A Cloud is a Cruel Mistress

I opened up and rubbed my groggy eyes as I rolled over to the other side of my bed. The blankets were still warm, and when I flipped over my pillow, the feeling of the right side of my face against the cool texture  created a serene contrast to the warm blanket.

After a brief moment of time, the blankets began to lose their heat, and the cool texture of the pillow lost its integrity. It was time to get up.

After completing my morning routine of eating a hearty breakfast, showering and brushing my teeth, and getting my clothes on: I decided I was going to peer outside to observe the weather.  As I was walking towards the blinds in my living room to see outside for the first time, I heard birds chirping. As I began opening up the blinds, to my dismay, it was another gloomy day.

The sound of a large aircraft sailing over my house created a ringing in my ears, deafening the sound of the chirping birds. I peered at the birch trees: they waved back and forth hauntingly, like out of a horror movie scene when the victims are lost in a forest and the only thing holding them  hostage are the wavering trees that shake vigorously side to side. The clouds were grey and moving briskly due to the harsh winds. The clouds took over the sky, and kidnapped the sun.

A cloud is a cruel mistress.

She can provide coverage from the scorching sun allowing you to continue to dance at the beach, and smell the salt of the ocean.

She can make you scour for cover as she throws a torrential rainfall at you, ruining the potential of the day you aspired to

She can be loved and hated simultaneously

She can either make or break your day, your month, your year

Your life

A cloud is a cruel mistress.

She ruined this day for me as she ruins many days for me this time of year. I will again close the blinds, stoke the fire by my couch, put on another pot of coffee, and continue to write poor stories.

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Philosophy of Education (My Overarching Principle)

One of the more daunting questions an Educator can be asked is, “what is your philosophy on Education?”. It is a loaded question which in many cases is malleable and ever-changing, week by week, and month by month. As a new teacher, when I am asked this question I feel as though I reply superficially. So, it is my hope that if I create a document about my philosophy I can both better understand my pedagogy, and later reflect back to see what has altered about my philosophy. I intend to write about an overarching principle which guides my pedagogy.

To begin, it has always been my belief that schools are a ladder into the real world. Students take a hold of the grips the ladder provides and continually pull themselves up until they reach the top: adulthood. I believe schools exist to teach curriculum, but more importantly they exist to ensure that the time they let go of our hands in grade twelve that they are ready for their next latter.

It is imperative that we teach the basic skills and competencies to our kids because in many cases if we do not show them, who will? I believe we need perpetually hold kids accountable when they are not showing the utmost respect. Hold kids accountable when they are late for class, or when they tell Susie that the color of her hair is stupid. Moreover, I am convinced that teaching our kids how to think is essential to long term growth and success. What I mean by this is teaching them how to critically think. Can they look at a problem and discern it from many different perspectives? Can we show them how every action will have a reaction either positive or negative? Further, we must teach them how to problem solve both as individuals and in groups. If Marcus always comes to class late, and fails to hand in his homework, how can we work together to solve the problem? If students cannot effectively learn these skills, how can we possibly expect them to reach the top of the latter?

Next, what I love most about teaching English is the real world application it brings to the classroom. The things I stress most in the classroom are also themes, protagonists, conflicts, or ideas in literature. Our kids observe how protagonists work together with other characters to solve problems, and the rewards these characters reaped by working together. Our kids use their critical thinking skills to understand an author’s underlying message, and look at conflicts from alternative perspectives. The skills and competencies that I teach throughout the year are reiterated in the form of literature, and it is a beautiful moment when students begin making those connections.

In summation, I will provide the cold reminder that even your coolest unit or lessons plans will not be remembered by students. What they will remember is the time you stayed late after school with them to create an organizer for them, or how you helped them reevaluate the word “failure,” and showed them that it is alright to fail as long as they learned something from that adversity. This reaffirms my pedagogy. If we considerably focus on teaching basic skills and competencies we will begin to see a positive correlation on students’ grades when we are teaching our curriculum.

2017-04-17

Wading Through Tall Grass

The sun grazed down before me giving my skin a dark brown tinge. I waded through the tall grass. It smelt of summer: wet mud, tree bark, and fresh air. Summer is a time of optimism. A time where you believe that perhaps maybe your life is turning around. You meet a cute girl; you leave the rustle of the city. It’s just you and her, together. Nothing else matters. It feels like maybe nothing will ever matter again. Moments come easy, whiskey goes down easy, your guard comes down easy. You begin to feel as if this is the way your life will be like forever. As if you can wade through the tall grass with her, everyday. But the old man says that nothing in this world is forever, but in those two months you always think you have proved him wrong. But like everything, things change, and people change. The leaves on the trees begin to fall, the grass begins to die, and the smells of summer disappear: with her.

I Wish (Seriously)

I wish I did not send the first message

What a fucking waste of time that was.

