Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Guest of Honor

I was asked today by the seniors if I will be the guest of honor for their graduation. I kind of thought that they might ask, and I guess I'm happy to do it, but its a lot of pressure to get up and stand at the front of the auditorium in front of the whole town and say a speech about "Graduation." What do you say? I'm being serious, I've been trying to write a speech all day and it all just sounds annoying and cliche. I have a couple ideas:

Mr. Kale Iverson's top 10 ways to kick butt at life and be an awesome person

A bunch of quotes from Ghandi, Xavier Rudd, Michael Franti, Bob Marley and Buddha with reflecting remarks afterwards

A serious discussion of the changing world the young people of today are inheriting

Or a mixture of all of these in one

Or some of your ideas!!! I'm struggling bad here. PLEASE HELP!

Hope you like the new blog format.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Refuse to Die from Swine Flu

I have too much to live for.

SO even though I am going to fly from Anchorage to Seattle and the From Seattle to London to Bucharest Bucharest to Rome, Italy to Barcelona, Barcelona to Seattle and breath in a deep cornucopia of international lung vapors on airplanes. I refuse to believe that I will die from a version of the influenza virus.

And even though Unfortunately it is kicking healthy people's asses over the elderly/young because their immune system responds with tons of anti inflammatories clogging up the lungs, I refuse to die because I'm young, healthy and a traveler. This is getting ridiculous.

The regular influenza strain has already killed thousands of people this year since January anyways. But no action news center special on that.

You know who is really killing right now? The media, they're making a killing off of this supposed emerging pandemic. Reporting it, replaying it, dramatizing it, advertising during it, talking about it, showing you the growing death toll and most recent news over and over again with plastic smiles and 30 second commercial breaks.

I wonder if we turned off our tv's if it would go away. My students without tv's didn't even know what I was talking about when I told them about it today. They could have gone about their day completely fine without knowing about this emerging disaster.

So we'll see how it plays out. I have 3 weeks till I'm supposed to be on a plane bound for international parts unknown. Hopefully the apocalypse hasn't come (its 3 years early I still have so much to do!)

But if I hear the words SWINE FLU one more time I'm gonna snap. Could the universe have picked a more seemingly disgusting mammal for us to transmit a virus from? How about Mole Rat Flu? How about Albino Vampire Bat Flu? How about Bill O'Reilly Flu?

Two angry posts in a roll...grrr.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mondays are stupid.

Mondays are a stupid day full of stupid unbelievably stupid stuff stupidly being stupid.

My stupid monday started off by stupidly waking up from a stupid nightmare at 3:58 am, which if you ask me is a stupid time of day to wake up. I was definitely not accomplishing whatever horrible stupid mission was trying to be played out in my stupid subconscious state and when I woke up I was covered in sweat and physically exhuasted.

Nothing like a freakishly horrifying nightmare to indicate how stressed out you are in life. Then I couldn't fall back asleep, so I laid on the couch and drank tea and watched Mr. Baseball with Tom Seleck playing a flailing MLB baseball star who goes to the Japanese league to save his career, shananigans ensue, waste of a good hour of sleep, stupid movie, took a shower and came into work early and and bewildered by my morning stupidity.

Today was an inservice day (the stupid is include in the phrase "inservice day"). We were supposed to work on our staff check out list. Somehow I found myself having to clean up my stupid room and have it all ready for next years teacher (not stupid). I spent all day sorting through mountains of stupid outdated science materials with no modern application or use trying to decide what to do with them. I wish I could steal them and mail them to third world countries, except I realized that I am basically in a third world country and they can't use them either.

Since we have no recycling I ended up having to throw away about 8 years of paperwork and old curriculum and testing materials, two whole trashbags, friggin stupid, it is now officialy time to go paperless, after participating in my very own tree massacre today, I was embarrassed to be a teacher. All this paper, from trees, for no reason, for nothing, all the dead trees had nothing to do with whether or not anyone got any smarter. What the hell are we doing, this is getting...well...stupid.

Finally I got most of my crap done in my classroom today (beautiful out today by the way). The day wasn't completely stupid. I went to the post office and got a really funny/romantic postcard from syd that cheered me up. I conjugated the "Goodbye" verb in Cup'ig to accomodate two people in the room and Lydia was very impressed at the Post Office.

