Obsession

Sometimes, when teaching, the best thing to do to encourage students to complete an assignment is to do it with them. I asked mine to write a personal poem today, and the deal was, if they do it then I would too and share on my WordPress.

Well, a deal is a deal.

“Obsession”

 

I got this music in my head

An undeniable beat

This rhythmic music in my head

It refuses to cease

 

No matter how often I–write

Words on paper breathe music into life.

No matter how much I–fidget

Taptaptaptaptap

Restless fingers beat purple into skin

 

And still this music,

An undying beat

Still this music

Incessantly keeps

 

No matter how I

Sway

The music keeps

No matter how I

Hum

The music keeps

No matter how I

Run

 

Feet pounding down, pounding down,

Pounding on the sidewalk (speeds up)

Pounding down, pounding down, pounding down

Pounding over crosswalk (speeds up)

Pounding down, pounding down, pounding down, pounding down(takes a breath)

 

In my head,

I got this music,

It keeps

An unreliable

Beat

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Day 1: The Importance of Hydration and Pronunciation in the Classroom

Today was my first day as a high school English Teacher on the beautifully unreal island of Maui.

As expected, there were some hiccups, both anticipated and unforeseen ones. I started the morning anxious to get into my room to finish putting up a few last minute posters and prep for my classes. What I hadn’t fully realized was how quickly I would start to sweat from the unusually muggy morning. By the time I had opened all the windows, turned on the fans, gathered all the necessary paperwork, etc., little salty droplets dripped from me to form tiny puddles on my desk.

Okay, maybe the puddles are an exaggeration. However, that fact that I was literally dripping sweat is not. Fortunately, I was so distracted with my prep work that I had no time to be nervous, only focused.

Then, I experienced a wonderful thing, an extremely welcoming Po’okela! Po’okela is my homeroom. or advisory class, and in Hawaiian means “excellence.” I could not have asked for a better start to my morning.

Then the real challenge began: pronouncing every student’s name. Some were simple and traditional European or Hispanic names, ones I grew up routinely hearing and speaking. Others were pure Hawaiian, and unfamiliar to my hooked on phonetics mind. Majority of the students were patience and understanding. From the looks on their faces, I could easily tell I was not the first mainland transfer to absolutely butcher their given names. Hopefully, with practice, I will quickly overcome my own limitations and be able to fluently call upon students without stumbling.

To backtrack very quickly, I mentioned earlier how I started the morning like I had just gotten off the treadmill after a good 30 minute run. There is one very important thing I forgot: re-hydration. Perhaps I can blame this one on PA. On how, when I was working as a substitute teacher in PA, I would comfortable sustain myself on a 1.5 liter bottle of water throughout an entire school day. Most days I didn’t even finish the bottle. Turns out this strategy of not drinking water  is a very poor one in Maui.

By the time my fourth period entire, I was ready to drop. I honestly can not recall what happened during those first few minutes of class. There were kids, lot of kids, papers to hand out, and forms to sign… Luckily, my room came equipped with a mini fridge — and inside that mini fridge was sweet, refreshingly cold water.

I learned my lesson. Just because it worked in PA, does not mean it will suffice in Maui. One school day officially down, and another one in just a short twelve hours. I look forward to the next lesson.

Stay hydrated friends!


Some thoughts on the eve of submitting a book proposal

Worth a read to any other writers out there

the love story project

When I was in grad school, I got a small stipend to put together the alumni newsletter. There was a guy who (twice) sent in an update about his life as a real estate agent, noting that, though his career had veered away from writing, he still used his MFA-acquired-skills to edit the community wine newsletter.

As a judgmental and ambitious twenty-four-year old, this distressed me. I was spending thousands of dollars on my degree. I had made what felt like significant sacrifices to join this program and I shuddered to imagine that a day might come where I would be content to use that expensive and coveted degree to edit a wine newsletter. For years the fear of becoming wine-newsletter-guy motivated me to put aside time to start a book, even when there were more immediately-pleasurable ways to spend my days.

