Aug. 22nd, 2006 08:23 pm
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I promised a proper update a few days ago when I didn't have much time.

Things are good here. Perhaps better than in a while. I'm feeling better. Getting outside more. Spending less free time staring at the computer, which, no offense to all you online peoples, is not good for my mental health. Trying to get in a routine to go bicycling at least once a day with Sara. So far, it's hard to start a new habit, but we're working at it.

Meeting neighbors also helps. I went over and bailed out a couple of biz school grad students who don't know one end of the hammer from the other and put together their enterianment cabinet for them. Growin up a farm boy and knowing what a cordless drill is for has it's advantages. They're talking about getting a poker game together, which would be great.

Work still keeping me busy, the new assistant manager we're training is currently near the top of my all time "blonde" list, but hopefully we'll straighten her out.

Muse comes and goes. Problems again with Sara's laptop (GRRR), and it's limited my writing time.

Anyway, hope everybody's doing good!
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Well, I'm continuing to give serious thought to going back to school. I've gotten to the "send away for information" from the school in question stage, and I'm expecting a packet from Plymouth State any day now.  I went down home yesterday to visit (Monday and Tuesday are my days off, which sucks a little, cuz Sara has to work) and I got to see the course, hit a bucket of balls at the range, and just generally soak in the atmosphere. I've missed that place this summer.

(Damn Dartmouth for moving our mailbox anyway...but that's another story)

Sara, naturally, and wonderfuly is 120% supportive of anything I do, and constantly reminding me that starting this process does not necessarily mean giving up teaching all together. One of my fears in this change is that it sort of feels like "bailing out" because I've had such a hard time finding a job. Sara has a point. Nothing's stopping me from continuing to look for a teaching job, even if I'm taking night classes. Plenty of teachers do it.

My parents are something of a mixed bag. My father pretty much told me that if this is something I want to do, and I want to work at the golf course when Sara and I move back to Salem, they'll find a place for me, whatever restructioning or other changes need to be made. This is encourageing. My mother seems to think I'd need to work somewhere else for a while. That's discouraging.  My father wasn't sure we (Sara and I) could affort to have both of us in school. Maybe. That's a discussion Sara and I have yet to have, in any serious context. Classes are about 1100 per class, and I'd be taking three a year, to finish in three years. So we're talking a total of around 12000 when all is said and done (books, etc)

Anybody know anything about grad student financial aid? Sara doesn't know much, since she's being paid to go to school. Any experiance with that kind of thing?  [personal profile] kadath? [profile] magnolia_mama

On other fronts of life, the muse has returned, but in unexpected ways. I was seized with new inspiration for last year's NaNoWriMo novel, and I'm determined to finish it. Maybe I'll publish and it will pay for my MBA.  That's not to say I'm neglecting the PS stuff, either, so don't panic. 

I think the theater's getting Snakes on a Plane this weekend, so if anyone kind of wants to see the movie but is leery about paying for it, come see me.


Aug. 10th, 2006 02:43 pm
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Good evening!

Life has been crazy this summer. The degree to which I miss my usual summer is scary. And by usual, I mean, being on vacation from school and having a "summer" job, rather than a "psudo-real" job. I call it a "psuedo-real" because I still call this mythical thing called a "teaching job" my "real" job. Someday.

Changing "psudo-real" jobs made the summer even worse, because then I had to train, and for a while I was working two jobs.

I love my new job. The theater is a lot of fun, and the people are nice. The technial aspects of the job appeal to me, and if I had to do this for another year, I wouldn't mind too much. The only catch is the ownership of the chain is notoriously tight with a buck. There are things that the GM and I would like to do to improve things, but we can't get the owners to sign off on it.

However, I still miss the mental stimulation of academic work. I realized the other day that I haven't had a serious converstion about history in nearly a year. That makes me sad.

I had an interview at Hillsboro-Deering High School, I might hear something back this week. Keep your fingers crossed.

The next chapter of DTR is at my beta, as I'm sure all of you who care will be happy to know.

That brings me to my next point. I don't know what it is, but my muse has been AWOL most of the summer. Sure, I've been doing bits and peices of other things here and there, but the DTR muse has vansihed into the night. My intrest level has also dropped. I don't know why. I'm not taking pleasure in things like I used to, and I don't know if that's a summer thing, of what. Tante, if you're reading this, I'm trying but I can't seem to stay motivated on the radio thing. I wouldn't blame you if you went and replaced me. I'm just....BLAH...this summer.

