Friday, February 29, 2008

Overalls Friday Report: A Good Week's Hard Work

Overall, the week, like wine and cheese, got better with age. The kids got better. Some got worse too (you know who you are, c'mon lets get it together!). Next week is a short week for us, we get Thursday and Friday off. I'm not going anywhere and I'm dog sitting my next door neighbor's dog Sweet Journey. Yes the dogs name is Sweet Journey.

I hosted open gym today. Only 5 kids came. I don't think its a very big incentive for them to come because they get to shoot all the hoops they want at YouthGroup. But I did get to shoot some hoops and toss the football around.

I have a pretty good feeling today. Its a feeling that not everyone gets after a week of work. Some people think "Thank God Its Friday, I couldn't spend another second in this dump." Lordy knows I think that too, but this week I had this feeling I get when I feel like I worked my arse off and did a good job. I learned this feeling when I used to have to do endless hours of manual labor yard work for my Dad as a kid. It sucked while I was doing it, I kind of hated it, I worked hard though, and I'll be damned if it didn't look and feel good afterward. There is something about doing a good job that feels good. After a tough days hard work you kind of respect the blisters a little bit more. They'll grow into callus' soon enough. Well, I got mental blisters, and mental callus' and mental sore muscles (some real ones too), and mental joint pain, but it feels good.

Other news, only 83 short days until I'm home for summer. Thats just under 12 weeks or 3 months. Ya hoooooo!

I also feel it necessary to note that I won't be able to write on this day for another 5 years because today is the 29th of February (why is FebRuary spelled like that?) leap year! Its actually not that exciting.

Just so I can leave you with a mental picture, I'm gonna spend the rest of the evening curled up in sweat pants on my couch drinking orange spice tea, burning Nag Champa incense, reading my Anastasia book, listening to Yonder Mountain String Band and eventually watching "Perfume" a movie I just got on Netflix. Doesn't that sound nice? Wouldn't you want to hang out with me? I mean if you were stuck on an island in the Bering Sea I think that I could provide pretty much the most pleasant and wonderful night of company and entertainment on the island, but alas, I amuse only myself. I guess I'm not as cool as I feel, oh wait, my students remind me of that every day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Student Art Society


The return of SAS and the first meeting of Student Art Society was a huge success today. Around 12 Mekoryuk students packed into the ol' Mr. Iverson room ready for art pandemonium. The medium Decoupage, music and school and gossip magazines, cardboard boxes, and the musical theme of the week was underground hip hop. Students got to work right away and here is some of the ModgePodge-ulation that took place.








The musical artists that we listened to included the Blue Scholars, Beastie Boys, Cut Chemist, Blackalicious, Outkast and the new Beck. They really seemed to like the music a lot more than the hippie stuff I usually play.













The kids shared, learned from watching, got creative and made some really cool decorations on their boxes. Although I must say that they will need a little more practice.

Thursday Blown Away

The Cup'ig class needed to use my room during my planning period. I'm sitting here, astonished, watching my students that play me, jerk me around, don't focus, don't talk, sleep, don't participate or seem to understand anything I say sometimes, but in this class they listen, participate, vocalize answers, laugh, and look like engaged interested students.

The class was being taught by an older sister of one of the students and a member of the community that also teaches in the kindergarten class. The students respected them and treated them like humans.

I'm starting to think that I'll never really gain the respect or treatment of someone from around here. This really sort of messes with me, because I constantly am thinking that I could be a better teacher. I try to find new ways to get to know my students, understand them, find new ways of sparking their interests and pulling from their funds of knowledge, but after seeing the way this class operated I believe that I might never get the response I desire. I am not them, and I can never be.

My goals for class are pretty simple. I don't want them to do loads of worksheets. I don't want them to give up their dreams so that they can become slaves to the anglo-centric upper white class language and tradition of a stifling and antiquated education system. I don't want them to read hundreds of pages of material and memorize bulls**t. I just want them to be excited about life. I want them to treat each other peacefully. I want them to treat me like a person not a kassak or a white person or a "teacher." What is it about sitting kids down in a building, standing in front of them, asking them to do things (even if they have a point), that brings out these unfortunate dynamics of communication and interaction?

To watch a person who doesn't even have a "teaching" degree command their students respect, attention and interest makes me wonder if anything I learned about teaching was valid at all. Quite frankly, I'm pretty sure it has hurt me more than helped in many instances here in Mekoryuk. I bow my head to these teachers as they are the true masters of learning here. The fact is the best way to teach children is to be part of their culture, and I most certainly am not.

Then where should I go? What should I do? Should I move back to middle class America and teach white kids how to be white? I mean thats messed up. What I really want is to ascend past this world of differences and have people see each other as souls, as people who deserve to be treated kindly and genuinely.

But, I'm new still, I'll always be white, and I'll never speak their language 100% fluently if at all. So if thats the case then I just have to keep trying to be a good person and maybe it will rub off.

EVERY CONTINENT!!!!!

Its official! Radiate Warmth has made every continent. Someone from Brazil just peeped my blog. It only took 7 months but finally I am reaching the world. SOOOO EXCITIING.

In other non related news I would like to retract my previous defamations of Craig Fergeson on the Late Late Show, because the Gods that control the Alaska One channel that I get frequently choose CBS for latenight I have been forced to watch him from time to time. Tonight he had me laughing my arse off so, my hat is off to you Fergeson. You're funny.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hump Day Umpdate 2/27

Wednesday...Yesss! (in Napoleon Dynamite voice) Man, what a lunker of a week so far. Time has slowed to a stand still!

Musical Artist Update: I fell off the iTunes wagon again. I went like 3 weeks without buying any music, then BAM! I had a relapse. I bought Hot Buttered Rum String Band "Live at 2007 Wintergrass" I was just thinking I didn't have enough goooooood bluegrass in my life and I looked this band up. And low and behold I was actually at this show with my friend Stephie right about this time last year in Tacoma Washington at Wintergrass Festival. So I had to buy it right? Well I'm glad I did because it was a rippin set and is a great album. I've been chicken dancing around my classroom before and after school hoping that someone won't walk in and catch me. (Chickens are tough to catch though!)

In other news I just added a new Leonard K. Humple chapter so check it out if you've started reading my attempt at a novel.

Today was a pretty good day. The kids really enjoyed the Goldfish Laboratory Experiment we did. I am still struggling to get THEM to design their own experiments, a struggle that is taking place across American science classrooms. But basically, they varied the environments of the goldfish (10 deg. warmer/colder and CO2 rich water) and tried to count changes in breathing rates (gill movement) and overall activity. Luckily all of the fish survived. It took a lot of prompting to get there yesterday but I think they get it.

I have been staying increasingly later at school this week. This has been causing me to collapse upon arriving home, taking a nap on the couch to public access television (I sleep better when the tv is on...the more boring the better). I love naps, unfortunately, they make me stay up later.

So now I'm up, ready to make some dinner, chicken dance around my house to some bluegrass. Hope the rest of your week goes well!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Iverson Summer Bonanza

Well, I think my gratitude list may have worked a little. How did it go for the rest of you? Did anyone try it? I had a much better day today. I improvised a lot more in my classes and tried to drop into the flow of the day.

I started to also think about the awesome summer I'm going to have.

May 23 I get home to the beautiful Evergreen state of Washington!

Sasquatch Festival May 24-25-26 at the Gorge at George Washington. REM, The Cure, The Flaming Lips, Michael Franti, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Built to Spill, Ozomatli and so many amazing bands I can't even believe it. I'll literally get off the plane and into my Subaru and drive to a festival. What a summer start! http://sasquatchfestival.com/2008/

Then one week or so along the I-5 corridor alternating between Olympia, Tacoma, Gig Harbor, and Seattle. (The Sarge my Sube needs a tune up).

Then I'm heading to Washington State University for a couple of weeks to kick it WAZZU style with my brother in summer school. This puts me in the middle of June some where.

I'll head back to Western Washington/Puget Sound/I-5 for some early summer fun, lawn games, BBQ's, skimboarding, fishing, camping and hiking. Randy, Germany, Brett, Stephie, Family, and Friends (Late June)

I may fly down to San Francisco or LA or both around this time too to see Jeff and some HS friends, Mason (Mase Factor) and Moses.

Its not a sure bet yet, but my brother and I might go to High Sierra Music Festival July 3-4-5-6 in Quincy, California. This is a long drive (14 hours) to go see Bob Weir and Ratdog, Railroad Earth, New Monsoon, Flowmotion, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Mike Gordon, Emmitt-Nershi Band and the list is getting better. This festival is amazing but exhausting due to the extremely high temperatures but so worth the late night shows, whatya say HAL? http://www.highsierramusic.com/

Then maybe a week of recoup or preparation if I don't go to High Sierra then...

