Archive for March, 2007

Manic Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday….

March 30, 2007

Earlier this week, as I was doing a vocabulary lesson (no that’s not ALL I do) one of my students said to me: “Why you acting all crazy?” And I had to stop to think about what I had been doing to make him say that. What it was, was that as I was giving example sentences I was veering off the plan and telling stories that were vaguely related to the sentences–you know, stories like I used to blog about: maybe something funny, something ironic, etc. But what struck me about the student thinking my behavior was odd was that that had always been a part of my teaching style and now here was a student I’ve had for three years and he hardly recognized me being me.

What the fuck is that all about?

Well, actually, I guess I know what it’s all about. And, I’m happy that the student pointed that out to me. I’m slowly becoming more engaged with my classes and my students now.  Not that I haven’t had other similar moments in recent years, but they’ve been fewer and farther between for a long time. And not that I was ever completely disengaged or anything, but I’ll have to admit that I’ve been coasting through work on and off for a number of years now.  A large number of years. That shit’s got to end.

So, anyway, as I tell the students a funny story about ‘unrequited’ love and give them hints on how to cheap-out on their partners on gift giving days–you know, handmade cards aren’t just personal, they’re a savings of $3.99! A single rose is far more special than a dozen! ($60 and up savings)–I’m really refinding my stride here at work. Now the trick is going to be to keep the momentum going the right way.

We’ll see what happens next.

Craven

March 30, 2007

One of the vocabulary words I gave my students this week was craven. And so on today’s vocabulary quiz I got the following sentence:

The boy was craven for cookies.

And that’s why we have Friday after school “Curriculum Sharing” at a bar up the street.

For Those of You About to Rokk!

March 30, 2007

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Revenge is Best Served With a Plate of Nachos

March 29, 2007

The last few evenings have been interesting to say the least. Although I guess I always knew it on some level in the past I came to the realization that the group I’m a member of is really truly a big family. R. made that clear to me last night when he was talking about how meeting all of us was the best thing that ever happened to him. He knew one person when he joined the group and now, a year later, he has fifty or sixty new friends and acquaintances. It’s amazing, but true.

And, let me tell you, we are one big, happily disfunctional family. For example, over the past couple of nights D. hasn’t been around–pretty much ever since he had an argument with M. Most people in a large group wouldn’t really notice one person missing for one evening, but a lot of time was spent trying to find him to make sure all was well. And, you’ll be happy to know that the soap opera is calming down as well. M. has decided to forgive D. for screaming at her, but our new catch phrase between us has become one of D.’s rants the night they fought: “People don’t change! They fucking EVOLVE!”

Yes, indeed they do.

And, in a family, when someone steps out of line and tries to throw his weight around in nasty ways–well there’s a well-deserved karma slap for behavior like that. It happens in any familial group–you can do anything you want in your private, outside life, but you don’t shit on your own family. I can’t go into the details on all that happened, but I’ll just say that Tuesday night was a sweet moment of comic revenge on someone who did just that and it was well deserved payback.

And as for tonight, I might just stay home and watch old episodes of The Office. Then again maybe not. My original plan was to go see either Robyn Hitchcock or Sebadoh in North’mpton, but with all the money I spent on Tuesday I’m not sure that that’s a good idea. Although, hmmm, last night I did get a free meal and a few free drinks so the two nights balanced…sorry, just thinking “out loud” here…hmm, well, I don’t know. Anyway, it’s hard to get some people out of Ho’yoke so I’m back to thinking maybe a night with The Office.

The List

March 28, 2007

So, anyway, at the end of my post yesterday I mentioned a bit about my new found singleness. And while the last thing on my mind is falling back into a serious relationship it doesn’t mean that I’m not, um, casting the nets far and wide. But that whole topic is at least partially beside the point of this entry.

About a month ago, when I finally felt like I was able to start talking to my friends here at work about what was happening in my life, I was talking to my best buddy about that low place that single people visit–you know, the ‘there’s no one out there for me’ feeling that can hit you at times. And she had a great strategy for combatting that: The List.

So, she and I started brainstorming the names of any single women that we could think of who might possibly, vaguely, kinda sorta be in some small way be interested in me. And we came up with several names. Then she had me go to one or two other trusted friends to see if they knew of anyone who might be single. And the list grew longer. I had something like sixteen names on the list, just from having a couple of brief conversations.

Now, the purpose of this list isn’t to start going after all these people and crossing them off after you strike out with them or anything like that. The purpose of it is merely to show you (well, me) just how many single people there are–and all of them are no more than just one degree of separation from you (that is, me). And let me tell you, it was a wonderful exercise. I felt so postive about myself and my life and all. I felt rejuvenated–and still do.

And looking at the list it’s kind of funny the range of people that friends came up with. Let’s see, they range in age from 26 to about 50. One of them might not be interested in men but she once was, so she made the list. One of them is 6 foot 4. One of them is a hippy; another is conservative and a neat freak. At least one smokes pot. One is painfully shy while another painfully social and outgoing. It’s amazing the range of people and personalities on this little list.

So, anyway, that’s all I have for you this morning kids. Blog atcha latah!

