XXXI: Political Science


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

I received a degree in Political Science because I wanted to seek out ‘truth’. At the time I had no idea what that looked like, how it could be used, and why it even mattered. Through lectures, textbooks, essays, and forums I spent my time trying to understand concepts such as rhetoric, manipulation, persuasion, and politicking.

Several years through college and several after, I still seek after that ‘truth’. I’m still curious as to the functionality of humans when it comes to interaction with each other, unspoken hierarchies, and the systems of which we have decided to govern one another.

Truly, there is no better time to be alive like today in order to witness all these questions unravel before your own eyes.

Receiving a degree in Political Science, as I’ve joked with my students, allows you to go one of two ways in life:

  1. Jump in over your head in the enjoyment of politics and the study of it
  2. Realize how unstable the world is and run away

…I’m still in the process of running.

My Facebook friends list is getting shorter by the week; pro or con arguments against political enemies or corporate conglomerate actions are enough to cause me to step away from the social media world. Reality is, everyone is upset about something or someone, and they firmly believe that their viewpoint is the dominate view compared to any other opposing thought.

There is a reason I do not speak much when it comes time for politics at the dinner table. In the past year I’ve witnessed teargas in Missouri, I’ve studied riots in California, and tried to understand economic sabotage by business both local and abroad.

I do desperately wish I had an answer that would explain the way that this world works. I’ve seen churches divide, and Christian’s step away from their faith, I’ve breathed in hypocrisy and on several occasions witnessed that a physical church building does not indeed keep the devil away.

I’m not overly sure which is harder to be in today’s world:

  1. One who holds a Political Science degree that tries to avoid political conversations
  2. A Christian that tries to avoid political conversations

In several instances I’ve come to believe that my social anxiety doesn’t stem from struggling to communicate with other sentient creatures. It stems from trying to understand that one election, one riot, one building on fire, or one country at war doesn’t describe our world as a whole.

The truth is far more painful to accept I’ve learned.

We are ruined.

We live in a global society that is dictated so strongly by the ways of which a secular culture breathes; in many instances the faith…a faith…is hardly recognizable. The reality is understanding that this world is so messed up, and personally from my education, I was taught that concept a long, long time ago. Additionally, if we’re thinking that the action by the masses is something new, we’ve obviously lost grasp of what history has taught us.

I can’t take a stand on political matter. I can’t examine and explain racial profiling and reactions that so many have towards one another. I can’t determine the cause of inflation, oil prices, or self proclaimed terrorists and their actions throughout the world.

I can only explain the fact that our world was ruined from the beginning (give or take a few days and one piece of fruit). I can examine and teach that in many ways, most likely, global life will continue to struggle. Masses will die, dynasties will end, and civilizations will collapse.

History tells us that.

I can also use historical text and ancient religious scholars to condemn the acts of so many; especially those who claim to be of one faith…or another.

Finally, I can take note that through my own religious teachings and upbringing, that my job isn’t to condemn, to judge, to execute, or to reject. I’m only supposed to love and protect.

Life is not a battlefield between…
…Hillary & Trump
…white & black
…USA & Mexico
…Christian & Muslim

It is simply about…
…love & hate
…good & evil
…ignorance & truth

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Raccoon Trials


It’s 12:30 AM. Neko and Oliver (cats) are hissing, spitting, and swatting at our patio window.

Why?

I turned on the patio light to see a large grey puff ball staring at me. Behold! The American raccoon.

Two unique reasons to observe this creature:
1. There is no stairs to our second story patio. That boy pulled a straight-up Spidey move.
2. Due to finding a tick after my afternoon run, my running shoes were left on the patio. Within reach of the raccoon. 30 minutes away from a severe thunderstorm.

I’m grateful to report that our cats are trustworthy (I almost typed that with a straight face), I won the battle of the shoes, and MC’s suggestion for ridding ourselves of these creatures?

Just throw some cheap dog food out in the yard.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: No Shutdown


Gears are spinning, laying here, searching for rest to find me. It is another silent night with chaos in my head. Pondering futures, ignoring pasts, and attempting to forge ahead.

I’ve learned that I march to my own drum because stepping in rhythm to anyone else’s deprives myself of unique opportunities; constructing my own destiny.

I cannot focus on what was; the temptations to overflow the heart of petty history blocks out my potential, inherent responsibilities.

-D-

XXXI: First Batch


Teaching is hard.

I have made so many mistakes.
I have created so many stressful situations.
I have said so many incorrect things.

Teaching is hard.

I was fortunate enough to go on a field trip with some of our students today. This landed me in an amusement park from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM on possibly one of the most gorgeous days of the year. However, as it turns out, we were not the only school inside the park on this day.

After releasing our students I sat at a table for 45 minutes; that was my job for the morning in the event something happened to one of our darlings. Nearing the end of my shift a man sat down at the next table. His shirt was blue and read the follow…

East Buchanan Bulldogs

I knew this man! He was the assistant basketball coach while I was in high school. I sat down next to him, incredibly he remembered my name after ten years, and we started talking. I learned that two individuals I graduated with from high school now teach 7th grade students in the middle school we grew up in. I found them all in the park today. The man I compared notes; I suppose like teachers do. We talked about expansion, testing, demographics, and just how times have changed.

Man, times have changed.

After speaking with him for a few minutes I wandered the park. I road five roller coasters, overcame my previous fear of going upside down, ate three cheeseburgers, and thanks to the air from the coasters, my beard is extremely ‘poofy’ this evening.

School ends next Friday.

Heading home this evening I watched my students. They were my students this year. I had to be responsible for instructing them about the social sciences for nine months. I attended countless meetings, several observations, training sessions, and many sleepless nights. I learned new languages, discovered different cultures, and researched just about everything I could think up about these strange 12-13 year old children.

Today is started to settle in that after next week…they’re gone. Now I do sound like a true teacher. Even though I gained wrinkles, lost weight and sleep, and they frustrated me to no end on several weeks; my kids are leaving*.

This is the part of teaching they try to warn you about, but you refuse to listen. You will be heartbroken when you realize that your students are growing up and they are no longer yours. From the selfish perspective that is a really hard pill to swallow.

Besides, they’re just going to 8th grade. They will all just be a hall below me next year. It is an easy thing to think until after the trip today I found an 8th grader standing by themselves, alone, waiting for their ride to pick them up. They were one of my cross country runners and they were one of the first students I met, when they were in 6th grade and I was a new substitute in the building. We spoke about their attitude, their brain, and the fact that they have such a bright future. What I didn’t realize, in such pathetic nature, was that my voice started cracking when I started talking about their future.

I already know that I struggle talking and interacting with my peers. It is so, so much easier to communicate with students. However, those students are leaving. and even though I get a new batch next year, that realization is so saddening.

Today was a hard day for me. I thought I was ready for the summer, I thought my mental countdown placed me in with all the teachers in the state, but at second glance…I want to be selfish. I want to hold onto my kids. I want to watch them grow and I want to be there to guide them. Is that the wrong thing to think in the month of May?

Tomorrow, in my classroom, will be the last ‘in class’ day as next week consists of field day, field trips, career day, assembly events, etc…This means that at 3:00 PM my normal class schedule is done for my first year of teaching.

In the normal, adult working world my brain couldn’t handle the day-to-day activities.
In the strange, student-centric world of education my heart is really struggling to the handle the realization of the end.

Is that fair for a first year teacher to say?

Teaching is hard.

I have learned so many new faces.
I have created so many relationships.
I haven’t said enough to show that I love my kids.

Teaching is hard.

-D-

*I’m going to be an emotional mess when I’m a parent.