10 days til school's out..

[I am thankful. I cannot describe how it feels to be so close to a degree. May 9, 2009
Thanksgiving and Christmas will have an added value this year.]

...and counting.


My Schedule...are You Jealous?

class @ MTSU : 8:00AM - 10:05AM
tutor at Dan Mills (Math): 11:20AM - 12:15PM
tutor at Dan Mills (Reading) : 12:40PM - 1:30PM
work : 4:00 - 10:00PM
homework : 10:30PM - 12:00AM

class @ MTSU : 8:00AM - 2:40PM (including teach Small Group in Practicum)
no work - hallelujah!

class @ MTSU : 8:00AM - 10:05AM
tutor at Dan Mills (Math): 11:20AM - 12:15PM
tutor at Dan Mills (Reading) : 12:40PM - 1:30PM
work : 4:00 - 10:00PM
homework : 10:30PM - 12:00AM

class @ MTSU : 8:00AM - 2:40PM (including Lead Teach in Practicum)
no work - hallelujah!

class @ MTSU : 8:00AM - 10:05AM
tutor at Dan Mills (Reading): 11:20AM - 12:15PM
Junior Achievement @ Mt.View Elem : 12:40PM - 1:30PM
work : 4:00 - 10:00PM
homework : 10:30PM - 12:00AM

work 7:00AM - 3:00PM

church 8:00AM-10:20AM
work 11:30AM - 5:00PM


The Hopeful Politik

I have been experiencing a fellow co-worker's disdain for my choice of presidential candidate as of late. I find it very hard to have a discussion when I am being yelled at, and subsequently laughed at by this fellow because of the issues I take to heart. It gives me headaches frankly.
I feel it would be over-the-top if it come down to me not speaking to him. Now, there are some times when I do have to walk away. I then attempt to come back after serving a customer to restart this...I want to use the word "debate" but the way i am spoken to is anything but a debate...conversation to only arrive at the same destination once again - in disbelief.

I am not a One Issue Voter. I voted for Kerry in 2004, and I didn't vote for him solely because he served in the military. If we used only that criteria, how did our current Commander in Chief garner his place as the leader of our country? Hmph, I guess it wasn't as important of an issue eight years ago.

Issues I Care About:
Healthcare - Being someone whom has a 'pre-existing condition' I find it very appealing to have Guaranteed Eligibility.

Taxes - Giving the middle class a break, since the upper class has been getting a free ride for some time now.

Education - Reform No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Improper funding makes this program difficult to accomplish. And seeing as how this is my career choice, it directly affects me on a daily basis. Also, college should be more affordable to our children (high school diplomas are no longer the standard achievement in education, many jobs require at least a Bachelor's Degree).

Energy - "Drill Baby, Drill" is not only annoying, it does nothing to defer our attempt to eliminate our dependence on oil (it's a natural resource and is running dry quicker than expected). The environmental impact in the most remote areas of Alaska still need to be protected. Their loss of habitat is not something I can condone.

Women's Rights - Women earn around 77 cents per every dollar a man makes. Who else thinks this is right?

Public Service - Our nation is one of the strongest in the world, yet how many are watching TV when they could be helping our communities or local non-profit groups? More than you may think.

Fiscal Responsibility - Solely asking the nation to go shopping after 9/11 to "stop the terrorists" has obviously gotten us nowhere except deeper into debt and scrambling to bail out multi-billion dollar companies with a blank check.

I strive daily not to come off as "berating", "unintelligible", or "ignorant". This was supposed to be a short post. It looks like I had a few more feelings to get out. I hope you do not find this annoying, but instead revealing as to why I am making the decision that I am making. This is not meant to upset or ruffle anyone's feathers. I am not mad at anyone, just tired of the mess our country is in.

Godspeed and good night.


And The Circle Gets The Square

I received notification via mail yesterday that I have completed all necessary testing requirements for Teacher Licensure. This means I passed all 4 parts of the PRAXIS II Exams. I've been waiting daily with bated breath til these results finally showed up in the mailbox. These included: 1) Elementary Education Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment, 2) Elementary Education - Content Knowledge, 3) reading Across the Curriculum: Elementary, and 4) Principles of Learning & Teaching; K-6. Impressive, no?

