11/01/2012

More Reflections - Bullying, Why is it so Prevelant?

I have these papers that I need to do for a portfolio.  I like to post them on here, clean them up, edit them and perfect the main point and then print it off.  I have many papers that I need to write so this will be updated often.  You can comment how you like but just remember everyone has their own opinion.  You do not have to read about mine and I really don't want to hear yours unless it is worthy and non judgemental of my ideals and concepts.


Since I am an older person, say in my early, very early 40's I can say without a doubt that many of my classmates as well as myself were bullied in school.  All grades had some sort of social ladder that only certain people were allowed to climb while the rest were gathered at the bottom waiting for the torment to start. 
When a conflict arose, the end result was a fight at the end of the school day.  A face to face fight; off campus of course and we would end our feuds and transgressions with each other.  We would yell and curse, accuse and berate each other until nothing was left to be said.  Then as soon as the first punch was thrown it was a matter of who could get in the most punches and do the most damage to the opponent before a concerned passerbyer would break it up.  The victor was determined by the audience and would be labeled the hero for the next few days at school.  Eventually, both fighters would become tolerable, and sometimes friends to an extent with each other and the days went on with no issues.
This was before the Internet and cell phones.  Everything was handled within the confines of the school and the bulling only directly related to the people involved.  Since we were all social creatures, we knew how to effectively communicate and problem solve, even if it meant a fight after school, there was still instant resolution.  Another point, several weeks after the fighting occurred many of us couldn't even recall what the fight was about.

With social media, the scars are visible longer and by more people.  With so much of our communication being done through technology, a person lacks specific fundamentals of peer interaction.  When Instant Messenger was first being used in the work place, it was hard for older men to interact with the tool, because they were used to facial recognition when dealing with co-workers and customers.  Without this, many successful CEO's would not be where they were at.  The age of technology changes many things about the characteristics needed in order to convey a presence needed for a successful client/supplier relationship.................

Still working on this.

Why I Wanted to be a Teacher

 Most teachers have a story of why they became a teacher.  Most teachers aren't teaching because of the money or the vacation time. There is some sort of story or motivation behind it.

Here is my story.

My childhood was wracked with emotional and physical abuse.  My parents were both alcoholics and when they divorced my mother started beating me on a regular basis.  The beatings started when I was in third grade and continued until I was a Junior in high school.  
I enjoyed going to school.  It was a safe haven for me and I got to escape my reality for a few hours each day.  The only time I would miss days from school was when I had bumps or bruises that were visible.  When I would go back to school none of the teachers would question the fading discoloration areas on my face.  The teachers were allowed to hug you and such but stayed out of the students home life when it came to discipline.
That all changed when I was in the fourth grade.  My teacher for that year was a stand up teacher and went out of her way to ensure I was safe.  She would bring me breakfast, I didn't eat much at home since I needed to be as quiet as possible to ensure I didn't wake up my hung over mother, so I would go without.  She always talked to me and would walk me home once in awhile since my mother couldn't be bothered with such mundane tasks.  She showed me the world of reading and how I could escape my realities any times wanted to just by opening a book.  I could check the books out from the library and read whenever I could. This teacher tried to get close and ask questions about my home life and I knew not to say much, even though my mother was a jerk, she was still my mother and I didn't want to get her in trouble.  Plus I knew I would have to suffer the consequences of talking.  
I didn't have a caring teacher again until eighth grade.  One teacher knew I was dabbling in a web of unsafe things and she helped steer me in the right direction.  I was already running away from home frequently but I would always show up to school no matter where I slept.  This teacher was always at school early and would not say a word when I would come in her class and clean up. She told me a lot of stories of her younger years and the places she went to when she graduated from college and often told me that there will be an opportunity for me to escape.  
In high school I had various teachers and none really stood out.  I received good grades, participated in sports and kept to myself for the most part.  The school knew of my history since the police would show up there when I would runaway. Most of the time they just let me stay at school as long as I went home afterwards.  My high school years are very foggy, I was in a hell that only few could imagine.  I would runaway and sleep on the streets or just stay up all night until I could go to school.  I contemplated suicide once and was a cutter and abused many things. I never cried for help or told anyone. High school was different in a way where if you were weak, you were screwed.  I had been in enough fights to where the kids left me alone so I was not a target.  In tenth grade I took an overdose of my mothers pain medicine and wound up waking up with a mouth full of charcoal.  When I went back to school my English teacher took me aside and started telling me about a "friends kid" who was allowed to move out and be on their own.  My teacher said that with my history there was no way the courts would allow it, so basically I had to man up and become stronger than every before in my life.  
For the next year I was clean as a whistle, I did run away during the summer for a few weeks but since my mother didn't want to lose her welfare she never reported it.  Something inside of me finally clicked or changed. I refused to be the victim. I had a few teachers behind me by then, one of them my track coach and they helped ensure that I was able to be on my own.  It was a struggle for me since I had to go to school and work full time and make sure I didn't miss any school.  I had to ensure this worked for me.  I think I would have wound up in jail or dead if it wasn't for these amazing teachers I had growing up.  Because of them, not my family, I am successful and amazing.  

