Tag Archives: embrace the crazy

Writing Difficulties and Fears


So often I have had difficulties writing, and I either put it all aside or just push through. However, right now I am working on my personal statement and portfolio to apply to grad school. I don’t mind editing my pieces, but at the moment everything I look at in some of my best work I am questioning. I feel like there are mistakes in every bit of what I wrote, from beginning to end. I don’t know if I’m just being the perfectionist that I can sometimes be, or if these problems are really there.

Now normally in this situation I would ask for an extra pair of eyes, but the whole thing makes me nervous. I am anxious about every aspect of this process. I am not worried that I am a bad writer, but that my writing won’t fit into a MFA program. I want my essays to be perfect, but then if they are perfect, then why do I need to go back to school. So I am stuck in an odd crisis here. What do I write? What do I submit? What are my reasons? All things that I could have easily picked, named, and put words to a month ago.

So as I am trying this, I figured that I would write a post about being stuck. I am stuck and I feel that this program can help me get out of the writing funk which I have been in, but I don’t feel that is the best statement to put on my application. I am at a loss for words where it matters for school, and I am stuck in this odd place trying to force the right words to come out and I am not sure what the right words are.

I want to embrace my crazy for this, because that is one thing that makes my writing better. I embrace my flaws and I am the first to point out my issues with writing, and my life in general. Now I have to find the perfect words for the one thing I really want to do with my life, and I feel like there aren’t any. I realize that there is no such thing as perfect, but I feel like this has to be.

So I am trying to embrace my imperfection with my life and my writing to I can let the words come, because I feel that whatever words there are, they should be the perfect ones, because they are my words. So prayers and wishes please, I can use all of the help I can get in order to get past my own personal fears. However, if I don’t do this then I will regret it for the rest of my life. So I just need to push forward.

Don’t give up on your dreams. Change them from dreams to goals, because then they are just dreams with deadlines. And I don’t know about you, but I work best with deadlines. So this is something that I know I can do despite my fears, because it is not a choice any more it is what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Hurricane Shutters


There are times in our lives where we have a million options in front of us. We have all of the windows and doors of our lives open to see the possibilities. Then slowly things get tough and we start to close windows and doors. Then we take the next step and nail the wood on the outside of the windows in order to easily weather the storm. The problem comes when we forget to take down the shutters once the storm has passed, and if we do another one comes along and we have to board up again.

That’s where I am at. I have been living in a box of my own creation for so long that I didn’t think I would ever be able to see through to the light of day again. Then I got one job that started to open some windows. After that I got sick and the shutters were closed again. Then again I got a new job, and for the first time since I start college many years ago, that ii saw all the possibilities that life had for me.

Now, again my shutters are going up. Problems with work, not my students even when they are crazy I still love teaching, but other problems have begun to have me closing windows. The shutters started closing this weekend when I realized that while I want to get my MFA more than anything, I am terrified of the GRE and there is no way my job will let me take 10 days off at a time for a low residency program.

I am feeling like even though I can see options, I can’t get to them. The windows are closed letting me see all the things in my life that I could do, but I am too scared to. I am pretty sure that it is only a short time before I put back up my storm shutters and hide away from the world. I don’t want this to happen, but this is the path that I have started walking down.

I tell my students all the time that they have to be positive and that attitude is everything. I know this because I know that my own attitude and self-confidence is too low to go the distance that I want to take my life to. I don’t know if I am afraid to succeed or afraid to fail. I just know I’m terrified of everything most of the time, and that I have still not found a way to get past that.

I want to write, and refuse to sit down and do it. I want to date, but I refuse to take a chance with anyone who actually likes me. I self-sabotage all the time, and it is time for me to break that pattern. I just need to find a place to start. I need someone to help me take down the shutters, because I can’t do that alone (I am truly afraid of hammers). I just want to live a day without fear, full of options. Full of hope. Full of anything positive.

So while I am willing to embrace my crazy, I need to refocus it.

Thaknsgiving Student Fun


So my students all know that I spent my twenties as a singer/songwriter, and when they have heard my songs they ask why I’m not famous. This generally makes me laugh, I truly love their optimism, that talent equals success. However, today they got me to break out of my little folk singer mold and do something a little different, and in the end it was super fun.

 

My kids are mostly black students and they are really into new hip hop and rap music. While I have tried to stay up to date on this music, in a general fashion, I am truly out of touch with it. My kids however take their free time, what little they get, to practice rapping. I have no problem with this, because as their English teacher they are really just practice modern poetry. They have for several weeks been trying to get me to rap with them.

 

I would have remained immune from this, but I had to go and open my mouth to help them out. That constant teacher that lives in my head, heard a rhyme from a student that was good, but was cliché. I encouraged him to try to find new ways to saw old things, and that this is the way to get recognized and be good at what you do. They have taken this to heart and the rhymes are getting better, but since that day they have been trying to get me to rap with them. I sing folk music, so the idea of rapping with kids who don’t even remember the rappers I love terrifies me.

