“When you’re not blogging, where do you go and what do you do?” asked no one, ever. So I’ll tell you. I’m usually consuming media. That includes watching American TV shows, listening to podcasts, or even music on Spotify. I think I’ve already mentioned that I’m a very happy MLB @ Bat audio subscriber, so I try to listen to at least part of one baseball game every morning when I roll out of bed.
I suppose that doesn’t actually answer the first part of the imaginary question, but contrary to popular school myth, I do get out and about quite frequently. I often walk to nearby (within 2 miles) grocery stores at least 3 times per week. On weekends, when the weather is nice, I try to walk a little further, visiting a shopping mall I like or a sporting goods store to peruse their selection of sports socks (with wicking action) to combat my sweaty foot problem (TMI?).
Occasionally I’ll take the metro downtown, but due to the invariably large crowds found on the walking street, I tend to avoid that area for the most part. I’d rather focus on the overwhelming insignificance I feel while sauntering between skyscrapers or the cultural and linguistic isolation I choose whenever I walk among the ancient parks dwellers through surprisingly well-pathed botanical gardens.
It’s also quite unknown that I play various video games on my PS4. I have Monster Hunter World, MLB The Show 18, and GTA V to keep me busy when I’ve got nothing better to do or if I need to escape this world for a while.
I only have about 12 minutes before my work day is over, and I can leave the office here at school. So I thought I would take a few (five or less) minutes to write a quick micro-post about recent developments in my life. There have been few.
One purchase I made on Taobao this week has made me temporarily quite happy has been a new phone case. The first case I bought for my S9+ was just OK. Although it felt good in my hand, I found that it restricted the use of the health sensor on the back of my phone because it had a plastic bar located between the camera and the sensor. In order to measure my blood pressure or to take an accurate heart rate measurement, I needed to remove the case first. With this new Spigen case, such measurements are no trouble whatsoever. In fact, I like this case so much that I ordered another one of the same model only black and bronze instead of dark blue and silver. It’s nice to have options.
In the past month, my school has expelled two students for entirely different infractions. The first student, Davis, was kicked out for bullying. I was told that he had gathered a group of his friends (from other schools) to intimidate another boy outside the front gate on a Friday afternoon when the boarding students usually head back to their homes. In my opinion, Davis definitely deserved his punishment.
The other boy, Allan, was expelled for smoking both off-campus and in various location on-campus. While I agree that students should definitely not be smoking on the school grounds, I don’t believe he should be punished for what he does outside the
prison school walls. The fact that he was caught smoking at school is certainly a serious problem, but I don’t believe the punishment fit the “crime.” Obviously, the boy has an addiction to nicotine, and by expelling him, the school really hasn’t done anything to help him break this addiction. He’s just been cast aside like he’s a flawed clay pot unworthy of being fired in the kiln of education.
Sometimes I think international schools in China are run too much like factories where the administrators view the workers (students) as interchangeable and replaceable. They just don’t seem to grasp the human aspect of teaching and shaping young minds. My school has such low expectations for these kids that teachers let them sleep in class, but try to force these same lazy kids to stay awake during the exams by making their tests harder.
There’s just no logic to international school education in China. If you want to create little robots, follow the Chinese curriculum, but if you want thinkers and creators, take a more westernized, holistic approach and stop throwing away kids just because they’ve begun heading down a wrong path.
I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve been unable to find the right words to accurately express my thoughts and feelings. Why is that? I’m sure that my new role as a literature teacher, has a great deal of influence on me. I spend a good deal of time explaining to my students that they must consider several things when writing, including their audience, the organization, and structure of their writing. When I take my own medicine, I find I hold back, censoring myself here instead of just letting the words fly.
My students know that each of their writings should have a thesis supported by paragraphs with their own main ideas and supporting information. I find when I blog, that I don’t like to follow this rule myself. I’d rather ramble on and on, following my stream of conscious awareness of my mind’s contents at that moment without forcing myself to hover over the keys while I consider the proper organization of the paragraphs. And I’ve certainly never been known to structure the information contained in my blog posts in any order of importance; no upside down pyramids here.
Which brings us to the main idea of this blog post. At the risk of oversimplification, I’d just like to point out that my life is really good. Actually, my life is great! I’ve landed on my feet with a new job in a great new city. With a lot of help, I’ve finally recovered emotionally from the train-wreck that was my marriage. I’ve been shown just how happy I can be if I let myself choose it and stop clinging to the anger and destructive regrets that had been dragging me down. Life is good because I’m ready to move on, advance, embrace happiness.
I know I’m burying the lead, but that’s just the way I roll. Life is good because I’m ready to move forward with a new mindset, a new outlook, and a very different perspective than I had before. There’s a whole world out there to explore and experience, and although I was prepared to fly solo, I now realize I don’t have to.
At times, it’s hard to avoid feeling that I’ve been abandoned, exiled to this quiet, peaceful life of near solitude in Nowhere, Ohio. I saw this pathetic space-saver tire lying on the sidewalk along my meandering walk around the village yesterday. I feel a kinship with it as though we’ve both been cast off, having served our purpose. No longer needed, we wait together on the cold, hard pavement of life, lingering restlessly in anticipation of someone putting us back into service.