Mobile Minutes: Small Victories


Truth: Teaching terrifies me. 

That is one thing that hasn’t changed through all the time of these past couple years. Failure, mistakes, errors, missteps, etc…all the things I encourage my students to experience daily, is professionally what I fear the most. Ironic, yes?
These past few weeks have been laced with errors. One thing after another, I racked up an impressive list of miscues in the world of academia.

This is why I’m grateful for small victories. These last ten weeks I’ve experimented with developing a debate program at our middle school. I firmly believe competition exists outside of courts, gyms, and fields. By God’s grace I wound up with 23 sixth to eighth grade students on a roster for this past quarter. It has been an amazing experience. The students, personally, grew faster in content and comprehension then I had originally predicted. 

I took some of the data from these past weeks and sent it to our high school debate coach to analyze and review.

They were impressed. These middle school students impressed the high school coach! The coach offered to share their teams source material for construction of debates, asking how their students could interact with mine in the spring semester, and just overall gave a tone of excitement.

After a recent rough streak; this was such a blessing to receive. 

-D-

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#getyourpraiseon


The interesting adventure that is known as teaching comes with many strange opportunities with the territory. Just from the past year and a half I have worked retail, coached, debated over anime characters, and also ensured that students were attempting to be successful in class.

I suppose it comes with the territory of teaching; you wear many hats.

A new path opened itself a few weeks ago, a student came to me wishing to know who was in charge of the debate club inside the school. I gave them the information and quickly ushered them out of my classroom prior to the bell ringing to start class.

ngmd-logo-imageWhat I had not expected was for the student to return with the following…

The instructor from last year cannot do it this year because they are teaching college courses. They said you should do it.

Adding to my hat collection…

Honestly, this is rather exciting. After some work behind the scenes, countless pieces of advise from other instructors, and tapping into the debate network at our local high schools; last Thursday we actually had our first debate club meeting. Students have opportunities to digest current issues around the world, analyze the high school challenge topics for the year through the debate circuit, and even heading into the rest of the year perhaps an opportunity to challenge themselves against high school opponents.

I’m not 100% sure the entire direction of this program, but it is rather exciting, as a former competitor, to be able to give back to the community that gave so much to me.

Resolve: Middle school students should have the opportunity to expand their knowledge base on current events; articulating discussion points in order to persuade a panel that their path is the correct one.

-D-

 

Mobile Minutes: College Daze


I did it.
I’m old.
It’s the end.

Understand that there is actually a decent story behind this one…

Once upon a time I was offered a scholarship to compete on the speech/debate squad at the college that I wound attending. For what it’s worth, it was and still is, one of the most prestigious programs in the United States. I competed for one season, before declaring I was wiser compared to the coach, and left the program.

I still regret to this day, walking away when things didn’t come easily.

Years down the road, the late, great Dr. Derryberry has passed away. A former teammate is now part of the coaching staff (they also saved my skin in Intro to Psych). Through Facebook last week they contacted me, and asked if I would return and judge at their tournament being held in October.

The same weekend as the university’s homecoming.
The same weekend of Alumni weekend.

I accepted.

I’m heading to the university I grew to despise, as an alumni, to judge at a speech/debate tournament, and enjoy…their homecoming week.

Alas, I have grown of weary age…

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #HobbyLobby


I’m not a frequent one to post much of any in depth thought towards a post during the early hours of Monday (it’s still early in my world), but the sheer stupidity of today (ALREADY!) has me sitting in front of a keyboard for the sake of my own sanity.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about arts and crafts. My Facebook newsfeed along with my Twitter timeline are crammed full of pseudo-political activist, religious nuts, and even worse…real politicians. What is the buzz all about? One arts and crafts store and a Supreme Court ruling.

Had this been five years ago I would have taken the time to explain the story behind the 5-4 ruling in the Supreme Court over religious beliefs, and healthcare regulations based on government offerings by way of birth control (vaguely put). Frankly though, I’m pretty done with wasting that much energy on the topic when I could be doing something more productive. Like working on a Monday morning in my office.

