We are near the end. Just today and tomorrow left. This challenge was presented to us as a way for writing teachers to become better at what they do by plying the trade themselves as well as reading and commenting on other writers’ blogs. One thing we constantly tell kids to do is reflect on their work, their actions, their words, etc. So I decided to do the same, write something and put it out there, let it marinate for 24ish hours, and reflect in writing. I found it interesting how much more reflection I put in toward the end. Maybe I was getting used to people commenting or even just seeing what I’d done by then or maybe I was a little reluctant to let the whole experience go and it was my way of hanging on. As I’ve said in multiple posts it was a bummer month riddled with smaller bummers and I just happened to have a writing challenge thing to participate in as I dealt with it. The sun is coming out and I have made a plan to keep myself busy. That’s my whole thing, and I think i’ll touch on that more in tomorrow’s thrilling conclusion: my life can be unsatisfactory and because I am this emotional romantic poet idiot I feel all the things but I have, over the past handful of years, learned how to deal with it. After a handful of relatively “up” months I simply needed to remind myself on how to deal with the bummers as they creep back in and this writing through it really helped. I am fine when in front of my students or kids – beyond that I just need to keep my mind off everything else. The key is to replace the darkness with positivity, usually in the form of working out or creation – even if that means writing sad/bad poems to ghosts or long ass letters I will never send to people for whom the contents can do nothing but add to endless word counts anyways.

So I stay busy or, you know, I drink. Because weekends alone are nothing but way too much time for my simple sad mind to come up with positive ways of killing that time. And really that’s what it amounts to, what I’m working toward changing, my “free time”, straight out of that glorious Radiohead song. The one I made that all-important decree about when faced with that all-important question posed really just by me to a group of friends that one night really just because I wanted to tell them my answer – if you could sing any song as beautifully as the original, which would it be? My answer was that one Radiohead song with the quote “I’m not living, I’m just killin’ time”. That one song they finally tacked on to that last album finally recorded in a studio. The one I saw performed for just the 2nd time ever live just by Thom at the end of one of the craziest shows I’d ever seen that summer at Meigs Field with an acoustic guitar to close out my 2nd favorite concert experience of all time. The one that finally came out on the I Might Be Wrong live recordings EP just a few years later (and in my opinion is far superior to the recorded version that came out last year) and that at certain times in my life I listen to on repeat for its sad haunting beauty and remember and cry and do my form of prayer. The one I found a killer youtube video of a couple years ago to post on socials to capture exactly what i was feeling for the masses from either an MTV or Neil Young Bridge School show where the audio was great and the filmer trained his camera on the huge screen for most of the performance. That song. I’ll never be able to sing that song good enough, and not just because I can’t sing any song good at all. I love my memories of that song and I love loving that song but I hate what it is inside of me that makes all of that possible. I cannot change it but the point is I’m working toward harnessing it and making as much of my time-killing positive creation over sad massacres. So it goes.


Day 1 – does my weird stream of consciousness mess translate to blogging. Am i too odd to share my honest thoughts, and the kind of strange writing i lean toward, with people i work with? Strangers are no problem but colleagues? People are nice in comments tho so that’s pretty cool. Slice of Life

Day 2 – just went with the big stuff right out of the gates, huh? It’s fine, i still have a job and stuff. idealiotic


Day 3 – rough day yesterday – overall a fun weekend but sprinkled with bummers. So it goes. Love of the Game


Day 4 – oh boy. I better whip up some happy stories or i’ll be that emo blogger inner sarcophagal cacophony


Day 5 – um, yeah, emo blogger. Ugh. happy tomorrow, right? Yeah. Symbolic Drowning


Day 6 – a sad poem. Well done. No, colleagues and other bloggers, i do not teach wearing black eyeliner, thanks. sentry barring entry


Day 7 – ooh a 2-parter in which you vaguely allude to being possibly, delusionally, insane. Wonderful. Well done. Can’t wait for the sequel to that extravaganza of self-importance Write Away part 1


Day 8 – dude, i mean it’s like a million pages long, but i liked that one yesterday. Good day. ripcord: a memoir


Day 9 – shout out to dan! With only a modicum of back patting of my own. Ok. offset all the vulnerable sap during the teacher writing thing with some actual school life stuff back to back. On a roll. Nice. Show. Everyone. Love.


Day 10 – a love song to my son with “heavy balls” in the title. Yep. killin’ the “he’s really just a normal teacher guy” comeback tour. heavy balls (and the young people who sling them)


Day 11 – a super long novella about my manic sunday with a huge sad dagger jagged through the middle. Light fare to end a weekend. Lovely. Prioritized Propulsion


Day 12 – well, i mean, i promised after i finish this tuesday emo poem thing i would write about future and positivity so that’s something, right? Sigh proust’s swann


Day 13 – poem – it reads jumbled and doesn’t flow how i wish it to but when i speak it out loud it sounds cool. As for the content… Bubble Pop Smirk


Day 14 – always safe to write about the kids – so crazy how one walked out and one “walked up” yesterday and it wasn’t even planned – oh crazy universe. So mysterious and weird turn and face the strange