But Then on my way back I fell through the melting snow twisting my knee. Melting snow is stupid. Almost as stupid as this entire stupid post about this stupid day. Knee's are stupid too, thank goodness no one is in charge up there designing the universe because if they designed the knee they, the all mighty and wisdomatic cosmic knee inventor, is themself a stupid stupidface that has no common sense. I mean the knee people. It tears, it rips, it gets strained, it has a gross jiggly cap, it gets skinned, the back of it gets sunburned, and hurts when it gets bumped and basically is just a stupid pain in the ass.

I am off to go get toilet paper now, for my stupid ass.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend Update the "I haven't done a big one in a while" Edition

Only two more weekend updates left...tear sniffle tear...

MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE WEEK:
This week I'm going to suggest something that may put my musical credibility in the crapper. But I've thought about it for a long time and its time I come clean and tell you the truth about this. Don't judge me. You see, when I ripped all that free music at Grant Aviation's upstairs oasis of culture the coffee shop a while ago, I came to a point where I had gotten all I thought I needed from the cd rack. And I skipped right over this week's artist, I even laughed at the thought of getting it.

Then the coffee shop girl started quizzing me on what I had burned. She was impressed with my selections , that is she was impressed until I said and awkward "no way" when she recommended the band "SUPERTRAMP."

Suddenly she purposefully, defensively, came out from behind the counter grabbed the glittery and gold album "Breakfast in America" with a picture of a waitress on the front, and marched over to me and slapped the hard plastic case down next to me and said, "You don't know what your missing."

Then she walked away playfully disgusted with me.

Needless to say I was a little taken back by the force of this musical suggestion, out of fear mostly, I inserted the disc and burned it. But now that the Supertramp virus was in my computer, it was only sitting dormant, waiting for the moment it would capitalize on a vulnerable moment in its host, me.

Finally out of sheer boredom before school getting ready I decided to put it on. I gingerly skipped through the album, realizing I knew many of the songs like "The Logical Song," "Breakfast in America," and "Take the Long Way Home." I almost dismissed it as a cheesy 80's rock album never to be listened to again, except it was a hard week, and I was tired, and lonely, a hard working man just trying to make it in this crazy world and then this song hit found its hole in my defense, it hit me like a bag of marbles to the back of my early, foggy morning mind.

Goodbye Stranger

"It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on

Like a king without a castle
Like a queen without a throne
I'm an early morning lover
And I must be moving on"

HOLY SHIT! I mean really, could you have resisted falling madly in love with a song like that if you were me? Those lyrics are made fore me and my situation.
A rush of feelings came over me, Supertramp suddenly sounded catchy like the BeeGee's but without that quintessential annoying element, they sounded like Styx but not so pompous ass over the top scifi feel, there were glimpses of Jackson Browne's "Runnin on Empty" sprinkled in, and for some reason the electric piano that normally annoys me about poorly produced eighties music sounded fresh and original (the album is in fact very carefully done), I could hear Elton John's "Rocket Man"-esque moments and even Steve Miller Band like Jams would come out of nowhere and bleed into Steely Dan's "Peg" chorus.

Needless to say. Thank you sarcastic eccentric Grant Aviation Coffee shop girl, you saved my life this week. You saved my life with Supertramp. Well done. Now I pass this cherished gift on to you all. I have stepped way out of my comfort level, hell, after this I don't know where I'll go next, but before I move on, I think I'm gonna listen to Breakfast in America one more time.

WEATHER ON NUNIVAK ISLAND:
Spring Spring and more Spring. Although a constant 20mph plus wind seems to be blowing, we are above freezing most of the time now. A extra shloppy snow machine drive to take some colleagues to the airport yesterday provided the last piece of evidence to prove to me that winter is in fact over. The tundra, and snow banks, the icicles and world around me is melting, and there are puddles everywhere.

ART UPDATE: To try and spark my song writer's blog on the ukulele I downloaded the lyrics and chords of some songs that I want to learn.

