Saturday, November 17, 2012


Recently I did something I have never done; deleted contacts out of my phone. For some reason I have convinced myself all of the 294 contacts in my phone really have some poignant value in my life.

It was weird; almost as if the act was some death-defying stunt. I picked up the phone...held it in my shaking hand, scrolled to the first name, pulled up the menu and then locked eyes with the delete button. It started back like an old school playground bully....I wish you would make any sudden move. At first I complied. Quickly tossed the phone on the bed and walked to the kitchen. Yeah this was going to be major.

JW (pronounced JayDUB) is one of the best things to have happened to my teaching career. We've bonded over planning and grading. Laughed over my oddities and his peculiarities. We make a dynamic teaching team. He was the motivation for the deletion. His minimalistic lifestyle is much admired. Spurred by his love of traveling, he only has in his life what he needs. Even his attitude is carefree, not to be confused with careless; his heart can soften the hardest stone. Not that I desire to be like him; I desire to partake in life. Too often I am cluttered with unnecessary burdens. Picking up nick-knacks that sit in corners covered in layers of dust in less then a month.

If it adds no value to my journey it must go.

Delete one. Tiffany zero. The connection to these contacts was deep rooted in a juvenile discomfort of self. I never really had many friends. However, forward progression, at this point, can't be hampered by past nonsense. We all must, pardon the bluntness--grow the eff up. Let it go. You ten years ago does not have to be you now. operations without worry.

I grabbed the phone and got throwback busy. If I hadn't talked to the contact since my move, delete.

At the end of my adventure, I whittled down the 294 to 113. And as I type, 17 more found their way to the deletion button.

96, friends, business contacts. Value, meaning, worth.

Though I am far from JW's level of clarity, I am one step closer to better than I was yesterday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tainted Fruit

The current drive has been an interesting ride, to say the least. Already leery of the journey, I came into it kicking and screaming. Why? My proceeding words may shock many; my bark is much louder than my bite. I have this invisible and offend unrealistic expectation for all children to behave like angels with an allowable mishap every now and then. My behavior management plan sucks, quite frankly and it is duly noted since teaching year one! One would think by now, I have perfected a system, well, I sort of have; teach adults! Yep the classic avoidance mechanism and it worked well for me, until I landed in front of 80 sixth graders; what's a teacher to do?

I did what many of us do; allow our insecurities to proceed with more control and power than what they are worth.

So what do I do now? STOP EATING THE DAMN FRUIT!

Contrary to popular belief it is as easy to do as it is said.  I realize something is in this ride for me much more than what my original intentions and to get to that more I just gotta stop. Stop complaining. Stop crying. Stop relying on my own plans and trust in the creation.

I am by no means promoting easily living; life is and will always be complex and often complicated, however some things I can live without.

Determined to enjoy this ride, I am ready to teach sixth grade. I take full ownership of any shortcomings my students and I have experienced in our short time together and press the rest button. Success is abound and waiting on our arrival.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Forgotten

It has been too long since I have moved these fingers across this keyboard for the pure purpose of my own desire. I had forgotten myself. Somewhere between transitioning to Newark and teaching sixth grade I fell. Yep I fell. Into one of those Alice in Wonderland type holes--you know the ones when you wake weeks later and somehow catch a quick glimpse of yourself in slight moment when an exact ray shines your unrecognizable reflection before you. Yep one of those types of holes. 

The best part of falling which honestly most overlook, is the getting back up. The process of moving in the upward motion causes one to notice every single motion involved in the act. Whether it slowing placing palms down and pushing up or arching one's back to straighten for necessary support or firmly rising to one's knees; the fact is you feel it all. And again seldom do we appreciate it. Not me. Not this time. This time, I felt every fiber of my being rise and get up. It was the best moment of falling that I have ever had. 

Being wrapped up in this move was one cause of the fall. To say this move has been easy would be a lie. It's challenges were more difficult because I had become exactly what I was not meant to be--comfortable. We, none of us, were not meant to become complacent in action. I had a great job for 10 years--no need to move, or so I thought because all that I needed had been provided for there. Yet there is a such place ever the land refuses to give back because it has been overworked. Sure it will give you what it has been giving you, but that doesn't mean it has reached it's best yield.

I did what I did well, but there was more and here I am dealing with the fact that my good wasn't good enough because there was always more for me. That's hard! To accept you are the reason for the difficulty. You are you own stumbling block. It was you all along. Falling helped to see. See there is really no such thing as lose--losing means gaining more. Knowing these things helped me to get up from the fall. Quite odd, isn't it? The move made me fall and helped me to get up.

So here I am teaching sixth grade in Newark (I survived my first Hurricane! Maybe I will write about it) and having a revelation about life. My life. My dream. My desire. My love. My passion. My spirit. Myself. And honestly I can say that I am learning to love the struggle. It is in the struggle that I am being made in the human being God desires me to be. I had forgotten that I have the ability to create my outcomes. Because I know what the end can be, I must make the moment right now for the end to come into existence. 

I'm determined to make this moment. My poignant this is so vast it encompasses enough to never be forgotten.