I may attend the Oregon Country Fair July 11-12-13 near Eugene, Oregon ...I'm not positive on this one yet but I've always wanted to go! http://www.oregoncountryfair.org/

Or maybe now I will fly down to California around this 2 week time...I'm not sure yet.

Then the NORTHWEST STRING SUMMIT July 18-19-20 Horning's Hideout Portland Oregon Area for three days of Yonder Mountain String Band!!! http://www.stringsummit.com/

Then my mom, dad, brother and I are going to Hawaii for a week of relaxation, sun, and swimmng. I'm soooo pumped to go hang out with the family, maybe this will be a new favorite vaco spot for us. Check out the photos HERE

Then as the last thing I do for the summer I'll be going to The Summer Meltdown August 7-8-9-10 in Darrington, Washington to see FLOWMOTION baby! What a send off right?
http://www.summermeltdown.com/

So if I have things straight, I'll be entering Washington to a festival and leaving after a festival and there will be up to three in the middle! I'm so grateful to have a life that allows me to see so many wonders and experience such joys with friends and family.

Gratitude List

I was feeling all sad because my classes went badly today. So I decided to follow some advice I've heard in a couple of places through out my life.

Things I'm grateful for:

My Brother
My Parents
My Friends that still contact me all the way up here!
My Health is pretty good
MUSIC in life: playing listening dancing!
I have a roof and food
I have a good job that keeps me thinking
I'm saving money
I have a good education
My Travels and Experiences
I have a nice place to live and sleep
I have loved and been loved
Nature, the outdoors and water!
My creativity
And lots of Blog Readers!

come to think of it my life is pretty good.

You see we tend to focus on the things that are going wrong in our lives. When really we should be thinking about what we have. I haven't made a gratitude list in a really long time.

When was the last time you tried this little trick to help yourself see the good things in your life! ? ! Give it a try and see how good you can make yourself feel, especially if you're feeling down.

Radiate Warmth to yourself!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Disaster

Today has been a wreck. Despite all my planning this weekend (8 hours) nothing went right today. The kids were lethargic, mouthy, and generally not paying attention to anything. I thought that I planned some cool things but they apparently did not. I tried to do some self determination and student centered planning things and they got shot down. The junior high girls acted like children and the high school kids acted like junior high students. I wanted to do a whole bunch of positive behavior support lessons today too, but the day was such a wreck it didn't seem possible.

WHEN WILL THEY REALIZE THAT THE SOONER THEY GET WORKING ON THEIR LIVES THE SOONER THEY CAN GET OUT OF SCHOOL AND START THEM!

I mean they don't work because they have no defined dream, but if you try to help them define their dream they can't because they don't work. Its a screwed up cycle.

I was so excited to come to school today and they totally took the wind out of my sails. I would never do that to them, I don't rip them down. I try every day to help them.

And as I'm writing this my principal drops my new contract for next year into my lap. That's called divine timing. I'm coming back for next year, but you know what? I thought about not for just a second there. I thought maybe I should try to go somewhere that has students that give a crap...if that magical land exists.

I guess I need to go home and recharge my batteries once again. Maybe by tomorrow morning I won't be a livid, frustrated, burnt out teacher.

AND ITS ONLY MONDAY!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

WEEKLY UPDATE 2/24

Well I'm back from the semi big city, trying to get ready for the week and I guess I gotta get back on the schedule of doing the update.

Musical Artist of the Week: Levon Helm from the debut album "Dirt Farmer" My brother got this for me for Christmas and I listened to it a couple of times. I like it, put it on the back burner for a while and just busted it out while making dinner and realized its amazing. Levon Helm is one of the original members of THE BAND (the signature voice) and this album is his return from some throat/larynx problems. He sounds amazing and he made the album with his family in a barn recording studio. The songs are pretty much about being a poor farmer but they rock. It sounds a little like "A Man of Constant Sorrow" so if you like the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack you'd love this.

Old Person Phrase of the Week: "You can betcher' bottom dollar" Now I'm not even sure what this means, but I think it means that something is a sure bet or a sure risk. You coming to supper on Sunday? You can betcher bottom dollar I am!

Weather on Nunivak: Beautifully sunny, extremely cold, lots of snow drifts, and the sun is setting around 7:20 pm and extending about 6 minutes a day crazy!

Book Of the Week: NO BOOK TO UPDATE THIS WEEK, I'm in the middle of a couple and I need a week off

Web Link of th
e Week: http://www.guayaki.com/ Gauyaki Yerba Mate single handedly saved my brother and I's life at High Sierra Music Festival last summer. Not only is it amazing on ice but it gives you an awesome natural kick. I can't wait to get back to the lower 48 so I can buy cases of it. It also turns out they are an awesome company that works with native people and is working on reforesting logged lands. Check out the site!

ART UPDATE: I suggest you scroll down to the previous post and read the poem, I am really proud of it, it might be some of my best work. I'm trying to make some new music but the nasally congestion is making my singing sound like PeeWee Herman. I'm sorry if I haven't sent out music to people who requested it yet, I'm super busy and you might have to wait till summer. SORRY!

CLUSTERMAP UPDATE: Those dots are multiplying! I've had over 400 hits on Radiate Warmth in about 2 weeks! Nice work you guys. All I need is one person to read RW from South America and we will have Radiated Warmth blog style to EVERY CONTINENT (minus Antarctica). How cool is that!!!!



Electrified Virtues

I just wrote this late last night

Blackness void sparkle
Nothing and time
Large behemoth rock
Endless valley haze
Sunrise faces balance
Cloud shadow accelerate
Bleeding rocks broken
Pinnacles alive awaken
Barren shores prehistoric
Caves impossible alone
Inaudible sandstone
Wreckage among crevice
Beige liquid knives
Artificial endless ants
Flowing breathless waves
Wormholes of solitude
Rectangle stacked pyramid
Ancient story and pictures
Pharaoh scenes guard the tomb
The sun illuminates the ruler
The shadows of the past
Sitting in solitary rows
Gazing forward sphinx
Fists clenched to the side
Sand and air are one
Great Zues’ stare
Headless fixtures
Armless marble statues
Great pillars hold the skies
And still the sun shines
On the tombs of the lost
Grape leaves and crowns
On the walls of the gone
The green grass grows
On the arenas of death
The tides replace it all
An island alone
A God alone
A steeple that points above
The builders gone
Trees over grown
A forgotten home
Branches and wind
Arches and castles
Reflected on auburn waters
Vaulted cathedrals
Stained glass kaleidoscopes
Razor sharp spires to heaven
Halls empty
Alters with rock hands
Clasped tightly
Unfinished visions
Bells unringing
They file to the front
And leave just the same
All in his name
All in their buildings
Endless everyone
Sprawled and aligned
A fungus metropolis
Gargoyles ponder it
But they come and go
They watch the show
Round and round
Lights off lights on below
Commercial crossroads
Train tracks assembly lines
Escalators stairs elevators
Rows pews stations benches
Doors schedules
Time time time
Bottleneck break speed
Blurring portholes
To the underground
The speed of sound
And nothing
It all comes back
To rock and stone
Dirt and Cloud
Shadows and fog
Forests rule the land
Castles made by hand
Ceilings of painted gods
Candles and chandeliers
Shuttering in the light
Great lions protect the door
Cannons guard the shores
Observatory stones
And they cover the expanse
With their structures
And their statues
And their electrified virtues
That slowly surrender
To the night
Got to get going
Got to get theirs now
Wait go wait go go go
Breathing in the burning
Breathing out the fire
Piercing their ears
Cutting their hair
Shaping their faces
Shading their eyes
From the electrified
Translucent residue film
Of neon light and lines
But still the moon rises
Or at least one side
Even if they fly
In their electrified life
Or sail their waterways
The sculpted gods stay stationary
Alone permanent
Great nude David
Great Michael’s Sistine
Great Mohammed Mosques
Great Pharaoh’s pyramid
Stable unmoving
But the glowing amoebas
Always move along
With their tourist eyes
Enjoying the ride
Alive

Thursday, February 21, 2008

READERS CHOICE TOPIC 5: Abercrombie and Fitch


The last readers choice topic was bowl cuts, which took us down memory lane to look at middle school Kale. This topic will serve as a nice slice of past pie from the late 90's and turn of the century.

Basically, A & F was a sporting goods store fo rthe rich in Manhatten New York about 100 years ago. Abercrombie is the dude who started the store and Fitch was a rich lawyer guy who quite his job and bought part of the store. They did pretty good for a while and expanded till the 60's when they started to go bankrupt. After a ownership change or two, it was time for the late 80's. This guy from The Limited apparel group headed up the new division under this A & F name and decided to make the brand "All about Sex." They opened up all over in malls to target teenagers. The last part of the history is that they send out explicit catalogues all over the world, have giant sexual posters in their stores and generally are piles of techno playing crap.