I got the lyrics to Daft Punk's "Digital Love" and "Better Harder Faster Stronger" which I've practiced a couple of times and is really cool.
Citzen Cope's "Son's Gonna Rise" chords and lyrics, hard beat to play but all uked out sounds ok I think.
The Brazilian Girls lyrics to "Pussy" yeah...this one will be for the late night crowd.
O.A.R. (of a revolution)'s lyrics and chords for "Missing Piece" can't seem to get this one right yet.
Michael Franti's "Yes I Will" chords and lyrics really really fun to play and good message!

and then I downloaded all the lyrics to "If I Only Had A Brain," "If I Only Had the Nerve," and "If I Only Had a Heart" from The Wizard of Oz. I took my favorite verses out and then made up my own to go along with it, turned out pretty good.

I would recycle every bottle
Let of the gas and the throttle
Ride my bike in the rain

I'd unplug every TV
Plant a couples seedlings
If I only had a brain

I'd stand up to politicians
Until they fin'ly listened
Or got what they deserved

I'd protect every tree
And every Manitee
If I only had the nerve

I would give to the needy
Be a little less greedy
Just for a start

I'd teach all the children
The love that I've been given
If I only had a heart

What do you think?

SUMMER TRAVEL UPDATE: No new news yet...eep! Just 19 days till I'm home.

My To Do List:
Final Apartment Clean
Obtain and send transcripts to Alaska EED for certification
Contact Life Insurance and Retirement people about my accounts
End of the year grades and phase folders blech!
Transfer phone service to Gary (they'll probably stick me)
Forwarding Address to the PO (hope they follow through with it)
Activate new credit card. (timing is critical)
Finish Sydney's gift. (8 out of 30 days completed)
Double check plane reservations (just to make sure)
Give computer back to District Office (piece of crap)


My Completed Items of my To Do list:
Finished Alaska Alive EDU59500 class yesterday in just under 3 hours...booya! Easy as pie A.
Sold 186 dollars worth of my un-needed shit yesterday. Booyaka sha!
Paid my student loans...boooooo no ya no yaka sha
Suspended my netflix till July.
Transferred computer files to my external hard drive 87 gigs of life

LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY: Talking to my parents on the phone on Friday I realized that this blog is going to go through some major changes. It is a reflection of my life, and my life is about to change a lot, so logically this blog will also. The whole Radiate Warmth meditation really has a deep connection to the fact that I've been living in a cold inhospitable place and that has been my credo and self defense mechanism for the struggles of living out here in isolation. I don't know what the new motto will be when I have my new life in Tacoma.

But you all need to know that it might change a lot, as 19 days remain for me in Alaska, 19 days remain for the regular daily blog posting from the Radiate Warmth Perspective.

The reality is I don't know how much posting I'll be able to do from Europe. Then when I get back to Washington it will be a while till I get regular internet, I will be traveling a lot and summer's aren't high blogging time for me anyways, Free Kale doesn't like to be inside much.

I think I'll just do my best to stay in touch this summer and let life come up with a new theme. Then in the fall when I'm all settled in Ruston (hopefully with a job, fingers crossed) I will reveal the new Radiate Warmth/(Insert New Name Here). It will kind of be like starting over again like I did when I started the blog in the first place...hopefully you will all come along for the ride.

I love you guys, don't go! I have a surprise for you coming though, so be ready.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Overalls Friday

Hmm...its Friday, despite the girl fights, dodgeball massacres, pencil stabbing threats (don't worry not that serious), and principalship duties, its been a very slow paced and boring week in teachertude. When 4 of your 12 high school students are gone it makes for a slower pace then you originally had planned out for the week in your lesson plans. The kids, almost like bats with echo location, can sense the authority/expectations shifting in the air when the principal leaves and half the students are gone. No matter how you fight it, with three weeks till the end of the year, two till the seniors graduate, the kids officially have us by the proverbial balls when it comes to telling them what to do. Can you blame them?

I have been following into a very boring after school ritual. Come home, pace around my lifeless, emotionless, decorationless apartment and try to decide what to do to try and occupy my time till my amazing girlfriend calls me at approximately 9:08pm. I could play ukulele and sing my songs, try to make a new one, record one. I could play videogames, try to win the English Cups on Fifa soccer 2009, or take the Cougs to the Rosebowl on NCAA football 2009, I could listen to music and knit hats, or I could watch TV, I could make dinner for myself (I have been plain forgetting to eat lately that's how mind numbing it has become), I could work on my gift for Sydney, I could do lots of things...COULD do these things if I wanted to. But its all just filler, time filler, waiting, the unimpressive opening act to a super band called "SUMMER."