Just Because I’m Depressed Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Happy

March 27, 2007

Writing has always been a way that I’ve clarified my thoughts so that’s what I’m doing here. I’m sure I’ll write more on this topic later, but this is a first effort. It won’t be complete–and the thoughts as they go through my head are still working themselves out, but it’s a place to start…

And, this isn’t an easy thing for me to say to all of you, to put out there on the Internet and all, but I’ll just go ahead and say it. I suffer from depression and, though I never really knew it, have been for a long time. I’ve been exhibiting a lot of the signs of it for a while though, and, if you know anything about it, it’s one of those things where sometimes the symptoms don’t seem to connect to any sort of diagnosis. At least they didn’t for me. And unfortunately the visible symptoms are often obnoxious to others: extra drinks you don’t really need (or particularly want), not getting things done that you need to, masking emotions, a desperate need to please (despite failing to please in important ways). Believe me, the list was endless.

In a lot of ways, people with depression envy those who have some physical malady. People who have a physical illness have all sorts of people around them sympathizing and empathizing with their plight. But if your depression is bringing others down and if it isn’t clear what the real problem is, you find yourself losing friends, family, everyone in a way. It’s tough having an illness that manifests itself in the poor choices you make (or the good choices you don’t make) because everyone knows that you should be able to control the choices you make.

When I was in grad school for special education I remember one professor talking about how students with emotional issues were experts at getting you to feel about them the same way they felt about life—if they made you angry, you could bet they were angry; if you had given up on them and didn’t care what happened to them any more, you knew that was their outlook too. The same is true with people who suffer from depression.

Back in December I finally realized that there was something wrong with me that was bigger than just being unhappy, bigger than just being unmotivated, so I entered into therapy. And that is going well. I wish I had done it sooner. If I had perhaps my life would be different today. But who knows.

Well, there it is. That’s how I got to be where I am today. And I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t blame any of the several people who have felt the need to push me away. I deserved it. I wish I knew what was wrong sooner, but I can’t change that. And I also have to say that I wouldn’t be where I am right now—a better and fuller and more aware person—if it hadn’t been for some drastic changes that happened in my life.

And, so I can just say, I’m happy where I am today. I’m getting help where I need it most. And I’ve found a cadre of friends who have supported me over the last couple of months. And I’ve also realized that there are people who have against all odds supported me and encouraged me to seek help despite the way my depression has hurt them over the years. And that counts for something.

And so now I’m single for the first significant length of time in like fourteen years. I’m still getting used to all that that involves, but I’m enjoying the feeling of autonomy, for now at least. So anyway, here that’s me right now.

A Few Moments

March 26, 2007

Well, I only have a few moments to write. Padraig has given me a ten minute time limit here on the computer. He wants to get on to spend some time on good ol’ Nick.com. In fact, he said to me: I want to go on Nick. com, capiche? No, I’m not sure where he got that one.

He is currently reading what I am writing. Yes, in the past few months his reading has come along quite well. Note to self: spelling out words when speaking in front of him is no longer a good strategy to use.

“Five more minutes.”

Well, so that’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll have something to report about after my upcoming adventure this evening.

A Few Randumb Quotes

March 26, 2007

For a weekend that seemed so not promising on Friday, it filled up quite nicely by the time it got moving. I’m not going to walk you through the whole sordid mess but I did want to share a few randumb quotes.

First, some conversational parallels:

D: M. is so messed up. She was screaming at me for no reason at all last night.

M.: D. is so messed up. Last night he was screaming at me and I don’t know why.

D: I told her she needed to take a look at her life and just pick someone and stop being so needy.

M: I told him that he needed to stop treating women like dirt and stick with someone for more than two weeks.

More insight:

D: I enjoy the hunt. Once I get a girl I’m pretty much done with her.

M: He told me he read a book! He said he understood my psychology and I should read it too. I told him that any book he read I could read in a frickin hour.

Other philosophical thoughts:

B: “Dipshit is into me for two grand. He keeps saying “Just don’t tell my wife.” I think I’m going to have to take him to visit my relatives in Providence.

And, finally:

(Billy Joel song comes on jukebox) A: Did you play this?

JE: Of course not, dear. (Then, to me) Don’t tell her but I used her money to play eight Joe Cocker songs. Man, I love Woodstock.

Just a Warning

March 26, 2007

This is just a warning to let all of you know that I will be writing about many of the gory details of my life in this blog. So, if you’re squeamish about hearing about what goes on inside my head and what’s going on in my life, you might want to avert your eyes.

In the past I’ve often avoided personal topics–not always, but often–but that’s not me anymore. I’ve come out of a dark time (not because of anyone else)  in my life and I want to have a record of where I am now–partly because I find it all new and different and even funny. So anyway, if you’re still reading, I hope you’ll enjoy it: the good, the bad, and the crazies.

The OC

March 23, 2007

One of the joys of my workday is to have the opportunity to go off campus during my free period. All I have to do is go to the office, sign a book that says that I am OC and then I’m free. If you know me you know that I often get that cooped up feeling and need to go somewhere, do something. So I hit the road–to get a soda, buy lunch that isn’t nasty, get randumb things from the store. I usually jet during first lunch so that I can be back for second when I can have lunch with a few teacher friends. And, since we have a generous 22 minutes per lunch, I’ve found routes that take me just exactly that long to complete. You know, for example, out to the CVS in Fl’rence and then on past the North’mpton Country Club and back up Route Nine–23 minutes with a brief stop for whatever I’m getting.

And if you’re thinking that I waste too much thought that could be spent thinking about greater student achievement, please note that I (and a few others) have spent much of the day formulating plans for our, um, “curriculum meeting” which will take place at an as of yet undecided upon bar somewhere in town. Let me tell, it’s hard to finalize plans when you have 3 minutes out of every 45 to talk with colleagues.

So, anyway, those are my thoughts for this Friday.