So many things come one after another, it seems as if I can't keep up with them lately. I need a break, vacation, or something, but I can't afford to take one, because I've just switched job, etc...I'd love to take some time to get away, recharge the batteries, something. Lately, I feel like I've been running on the raggedy edge of empty for weeks on end.

As the musicans would say, something's gotta give.
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Strange, isn't it? I had an awful morning with 8th graders today, and yet, I'm happy.

Perhaps it's because I'm re-reading R.F. Delderfields "To Serve Them All My Days", which is the book that made me decide I wanted to be a teacher, oh-so-many years ago. Like when I was 12. I can pick it up, and even though the last time I read it was 12 years ago, I can remember exact passages of diologe, as I laugh and cry my way through P.J's journey at Bamfylde, his love for his teaching and his family, and recall his joy, sadness and hope that I one day wanted to claim as my own. This book, even with all it's beloved Britishness, should be required reading for every incoming teacher. If it fails to move them, they should be scrubbed. This is "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" writ large, more so, for it's scope sweeps over the generations.

Or it could be that the weather had turned a bit warm today. The sky isn't even all that blue, but it's warmer than usual. Oh, I'm an old New Englander enough to know it won't last, not on 15 Feburary, when we've been known to have blizards in April, but it's a preview, if you will. A note that winter can't last for ever, and that spring will come, in all its glory. Its the kind of Febuary day when you look at the calander, and realize...hmm...Spring Training can't be all that far off, now, can it? It's the kind of day I would have gone to Doc Merchant's office, and said, "Gee Doc, how do the Braves look this year? What did you think of the Sox signing Coco Crisp?" And that brings with it all the hope and enjoyment of the potential of a new baseball season, when the boys of summer play long into the lazy evenings, and you can listen on the radio, and sip your lemonade and swing gently on the front porch.

Perhaps it's the warmth reminding me that no, winter can't last forever, and not only the winter outside, but the cold, cruel winter that I've been suffering in my soul. The uncertaintly of my employment, the frustrations of subsituting, and scraping along in retail. The knowlege that job openings are starting to appear, again, like flowers after a long, barren winter. I've applied to one already. There's one in my home town, that I would DEARLY love to try for. I may, even if I can't take it, since Salem is near an hour and a half from here. They'll be more to come, I'm sure. Hope is returning, and the knowlege that this could all be over. That next fall, I could be standing at the blackboard, like P.J. at Bamfylde, teaching history in doggeral (divorced, beheaded, died...), and relating juicy stories about our forebears to try and keep the layabouts awake.

It's not spring yet, but it's coming. And the true gift of false spring is hope.
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It is with a great degree of sadness that I noted the passing of Senator Eugene McCarthy over the weekend.

As a historian from New Hampshire, I've always felt a special connection to the Senator, despite the fact that we came from different parties, different viewpoints and even different time periods.

Despite all that, I think Eugene McCarthy ranks in my own personal list of top 15 politicians of the 20th Century. McCarthy was not afraid to say what he thought was right, even when he was shouting nearly alone. He is the father of the modern grassroots campaign, in some respects, the direct political descendant of William Jennings Bryan's Populist movement. He changed the face of the Democratic Party forever. He also can be given the lion's share of the credit for making the New Hampshire primary famous. His legions of students, "Clean for Gene", shaved and washed, canvassing the state, and knocking a sitting president out of the race gave home to generations of fringe candidates who's influence and presence has helped keep so-called "main stream" politicians honest.

And on the very weekend of his passing, the Democratic Primary chooses to 'honor' his memory by suggesting that the NH Primary should have it's influence curtailed. They claim NH isn't 'diverse' enough to properly reflect the party. Well, New Hampshire has advantages over big, diverse states. Our involved electorate, as well as our small size, make it possible for someone like Eugene McCarthy to succeed. McCarthy could not have afforded to sustain an effort in say, Michigan. New Hampshire is the last bastion of local politics where money isn't everything, and sometimes you just have to own up to who you are and what you say. Eliminate the influence of NH, and we may as well go back to smoke filled back rooms.

That's what the bosses of both parties would prefer, I'm sure. Because there's nothing that terrifies them more than an informed electorate. God forbid we people have a say in who is in Government, because after all, you can't trust the people to protect what's most precious to them: their jobs.

Senator McCarthy is probably already rolling in his grave.

God, why?

Nov. 8th, 2005 10:12 pm
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Finished watching House and caught part of the 10 O'clock news.

There's been a school shooting in Tennesse. An assistant principal is dead, another is in critcal condition, and the building principal is in serious condition, at least according to reports on the AP wire.

The suspect is, according to the TV news, a 14 or 15 year old high school frosh, who was called into the office to answer questions about rumors that he was carrying a gun on school property. He opened fire with a .22

The suspect is in police custody.