Now that some of Europe plans are cemented, I have my own place all lined up in Ruston, and other summer plans are forming left and right, I just can't seem to keep my mind focused in the now. I am perpetually being thrown forward into a month from now, three months from now, a year from now, and when you constantly take mini vacays to the future it makes the present go SO SLOWLY. I know I should be enjoying my last moments of solitude here on my peaceful little Eskimo Jesus Island in the Bering Sea but the weather is horrible outside and I don't really have that many people that I can call my friends (lots of friendly people though) to hang out with. So even though it stays blazingly light outside till well after 11pm, and I have tons of shit I could and should be doing I find it more comforting to find the most mind numbing activity possible and to steadfastly stick to it so that maybe time will go by faster. The last time I felt like this was when I was supposed to be writing my Masters Thesis and could not stop myself from skimboarding and rockbombing with Randy, Brett, and Germany, the time before that when I was supposed to be studying for Finals but decided to bowl at the Cub in Wazzu instead.

So in the spirit of sharing, here are two websites that are great for killing time:

This guy is really harsh and nasty but amazingly funny. http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net

The Fail Blog is a new favorite of mine.
http://failblog.org

and Facebook...yes I'll admit it, facebook. I'm hooked.

Anyways, tonight Junior Middleweight Championship boxing on Showtime: Spinks vs. Latimore...if only I had someone to watch it with.

Tomorrow Super middleweight Championship fight Carl Froch vs. Jermain Taylor on Showtime and Juan Manuel Lopes vs. Jerry Penalosa on HBO. Gary should be home for that.

I guess I like watching boxing because the guys act like they hate each other, beat the crap out of each other, get paid for it to support their families, and end up hugging and become friends afterwards. It seems very un Radiate Warmth on the surface, but for some reason I LOVE BOXING. My mom said that my grandpa used to watch it all the time and I guess maybe it runs in my blood. Plus I never have, and never will be in a real fight (football doesn't count), so it fullfills that uber stupid masculine part of my brain maybe.

Either way, there are only 20 days till the last day of school. There are only 14 days left in class. 3 weekends. 19 nights of boredom and melancholy then...

KABLAMO!!!! Life explosion. See you there.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dodgeball

A rush of euphoria and satisfaction came over me today as I let go of the volley ball. I had done a full crow hop and had completely put everything I had into the throw, a perfect hurl. The ball left my hand like a rocket out of a cannon and flew across the gym at about three and half feet above the ground, a perfectly flat line of flight, backspin giving it a slight upwards tailing action. It was headed straight for a student who had been particularly lazy and whiny today. As the ball drilled into their hip and the look of instant defeat flushed their face I almost smiled...almost. I would have enjoyed the bliss that is destroying a student with a dodgeball longer, but there was still vermin to exterminate on the court.

One after another, students fell to the relentless onslaught of 65MPH plus dodgeballs being hurled at them from every imaginable angle and approach, without regard for their age discrepancy. I was a ninja. I was an assassin. When it comes to dodgeball, the heart of a venom filled poison half snake half lion beats inside of me (a snion?). Plainly put, I'm a stone cold killer on the dodgeball court.

BEWARE ALL WHO DEFY ME! You will have the "Wilson" sports company volley ball logo implanted on your puny, soft, teenage exoskeleton, and you probably deserve it.

Don't walk children...run...hide...I'm coming for you with a white missile with your name on it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Girl Fights and White Outs

Today in Mekoryuk...

I broke up a really wicked fight between two girls. Hair pulling, closed fist punches, broken glasses, Mr. Iverson right in the middle. Everything turned out ok in the end though.

I also drove people out to the airport in a complete white out. The sky and snow were the same color and I have to admit, if it weren't for those occasional powerlines I would have had no way of figuring out how to get back to town. I had to make two trips and it was crazy how flat the light was. I couldn't even find my own tracks on my return trip the wind had already covered them up.

I'm soaking wet, frozen and going home, just wanted to tell you what a crazy day it truly was.

