It’s calling “climb me.” Where’s my bike?
Oklahoma has had over 150 earthquakes in the past week alone—what’s going on down there? Scientists have a (scary) hypothesis.
Best suggestion - it is on the energy industry to prove it is not fracking.
never not reblog
And then there’s good ol’ America
This actually makes me so angry. The truth is right here and people see it and brush it aside. We really could make things better. But no, America apparently wants to suck forever.
Comments aside, this graphic points to how US education reform is headed in a seemingly wrong direction, making me question the motivations of the politicians who actual cause educational reform. That’s right, folks, politicians and not teachers decide what happens in the classroom if you didn’t know that already.
- George R.R. Martin (via indisposablehero)
This is one of the most beautiful quotes I think I have ever read. I love it, and I will treasure it for my entire life.
What a great description of literature in general.
The difference between Freedom & Slavery is one thin line.
my jaw literally dropped wow
This is a startling and sobering image.
"What?! When did you start working in a bicycle shop?"
Some of you may be asking this question; others know that this is what I say I would be doing if I weren’t teaching.Unfortunately, the last week or so of constant bickering amongst Oklahoma’s most influential educators has me more fed up than ever. And I’m aware that I’ve fed a portion of this by “sharing” various posts on my Facebook page; I always hope those posts might lead to some dialogue that will forward a meaningful discussion amongst friends who aren’t educators, but I’m not convinced that they do. This is not a critique of any of my friends, by the way - I’ve discussed these topics with most of you more than enough, so dialogue on Facebook really isn’t necessary.
What’s become frustrating about this debate is its total lack of focus on the students. I’ve spent all Sunday stewing over different articles about the way the adults in the state are behaving, resenting yet another article or post on this issue, yet I’ve thought nothing of grading papers or writing recommendation letters for students. As usual, the students aren’t what make this job aggravating, but the adults who forget that our focus should be on improving their chances for the future, not our positions as politicians, unions, or anything else.
Most of you who know me know that I hate the over-used phrase “we do this for the kids.” I do this because I love English and music and I want to share that passion with others. Students are typically the most receptive audience given my talents. “Do it for the kids” is patronizing and emotional blackmail - of course we do this to better children; yet, so many of the proposed solutions to education aren’t truly student focused. “College and Career Readiness” standards are about making life easier on the business world, making them less responsible for educating employees once they get there. Look, I’m a fan of Common Core, I just don’t understand why we won’t be honest about what it is attempting to accomplish?
I digress. I’m getting to the point that even doing the work that only involves my students is starting to carry the weight of the rest of this debate, making me less excited about sharing my passion with my students. It’s difficult to read negativity about my chosen career - reading that my State Superintendent of Schools has said that I and my colleagues have lost an entire generation of Oklahoma students, for example - and then get excited about not spending time with my family only to supposedly “fail” some more students.
So, what does this have to do with a bike shop? As horrible as the stories of cyclist killed by motorists are, I don’t see local bike shops attacked as having failed much of anybody. I don’t see them categorically blamed for obesity rates, nor do I see them being evaluated based off the riding abilities of their customers. Look, all the men and women that I know who work at bike shops do extra community service off their contract time, too; it’s not about the work load or grading papers. However, when they run a successful community event, they are lauded for reintroducing a healthy lifestyle to people, not for having failed to keep them healthy to begin with.
This significant shift in attitude, particularly in a state focused on trying to become healthier, makes working in a bike shop very attractive right now. I love and have a passion for bicycles as well, though I don’t think I’d see as many customers on a daily basis as I do students. And I dread the thought of not teaching English, though maybe a book club through the local bike shop could feed that part of my soul, too. Regardless, something has to change, or more educators like me may find themselves choosing between the students we want to serve and the adults who make the rules for doing this job so difficult.
Yeah, so this is true.
My oldest child turned 13 this week. Initially, this post seemed to be a time to lament about my aging and how I feel having a teenager, etc.
However, my trip down memory lane shifted significantly as my wife and I were looking at old pictures. My father has had some significant health issues over the last decade, and seeing him in 13 year old pictures - holding my then new-born daughter - was a startling reality check about how he has aged over the past few years.
As usual, I don’t know that I have an epiphany to share; the realization that the immortal are mortal is trite, and considering that my parents were 40 when I was born means that realization happened much earlier in life. But there is resignation, and sorrow, over the inevitable. And it’s inevitable for all of us, so I don’t find myself experiencing grief.
Perhaps the best description is the shame of it all. Being able to see the gradual transition in the stark contrast of before-and-after pictures makes the implied explicit. And it is a shame that any of us have to go through this, either in watching others or eventually experiencing aging ourselves. It is what it is; I have no interest in medical advancement that slows or halts the aging process. But the ambivalence I feel doesn’t really help when facing the realities of life.
I didn’t ride my bike on Saturday. After riding very little the entire month of June, the beginning of July has been something akin to a binge riding session. Six or seven days straight of riding, equaling close to 150 miles, is a big deal when the previous month totaled about 60 miles.
So I decided not to ride on Saturday. I got up late (for me, so around 7:30), watched the live broad cast of the Tour de France stage for the day, went with the family to see “Despicable Me 2” (well worth it, by the way - an excellent movie), then more family time spent swimming. On the whole, a fantastic day.
My bike ride today was nothing short of fantastic. I found that zone where everything felt great and just worked, no thought or real effort required. But here’s the thing - I’m sure the physical recovery was helpful; I wonder how much of today was mental? How much of my great ride was because the day before had been so fulfilling? I don’t know enough about the science of sport to really know, but I do know that I had no sense that my time off the bike on Saturday had been wasted, meaning that Sunday morning’s ride was not a return to the bike with me guilty over missed opportunities from the day before.
No, I rode this morning feeling refreshed, renewed, still tired, but recovered.
I always have at least a month during the summer where I’m basically off the bike. It’s frustrating, but travel makes riding very difficult. I managed to ride last night for the first time in the better part of a week, but I think I’ve only ridden three times in the last three weeks - family vacation, long workshops, etc.
Regardless, riding last night reminding me of why I like riding over all other exercise opportunities available. It’s a hassle to travel with a bike, but exploring new territory, finding new sites (take a look at my last post for a picture), and rediscovering that moment where I realize I am pleased with how my body is working and responding are experiences I can’t replicate with running, swimming, walking…anything.
A good ride serves as my therapy; my saddle might as well be that stereotypical couch. I feel like I process the world better during and after a ride, and there’s not much more for which I can ask.