As a much more pragmatic thirty-four-year old, I now understand that…

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Learning to breathe

Need

Drives us, motives us

Fills our days, disrupts our nights

Endless motion-

Stop.

Unclench your jaw,

Unhook your pack,

Straighten and look up.

Pause,

Breathe deep and

Let go.


The Road I’m Taking: Exchanging the Ordinary for the Extraordinary! 

There is something, my dear reader, you should know about me.

I am not a risk taker.

There! I’ve admitted it. Despite my desire to be viewed as an adventurous, fearless, and cultured modern day heroine, I hardly fit this description. In fact, a more accurate portrayal of me is as a reprisal of a sheltered, 1950s era wallflower. Although I rather like the 1950s sense of style, I dislike this perceived image of myself as weak and inconsequential. I can not even claim any similarities to the famous Donna Reeds due to my lack of a sunny disposition, a screwed on smile, and a successful career built on taking chances. Instead, most of my life has been centered around making practical, low risk decisions and staying close to home. I rarely, if ever, make spur of the moment decisions that will greatly influence the course of my life. I like the simplicity, predictability, and rountine of an uncomplicated life. In other words, safe but dull.

And yet…

There has always been this longing for more.

Ever since I was a little girl, and enthusiastically sang along with Bell, I experienced a desire for “adventure in the great wide somewhere.” In the deepest, and often ignored, recesses of my heart, “something Tookish” continues to yearn for distant lands and the unknown every single time the leaves herald in the seasonal changes. My inner child still longs to soar above Big Ben with the aid of pixie dust and travel across all of time and space. In all honesty, a part of me resents having to grow up into a mild-mannered and responsible adult.

 

Nope, not adulting today.”

Eh, okay, so sometimes I still do not act like a full fledged adult.

The point is, there was a part of me, even when I was at my lowest point in this past year, that remained hopeful for a better life than the one I’ve been living. Even on those not infrequent days when getting out of bed seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, a part of me stubbornly refused to be defeated. Even when I experienced overwhelming anxiety, like a cornered animal shrinking in on itself, huddling in the fetal position, and willing itself to disappear from any and all potential predators, that small inextinguishable desire stubbornly persisted.

Which, if you think about it, is kind of amazing considering all I have been through since graduation. Plus all the horrifying, and paralyzing, truths I have learned about reality.

Can’t sleep

  
Despite my imaginary, and realistic, fears, as well as my uncertainty for success, I did something completely different. For once, I decided to indulge my inner, Tookish child and heed adventure’s siren call.
For once, I took a risk. 

The risk began back in winter of 2014, escalated in March 2015, and climaxed only last week. There was a lot of pre-planning involved, many a pro-and-cons list, and plenty of repetitive discussions with friends, family, and complete strangers. All of which did little to help me overcome my insecurities and indecisiveness. Then, on a recent dreary Monday morning, while working as a substitute teacher and enjoying my limited free time away from the students, I was idly browsing the Internet for anything of interest. That is when I found it:

A one way plane ticket to Maui for $460!

It was tempting, it was affordable, and it was a risk.

I booked the flight.

  
In a matter of hours, I received a phone call from a school that I had interviewed with over two weeks ago. To my everlasting surprise, they offered me a full time teaching position. After weeks, no months, no YEARS of job hunting, (not counting my experiences as a part time substitute teacher, cashier, and sales representative) and no success, I was simply going through the motions of job hunting. Meanwhile, each application and the rejections, or worse the silence, that accompanied them were transforming me into a bitter pessimist – not unlike the cartoon below:

  
So when I received that fateful phone call, I could hardly believe what I heard:

“So, will you accept?”

When your life is about to change, and change for the better, sometimes things just fall into place. 

Starting August 3rd will be teaching 10th grade American Literature and Expository Writing on the island of Maui, Hawaii.

Some things are simply meant to be.

Mahalo!