I'm principal for the rest of the week, hopefully no more fighting otherwise I'll have to suspend someone...dun dun dun.

A big big big big hugely big and gigantic thank you to KOOP for all the amazing shit in his care package which I received today. Chocolate galore, Daily Evergreen Newspapers, Fruits, Avocados, and a friggin coconut. How awesome is that. Thanks buddy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Just another monday? No...its 420.

Just think of this on this seemingly unimportant monday...

Out there somewhere in the world there are people doing the following activities:

Some sick bastards are celebrating Hitler's birthday.

Some poor families are mourning the loss of their loved ones at the Columbine Shootings.

Some people are taking off work, skipping class, and getting stoned/baked/fried all day but especially at 4:20 in the afternoon, for no apparent reason other than the simple fact that the date is 4/20.

Today is Four Twenty, four dubs, four twamp, four twizzle, 420. Arising out of many urban myths about its origin, it has risen to be the only and sole premiere counter culture holiday for generally getting especially messed up.

To see last years analysis of this holiday click HERE

All I'm asking is for everyong to be safe, have fun, be good to each other.

For some interesting reading by NPR on the topic of legalization please read THIS

Peace

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Update

Its another Sunday. I'm now faced with planning out a whole week of lovely learning for my little Junior High and High School minds...what would you want to sit through with 15 hours of sunshine blazing outside...

Musical Artist of the Week: I was going to do an analysis of the qualities of a group or music that, in fact, make it "Psychedelic" music. But I think I'll save that for another day. Needless to say this week's artist is a psychedelic maestro: RANDOM RAB from his newish album "aRose." This dj/noise/beat maker mixes together plodding basslines, heavily modulated voices, cool samples and heady heady heady delays and reverberations that would melt any melon. At times he has a sedated Bassnectar feel, at time he has a Massive Attack esque tracerish sound, and his voice is succinctly his own. As soon as I heard of it I thought of the late night boogie tents at festivals like High Sierra and Meltdown. Man, so good. His other albums are great to Try "The Elucidation of Sorrow" To listen to a bunch for free click HERE

Old Person Phrase of the Week: Gary and I were using this one when describing a couple of sissy boxers on showtime that refused to hit each other. The term is "Namby Pamby" and it means being a total wuss. Namby Pamby actually comes from some old english poem but it was such a good burn that it stuck around (I'm sure the very english and very proper Anonymous Commenter will have something to say about this considering their affinity for un-importantly clarifying the correct use of words.) I happen to really like throwing in "Patty Caking" right after Namby Pamby to really sell the verbal exchange on how much of a wussy situation it is.
"Quite being a namby pamby and patty cakin around, just do it!"

Weather On Nunivak: Spring is, like totally, trying to get all up in winter's grill, but like, OMG, winter is like "oh no you didn't" and totally like totally texted spring and told spring that they were like no longer BFF's. So now all the rest of us are stuck with winter, like totally lame like totally right? SSSSSSSSERiously ready for some sunshine and above freezing temperatures already.

Art Update: Not much new art, just practicing the ukulele a lot, getting ready for the big summer push. I just realized I'll be with out Bertha (my second ukulele) for one month in Europe. I'd take it with me but I'm trying to stick to one carry on bag. I did realize when exchanging poetry with Sydney that I probably have over 100 poems to my credit. I don't think they're particularly amazing but maybe taken as a complete set from the age of 21-present would make a pretty impressive collection. One of my summer goals will be to type them all up from the napkins and menus and scratch papers/envelopes/blog posts/ they're written on into a complete set. Would you readers like to read some old poems ?

Festival Possibilities: I'm having a really hard time not going to both of these festivals. They fit into my schedule, they are amazing line ups, and they are both in California which is a state I love to visit but never do enough. I was thinking about this when I was listening to "Californication" by RHCP and I realized that California is the farthest westward super metropolis expansion of Western culture (Australia and New Zealand being the East). Interesting...

The first is San Francisco's Outside Lands Music Festival taking place in late August in Golden Gate Park. I have great friends who live there and would get to see them as well as some great music and night life. I really really really want to go. Click HERE to see more. And talk me into it!