I want to become a teacher so I can do what so few teachers did for me.  I want my students to know there is so much more out there than what they are going through and soon there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I want to show children the world of books and how they can read about others and start writing their own story of how they want their life to be.


And that is my story.  What's yours?

10/28/2012

Hiya Sandy!!!

Here in Virginia, along with most of the east coast are patiently waiting for Sandy to leave.  She hasn't even arrived yet, and I'm a bit interested in seeing the results.  I love storms, with the exception of losing power.  Everything is charged and ready to go.  iPad, iPod, iPhone, Nook, Laptop, flashlights.  Candles are visible and a few bags of ice are in the freezer. 

I did go to the grocery store today, just to see what was going on.  There was no milk.  Now, I am wondering what these people are going to do with all of this milk when the power goes out.  Make hot chocolate or eat 3 boxes of cereal in one sitting.  Since I'm not really a milk drinker, I can't fathom having that much cow in my house.  There was also no bread nor bananas.  I can understand this, since I could live on peanut butter sandwiches forever. 

Right now it is raining and I have my sliding door open and the temperature is going down. 

Government offices are closed tomorrow so people can sit in their dark homes with no power while their place of employment has power... I'm not complaining just trying to see the intelligence here.  I know I wouldn't want to go to work without a shower etc.

Oh yea, I went up in the gutters today and found a dead squirrel... I so didn't want to pick it up, but of course I had to.  After I threw my back out almost falling off of the ladder, I poked at it a few times with a broom stick just to ensure it was dead, and not playing a Halloween joke on me, I pushed it, trying to get it to magically fall on the next door neighbor's property.. no such luck, it seemed to be glued to the gutter wall.  My fingers were going to come in contact with this dead rodent.  I climbed down from the ladder and contemplated taking a nap, hoping when I woke up it would have been just a bad dream or a nightmare.  I made Daisy and Calvin go in the house, just in case they thought that the dead thing was a new chew toy, and then proceeded to pace my house.
So then I got a huge trash bag and put a hole in it for my hand... which I had an old gardening glove on.  I was hoping I could transfer the rodent into the bag without really feeling its body, ribs, hair... anything that would remind me I was touching something dead. 
I wish someone would have videotape the next few moments because of course when you are handling dead critters, things never go as planned.  I swear when I scooped it up the thing bolted towards me and grew wings (think of the squirrel in Christmas Vacation).  The glove, squirrel, trash bag and broom all wound up on the patio deck, and I was bravely still on the ladder.  I have to give myself a few points for that one, heh!

Needless to say, all dead rodents are safely tucked in the trash can.  It's trash night so it will be gone.  I am hoping however that the squirrel doesn't believe in reincarnation because I am pretty sure I'm on his shit list.

10/24/2012

As we all go through life mistakes will be made and as I was told growing up, as long as you had learned something from the mistake it was okay.


I am on a new path.  Well, actually it is an old, well used path that I wandered away from.  I have had the itch during the past 8 months to get back into teaching.  I missed being around the liveliness of the children as well as witnessing the looks on their faces when they succeeded at something that they thought was unattainable.  Well, for the past year I took some time from the work force, started my Master's degree in Elementary Education and spent time in classrooms to ensure that I would be able to handle the amount of energy that these young guns give off.  Good news, I knew I could handle being in the classroom and was looking forward to it.  I just recently started interviewing for teaching positions in the private schools and am looking forward to finding my classroom.  Oh and by the way, I was an awesome teacher, because of the team I created with the parents as well as the students.  Amazing how much support is out there when you just ask.
Anyways...

My own schooling is very vivacious and entertaining.  I have succeeded in every class that I have taken and received various amounts of praise from my professors and in fact one of them is going to help me when I am ready to start on my doctorate.  Interesting how life works at times.

