November, 2008

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aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

You know, the proverbial: Jack of all trades, master of none.

Except in my case, I want to be master of one.  That trade?  Teaching.

As this week begins I will finish off and send in one application for a Graduate Program in Education.

By proxy, my mailing in an application means that three others will be mailing in letters of support.  They begin their letters as I finish the last threads of mine.  My fate becomes one that is in the hands of those three referees and the committee that reads the full meal deal.  As all this happens, I will sit and wait…

…until April.

(all the while questioning my own ability to be successful, and the rightness of this particular program).

Until April is a long time to wait for something so central to a big chunk of my future planning.  This will affect my time-off time, my applications within our board and school, and my other professional learning adventures.

Now.  Most people in this sort of situation would probably apply for more than one program (I’d imagine), but for some reason I’m not.  This program seems to really fit.  And while it’s all a bit of a gamble, I apply knowing that what works out is what will work out… and that’s about all there is to it.

And yet I kind of feel the same way I did about telling people about testing for my drivers license.  In that, it will all feel a bit icky and embarrassing if I don’t make it in.

And yet, as a wise 27 something I also know that this all will be a community effort and often these sorts of resolutions work best when those around you hold you to some sort of accountability.

PLUS

Positive thoughts and white-light vibes NEVER hurt… and so I ask you to send some the same way my application package will be traveling…  and some the way from which they came.

…all while I sit here typing this with cautious optimism, a sentiment that has served me very well this last five (or so) years.

Is my B morphing into an M in my B. Ed sign-off?  We’ll have to all see how it unfolds from here.

Can I just say…?

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

…I am in love with this song.

Songs and books (and blog entries) just seem to really hit me sometimes.  Usually a half-dozen times per year or so.   This is one of those hit-mes [no blackjack pun intended].  I can’t even really think of any specifics why.

If the link gets pulled it’s Alanis Morissette’s Not as We from the Album Flavo[u]rs of Entanglement.

So good!

PE PD

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

It was Observation Night at my Monday weekly adventure  last night and as such, I was observed.  [you must click to see!, you must!  this isn’t my particular class but it gives you the jist.]

No.  It wasn’t an observation by talent scouts, not by judges or adjuticators, not by anyone critiquing my work,
but by Khail, Jo, and Tanya.

I have to admit this whole Monday weekly adventure has turned out better than planned (as have all my other night classes continuing education classes).  Mind, body, and sould I’m getting a lot out of this and am enjoying it all along the way.

The best part?

I told the gang I’m the second worst, and they said I wasn’t second worst at all.  I wasn’t even fishing for complements.

Ah,… I just registered to continue the class right through the winter term until summer.  And it feels so good.  My Mondays shall remain the same.  I’m just getting the hang of some of this, so another term it will be!

EVERYONE should take a class.  Be it French, Drama, Yoga, or whatever… I haven’t regretted one yet.

Seems like we’re in a quote phase:

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

 “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. … Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such. …”

-Henry Miller

Now, I’m not perfect.

Far from.

I claim to know NOTHING more than the guy (or gal) standing beside me.

I am trying to grow as a human being, as an adult, as a teacher, as everything I can.

Now.  Here’s where I’m at.  These quests for growth and awareness: typically, they result in a stronger understanding of all there is to do, and all I’m not doing.  THAT gets tedious and frustrating.  With each success conquered lies a thousand more unseen.

When did I feel like the best teacher ever?  My first day.  Best lifeguard?  First day.  Best anything?  First day.  From that initial starting point?… I start to see the complexities of the task before me and the complexities of my strategies and approaches.

Not once have I ever felt the balances of life completely even and level for more than twelve seconds than something from the universe drops from the sky requesting a rebalance.

I get that this is all part of adult life.  I get that I continue to move forward in growth.  But I also  get that sometimes it would be nice to sit back and enjoy the view.

With that let’s make it Two for Tuesday [quotes that is]:

The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.

        -Prof. Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Those important things, I’d agree, I’m missing out on right now in this current headspace and struggle.  Turns out, too–and I’m still in agreement–those are the most important things.

The other day I picked up my Zen Keys book, again.

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.

-Chuang Tzu

…and in song format.  [disregard the tacky slideshow] 

Tomorrow…

Monday, November 10th, 2008

TravisJohnRobertson.com enters YEAR 5 on the world wide web!  This morning the domain and hosting were both renewed.

(I barely knew the answers to all of the security questions, for the renewal process… so crazy!).

As the site is renewed, so too am I.  I’M DONE REPORT CARDS!!  (Comments, grades, and all!!)  Yes, there are some edits, and housekeeping tasks to finish up, but THEY ARE DONE and I’m proud of what I’ve written.  It feels so great… and tonight to celebrate will be a communal meal and some African Dance.

For the marking of TJR.com’s milestone, I share with homage-paid to writing stolen from this list with you a vision for TJR.com’s blog:

My hope for this site that it is:

a Coffee break, a cab ride, a [serving job]
Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.”

Already it’s been an interstitial place, a place for growth, and an entity that’s taken a life of its own.  Sure, it’s time for some overhaul work… BUT that just may be on the horizon.

So far, it’s been fun; why stop now!  (During report cards, it’s a welcome break.  After report cards, it’s a welcome space for celebration!).

Ah my virtual-self is ready for Round V.

Copin’ n’ Huggin’… Copenhagen

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I’m kind of mad at myself.

Not like not talking to myself.  …or writing an angry e-mail to myself.  …or telling all my friends how I don’t even know why I bother with myself.

Just a little mad.  Nothing too serious.

Three summers ago [during an EPIC-ly wonderful summer], while in a stadium opening ceremonies I still reflect back on very fondly… I committed to an overseas trip [to Denmark] this very summer.  Event-wise it made sense.  Family history-wise it made sense.  Internet research-wise it made sense everything.  Time and time again since, I’ve really perked up with references to that corner of the world.

Then.

Follow-through……. less than thorough.  As summer approaches (and the year 2009)…. my left planning brain (it is left, non?) doesn’t seem to be putting Denmark in the algorithm of any future endeavours.

Sometimes that’s a good thing… other adventures squeeze their way in.  The thing is, no adventures seem to be doing much squeezing.

…and I find myself wondering: was this the trip that got away?  is it the trip that can still be strung-together?  how do I frame this all?

Last November I put in a request for some universe-lovin’… and it worked.  Maybe this November I can re-activate that request line.

Although: really.

Let’s be honest.  I’m asking to access a universe magic eight-ball.  And the question is less to do with any trip to Copenhagen…

…and more to do with a new-found, in fact first-time, flexibility with CBE Position Applications and even more to do with the question:

On top of all that new flexibility, how ready am I for a summer/winter/summer/winter/summer/winter/summer rededicated to university life?

Ah, the tenth year out of high school and the dawn of that wonderful age of 30, three zero, peakin’ up over at the next horizon.