REPORT A PROBLEM
My biggest daily school problem is having a rambunctious class of sixth graders or a stack of boring essays to grade. There are no Sentinels standing guard outside my classroom! I donít have to choose between the X-Men and the Brotherhood! Iíd like to be asked! Although truthfully, my undying allegiance is sworn to Magneto. My school has a music room. Itíd be nice to have a Danger Room. The music room is never going to gain sentience and try to destroy me. And thereís not even a Blackbird jet with Shiíar technology under the soccer field. My school sucks.
All the kids they call him Freak
His name is Victor Strum
They never once asked him to play
They all think he's dumb
Sometimes they all laugh at him
Because of his Goth style
But they donít know the fangs he hides
Because Victor doesn't smile
The girls they giggle, point, and stare
The boys push him in the mud
Until the day heíd had enough
And drained them of their blood
He bit and sucked, and slurped and drank
He slew them where they stood
They shrieked and screamed, and begged and cried
Their insides tasted good
The challenge of teaching is to try and get teenagers, who care about a lot of shit, to care about things that matter. How do you convince them that MTV and vapid pop music donít mater, but books and writing do? How do you get kids to realize they could really make a difference if they put the same amount of effort into learning as they do into choosing just the right outfit to wear to the mall? How do you convince them that the real world isnít the one being sold to them? Thatís what I want to teach.
Iím tired of the ongoing bullshit which makes U.S. military soldiers out to be these patriotic superheroes. The most talented and brightest of American youth are not enlisting in the military. No one with a functioning brain would risk their life for this countryís nonsensical, nebulous concept of freedom. Kids who join the army are overly aggressive, ignorant losers who like to play with guns and who have no other viable career options. Soldiers are bullet receptacles and kill-for-hire mercenaries at best. Smart kids go to college, get real jobs, read books and raise children intelligent enough to not enlist.
Rachel, a shy, awkward 8th grade girl wrote a really honest, angry, and sad poem about her absent mother. She was excited to read it to the class and was one of the first to volunteer to share. She held back tears as she read, swallowing sobs between stanzas. Her voiced cracked on particularly moving lines. The class watched in silence. When she was finished reading, they erupted into enthusiastic applause. It was probably the first time they had heard something that honest and emotional in class. The smile on Rachelís face was beautiful. Thatís why I became a teacher.
A world where mediocrity was a terminal illness
A highly contagious, incurable virus
Spread through the air
On radio waves broadcasting poppy emo songs
A toxic bacterium caught from direct contact with reality television
About blonde girls with pretend problems
A poisonous parasite
Contracted from celebrity magazines, Michael Bay, and Carlos Mencia
Billions dying slow, excruciating deaths
Bleeding from their ignorant eyes, ears, and mouths
And those few immune
Resistant from lifetime vaccinations of John Milton, Akira Kurosawa and Alan Moore
Immune from hours spent in libraries
Reading, writing, and thinking beautiful thoughts
A decimating plague of averageness
Hundreds of Pocky noshing nerds
Prancing around in brightly colored cartoon garb
Wielding ridiculously unwieldy weapons
Mournfully nostalgic adults browse toy displays and rummage comic bins
Hoping to find the missing pieces of their childhood
Rebuilding the youth they took for granted, one GI Joe at a time.
Awkward geeks wear the awkward clothes of the people they wish they were
Ninjas, warriors, soldiers, people with self confidence
They congregate in groups
Because itís harder For a self important society to pick them off one by one
They pretend, they pose, they play
Theyíre who they want to be
Cast out to wander the earth with one broken wing
I stagger through these cobblestone streets
Sleeping in pissed stained allies
Eating garbage scraps to survive
Begging for change
Hoping some generous soul will toss a few coins to the filthy wretch
Humiliating, debasing myself
While He sits on his throne
Pretending ultimate power like a schoolyard bully
But all is not lost
Hope lives in those who can fall no farther
There are many of us
Forgotten sons, discarded daughters
An army of broken-winged bastard soldiers
Sharpening our hand me down blades
And learning how to fly once more
Why is it that if I want to drive a car I have to get a credit check, take a four hour driving class, pass a driving exam, pass a written exam, take an eye test, get a learners permit to practice driving with an experienced driver, get a driverís license issued by the United States government, and buy car insurance in case I accidentally do damage with my vehicle. Then if I break too many traffic laws I have to take a class to remind me of proper driving practices. Yet
can have an
number of children
Teetering on the brink of sleep
The silent silence inside my muted headphones is deafening
No song plays
Scatological night thoughts bebop in my head
Remnants of the dayís experiences
I gaze for endless short eternities at nothing
My mind slowing to non-thought
The tick of the kitchen clock
Well timed second bombs
The refrigerator buzzes like an oversized flightless albino bee
The air conditioner life rattles awake
And breathes its endless icy exhalation on my face
Outside tree leaves quiver in the nightís still
I see myself reflected in the window
A two dimensional specter
What did we do before the internet? Itís revolutionized the way the entire world works: from economics to communication to academia. I know I couldnít live without. Before the internet came along, how could I find pictures of the SpyTech periscope I used to play with as a kid? Who would read my reviews of an arm wrestling movie? Where else could I go to find a copy of the Benny Hill theme, Kung Fu Fighting and Lucretia MacEvil. And forget about videos of otters holding hands and celebrities fucking Ben Affleck. The internet has made everything better. Thanks internet.
