Mobile Minutes: Where There’s Smoke…


I felt guilt throughout the day because I wasn’t at church tonight. I had made the choice to stay home and finish my final for class instead of heading out.

Thankfully, as the demonstration below shows, God still works even when you’re not in church.

This all took place about ten minutes ago:

I had just finished a lesson for my unit when the cat (AKA The Dark One) got up from his nap, ears perched back. I too shut off the music and was trying to figure out what this buzzing noise was coming from. At first I thought it was our refrigerator, but the noise was actually coming outside the door. I opened the door to see smoke filling the atrium of our apartment. Out comes a man, holding his right arm, with a look of disbelief on his face.

What happened?

I had a grease fire…

So, first I kicked him out of his apartment. Made sure the stove was turned off (fire was out at this point, ceiling is black with smoke). He grabs his puppies (literally) and gets out. 911 gets called due to the fact that he had burns down his right arm and nearly his entire face.

I got him into my apartment, trying to get him to sit down (he was obviously in shock), and talked with the emergency dispatch until the ambulance and fire department showed up. They wound up carting him away to the emergency room, his grandpa picked up the puppies (because I know you were concerned about their well being), and the fire department deemed the apartment safe.

Incredibly, not a single neighbor in our building stepped out to see what was going on through the entire duration of the event. Makes me a little happier that I decided to stay home this evening.

-D-

XXXI: Not My Own


It’s 9:30 PM and I’m sitting in the living room eating tacos from the kitchen. i’ve just finished another anime episode and I fell asleep on the couch; requiring Darco to wake me up for bed. It’s been that kind of day.

Absolute exhaustion and trying times.

Yesterday was a mess. Between some student loan issues (imagine that), screwing up an assignment for class, and just a failure to adapt to the classroom, it was not a pleasant experience. I was in a rather foul mood last night by the time I left school, and I was hoping (and seriously praying) that today would be different. Thankfully, this was the case. I’m not stating that the day was perfect in comparison to yesterday, but I am going to say that God was able to change my mindset and expectations, so that I could work in an area I love with a more humble soul.

Twice, in the past six months, I’ve failed to gain a classroom position inside the school. The first time it created a horrible sense of bitterness internally, but in the end I had to accept the reality that I didn’t hold the legal requirements to teach. Why should I be mad at someone else for the mistakes I’ve made? With that memory in mind I was able to handle the news of potentially missing out on another classroom position this week. Through this process I started to see the pattern that I’ve become a hypocrite in front of my own students…

So many times I’ve complained about students having this sense of entitlement when they’re in school, “Well, I earned this.” or “Well, I deserve that.” can be heard as distant echoes down the hallway. It’s rather irritating to hear and very discouraging when thinking of what the future could hold for them in this very hostile, unfriendly world.

I say that while with the same mouth and mind I can hear myself saying, out of bitterness…

I’m mad because I’ve earned this opportunity…

I’m upset because I deserve to have this chance…

Doesn’t matter the age, the reality is the same. I’m no different compared to my own students. I have this horrible, worldly sensation that punctures my soul with greed. The truth is, is that I don’t even deserve the job that I currently have. The bitter reality is knowing that there’s nothing in these previous four years of life that indicate I even deserve the life that I’ve been given. Classroom? Trying deserving the wife I have, a supportive family, loving friends, a healthy life, etc…

Who am I to seek entitlement for a life I don’t even deserve?

it was a hard, bitter pill to swallow. Recognizing how fallen I am, and how dirty I’ve become. Realizing this is why it became easier to accept my position, cling to my school, and stop worrying about all the details and just live an enjoyable life. I can firmly say that, that in itself is a blessing that I’ve missed for years.

Maybe this is just another one of my random rants about life. i’ve missed out twice on the hopes of having a real classroom for the next school year, and I’m thankful that God’s prepared my soul to handle the understanding that sometimes His timing and our own for our lives don’t always match up.

I have to require my soul to be alright with understanding that I cannot be in control of my life.

It wasn’t my own to start with anyways…

-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: Heading Home


There are two phrases that I grew to hate as an adolescent:

Are you going to be a preacher someday?

You’d make a great teacher!

My selfish ego revolves around not doing what people expect me to do, and constantly rebelling against the expectations of those around me. There’s nothing Biblical about this principle, but 27 years into this life I think I have enough research to support to theory of my own behaviorisms.

To this day I still make a solid stance in never having a desire to speak from a pulpit. There’s nothing in my heart that desires it, and after several years of being on a lot of different paths with my relationship with Christ I can affirm that, that is not a position for me.

With that said, the second group I must apologize to, raise my sword by two hands and lay it at your feet in the form of a surrender. Truly, I was designed to be a teacher.

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-