 

Then today while we were having a free day, and the teachers and students were bouncing from class to class something clicked. I think it might have been that my coworker from Africa, who can’t rap at all, was in it with the kids spitting terrible rhymes and the kids didn’t judge because he tried. So I jumped in and it was perfect. It wasn’t a more than a few lines, but it was perfectly timed and witty. I was really proud of myself for jumping outside my comfort zone, plus the kids loved it.

 

I love listening to them find their voices in their rapping, just as much as I love reading their essays and stories as they try to find a voice for that. For them the music is more honest, and for a long time it was for me as well. So today was great! I broke outside myself and did something fun.

 

So embrace our crazy, let go of your fears, and bust a few rhymes. You might find a new part of ourself that you didn’t know was there.

Dear Early Morning Jerk


Dear Early Morning Jerk,

I do not know exactly what the four teenage boys who were walking to school did to make you think that they were breaking into your truck.   The best guess I have as to their actions is that they were admiring your vehicle, as you are new to the neighborhood. However, assuming that they are breaking into your truck, only shows that you picked the wrong neighborhood to move into. Furthermore, if you again chase a child into my yard at 7:30 in the morning, I will call the police on you, not them.

If you did not know this, there is a high school two blocks away from both of our houses, and just so you know it is a predominately black school. So screaming and chasing kids as they are trying to go to school, because they looked at your car makes you they bad guy. Again, I did not see them at your car, but since it was clear of marks and nothing was stolen, I continue to hold you at fault for this altercation.

You sir chased a teenage boy into my yard and threatened him bodily harm while he did not yell back and in fact said nothing at all to you. You probably took his silence as guilt, well watch the news. If you were a young black man walking to school and a crazed white dude came running out of his house screaming at you, I am positive you would run away too. I teach predominately black students and I will say this, they will defend themselves if they think they stand a chance, and this kid was terrified. So were his three friends who you did not chase.

I am only thankful that I am not as willfully ignorant as you are. I also promise to watch out for these kids as they walk to school during the week, because you sir, should not be in this neighborhood if you are going to harass children for walking to school at the time which children walk to school. Also, I hope that you do not ever have children, because they will be in this school district and you will be raising them with hate towards their peers and that is not okay.

So, in the future do not scream at anyone who is not committing an actual crime regardless of color. Also, do more research before you buy or rent a house. And just in case, if I find you in my yard again, I will be reporting you to the authorities. You have a problem, not the kids trying to walk to school. These days, those kids are rightfully scared of you, and you need to chill the f@#$ out!

Sincerely,

Your extremely pissed off neighbor.

 

Embrace the crazy, not the hate!

Split Down the Middle


Today I asked my students to respond the quote: “Experience teaches only the teachable,” by Aldous Huxley. Only the high school class decided that they were both teachable and not teachable. Then my best middle school student said that she was not teachable. I have to say this made me laugh a little. Mostly everyone misunderstood the meaning of the word teachable, which is fine, but created an interesting array of answers from the classes, so far.

Now during my third period class I have my students quietly reading the short story ‘Split Cherry Tree’ and with that there have also been mixed reviews. Mostly though I have discovered that they are listening when I teach them about grammar, and that you aren’t supposed to write the way you speak unless it is in dialogue. They, in the first line of the story, found a point where this didn’t happen, and they all spoke up about it.

While at first I was annoyed with the 6th grade class all speaking up saying “Ms. Flynn this is written wrong,” but then I realized that they understood something I had been fighting to sink into their brains for 12 weeks now. It was a great moment. It reaffirmed me, it is a reason to be here and that has made my day.

And the update on the other teacher who is insane.  She has continued on her awkward war path against me. She is fighting harder to find fault with me and interrupting my class to track down student who have not yet come to my class today. She will eventually go away, or get into trouble for this. In the mean time, I’m going to bask in the brilliance of my students who have learned despite the fact that they have pretended not to.

Embrace the crazy, sometimes it surprises you!

Updates…


Alright, to start I am still alive. I survived my month of sick leave from my old job, yes I did say old job, and went back to work. Then in August I got a great opportunity and now I have become an English teacher. 

So much has happened in the past few months, I don’t even know where to start. I say this with every disappearance I have from my blog that I am trying to post more and will more frequently, and I am going to try. However, as much as I want to write and let my readers know what’s going on, with my new job teaching and new dedication to my spiritual self I don’t always have the right mindset to write a post. 

I will say however, that I haven’t just been neglecting my blog, but my writing all together. This is something I truly intend to change. As I get more comfortable in my new job, I will begin to post more frequently. I know those of you out there who read my posts will like them happening more, or even at all as the case has been these last few months.

So, I am embracing my crazy in all new ways these days and I look forward to sharing my new journey, my old stories, and any random bits of insanity that come my way.