Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Like the Pain

Yesterday, Shihan taught Aikido. This is always a highlight, mostly because he kills me...and it never felt so good. Having my arm wrenched, my body is awesome. I wouldn't say that I'm a masochist, but I do like my fair share of pain, given the pain has a point behind it. To be abused, jumped, or fall victim to a freak bowling accident would be no fun at all. But to beaten senseless on occasion is definitely a good time.

The only downside is the next day. Though I freaked out from time to time as Hubert cranked on my hand (sometimes it feels like I twist well beyond what my body's limits should be), this morning was much worse. Everything hurts. My back is sore, my arms don't want to move correctly, and I'm just tired.

It was totally worth it. I feel like I can dominate any 8-year-old I come across. Maybe after the next time I can move to 9-year-olds.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Movies and How I Miss Them

Over the last three years, my theater attendance has skyrocketed. At least twice a month (and often more frequently) I would be sitting back in a comfy seat, as close to the middle of the theater as possible, soaking up the movie magic (often to gripe about it later).

I haven't seen anything since Watchmen (unless you count the second viewing of Coraline) which makes it about 7 weeks since I've seen something in theaters. It's weird that I care. I love movies (eventually want to get a master's in something related to lit through film), but I can't think of a time that I cared so much about not seeing them.

It probably boils down to reputation. When I started teaching, I started seeing more films. Soon thereafter, I became known as the movie guy among my students and fellow teachers. Even though there are not a lot of things worth seeing right now, I feel like I'm slipping on my duty to preview so much of what is going on in the film world.

With X-Men Origins coming out this weekend and the summer season soon thereafter, I expect (if not demand) that I plug back in to the culture stream of Hollywood craziness.

Stupid Settlers. Ripping me away from my movies...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lord of the Flies

This week, I'm starting the novel with my English Ten class. To get them in the mindset, I asked them to write about how they would plan to survive if our class were stranded on an island. The responses were generally amusing with mentions of cannibalism (always makes me laugh...that's weird), monkeys, and the general class vibes about other class members. Throughout the papers though, one line just made me laugh.

"I would find my own little spot & gathered up all the black people & try 2 figure something out."

The writer continues to explain the eradication of the weak and making sure there is a boy to do all the hard work.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Toaster Pastries

My wife bought some organic toaster pastries. They're pretty awesome, but I've noticed something really strange on the box. It's not the microwave timer (Brian Regan points out the Pop-Tarts are to be microwaved for three seconds. These are at least ten), it's seems weirder than that. On the side of the box, there is a list of qualities.


Is there a non-vegetarian toaster pastry? I can't imagine waking up and sliding in a bacon and eggs Pop-Tart into the toaster (I shudder to think that they have probably tried). So was this company really just trying to add to the list.

I'm a fan of the organic trend, but I can't help but notice how dumb some of it has become. People seek to buy what they've always had and think that it will make them healthy as a direct result. Take ice cream. Just because it's organic doesn't mean it's good for you, you'd just be organically fat. Similarly, emphasizing vegetarianism doesn't make things healthier either (as my wife and I frequently say at our church potlucks).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Celebrity Status

I think I entered a new realm of existence at my school, a kooky one to be sure.

I had my head shaved into a Mohawk during lunch by a couple of students. It was part of a fund raiser--dare a staff member to do something and have students pay to have you do it. I was one of the biggest money makers. That made me feel good enough, but during the shaving ("I thought he said shave the world") I had a record number of phones and cameras aimed at me. Students that I have never had, seen, heard of crowded around to witness and add input to the sculpting of my scalp.

When I was done, there were many cheers, more laughs, and a couple of shrieks. But over all, I'm getting loads of attention. It's like being the Speedo Man in Grand Junction (I'll explain another time). And, likewise, the weirdest part is trying to act like nothing is different.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Springtime Mornings

Today was absolutely gorgeous. It kills me I don't carry my camera every day. The eastern horizon was tangerine-raspberry fire that spread through the clouds. In the west, a full rainbow arched across the last of the gray rainclouds. Little sprinkles of water fell on me, but I never got wet. The birds were whispering to each other, sharing secrets, and the smell of rain gave me a hug.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Knee Deep

So even though I had a three day weekend, I didn't get hardly anything done that I needed to. The worst part? It's my fault. My fault and Easter. But mostly still my fault. I've got loads of grading to finish off and my brain feels floaty, so again, I don't want to do anything. I need to finish my chronicles of my D.C. trip, so I'll aim to finish that tomorrow. But I need to start digging back into the papers now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Walking the Streets

Yesterday's post was lame city. I as looking at it again and thought, "What kind of weak description is that for the first leg of the trip?" I was a bit low on time, but still. So today, you'll at least get to see what I saw even if they are often tilted slightly to the left.

Anyhow, Washington was really cool. My only regret so far has been that I did not take near enough pictures. We moved around at such a fast pace that I didn't really get to shoot near as many things as I would have liked. Alas. These are some of the things I saw just walking about. The place was packed. We tried to get in to see a couple of what I'm told are awesome places, but lines were around the block, so I settled for just seeing as much on foot as I could.

It was chilly. In the forties, and the wind was blowing like mad. Most students did not bring much for a jacket (surprise). And I don't think I had walked so much in years. A solid 2 1/2 hours on foot, not to mention the rest of the standing around waiting for students and working my way through the Holocaust Museum.

Well, I suppose I should get some work done around here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

D.C. Trip Part I

The alarm went off at 3, but I had been awake for most of the night. It was like going to camp when I was a kid: early to bed, can't fall asleep, wake up twice an hour once I finally drift away. I got up and was surprised that I wasn't dead to the world.

I was at the school by 3:45, loaded up some kids and began driving to Omaha. It was silent the entire drive. The students I hauled were unknown to me, so I couldn't drag any info from them. We exited earlier than I normally do, following the caravan of six other cars. The street was closed due to construction and there were no detour signs. We drove for an extra half hour, turning, stopping, complaining, freaking out.

I wanted to get back on the highway, but the exit we took doesn't have an on-ramp to get onto the highway again. The only way I could think of would be to drive back down the highway the opposite direction, but I didn't know how long it would take, and time was slipping away. We finally found the secret passageway through the streets of Omaha that got us to downtown, and I led the folks to the airport from there. We drop kids off with less than half an hour before our flight was to depart.

We got back at almost midnight, leaving me wasted and will probably kill me as I go to Aikido and volleyball tonight. But I must away.

Friday, April 3, 2009

He Likes Us

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

This is probably my favorite scripture anymore (Lamentations 3 is still up there though). If for no other reason, it encompasses everything God is the explains how and why He acts with people.

I believe that humans were made in the image of God, especially spiritually and morally speaking. Through the deceptions of Satan, we have lost so much of that glory. But this verse brings to mind that God isn't done with us even though we have collectively failed Him.

It's not so much that God works within our logic and our form of justice (praise Him for that). He's above all of that and acts purely out of affection. Even as things look bleak, there is something beyond what we know at work. Part of that unseen scene is God singing to us, calming us, saving us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Signs of the Times

I had a student confuse Mark Twain with Bruce Wayne.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some People...

This has just been a good week for people to say weird things.

I assigned my composition class the task of looking up images on Google and then describing them in as much detail as possible. The idea was for them to find flowers, cars, landscapes, anything that would be school appropriate. However, before I could get the point of clarifying what the students should look for a student piped up.

"Can we look at things that are sexual in nature?"

I was thrown off enough that he even asked. But after all the girls called him a pervert, he just shrugged and said, "Can't a guy ask a question?"