 

I wish I had better headphones right now

I wish the girl talking to me would get the fucking hint

 

I wish I was more drunk

I wish I had more drugs

 

I wish I did not have responsibilities

I wish I could drive California’s coast (with her)

 

I wish I had the guts

I wish I had the girl

 

I wish said girl would not fuck me around in the future

I wish I was asexual and did not need a girl

 

I wish I was better with cars

I wish I was more handy

 

I wish I could leave

I wish I was not being held back

 

I wish I would have done things differently

When did doing the right thing ever make you happy?

(seriously).

“Special Occasions”

What makes a “special” occasion “special”

What makes anything special?

The people? The time of day? A holiday?

Does a “special” moment need to be a perfect storm?

Is something “special” universal? Or is “special” subjective?

Why do we try so hard to feel what other people feel?

Why do we feel the need to fit in so goddamn bad?

What makes a “special” occasion “special”

The Thing About Regrets

The thing about regrets?

They never end.

You will regret the next five years

The next girl you fuck

The next time you make an excuse

 

The thing about regrets?

You will not forget them.

The last time you did not call

The last time you walked away

The last time you did not try

 

The thing about regrets?

Time does not help.

It never heals

It never fixes the scars

They linger, and cut you deeper

And deeper

 

That is the thing about regrets

They are there for a reason

Because you wish they were not

My Phobia

I have many fears.

Falling from a rooftop

Falling from a tree

Falling from love

 

I have many fears.

The sound of thunder

The sight of lighting as I lay by my bedside

The odd feeling of being alone during a storm

 

I have many fears.

When I watch the color of my room fade to black

When my closet makes noises at 3 am

When she left at midnight

 

I have many fears.

Doomed by my quarter-full bathtub

Dismantled by a shark

Drowning in my own thoughts

 

I have many fears.

Then It Is Over

The hard part is starting. Taking your first step, learning to tie your shoes, riding a bike. Nothing is easy. Nothing will be easy. Learning a hobby, figuring out what you want to do during your existence on this planet. What do you do in between the time you are alive to the time you die? Having the option, however, is nice.

The hardest part is starting over. The hunt, being found, recognized, and adored. From the first kiss, the first memory, the fighting, the making up. Then it is over. It is exhausting. The same people, the same actions (and reactions). Then it is over.

The Problem With Big Words

The problem with using brobdingnagian words,
the lethargical modern man. What a sham.

 

Depravity at its best, our tremulous language fades to rest.
Yet, pretension rises higher than the stupidity of the majority.

(tyranny of the majority)

 

The act of brevity and a tender candor, repressed by apathy and the lifeless.

The problems with big words:
a conformist’s mentality
to further quash the modern man.

 

What a sham.

 

Letters From Jasper Black

To whom it may concern,

 

Are you sick of that dreary filled angst? The same repetitive mundane bullshit we as a species go through to find love? As if love could really be found. Fucking idiot. You know distinctly what I am talking about. Lying prick. That is the problem, we cannot be honest with ourselves anymore: let alone be frank with the people around us because we are so god damn sensitive. Anyways, be truthful with yourself for one second (I know I am asking a lot, of course you need to get back to that boring fucking life you lead promptly). Do you remember that time you thought you met somebody special? I mean, this person was the real deal. Their lips would make your knees quiver, skin so gentle that you thought you were embedded underneath your freshly washed blankets. They had this persona, maybe even an aura that rejuvenated your soul and made you feel worthy again. So, of course, this infatuation with this lover corrupts your weak mind into thinking that you have found a diamond in a maze full of rocks. You create this image of this particular lover in your pitiful mind and create an intangible mold that suggests that this person is everything you need right now to feel happy. These cynical bastards don’t give a shit about you. Fucking imbecile. Everybody is so caught up in their righteous selves that for some reason we think they can care about somebody other than themselves. These superficial people are no better than undignified rocks, incomparable to diamonds. And I for one, enjoy kicking rocks.

 

Finally you grow enough balls (easier said than done nowadays) and politely tell this soon to be ex-lover to go fuck themselves (rightfully so). No longer will you feel used, corrupted, or taken advantage of. You realize that settling for somebody who will not give you their utmost time and attention would only bring you to misery (as if you are not already in purgatory). You discern that the only person you need to make yourself happy is you: everybody could learn a thing or two from you, old sport. We expect other people to generate our own happiness for us. Greedy numbskull. Did we not just have this conversation? When everything is all said and done you need to create your own personal fulfillment. Everybody is lost in their own delusional world. To rely on them to bring you both joy and a vocation is as silly as following a blind monkey through the jungle.

 

So here we are: drunk, horny, and tired. Tired of being alone, tired of lonely nights, and tired of whiskey (who am I kidding)? We begin to think about what it would be like to meet somebody special again. Is it too late to get the old one back? We begin to open up our hearts again, and meet new people. Things are going great for you until you meet “the one”, the lover that you will soon be telling yourself again that they are everything you need to heal your brokenness. But they never are. Feeble-minded asshole.

 

“There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same twice.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

All the best,
Jasper Black

(12/1/16)