Day 15 – a kid getting dared to kiss his “girlfriend” at lunch reminded me of how i carried an old bleedy guy home once. Because of course it did. Am i pressing here? Have i run out of ideas? Write Wrong Right


Day 16 – loooong day yesterday. And i talked about my sad stuff and brought up drinking this weekend. Brilliant, eddie. Ugh. free, time


Day 17 – hungover blogging at its…finest? Worst? Whatever. Just so random that such an “idealiotic” argument took over the night. Ha. Thirty K


Day 18 – of course i felt the need (and was inspired by true beauty) to make an “i’m ok everyone” post because ego-me thinks the like 12 people who read my bummer posts are missing work due to worry over my over indulgent dreck. It was a cute egg hunt though. thanksgiving on irish easter


Day 19 – why do i have to go such a long way to say something uplifting. Was it even uplifting? I tried. That’s what counts. (right?) PD


Day 20 – i actually don’t usually like poems that rhyme that much and the first 2 i tied myself to doing that so i maybe like this one a little better however it took me like a half hour to write that first line but once i did the rest fell out in like 10 minutes. Feels lazy. I edited slightly after posting but that is how 99.99% of my poems have always been – first draft, first thought. It’s fine. Whatever. devoted reclamation


Day 21 – haha – i wrote about the national. Sigh. they’re so cool. I found that it was fun talking about something i love so much. Also that it’s way cooler to be overly dramatically emo if you’re also doing it as a rock star. Ha. About Today


Day 22 – it was too big a part of my day not to stop in the middle of writing my hometown homage slice and furiously throw down thoughts of yesterday where I stayed at work til almost 6 with a distraught mom, a child services worker, my principal, a detective, dcfs, and most importantly one of the bravest students I’ve ever had the privilege of teaching who was kept after school for not doing wrong but just being unlucky. Yesterday sucked.  monster


Day 23 – i was still numb yesterday and yet on edge and underwater lost feeling. Not great for the last day before break. Very glad i already had my piece on the ridge almost ready to go. My writing would’ve been dark and scattershot as hell yesterday. Well, moreson than usual anyways. Represent


Day 24 – universe – plan it – “planet” – get it? Ha. ugh. Yes, i wrote about working out and ironic circumstance. Afterward i felt like kind of a meathead toolbox but the real me, after 24 hours, has shown itself to myself i guess. Whatever – everyday can’t be breakthroughs and epiphanies. universe helps plan it


Day 25 –  ha. I told the ostrich story and it sorta fit in with what i was thinking about yesterday anyways. I mean i wrote, again, about what a loser i am but that’s what this month seems to be about. That said, as far as this slice challenge thing goes, it is really cool to interact with people. Last night one of my very favorite writers, i think not even just on this but in the world or writing, read and commented on a few of my posts. When she writes sometimes she sounds like me but…better. Ha. more “sophisticated”, is a word, not the best word but the first one i could think of this morning. Validate me!! Ugh. anyways, that was cool.  Weakest Link


Day 26 – felt good to explain myself even if there really wasn’t a reason or need to. I always feel as if i trivialize people with “real” problems when i go on about my own. I love that poem i posted too. She really is so good. slice: the duality of it and these


Day 27 – i am proud of the wizard of oz thing, i have to say. I had how it looks, parts of it anyways. I messed with the structure a little bit because just reading it doesn’t really make it sound like it’s supposed to. Maybe i’ll read it for my writing students when we write poetry next unit. It sounds better read aloud when the reader knows where the accents and stuff go. The syllables and weird shifting rhyme schemes actually line up pretty nicely, for something that i wrote anyways, i just know that coming in and reading it without, like, studying its structure makes it sound like a mess. A well-meaning mess with lofty aspirations, but a mess anyways. Oh well, i’m glad it exists and i rarely say that. Once In A Lullaby


Day 28 – reflecting on yesterday after watching the Cubs look pretty impressive in the opener. It was nice pulling out the things we have almost forced ourselves to do naturally, traditions, and explain them and give them names. It was also kind of refreshing to pour one out for the ones we no longer do. I’ve been accused of living in the past before but I think i’m more fascinated with how my past has dictated my present, with me willing or not, as well as how what i’m doing in the present will help dictate the future for both myself and my kids (students included). So yeah i look back and ahead lots but almost solely from here and now and how it pertains to the present. traditional programming


Day 29 – ah the bloviated sequel no one wants but got anyways. This, i know, is my last reflection of the thing. I’m taking the final 2 posts to look back, and probably look forward. The entire 30 day thing was basically about me and i think this 2 parter was about outlining the big, essential, stuff whereas other posts took small idiosyncrasies or weaknesses or whatever and analyzed them based on whatever boohoo moment struck me that day and triggered me. I do love to write, love people who write and wish i was one, realize i am somewhat stuck, and hope one day maybe writing can help unstuck me. That’s what yesterday’s final “real” slice was about and I’m good ending it that way. Hopefully I move forward knowing that while this writing challenge is coming to an end, I am going to use the practice and all of this reflection to use it as the jumping off point I described yesterday. Fingers crossed. Write Away part 2


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