Summer is quickly flying by and I find myself looking forward to the coming school year. I've not been great before about my reflection and thinking about my teaching in a meaningful way and this has been a goal for me to improve upon this school year. It can only help me become a stronger teacher and a better human being.
Going into this year, I've taken on a few roles that I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to do so. I will again be part of the Scholastic Instructor magazine teacher advisory board, reviewing the magazine and testing out materials with students in the classroom. Additionally, I am repeating in my role as Microsociety coordinator next year at EAGLE Charter School. I recently signed on to be part of a group of teacher evaluating Scholastic's Teacher Resources materials, with hopes of improving their effectiveness in the classroom. Finally, I've been asked to further my role as a Class Dojo Ambassador, reaching out to teachers, families, and communities alike to discuss and share how beneficial the Class Dojo classroom can truly be. I am excited to take on each of these roles and look forward to the opportunity to work with other educators to make the daily classroom experience better for everyone.
I'd be glad to have any of you join me on this trip this school year. I can surely use the expertise and experience of those who have been at it a little longer and are able to offer some guidance. I look forward to a great year and am eager to get to know those who would like to join me on the ride.
Happy August (in a couple days...)!
I've started growing more and more curious about my family's history. Maybe it's getting older, maybe it's the trip to Philadelphia, maybe it's just long overdue. My G'ma (dad's mom) is amazing at record keeping and has a family tree that goes back to the late 1700s that she's shared with all of us. I remember her telling me stories about her grandfather's grandfather when I was a kid. It was (and still is) amazing to hear these things. However, I've not known much about my mom's side of the family until I recently sat down and started asking her about who people were and she laid out as much of it as she knew and could remember.
So now, I've been digging around the last week or so on Ancestry.com and there are many links to findagrave.com that are used as supporting documentation for identifying your ancestors. One of the most amazing things about findagrave.com is how many pictures they actually have. More than Ancestry.com even!
As I delve deeper into the history of the Lowery/Armstrong side of the family, I have just discovered that my 6th great grandmother, Kezziah (Ball) Gray, was born on May 10, 1790 in Lee County, VA. My own birthday was almost 200 years later. Her father was John Ball (7th great g'pa). John Ball was a cousin to George Washington.
On top of that, her husband was William Gray 1/10/1794-5/14/1864. William served with General William Henry Harrison (9th POTUS) at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the War of 1812. I have barely scratched the surface and I wish I had the time and money to keep digging into the records. Ancestry.com is not cheap, though. I'm just grateful for the 14 day free trial.
And now, off to discover some more cool stuff like this!
She got into this business because she wanted to see the world. At 23 years old, fresh out of college with a liberal arts degree, she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life just yet.
She knew her boyfriend had been sleeping with her roommate for the last two months, but feigned oblivion to it in order to get through finals and graduation. As she lit the match, she wondered if they would ever suspect her. Of course not. They never did.
Now, 21 years later, still signaling where to find exit doors and oxygen masks, Tammy feels trapped. Seeing the world one airport at a time is nothing like what she though it would be. She'd imagined exotic beaches, mai tais, and a hunky cabana boy catering to her every whim. Instead, she's worked the short hop from Portland to Seattle six times a day, four days a week for the last three years. Sweaty, cranky old men in suits, trying to slap her ass as she passes them in the aisle like she's a piece of meat. Quite the far cry from her fantasy cabana boy. But no one ever suspected her. When the bodies were found in the burned out warehouse along the Columbia River, all signs pointed to the transient population that frequented the area. She'd made sure there was nothing to tie her to them.
Now as the suit in 25D sits there scrolling his Facebook feed, staking his female friends' bikini pictures, she wonders if he's going to be next.
His brown loafers, worn, clash against the black socks - the only ones that were clean. He hasn't made a deal in a while. Three months, fourteen days, sixteen hours, and forty-two minutes to be exact. His savings nearly depleted, his wife clueless. The kids' tuition will break them if this one doesn't go through.