Thats their history, here's mine. Leaving middle school for the big Peninsula High School was a tough transition. Half of the middle school I went to went to the rich kids HS across town, the rest of us went to my HS Peninsula. Now our school had the richest kids in town (from the illustrious Country Club and Golf Course at CANTERWOOD) we also enrolled the poorest kids, the commonly referred "white trash" from Key Peninsula. Because these KP WT made up a simple majority our school was referred to as the WHITE TRASH SCHOOL. This was fine with me, being a Washington State Cougar, I have an affinity for being from the poor underdog school in a rivalry. Huskies were rich prep jerks, and for the most part so were Gig Harbor Tides.

What does this have to do with A & F. Everything. You see when I got to high school the apparel changed. Their was khaki everywhere, cargo pockets, rugby shirts, pastel colored hats with a fabricated beat up brims. Everyone wore beat up clothes, but there was something odd about them. The beat up hole, or stain, or fraying was actually put there on purpose! They were actually bought and desired for their level of wear and tear. This boggles my mind today, but leave it up to the rich to invent a fad that shows how rich you are by how beat up the clothes are that you can buy that are also brand new. Not only were the clothes ridiculous, you had to have em to be "cool." This frustrated me greatly. My family didn't have the type of money to go around buying beat up clothes. My parents wanted us to feel cool and so we would get A & F clothes for birthdays and Christmas. Unfortunately, to be REALLY cool you had to have a whole wardrobe of A & F and we, at most, could only fit one or two pieces in a week. If you didn't dress this way you were labelled trash. At the time, for which reason I don't know, I cared enough to do my best to stay situated snuggly in the middle of cool, nerdy, and poor. I wasn't part of any of the groups.

Now, America is really good at providing a poor peoples substitute for the elite trend. So what popped up next? American Eagle. Basically the store was exactly the same except it was cheaper prices and in all honesty, the clothes were of a nominal quality. That was one thing I did always respect about A & F, although they were expensive and pre worn, they lasted, were durable, fit well and were nice. American Eagle (A & E) was kind of cheap. I still have a pair of Abercrombie Jeans form tenth grade. I still have a pair of camouflage Abercrombie cargo shorts. I am not ashamed of this, they are part of my past. The point is that the kids from the Key Peninsula wore A & E.

So now in late 90's Puget Sound white dominant High Schools you have whole preppy cliques of kids wearing these pre adult semi sexual low rise tight fitting richy rich clothes, and a whole social underbelly trying to get away with knock off, look alike versions. You also can sprinkle in some GAP or its knock off Old Navy. It was actually a rather complex social indicator that is even going on today. My least favorite part of going to the mall in the summer is having to walk past some guy that has been recruited by the A & F store to stand in the entrance as a shirtless greeter. How freaking ridiculous is that?

Today the rich, because of need, or accessibility, have had to distinguish themselves from this lower class. A & F brainchild Jeffries steps in again and invents a richer, sexier, more mysterious version of A & F called "Hollister." They also start marketing "Abercrombie" for younger teens! American Eagle then creates "Aerie" a similar store and then there is "Baby Gap" also. Its like an amazing thing to watch.

I eventually got off the A & F wheel around my Junior year of school. A classmate died in a car crash, after that I started hanging out with a lot of different people. "Artsy Fartsy" kids is what most people would call them. My best friend Sean was leaning that way at that time also I we were inseparable. The only difference was that I played Football and Baseball. In this art kids group a different dynamic was going on. In general, they truly could give a rats ass what Chance or Trent or Jessica or Tiffany or any of the A & F Young Life kids thought about them, actually, the less these rich kids thought of the art kids the cooler the art kids became in their social world. To prove that they didn't care about rich fashion, art kids would comb the Value Villages, Goodwills, Salvation Army's and Seattle hip spots for new "old" clothes. The goal being to score a find of the most unique real pre worn finds. Accessories such as glasses, belts, shoes and hats were a vital part. I found this type of fashion much more suiting to my tastes. I loved going vintage clothes shopping with my friends. We did it almost every week. We bought 70's leisure suits, 80's track suits, old sports jersey's and tourist t shirts of far away american towns and states. Basically it was the beginning of what the kids call the emo/indy look today.

Around that time a new look emerged also. This was the extreme sports look. Skateboarding, Snowboarding, wakeboarding and surfing made a major comeback with the teen age population. All of the brands that made these boards started expanding into clothing. If extreme sports were your thing you could side step the richy rich look, the art kid look, and the trash look by simply wearing clothes that showed everyone you liked to "board." Now you can go to Zumiez, Pacific Sunwear (PacSun), and pick up the latest Hurley, Quicksilver, or Fox gear.

From what I can gather this is the most popular look of all of my students, which cracks me up because non of them surf, skateboard, snowboard or wakeboard. One student skateboards, (on a wooden playdeck :( If this is any indicator, then the fahion on my island is about 8 years behind the lower 48 fashion trends. I'd be interested to hear what is going on in Bethel High School.

Last but not least, you have the emerging "Northwest/Colorado" look (Pretty Recent). This is the organic, I care about the environment because I go out into it look. Teva's, REI, Kavu, Keen, Berks, Crocs, Mountain Hardware, Northface, and the list goes on. This is a popular look in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Colorado. But anyone can appear to give a crap about the environment even if they drive a Hummer.

So hear I sit in the Anchorage Airport, wearing Carhart Overalls, long hair and beard, an REI Fleece, Sorel Boots, Mountain Hardware snowpants and long underwear, an Element fitted hat, a Nixon watch, a wool elf hooded sweater from Woolies, and a hanes green defect shirt from Walgreens. I have a Northface backpack with two Nalgenes (bought a new one, again), and my Heli-Arctic Canadian Goose Parka. So I think if I can sum this up, I'm a Outdoorsy, hippie, arctic, boarder, with a touch of class and a heart of gold. My philosophy is now that I buy stuff and hold on to it over time so that I make it cool by beating it up myself. I love colorful clothes that look good on sunsets in a Washington summer. I love clothes that have a function. I love clothes that are good to dance in. I love clothes that no one else has. I love clothes! I know a lot about fashion of my generation also and I'm glad I got to share all of my vast Generation Y fashion sense with you. Even if you think I'm not into all that stuff it takes a lot of time, thought and effort to look as weird as I do!

The Coffee Shop Update

I'm sitting in a Kaladi Brothers Coffee shop waiting to go to the airport. I figured I better get used to this since this is where Radiate Warmth will be written from this summer, coffee shops.

Music I'm hearing in the coffee shop: Coldplay and John Butler Trio and Dave Matthews Band. I give the music at this coffee shop 3.5 stars out of 5. Tolerable. I've seen Coldplay twice and John Butler Trio the same. Coldplay is one of the most professional bands in the world, they sound, perform and look spectacular. JBT has way more of a roots feel. The opening acts are much better usually too and often join the stage later on. DMB I've seen at the Gorge twice. I realized over the years that it wasn't the band I disliked, it was the semi-christian, yuppie organic faking, trustifarian and fratboy/sorority girl crowd that commonly attends his shows. THE BAND is actually very good if you don't mind wading through 30 to 40 thousand annoying fans to see them play. I suggest you dress just like a DEA agent in a suit and tie with a earpiece and watch the little hypocrites scatter like ants! You could probably walk right up to the front row.

Restaurant I just ate at: I had an incredible dinner at Ginger on 5th Avenue here in downtown Anchorage. It was fantastic, I had the spicy beef padang in peanut sauce and the thirty somthing Owner/Waiter/Chef Marcus made some really crucial vino suggestions that paired up with the meal flawlessly. If you are ever in the Anchorage area please check out this secret, young, hip, delicious Indo/Chinese/thai restaurant with an extensive vino list.
www.gingeralaska.com which will link you to their blog too!

Cab Driver of the Week: Sergi, a Serbian cabbi that ranted and raved for 20 minutes about the "effink Mormons." He also took the longest possible route. I also had a Pakistani cabbi, a Sierra Leone cabbi, two women cab drivers (both in leather jackets), and a toothless guy on meth. Alaska is no different in the world of cab driving I guess.

Lasting thoughts: At the special education conference I heard a girl with autism say one of the best quotes I've ever heard: "Be happy where you're at, and you'll get where you want to go." Simmer on that while I make my way back to my island in the Bering Sea.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Anchorage Continued


Well all that good energy and excitement has relaxed a little. I'm totally pooped from all the classes and taxis and all that. I couldn't find a cool hotel downtown tonight so I think I'll stay one more night at Kay's. I'm going to be heading back to Mekoryuk early because the post conference classes for credit don't exactly meet my needs. Also, I need to get back to my kids, a week away from class is a lot.

