#getyourpraiseon


My professor just sent me a message on the final project I turned in on Monday…

30/30

This would mean that I finished the course with 101/102 points (99.01%). A few things happened with this news:

1. I can finally get my teaching certificate renewed
2. I can take my state sanctioned test for middle school understanding and instruction
3. I’m going to begin my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction

Yes, that’s the highest collegiate score I’ve ever had after a final.

God’s looking out for sure.

-D-

XXXI: In-Service


Am I supposed to enjoy “professional development days” at school?
I’m not really sure, but today I definitely did.

image

Yes...SpED department selfie!

This morning, similar to our last in-service day, the instructors were able to take some time and award “GATOR’ade” to people in the building for going above and beyond.
Towards the end of this lengthy process I wound up with a bottle from an unlikely source (in my opinion).
When I took the position I currently have at school I was located in a case manager’s classroom. This case manager, very pregnant at the time, sits around my age. However, their level of professionalism and maturity is so high that quite frequently I accept the role of the annoying, hyper younger brother when I’m in her room.

image

You could imagine my shock when she nominated me for one of these awards this morning. Whole-heartedly I was genuinely surprised (and really humbled). Coming from someone who’s so mature and level minded, it just spoke volumes to me. Additionally, another teacher nominated me at the same time for my speeches that were given over last Tuesday, which brought upon a shade of red to my face.

image

Snapped by an administrator...I think (that's me standing up).

Please understand I don’t type this out of pride. School is the one place where I continued to be surprised. I’m having so much fun, and it’s considered a job. I’m in love with this specific school, I can’t get enough of the kiddos, and the staff just blows my mind every day. Sure, it has its quirks, but the relationships built here are just unfathomable to understand…and it’s a middle school.
IA, teacher, instructor, etc…whatever my position is, I’m so, so blessed to continue to be in such a warm, caring atmosphere.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Fighters


Dozing in and out heading home (don’t worry, I’m not driving) for the night. I can say that I’m absolutely wiped out, and for all the right reasons.

A few weeks ago a teacher at work prompted me with a question: Would I be willing to produce and demonstrate a persuasive speech to all the 7th grade students in the school?

Without a second thought I gladly agreed to take on the challenge, even though it has been ten years since I had, had such a task. Continue reading

XXXI: Time Travel


The weeks are beginning to blur together. Occasionally I’m beginning to hear, “Don’t burn yourself out”, and there have been a few days in the past two weeks that Darco and I have seen each other awake for a total of two hours in one day.

I suppose this is what it means to be working in your 20’s. The scary part that I’m beginning to notice is that when you’re in a job that you love, and I mean love, you tend to get so wrapped up in it that it can consume your day (and night). Insanely, this applies to myself and Darco. In her case it’s all about Starbucks. The kid lives, breathes, and owns* Starbucks. She’s currently an Assistant Store Manager, but we just learned her meeting in March will determine if she’s ready to move to a full time store manager position. I love hearing stories about her day, and how so many store managers throughout her district ask about her, and how in some cases she’s even becoming the model ‘trainee’ when working towards running one’s own store. I’ll never tell my students, but in many ways she’s the exact example of why people can be very successful even without wasting…spending time in college. Continue reading

XXXI: Keeping Up


Wake up.

I have thirty minutes on the clock.
Grab my pants, where’s the shirt for today? Socks? Got ‘em.
Start the shower, will the water warm up any faster?
Wake up, let’s do this.
Don’t stand under the water, you’ll waste time.
Get dry. Remember pants and shirt on first, socks last, otherwise you’ll be tempted to stay seated on the bed.
Contacts? Those’ll be last, let’s get the water boiling. 5 tablespoons of coffee, cup is clean.
That cat has got to stop messing with my shoe strings while I’m trying to tie them.
Pour the water, set the timer for six minutes. Do I have my lunch ready? Where’s the bowl for breakfast?
Thank goodness that granola was made.
Grab the coat. Shut off the bedroom light. Section one cleared.
Contacts in. Shut the bathroom light. Section two cleared.
Coffee is ready. We need more sugar. Is that almond milk still good?
Bag? Check.
Coat? Check.
Keys? Check.
Phone? Check.
Cereal? Yep, with coffee.
House lights are turned off. Section three cleared.

