Found this on imgur and need to share it.
This short post is inspired by a blogger I follow, MakeItUltra (TM). On his particular entry I shared a quote from a poem I love that would be inspirational and make someone find light in his or her life. This quote, however, is something completely different for me. It is what you might say motivational to a particularly aggressive, or passive aggressive, state. Although I do not solely live by this, I think of it often when I am stuck around people who have more control or power than I do in a given situation.
“Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ’em with yeses, undermine ’em with grins, agree ’em to death and destruction, let ’em swoller you til they vomit or bust wide open. – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The context of this quote comes from the narrator’s grandfather giving him advice about how to deal with “the white man.” Obviously this is not my purpose, though it gives sharp perspective into the feeling this quote implies. As an educator, I have had to work with many people with whom I fundamentally don’t agree, yet I’ve not been in a position to do anything about it. Instead of getting bent out of shape, I think about doing the right thing for the students in my classroom, and I “agree” to make it through whatever the situation calls for me to do. Even now, after the start of state testing, all I can do is smile and say, “Good luck!” to my students. There has been one situation where even this mindset couldn’t get me through, but that is a story for another day.
Anyone like The Twilight Zone? It has been my all-time favorite television series since I was old enough to understand the plot of each episode. The more I watch and re-watch each season, the more I fall in love with the brilliance of human imagination.
My blog is named after my favorite episode, “Time Enough at Last.” In this particular situation, the main character lives in a world where he is made very small on a daily basis by his wife and his boss. His one true passion in life is to read… to get lost in tragedy, comedy, romance, and adventure… much like myself. When the tables turn and he is left in his own solitude, he finds true happiness and solace upon discovering a library with books, books, books! And in it, he says, “The thing of it is, the very best part, is I have time now. All the time I want, and all the time I need. Time enough at last.”
I won’t spoil the ending. My heart goes out to him.
It was the first episode to ever make me cry.
The title means nothing. Sometimes you just have a moment when you think of something clever of no significance. I knew if I drank coffee at 5:00PM (Sumatran roast) that I would have a rather difficult time falling asleep tonight. I’ve taken a shot of vodka to make me sleepy; now I just feel calm. Royal Pains is running on Netflix, my dog to my left and my cat to my right.
We all have the existential moments I suppose, when we think about what we’re doing in life; we reflect on what life would be like if we had made some different decisions. We also think about why our life became what it is because of the decisions we’ve made. Do my decisions mean anything? Should I have done something differently? Why am I the way I am…? No matter the questions, answers are not easily found.
Perhaps thinking about life at night is not a good decision. Perhaps I should just keep my mind shut before it leads me astray to bad decisions or life-changing reflections.
Don’t mind me. All who wander are not lost.
Before I begin, let me say this will not have the most scintillating vocabulary or expressive titles. All in all, as a mathematician with a talent for preoccupying my mind with daydreams and fantasies, it’s easier for me to keep it simple. Without a doubt I could spend an hour trying to come up with a creative title. And so, I decide it is not to be done. I blame my upbringing.
Over the past few years I’ve been a teacher, and I enjoy it without end. For two years the high school classroom was my domain until it was time to move on to a different environment. So in an effort to make a change, a search for a different school landed me in a new magnet school focusing on global and leadership education. With hopes of entering an 8th grade classroom, I made the journey only to be transplanted into an elementary classroom: fifth grade. Ah, but the steps we take for a new adventure are seldom predictable. This particular journey came to an end before the end of the year not because of my abilities as a teacher, but because of the abilities of my administration… or lack thereof. Leaving for yet another location took me to my current position, which I love.
But this is simply background. To move further, I have to reflect on how I gauge my experiences and made some changes.
Think of me as a robot. Aside from my fantastical imagination, I am prone to cold and logical efficiency with my own spin on things. Although my structures are very straight forward and intelligible, I like to spice them up with a little color and pizzazz. Thus is my nature. In any case, transitioning from high school to elementary school was really difficult for me. I went from stone cold efficiency to teach over 100 students to trying to create a soft and cuddly elementary classroom of just 24 students. To speak with honesty, it was painful. My cold calculating view of grades and self-discipline could not be adjust for students so young and still developing.
Don’t let this confuse my nature, however, by making is possible to assume that I am also cold and calculated in my social and behavioral norms with children. I make very good connections with my students; we establish trust, jovial communication, and the understanding that we hold each other accountable for our actions. However, when it comes to the meat and potatoes of teaching, content, I’m like a robot without a heart. I don’t want to travel around Oz to find one either.
The struggle was real.
Now I am back in the upper grades, in the 8th grade to be more precise, and I have to make the switch again. Now I have to mutate from a soft and warm disposition back into the cold and calculating trigger that is used for teaching 105 students. There is no time to have these outlandish and completely complicated classroom rules and procedures; there are not enough minutes in the day! I need to revert back to that again because there is too much to keep up with, and I’m tired.
So for this next semester, I am going to focus on getting back to the cold businesslike routine of teaching a math class. It is the only way. The only way I know that works. We still have our discussions and activities and learning plans, etc. But this whole idea of all the extra extra extra fluff! is not the best idea for me until I get BACK into a routine for an efficient classroom.
As a young teacher, at least I know that now with half a year to make the change.
“The thing of it is, the very best part, is I have time now. Time enough at last.”