I thought I lost my Nalgene bottle so I bought a new one. Then I found my old one, and last night my new Nalgene bottle fell out of my bag somewhere in a taxi or a restaurant. I had bought a clip for it and a sippy thingy and it was all tricked out and I totally put 2 stickers on it already. This totally ticks me off. I'm actually very upset about it.

So tomorrow I'm going to fly out, try to catch a connecting flight in Bethel and make it back to the island by tomorrow night. Now many of you might be thinking I'm crazy. But I realized I don't really like Anchorage a super lot. I also realized everything here costs money, and I don't really want to spend 2 more nights paying for food and lodging and taxis. Also, everywhere I go I see cool stuff I want to buy and its driving me crazy and one of the few things I have bought I lost and it made me furious. Its like I've only been in the crazy commercial world a couple of days and I'm already getting upset about money and shopping and crap.

On a more positive note, I have been learning so much at this conference that I feel like I'm going to teach from a totally different perspective from now on. I have always had values and wishes for my class but never really knew what or how I could efficiently do it. This conference has given me so many foundational understandings of how to really help students, faculty and myself achieve our dreams for ourselves and our communities.

I want to share everything I've learned on Self Determination in Students, Positive Behavioral Supports, Person Centered Planning, Student Run IEP's and all kinds of amazing things but I can't. I'll write about all of it when I return as well as get to the Reader's Choice Topic.

Hope everything is going well and I'll be home on Nunivak shortly I HOPE!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Awaken the Goodness Inside

Well, as more days pass in the city, the more I realize I'm not a city person. Hotels, taxis, restaurants, people. I don't know if this city life is for me.

Now on to bigger things. I have been toying around with energy blasting since I got here (What? you're losing your mind. no, just hear me out). Its something I like to do when I'm in the city. You walk by hundreds of people all the time not noticing each other. I like to close my eyes while they are walking towards me and imagine a glowing orb or sphere of yellow or gold light blast out of me through to them. I do it to people before we pass, then as we pass I simply smile and see if anything out of the ordinary happens. Like, is it possible I can make people smile from a distance with my energy blasting? So today I saw a homeless (or downtrodden) looking old bearded dude across the street slumping and hobbling along. I closed my eyes and envisioned the yellow circular beam of light radiate out of me across the street and scan across him. Then I opened my eyes, smiled across the Avenue at him, and he stopped in his steps and gave me a slow, crippled fingered, peace sign. I stopped and raised my hand and returned the sign. Then we smiled at each other and went on our way.

WHOA! It totally worked! I think I blasted him. Or I got him, or two weary peace warriors in a battlefield of carnage, and industry and commercialism were passing and without a word we both acknowledge our comrade with some sort of ancient salute of peace. I couldn't believe it! He initiated it but I visualized sending him some energy. I'm not going crazy because I was half playing around, but then it totally happened!

Are we capable of more? Are we capable of changing peoples attitudes, days, perspectives, or paths for the better by simply blasting our surroundings with our love, warmth, light and energy?

If you dare, if you dare to try something out of the ordinary, out of the blue, out of the norm, out of the status quo, try to do it. It doesn't have to be a yellow orb or a sphere, it can be a beam, or a strand, or a wave, or hug or anything you can dream up but try to close your eyes and visualize sending strangers love and hope and energy when you have some to spare. You don't have to tell your spouse, or your kids, or your colleagues, or your friends, it can be a secret try, but please just try it. Stop, close your eyes and sigh out all the love you have in your heart so that it crosses over people around you. Then calmly open your eyes and see if anyone responds. If you want to anonymously post what happens here then we can all see if Radiating Warmth is real.

The special education conference is pretty amazing too. People are gathering from across the state to take part in the cutting edge of conceptual education for those with special needs. Since their disabilities extend along spectrums is it not possible that if these spectrums were stretched and carried out far enough we would all have learning disabilities, challenges, disorders, difficulties, handicaps? When I listen to people talking about new ways of helping with autistic children what I'm really hearing is new ways to help everyone. We are all autistic in our own ways.

I just can't stop feeling like something important is happening. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I listen to everyone I meet so closely because every person I talk to has a specific message that is meant for me to absorb and share and hopefully I am delivering exactly the message that they need to hear at that time. Its so exciting to be alive right now.

We are coming out of a cacoon of stagnant waters. Things are changing, fast. People are waking. The world is responding. Humans are causing change on a global level. If only we could all harness our energy toward a common positive meaning our possibilities are limitless! I think that the way we are finding that special needs people are responding to instructional methods may lead the salvation for how everyone can heal, and grow and recreate, and nurture the next step for ourselves.

I think things are changing on a bigger level than religion. Its bigger than politics. Its bigger than economics or psychology. Things are changing on a genetic, fundamental level for humanity. Things are changing on a spiritually evolving trancendence.

We can do it! C'mon everybody share the love. Don't give up. Don't be a grouch. See how much good you can do! We can do it, don't you believe me? Don't you see that you, or we, or me, or us, or everyone has the power to effect massive change through tiny actions? Its just little things, but it takes practice, all day long you have to practice making every situation positive. Every moment a sharing of messages. Every action can be done as a gift. If I can write this, and you can read it, then you can give a hug, and you can open a door, and you can give a smile, and you can ask a sad person how they are doing, and you can blast energy on people as you walk along, and you can teach people to be better, and you can love your enemies, and you can take a breath, and you can forgive your parents, and you can forgive your children, and you can love your people, and we all can do better at these things, it just takes practice, not a religious practice, or a civil practice, or a physical practice, but an internal practice that comes from your goodness awakening inside of you, your soul saying I DON'T WANT TO CRY ANYMORE, I will be happy, NO I am happy, and I can help others, EVERYDAY. You can do it, don't wait, start today. Start listening, start feeling, start using your life. You don't have to be a nun, or a governer, or doctor, or a fitness guru, you just have to be you, but you have to be positive.

I'm sorry I sound like a madman, but if you're feeling me let me know because I just kind of refuse to keep all of this to myself. If you are reading this right now, you need to ask yourself, why am I reading this? At this moment, of this day, right now? What made me log on? What made me go here? Is there a reason? Then you should ask yourself, what should I say back? What should I do? Should I try it? Should I say Kale you're nuts? Should I forget it? Should I share? Should I live? I'm not perfect, I have bad days too, but you can't give up, you got to keep trying. Let me know readers what you think? This is a big moment for Radiate Warmth.

Let's GO!,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

WEEKLY UPDATE 2/17


Today is my brothers birthday. That is more important than the weekly update. Besides, I'm not listening to any music right now at the SPED conference. I have so much to say about that but I'd like to share some memories of my brother.

One, He may not remember it, but we used to play in the clover grass outside of my grandparents home on the hill overlooking the Okanogan River in Omak in Dave and Fran's Apple Orchard. I remember it though. If there is a heaven it probably is there for me.

After we left daycare in Gig Harbor because I got too old, it was just me and him. Everyday after school we would make the mile long trudge up Peacock Hill to our home on 105th street. Then we would be alone together, entertaining ourselves with made up games, forts, sports, stories, TV shows and brotherhood. Our parents got home around 6 or so and those 3 hours were ours. That is where I can best estimate our close bond formed.

When Hal was a freshman in High School, I was a Senior. I tried so hard to help him be comfortable and cool at school. His friends became my other little brothers. At their first high school dance I had all of my senior friends that were girls go over and get them out on the dancefloor. It was possibly the funniest moment of my life.

When I was a senior at WSU Hal was an incoming freshman. Even though I was going slightly crazy I was able to provide a type of social support for him and his friends that helped them stay out of the Frat disaster. We got one good football season together and I'll never forget that. He's the only person I know that loves the cougars the way I do.

The Christmas before this last one, we hiked the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu together. It was kind of a test to see who was in better shape and I can honestly say he was. Not only physically, but mentally. It was the first time in either of our lives that the roles truly reversed. He was experienced, he spoke the lingo, he was the expert, he was the strong one, and I realized that maybe he always has been. We did it though.

Now I am hear, in Anchorage, talking to him on a cell phone on his birthday. It makes me sad a little. But, I know that this summer, out of them all, might be the best one. We are starting to visualize together and separately a reality that places us together on more adventures around the world. I believe it will happen! Iverson brothers hike Kilamanjaro. Iverson brothers road trip Australia. Iverson brothers adventures forever! I'm so excited to be alive knowing that there is a person like him out there that embodies all the qualities in life that I strive for and appreciate. I did not make my brother. He made me.