The Second is the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy California (up in the hills by Sacremento). The line up is unique and strong this year and it would be so much fun. I just don't know if I can be away from home for the 4th of July. Click HERE to see more. What do you think should I go?

Europe Travel Updates: So here's where we're at. My brother and I will meet in London, have a few days there exploring what ever he thinks up (maybe we could stay with Anonymous Commenter...or not). Then we are flying to Bucharest to meet Brett where we'll go to Vama Veche, hike Mt. Sinai and see the Carpathian Mountains, and then Back to Bucharest, then we'll go from Bucharest and fly to Rome. From Rome we're gonna work the Italian coast to Cinque Terra and from the coast Ferry to Sardinia for some camping on the beach and exploring. From their we're gonna fly to Barcelona to meet up with Lilli and Marvik possibly. Now that the trip is starting to shape up I am suuuuuper excited.

Anonymous Commenter Update: This person keeps commenting on the blog as if their opinion matters (or if its their right), its been such a positive space for so long its really weird having some negative english person who's life is so boring that they have to read, and refute everything some person they don't even know says all the way in Alaska. I am nervous that they know my brother who is teaching in the UK and I'll meet them when I travel there, maybe they'll spit in my coffee, excuse me tea, and maybe they'll do other dastardly deeds when I'm not looking like put a tack on my seat or who knows what the english mischief makers do. I guess when that happens I'll have learned my lesson not to call people's misguided thoughts "Turd Nuggets" openly in a blog forum otherwise face the wrath of semi-continuous anonymous comments and possible future skulduggery, tomfoolery, ballyhoo, shenanigans and whatever else they do. See Radiate Warmth readers, I played into AC's negative Nancy attitude, and look where it got me? Don't give in to negative english nancies out there! Oh AC I love you. I mean I don't actually, but I wish you'd go away but I love you for what you represent.

Lastly But Not Leastly: This blog has been BOOOOOORING lately. I'm sorry for that, I wish something exciting would happen to give you all something to really read about. The truth is I'm just passing the time, doing my job, trying to get my mind and body right for all the big changes soon to come in my life. In fact my life is a little boring right now, boring just the way I like it. I can't believe that in 26 days I'll be in the boooooooooooossom of my family, my friends and my most awesomest baby girl. Got to love that. Go TIME go TIME go!

This week I will be Principal for half of it...muhaha

Have a Fan Farkin Tastic Week out there friends (and non friends too AC you have a good week too buddy...I mean chap...or geezer if you will).


Thursday, April 16, 2009

School, Travel, Life, House, Job, Music, Love, Soul

Consider this a impromptu update...

School:
I have been totally checked out this week, state testing left a bad effing taste in my mouth as did the anonymous commenter's remarks which I have denied two comments of theirs now for stupidity and rudeness since. I'm teaching some really good lessons and the Health class is totally into the Sex Education Unit. As uncomfortable as this topic usually is we are having a really positive discussion every day. Go SEX ED! Also, our brand newly cleaned fish tank has somehow improved the over all morale of the whole class, they are so proud of 8 gold fish...go...er...um...goldfish!

Travel: After a long grueling communication triangulation between myself on an island in the Bering Sea, My brother on a Department of Defense Base outside of London (and travelling germany), and Brett in a smaller town of unknown name in Romania (and also travelling germany) I finally pulled the trigger and bought two tickets from London to Bucharest and then two more from Bucharest to Rome a week later. This part of the Europe month is set and a big load off the chest of us all.

So far Hal and I are thinking London a couple days, Romania with Brett for a week, Italian coast, (maybe croatia if time) for few, Sardinia for camping on the beach for another few, and Barcelona for a couple possibly with Marvik (sorry Corinna Greece might have gotten cut this time through we are having a hard time fitting it). Lots of bumming in between all destinations I'm sure...haven't gotten the travel butterflies yet...I'll let you know when I do though...they always come.

Life: I have slipped into a very unhealthy cycle of staying up late (far past my phone time with sydney baby) This morning when I woke up I had two totally red eyes, it was frightening, I just cant make the decision to fall asleep. I don't know what is going on, too much on the old mind. I'm also trying live off what meager food rations I have left without ordering anymore food till I leave...should be interesting.