As Tammy walks the beverage cart down the aisle, he leans out to get a good look at her while she walks away. As he sets his Starbucks in the middle of the aisle - only a tall this time since his card was declined and he didn't have much cash - he reaches down to his bag, appearing to just be pulling out his tablet. What he doesn't realize is that Tammy saw him snap a picture up her skirt as she headed to first class.
At that moment, she knew he would be next. She saw right through the mask, as she wore one herself. The tan line on his left ring finger. The Tommy Hilfiger khakis - neatly creased. Blue and white checkered Geoffrey Beene shirt -horizontal creases indicating it was brand new, yet to be ironed. She saw the man behind the curtain for the low-life bastard he truly was. And she hated him for it. Even as she smiled warmly and made sure to "accidentally" brush up against him when she passed by, she wondered to herself if he would beg and plead and parade his wife and kids' pictures in front of her while she sharpened the blade. Would he claim he lost his ring swimming in the ocean when they were on vacation in Hawaii last month? Would he offer her money like the last one did?
Fortunately for her, she'd prepared her spot just last week. When she had an extra day in Seattle due to the 4th of July holiday double overtime she'd signed up for, she had discovered a tiny hole in the wall bar just outside of downtown. Across the street from the bar was an old rundown movie theater, closed and shuttered for years. But one of the panels on the side door was loose and she was able to ease through. As the plane began its descent, she sized him up to make sure he would fit through as well.
When his right hand slid up her leg as he handed her his garbage with his left, she had no doubt. As he walked off the plane after they landed, he "dropped" his iPhone - UGH!! only a 4th generation?! - hoping for one last pic. She bent down first to pick it up and casually tucked the address of the bar, along with the usual 9pm meeting time into his hand when she passed it back to him. His smirk at what he thought was going to be a horribly naughty evening made her skin crawl. She knew he'd be there. She knew he'd also probably already be drunk when he arrived. Hopefully, he will have at least snatched a bottle of 25 year old single malt instead of the Cutty Sark blended garbage he usually went in for. After all, it would be the last scotch he ever tasted.
I wish I could say I had a work in progress.
I suppose I am my own work in progress.
I’m not sure what to expect from this experience.
I’m not sure I’m supposed to know.
I’ve spent some time wondering, and now
I’m wondering where to go from here.
It’s time to make a change in my work in progress.
It’s time to take charge of my work in progress.
I don’t think I know what to do, but I know that I need to do something.
I need to be stronger.
I need to be more focused.
I need to be more engaged.
I need more time.
I wonder why I think this attempt at blogging will be any different from the last 600.
I wonder why I have such a hard time following through on things sometimes.
I wonder why my children think I'm such a great dad sometimes.
I wonder if my grandpa was in pain when he died.
I wonder why ADD happens.
I wonder if I can get Christian to read something he'll like.
I wonder what my dad did today.
I wonder if any of this matters. I wonder if life matters. I wonder why.
I wonder what happened to my wonder. When I was younger, I was curious about the world and how it worked and all the whys and wherefores. I don't always wonder anymore. Sometimes, I just wonder what it will take to get through to the next day. I wonder why it stopped being important to wonder. I wonder if it's just a phase, or the medicine, or the stress, or the hundreds of questions asked every day. I wonder if helping to alleviate the wonder of others has somehow sapped my own wonder meter to minimum state.
I wonder if I could manage without the medication. I wonder if I'd still feel this way. I wonder if life would come crashing down around me. I wonder if I would notice. Oh I wonder, wonder...ah-ooh-ah-ooo..who wrote the book of love.
I wonder what I can to to be a better teacher. A better father. A better husband. A better person.
I wonder if I'm up for the challenge of coaching my son's football team.
I wonder if next year will be different.
I wonder if my knee will get better.
I wonder why some parents and families don't think school is important.
I wonder if Alex and Tessa are okay.
I wonder if my nephew will stop cutting.
I wonder if I can find my wonder again. I miss it.