Now if I can just get through this semester and all the peer tutoring I get to do for my classes. I haven't had to work the past few days and it has given me an idea of what life with teaching in the morning and off in the evening will feel like. It's a very nice feeling indeed.

Days left in semester: 63

(It's just pitiful, eh?)


The Expiration of Summer

Here I am. The summer has but a few days til it expires and I have been enjoying some casual reading, casual napping (as opposed to formal napping), and casual working. I drove to school last week and purchased the books which my professors had assigned for the fall semester. I can't wait til the semester starts. I am taking 16 hours and have reduced my time at work to 34 hours to accommodate my school schedule which still give me health benefits.
I bet that it will be hard for me to sleep on Sunday before classes on Monday. Am I the only one whom has trouble falling asleep. Of course I mean among adults? I had this trouble when I was in elementary school and such. But this should not still be happening to me. It will most likely continue since I am going into education as my career. I have the opportunity to sign an early contract in Davidson County this February. This makes me rather excited, as it should.

I like to play music when I am doing things around the house. There's nothing like throwing on some fresh tunes while completing daily tasks. I have had two weeks without school where I worked my normal, non-school-accommodation schedule. This was very helpful for me since I've been barreling through the summer taking classes and trying to stay afloat.

It has been a good summer. I have enjoyed the time I have been able to spend with my wife. Our time has been limited because of our conflicting schedules. Luckily this pursuit is almost over and I will spend every night at home with her - this is truly the reward I am seeking. If you can find someone like that, then you are very lucky. And being able to realize you are lucky is a blessing.


Coffee Can Only Do So Much

It's Saturday. What am I doing up? Doing what I do best, one can assume.
It's funny how I now have time to sit down and record my thoughts and I feel no need to do so, while if one had asked me two weeks ago if I would like to share how my life was going, I would have enough for a very lengthy post. I guess I'll keep it short, since the wife will probably stay asleep for only another half-hour, then we have to go grocery-ing.

But I digress. I find it funny when probed about the idea of high gas prices, that I don't really react...except when I see what we were paying in 1999 (that was the last time Nashville had gas under a dollar). Folks, I'll let you in on something, we're not going to stop driving anytime soon. So let's just stop fussing about gas. You're gonna pay it...I mean, seriously. Let's get off this subject since it leads down political paths, and there's bound to be an Al Gore joke in there as well.

My good friend Bob will be coming home very soon, and I can't wait. He's had surgery. From what I understand, he is still healing, and therefore not out "in the trenches". He is a great guy and is going through some hard stuff right now. But I know that he will persevere, it's only his nature.

I have one more week in my Language and Literacy course. I'm rocking it so far. Don't jinx me.
I better head downstairs to start the morning brew. M'lady likes her coffee-she especially likes it when she can feel it moving through her veins.

She's funny.
While, people just think I'm funny.


The Great Concrete Yonder

I've been enjoying the outdoors the past few days thanks to a new bike I received for my birthday. When I was growing up, I was one of the kids whose mother wouldn't let him ride in the street - we were only allowed to stay in our yard. I would cycle tirelessly around our house over and over hopping from the back patio concrete onto the grass with a lil jump every time, brushing past the pine trees, crossing in front of the house, and then doing it over again. I would race my brother on his bike in the same fashion whilst remaining in our virtual prison.
But don't get me wrong, I did want to break free. I got the chance whenever my grandmother would come into to town to watch us. She was from the country, there weren't any boundaries us while we were there. Thankfully for me this translated to her visits in the city.
I would burst onto the street and pedal to the church (a good 2 miles away) and explore the same streets I had only seen through car windows. It was a whole new experience. I never was an expert at balancing my self while not holding the handlebars-but I can tell you it felt like those guys look when they ride-effortless and exciting all at once. I would then coast down the hill and slide into the driveway to check and see if my mother had come home. If she had not, I felt like I had won a contest and then I heading off once again to have my cheeks exposed to that graceful summer wind (and to stick one to the man at the same time).

PS: My mother still doesn't know I did this, don't squeal if you don't mind.


