No, This Isn’t A New Year’s Resolution Post

Hello, Readers (all two of you).

It’s been a while since I’ve written, obviously. Lots of things have happened in the time between my last post and this one–some good, some bad, all worth it. I don’t know how much updating I’ll be able to do, and frankly, I don’t know that it’s worth it to catch you up on things that have already happened. Like a good journal, a good blog should be, at its core, a snapshot of what’s going on at the moment.

Of course, some big events have happened, and they’ll be worth mentioning from time to time. To be honest, I’m not sure what direction I’ll be taking with this blog now that it’s back in commission. I suppose reading older posts would be a good thing to do; I had a lot of readers, and they must have been looking for something in particular. I’ll see if I can recapture that, put it in a fresh package, and give it back.

Also, I have a Canadian iPod that is truly hated by Windows 7. Details to come.

Welcome back.

And Here Came May

Yes, May is here already. Insanity.

This weekend alone, I have a quick trip home to celebrate Mother’s Day, CCG’s birthday, and CCG’s mom’s graduation from nursing school. Busy times, I tell you.

I’m also going through training for my new job, about which I’m very excited. I’ve started the moving process, and am comfy enough to say that I’m receiving mail at a new address. Soon enough, CCG will be here too, and not too long after that, we’ll be Mr and Mrs. …, er, uhm…CCG? Mr. Cute Cashier Girl? Ok, so it needs work. Sue me. (please don’t, I’m friggin’ broke)

I hope to get enough time and sense about me to resume my normal blogging schedule, but with everything else I have going on, I don’t know that I can promise it. To be honest, I’m thinking that my journal might be a better place to go with some of the stuff. Not incredibly private, but a little more personal than I want to throw out on that there internet. I’m sure you understand, readers.

Stay tuned.

Trailers for Sale or Rent, or “How I Turned Lemons into Lemonade”

Tonight, I pack my bags, for tomorrow I’m on my way back to Lexington. As with my move from Lexington back home to eastern Kentucky, I’m having some mixed feelings, but I’m positive overall.

We’ll start with the drawbacks…er, uh, drawback, rather. I’m engaged, and my fiancee can’t move with me for a couple of months. While I know it’s necessary for me to get settle in with my job and start slowly moving stuff into our room, I can’t help wanting her to be there. I love sleeping beside her. I love being able to tickle her way past the point when she tells me to stop and threatens my life. I’ve grown so used to getting to see her each day, it’s going to hurt to push that back to once every week or two. The silver lining with this, of course, is that two or three months isn’t that long to wait, especially when you get to visit the other person.

Other than not being able to be with my fiancee right off the bat, I’m excited about the move. I get to be close to my friends, and away from my hometown. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and the few friends I have here are great, but my hometown has a problem with attitude and with drugs—not a good combo, folks. Lexington hasĀ a good feel to it, a more accepting feel. I like that. I don’t know that it’s where I’ll settle down, but it’s going to be a better start than where I am now.

Sorry this blog has the technique of a first-grader, but I’m rushing to get things done before I pick my lady up for our last solid night together for a bit. Don’t worry, I’m sure in a very feeble attempt to fill the void I’ll have until she moves down, I’ll be posting more regularly. Stay tuned.

Segments: I Love Razz Edition

For those unfamiliar, razz is a lowball stud game. For those unfamiliar with poker terminology, that last sentence does nothing to help you. For anyone and everyone, here’s a link to what Wikipedia says on the subject. In a grand realization that retirement is good, Dad downloaded an online poker client to the old compy and has been a resident of my bedroom ever since. I should charge rent. Seriously.

Anyway, I get on my account from time to time and play razz. This is a bit odd, as it is widely known as a game that angers even the best players. I don’t understand why, it just is. As I write this post, I’m playing a game for fun. So many people love to play Texas Hold ‘em, probably due to the poker boom that’s been going on since around 2001. It’s not my thing—I can play alright, and I’ve made money, but razz is my thing. It’s more fun…maybe not as exciting, but more fun.

*****

The job hunt for Lexington is going…well, we’ll just say going. I have landed a job (stocking/register type work), though I’m hoping to hear back from a company I had a second interview with last week, or to land a job with a place I’m interviewing with this coming Thursday. In either case, I’ll be back in Lexington by the end of the month. Being away from my lovely fiancee for a bit will be upsetting, but with her trying to save money and me working as many hours as I can get, she’ll be with me within two to five months. Plus, I plan on making regular trips in to get things from home, so that will give me plenty of chances to see her.

*****

Since I left my job at the law office and went back to subbing, I’ve realized that, despite what people might say, teaching actually isn’t that bad of a job. The pay isn’t that bad (could be better, but for a young guy, certainly not bad) and the benefits seem great. This is certainly food for thought as I consider possible career moves…

*****

Everyone, keep your eyes peeled: Zombie Jesus is on the loose today.

Reckless Abandon

So, let’s talk about why I’ve been incredibly and increasingly absent as of late.

I’ve been focused on getting back to Lexington. I’ve applied for more than a few jobs, and I’m waiting to hear back. This blog post? Merely procrastinating before finishing up an application. I’ve been busy. I left the law office about a month ago, thinking I’d get to Lexington sooner.