I Love you Buddy. Happy Birthday. I still let you win. hehehe

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bright Lights, Big City.


Actually the lights are kind of dim, and the city is really small. Which is nice. I can't believe how unbelievably small it is. I wonder what the population is near. Its kind of the same size area wise as Spokane, but less people. Vertically there aren't very big buildings, it reminds me the size of Bellevue. It completely drives home how little people there are here in Alaska.

I went to REI and bought a new Nalgene, I thought I lost mine, then I found it. I bought some fleece lined crocs, they were cheap and comfortable. I ate at a restaurant for dinner! Yeah, I paid somebody to cook for me, it was rad but I have an upset stomach today. Then I went downtown to see the bright lights of the city at night. I saw a reggae cover band, they sucked big time, but I was happy to see anyone playing an instrument besides myself in the mirror...wait I don't do that...yet.

The class I'm taking is actually amazing. Its all about student self determination of Individual Education Plans, something that seems so basic to life (making decisions for ourselves) but after talking about it for a day I've realized that our big buildings, tests, theories, methods, norms, laws and institutions have basically only taught students/people how to NOT take control of their own lives in any way. Now in a tiny corner of the education world a movement is gaining momentum grassroots militia style to start letting special education kids plan their own futures! How awesome is that, after centuries of schooling we are at the point that the last hope for teaching kids some self motivation, action and choice in their education and lives is being carried on the backs of the disabled and the gritty force of educators that work with them. It is the most incredible, fantastic, ironic and perfect story I've ever heard. I mean I know its a crazy wacky new progressive thought to let students choose what they want for themselves with the support of those who can help them but I think people will come around (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?) Its so crazy but if you've ever read the "Celestine Prophecy" a lot of what we're talking about in this class is like the First Insight. I think its possible that people might be out there that are starting to come to a higher level of spiritual intelligence, like humanity after all this industrial commercial time is now just finally starting to realize that we could be something more. Its starting I think, and that is exciting.
We are also talking about the power of choices and positive thoughts. This is just like the law of attraction from book the "The Secret."
Lastly, we are talking about unlearning all the crap that they are teaching in schools, learning to learn the way we used to when we still had control of our lives, when we walked about the earth as knowing participating creatures of the natural world. This is just like the teachings of the "Anastasia" book by Vladimir Megre I'm reading right now. Its like its all coming together right now!

Its crazy that the ideas in all of these "alternative" books, possibly enlightened insights about the progress of humanity, are all being talked about by a tiny little group of special educators in a small conference room in a hotel in a not so big city in a giant arctic desolate frozen state.

I'll have more to say on it tomorrow if I make it to the internet cafe again.

I'm staying at an awesome lady's place, her name is Kay, she gave me a bowl of cereal, coffee, ginger tea, and a I ride to the big city this morning. I'm almost out of batteries so until later power to the peaceful.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day...bleh!

Valentines day is stupid. So is cupid. Whatever. The mail came late and was incomplete.

I'm leaving for Anchorage tomorrow, weather permitting. Please forgive me if I don't post for a few days as I don't know what my internet situation will be. Hopefully I'll be on by sunday for the weekly update.

If you are craving a Radiate Warmth fix, jump on over to the story I'm writing on the Leonard K. Humple blog. Technically it is the exact opposite of Radiate Warmth. It like absorb dampness. You can find a link to it on the right somewhere.

My cell phone will work in the big city so give a call 253 651 9092 won't you?
I'm gonna go to a mall, and see one of them picture movies on the big screen, get a hair cut...no not really,

Even if I sound salty, I'm in a good mood, I'm just stressed from trying to plan 5 days for 5 different classes next week. I'll be better when I get on the road...er...in the air. I'm excited to see Anchorage from the street side. Imagine trying to get to know Seattle from SeaTac Airport. I'm thinking about renting a car even.

Hope Cupid didn't crap out on you too today.

Love,

Kale

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hump Day Umpdate and LKH

We made it, sheesh. Half way through a week never took so long. I am leaving for Anchorage on Friday, weather permitting, and I'm not even close to going. Luckily I have a blog to keep me interested.

MidWeek Music Update: I am so promiscuous in my musical affections. I go around sampling different artist and become infatuated, exited, aroused and obsessed with a artist or band then a newer (or older) shinier one comes a long and I skip off after it. This new, exciting musical infatuation involves a dangerous duo.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss from their Album "Raising Sand" What do you get when you mix a trippy rock god with a angel voiced bluegrass princess? Well I'll tell you, you get gold, solid, dark, ultra creamy, drippy, gooey black GOLD. This album has been ruling my life. I mean ruling it with an iron fist. This album is my musical dictator, tyrant an slavemaster. I can't even describe it, some songs are upbeat, some are agonizingly slow, either way they oozing emotion and meditation. If you are starting to come into the meditative rhythms of this dark hour of the four seasons, I highly suggest you buy this album, put it on as you drive to work, go to sleep, eat your lunch and contemplate the meaning of everything.






THE BEGINNINGS OF AN AUTHOR: I've started writing a novel, book, novella, epic saga...I'm not sure yet. But I work on it pretty regularly. I was thinking how cool it would be if I posted the rough draft in pieces as I go along, that way I could get feedback and you the reader could help shape how it turns out. I have a basic story line that is set, but the details can be up to you too. The only problem is that the story is kind of dark, gross, and sick. This is RADIATE WARMTH. I'll post the first paragraph here, but the rest can be found at the story's blog at http://leonardkhumple.blogspot.com which is linked to the right somewhere. I'm not asking you to read two of my blogs, just read Radiate Warmth. If you have extra time and would like to help me write a really messed up story check out Lenny's page.

The Story is called Leonard K. Humple here is the first couple paragraphs:

10:19 pm Tuesday, in Apartment 307D in Bremerton, Washington. Leonard K. Humple sleeps peacefully on his recliner, extender foot rest erect but sagging from the weight of his massive calves. The big toe of his left foot pokes out of the yellow banded tube sock, the sock, however, does not match the navy blue banded sock on the other foot. Regardless of band color, they both smell like mildewed boot leather. His white fake leather Velcro shoes sit in disarray at the foot of the recliner. His belly spills out of his unbuttoned, pleated knock off Dockers slacks.
The muted television flickers images of Ron Popeil’s infomercial for his famous Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Grill.

“Not one, not two, not three but four easy payments of thirty-four ninety-nine.” He mouths over the screen into the yellow light of the room. Leonard farts and shifts in his recliner.

“That’s right folks, all you have to do is SET IT AND FORGET IT.” Ron says with a silent plastic smile. Sadly, that is what life has done to Leonard, set him and forgotten him, turning him in the hot steamy rotisserie of the Puget Sound lower class of life.

To read more go to the blog http://leonardkhumple.blogspot.com or use the link in my links section

Monday, February 11, 2008

READERS CHOICE TOPIC 4: The Bowl Cut

Man, this is an awesome topic. It takes some scene setting though. Go back to the mid 90's. I am living in a suburb of Seattle. Seattle is the Mecca of Grunge music scene of the time. I am in middle school at Harbor Ridge MS in Gig Harbor Washington. The grunge music era is in full swing. Nirvana is topping the charts with Pearl Jam, Greenday, Offspring and Blind Melon close on its heals. Large baggy dirty corduroy pants and flannels are all the fashion rage for men and boys. Also, flannels with sewed in hoods, sagging pants, airwalk skate shoes and the worst offense, jean shorts. Everyone at my school was sporting a variation of this attire, and if you were a boy, you had a heinous disgusting socially unacceptable haircut, the infamous and in retrospect embarrassing BOWL CUT.

The bowl cut derives from some unknown origin, probably from the lower class unable to afford a barber placing a bowl on the head and cutting around it, but it goes by many names including the beach cut, the pot cut, and or the chili bowl. It is popular among the Amish, was warn by Moe on the Three Stooges, and was the signature hairstyle of the late 80's to mid 90's teenage scenes.

It also is the haircut I wore for at least 4 straight years of my pathetic teen existence. The problem was really that I wasn't hardcore or grunge. I was a good kid, well behaved, and a athlete. But I also wanted to fit in and everyone had a bowl cut. It seemed that the cool kids had really extreme bowl cuts though. SO the question then becomes "What are the varying degrees of a bowl cut?"

Well lets examine the anatomy of the bowl cut. Basically you have three major factors that affect the appearance and delivery of the style of the cut. 1.) the length of the hanging hair bowled part of the cut (I will refer to this as the bowl). 2.) The length of the hair beneath bowl (this will be referred to as the shaving). and 3.) The degree of bowl overhang onto the shaving.

