31 May 2014

I Could Use an Epiphany -- These Are the Collection of Paragraphs That I Have Recently Written

Marilyn Monroe reading Leaves of Grass.



Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But losers, cheaters
Six-time users
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters.
- From Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan


This is the subway I'm riding and I'm in it. Dig it. This is the trolley I'm riding and I'm in it. Dig it. This is the school where I'm teaching. Dig it. These are the words that I'm writing. Dig it. This is the break that I'm taking. Dig it....

I've been me for such a long time now. I'm actually starting to get used to myself. Me and I get along just fine these days. We have a kind of an understanding. I do what I tell me to do but in return I never ask too much of myself. A man's got to know his limitations and push his expectations. A woman too. Don't be blue....

When I get restless I have trouble writing. That's where meditation can help. Squares you rounds you goddamned pounds you....

Thoughts and prayers. Imagine all the people who have the families of victims in their thoughts and prayers. Its become the big cliche after a tragedy. I should amend that to "senseless" tragedy. That's the other cliche. I don't know of any sensible tragedies. No one ever says: "that horrific slaugher mades sense." But of course any effort to keep insanse people from carrying bazookas is tantamount to ripping the constitution to shreds and creating a totalitarian state. For that matter providing affordable health care to everyone leads a nation down the road to fascism. The US is saddled with an overpopulation of village idiots who are egged on by TV radio and internet talking heads whose heads are empty of intelligence or conscience. Witness the classifying of global warming as a myth and evolution as a theory. Madness....

Monroe reading Ulysses.
But we can perhaps find comfort and solace in Dr. King's words “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” We could use a little bending towards such hare brained notions as education knowledge and fact. Well one can dream anyway....

Comfort can also be found in the arts sometimes from sports and most importantly family and friends.
And be the happiness that you feel. I have a tendency to question happiness when it envelops me when I'd be wiser to simply accept as a gift from the universe even if it be temporal....

Smoking cigarettes must be the ultimate act of self loathing especially in these times. I'm often stunned at how many people still smoke. Yes I smoked. For about 12 years. At least when I smoked it was socially acceptable enough to be done in offices theater lobbies and sections of restaurants. Now you can't even smoke in bars. If you can't even puff away in a bar that strikes me as being a pretty strong hint. And the cost. My god I noticed the other day that its several dollars a pack. How can anyone even afford it anymore? I work with several people who smoke. They also cough a lot and often reek of tobacco. Stupid....

I could use an epiphany. Where can I find one? Is there something I need do to be struck by one? Must I wait around? I'm unable to employ drugs or alcohol to stimulate one if that's what's required. Is there something I should? A conversation I could have? Thoughts I should wrestle with? Maybe I should read some poetry, but whose? Maybe I should listen to some music, but whose? Maybe a novel I should read, again whose? A film I should watch perhaps, but which? Should I struggle or relax? And what if I finally have an epiphany but don't like it? Can I send it back? So damn many questions and no epiphany....

I like to run and I do it for fun. I like to sweat you bet. I like to dance and take a chance. And eat a burrito that's really neato. I like to rhyme and do it all the time. I like to write it relieves the internal fight. I like to be me knowing you and being us even if we fuss. I like to be alive and brudder that ain't no jive....

I've been teaching one thing or another at one place or another for pretty near 30 years. Wow. What's really informed my teaching has been coaching. I believe youth coaching is all about being positive and encouraging and building a sense of team and the self esteem of the individual. It's creating a family. I do the same sort of thing in my classrooms. Even students I don't like (and these individuals are few and far between) are part of the family and I'm very protective of them. I really care about my students and want them to enjoy their time with me not be bored and of course learn as much as possible. To that end I try to build interesting lessons that revolve around students' talking a lot more than I do. I also try to include a lot of variety in my lessons and never do anything for too long. I believe my students appreciate this. I've been particularly effective since moving out of teaching young teens in public school and working with young adults in ESL. Its so much easier to not have to deal with discipline (other than the occasional cell phone or students speaking their native tongue in class). I have polite and appreciative students. Some of my colleagues don't like or at least complain regularly about students from particular countries. Not me. I try to judge countries and races and ethnicities on their best representatives and to consider their worst to be outliers. You name a country and I like its people -- if not its government. Hell I even like Americans....

As for the two Marilyn Monroe pics it's her birthday tomorrow and she really was an avid reader. Don't know if she read any Kerouac but I do know I'm about to. It's how I roll.






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