XXXI: El Salvador


It’s not that I’m running out of creative titles, but instead I think this one is a bit more important to be upfront.

We’re heading to El Salvador, Darco and myself.

We’ve made the commitment to head back into Central America this July; being led by God and tackling hard issues along the way to come to this decision. This will be the first time that Darco and I have worked together on a mission trip (and only the fourth time in my life a family member has been with me on a mission trip). This’ll also be her first time venturing outside of the United States; as you can tell from previous posts, travel isn’t really big on her list of experiences so for even a week culture shock could happen (more than likely, she’ll not want to come back to the States afterwards).

We’ll leave on the second week of July, that’ll give me a few days rest from my first big race in Arizona, and will give me two weeks worth of rest before racing in Pittsburgh….a week before school starts.

Needless to say, El Salvador has become the focal point of the summer, our hearts, and trying to spiritually prepare to let God do His thing, and for me to back off my overwhelming tendencies of panic, doubt, and fear.

Darco has taken it a step further, she’s actually created a “Go Fund Me” page for us. You’ve got all the details right here.

One of the key components to this whole event; hearing the simple question asked…

Would you be interested in running a soccer camp in El Salvador?

Soccer Clinic I

How can I refuse an open door like that?

-D-

P.S. If you’re interested in donating to this rather epic adventure, check out our GoFundMe page!

Mobile Minutes: Numbers


Because I know this message will go to thousands of accounts (literally), it’s a good source to ask for assistance.

I feel bad for Darco, she’s dealing with nasty stressors in life and she tends to bottle it up internally.

It’d mean the world to me if you’d just say a quick prayer for her…

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Trying to Grow


God only knows that I’m trying to grow up. These past two weekends I’ve tried to adjust priorities in order to create a more financial sound, cleaner, and organized household.

As simple as it sounds, I’ve aimed at making lounging and cartoons go towards the bottom of the list. In turn it’s replaced with training, cleaning, and cooking.

Slowly but surely there are glimmers of hope. I replaced the tires on the Mazda and purchased new wiper blades. I opted out of watch parties for soccer yesterday so that two weeks of laundry could get washed. I’m losing some sleep tonight, but all food for this week is being purchased and prepped tonight.

It’s without excuse…

That’s the whole premise I’m trying to live off of at the moment. If God provides us, a family, with an opportunity to grow we are without excuse of we don’t follow through. That means through health, love, commitment, finances, etc…

This also means my role as a husband. Am I doing enough? Are my priorities correct? Am I working hard enough to lead? It’s been alright, but these past two weekends have been better. Does that make sense? I’m just trying to lead through example, not just through my words, and just…trying to grow up.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: On Its Way


I still remember the time like it was a ‘flashbulb memory’…

Alone, around 3:30 AM, I sat in the office inside the underground apartment that I had called home for nearly six months. I didn’t have a job, and throughout the night to combat the lacking of sleepiness (because I was doing nothing with my life), I would fill out teaching applications.

  1. Log on to the site that had all school teaching positions open
  2. Locate schools that were looking for social studies teachers
  3. Access their website
  4. Print off their application
  5. Start typing

I lost count at 92 applications. My wife had already given up on me teaching, I had started to work at Subway, and every-so-often I would go and substitute teach at a local school. I’d hear teachers comment on openings, wondering if I was applying, and it was the same dog-and-pony trick every week.

It wears on an individual to want to teach, but to never be qualified for a school. By qualified I mean that I didn’t know the right people. I’d given up on coaching, my own room, stability, all of it…and that was before the divorce.

I only paint this rather strange picture, because five years later in my living room I clicked “submit” all over again. Now, Facebook is an IPO, Twitter exists, and my phone can easily replace a desktop computer. Even stranger, I didn’t just send in an application off a whim, I was ‘encouraged’ by individuals at school today to follow the protocol and submit an application.

Yes, you read that correctly, after two and a half years I just submitted an official application to teach in the school I’ve been in and out of for the past several semesters.

I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m so excited.

Praying that this one will be right…

-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: Jupiter’s Storm


What I’m learning…
I love my students. Middle school kids crack me up on a daily basis. They’re strange, but they’re a ton of fun and the energy level never ends. It’s a perfect environment for me.

Chaos, energy, and attitude.

Sadly, like everything in life (not just work related) there is a flipside to this scenario. There’s a daily temptation that roams the halls each day that I exist, this whispering little serpent that winds itself in and out of the classrooms. It’s wrapped up in drama, gossip, rumors, and in many cases nothing in favor for the students.

My biggest struggle, deepest prayer, and darkest fear all stems from not giving into the world that’s before me. I never knew that even with the enjoyment of students, a quagmire of personal fear thrives in such a safe haven of joy.

It’s a learning lesson for sure, and definitely something that’ll never go away. No different than Jupiter’s ongoing storm, this reality and educational moment will continue to spin.

Perhaps I just need a bit more sugar and caffeine in the morning.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Pronto


How much longer until your certification is ready?
Two weeks, sir.
Good. The minute it’s finalized, email me.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to share these dialogues, but this is what took place inside the hallway in school today between myself and the principal. What does it mean? I have no clue aside from a glimpse of optimism.
Just praying everything falls into place…

-D-