Now I found that the "coolest" kids and the most hardcore kids had a very long bowl length, wetted down and possibly greasy, a closely buzzed, if not shaved completely, shaved region underneath, and the shaved region possessed a very high degree of bowl over hang. As I wanted to be cooler I had to go through a sad and desperate negotiation with my mother every time I went to the barber. Unfortunately I didn't go to a barber, I usually went to "Hairmasters" or "Supercuts" or "TGIF Cutters." There over made up and permed thirty something stylists of failed dreams and sadness would work like conveyor belt workers turning out mediocre haircut after disappointing haircut, in between smoke breaks of course. It was there that the negotiation would come to a head (no pun intended). I would tell the plastic faced baboon lady proudly that I wanted a bowl cut. This would solicit a dashing glance to my mom who would wander over. I would pull the side of my hair up and say that I wanted it shaved up "so far," which was passed the allowable level and then I would state that I wanted the shaving to be a number 2 or 3 on the clipper scale. Those were my terms, stated clearly, my mom would then bring the overhang down about an inch, the clipper level up to a 4 and then imply that the bowl be shortened as well. I would try to counter with a rebuttle but that was usually futile. Hairdressers listen to mothers because mothers pay the hairdressers. If she turned me into a grunge freak my mom wouldn't give her a tip to buy yet another Screwdriver and pack of Pall Malls to suck down at the local dive bar and grill lounge as she slowly tried to medicate away her attachment to her failed reality. I would walk out of the glass and mirror Paul Mitchell hell hiding my shame. I would have to show my face at school the next day with a brand new wussy bowl cut where some real bowl cut wearers would eventually shove me down some stairs.

To help with the shame, I used to try and keep it wetted all the time and neatly parted strait down the middle, this gave the illusion that it might be greasy, upping the BOWL factor. It had little effect on my rep or popularity. Another factor that could up your bowl's level of hardcoreness was how much you had to flick your head to keep it out of your eyes. See all these kids today sport the indy cut that hides one eye, but we started the "I'm so misunderstood you can't see my eyes" hair cut long ago in the real generation of complaint and misery (the early 90's grunge era), today they are just posers who don't know their miserable roots and will be equally embarrassed of their stupid haircuts decades later as I am today here before you.

No matter how hardcore your bowl cut, you usually could never achieve the likes of Curt Cobain or Eddie Vedder, they ruled atop the roost-o-bowlcuts. Some of the high school kids who snuck into the woods to smoke pot during and after school had bowl cuts that were close though. Some of the most intense bowl cuts had to be tied in a pony tail or simply looked like a split mohawk on a vacation.

I don't remember when or where I stopped wearing the bowl cut. The fad eventually faded around the mid 90's and I went to high school. I would enter a whole new twisted and savage world of trying to fit in. But to hear that saga, you will have to figure out what the topic is from the next Reader's Choice Topic 5 it is, communally vote for it and then I can continue this sobering and embarrassing walk down memory lane.

Good day, and mommas, don't let your kids get stupid haircuts, they'll thank you in the end like I am now. Thanks Mom for not letting me cut my hair like a pot smoking loser and for always trying to keep me presentable to the public. Now I have earned the right to do whatever I want and I can choose to look like a freak if I want to. You've granted me that right.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

WEEKLY UPDATE 2/11

Its that time again, can you believe it? February is cookin' by my friends.

Musical Artist of the Week: Belle and Sebastian from any of their ablums: "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" "If You're Feeling Sinister" "The Boy With the Arab Strap" or "TigerMilk" I used to listen to this band on the floor with my friends in high school. We would all lay their with our heads together staring up at a mirror ball that slowly turned around the room. Pink and Baby blue lights flickering on the walls, contemplating the lyrics and trying to retro fit them to our lives. Belle and Sebastian sound happy upon first hitting the pallet, but slowly leave a remorseful dark aftertaste that is satisfying as well as interesting. I think they are a great band for fall drives and cold spring mornings with the NW sun gleaming through the branches of a conifer forest. Enjoy.

Old Person Phrase of the Week: "Every Tom, Dick and Harry" This phrase seems wrong and dirty right off the bat but its not. You say this when you are referring to a situation in which a whole bunch of people find out about something they're not supposed to. Example: "Don't go blabbering about our secret fishing spot to those cronies at work otherwise we'll have every Tom, Dick and Harry showing up there first thing Saturday morning cleaning the joint out!"

Weather on Nunivak Island: A big ol' high pressure front has settled in. Temps are down to -13 deg. F with a 22 mph wind making the windchill an especially nippy -22 deg. F. This temperature drop canceled my plans to head to the dunes to stare at the sea today. Temps in Anchorage have been down to -45.

Art Update: Nothing New to report this week. Fox trapping course has ended. Recorded a Reggae instrumental yesterday. I will be holding Student Art Society for the first time this year on Thursday with an intent to teach decoupage and listen to Hugh Mundell.

Web Link of the Week: This isn't just one web link its many. I have posted far down on the features bar to the right the links to all of my students blogs (upon their approval). Some people have started reading them and have found them rather entertaining. I'm pretty proud of the work some of them are doing considering many people said that these kids hate to write and never would. Now just look at them, they are writing for fun! Please, if you're gonna leave comments make them appropriate and constructive, thank you.

Book of the Week: Bob Dylan Chronicles Volume 1. Ok, imagine a rambling Bob Dylan song, with its midwestern folk grammar and blunt remembrances of life, then multiply that by 400 pages or so, and you got his chronicles. His language and style are just like his songs. The biography type chronicle skips around in time from Greenwich Village in the 50's to Louisiana in the 80's to all over. I haven't quite finished it, but I can't imagine the last 50 pages will suddenly start falling short. You get to see a real side of his "persona" that most people wouldn't know about. Like he didn't care about hippies all that much, and he listens to Ice T and NWA rappers and likes it. I recommend it if you are into a Mississippi River paced read.

New Features!!!!!!!!!!!!: I added three new blog features this week. 1.) I put up a poll to help me decide what to do with all this ridiculous hair that is overgrowing my head, make sure you vote. 2.) I added a "ClustrMap" to the side bar on the right (between the weather and thanks again Alisha) it will tell us where the readers of my blog are located on earth. 3.) I added a list of things I want to do before I die. It can be found way down on the feature bar by my art. Tell me what you think.

Thoughts: On Friday I will be flying to Anchorage for Special Education Conference. Pretty Pumped about that. Nervous about planning for it, last time I left the kids didn't do anything. I get to stay at a new friends apartment, a hotel, and see a big city. I think I'll have internet their so expect some weird posts next week.
I think I'm starting to get a cool format for this blog, with the daily writings, readers choice topics, and random thoughts interspersed, I'm becoming pretty pleased with myself on the progress of this blog.

SO I WANT TO TAKE THIS TIME TO THANK YOU! THE READERS! Your participation, enthusiasm, readership and interest have driven me to keep Radiate Warmth going and improving. Thanks again you guys and gals out there, I really appreciate it. Lets keep it going till every Tom, Dick and Harry, and every Tomasina, Darcie and Harrietta out there are reading along too okay?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Scatturday

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

That is because I just found out, that Michael Franti and Spearhead will be performing two nights in Anchorage at the BearTooth. So this is a call out to all you Bethel friends. If you want to go to Anchorage April 17th-20th and get your perspective rocked by one of the greatest live bands of all time then let me know. This will absolutely be a once in a lifetime opportunity to dance shout and funk yourself into a pre summer frenzy. It will be a great summer festival warmup and just might change your perspective on a whole bunch of things. He is a god to me. I'm going, I'm gonna start working on it right now, so if you're interested let me know.

In other news...wait what other news? MICHAEL FARKING FRANTI IS COMING TO THIS CRAZY ACE STATE IN APRIL! I'm going. I'm going. I don't care how much it costs I'm going.

I'd write more but I'm too floored by this news.

Tomorrow is Sunday. I will be doing wash. Cleaning the classroom to "Sub" proof it for the following week. I have to not only teach next week but set it up so that I leave the kids in good shape to have a weeks worth of stuff to do while I am away in Anchorage for Special Education Conference 2008. Leaving your kids to a sub is kind of like surrendering responsibility for a week. Last time I left for 3 days they didn't do a single thing the entire time. They did a good job of pretending to promise that they would before I left. I won't fall for that trick again. Little buggers.

Oh yeah Weekly Update tomorrow. Kind of pumped for that. Got some good music picks lined up. Some new blog features. I'm gonna do my best to write a daily feature from now on. They'll Be called: Monday Monday...See what's Become of my Sunday, Tuesday Bluesday, Humpday Umpdate, Thursday Shmursday or Thursday the Pretend Friday, Overalls Friday, Scatterday, Weekly Update. What do you think?

