trying new things

Exit 142. It’s hard being angry and feeling like there’s nothing you can do about it.

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with someone from the one dance place I’m still attending regularly; I’ll call her 2M1207.  We had never talked about my work until yesterday, and she was interested to hear some of my thoughts about being a teacher.  I said something I’ve said often before: 7th grade is both the best and the worst age to teach.  You have the nice kids from stable homes, who are just starting to emerge into maturity but are still childlike enough to give me the fun of working with children.  And then you have the angry tough kids from broken homes, who are at the height of defiance and have not yet been humbled by harsh reality.  In my current position, I have a lot more of the first type than the second, at least compared to the other school where I once taught 7th grade.

Regarding that second group of students, the ones I referred to 2M1207 said, “It’s hard being angry and feeling like there’s nothing you can do about it.”

That statement really hit me.  Because it sounds a lot like me.  But not about school.  I know the feeling of being angry and feeling helpless.  That’s how I feel about a lot of things in the world right now.  The world is really messed up, and it doesn’t make sense to me, and it often feels like I am out of options.

Of course, there are options.  I just don’t always see them right away, because they require thinking outside the box, trying something different than what I have always done before.  And the same can be applied to the angry students I come across.  There is help for them, but they have to think outside the box… and I may need to also in order to understand completely where they are coming from.

I don’t know if my conversation with 2M1207 will help me out of my anger at the world, but hopefully this perspective will help me in my next interaction with an angry student.


Exit 131. Eating one for the first time.

A while back, I clicked on one of those clickbait articles meant to make Gen-Xers and baby boomers feel old.  This one was a video of so-called millennials who had never eaten a Big Mac before, and their reactions upon eating one for the first time.

I realized something after watching this video: despite being older than anyone in the video, I had never eaten a Big Mac either.

I’ve eaten at McDonald’s before.  As a kid, I ate quite often at McDonald’s.  But rarely hamburgers.  I was a Chicken McNugget fan as a kid.  I didn’t like pickles, or most vegetables, on my burgers as a kid, so I just assumed that I liked my burgers with just ketchup and mayonnaise.  In fact, it wasn’t until early adulthood that I discovered that I liked mustard and onions on cheeseburgers, and this was only because I forgot to ask for no mustard and no onions one day.  In my early adulthood, the southern California-based chain In-N-Out Burger expanded into northern California, and that became my go-to fast food burger for a long time.  It is still one of my favorites, although I have other go-tos these days too.

On Fridays, I’m usually so tired from the work week that when I get home, I don’t do much the rest of the evening.  I usually treat myself to food somewhere cheap, or somewhere that I have a coupon.  I was thinking about this video during the week, and in the spirit of trying new things, or things that are new to me at least, I decided that this week’s Friday fast food treat for me would be a Big Mac.

It wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t Earth-shatteringly impressive, but it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t as big as I was expecting for a double cheeseburger.  For one thing, a double cheeseburger is supposed to have more than one piece of cheese.  And the patties aren’t really all that big.  I suppose it would have been a much bigger deal when this was a new product in the 60s, but I suppose I’m used to a new generation of fat-asses that want bigger burgers.  But it wasn’t bad, and it’s an option in the future.  And now I can say I’ve tried it.

I still don’t know what the third bun is for, though.