Say What You Mean; And Vice Versa

I am deep. Maybe I'm too deep. Often I speak in metaphors and confuse those around me - especially my wife. I don't know what it is about how I speak, or even write, but it even baffles me sometimes. Here's another example...
So, let's take for instance my ability (or sometimes inability) to write music. I like to write soft songs that make you think, cry, basically connect with you on an emotional level. The reason I want to have this connection is because I enjoy it when I hear music that connects with me other than on a visceral level. Songs that can be both complex and simple in style all while being something I would want to listen to on a lazy day. I can critique music and find things I enjoy. But for some reason, when it comes to my skills in this theater, I seem to fail.

I am inspired by many in the field of music and I have felt a tugging to reestablish my skill-set in song writing as of late. But I think I may have run out of things to say. I hope this isn't true. I am building my chops, trying to recover from the lapse since my last venture. Plans are to record some songs when Mr. Baxter returns from overseas. I am thinking of recording a few covers too to make the disc even out. Maybe some songs I like that could deal to have another rendition with my voice.

Have I ever told you how badly I want to be good at this? Most likely. But alas, I think there are very specific reasons I have lost my touch. I mean, let's look at it this way, if I was really good at song writing, then I probably wouldn't be as focused as I am on completing my degree. Maybe someday I'll be a rock star, or maybe ascribe less-than-moderate success within my friend circle...either way, as long as I like the songs I write, I will be happy.


The Way I Used To Be Is Not True Anymore

A warm bass line. A steady string of chords. A sprinkle of melody.
Fortunately, life has not been getting the best of me - even though it feels that way some times - but that is not the case in my head. It will be getting busier from here on out. I register this morning for the classes I hope to take this summer as well as next fall. It's already getting hot in here with me thinking about it. With the class schedule added to the work schedule I currently have, it'll be a miracle if anyone I know will ever see me except at the call center or in the classroom. But I have to keep telling myself it's worth it. And it truly is.
The paperwork is almost complete for my acceptance into Upper Division at MTSU (I will turn in the last piece today and wait). When I am accepted "it will only be a matter of time", as they say.
I can honestly say I have never been this excited to go to class ever. I'm sure that I will feel differently on the first day. Let's just hope that everything goes smoothly today. God is in control thankfully. I don't have the power to get all these things done.

Good news. I have been writing again lately and it has been good for me. I got my guitar back and have written a song that has thus dubbed me "Willy Cash". I hope to record a few songs. Who knows, I may even put them on the internet. I mean "Internet", sorry Mr. Gore. It's times like these where I wish I had an upright piano to plunk around on. Are these socially acceptable nowadays, or are you uncool and old?
I'll settle for uncool.

Oh yeah, and people are having babies. Lots of babies - just watch your back. I'm not giving an announcement, I'm just giving advice.


Sleep Is Overrated (or Is It Over-rated?)

Adapting to a new schedule usually isn't this difficult, at least for me I thought. In my younger years I could have slept 3 hours and continued without a loss of energy the next day. But since I have started working until midnight five days a week I found myself with headaches all day and dragging my body around town as I tried to act as if nothing was phasing me.
But I do know this for certain, I am not Superman. I may pretend to be, but I am weak and I falter often. It is interesting to me that some friends and family depend on me when at times, I cannot depend on myself. This where God's grace fills my emptiness and keeps me fresh.

I was determined to live my life the way I wanted after I began my new shift at work. I would still wake up at 6 with my wife, and go about our normal morning routine. When this was compounded with my inability to fall asleep immediately after getting home from work, I found my self in a bit of a rut. I was wearing thin, and my head was pounding as I was in need of ibuprofen throughout the day too keep those pains away.

It takes a lot to get though to me sometimes and I am glad I have a woman in my life that is not afraid to tell me so.

I say this because I woke up this morning later than I had expected and my wife already gone to work. At first I thought to myself, "why did she leave without saying goodbye?" My natural instinct was selfishness, as I felt I needed that comfort before she left for work. As the minutes passed and I began to wake, I realized that she had done the best thing for me, which was let me sleep.

She had my interests at heart all along-just as my heavenly father does. As He watches us, He knows our plan and never leaves us. And I am thankful i can feel His love from a person so close to me on a daily basis.
I hope you find someone who loves you as much as I have been loved, at least for a short time. It is truly necessary for all people.


