28 April 2007 

Being Still

I'm anxious, all over my body, wondering what the night will bring. How will they be?

What's it going to be like saying goodbye to them again?


Seeing some of my RL students in D.C. brought such a sense of stillness that I was missing. There wasn't a single awkward moment. We were jubilant and thankful and calmed on a deep level by each other's presence. No. I'm not reading too much into this. Their firm hugs lasted just long enough to wonder about a lot of things. They wouldn't let go. Completely threw me off.

Not because of a shooting, I swear I don't want that to be why, but there is a connection we have with each other that is rarely defeated. The school we once collaborated at has changed in little ways, but remains the same in most.

And I can honestly say that I've not felt such peace since I've moved to Baltimore as I felt last night with these young wonders. I miss my old classroom and moments and the realness that I let into my classroom, then.

Now, I'm different. I didn't see that until I saw them, and I felt myself again. I'm not sure all the ways in which I've changed, or the layers, but they're present.

I tell people, constantly, that I never will return because I don't want to live in the sticks. I don't tell them about the wind, air, and colors that fiercely compete with the risk of loneliness.

It's funny how about an entire year ago I was desperately trying to figure out how to leave my students behind. After that goodbye, the hardest action ever instigated, I felt more and more okay with the decision. It's still the right choice. I know it. I still talk to them on a fairly regular basis on the phone, we email too, so I didn't just ditch them. We stay connected and invested. Seeing them last night, though, was such a treat.

We at ice cream, Rod ran through a thorn bush trying to show off, we privately talked here-and-there about some serious things that needed to be addressed, we laughed about whatever, and taunted speakers at their program's reception for talking about totem poles. Oh those white people. They'll never get it. They couldn't stop themselves. Each of them had brimming smiles, counting their victories, slowly, waiting for validation. I was validating before they could even finish. We had so much fun.

The stillness was bred from knowing that their teachers are so invested in them. I feel so good about who is working, advocating for their welfare. Then there's just seeing that they're okay. They're doing fine. Oh they have the ugly things in life going after them, but they just keep fighting it all off by trying to make good decisions, learning from the ones that weren't good, and moving forward.

This goodbye was better. I didn't know what the future would bring last year, and now it's still pretty fuzzy. But I know that I'll be driving 312 miles up North this summer, during some two week stint, to see them again. This goodbye was the unfortunate-fortunate kind. Like we all understood each other and our respective lives, but we knew that whatever those lives entail - ours are still intertwined, unspoken and still.

23 April 2007 


I have a pretty big interview coming up, and I'm not sure whether or not I should take it if I get the job. More on this later.

17 April 2007 


It would be a lie to say that watching the news doesn't trigger intense emotions. Two years later, you'd think one has dealt with the baggage. I guess I've just lied to myself the last two days, saying to myself, that's life people - why are we so shocked?

When really every little part of this whole ordeal is testing my anxiety. My first reaction was (alert - this is intense), How are they going to identify the bodies of the people at a university with so many people? Since their faces are probably blown off, how will people be able to tell? Do people even understand what happens to people who ID bodies belonging to those they once knew? The news is more concerned about getting the first story than the story, we've profiled the killer (funny how we think we can "figure out" people when we all are trying to figure ourselves out in the first place), we've speculated why, we show pictures of people in pain, we talk about each step of the crime, the so-called experts start to appear and tell their lies, and it's only beginning.

We act like we all care, and then we just stop caring and move on. Or maybe we won't this time, because it's a university fueled by money and standard Americans that our country models itself after. When really, people are just scared that it'll be them. We just see mirrors of ourselves in others, and it's why we care during crisis and trauma.

Which is exactly what I am doing here. I care because it hurts me. I'll admit it. Wonder how I'll react tomorrow night in my grad class when it will inevitably come up? I should probably start prepping some meditative state or sit near an exit for a bathroom break.

Do me a favor people, don't pretend like you can even fathom the reasons why mental illness pushes people to these extremes. Few people will every actually understand this, and those people aren't going to be talking to us - the public. Furthermore, nobody will ever know since he killed himself, and every prediction just hurts the victims more. Unless of course you believe in God. That usually takes care of some loose ends.

I think it's enough to know about it - that's it. This is sympathy for others, at least how I see it at this moment. Your talking and discussing won't carry much weight, at least not where it matters for those directly affected.

It's probably very mean and hurtful of me to call out other people's sympathy, but I guess this is me being honest and direct. I've never been one to promote not discussing about anything, but I've felt different lately. Some things are just pointless conversations even though we like to think we're getting somewhere.

Tomorrow and for a little while longer, I'll just lie to people and tell them that I'm "good." I don't want explain why I'm "not good" only to relive/revive a school shooting and every little ounce of pain that follows.

Well, enough off the top of my head babbling for now.

10 April 2007 


05 April 2007 

Thai food and head food

After talking to one of my RL students last night for almost half an hour, I feel so much more balanced. He called on the perfect night. I'm so proud to have known this kid and all that he's done. Well, ambiguous entry is over because I have to pack for the Bahamas!

01 April 2007 


I woke up with an urge to rearrange everything in my bedroom. I unloaded bookcases, dressers, and dug through things looking for other things that can be junked.

Then there was the intense workout with cardio and weights and then less weight as I left, rearranging my body.

The guilt is gone as well, since my juniors came forward admitting they saw previously mentioned student looking at porn. He is guilty, so I need not feel guilty about lacking evidence. They rearranged their thinking by deciding snitching isn't the devil.

A prospective man is on the horizon. He seems so much more like me, or harmonizes with me, better than anyone else I've met. We are equally goofy, you know in that awkward way, where I usually say something so perverse and wrong that everyone squirms. I rearranged the doubt that I needed to be anyone different to see someone. That was stupid.

Then there was the permission-slip enabled kidnapping of one of my favorite students this afternoon. He was accused of bringing a knife to school, so he was suspended for the rest of the school year. Someone needs to tell him that chivalry is dead and forget about taking the fall for the girl. We've committed to working together for the rest of the quarter to make sure our school system doesn't fail him. He also needs encouragement to keep going, and he just won't get that sitting at home alone everyday. He might have rearranged his thinking, because I encouraged him to volunteer at a retirement home - he's going tomorrow to look into it.

Friday was beautiful, as I took my agnostic self to my friend's house for shabbatt. I'm humbled that she invites me into this part of her world. It's wonderful being around balanced people.

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