Am I writing too much for you all? I can slow down. Nah deal with it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Overalls Friday

Overall its been a good week and the overalls I'm wearing are pretty comfortable overall leading to an overall outlook of life that is positive. I was asked if I really wear overall's every Friday, and yes, yes I do. They are green, carhart overalls and they are just starting to get broken in.

My kids want more blog readers so I have included links to their blogs below my links to the right. Go ahead and check them out if you feel the need. Make constructive comments if you can.
They won't be working on them next week unless they get their Phase Work done and earn free writing time.

I've heard that the new fire burst backdrop is causing some page problems on the blog such as: no music, slow loading and others. Is anyone else experiencing any problems on the page?

I am in the middle of deciding whether or not to cut my hair at the moment. I'm gonna put up a poll on the blog so that I can use you my only friends to help me decide.

I'll write more tonight if possible, happy Friday!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday, the pretend Friday

Thursday is like Friday, if you squint your eyes you can almost pretend its the weekend. The kids are trying to drive me crazy. I know it. I'm trying to do my best to keep showing them interesting material in biology. Next week we are doing a SOTA inspired biology/Valentine's Day art project that will have the kids making real heart diagram Valentine's for that special someone. The sentiment will run through the path of blood through the heart. One of my quieter students peeped out, "I'm glad we're doing this project, I miss art class," after class today. Makes you wonder.

Writing class is going well also. Blog madness has befallen the kiddies. They are starting to really trick their blogs out, to write in them of their own free will and wouldn't you know it, their writing is getting better by the day! I guess that is what happens when you let them actually write about things that matter to them...novel concept eh? I'm still deciding whether or not to link my blog to theirs. What do you think?

The Junior High girls, despite their basketball team membership, have been slipping dramatically in their studies. I will have to voice this with their parents and coach next week. They have also been testing individually all week. Have you ever tried to teach a 4 kid class to 3 kids? It would be like having 25% of your students missing. Impossible.

Fox Trapping course has come to and end. I will once again return to the joys of teaching health to high school boys. Rats. But it is contraceptive and STD time next week so I'm sure they will be very excited to learn about all of that. Nothing like a good lesson on Chlamydia to put that extra skip in your step.

JH girls basketball tournament this weekend. 40 young ladies in town to hit the hardwood. Looks like that damn sport, basketball, will take up yet another weekend of my life. I'm happy to support them though.

A week from tomorrow I'll be flying to Anchorage for a week straight of Special Education Conferencing. I'm excited to get of the rock, nervous to leave my kids for a week, and happy to finally spend some time in Anchorage. I'll be staying with some friends and hopefully getting a well needed rest for the big push this spring.

Student Art Society will meet on Thursday this next week for our first meeting of the year. I'm going to show the little buggers how to decoupage (mod podge). I'm excited to start things back up in that regard.

Thats all I have to report for today. Tomorrow is OVERALL FRIDAY...overall how has your week been?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Hump Day Umpdate

Well we made it halfway, lets get it finished off now.

MIDWEEK MUSICAL ARTIST UPDATE: This Must Be Said:
Jack Johnson's new album "Sleep Through the Static" is incredible. That word doesn't even do it justice. The thing is that I can already hear the snickers from many people who will say it sounds the same as every other album. Alan White in RollingStone gave it a rough review and I didn't agree with it because, like everyone else, he was hoping for something new, a departure from the good vibing summer fun tunes he's good at, and I am hoping for the same Jack Johnson Album every spring for the rest of my life. I don't care about other people's opinion, especially the washed up Alan White, on this topic because they probably would also say the Beatles are good (they are not). This album is a sleepy, perfect for falling asleep in a hammock at the ocean, plodding 4 pm experience. I for one am extremely happy that there is an artist alive who refuses to change his style and image too much for the critics. Jack Johnson puts out one good summer album out every spring. He's been doing it for like 4 years now. It is about love, loss, people needing to be better people, problems with the world, relaxing and fatherhood. I'm glad that he is alive making me a new summer mix every year. If this album is any indicator, I will be having a mellow sleepy summer. And that is just fine with me. Thank you Jack for saving my summer life once again. And thank you RollingStone for continuing to remind me that I am hip and that old music dorks need to get a life or shut up.

Go to the store or iTunes right away and get this album so that your life will suck a little less. I don't want to hear any excuses from anyone if you don't.

IN OTHER NEWS: Fox trapping course will soon be over. This means I will get my planning time back, not have to stare at canine carcasses anymore, and my life will return to its normal not animal killing ways. I can't say I didn't learn a lot of valuable skills for survival, I can say that it wasn't easy to take.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mental Antibody

I used to think it was the bad you have done that paves your way in the end.
But more than that it is the good you could have done and you did something else instead.

-Yonder Mountain String Band "I Finally Saw the Light"

Well, I'm back folks. I had patch there. I can't lie. My bubble burst. The pink cloud I was riding around on dissipated. I don't know what it was but I came full circle somewhere there. This experience got to me. I figured it out. The kids are like goldfish. A goldfish doesn't know any better. If you keep feeding it, it will eat until it bloats itself and dies. These kids, all students really, even just humans in general, are goldfish for energy. As long as you have an endless supply, they will keep sucking you dry. And that was fine for a while, I had lots to give. But what happens when you are running low yourself? They keep sucking. Like a little puppy on the mommas teet. They suck you dry. Sometimes they build you up, that is the ultimate goal at least, to create a classroom where students and teachers work together to build energy, a positive vibration that can support those with excess and those with a deficit. But, when you become the sole provider of energy, and you have none to give, the mechanism destructs. I responded to this in a snappy, naggy, worn out, burnt out teacher way. I started to sound like my teachers growing up. That depressed me, and compounded the problem. I felt like I was right then and there becoming the inevitable old, crunchy, out of touch teacher.

But no. I rode the ebb and tide. I felt that whole path out and it is not an option. I'm not giving up that easy. You have to RADIATE WARMTH always, but I learned you can't just give it away. Good will receive yes, but so will evil, and now your energy is supplying both. Therefore I'm making an addendum to the philosophy. Radiate Warmth Carefully. Look for outlets where you can build Warmth. Use that construction to supply another in need. Months ago I thought that haphazzardly squirting the love and warmth around would solve problems. But you can't control how people use your energy that way. You might be feeding a monster. Even though I want to fill my heart with so much love that it explodes like a water grenade all over everyone it can't be that way always. You have to have garden hose of love. Dowse people that are in the water fight, and if you see someone that is sitting on a lawn chair looking like prude squirt a little on em, see how they react. But don't be that guy who wipes out an entire crowd of blue haired old ladies with a irresponsible water prank of love. Otherwise you will enrage a sleeping giant.

Needless to say, I think I'm back. I think I survived this round of life trying to pull me down into the depths of inaction, apathy and compassionless existence and depression. Life tests you constantly. It wants to see if you've been training or arm chair quarterbacking. Every time I pull out of these stretches I learn something. Like when you body keeps a file of all the colds you've ever had, it has an antibody for that sickness, my mind has an antibody for this type of sadness. My mind is healing. My body too. I will Radiate Warmth, but I have an edge now. So can you.

READERS CHOICE TOPIC 3b: The Subaru Story


Subaru Station Wagons are a part of me. The first car I can remember ever riding in was my parents Perrywinkle Blue 1983 GL. (Like the one above but cooler) Back then it was the eighties and cars were square. This wagon wasn't as big as they are now. The back was slightly raised so the whole thing had a forward tilt to it. It was shiny baby blueish and basic. Thats the best thing about Subarus, they're basic and sturdy. No Frills. No gimmicks. Just Reliability. I can't remember how many miles that car ended up acquiring but is was over 200,000. I can't remember when we gave it away either but I'm pretty sure we traded it in for our next Subaru.

The next family Subi was a 1992 Legacy L. It was the next incarnation of the Subaru Station wagon. This one was dark metallic blue with silver pin stripes and a stick. Unlike the previous GL the Legacy (the next step above the Loyal) had automatic All Wheel Drive (AWD). The famous line is that it "Transfers power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip." Its true. That car could go anywhere. It took our family everywhere, camping, fishing, skiing and to the ocean. The back hatch was just perfect for a cooler, supplies and all the adventure equipment you'd ever need. It also could fit a butt load of groceries in the back as well. After years of dedicated service as a commuter car for my parents, I finally inherited it in high school. It was then that my respect and love for Subarus grew into a lifetime bond. Shortly after acquiring the spacious wagon it became apparent that I would be called on time and time again to traffic friends around, to and from school functions, trips, camping outings, and road trips. Although it had already massed 200,000 plus miles it was safe, reliable and spacious. It quickly gained the reputation as the "Sube Dogg." It would always be referred to as such from thence forth and to eternity. The Sube Dogg was also a girl so would say things like "Load her up."

