Enjoy Every Sandwich

“In Confessions of a Winning Poker Player, Jack King said, ‘Few players ever recall big pots they ever won, strange as it seems. But every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.’ Seems true to me.” –Mike McDermott in Rounders

It’s Thanksgiving break. And I have to confess.

I’m struggling.

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Youthful Porpoise and Other Ramblings

Sometimes I title my blogs by something LOGICAL. Lately, as I’ve been working, I’ve been in a musical rut. I’ve tried to dust off some old tunes in an attempt to brighten up a bit. My sister (Alyx) was a big R.E.M. fan in high school and college, and she turned me on to them. I’ve become a fan of a lot of bands later, less popular works. I haven’t listened to much R.E.M. in years, and I’ve forgotten how GOOD “All the Way to Reno (You’re Gonna Be a Star)” was. In the liner note to In Time, I swear Michael Stipe wrote, “If you think you’re going to Reno to be a star, you’re either delusional or grossly misinformed”, but I could be making it up as I’ve long since lost my copy of the liner notes.

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School Re-entry, Coronavirus, and a Lousy Statement by the AAP

This current Covid / schools statement is rubbish. Again, I’m agreeing schools need to re-open. I’m disagreeing with their lack of concern for educators. Their verbiage is objectively lousy, and it needs to be said.

Friends, I try not to go on long posts, but forgive me. This is a summer of upheaval – and given so many other issues, perhaps this is less important. I recognize that. Given my background and current role, I feel like maybe I can do something here (probably not, but I have to try). This may not be important to you, and if it isn’t, just ignore this blog right now.

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Showing My Cards

During the 1968 Olympics, African American athletes from the United States that gave the “Black Power” salutes in support of the civil rights movement were LOUDLY derided. The International Olympic Committee kicked Tommie Smith and John Carlos out of the Olympics simply for bowing their heads and raising a fist during the national anthem. That was peaceful – and made too much of white America uncomfortable almost 52 years ago. Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it? Why do we get to be “comfortable” with a protest, unless if the only outcome is that we don’t want to be bothered under any circumstance?

I feel compelled, due to recent current events, to explain a few things about me and this blog. By nature, blogs ARE a selfish endeavor. I’m going to start very general (talking about me) and work up to the specific. Upfront, this is totally shaped by the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent events in Minneapolis, MN. If you feel like you’ve been bombarded, look away now, but I’m not apologizing.

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Balance?

Lack of growth and progress scares me. It is the antithesis of going into teaching. I’m here to help! Let’s get to work.

Why am I so keyed up about this? It’s kind of simple.

I don’t want my students to turn out like me.

I didn’t want to take away from the bulk of the post – but I did want to share and clarify my remarks, for those who are interested.

This is specifically following up “10 Things I Think I Think”. You don’t need to have read that piece to understand this one, but it will put this one in the appropriate context. Now that I’ve said that, let me revisit my own past once more. 

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10 Things I Think I Think

I spent a lot of my days worried about my students. I called, sent messages. The worst was not knowing and not getting a response. I hated playing the “I’m really worried about you” card, because sometimes I feel like the students wanted to be left alone, but it had to be done at times. And I was amazed at what some of my students opened up about.

I’ve tried, folks. I’ve really tried.

That’s the refrain I keep telling myself over the last 10 or so weeks.

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Anti-Nostalgia

By itself, nostalgia isn’t a bad thing. When we base our primary motivation off of nostalgia, that’s when things start getting dangerous.

Well time slips away, and leaves you with nothing mister

But boring stories of – Glory Days.

-Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band “Glory Days”

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