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Morning 2 without Facebook and it is amazing the amount of things that I got done this morning. I listen to music while getting ready and had thoughts about 10 different projects that I am looking at starting or finishing in the next couple months. I don't think I have a friend's base online Journal anymore and I'm pretty sure I'm okay with that. I think I need somewhere to record my thoughts that is not just 4 likes or connection with people. Anyway it is a 55 degree morning in Connecticut in February so I'm going to roll my windows down and blast, well, Jewish music by Sheldon low. :-) don't judge. :-)

I did it. I finally did it. I deleted Facebook from my phone. The first morning after I've done this where I have to drive, and I find myself talking to livejournal on my way to work. :-) I think that it is better for me to be on output mode for a while then input mode on my way To and from work and first thing in the morning. I noticed that for the longest time I wake up and immediately grabbed my phone and scroll through Facebook. It not only hijacks my morning but it's almost like I need to understand what happened overnight with people in order to start my day. I can do nothing about whatever is posted on Facebook, maybe a handful of the people on my Facebook I actually see and half of that I see on a regular basis. What exactly benefit do I get from Facebook first thing in the morning? I am realizing nothing. :-) so I begin my hour-plus long drive to my consulting job talking to my phone and feeling pretty damn good about it. This morning, my thoughts are my own. No NPR, no Facebook, just me and my thoughts first thing this morning. And what are my thoughts first thing this morning? Well, it's foggy and 50 degrees in February and this New England kid is very happy. :-) I made tea this morning instead of coffee, brought a salad and while I have several major projects to plan for school a presentation to do today and of course my dissertation, I don't know, I want to listen to music and enjoy my chai on my way to work. :-) did anybody actually reads this, you can expect to see me... Or days. :-)

Today I find out how badly I'm about to get f***** by the Trump Administration. It looks as if their new education plan eliminates all loan forgiveness except for one small program. I am of course not surprised, but if live with this low-level anxiety for the last few months since they announced it. I am terrified because if they cancel the Public service loan forgiveness program that I have just financially f***** my family. I decided to pursue a master's and a doctorate with the belief that if I committed myself to education for my life, if I made this my career, made public service my goal then the government would support me. I feel both duped and stupid. I'm hoping somehow because of the way to the Public service loan forgiveness program works that my legislators will find some way to support it. We'll find some way, to grandfather those of us we're already in education into the program. At this point I would have to stop my doctorate completely in order to qualify for the program. At this time, what may have to happen is I may have to take a couple semesters off and Inter loan forgiveness in order to qualify for the program. It's not what I want to do but it may be what's necessary.

I am often finding myself stuck in the middle of a lot of political debates between the right and the left. I think that both sides are diluted and not fully paying attention to the ramifications of what both sides proposed. If anything, the right has much more history to go on than the left. :-) if we do it the right once which is the continued Mining and Drilling and polluting simply to make sure that we have money and security and jobs, and of course the long game is that we will have none of that because the very things that give us that will run out. However, I think that they are the more honest of the two parties because they come from a more human and realistic place. They are basically saying that they feel insecure and they want that sense of security back and it's okay if it is at someone else's expense such as a migrants or someone not in their family like a black person or a non-Christian. They think that academics think too much because when I think they start thinking about the impact on people which is an unrealistic thing when you're talking about putting food on the table. If anything the right is just more vocal about their fear and wear it on their sleeve. Sadly, of course, they are selling the future for the security of now. However, the left is even more interesting to me. We don't like to see people hurt and we want everyone to be equal and I'm not so sure that we pay attention to what that would mean in the long-term. There's more equality and equity mean safety? I have no idea... But history shows me no. I think back to when most of Europe thought it was equal and they just started squabbling among each other and then you had the greatest war in history. Unfortunately, humans seem to only feel comfortable and safe when they have more than someone else. I don't know, I do know that every time we shout for equality and equity we do so because it makes us feel better and I think that most of it is rooted in the fact that we do want everyone to feel safe and secure. The problem is that that is unrealistic in a world of finite resources I think... Or just right now anyway. Is it possible of course! However, it would take a fundamental shift in a value system of so many people on this planet. If we want to make another group equal then we must give up something to make it equal. This is simple math. The problem is that many of us who talk about equity and equality do because the inequality has given us the freedom to ponder these things and not endlessly toil just to make ends meet. I just find it interesting that I wonder how many of us when we talked about Equity realize that Equity will bring much more instability and much less to our lives. I think Equity can be a very dangerous place in a place full of limited resources. Don't get me wrong, it is the right thing to do and we should never stop pursuing it because Equity does bring more two more people, but most of us that are calling for it don't realize that when this becomes more equitable it will fundamentally change how we live our lives, what we have and does inherently increased competition. Every time we've tried it and socialism this has been proven. I don't know this is just me kind of talking to myself but my thoughts are incredibly clear on this, I just think that both sides don't fully see the long-term picture. One side is rooted in fear and the other one is rooted in a wish that we could be more than maybe we are at the stage in our evolution.