House: My apartment is a wreck, I'm gonna send off the rest of my unnecessary objects this weekend following the first batch (90$ worth of shipping). My former Tacoma landlords Ken and Julie (and readers of this here blog hi guys!) have a one bedroom house pop up in Ruston/Ruby area in Tacoma by Point Defiance blocks away from the water, the Unicorn, and the antique sandwich company. Its an amazing location, a good price, but I'm trying to figure out if Hal and I can squeeze in there...it wouldn't have to be forever I guess. I'm still thinking...

Job: Still communicating with those in the driver seat for a job at the Tacoma School of the Arts/Science and Math Institute, I also put in two applications to Tacoma School Districts for pooled science positions. We'll see what happens. I'm optimistic and not desperate, after all I have to remind my self that I am a kick ass teacher that anyone would be lucky to have not a desperate one.

Music: I haven't been making any lately. Practicing a bit, but listening more. I'm obsessed with two bands currently, The Polyphonic Spree, and Random Rab. More on them for the weekend update...but look forward to an analysis on what makes something "Psychedelic" music.

Love: 30 days from today till I will be in the arms of my baby girl. Time can't go fast enough, all the letters and phone calls, and skypes and email are amazing but I want to be home already! I'm coming baby, one month! We can do it!

Soul: I'm in ok shape, I tend to get super stressed during these paradigm shifts in my life. I've had a lot of total switches in the last decade: High School to College, College to Australia, Australia back to College, College to Working Life, Working Life to Masters Program, Masters Program to Alaska, Alaska to ....? Each time the uncertainty of what lay ahead just leaves me future tripping and worrying. I just want to fast forward to the part where I'm settled in. Its sooo stressful trying to line up a new life all over again. I am definitely ready to settle in for a while (not forever, but I wanna be home for while)...so my soul is doing ok, to much soda pop, too little sleep, some good exercise, not enough to eat, lots of hope and visions, lots of love, over all I'm doing ok, just a little stressed about the future but at 26 I think thats gotta be normal right?

How are you all doing out there on these categories?

Love Love Love,

Kalepants

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Kid Is Coming Home

Spring is definitely not here in Mekoryuk. At 12 degrees Fahrenheit we are approaching our warmest day in weeks. The world out there stays lit all the time as we are continuing to pick almost 5 and half minutes more of daylight daily. After spending an entire day indoors, going outside is almost to bright to comprehend, and if sunglasses aren't warn large purple spot stay burned into your retina clouding your field of vision. At night I have to create artificial night in my apartment or risk staying up all night due to the light.

I've packaged about 5 boxes for mail today. It cost me about 250 dollars to move all my crap up here and will cost me more to send it back. Hopefully I'll be able so sell some of my shit that I won't be needing. A tv, a radio, rubber boots, and various other things that I don't care to bring back. I wish I could say I'm sad to pack it up and go but sad isn't really the word. I do feel sentimental at times, but currently I just want to go home, I want all my shit outta here, I want my baby in my arms, I want my family and friends and I am just ready to be done here, I love these people up here too, but lets get the show on the road. I know I will miss it here but time is dragging on so slowly.

Then I get 3 days of sweet release, 3 puny days of home, and only one and a half with sydney, and one night with randy and suzye and the gang, then its off to Europe to see my brother and go on a seriously strenuous and vigorous and ambitious trek across god knows where Europe. Planning this adventure has been really stressful on my little brother (I have been no help) and I feel bad that I haven't really contributed anything but money. I'll find a way to make it up to him, I think that I'll be a really big help in locating a teaching job, a place to live, and taking care of other things like that when we return. I'll make it right brother!

As much as I'm looking forward to Europe, what I'm really daydreaming about mostly is finally having a real home again. Putting it together right this time, good pots and pans, my own internet, maybe even a new couch, sound recording equipment, hell I don't know, but no more shit, the good stuff this time. Fresh vegetables, good coffee, fine cheeses, you get the idea. I have starved myself of all things appreciable for two years and I just can't wait to be in middle class America again. I can't believe I complained so much about it when I lived there, and I can't believe I left.

SO laugh if you will at my need for domestic life, I'm sure I will get the itch to go extreme again someday, but I just want to be a homebody for a while, set up shop, homebase, settle in, make a life, hell I might even follow the Mariners this year, Ken Griffey Jr. isn't the ONLY "kid" returning home.