But with that said…

Let’s get a few things out of the way:
First the first group, the regulation of birth control within one overpriced, slowly dying arts and crafts store isn’t dooming the United States anytime soon. For the vast minority who work at Hobby Lobby that are still young enough to have children, just give it some time, receive your “going out of business” notification in a few years, and get a new job. Also, there does lie the potential for a change in employment opportunities within your life. We could argue that the government doesn’t have the constitutional right to dictate the operations of a private corporation, and that liberty of choice is entitled to everyone; even business owners, but that concept is way too complicated, way too edged, and…frankly my lunch and coffee is more important to get to compared to that mess of a topic.

Now, as for the other group…
You still have the NRA, Focus on the Family, and Joel Olsteen in your corner. Don’t become drunk on pride for the monumental victory because a court ruling isn’t bringing Jesus back down here anytime sooner. Let it be known that because of your political advocacy, and ignorance of understand that worldly rulings do not dictate the way you should act unto other people…your fruit, is rotten. Don’t be of the world, just be in the place, don’t thumb up your nose at those people because they’ll likely be the same ones that God’ll ask you about during your own judgement. Have fun on Facebook with your gloating and self righteous acts, but know that your attitude, acknowledgement, and acceptance of “victory” isn’t assisting in filling your empty sanctuary each Sunday.

Personally…Hobby Lobby is overpriced, their model train selection is very, very depressing, and I smell like a nursing home each time I leave the building. But hey, that’s just my thought on the dramatic matter. Then again…I’m a male.

-D-

XO: Imagination Live


There are few things in life I’ll ever understand…definitely not a joke, but a reality that I’ve slowly started to grasp for myself and my own existence.

However, there will be one thing that I’ll always hold onto as understanding, embracing, and accepting: Continue reading

#getyourpraiseon


This morning has been a…nightmare.

Darco got up late for work. While heading to her work I FINALLY saw an opening for a job in the classroom. I took it.

However, I grabbed it at 6:50 AM CST, I need to report at 7:45 AM CST, and I currently live 50 miles away. This doesn’t include packing lunch, getting dressed, and as it turns out…fueling up the car.

As I said, absolute nightmare.

I thought it’d be wise to grab coffee on the way back to the apartment, after dropping Darco off, it would save time when leaving. Dead. Wrong.

Dunkin Donuts is packed on Friday mornings, I anticipate that. It was jammed this morning. Dozen and two dozen donuts everywhere. By the time I got out…with just a coffee, it was 7:03 AM CST.

I proceeded to hit every red light back home. Couldn’t find the case for my tablet, and the cat was in “chaos mode” (cat owners understand this).

I got out of the apartment by 7:10 AM CST.

Purchased fuel (and smacked my leg on the dashboard): 7:16 AM CST

By 7:17 AM CST I had 50 miles to cover in 28 minutes. Not going to happen.

By 7:35 AM CST I was in a standstill traffic jam on the interstate in the middle of nowhere (shout out to the federal government for reopening).

I made the dreaded phone call:

Hi, I’m one of your substitutes today, and I’m stuck in traffic (They’re going to kill me). I’ll be there shortly.

I arrived at 8:01 AM CST cursing under my breath. Incredibly, the problems of the world washed away when the secretary told me she wasn’t worried; the first two hours were planning periods anyways.

As I stepped into the classroom, soul barely intact, I started to think about how I was to handle a round of communication arts.

This is the lesson plan I found:

image

The description had been misleading. I was not teaching “ELA” as I had assumed. I had actually stepped into the public speaking/theater classroom of the school.

After briefly talking with the instructor, who was quite ill, I went from just sitting at a desk while the students wrote out assignments to being allowed to actually run the curriculum with them as an introduction to debate.

If you know me, you know exactly why this is a “getyourpraiseon” moment.

-D-