15 August 2012

What a difference a year makes

Hey there, loyal readers of the BlazeBlog! Long time, no see. I suppose I should apologize for that, because when we aren't seeing enough of each other, it isn't you; it's me. I got busy, and I stopped writing. I don't think that you really care, but this is all my fault. 

Those of you who have been around the Blaze of Competence for a while might remember what happened to me in the last year or so. The Mrs. and I relocated to California and I got a new job. In fact, if you missed it, you can find my angst-ridden posts about that here and here. Really if you check out this blog from about May-September of 2011 you'll see a veritable ton of sadness, angst and melancholy spread around. It reads like a high schooler's myfacepagespacemblr. All things considered, it was an ignominious beginning to my third major teaching stint.

So here we are, 368 days after that "first days of school" post. The new year began today, and I have to say that things are much better. I have my own classroom, the C.H.I.L.D. sign and Courtney Love are hanging in their places of honor again, and I even have a desk that I don't have to share with a fridge or microwave. To top it off, I have two windows and a board that I don't have to erase when class is over. These things assure that I'm in a better mood tonight than I was a year ago.

Lo those many months ago, I was in a pretty bad place. In fact, in reading through my plan book as I planned for this week, I saw a notation that showed just how distraught I was. This was written on the first Saturday of the school year:  

That's right, I planned to spend that Saturday "Mostly crying". Did I? Of course not. I retreaded up the mountain to surround myself with comfort and people I knew. Today, I spent my day passing out schedules, sending kids in the right direction and feeling like I kind of knew what I was doing. I even got recognized by teachers in other departments.  On Friday, I'm still going to retreat up the mountain, but for a distinctly different reason. (oh, also because it's going to be 104 actual degrees in the Valley)

Two questions present themselves at this point; first, "what changed that made you happy?" and second, "does this mean you're satisfied and won't be bringing me sadly infrequent rants on the BlazeBlog anymore?". 

To the first question that you I asked myself, I think a couple of things changed. I accepted where I was and made the best of it. This allowed me to focus on teaching, which is really what I love to do. The second thing was that I made friends with my co-workers. The older I get, the harder this seems to be, but it ended up working out, and now I feel like I belong when I walk into a department meeting. It's easier to be happy when you belong.

To the second question, I raise my eyebrows, shrug my shoulders and present this short anecdote:

My campus is currently undergoing a massive renovation. It's also roughly eleventy-billion degrees here in Fres-yes. And our cafeteria is un-air-conditioned. As a result, our administration decided that the cafeteria was a good place for 5 hours of meetings yesterday. I was so dehydrated when I got home that I just laid on the couch and groaned. Do you want to know what the meetings were about? Well, there was a terribly executed Olympics theme, wherein we were all supposed to think about being "gold-medal teachers". (but which was mostly a new format for re-indoctrinating us the usual jargon that our central office loves to send our way).  Then, we talked about the subject which spawned the Dr. Dick Johncock phenomenon. We witnessed a PowerPoint slide so powerful that it (and several adult beverages) started this blog. A slide with an acronym-shape combination so powerful that it has led to literally tens of people reading the rambling thoughts of a thoroughly average history teacher on the Internet.

That's right, we got to see the slide with the PBiS intervention pyramid on it. 

Oh, I'm not out of rants. Not by a long shot. O.O.P.

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