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Entry date: 1-20-2022 - Random thoughts - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Tough day today. I wonder, quietly and to myself, sometimes if I really should be in charge of small children for long periods of time. I have to remind myself that their brains are not wired the way my brain is wired, and they can’t help but say and do things that are directly in opposition to their prolonged survival.

Case in point: I have a student who is so impulsive that I fear for his life. He will, undoubtedly, piss off the wrong person sooner than later who will stomp the living shit out of him when all he had to do was stop and think about his actions before giving into his impulses. I know this describes a ton of adults we all know, too, but no matter what I try, even the message of self-preservation, nothing is sinking in with him.

It makes me feel like I have no idea what I am doing.

To be fair, though, there was not a single moment in my graduate school program that spoke to this type of problem. I know how to teach him math and reading and phonics and such, but I was ill prepared to deal with the standard 7-year-old asshole. Don’t fool yourselves, either. There are definitely 7-year-old assholes.

I still love him, of course, and want what’s best for him, but he’s well on his way to asshole-ville. My suspicion is that everything is done for this kid at home, and he’s treated like he is some sort of goddamn royalty. Like he might not even wipe his own ass at home.

Fuck, I’m cussing a lot today.

The therapy of putting this in writing, though, is that I realize I can’t give up on him. Assholes everywhere want me to give up on him so another will join their ranks. I can see it now. When a new adult asshole joins the ranks, the rest of them see it as an opportunity to get away with more assholery. Like some sort of sphincter-shaped pyramid scheme.

I can’t give up on him because then I’m just another asshole, too.

So, I will keep plugging away at helping him be a good human. That’s the goal, right? Sure, reading and writing and math are cool to know, but if I can churn out 29 little people who are better people for having been in my class than they were back in July 2021, then I have succeeded and done something positive for our community.


Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday. I wish her well and appreciate the strides she is making at being one of those better humans. I just wish she had chosen a better birthday meal. Chipped beef on toast is so salty. Uggh.


I got word about the next teaching contract I will be offered by my current employer yesterday. It’s not bad but it’s not great, either. Our school year is 200 days. Most other schools do 180-185. Those extra three or four weeks are killers. I don’t get finished this year until June 10 and we started on July 26. That is not a summer the way I remember them when I was a kid.

I have to think long and hard about signing a contract right now. There is such a shortage of teachers and I have my master’s degree and will soon be certified. I also want to teach younger grades and there aren’t a lot of guys in these rolls. I keep hearing that I will be in demand. Does anyone want to put their money where their mouth is on this? I’m definitely listening.

I’ve reached out to a few friends who are principals to get their feedback on putting together a great resume. So far, the advice has helped. I’m ready for a new challenge, for sure. My current job has been great, and I want to be a good do bee, but I think the grass may actually be greener elsewhere. If I could get back to the online school, though, it would be very tempting to stay. The charter school world is an odd duck, for sure.


I am reminded of a song I wrote for my old band, Hillbilly Devilspeak. “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” is the title and in the first line of lyrics says, “Be a good do bee, don’t be a don’t bee.” Feels like I was on to something there. That was a really fun song to play. All angular and a bit math rock-ish. It was one that Claire, Steve, Ray, and I did during the early 2000s. It’s been something like 10 years since I’ve played it, I think. I’m guessing we did it for the Ross Rocks show which was the last time that lineup played together.

April 28, 2012 was the Ross Rocks show. That was humdinger of a day. 19 bands in 15 hours and I played in four of them during the course of the day. We raised a lot of money for Ross and a good time was had by everyone except the late Doug Clark. I feel bad about that now, kind of, but he did bring it on himself and because he played second to last, the small crowd that was left was a bit spent. I’m sure he would have liked to have gotten the same love a number of other bands got. I’m glad that we became the type of friends that we did as the years went by.

As I listen to “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and let YouTube keep playing old Hillbilly songs, I can sit back and be happy. We did a good thing over the years, in all of our incarnations. I’ll tell that story here this year in several installments, for sure. It will take a bit to get it all out there. I can even go more in depth into the Ross Rocks show if anyone cares. You can always request stories in the forum.

See you tomorrow.

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