I'm coming to the realization that none of my speech-to-text journal entries are coming out very well at all. I need to go back through and edit several of them and make them coherent.

Anyway, off to a thought this very cold morning now that I'm back at work after vacation. I was thinking for some reason this morning about the different holidays that we celebrated this month and how I express my love and gratitude towards nature. For the longest time I have said Thanks To Nature at random times. Either a beautiful sunset or surviving what I thought was an unusual situation or simply out loud on a snowy day. I set in my apartment a few times in the past weather in Texas Connecticut New York Etc and said thank you out loud for just soft jazz and soft light. It's interesting that when I started looking at Judaism it seems so aligned with my thoughts and so aligned with so many of the holidays that pantheists and those of us who love nature embrace. My foray into abrahamic religions through Judaism seemed easy. As a matter of fact it added the cerebral and academic side to the conversation for me. Since many of the holidays occur around the same time even though with completely different meetings I thought it would be no problem and a nice fit. Three four years after conversion I'm not sure that I feel the same way. Although I still love Judaism for its willingness to accept doubt and discuss differences, so much of it is not aligned with my general humanistic beliefs in the mainstream. However, I still find myself praying in Hebrew and with a judaic mindset. It's interesting I say a blessing over every meal and Hebrew as opposed to how I used to do it many years ago. I still say the Shema every morning instead of simply looking at the sky in Wonder and saying thank you. It is so interesting to me as I get older how I am becoming a mosaic of so many different things that I have tried and been part of. I know I'm only 40 but it seems so interesting to see this mural of my life made with so many different tiles. :-) I truly am an abstract art piece at this stage in my life. I also find that that might be the most beautiful artwork in the world. I've never really understood realism or things to that effect but abstract art I've always loved because it can be made of anything be interpreted by anything and could have been painted with any idea in mind and yet everybody gets to embrace it and own it in their own unique way. I don't know, I guess I find that absolutely stunningly beautiful. Hi ho. :-)

As someone who's flirted with veganism for the last 10 years and was vegan for most my entire time in Texas, the land of barbecue and meat eating, the realization that I had on vacation while watching Pelicans died for their food is one of those surprises and amuses me. It surprises me because of how quickly the thought has formed in my mind and abuses me because of its simplicity. Long story short, Jolene loves Pelicans. While I thought they were kind of awkward and clumsy birds, getting up close and personal with one yesterday and getting to watch them for literally a couple hours, I'm starting to fall a little bit in love with them. Perhaps it's because we share the same clumsy and cute awkwardness, but more so I think it's because of their race despite this awkwardness. Anyway, we spend some time watching them die for fish and one of the coolest things about that is for such a large and awkward bird, it could gracefully slam into the water like a missile towards a Target. The sound is very similar to sounds of missiles and bombs that I have heard through many War documentaries, movies and video games, and I have to wonder if our didn't replicate nature or simple aerodynamics. Watching the birds dive straight down into this water for the Precision that they had and come up golden fish down their gullet maybe really think about food. Your fish are minding their own business swimming at the top of the water one second and the next second they are literally being swallowed too slowly died within the seagulls or Pelican stomach. Wow graceful on The Birds Part, the idea of how quickly these fish has stuck with me for the since yesterday. Jolene and I talked briefly but I am surprised at how quickly I mindset has shifted on veganism in food. While I'm still steadfast in my hatred of factory farms, I have come around on Hunting. I can never quite get my head into a space where hunting was okay. Mainly because I  mainly because I have never gone out into nature, so beautiful creature, and felt the need to kill it. This is very far removed from my experience, culture and would never generally cross my mind. However, reading recent journal entries from my cousin about how her husband getting to Deer helps their food budget a time when things are mean and watching the Pelicans yesterday, I believe I can finally understand and accept hunting. Well again, my hatred for factory farms will probably last a lifetime, the idea of a hunter ending the life of an animal as quickly as the pelican eats the fish or a bird eats bugs seems... Natural now. My hope is that every Hunter Ames True and kills animal quickly and with the least amount of suffering, but if it's going to happen I could certainly prefer it come in the hands of a hunter then in one of these horrific places were an animal suffers from the moment it's born to the moment it dies. It's not what I didn't know the world was a cool place. Yesterday I could understand the Pelicans quickly eating the fish but driving tonight I realize that's not quite how it goes once the fish comes out of the water and into the mouth of the Pelican and swallowed whole it probably slowly dies. I can't do much about nature, but I can think about my place in the role of humans with in this. I've also found myself the last day completely being disgusted by fishing.. Blood on the pier and indifference to the fisherman treated the fish with that they caught makes me kind of sick to my stomach. I find the idea of a pescatarian now just a little bit uncomfortable., but if it's going to happen I could certainly prefer it come in the hands of a hunter been in one of these terrific places where animal suffers from the moment it's more the moment it dies. Its not like I didn't know the world was a cool place. Yesterday I could understand the pelicans quickly eating the fish but driving tonight I realize it's not quite how it goes once the fish comes out of the water and into the mouth of the Pelican and swallow bowl it probably slowly and recently dies so the gas it at the bird. Can't do much about nature, but I can take about my place and the role of humans within this. I'm also found myself last day completely being discussed it by fishing. About a blood on the beer and indifference to the fisherman treated the fish with that they caught makes me kind of sick to my stomach. I find the idea of a casket area now just a little bit uncomfortable. It's not just that though, it's the idea that to me the way to they catch while fish in the oceans is possibly just as bad if not