  


Photos: Forbidden from riding bikes, fearless Afghan girls are skateboarding around Kabul


Meet the Women Taking the Battle to ISIS

TIME

A colorful scarf is all that is left of Cicek Derek, who was 17 when she died a few months ago in the besieged city of Kobani, Syria, where her compatriots were unable to retrieve her body.

Cicek was one of hundreds of young Kurdish female soldiers who have taken up the fight against ISIS. They’re part of the YPJ, or Women’s Protection Unit, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish nationalist movement that has long fought a war of independence against Turkey.

[newsletter-the-brief]

Now the PKK and other Kurdish groups are at the forefront of the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, a militant group that would severely curtail the rights of women. It’s fitting that ISIS will be facing off against female fighters like 18-year-old Zilan Orkesh, who left her small village on the Turkish-Syrian border to join YPJ in 2011…

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Supernatural Season 11 Predictions: This is the end

Interesting ideas, but I have a hard time believing it will actually be the last season. If only because the show has gained in popularity and they have to be making a killing from the show. Should it end? Maybe, unless the writers have fresh ideas for a storyline that stretches across seasons like we saw in the beginning episodes – especially seasons 4 and 5. It’ll break my heart when it does actually end. However, all good things must come to and end or risk becoming the thing you despise.

The Leisure Time Blog

I’ve got many episodes of three shows  (Castle, Gotham and Grimm) before I’m finished with the 2014-15 TV season, but before I continue delaying them and  plunk a chunk of time into finishing one of my long-ignored posts, I thought I’d get something easy out of the way. So here’s what I think we’ll see in Supernatural’s 11th season this fall.  (Truth: Some of these will ideas probably make my 2015 NaNoWriMo story, which is about 90 percent of why I’m doing this post. In case I’m right, you know.)

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Supernatural Convention Returns to Phoenix in 2016

Legion of Sand

This past February, Creation Entertainment held the “Salute to Supernatural” convention in downtown Phoenix featuring a lot of the major cast including Jensen And Jared, the Winchester Brothers.

According to its website, the Offical Supernatural Convention is returning to Phoenix June 10-12. Start saving your pennies now!

You can check out our photo gallery and videos from the 2015 conventionHere

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Time’s Wasting

Alarm shrieks

Eyes blearily blink

Crawling, clawing, across the floor.

Tasteless food,

Crammed,

Swallowed down.

My mind is already

Whirling,

Twirling,

Slamming against my skull.

Tap!Tap!Tap!

Restless fingers, idle hands

Apathy takes control.

Smile wide –

Laugh loud –

Pop a Tylenol and face the next crowd.

Stand erect, facial muscles controlled,

While the changelings drain you dry.
                                          C o m a t o s e

Not allowed.

Homeward bound, but not nearly done.

Be informed!

Politics, and media, and scandals – Galore!

Remember to breathe –

Deep inhale –

Send quick texts to reassure loved ones –

Deep exhale – 

Still standing, even as the soft cushions gently ensnare with a warm and lulling embrace.

How did I end up here?

Drifting,

Sinking,

Into blankness.

Alarm shrieks, eyes blearily blink open

Then shut.


The Leisure Time Blog

What do you do in your leisure time?

days like crazy paving

the life, times and ramblings of jaythenerdkid. probably not safe for children.

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on the dangers--and pleasures--of love stories

Unchaining the Lion

A defense and explanation of the claims of Christianity

Geeking Out about It

Watching too much television since 1975

Twenty-First Century Fangirl

Brought to you in part by: Copious Amounts of Coffee, Books and Cats.

JasmineShanelle

Fashion, Entertainment, Pop Culture

alasdaircboswell.blog

Film Reviews [ Tues, Wens, Thurs ]

Fangirls on the Road

That's what we're Tolkien about!

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Your Daily Dose of Paradise with Jamaica Michaels--A Maui Blog

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Dive into my mind.

Those Who Teach

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...positivity, change, progress...

Anonymous Adventurer

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