2 years ago I thought I found something I loved to do and while I did enjoy it, I always wanted to go back to teaching.  I would put this goal off each year, waiting for the right time to get my feet wet again.  The right time never came because so many things were more important.  Now the importance is no longer there. Because of a tragedy, I was able to finally do what I want to do.

Teach

Don't wait for your tragedy to do something that you have always wanted to do...
I'm just saying.

10/19/2012

A New Beginning

I often wonder when the "right" time is.
I havent written for almost a year. Things were very stagnant and I hit a low in my life and nothing was happy or sunny or funny enough to write about. I basically crawled under a rock for awhile until it was time to go out at night, in which I drownded my sorrows, went home, lather rinse repeat, you get the jist of it all.

I went on a trip to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for a photo trip. There were 6 of us and many of us had extensive knowledge of our camera with the exception of, yours truly!! I loved the landscape and the area, and in fact looked athouses there as well. The people I was with were all very different. There was a retired male doctor from Dallas who insisted on always talking and if he was not interested in what you were talking about, he would change the subject right in the middle of someone else's sentence. There was another gentleman who was afraid of heights. Umm, we were in the mountains, going hiking and there were cliffs. This fear, kept us from going on a few great hikes. Another older gentleman was very nice and I have nothing bad to say about him. His wife was coming out at the end of the week and they were planning a trip into Pigeon Forge. There was also a lady and her daughter on the trip as well. The mother was nice, but the daughter had a really high pitched voice, all of themen were enthralled with the energy she had and basically it was awful. I will definately look for a younger group if I do this again. The instructor was afraid to let us go walking on our own for the fear of one ofthe olderpeople falling down and breaking something. Getting lost as well. I know I get lost soof course I stayed a little close untilIgot comfortable with the surroundings and then you just had to watch out for baby cubs. Cuz where there are baby cubs, if your around you better start looking for one pissed off mamma.

I had a wonderful time in the mountains and learned a lot about my camera, met a few people whom I would never talk to again and I used that to my benefit. Yes, I was that person, who was always late, who forgot things and who never wanted to join in the reindeer games HAH. I did however have my own coffee pot in my room that I brought from home, so I was in heaven. I also had my own car and would venture out into the small towns in the area and check them out... yea, I was that person ahah.

I also drove all the way out to California by myself. I took my time driving out there, listening to music and reflecting while I drove. The nights were amazing, many times I would pull over and just watch the stars in the sky and promised never to take advantage of the nighttime sky ever again. I stopped in Kansas, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and then finally California.

I stopped to have my oil changed in California and met this really young couple who just got married, they saw my license plates and were amazing at me for driving the long distance. When I explained to them why and how I was trying to view my life they understood and wished me luck in my endevors. I stayed at a hotel at the beach and it was also amazing. The overcast was dreary but the smell of the Pacific Ocean was something I was craving without realizing it. Once I smelled the ocean and put my feet in the sand, I was calm for the first time in a long time. I didn't stay long, a family emergency back home made me drive straight through back to Virginia. Everything turned out to be fine, and I then slept the most I had slept since Brian died. I slept for 3 days. I woke up refreshed and with the same calmness as I felt at the beach.

I then found the gym. I was able to spend all day there if I wanted to and no one knew me or my story. I didn't have to deal with awkward stares or questions. I could do what I wanted and I did. I am now addicted to running again, something I havent been doing since I lived in San Diego. I started doing things that made me happy without feeling guilty. I started playing pool more and in fact this season I am in two leagues. I really enjoy it,even though it is not improving my game at all. Bryant is doing fine and I thinking starting to live his life again instead of worrying about me all of the time.

I did quit working at MITRE. I loved my job but I was missing something. I missed the joy of being around children. I really missed teaching and the smiles and looks of success from children. I wanted to get back into the education field. I took some time off to take care of some personal stuff and ensure that this career change was what I really wanted to do, since the change also came with a huge pay cut. I really wasn't looking at the money anymore. I wanted to be happy and smile every day. When I was teaching in San Diego, it was fun and the children were so alive and happy. They knew what to do in order to make themselves happy and sometimes I wish adulthood was as easy as being a child.
Just a small update.

I promise I will start writing more about this past year. I am going to spend some time reflecting on the past 6 months and remember what I have learned in the process and just smile more.

I still miss him, it doesn't hurt as much. I keep busy and try to better myself whenever I can.