The person I want to be climbed rocks

I went bouldering in an indoor rock gym tonight.  It hurts now in my hands, in a very ‘ouch’ way.  My palms felt like fire when I showered in the warm water, and it felt like I was rubbing them raw when I was merely soaping up my body and washing my hair.  I imagine that even more of my body will ache tomorrow, in a good way.  I’m glad I went climbing with this old friend.  Apparently I am terrified of jumping down while facing a wall… I’d never noticed that it made a difference to me, jumping down from something forward versus backward… I guess I just hadn’t ever considered a blind and backward jump for anything before tonight.  Anyway…

And now, since I gave the girls an assignment on it today when subbing for creative writing, I’ll throw in a bit of free poetry, slam style, but typed…

I got a few scrapes and bumps,
and even drew blood on one skinning spot.
But I climbed a lot
for having done
little comparable activity
in the past several months.

And it felt good.
And I felt like I was being
the person I wanted to be.
The person I want to be.
Yes.  The person I want to be.
Me,
myself, and I are good people,
but there’s more to me
to who I want to be.
And she
yes, she
stopped in to smile tonight
to show how I might
could be.
Truly.
Would that she
come sooner
and wait no longer,
but it is I who must go to her.
Let it go, let it go, just let it all go…
Or Beatles-ly
let it be…
then shall I be she
proud and powerful and humble and beautiful
as can be,
being the person I want to be.

 

Post-a-day 2018

 

 

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Baby steps and leaps

Sometimes, the best things come out of signing up to do something wonderful that you are terrified to do… so, I’m looking forward to the morning of October 7th, with both nerves and extreme delight.

Post-a-day 2018

What’s your nerd field?

Today, my cousin compared my lesson planning talk with that of her brother’s talk about trees.  You see, he, her brother (and my cousin), got really into trees, and studied forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas.  He used to talk about toy cars and action figures, and even eventually video games, too, like a little nerdy kid who is somewhat obsessed and awed by the specific toys and all that they can do/represent, as well as all of their background information.  You couldn’t really get him to shut up about the toys when he was little, or the video games when he was around high school aged.  In college, this talk turned to being about trees.  He even named his dog after “his favorite tree species”.

So, now, fast forward to today.  My cousin, the forestry cousin’s older sister, said to me that my teacher talk about lesson ideas and planning lessons – and this is about any topic, be it actual foreign language teacher, which I actually did for high schools, or dance lessons, or my art & yoga classes, or whatever teaching opportunity I might have – reminds her exactly of her brother and his tree talk.

Does that not say something distinct and pointed about me and teaching?  😛  Clearly I like it.  (I also happen to be very good at it, it turns out.  Total blessing, and I am incredibly grateful for it.)

‘Okay, but I’m not going to get a dog and name it Lesson Plan,’ I laughingly retort.
After a slight pause for inhale, she replies, ‘Hannah…, I could see you coming up with a more creative and better way to name the dog Lesson Plan.’
‘You say that…’
‘Oh, did you think I was joking?  Because…’
‘No.  You say that, and I know that you aren’t joking.’

I was just worried that I really might be that nerdy about it, because I could totally see myself doing something that silly somewhere down the road.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Rocks with that?

I was reminded today of how I used to have a chunk of charcoal in my water bottle.  I haven’t thought much about that at all recently, (however, I might start doing it again) but apparently the lacrosse team I used to help coach thinks of it often.

First off, the charcoal in the water bottle is something I learned from Japan, though, via my brother before I moved there (and then it was emphasized while I lived there).  It has to do with cleaning up the water, essentially, from what I recall.  (Note: It is not drinking charcoal mixed with water.  It is a stick of this specific charcoal that sits in the water bottle, so that its pores can absorb unwanted stuff from the water.)

Anyway, so I had this stick of charcoal in my water bottle.  I carry my water bottle pretty much everywhere with me in life, so lacrosse practice was included back when I was coaching (and teaching).  Apparently, one of the girls has held on to the fact that I had ‘some kind of rocks’ in my water bottle, though I have doubts as to whether she recalls what the ‘rocks’ actually were (the stick had broken in half, so there were actually two pieces in the bottle, instead of one, but they didn’t really look like rocks).  In memory of my water bottle, in a sense, that particular girl regularly drops rocks into other people’s water bottles, telling them that it is healthy, and reminding them of how I did it.

Yes, my wonderful lifestyle rubs off in the best of ways.  😛  I guess it gives us a new meaning for ‘on the rocks’, now.

Post-a-day 2018

that 1%…

Have you ever had strongly disagreeing viewpoints with someone close to you, on a topic of great importance?  I have, and I currently still do…

You see, someone rather close to me – let’s call her Carol – has a completely different view on money than I have, and in a way that we disagree on how to go about certain things.  To her, people with money almost have a responsibility to give money to people who don’t have money.  Now, I don’t mean in the sense of homeless people, or people who do nothing with their lives.  She believes that people who work hard and who are smart just kind of deserve money, no matter what careers or jobs they have.  For me, for example, I’m kind of a high school teacher.  That maxes out my salary at around, say, $60,000 per year for a lifetime in the career.  Most of my acquaintances began their first jobs post-college making at least $50,000, and have gone up from there – they will surpass my lifetime maximum within ten years at most in their jobs.

These are the situations in which Carol believes that the money-making acquaintances have an almost-obligation to give money to people like me, – or at least to do things that cost money for people like me – since we have no chance of ever affording it ourselves, through no direct fault of our own, per se.