My God, why? What is the problem with our nations children? Where have we gone wrong? How have we failed these kids? It just breaks my heart. Every year, so much potential is wasted. It doesn't even have to be a school shooting. Drugs, petty crime, gang related issues. Our nations young people are entering the wrong side of the criminal justice system at an alarming rate. How do we turn it around?

And, speaking as a high school teacher, not get killed in the process?

Deus Misereatur


Oct. 25th, 2005 09:19 pm
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Wind and Rain, Wind and Rain.

Don't it ever stop?

Last year, October was the Month of Dreams.

This year it's the Month of Rains.

It's been raining for niegh on three weeks now, off and on, with only spurts of sunshine. I'm really missing it tonight. I NEED SUNSHINE! I'm all off balance these days.

Part of it, I think is not having anything to do. Writing fanfiction only occupies me so far, and the mental stimulation I get from subbing could fill a thimble, maybe. I need a challange.

I want to play some war games. Digging out some old history books and rereading At Dawn We Slept, and Miracle at Midway, has rekindled the bug. But I've got no one to play with. I always used to play with Dad as a kid, but nowadays, Dad's never home. And computer games only take you so far. They don't tend to smack talk, or at least make conversation.

I miss the male companionship of the frat house. Monday Night Football isn't as much fun when there's no one to help you throw popcorn and ice chips at the TV after a bad call, or scream "he got JACKED UP" after somebody gets leveled. I used to live with 18 other guys. Now, I'm down to Dad, and as I said before, he's out almost every night this fall (buisness is booming, and the local Budget Committe needs to be hung from the highest tree, but that's a subject for another rant). My best friend from HS is still in college, and my cousins are in school. Most nights, it's me and Ma. I'm hoping that when I move up to Hanover with Sara, I'll try and meet some grad school guys to hang with, or something. Or find a job and make freinds at work. That's the other problem.

As a Sub, I'm like a wandering Minstral, or a Gleeman (for all you RJ fans), wandering from town to town, and never settling down. I never get a chance to meet anyone for more than a couple days at a time. I'm like the invisible man. There one day, gone the next, and who the hell cares?

Wow. I've just incredibly depressed everyone on my f-list. Sorry about that. I needed to get it off my chest.
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One of my US senators comes from a very prominent family. The Greggs have been active in New Hampshire politics for years and years. They also are very wealthy.

And now, apparently, Lottery Winners.

According to AP sources, Senator Judd Gregg matched 5 of 6 numbers on his Powerball ticket, and won roughly 850,000 dollars.

How is that fair?

To his credit, he has stated he will give most of the money to charity.

Still, *so* not fair.
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My buddy in New Orleans told me he thinks the flooding didn't hit his area too badly. But since his family's in Texas, and he's in Virginia, he doesn't know for sure. And, as he told me, "of course, I don't know if the tree fell on dad's house, or if the wind pulled off the roof or not." But they're all ok, obviously. Some people aren't.

My boss, Ken, (the one I've been refering to as IdiotBoy all summer, and now feel incredibly bad about), got a phone call this morning at work, telling him that one of his very good friends was killed in Iraq.

It makes everything I think is wrong with my own life seem very petty.

Everybody on my F-list rocks, btw. Just thought I'd let you all know. Life's too short to forget to mention things like that.
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...this is healthy )
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The daily grind of my life. Alarm clock rings, 4:40 am. Drag self out of bed, dress, check email, roll out of driveway by 4:50. Arrive at work 4:51. Open shop, sleep in chair in shop. Roll out of shop on mower (golf cart, etc.) 5:15. Fall asleep on mower at least twice between 7-8am. Breakfast break (pancakes, bacon) 8:15-8:30ish till after top 10 plays on Sportscenter (8:50ish). Work till 1 pm. Home by 1:01. Crash in chair 1:02. Drink copious amounts of juice. Shower by 1:30. Afternoon free to clean room or work on wedding stuff, or run errands. Sara out of work by 4, home by 5. Dinner by 6. Bed by 9 (hopefully) Sleep. Repeat. Ad nauseum.

And just as a side note, has anyone noticed how outrageous the prices are for wedding photographers these days? holy cow.

And if anyone knows any good ways to keep your fiancee from killing her family (...the maid of honor...the best man...ME!), over wedding plans, that would be great too.
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So, I did my first radio broadcast of a baseball game this weekend. Covered a double header against Mt. Aloysius. We took both games. They were a pretty poor team. I was excited about it, but it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I was the third guy in a three man booth. I felt like the third wheel on a date. I kept stats and pitch counts and random trivia, but other than that, not much for me to do.

