid the other day. More like to him; THE f-word, the one when you're angry and want to get your point across. I hear it so much every day, and it still makes me uneasy. And not because Oh my gosh its a bad word! but because it seems to send such a derogatory message, such a vulgar tone directed at someone.  As if to really say, "Whatever happens to you, I don't care."  I didn't go that far; it was used as in adjective but still, the fact that I let it fly showed just how much I was chomping at the bit.

I started the process of looking for another job. Of course I'm not sharing that with most people, well, any people really. But I think this job was only for a season anyway and maybe that season is over. I don't regret leaving my previous position; that job had a season as well and this has allowed some things to happen that probably wouldn't have happened otherwise.  I'm just usually good about reading my temperament and demeanor. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hand Covers Bruise

I am just tired. That seemingly simple word holds so much. So much weight, so much suggestion, and so much mystery.  Tired of what? I just tromped around 4 different countries for 2 weeks on my own.  But here I am, wanting to get away again. Maybe that's not quite what I'm feeling; there's anxiety and frustration as well. I know those feelings too well to not be able to recognize them. Its what to do about them that I am suddenly struggling with. The gym hasn't been as reliable as usual; I haven't been around many people nor are there many people I've wanted to be around out of fear that I'd have to share what was really going on. I've tried some exploring, trying new experiences but there haven't really been many opportunities for that. My lack of focus and energy have been discouraging and debilitating.  For one of the first times I can remember in a long time, if at any point of time at all, I didn't want to get out of bed. I wanted to curl back up and drift into unconsciousness and had to FORCE myself to get moving. It was a foreign incident that kinda alarmed me.....
I know I'll be ok; at least I believe that for the most part. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

So Much Sky

2 weeks, 4 countries, 8 planes (1 missed flight), 3 trains 2 boats, a dozen buses, uncountable steps (only 1 blister!), lots of coffee, a fair amount of beer, some great food and some great music, tons of fresh air, one spectacular view after another, a good deal of courage and grace, little sleep, few showers, no phone calls, no TV, no news, no laundry, sometimes the wrong direction and sometimes no caught in a torrential downpour, got caught in a game of musical chairs with some Germans and Australians, got caught in a drunken Scotsman's birthday party, got caught in a number of ridiculous and fascinating conversations, caught a glimpse of Mel Gibson filming his latest flick, caught a free ride to the mountains, and caught a cold.

I spent a considerable amount of time being alone, though engulfed in crowds of people, yet not being lonely....sure there were a few times I wished to comment on what was happening and share it with another person, but I also had this somewhat weird (and surely selfish) feeling that this experience was "mine".  That's only so-so true, in a singular, narrow-minded regard, but I need to just hold on to things like that and internalize them sometimes. My trip certainly wasn't perfect and I know I didn't necessarily make the most of every opportunity, but all things considered (and there were numerous things to consider), I made out pretty well. There were parts of that trip were absolutely astonishing, and I can honestly say, nothing about it was a disappointment.  The fact that I put that all together on my own, and then went out and conquered it on my own. I've garnered a lot of courage and have learned to trust myself a great deal by venturing out on these excursions solo. And this time I had no one waiting on the other side.....I think that might be a first. It's not that I don't like traveling with people; I am just okay with myself. And that, I've learned, is a very valuable thing. So is the opportunity to just be  in nature.

I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence. - Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

With Not a Lot of Help From My Friends

I'm struggling a bit with this summer school idea. Its longer - no 4 1/2 weeks here. We go the full day,  full weeks (except this week) for nearly 7 weeks. I want to be thankful that I have time to take a trip, but I also feel like I'm rushing things and have very little time to recoup from the actual school year.
I feel a bit behind as it is. But I've kinda felt that way all year; ever since I changed jobs. There hasn't really been a moment where I felt like I hit my stride I don't think.  It's all still a machine I'm learning to pilot.

I'm excited for this trip; a little nervous to leave everything up to myself and a little worried I'm going to miss out on getting to do something....There's SO much to do, and figuring how to get there, the time and the money and what's worth all that is a bit of a crapshoot.  I'm trying to pace myself, but I also decided on 4 different countries when I should have maybe just picked 2.  I'm going to try not to be bummed about not getting to do certain things though and just thoroughly enjoy what I do decide on.  God willing.  But this is all me; no one else to consult or consider. That is liberating and intimidating....
Getting to take on something like this at all is a blessing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Then There's Tuesday

Tuesday has become volleyball night. After school we gather together in fellowship and drunken confessions and shenanigans to meet our defeat in a belly-rumbling display of antics. Well, we've won a few and somehow, the competitor in me has let that go and decided its not all about winning.

Initially, we just got together for the match and maybe hit the bar for a few drinks afterwards. Then we decided to pre-game it with a few drinks beforehand, and if we were victors or failures, we still capped off the night with some rantings and laughs over a few drinks. Once the indoor games got moved to the outdoors (sand is so fun!), we have been pre-gaming it almost as soon as school's out because sand means a park which means a pavilion which means a grill and there are so many more possibilities now that the weather is permitting it. Our Tuesdays have become a gathering for anyone and everyone....those who play and those who just watch, who cheer, those who eat and drink and chat and maybe never even witness the bump or set of a volleyball but enjoying being away, outside, and with others. A few of these nights have ended in the wee hours of the morning, as we've been unable or unwilling to pull ourselves away.  I've gotten to know a number of things about a number of different staff members. Things I'm surprised were shared with me, and I mean that in a good way.  There have been insightful and deep discussions in the midst of these stunts and escapades....both serious and hysterical. 
At first, I was pretty reluctant to attend or participate in these gatherings simply because I don't really know these people that well. For some that may be motivation to attend but I'm not one to just jump into these things without a safety net or parachute; I have to ease into these kind of things. Volleyball has been an outlet for me, and has also enabled me to partake in something a little different. 
Now that we're on hiatus I'm almost a little down about it. For a bit I thought it would be nice to have my Tuesday nights back again, but at this moment I find myself kinda missing it.  What can Tuesday hold now?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Finding Perfect Places

I've been planning and forgetting and trying to plan some more but then just doing, and I have a feeling that's how a lot of this trip is going to go.  The past 3 weeks had been packed full of encounters and shenanigans that have left me feeling both energized and exhausted....
As much as I love connecting and exploring and experiencing, sometimes the on- the-go lifestyle and consistent presence of others gets me feeling overwhelmed and even lost. Between the old crew and the new crew I've been kept plenty busy, which can also good for me but I know myself well enough to tell when I need to stop and breathe. When I need time to myself. It becomes a necessity, and luckily I found a couple nights this past week to introvert and reflect. I like to call it collecting myself after being socially exhausted. Whether its sand volleyball and picnics and happy hour and coffee talks and more picnics and lunches and birthdays and rock painting....yes, rock painting...I've actually enjoyed the encroaching summer months, that time when the days are longer and the weather starts to swelter (that part will be really old in about a week though). It seems almost like possibility. Almost.
And then Scandanavia is on the horizon.