Good Times, Great Oldies

Several of my best friends came over on Monday night. There was little conversation about the past, but instead what we, and people we know, have in store for our collective futures. Relationships, careers, life issues.
I'll be honest, the process of getting plans together for the eight of us was quite and adventure. I hereby place these responsibilities in the hands of the wives whose real-life jobs are all about planning. That would not include me obviously. I am a horrible event planner, which is evident from the debacle I created - and the wives had to all straighten out.

I hear (and know) about how most friendships fade and fail after high school, yet I am not that unlucky. I have been able to keep close tabs on a few gentlemen who still influence my life (and I hope I reciprocate).

The reason I bring this up is because one of my best friends, Bob, will be heading back overseas tomorrow. Granted it will take him around 5 days to get back to where he came from, we won't get to see him face -to-face again til July. Thankful the first half of his tour has felt short (for me). And I'm sure his wife would differ.

Be thinking about those you know who are serving. I'm not big on war, but I am big on keeping those close to me safe. And this is where it gets hard. Bob is very far away physically, yet I want to protect him. Him, Bob, a man who can probably strangle me more times than there are letters in the alpha bet thanks to the US Army.

Yes I want him to be safe. Say a prayer for those you hold dear, in hopes you may see them soon.


The Moe Man

A long day starts off slowly.
Today I begin my final days at the job where I have been employed for three years. Orientation begins for my new job next Monday. It is an odd feeling I have. Next Monday will be the first time in a long time that I will arrive to work and have no idea what I am supposed to do. This makes me weary, and at the same time excited. I wish I were downright upset or either or exceedingly giddy. but I am in-between those just trying to grapple with this new change. I know I will learn all the skills I need to perform my job as expected, but I am not used to this. Day after day I went to work, it was easy really. Serve customers, make those customers happy, teach new folks how to perform their job well. And now it is slowly winding down.

I have been told not to feel guilty, and I am just now getting over that feeling. I see how this new job will benefit me and my wife and know this is what is best for us. It just makes sense for our future. It's a no-brainer, if you will.

I have been reading lately. I hope this semester that I get to read much more than normal. I mean, reading textbooks is fun, but I'd rather read something else personally. (Isn't it odd how I still refer to time off school as semesters - I wonder if I will ever stop that?)

Just some thoughts I had. No bother. I know it will turn out well.
But I do know one thing for certain - The Beatles just sound better on a Saturday morning...they're not hitting the spot today.


Bronchitis, Broch-shmitis

I have been sick for roughly three months now. It all started with bronchitis - prescriptions were taken, weeks passed and my cough progressively got worse. The I went back to the doctor and I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia. It was definitely not fun. It's fine to have people fawning over you if you are actually sick, but the deal with walking pneumonia is that you don't feel sick; no fever, no aches, no nada. I continued to go to work, never missing a day, finished out my classes and boosting my GPA.
Thankfully, I am well...I mean, I still get a tickle cough every now and then, but overall I am well.

The new semester has begun and the first time since 2001, I am not taking classes. It feels weird, but the break is necessary for me to apply to the upper division at school. I will hop back on the bandwagon refreshed and ready to finish up quickly. I am still working at Moe's in Brentwood delivering catering to doctor's offices and businesses almost daily since they have yet to find anyone competent enough to accomplish these tasks. It's hard being called the "Moe-Man". It kinda makes me sick to type it really.

The wife is doing well, working hard as always - and preparing delicious cuisine at the homefront. We survived the holidays even with my sickness.

In hopes to read more this semester, I finished a book very quickly last night. Cormac McCarthy's The Road was a pageturner. I mean, who doesn't like a book that Oprah recommends, I think it's pretty much against the rules really. It's a post-apocalyptic look at a man and his son on the road as they travel though an ashen world seeking supplies and just trying to survive. But, I'll warn you, McCarthy doesn't use quotation marks, so people like the wife find it hard to follow who is speaking. I on the other hand, don't mind the absence of them. I think it actually makes the story easier to read.
Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks I s'ppose.
If Oprah recommends something, I guess I pretty much have to agree now.
But don't tell anyone I said that.