The Sube Dogg was an incredible magical automotive vehicle. It rarely broke down. I had so much faith in it that my best friend Sean Alexander, another friend Michael Duggan and I took our senior summer road trip in it. With 226,000 miles on her, we drove through the heart of the desert to Moab, Utah from Washington. After hiking the Arches Park we drove strait across the desert to Las Vegas (we stayed 4 hours we were only 18) and went straight on through to Huntington Beach California. Then returned home. It was a 2,235 mile trip and she didn't drip a drop of oil or overheat once. That car was legendary. Many best friends, girl friends, team mates, friends, and others have sat shotgun in the SubeDogg on one of her illustrious adventures. The only real accident I ever got in was with her too. My parents blame a number of things such as loud music, not paying attention, cell phone use, or eating and driving for the crash, (on a black ice morning going up to skiing on a corner where 3 people died that day) but I think she saved my life. She took a punched in front fender and a scratched tail ($2000 to fix ouch). But she continued on. She finally died in 2006 in a parking lot. Her engine still intact, but her transmission died ($1400 dollar repair, worth more than the car). So we donated her. I shed a tear and said good bye. RIP Sube Dogg, you are missed.

After an entire lifetime of Subaru enjoyment and ownership, there was no decision to make as to which car I would buy next. With my power company job and good credit I was in a position to buy my first car. Since the Subaru Outback came out in 1996 I was looking for a Dark Blue one, a 1997 (first year with the bad ace hood scoop). I eventually found one at Carter Subaru in Aurora North of Seattle. I got eventually for $8000. It was my first loan, my first real car and it was exactly what I wanted. It picked up exactly where the old SubeDogg left off. But with the beefed up engine, higher ground clearance and tougher exterior it was apparent right away that it was a boy car. After contemplating names for a while my friend Randall and I decided we would call it Sargent Subaru or "The Sarge" for short. Right now the Sarge is sitting waiting for me to come home and take it out on adventures this summer, and if I bump up the payments, could be mine out right by the summers end.

When I'm driving my Subaru I feel most at home. The stereo isn't awesome but it works. I wish I could take everyone on a Subaru adventure with me, driving down the road, summer time, windows down, no AC its too nice, Flowmotion funking along in the back ground, big smiles, lots of laughs, on our way to a festival or a camping trip or up to a hike in the mountains, thats what I'm talking about baby! The Sarge and The Sube Dogg are magical cars. People just feel good when they ride in it. I like to drive when I go places with friends because I know if I'm driving my car we will get their safe and sound and in a good mood. Subarus are the best car in the snow. They are balanced well, they have even distribution of power from the Porsche Boxter styled engine, they are well made and now that the company has merged with SAAB they have even become pretty stylish. Unfortunately they haven't come out with a hybrid yet. As soon as they do, I'm buying one.

Subarus love adventure. They get hurt if you don't take them on one or two a year. They are even popular in parts. Many Subaru engines are being converted to Volkswagen Bus engines because they are so reliable. My dad taught me a lot about how to take care of Subaru engines. I learned mostly though, through experience, that if you keep the oil changed, the engine washed and cleaned, and the spark plugs and filters up to date, a Subaru will go forever.

If you have any Subaru stories that you shared with me please let other people know about them (keep it clean you!!) If you have a Subaru tell people about some great memories you've had in them. If you want to come rock it in the Sarge this summer just let me know, I'm gonna be making up for all that sitting he's doing right now, but he needs a check up and an oil change.

Monday, February 4, 2008

READERS CHOICE TOPIC 3a: The Neverending Subaru


Ok, two weeks in a row with a tie, kind of upsets me, because I really enjoy both Subarus and The NeverEnding Story. I'm making an executive decision on this one. In this case, out of respect for both topics, I will write two separate posts. Today, because it lead till the end, I will write about NeverEnding Story.

First, the NeverEnding Story (NES from now on) was one of the most influential movies of my childhood. I'm going to summarize it quickly as possible, so here it is basically: Bastian a bullied boy in New York escapes from his attackers into a mystical book store, takes a super thick old book, and reads it in the spooky attic of his apartment building. The story that unfolds in the book is basically one of his own imagination and the Hero, a boy himself, Atreyu faces several challenges trying to save the mystical world from the Nothing, an all enveloping force that threatens to jettison the world into deep space. Along the way Atreyu on his trusty horse Artex face countless trials that test his character. There are amazing freaking creatures in this movie, no stupid special computer effects, just puppets and real creatures. They include a jockey on a racing snail, a guy who flies on bat, a giant rock eating sensitive monster. After losing his horse Atreyu is rescued by a "Luck Dragon" Falcor. I love Falcor because he looks like a giant Cocker Spaniel. Falcor leaves Atreyu to recooperate at the home of an old tiny old couple that live and study the Oracle. The Oracle was a gate of passage that had two large breasted statuettes that shot lazer beams out of their eyes at anyone who tried to pass with doubt in their heart.
He makes it of course to eventually face his greatest fears otherwise known as the Nothing. The embodiment of the Nothing was a FAREEKY arse wolf in a den. After exchanging words, Atreyu pisses the Nothing Wolf off enough to make it attack, but Atreyu stabs it with a mirror chard.
The point of me reminding you of all this is that I didn't look at a website, that is from memory. Bastian eventually gives the princess or whatever a name, which is his dead mothers, and saves the magical world. Falcor then helps him chase his bullies through an ally way into a garbage can. Whatever, the movie even inspired two sequels. I'm not going to write about those either, the point that I want to make is that if you grew up a kid in the eighties early nineties you probably saw this movie, puppets and all, and it probably was awesome then, as it is now.
If you saw this movie then you probably had cool parents that were into showing you freaky psychedelic children's movies.
Guess what there were more! Can you remember David Bowie with his male spandex as the evil King of Hoggle and other goblins in the tripped out Jim Henson studio puppet creation the "Labyrinth" What about an early Val Kilmer in "Willow" That movie was really weird. "I've got your wand Mavmorta!" Also, you've got the seriously twisted sequel "Return To Oz" where Dorothy escapes a mental institution and hits her head sending her back to Oz with new friends including Tick Tock, Pumkin Head, and a flying moose head on a couch. The flying monkeys had wheels instead of hands and were called Wheelers, they worked for a head switching Witch. That movie was messed up too. What about The Princess Bride and rodents of unusual size. What about the Fred Savage classic Little Monsters with Howie Mandell? Or if you really want to impress me just say that you've seen the Amazing Adventures of Baron Von Munchousen. Cartoons were crazy too, not computertoons, but Rainbow Brite, CareBears, Teddy Ruxpin, Voltron, HeMan and Thundercats. I mean who was making all of these? I don't know but I watched them. It truly was the golden age of psychedelic children's fantasy movies. Now things have changed.

There are still fantasy movies...but in my opinion most of them suck. Harry Potter, c'mon. Narnia, please. Golden Compass, whatever. Tarbithia, go fly a kite. They all are totally over saturated with computer graphics. Not only that they are afraid to take that extra step of wierdness to really freak a kid out. Its not real scare em half to death if you want to! When did kids becomes such little pansies that they could handle a little freak out. I turned out ok...I think. In the NES the Nothing was scary because it had real fur. The goblins, now in retrospect, look stupid in the Labyrinth. But so what they were so creepy at the time. Luckily there are also underground fantasy movies for us real folks that appreciate a good old fashioned, crazy as you can handle, freak out right through the deep inner workings of the oddity of the human mind.
Movies like Pan's Labyrinth, The Lost City of Children, Amelie, and Mirror Mask are little beacons of hope in an otherwise faltering fantasy world. I think those movies are NES's for grown ups. They are totally kids movies but taken to the proper freaky level. The level that you need to take a fantasy movie to for it to hold any weight. Everyone else, even the Lord of the Rings, are kind of wussing out. If you can truthfully say you didn't almost poop yourself during Pan's Labyrinth then your a tougher man then I. A fantasy movie needs to take you to the dark pagan center of life and let you feel the sin. I'm not so sure that this post really gets to the center or realization of the NES. I just wanted people to recognize that fantasy movies used to be so good. There are some out there but you have to search for them. Don't give into all the BS that is out there, and no, I don't care if you like the movies I bashed. I also hate the Beatles, I will never read Harry Potter ever, I think Costner is a god, and I think sketchers tennis shoes are tacky. I have opinions, sue me. Just try to watch those new fantasy movies I listed above, then watch Harry Putter and tell me what was better. Peace!
to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE