we all invent ourselves and you know me

Hello fellow life traveler! Can you relate like I can with the words in the image below? Like a captchya, I think they identify humanity.

The way I reinvent myself is usually from a visual stimulus. I’ll see something on vacation: a view, a work of art, I’ll meet a new person and I want to reflect that in my life. Sometimes ordinary settings cause me to be enlightened like the school where I teach or at home. Sometimes looking at my flickr or tumblr accounts will inspire a reinvention of sorts. I’m a very visually driven person.

There have been repeated times in my life where I was driven to construct a new me or a part of me. The most recent started with wearing my fedora hat. Before that, several years ago I decided I wanted to be a blog film critic and I started a movie blog apart from this one. I was very committed at first but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I dedicated myself to becoming something as a critic.

I hope I am always reiventing myself, even if the changes aren’t always permanent. An ideal life to me would be one that ended with the remnants of all the “reinventions” that lasted. I think the best end of a life should be determined so one can order the steps and decisions of the present life. After all, there really are no time constraints on us. Think about what Spider Robinson the eminent sci-fi writer said, “We are all time travelers moving at the speed of exactly 60 minutes per hour.” True huh?

If you consider yourself an artist, self-invention is fun. I love the REM lyric in Crush With Eyeliner. Michael Stipe sings: “We all invent ourselves and … you know me.” The allusion is, do we really know anyone? There is a lot of self invention going on. I know I am heavy into it myself. It’s like an art project for me but for others, they may not enjoy art. Guess what though? We are all inventing ourselves anyway whether we pay attention to it or not.

Another big example of recreation is in clothing styles. A few years back I decided I wanted to wear more v-neck sweaters in the Winter with white t-shirts underneath. That was a very wise one as it kept me warm and stylish. One way for me to see the many choices I’ve made about style is to go back through my flickr photos. You’ll see quite a few looks there. Do you have a flickr? If not, I highly suggest it for a lifelong app. Are there people who never alter their clothing style? Probably. I try to mix mine up once in a while.

I can’t close up this post without recommending tumblr to you. The images there give you plenty to think over. The best part about it is that you build the feed you read. There is no standard view. I’ve put together images and quotes from other tumblrs that I know have inspired me in the past. tumblr is fertile with inspiration for me. In your journey through time, I hope you find places you derive inspiration to reinvent yourself from.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – YES

mv5bmtc0ndgwmtk2ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjezodiyote-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_A lot of musicians want to be like the Beatles. They are ready to say yes to success. I don’t think the Beatles ever said that though. As I watch the recent documentary on them, I see some young men who are highly skilled in their craft and who simply go with it. The rest is history. Don’t aim at success, say yes to the work that gets you there.

Below is an In-N-Out lunch one of my students’ parents brought me on my lunch break. Totally surprise. Considering the many times I mess up in life, I still get rewards like that! This family rocks! Makes me want to say yes to all the right things.

John said yes to sitting and writing songs/singing. When he finally met Paul, Paul said “(He) had never met anybody who wrote songs before.” Paul of course wrote songs and together they made history. George played the lead guitar. He said yes to learning his scales, for years before he ever got into the Beatles. Ringo: drums. My takeaway from this is to say yes to the right things. Say no to the wrong things. Then go man go.

Your prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “yes.” Use it as a word, use it in a word, extra points if you start and finish your post with it. Enjoy!After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here.

Source: Stream of Consciousness Saturday | Linda G. Hill

One Thing I’ll Always Volunteer for: Making the Coffee

groundsWhen visiting other people’s houses, I’ll always volunteer to make the coffee. I worked in a coffee-house years back and so I know all the secrets of the trade, like drink recipes and definitions.

In the mornings here at home, it’s almost always my “volunteer” job to make the coffee, and I love to do it. How do I make it you may ask? Well, usually with a French Press. We always have Starbucks grounds on hand. I use about 4 tablespoons of coffee and very hot distilled water. My wife makes hers with the brew: Coffee Mate French Vanilla and Truvia (I could be wrong, she’s always changing sweeteners).

img_0859I drink mine black. I’ve been cutting down on caffeine every once in a while I cut it with hot water. Instant also has less caffeine. It tastes heavenly. I’ve volunteered to make coffee on camping trips, at work, in hotels, and at training meetings. I never mind doing it. The song goes: “I’d like to buy the world a coke” but in my case my song should have coffee where coke is. It’s a great wake-me-up. If we were having coffee, I’d volunteer to make you one now.

teachingThings are going great this week. I’m finished with 1/2 of my parent conferences (I’m a 4th grade teacher). It’s always so enlightening to talk with parents that come in. Some have a lot of entitlement attitudes and other are so gracious and open to learning. You just never know what’s going to walk through that door.

true-detective-season-1-episode-7I really enjoyed Season 1 of True Detective last week. Season 2 is pretty good so far, I’m on episode 2. Last night I saw Nine Lives at the dollar theater with my daughter Julianna. It wasn’t bad! I was pleasantly surprised. For a kid cat movie I’d be close to recommending it. It feels good now to be in the “no-work” for the weekend. Someone at work will put in a memo or email “I hope you all are rested from your weekend.” I hate that. To that person I say: ‘Don’t even mention things about my weekend. It’s mine. You may “own me” M-F but when I leave I’m gone and you aren’t invited.’ Anyone else feel like that? I dunno.