What are the things that I love about driving on vacation, and something that so few people understand, is the amount of thinking that I can do while driving. But it's not just me. Being able to travel with Jolene and really take the time for us to discuss big topics and go in-depth with things is a rarity in our lives. We both of us being in school our conversations at home tend to be quick paste and more than yet that the other person comments on and then we are off to the next thing that has to be done or topic of Interest. Under the expanse of Dark Skies and open road, we can play and ruminate on things. There was a time in my life when I used to trade these conversations with other people because invariably it led to the realization that either they were on the same page as I was, I couldn't communicate with my actual thoughts were, or I just found myself disappointed because they really had absolutely no idea where I was coming from. It's amazing it's not have that problem anymore. But we don't agree on everything, we can talk about things and discussed multiple perspectives and go deep into rabbit holes without getting lost... We're sometimes we get lost but hey that's what music score. :-) tonight as I drive under a beautiful full moon and the calendar has switched from one year to the next, I can't help but be surprised at the amount of thinking then I've actually got to do on this vacation. But I got on the road I can think of nothing but swimming and relaxing. But within hours of getting on the road I was thinking deeply about my philosophies on education and raising a family. :-) driving back and watching the temperature drop from 72 degrees to a balmy 18 and, I am laughing at some of the thoughts that I've had about everything from veganism and hunting to education to the book that I realize I have to write after my doctorate in order to prove competency. The next few journal entries will be me breaking down some of those thoughts as I continue to Drive North and try not to get pulled over in the one state that I truly hate to drive in... Virginia.

Dec. 1st, 2017

I feel like I'm having a crisis of faith lately. I am aggravated at the state of things and I'm not sleeping lately. I know this is ridiculous but I swear to you that it started after going 2 the car dealership this weekend. Again, I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous but I have been pushing everybody's honesty since then. Why do we say what we say is what we say really what we want to say excetera excetera excetera. Couple this with the fact that I've actually had some downtime to look around at the world other than focusing just on my work and I just feel so helpless and frustrated at the state of things. Where should I focus my energy? Should I try to fix the world now or just keep working on the generations that are to come? I don't know. I swear to you that I'm not sure how to do the most good with the time that I have left no matter how much time that is. Maybe this is some weird midlife crisis or something I don't know. I just feel off lately.