Truth is, I’ve been torn about leaving. You see, I met CCG (that’s Cute Cashier Girl for the unfamiliar) and we really hit it off. We became official (read: changed our Facebook status) on our second date, and by the end of the week, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my time than being with her.

So I asked her to marry me, and she said yes without hesitation.

I want to leave Pikeville—aside from family and a few friends, it has nothing for me. CCG is here, but she will be joining me in Lexington in two to six months, and we’ll be making trips to visit each other in the meantime. Truth be told, I probably would have been a bit more gung-ho about leaving had I not met CCG. I was miserable here, and was kicking myself in the teeth everyday for coming back. My intentions were good when I left Lexington, but the reality of home life sank in incredibly quick, forcing me to realize that my childhood home isn’t my current home. Meeting her made everything better, and we’re both very excited about the move (and life and all that other good stuff).

At just a little over three hundred words, I know this blog post isn’t going to satisfy those of you who are used to longer tirades, not will it appease those of you who have missed my writing and want to read more. It’s half past one in the morning, I have to be at school by 8 AM, and directly after teaching I’m taking the lovely lady to Lexington so she can meet our future roomies. It should be fun. Very tiring, but fun.

I’ll try to blog more often, if only to update you on the plans/job hunt/move/love situations. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at mr.lydian@gmail.com.

Why a Degree, a Beard, & a Humanist Viewpoint are Excellent Tools for the Substitute Teacher

Hell of a title, isn’t it? I’ll try not to let the tail wag the dog.

This week marks my return to substitute teaching [I'm also reviewing portfolio pieces on days that they don't need me in a classroom, which is neat]. For those curious, I’m teaching high-school aged kids in various subjects, and I actually enjoy it. Sure, every now and then you get the problem kids, but if you can gain and keep control of the classroom, and keep all eyes and ears on you for most of the lecture period, you’re gonna be fine. The trick is doing it, all damn day. So, every day, when I go to teach, I keep three things in mind to help me talk to and deal with the kids.

My degree. That’s right, babies, my degree. I introduce myself to each class, and then I give a quick bio, which usually consists of my name, the year I graduated from the very same high school, the college I attended and date of graduation, and a fun fact (usually, my shoe size, because this causes all the kids to look at my feet and say things like, “Woooooow….”). Usually, after the kids do their intros (name and fun fact) I’ll get a couple of questions about the college I attended—basic stuff like “Did you like it?” and “How big is the campus?” to more detailed stuff like “How did you decide what you wanted to study?” and “Could you recommend any professors?” This allows me to talk about something I know, and give the kids a bit of real information. They get so much state-issued bullshit, I feel bad if I can’t be real with them.

My beard. Okay, so not all substitutes can get away with this one. I’ll admit, all this really does is give me an excuse to throw one of my nicknames out there, “Treebeard.” Inevitably, I’ll have a student who knows the LotR reference and wants to know the connection, and off I go. I talk to them about getting the nickname during my tenure with a local summer program, and encourage them to apply for it. The program did wonders for me, so I feel the need to give back. The beard, it helps me.

My humanist viewpoint. [For the sake of this post, we'll stick with the "be good to others" definition of humanism, not the "there isn't necessarily a god" definition.] I believe that everyone deserves a fair shake. As such, I go into each class assuming, for better or worse, that the kids are going to behave. I know this is unrealistic, and often there are classes that do get incredibly noisy, but I’d rather go in with a positive mindset than to assume I’ll be locked in a room with devil children for an hour. When some classes get noisy, I simply ask them to be quiet, then inform them of the difference between ignorance and stupidity—the point being that, as nobody likes to be called stupid, they’re more likely to keep the noise level down after this initial request (EDIT: I realize I’ll probably have to clarify this at some point, maybe another post).

I also don’t tolerate racial, gender, or any other sort of slurs in my classes. It’s the thing that gets me boiling quicker than anything else a child could do. Why? Because it further displays the ignorance of some of the people in this area. Hate (and that’s what this language is, folks) is not an inate behavior, in my opinion. I refuse to believe that we come out of the womb hating people simply because they aren’t like us. That being said, when a student says that another student is “gay” in a derogatory manner, I jump their ass. I make sure the entire class can hear me, and I begin to give a short lecture on why people who are different aren’t bad, and how no matter your belief system tells you to think (it’s really hard not to go off on the religious right here, but I contain myself) all people are created equal, and treated fairly.
And there you have it. Sure, there are other things to consider when teaching a large group of students, but for my purposes, these three things are always at the forefront. Any other twenty-somethings have experience with substitute teaching, or more broadly, with speaking in public? If so, what tricks do you find to be most helpful?

A Few of Your Favorite Things

I want to know a little more about you. So, I ask you these questions, in hopes that you’ll comment/email me with your answers. Here we go:

1.) What’s your favorite book?

2.) How about your favorite TV show? If you don’t watch TV, favorite movie or cartoon (or cartoon movie)?

3.) What’s your least favorite food?

4.) Do you play a musical instrument. If so, which one(s) and for how long? What do you like to play?

5.) What time do you get up for work in the morning?

6.) Nintendo, Xbox, or Playstation? There can be only one…

7.) What is the best cereal known to man (or at least, the best cereal known to you)?
I’ll thank you in advance for your replies. Give me some answers to read, folks.