Almost word-for-word these are the thoughts that stream through my mind Monday through Friday each week. It’s quite literally non-stop fun waking up and getting ready without running into any problems. That being said, by the time it is all said and done, Saturday is the first time that I decide to try to breathe. I’ll claim the card of just getting older, but this past week absolutely exhausted me and pushed me to a level of stress that I hadn’t witnessed in some time. It was a blend of work related stuff, and stuff outside of work. I added to my load this week by starting a college course through the University of Phoenix. It’s my first class that could be counted as a Master’s level class, but so far it hasn’t proven to be much more than reading and discussing theories of classroom organization. That shouldn’t come as much of a shock, but I’m still happy that I’m able to take the class (and thanks to Darco’s job, we were able to pay for it upfront in full). The passing completion of that class will result in my teaching license being reinstated, something that I can wholeheartedly say I’m dying to achieve. Even without an actual classroom, I feel so inadequate roaming the halls of the school being asked by students if I’m something that I’m not. The downside of course is the additional amount of time being consumed to ensure that I do complete the class…correctly.

From there, there’s an added element of my body. While I am losing weight (again), my legs aren’t doing everything that I’d like them to be doing. Most notably problems in my knees and still in my Achilles. I’m praying for an opportunity to try a spine and joint center in the city that specializes in working with runners. If it’s not my shoes that are causing this, I’ll be very curious as to what they end up finding. I’m still running and training, but my workload on my feet is very, very light. It’s not worth making problems worse just because I’m stubborn.

Outside of work and running is church (not always in that order). Darco and I continue to spend time at a ‘home church’ on Thursday nights, soon to be changing to Sunday nights, and personally it isn’t easy. There are so many things I’ve developed horrible habits of being uncomfortable with and they’re all coming out at once. I’m not keen on physical touch, aside from Darco, from anyone. I still struggle working with very small children, and pregnancy still makes me extremely uncomfortable. This is just honesty coming out, not acknowledging that any of it is necessarily bad. I suppose the reality is that I need to grow up and be like everyone else. Eventually I have to accept the idea of the same job for 20+ years, I have to accept the average family size, the mortgages, and everything that comes along with it. Truthfully, I’m still denying it as if it were some form of plague. Perhaps it’s just the sinful nature of my soul, but I still have zero desire to follow through with all this notions that people point out as joyful and wonderful. I suppose I’m still selfish, but there isn’t even a stirring in my soul of, “Oh, this will be so fun.” I’m still thinking of running, work, and honestly…just being married.

Fear. I’ve been trying to fully comprehend and handle fear. Understand the death, destruction, second coming, and everything in between doesn’t bother me. There really is very little out there in this world that I fear. I’ve just about failed at everything I’ve been a part of, so the world isn’t nearly as scary now. With that said, there’s still one thing that burns in my heart as an absolute terror. I’m terrified that my wife will leave me. I’m scared that one disagreement, one argument, one forgotten date, failed objective (cooking, cleaning, etc…) will result in her packing up and never returning. Does Darco ever act like that? Absolutely not, but when dealing with stress from the week, it just eats at me. I think back to false promises, storybook thoughts, and tragic endings. My mind reverts back to a time of chaos and isolation. Thunderstorms, softball, and crying myself to sleep. I still remember it all like a permanent scar. Darco knows this, and she always reminds me that it’ll never happen. Frankly, I don’t see how people can be divorced, be left, and then just play it off as if nothing tragic happened in their life. It’s my fear, my terror, it’s what keeps me up at night. If I’m not perfect, if I don’t fix every problem, my wife will leave me. If I screw up the financials and miss a bill, my wife will leave me. If I get onto her about sleeping too long, or something along those lines, my wife will leave me. I’ve concluded, through the stupidity in my head, that this will forever be the curse that I’ll have to live with.

There’s a lot on my plate in the mornings, several thoughts streaming through my mind. The weeks are long, but most of the time they’re fun, I just wish I was a better person.

-D-