Ok, rant over. How are you (pours coffee)?



Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘The Greatest Season of Life’

It’s hard to say what season of life is the best. I think I have a fear that my best days are behind me sometimes and other times I feel like the best is yet to come. The 20’s were probably the silliest, in restrospect. The 30’s maybe the most serious. The 40’s have been pretty great so far, maybe even the best in some ways. I have no money issues like I did as a younger man. I am set in my grooves in the teaching profession, and I love bloging and know so many profitable and enjoyable ways to do it. Still, if I knew then what I know now, I might have done my 20’s differently and they could have been the best. If you haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about, no worries. We all walk our own path.

Learn more about #SoCS here: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 17/16 | Linda G. Hill

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘Your Days of Yore and What You’re Not’

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “your/you’re/yore.” Use one, use them all, but whatever you do, enjoy!

Here’s my #socs entry for today:

Days of yore hold such mysticism. The way they used to do it always seems more concrete, more tested. We forgot however that thinkers in history did not have the technology and advantages we have. So why do we trust old technologies like buildings and roads so much. We vote to pay for roads, for example, that are built in those same technologies of yore.

Then I have to acknowledge such huge accomplishments of the past as the men on the moon. Was their now defunct technology a total mistake? That happened with the technology of a computer only as sophisticated as a basic calculator. If you can ever watch Apollo 18 you’ll see how people working together in collaboration is the true technology that got people to the moon. It’s a great film though not about the famous successful flight.

Care to try your hand at #socs? Read below:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

source: #socs

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: ‘Tattle Management’

TattlingWere you a tattler? Did people always tattle on you? It’s obvious that tattlers are very difficult to deal. My own daughters Isabella and Julianna ages 9 and 11 are always tattling on each other. It’s enough to drive my wife and I over the edge on a daily basis. There really are so hard set rules of dealing with this in my house. I also experience the problem in my classroom but I feel I am getting a little better at managing it.

When a kid comes to me tattling at work, I teach 4th grade and have for 17 years, I don’t have the parent luxury of just sloughing it off. Usually I have to go the full 9 yards in dealing with it. I need the child to know I am concerned and will take care of the situation so she/he feels safe in school. Sometimes this is easier said than done. For example, a couple of days ago one child came to me all upset because she said another student had stolen her “brother’s pencil.” I though the possessive of a family member was a nice touch for extra tattling power. First of all, at the beginning of the year I give my students pencils so it wasn’t an issue of not having something to write with.

To the layperson out there: “What would you do?”

Ok now I will tell you the right way I sometimes handle it. I asked briefly for a confession. After that I told them both they could think about it for a while or they could both report to me at recess and we would take their statements and I would make a decision what to do. In this case, both agreed to drop it. What’s more, this is what happens in these situations 90% of the time. Tattlers should be heard but at the same time, kids need to develop a filter of what needs tattling and what is just part of consequences for things like leaving your brother’s pencil out for someone to steal.

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

  1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from August 10 years ago and write a poem or a blog post.
  2. 10 things you have learned about politics from Facebook.
  3. List 8 things you’re looking forward to and/or list 8 things you are dreading about sending the kids back to school.
    4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: tattle
  4. Write a blog post inspired by your childhood neighborhood.
  5. List 10 things you love about the state you live in.

Eye Contact in Daily Communication: Less or More?

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.

Source: Eyes | The Daily Post

My response: I know one big difference in cultures based on eyes. The Mexican culture teaches its kids that it’s rude to look an authority figure in the eye. Conversely, we teach ours here in the States to look people in the eye when speaking and especially when being scolded. This creates quite a culture shock for kids who are born elsewhere or even those who have picked up on their family of origin’s traditions.

I think the eyes tell much. That cuts both ways though. As I am reading about someone through their eyes, they obviously can read me. For this reason, sometimes when I am really listening to details, I don’t maintain eye contact. Instead I alternate from eye contact, non verbal cues, and looking down with verbal cues. This seems less intense, and I have been told through the years I can come off as intense.

Another item that keeps me on or off eye contact is whether I have my glasses on. I figure I’ll give more eye contact when they’re off because shiny lenses are impersonal. Because I am far sighted and wear bifocals, I often remove my glasses when in conversation.