Itís always this point in the year where I start to get down on myself for being a crappy teacher. I look back on the things Iíve taught and the projects weíve done and try to figure out what worked and what didnít. I always think I shouldíve done more or tried harder than I did. Itís so much easier to contain a rowdy class by having them do an independent assignment at their desk rather than trying to wrangle them into cooperating for a more creative lesson. I struggle with that every few weeks and it always bothers me.
An open letter to Carlos Mencia
I write to you today concerned about the current state of the world. Things are not good. Oil, war, the economy. People are on edge. We all have our part to play and I have found yours. While clearly comedy is not your forte, as I have literally never laughed at any joke youíve ever made, I believe you can best help out the world right now by killing yourself. Thatís right. You are a talentless waste of human life. I wish you cancer of the AIDS you piece of shit.
I find nacho cheese very comforting on rainy Friday evenings. Some people have a special blanket or a comfy chair; I have nacho cheese served in an individual black plastic cup and tortilla chips. Something about its orange oozy goodness puts me at ease after a long week at the olí schoolyard. All my stress seems somehow manageable and my worries melt away like so many chunks of semi-solid gelatinous cheese product. It brings me peace. And as Jesus once said, ďTake this nacho cheese, it is awesome, and do this in memory of me.Ē Thank you Jesus I will.
There is nothing a pretend-cool poser Catholic school student likes to complain about more than wearing a uniform. They canít be individuals; they canít express themselves; additional trite teenage argument. They hate dressing like everyone else. Yet inevitably when a dress down day rolls around the other uniforms come out. The emo uniform: skinny jeans, trendy rock band vintage T, and side sweeping bangs. The skater uniform: baggy jeans, generic skate company logo T-shirt, and DC shoes. The sporty prep uniform: plaid shorts, polo shirt, and unremarkable Vans. Apparently there is a lot of uniformity involved in being an individual.
I fed my recently penned
Careworn and Grim
ďAll the angry Goths come to wash and dry in the machines marked ĎDarks OnlyíĒ
into BabelFish and translated it from English to another language and then back. Here are my favorites:
All the irritated Goths comes to only wash and to dry in the "marked blacknesses machines"
Goths everything which is gotten angry can acquire sign with the machine, you wash "with just the darkness," drying you come
All getting angry Goths of grade by the machine under washing, in order to stop comes "ticket inside darkness"
The revolution will not be broadcast on YouTube
It will not be uploaded in neat ten minute clips
Or be available in mp4, avi, mpg or mov format
It will not be found in a torrent a crack or a patch
The revolution will not be blogged
You will not be able to subscribe to the feed
Leave comments or comments about comments You will not receive a friend invite to the revolution.
You will not be able to set your mood to ďragingĒ
It will not be littered with pop-ups or spam
The revolution will be available on demand
I had to cover a period and a half in the second grade. I sat down at a desk one-quarter my size in a chair that seemed to be even smaller, and prepared myself for a good olí fashioned coloring session. My picture was of a very introspective rabbit sitting among a pile of Easter eggs and flowers. There is something very Zen and centering about picking a perfectly hued crayon and gently shading within the thick black lines. I found it very reassuring to have such a clear purpose, even for just a few minutes. I should color more.
I like 100Words.com because itís forced be to be creative if only for a few minutes everyday. Knowing if I miss a day my postings will disappear into the internet ether really keeps me on track. The problem Iíve been having, however, is that Iíll start my entry, Iíll really get rolling and go way over 100 words. So Iíll have a longer piece, which is good, but will still have to write another entry, which is good and bad. Part of me loves working within such specific parameters, but I really hate not being able to finish what I
When people say ďOnly God can judge meĒ stupid people applaud as if itís a profound statement of faith. However, to any person with a modicum of intelligence, it really means ďIím a sociopathic piece of shit who likes to act immorally and donít feel I should be held accountable for my actions because I have a poorly thought out lip-service faith in something I donít actually believe in.Ē If they actually believed in God they wouldnít behave as they do. So how about as a society we shun these people as being amoral, unintelligent defectives. Then we kill them.