So feel free to ignore this if you're anyone but me. :-) sometimes I just like to make list of all the things that I'm doing to remind myself that I'm not just lazy when I take days off but that I'm actually trying to find a work-life balance. :-) I'm not trying to brag about this at all but I need to see this in writing and it seemed like the best place to do it. :-)

I thought about this as I was looking at my Red Cross volunteer tag and wondering why I'm not getting more involved with the Red Cross. My place of business wanted to start a big initiative where we trained employees who could deploy as needed to disaster situations but then it never went anywhere because the Red Cross didn't contact us back despite for emails at this point. Anyway, I looked at the Red Cross tag and realize that I don't really volunteer for them as much as I'd like to. Right behind it are my Special Olympics teaching credentials and right behind that is my bandana from my Special Olympics partnership with them as well. Well I'm on the Destination Imagination board of directors I am getting ready to leave because I have been ineffectual and the organization is as well. For whatever reason we can't get traction and I'm pretty sure it's just because we don't have the time. For me every time I go to talk to teachers nothing comes to fruition. I am not a closer, I'm the person that gets them to us and it feels like we're not cultivating these teams. Honestly, I also don't very much like the people that are on the board anymore cuz it seems all we do is talk around each other. They're great individuals and I enjoy most of them but as a group it doesn't seem like we are good at what we do. Hopefully by me stepping down somebody might be able to take on this role it has a bit more time and a different View. The edtpa project is a pet project of mine but also one that I strongly believe in. I'm working with Teach for America and we're developing a pilot program that supports their core members with completion while they're also getting her certification as teachers. I'm not sure how much of my time it's going to take but it's probably a fair amount. My role with Johns Hopkins University has proven incredibly busy the last few weeks and probably will only get more so in our last semester of work. I'm not sure if they're going to bring me back cuz it seems like I ask a lot of questions and a bit more random and it would like, but hopefully my scores will support me remaining on the team. I am happy that I dropped the edtpa reviewer position with Pearson as it allows me to commit to Teach for America without a conflict of interest. While it's not a lot of time it was yet another job I felt obligated to do. With all of these minor positions of course, I'm also full-time public school teacher. I love my job particularly this year I am loving my 8th graders who have finally followed into a groove of asking questions instead of just looking for answers and my seniors who while will experience a hell of a wake-up call seem to be a little bit more inquisitive and they were when I first received them. I believe in my school, I believe it its Mission and I believe in our students. This year with three preps it's taking me a lot more time to create projects that are meaningful, Which is kick my ass when it comes to my personal school work, but it's worth it. the new addition to all of this in the last year has been my work with workspace Academy. This place is awesome and truly  a heaven for kids  who could drive there.  Well I do think this type of learning is for everyone if we got to them young enough, I am seeing and hearing things that are absolutely amazing to me a lot of kids as young as six years old.  I don't know,  but this place seems pretty awesome and I'm interested to see how my partnership with her continues. Mentioning school work, I am of course, and probably into perpetuity, a doctoral candidate. What a pain in my ass this is. :-) I love it and believe them on the cusp of doing something awesome with it I just need to find the hours in the day. :-)

I think I'm leaving one or two small rolls off including grading for Teach for America and a few other ones, but it gives me an idea of all the projects that I'm working on at the same time and makes me be kinder to myself. Jolene has been amazing and getting me to do Pilates and I need to find a way to also add in some other things flight time it nature. I'm working out with my students during the day at a boot camp and we do still get out as much as we can on the weekends, but I realize we were out this weekend how much I need nature to really help me Center. I was envious of the people who were camping in Taconic this weekend.

This is the first year that I don't feel 100% invested in teaching. I still love it, I'm just not feeling it this year. It's odd for me because I feel like in the past I have wanted to prove to everyone that my ideas in my teaching style have evolved to something that seems to work and really Foster a sense of ownership and students. This year I feel like I know that and so one I don't have to prove it but too, I'm too busy. I'm at that place where I'm starting to realize that things won't get better in public education, or I can't be part of making it better, from inside a classroom. I wish I could teach part-time and devote myself to my academic work part or full-time too. I feel like it's the same issues over and over again and then unless we really Foster reflective dialogue and change systems it's just going to continue to be what it is. The work I'm doing with workspace on their self-directed learning curriculum but also on inquiry-based in other learning situations make me see how restrictive this lack of time is to the cultivation of ideas. I've had one week off where I really just relaxed and had a moment too deep think about things and all I want to do is continue doing this. :-) to be honest the last week of showing me how little time I truly do pay attention to things deeply. I'm surprised I've been effective at all and most of the roles that I serve. I'm trying to work on that and find more hours in the day, just not sure what that looks like. :-)