There is no pill (the magic bullet does not exist)…

There’s an epidemic that is plaguing a specific population in the United States. I cannot talk about the epidemiology of other countries, because I don’t live there and therefore cannot speak about the infection rate in other territories. So, nobody needs to alert the CDC or the WHO, or any other acronym.

It’s an illness that I would consider transmissible via direct or indirect contact. It may also be airborne or passed through water. The symptoms include loss of motor function (excluding the hands and fingers), lowered cognition, impaired judgement, loss of hearing, and loss of impulse control. Those that are afflicted tend to blurt out the most asinine responses to questions. They ask you things you just explained to three others on three separate occasions in your calmest voice while they were in ear shot of the entire conversation.

They are unable to self-monitor their symptoms. Please be cautious if you approach an individual with any of the symptoms indicated. They are not contagious to ALL, but those lacking immunity have now been fore warned. The name of the illness you asked? It’s called pubescent-ignoritis. Do not let the age designation in the disease name fool you – adults, you are susceptible too.

This is the alert that the emergency broadcast system let slip through the cracks. Aren’t you so glad you ended up here to read this while all the others are out there oblivious to what’s happening!! Stay alert, be mindful, and keep safe as you traverse the streets of American cities and rural areas alike. In the event that you notice someone in your home or anyone you are close to showing symptoms, make sure you seek medical help. No, wait…stay away from the doctors – they may prescribe Xanax to treat the anxiety suffers feel after they have just had a flare up with the chronic illness. Never mind, do whatever the fuck you want because the ones suffering already are.

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Continue reading There is no pill (the magic bullet does not exist)…

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What is that quality called…the one that makes kids respect you?

I was having a conversation last week with a colleague – a fellow educator. We teach the same subject and have even exchanged students this year. On this day, I had a hell of a morning. You know how life goes; somedays things are mostly good and other days it’s all a crap shoot. This was a day I had the urge to flee. I wanted to run from life and it was really the day that I decided that this was not the profession for me. No amount of time, continuing education bullshit, or anything else could make me stay. Anyway, back to the convo (come on brain, stay on track). We were talking about a group of students that had cheated on an assignment. This thing I had assigned them was worth a test grade. It was something that needed to be done independently. I wrote a letter to the students about the assignment and made it the first page they saw every time they opened this packet. They had to complete it over spring break and it was something I had discussed for a solid week with my students before I handed it to them.

These kids come and confront me about me grading the assignment and dividing it by the number of them that had worked on it. They got the credit they deserved. These students freaked out. They were not used to a teacher calling them on their bullshit. We had a talk about it and they were not happy. I sent them to the department head to handle it. This coworker happened to be present when they went to the department head and he heard it all.

My coworker says to me that the kids were voicing their confusion about needing to complete the assignment individually. This was their argument for wanting full credit. I literally wanted to flip a table and scream at the top of my lungs. I had worked for days getting this thing together. Taken my precious off work time to make sure that things lined up. I recorded content and published lectures online. All I needed them to do was to consume the information and answer some questions that would prepare them for an AP exam that’s coming (whether they want it to or not). This is not even what made me a psychopath for a split second. It was the fact that I had shared this very document and plan with the coworker who was vouching for these kids. Okay, I am slightly exaggerating; he wasn’t vouching for them, he just wasn’t as pissed as I was about their half ass excuse. So, I threw a chair, ripped up some papers that were on a nearby counter, and stormed out of the room. THE END.

STOP HERE IF YOU LOVE THE WAY THIS ENDED…

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Continue reading What is that quality called…the one that makes kids respect you?

How did I end up here?

DISCLAIMER – This not for the faint of heart, the ones that can’t take cursing, or those who teach and love every moment of it. It is not for the judgmental or self-righteous. If any of the aforementioned describes you, I have forewarned you. Turn back now and don’t read a single word after this period.

I fucking hate teaching. The entire experience is not painful; but the end of each and every school day leaves me feeling this way. I think “why am I doing this again”? It is 100% a form of torture. I wish I could tell you this was all in the name of a bigger picture or greater purpose. That it was like self-immolating in the name of molding the young minds of Americans that will one day run this crazy ass county and really make America great again. But the truth is NONE OF THAT WOULD BE TRUTH.  What’s actually happening is I am a grown-up who has chosen to be permanently stuck in high school. The irony in all of this is that high school was my least favorite part of my entire education experience. Hell, it was my least favorite part of my entire life thus far. It is a sadistic joke I have played on myself.

You may be thinking, then why don’t you just stop. The answer – I have a family that depends on my income and I am usually not a risk taker. Calculated moves are more…me. I aim for the sure-fire thing most times. This lands me in these positions that I never intended for myself. I have googled and read so many blogs and message boards and articles about what a career switch from teaching has to offer. The crazy thing is, they all talk about shit related to teaching! What the hell? I want all the way out. My goal is not to go from full on flogging to subjecting myself to a few paper cuts a day. I want NO more; nothing what so-ever to do with this anymore.

So, after some back and forth over the course of five years – yes, I know, that’s a lot of time to spend contemplating something when you are miserable – I have decided to not go with the sure-fire safety blanket/ security net/ promised venture. I asked myself what I want out of this lifetime and how I’d like to spend my days. The answer came to me like the scene out of that one movie – the one where they guy has this idea to build up a baseball team and stadium and there’s that voice echoing “if you build it, they will come”… It was an obvious choice, but one that I dismissed a dozen or so times because I thought, there’s no way out. You spent money on a master’s degree just to use it for six years and walk away? That degree cost you money. But this job will cost my sanity.

I want to do something that allows me to express my creativity in some way other than putting together what I think will be an exciting and engaging lesson plan just to have someone else’s united sperm and egg shit all over it. I mean, kids these days – am I right or am I right? I want to talk to the world and NOT hear it talk back. Who cares about what you think – when someone writes I can ignore it, but when someone speaks my ears don’t go deaf. I want to enjoy my time. I want independence and a semblance of freedom. I will be a writer. Fuck…I finally landed on an idea I am pretty sure I can execute – but where in the hell do I start.

I start here. Right here, with the words I place on this page. Without much calculation and with complete and utter disregard for a filter. No need to be politically correct. Who gives a shit about syntax and grammar. This is free form free flowing uninhibited thought. This what my heart is compelling me to do. This is what feels natural and right. If you don’t like it you can follow Beyoncé’s directions at Coachella (how does spell check know where to put accent marks on Bey’s name…) – “suck on my balls, pause”. I am not neat. I am a sarcastic ass. I get annoyed easily. How and why did they ever let me teach? I am eccentric, I am unorthodox, I am raw talent. But I am me and I make shit happen…when I want to.

Okay, I have effectively talked my shit. Now, I have to be an adult and tell you and me (but mostly me) the sad truth about this idea to stop teaching and start doing.

I can’t quit this shitty self-demeaning job just yet.

Here’s the plan until I can walk away. I will chronical my unbelievable days at that hell hole of a spot on the Earth that I have to sadly call a job. I will not tell you where it is or write the actual names of the other Homo sapiens I encounter. I will be unapologetically honest about my feelings and mostly honest about the things that I endure as I am making this transition into something better than babysitting with a daily plan and a ton of work to do at home and not get paid for it. I will talk about these insensitive and backwards ass kids I have to stand in front of day after day while they play a metaphorical tug of war with their anxiety ridden minds about grades and the impulsive need to play games on their phones and check in on social media.

I will give you all the shitty nitty gritty (#bars – that was my inner Dr. Seuss, shot out Theodore Geisel) details without care because I am over this teaching “profession”. This is the start. Welcome.