Showing posts from 2018

Aren't We All, Cont'd

Once I speculated that death was a void, a bleak blackness spread before us eternally. But, the assumption there is that we remain conscious in death in order to perceive of the blackness. Then, I presumed that consciousness itself must also die, but if that was the case, it must also have a beginning, and that beginning must be born from blackness, from nothingness. However, I wound up travelling down this rabbit hole that took me to understanding that, since energy and matter can neither be created nor destroyed, consciousness must be constantly a part of our existence, collectively or otherwise. That is why I am no longer an atheist. However, I do not believe in God. “You seem to be recovering, Dr Amos.” I reclined in my hospital gown, staring at the voice of my caretaker, Demi Housieaux. My bandages had slipped across my eyes, and the most comfortable position I could be in required that I lay semiretired on my back. The pressure behind my eyes felt enough to make them burst. “I …

Aren't We All

AREN’T WE ALL We never stopped talking. Perhaps it was because we were afraid of what would happen if there was ever a moment of silence between us. Perhaps we just didn’t want to listen to the persistent clinking constantly undercutting our conversations. It was always there. Circuitous. Repetitive. Unavoidable. We spent the better part of the summer of ’09 digging through the attic, ’10 through the basement, ’11 through the bedrooms, and ’12 in the kitchen and bathrooms. The only thing we found was an old pocketwatch, that was no longer running and stuck at 11:10, a stack of old newspapers dated September 12th, 1951 with an article about an exploding rocket, and a stuffed wenge llama with the initials JEH stitched into a tag on the collar. I made the joke that we’d found Jimmy Hoffa’s grave, but his middle name was Riddle, which led to another joke about Voldemort, but I was the only one in the family who’d read the Harry Potter series, so I was the only one who laughed. After our s…

I Want to Art


It's a human thing. The Mona Lisa. David. The Chrysler Building and the Goodyear Blimp. They're all works of art, and someone designed, drafted, and built them.

I want to art.

My wife and I sat down the other night in a crowded room full of trinkets and garbage. We were knee-deep in an event hosted by Austin Creative Reuse letting our subconscious minds direct our hands as we turned the garbage into found art. In writing, we use a similar approach. Found poetry takes words, sentences, or phrases and turns them into poetry. I draw a lot of similarities.

Furiously, I modge-podged bits of plastic, wound pieces of wire, glued down images, and even suspended something in a plastic box! When all was said and done and my fingers were nearly stuck together, I sat back and admired my work.

My uneven, awkward, barely standing, confusing mass of... something. I don't know. I wouldn't call it art. My wife, an actual artist, had produced a three-dimensional collage, all pre…

Parenting: An Idea

My daughter just turned three today. A bittersweet moment, to say the least.

We all get older, and with age we have more responsibility. We start to realize our many potentials: potential to do good, potential to think, to reason, to live with each other. It is these responsibilities that mould us and shape us into the adults we'll be. I listen to the podcasts of a psychology professor who does an excellent job of explaining the philosophy of Piaget. People must learn to be good to one another. And, guess what, it starts at home.

After the party was all said and done, and the other three-year olds left with their parents, my daughter cuddled up on the couch with her nana, and the two took a nap, and I started to think about my role. I'm writing now while they sleep on the couch. And, while they sleep I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by her.

Then, I started wondering what I meant by "the right thing." Kant, one of my idols, believed there must be a moral impe…

Where There's the Will...

I was an odd freshman (who wasn't, right?).

It was 1998, the Year of the Tiger, and I felt like prey.

Band nerd, speech and debate, theatre, chess club, choir, and math/science club were just the beginnings of what would be an overall horrific successful high school career.

Backpack in tow, my best friend and I navigated past pubescent uncertainty and headlong into outright confusion of adolescence.

I was lucky, looking back, to have moved from Colorado a couple years prior, to wind up in a school that celebrated hard work and work ethic, that trusted the students to build their own educational experience and strive to perfect it.

Things changed in April 1999.

April 20th to be exact.

In one fell swoop, two high schoolers changed the course of educational safety. They brought up questions like "What does it mean to create a safe space?" and "What rights do students have in their environments?" and "What are the legal ramifications of protection?".


Th' Opressor's Wrong

Once that sun sets, the stars come out, and the Englishmen get quiet. The wind makes the sails swell a gentle cascading rhythm with the waves. During the night, I am well. I am free.
"Up, apes," the monstrosity of a man shouts from the top of the stairs. I have not revealed that I speak and understand English.
English was mandatory in my home. "No, son," my father would correct. "It is pronounced Free-dum. Write it out, f-r-e-e-d-o-m." He would smile at me while his gentle hands guided my clumsy fingers. "We will leave our home, Chichi," he would whisper. "We will leave, and - make sure your 'o' closes at the top - and you will see the land of plenty. There will be grain and milk, and you will be full."
The last light of dawn fell to the contours of his face and made laurels of his greying temples. "I will be there with you, Chichi. Now, pronounce it like Dr. Wellesly."
We would sit in the dark corner of our home, l…

Socrates in the Classroom

This isn't a dialog about Socratic seminars or circles, though I do find them interesting and inspirational. And, there will be no imbibing of hemlock on the Senate steps.

Instead, I wonder how Socrates would approach the modern educational dilemma.

Educational Dilemma. It seems there's been one every year since Socrates, and I don't know if there actually is one, or if it's just the same issue since then and that issue hasn't ever been resolved. Keeping that in mind, if there's an issue that hasn't ever been resolved, is it a dilemma or just a quandary?

Perhaps, I'll refer to it as the Educational Quandary from here on in.

So, what is the Educational Quandary?

Here I stand in the front of the classroom, Monday through Friday barring holidays, and I expect to see attention, semi-attention, and non-attention. Henry Wong coined these green, yellow, and red zones. Other teachers have come up with synonymous dubs, and I think they're all right. At any g…

What I Think

I get asked this question a lot in my classroom:

"What do you think of Trump?"

I teach 6th grade science. There's a time and a place for political discussion, and the 6th grade science classroom is not that place.

But, my kids know they can bait me into a discussion, and it's one I like to answer. Here's my response:

"Get back to work."

Kidding. I'm a better teacher than that. So, I answer from the perspective of 6th grade science teacher. I try to respond as if whatever I say may have ramifications for years to come. So, here's what I say:

"Kid, you know there's a lot of news, information, slander, bias, fact, and opinion coming at us from all directions. We're getting distracted and being told what we want to hear, or we're ignoring what we don't want to hear (By this time, I've lost a few of them. Only the stalwart remain.). Truth of the matter is this:

95% of media coverage of Trump has been negative.
Unemployment fo…