Hereís the main problem that I have with most people: I hate them. I hate the ones that drive slowly in the fast lane. I hate the ones that use an ATM machine like theyíve never seen one before. I hate the ones that are horrible parents. I hate the ones who think their smart. I hate the ones who drink coffee flavored ice cream sundae milkshakes at 7:03 AM in the morning. I hate the ones who donít read. I hate the ones that listen to country music. I hate almost all of them. Other than that, theyíre fine.
Hereís why Batman sucks.
He is not a hero. He is not relatable.
Batman is a manic depressive whiner. Instead of confronting his childhood issues in therapy, he dons a homo-erotic costume and flaps around the city.
He is not a sympathetic character. Heís a billionaire with everything he could ever want and he broods all day like an angry emo kid.
Thousands have died lost because Batman refuses to kill the Joker. Thatís the one thing he wonít do. How noble. Countless innocents die at the hands of a psycho because of his dedication to poorly thought out ideals.
So for a week Iíve hearing about Tonyís grandmotherís Easter pizza and how itís the greatest food ever.
ďIt cost $200 to make! It takes 24 hours to make! She made the crust by hand! Oh man Italian people work so hard at making awesome food.Ē
He finally brings some overÖand itís literally a ham and cheese omelet in a pie crust. And youíre supposed to eat it cold.
If it takes $200 and 24 hours to make this, then grandmother might be going senile. And pie crusts take 25 minutes to make properly.
Delusions of grandeur anyone?
There are literally one million Starbucks in the area around my house. Literally. Literally, one million. But I choose the one down on Fourth Street. Itís not that their overpriced coffee is better than the coffee at another franchise and itís certainly not more convenient, as there are a few that are probably closer. I go there because of the tall skinny black guy who works the drive thru window every night. Why? Because every time I pull up to the speaker he ALWAYS says, ďWhat can the master of the brew make for you?Ē That my friend, is awesome.
Today, I met a seven year old Bulgarian kid at Starbucks. He noticed the comic book I was reading (Watchmen) and wanted to know more about it, specifically if it was like Spider-Man. He told me, rather precisely, that he could finish Watchmen in four days. I gave him kudos for his reading ability and specificity. His comic missive evolved into a 30 minute discussion of superheroes, the magic of Santa Claus, having teeth fall out, starving people in Africa without any clothes, moving to Seattle, and soccer (Which he knew infinitely more about than I). I liked that kid.
What happened to us as a species that we feel the need to leave the house, travel to a location with other people, order beverages, and then stare at laptop screens? Why is this an event? Why is this doing something? Canít people have conversations anymore? Are we that vapid and shallow that we need something to stare at in case there is a momentary pause when no one speaks and we have to be alone in our own head? Oh no donít panic! I have nothing interesting to say!
I donít get it. I like to talk to people.
I came to the realization that our world is the way it is because people have a paralyzing fear that they are unimportant. I agree I am unimportant; there are 6 billion people just like me on earth, how special am I? I have no problem with this. People are terrified. No one likes to sit still and quietly contemplate. They are afraid theyíll realize they have nothing to think or say that is in anyway important. Everyone focuses on the outside because itís easier to fake. Being alone in your own head, thatís you, stripped bare to inescapable reality.
Iíll tell you what I love about The Globe:
Itís a relaxed, hip atmosphere. I would declare it the most bohemian place in the area. The coffee is decent and the dťcor is retro junky cool. Sometimes they have local musicians play sets; usually acoustic guitar type stuff and some of the artists are actually pretty talented.
Hereís what I donít like:
People showing up and instead of a greeting, they announce theyíre going to the bathroom. Then they proceed to spin yards about the job that they have and every mundane detail that entails. Then baseball, then movies, repeat.
I think lately my personality has grown to be too multifaceted. I have too many interests and things to discuss. Iíve decided Iím going to boil myself down to only one and Procrustean bed the rest of my life into that. I donít know the defining aspect just yet though. Maybe
I have 10 fingers.
I have brown hair.
My relatives are from a country.
You see my life will become so much simpler. In conversations I can just relate everything to the one thing. ďOf course I liked that movie, I have brown hair donít I?Ē
Sometimes I think Iím not doing enough when I teach, and then there are days like today when I think why am I so much? Why try to create interesting units and projects if all that matters are test scores? Why try to give children the tools to become successful adults, when their parents complain they have too much homework? Why teach kids responsibility when their parents teach them itís ok to make excuses? I work harder than a lot of teachers I have met but we still get paid the same. Why not just teach out of the textbooks?
I do not understand parents. All they do is complain and make excuses about why their child has a poor grade or why they did not turn in an assignment. I get notes from parents when their child forgot to do their homework, as if a note from a parent is a magical ďGet Out Of Being Irresponsible Pass.Ē Shouldnít a parent want their child to succeed? Shouldnít they want them to take responsibility for their mistakes? Shouldnít they stress personal achievement? Or should they want them to grow up and be just as ignorant and repugnant as they are?
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