Three Boys, 70.3 Miles

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Victor, Alonzo, and David

Meet Victor, Alonzo, and David, collectively known as V.A.D.  All seniors in high school, these three young men have taken on the challenge of training for and then competing in a 70.3 Ironman.  They are doing this with no similar experience and no previous training to give them a boost in their preparations.  The challenge they’ve taken on is insane – and they’re doing it for a good cause.

For those who don’t know (which included me until about a year ago), a 70.3 Ironman, also know as a Half Ironman, is a triathlon.  The boys will have to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles.  Their trainer is a veteran triathlete who qualified for the 70.3 Ironman world championships in Las Vegas this past year, so the boys are in good hands in the months leading up to the race.  That being said, they certainly have their work cut out for them!

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My Blog isn’t My Mark

The signs may not be obvious, but they’re there for the keen observer.  I haven’t written a book review since April.  I’ve been much less consistent at replying to comments.  My posts have dropped from twice a week to once a week, and this one is late.  The previous two posts were both responses to the Weekly Writing Challenge instead of the brainchild of my own ideas… and this one is, too.  Sort of.  I’ll explain what I mean in a bit.

Foto einer Glühbirne (an),

Waiting for the light bulb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All these signs point to one fact.  I’ve lost my blogging drive.  I still enjoy the act of writing.  I’m still floored by the numbers of followers I have – even after sifting through the spam followers that worked their way into the mix.  I still feel like I have something to give to the world.  However, I’m realizing that blogging was my place-holder for my real mission, and right now, the place-holder is starting to feel a bit flimsy.

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The Wisdom of the Walls

One of the things I enjoy about subbing is exploring the classroom walls.  Every teacher puts a unique touch on their classroom.  Some cover their walls in motivational posters, others in student work, and still others in subject-specific information such as math equations or proof-reading rules.  The classroom I’m in right now doesn’t have any windows, so someone painted a picture of a window for the teacher to hang next to his desk.  The teacher I subbed for yesterday decorated her room with posters from movies like True Grit and The Great Gatsby.  On slower sub days, I sometimes entertain myself by trying to guess each teacher’s personality and quirks based simply on the room decor.

Edgar Allan Poe, as created by Mark Summers for Barnes & Noble (click for more if his work!)

Edgar Allan Poe, as created by Mark Summers for Barnes & Noble (click the image for more if his work!)

I already have a collection of things I keep for the day when I can decorate my own classroom again.  I have two different One Page Books Shakespeare posters, the prizes pieces from my first teaching job.  At a school rummage sale, I also scored four of those giant, framed, stylized images of authors that had once graced the walls of a Barnes & Noble store.  Someday I hope they will grace the walls of my classroom.

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The Power of a Great Teacher

Dead Poets Society

The ultimate “English Teacher” movie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My blog exploded this weekend.

Well, a little.  I didn’t receive more followers or more likes, but I did get hits.  So many hits.  Sometimes I link my blog post to Facebook, but not all the time, and I decided not to publicize my last post right away.  It felt too personal to advertise, so I simply wrote it and hit publish.  Despite that, within 24 hours links to my post were popping up all over Facebook and Twitter from former classmates and the school’s alumni page.  Mr. Lund himself shared a link, saying he was in a state of “shock” over my article.  Before, I averaged about 10-20 views a day, maybe more on days I published a post.  When the post about Mr. Lund went up, I received 130-180 hits a day.  Within 48 hours “The English Teacher Who Danced to Mozart” beat out “6 Reasons Teen Blogs are Awesome” as my most visited post of all time.

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The English Teacher Who Danced to Mozart

Set the scene:  The clock is ticking, winding down to 3:30.  Students anxiously watch the second hand slowly tick by, waiting for the bell to ring.  They have their hands on their already-closed backpacks, ready to bolt as soon as the clock sets them free.  And then it does.  But instead of heading out the front door and to their cars, free for another day, about a good number of the uniform-clad, private school student body heads for a single classroom.  The lucky ones get there first.  The rest form a line that winds around the corner and down the hallway.  And they’re restless.  They know Mr. Lund only accepts a certain number of people in his club, and it’s first-come, first-serve.  They worry the sign-up sheet will be full by the time they reach it.  They count the number of heads in front of them, some relieved, some disappointed.  Within 20 minutes, the sign-up sheet is full, and the students that didn’t make it turn away disappointed, already wondering about next year.

And what club was this, that teenagers anxiously stood in line for, disappointed to be turned away?

Opera Society.   Continue reading