And this is a point on which we disagree entirely.  While I certainly appreciate when people do things like that for me, – and I know that I would do things like that for people, if I had the money (for I already do with the little money I do have) – I do not believe that they have any obligation to me.  I regularly feel as though I am being encouraged to take inappropriate advantage of friends, family members, and acquaintances, because we so much disagree on this.  For me, it is not seizing the opportunity, but strangling out every penny someone could possibly give to me.

did, to a certain degree, select this work.  (I avoided it for a while, because I hated the idea of the salary, I really did.  And yet, here I am, anyway, teaching.  Nothing else has ever piqued my interest.  Though, I’ve had lost no experience in anything else real, really.)  But Carol believes that people need to give me their money, give me their airline miles and hotel points and all the other benefits – not so much that they themselves suffer the loss, of course, but just so that I get to benefit alongside them – that their high-salary jobs afford them.

And, while I would love to find a partner in life who’ll provide loads and loads of money for our lives, – let’s be real: I’ll probably give most of my share away – that is the only person I would expect to provide me with money or benefits of any kind.  And not because I’m lazy, but because there is something valuable for me to do, that we both see as valuable, but that is not up there on the high-salary scale.  No one else even comes close to being expected to share anything but a little time with me.  That’s why I have the friends, anyway, is to spend time together.  Not to take their money.

 

I feel like I’m not saying any of this very well, and that I definitely am not making a worthwhile point… I’m just exhausted tonight.  Today has been unique and somewhat terrible, as some days do turn out in life… I look forward to the balancing of the scale for today soon.

Post-a-day 2018

A foreigner at home?

Have you ever felt out of place within your own culture?  As time passes, it happens to me more and more often.  Last night, I attended an event with coworkers.  The noise volume took me by slight surprise when I first arrived.  How can people be this loud? I thought.  And then I remembered almost before I finished asking the question: They’re americans (from the USA).

But I’m american from the US, too.  Wouldn’t I be used to this, then?

I quickly compared it to a drinking party at an izakaya (like a bar) with nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) in Japan.  Yes, the Japanese can get quite loud there.  It was never to the point of wanting to cover my ears, though, I hear myself thinking.  So, I am very much accustomed to a much quieter environment for parties, then.  I’m not just being a bit dramatic and overly sensitive to normal behavior and a normal situation.

Even still… I felt so oddly out of place, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with myself.  I ended up semi-hiding in the coatroom (it wasn’t a closet, but an actual room, I promise) to take a breather from all the people and the noise from time to time.  I also took extra-long any time I went to the bathroom, because it was cozy and quiet in there on my own. Yes, I could have just gone home.  However, I rarely spend time even around people who aren’t high schoolers right now, so I felt it was somewhat necessary – even if just for social practice – to spend time around adults, especially happy ones in a good, safe environment.

I definitely adjusted after a bit, but I still felt quite out of place for most of the event.  I guess I’m just not so USA american anymore… which doesn’t surprise me, really.  It’s just odd, not belonging in a place everyone calls my “home”.

Post-a-day 2017

Snow in Houston, Texas (and t-rex Christmas cards)

Last night, it snowed here.  In Houston, Texas.  It happened yet again.  What miracles lie before us?  It began after I went to sleep, and didn’t begin to stick until after I woke up for a bathroom break in the middle of the night.  So, I woke up to snow covering everything that wasn’t concrete this morning.  Which, when you think about it, is kind of the best kind of snow – you don’t have to shovel or worry about tire chains or anything, but you get to have beautiful snow everywhere around you.

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The hit of the morning was arriving to school.  My mom drove me in, because we were going to a Christkindlmarkt (German Christmas market) together after school, and the market was too far away for me to drive home first and then go, and it didn’t make sense for us to drive two cars out there.  She was staying for a bit, because we had Mass at school for the Immaculate Conception, and this was a chance for her to see the school a little bit.  Pulling into the parking lot (vacant of teachers, because we were so early), we discovered a sort of snowball fight happening in the picnic table area next to the lot.  We didn’t have much snow on the ground, but the kids were making some snowballs out of it, and throwing them around at one another.  It was adorable.

Naturally, my mom declared that I had to make a snowball, as we were leaving the car.  I grabbed an already-made snowball from the ground, which had lost only a bit after originally falling there, and showed it to her.  As she eyed me up while she finished off her own snowball, I realized that she intended to throw hers at me.

And so the fight began.

My mom and I, shuffling around a parking lot and a small grassy area with snow about it, picking up and throwing odd snowballs at one another, practically screeching with delight.  When I was turned away, a snowball hit her square in the back of the head.  No one was too near us, though, so it had come a long way.  And these were a little tough for regular snowballs, so it definitely hurt her a bit in the moment (stung, perhaps, is the appropriate word here).  It didn’t ruin out fun, of course, but merely added to the silliness of the whole affair – one of my students had attacked my mother with a snowball*.  No part of that declaration makes sense for living here, in Houston, Texas.  😛

In class, before Mass, kids lined up at the windows to stare at the snow in the courtyard below and on the roofs within view.  This was only the second time in their lives that it has snowed here, so their fascination with it was completely understandable, and utterly adorable.

Today had some magic, that’s for sure.

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*I found out later that the student who hit my mom actually was a student of mine.  He asked me ‘who that teacher was, walking with me earlier,’ and, when I asked for clarification, he described the morning snowball affair.  “That was my mom.”  In shock, he declared that he thought it was a teacher and asked me to tell my mom that he was sorry for what he did to her.  (My mom and I laughed at the thought that he apologized for having hit my mom, but that is seems to be the case that he willingly would hit a teacher in the head with a hard snowball, without question.)

P.S.  My task today was to “[d]raw a Christmas card”.  So, I drew one on the roof of my mom’s car tonight as we were leaving the Christkindlmarkt.  Frost had begun to reappear all over the place.

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Post-a-day 2017