Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

In the in-between…just a little bit longer.

I recently watched an interview with Elaine Stritch that the New York Times released (re-released?) after she passed away a couple of weeks ago.  There’s this moment where she says, quite intensely, like she really, really means it:  Live expectantly.

Ms. Stritch didn’t want to know what was coming her way.  She wanted it all to be a big surprise, one day to the next.  I guess that’s the life of an actor.  Living expectantly sounds romantic.  But life doesn’t just happen to us.  Most of us, I have found, are doing the best we can, which means we’re working really hard toward something or other.  So while we might be ready for all the wonderful or terrible things that may come to pass, and while we might live our lives anticipating the unknown with a sense of joy, if that unknown is going to go anywhere near the direction we’re hoping, we’ve got to put in some good old fashioned graft.  We’ve got to plan, follow through, figure out what works and what doesn’t and quite often start all over again.  And that’s not even the worst of it.

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Step Two: Not just any list

Gosh – it wasn’t so very long ago I was feeling really rather proud of myself…I’d made all this space!  And I really had – just a few days of extra work got me well ahead of the game so that instead of feeling like I was doggy-paddling out of breath in icy cold water, I felt a bit more like somewhere in the middle of a long, challenging jog.

And then.

At the high school all the teachers have their own personal cubbyhole.  More often than not I can get updates about what the union’s got going on, which are of more or less no interest to a sub, so I use them to practice my articulation…progressives are wordy as hell.  A few weeks back, though, I happened upon a letter from the Rectorat (school district) informing me that I had training in January.

“Oh, bah!”  I moaned to a colleague. “Are we ever allowed to get out of these?  It’s on a Friday!  I teach 6 classes on Fridays!”

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Here it comes…

2 months.

In the past two months I have written approximately 76 blog posts in my head…or at least started them.  They never came to fruition.

In the past two months I have considered writing a farewell post (not to the world, folks…hehe…just to the world of blogging) at least 47 times.  I never found the courage.

In the past two months I have prepared, taught, graded, prepared, taught, graded, screamed, prepared, cried, taught, moped, and graded.

A few weeks ago I began a list of the things I have begun learning since I started teaching.  I got to three:

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Lately I’ve been plagued by a sort of guilt that is difficult to describe, particularly for someone who hasn’t written a word in several months…but I’ll do my best.

It’s just this:  Chris and I have made a lot of effort to be fully responsible for our lot in life.  Only on very few occasions have we made rash choices – some we’ve come to rue and others we’ve embraced whole-heartedly – opting primarily for a well-thought-out, rational and reasonable decision-making process.  One of those responsible decsisions has been not to have children.

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Rambling into 2013: An update

I think I’ve always been a bit of an all-or-nothing type.  I’m melodramatic and a bit self-involved quite a lot of the time, much to the annoyance of anyone who loves me and many who don’t.  A knock-on effect of those tendencies happens to be that I give something a go and if it doesn’t work out, I let it go pretty easily.  I don’t give up, mind – I just shift.  My attention.  My effort.  My raison d’être.

When I was 15 I thought I might be a writer.  By 17 I was hoping to fall head-first into rockstardome.  At 18 I boarded a plane to Manila.  Said I to me, “Either animals, children, or music…that’s gotta be it.”  By the time I boarded the plane back to LA I was set upon working with kids.  Homeless kids, to be exact.  And I did – much more than I ever did poetry or rocking out.  But life has, in the past couple of years, led me in a number of different directions, and so I’ve found myself doing the things life has led me to do.  Most of those things haven’t involved homeless children…or children at all, really.

The last year has been an interesting one.  At the start of it, I was feeling rather zen about all of it, like things were sure to fall in place if I just kept my head about me and stayed focused.  I suppose things did fall into place, if by “things” I didn’t mean “money” and by “place” I didn’t mean “my bank account.”

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The Importance of Being Anonymous.*

I’ve never been able to do just one thing – neither by choice nor constitution…it’s just not how I’ve rolled through this life. Long ago, while working two or three jobs – can’t remember now – I was also studying full time…and, as per another of my usuals, i was running late.  I was driving up the 78 from Oceanside en route to San Marcos, exhausted, agitated.  Then another person, perhaps more agitated than me, cut me off abruptly, dangerously.  I immediately followed yet another well-worn pattern – I got angry.

If someone cut me off walking through a crowded lane at the supermarket, I might get miffed, but behind the wheel of my car, I was absolutely livid.  I quickly changed lanes and picked up speed, any number of curse words falling freely from my lips in the privacy of my car, and at volume, for there was no one to hear me say those things-I-would-never-say-to-a-person’s-face.  Just as I was about to overtake the [insert explitive of your choice here], I heard a voice, as if from the heavens.

“Better calm down there, now.”

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