I think I'm starting to get homesick. I was at the baseball game, looking at the greening grass, and thinking, gee, I bet the golf course grass is starting to get green. Then I remember that its probably still covered in snow. Spring comes earlier here than back home, so sometimes I get seasonal disorientation. Going home for April break will probably be like traveling two weeks back in time, at least in terms of weather. Still looking forward to it, though. Cannot wait. Trying to convince one of my brothers to come home with me, just for fun. That'd be pretty cool, if you ask me.

Lots of work to do, and not enough time to do it, so I'm going to keep this one short.

Till then...
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Another day, another dollar. They all seem to roll together these days. I'm starting to look forward to getting home for break in April, or home for the summer in June. I hope my fiance finds work she'll enjoy this summer, and I hope its at home. If not, well, I'll just have to find something to do with all that free time.
Maybe I can occupy it by repairing that old Mustang from the 80s she has sitting on her lot. It would really sweet if I could turn it into a convertible.

Prof. Merchant is soooooooooo boring sometimes. But then, I knew this class would be boring when I signed up. The history of the Early Republic is not my favorite period in American history. I'm much more comfortable in the period starting in 1850, and running pretty much to the present. Before that, I could really care less. Except for the Revolution, that was pretty cool. Andrew Jackson, Millard Filmore? Not so much.

Prof. Koeniger and I continue to get along great. We both seem to have a soft spot for Truman, which is interesting, and I think he's one of the better lecturers on campus.

Don't know why I'm so tired today. Thought I slept great last night. Humph.

Heard from an old friend today. We talked for a while about Star Wars. I miss RPGing with the old crowd from SHS. I wish there were people interested in RPGS here in Fratastic Land. Where I come from, we don't care so much what people think. Then again, where I come from, we're not descended from 8 generations of Southern Aristocratic Planters who owned slaves for years. We're just humble New England yankees, (not to be confused with DamnNYYankees...more on that some other time) who work hard and make our living the old fashioned way, we earn it.
Rural folk, not pretentious.

My 9th Graders were fun today. They're doing presentations on Native American civilizations, Incas, Mayas, Mound Builders, etc. They don't know it, but they have an open notebook test Friday. They think I'm doing a notebook check on Friday. They're so funny. A dollar says at least one doesn't have what he needs for notes on Friday. I think I enjoy working with them almost as much as I enjoy real classes.

I got a solo in the Hayden mass the chorus is doing. I'm really nervous about it. I'm not a classical singer. Ask me to sing Rogers and Hammerstein, I'd be fine. Hayden? Latin? Mass? I'm scared, I admit it. Its not like anything I've sung before. Fortunately, Jerry (Prof. Myers) is more than willing to help out. So hopefully, I won't embarrass myself.

You ever notice how country music has this coming of age theme to it? Growing up, going back to the old home? Where the Green Grass Grows, Red Dirt Road, Sweet Southern Comfort, When It All Goes South? They're all about people going back to where they grew up. How come no one sings about New England that way? I mean seriously, New Hampshire's not that much different from the rural south...how come no one sings about us? Maybe its because we never seceded from the union.

I could probably keep typing for a while, but I think I'll go study for my Koeniger mid-term....till next time...


Feb. 22nd, 2004 11:04 pm
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Well, here we are. It seems like everyone is doing this, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Things in my life are going well. I'm engaged, I'm at a great school, and I think I've found my calling in life. So why do I seem so down sometimes? Can't figure that one out. Its like I sit here, and stare at the screen. I wonder, why are we here? Why is anyone here? Do we really know? I mean, I believe in God and everything, but why me? Why am I so lucky, when others aren't? Break is over, existentialism has set in, oh no. I HATE winter term. Too long and dark. Except for the snow, I don't much care for winter. Too dark, too early. I'm a very sunshine person. Probably a mild case of SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) here...

My Feb. school break is now ending, and I'm really depressed. I don't want to go back to classes. Getting up at 8 am for Prof. Merchant's Early American History 1801-1830 class is not my idea of a good time. Believe me, there are much better things I could be doing.

Had a good week last week. Got to hang out with one of my v. cool pledge bros, and my wonderful super finance, of course. Although aforementioned pledge brother could really use some help in the romance department. Totally inept would not be an unjust assessment.

Need to make a mental note to start going to church more often. Any suggestions on what I should give up for Lent? I'm thinking I might do Meatless Fridays with my fiance...but see, I don't eat a lot of meat to begin with...humm..something to think about anyway.

This is kinda fun. Could be therapeutic even. Anyway, for now, signing off...


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