I have a feeling I'm gonna hit a homerun on opening day too.

Missing home, missing love, missing washington so bad today.

Lyrics to "Section 17: Suitcase Calling" by THE POLYPHONIC SPREE
Entirely for you. Soon you will see that there's more there to me I will show.
The days went softly, suitcase calling me to the needs of our fond memories.
The days went softly, suitcase calling me to the needs of our fond memories of our love. In the moment, a sparkled sky. It's amazing we all know. It's the coolest waterslide. It's amazing we will show. What would you do to keep yourself holding on?
And what would you say to keep yourself holding on too?
When the light comes today I'll show my face. It's the seasons that keep me hanging on. It's the reason it keeps me strong. It keeps me hanging on and on and on.
When the mood gets me so far, then you go.
The places, you take me. It seems like it's always better until my heart starts to show. The places, you take me. It seems like it's always better until my heart starts to grow. It's the feel good time of day. You gotta go.
Too late to stay.
It's the seasons that keep me on and on and on.
You got no place to play.
It's the reasons that keep me strong. They keep me hanging on and on and on. When the mood gets me so far, then you go.
Time to feel the softest blow. Waited for days for this night to get colder.
Time to feel the softest blow. Waited for days for this night, for this day to grow.
For this day to grow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The TRUE Story of Easter

Long Long ago, a tiny little bunny Named Ester caused a hillside dirt slide while hippity hopping on a hill, releasing the dirt from beneath a giant bolder and freeing this jesus dude from his cave that he accidentally got closed in when people thought he was sleeping. To show the little bunny his appreciation he granted Ester three wishes.
Ester's first wish was to be the size of a large man, she always wanted to be bigger than life. Her second wish was to be able to defy the natural biological laws of mammals and be given the ability to lay eggs because she had always envied the birds. Ester's last wish was that the eggs that she would be able to birth from her loins would be brightly colored and filled with surprises to really show the birds how to do it right.
Seeing as how Ester the bunny saved old christer's hide he agreed to grant her the wishes (he was jesus so he didn't judge the bunny on her unusual request).
Over the years the giant egg laying bunny begat many an offspring (painfully I might add) but as the DNA of her lineage decayed over time and mutated the great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandbunnies only retained the ability to lay brightly colored eggs once a year based on a complex mix of lunar and planetary menstrual cycles.
Thus every year this amazing biological event takes place across the world (much like sea turtles) in peoples living rooms and front yards. It is rather traumatic for Ester's ancestor bunnies to go through of course, and usually they feel so ashamed, confused and embarrassed of what they had done, that they frantically try to hide their peculiar offspring in unusual places so that no one will find them.
BUT FIND THEM WE DO!

Now if we could only understand peeps...


Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Sixty Fifth Weekend Update: Spring Music Extravaganza (one day early)

As life works in waves, crests and troughs, so does new music in our lives. Every so often some sort of fateful even takes place where I am once again flooded with new music. In this case I just happen to have great friends that continually share with me new music. I would like to highlight some of the recent amazing artists that I have been turned onto through friends, with baseball opening days all around the country I'll use a batting line up to separate the artists.

MUSICAL ARTISTS OF THE WEEK:

Leading Off: ALBERTA CROSS from the short album "The Thief and a Heartbreaker." My good festival friend Matt S. of Seattle (more lovingly referred to as Space Cowboy) made a suggestion on facebook to check this band out. He was right in that the voice of the singer has that ethereal cosmic sound similar to My Morning Jacket but also a whining sustain like Blind Melon. But, they have a distinctly upbeat melancholy that is southern rock in luster. "Hard Breaks" is the clear favorite song but other more spacey cuts such as "Lucy Rider" are also very enjoyable.

On Deck: My favorite greek piece of larbage, Queen Larbs of Strumpet Valley, recommended the band HORSE FEATHERS on her website last week. I immediately went on iTunes and purchased "Words Are Dead," their 2006 effort (her opinion is one that has consistently been a solid one). At times I feel like they possess a Nick Drake feel capturing that sentimental heartshaking quiver, but at other times they really shine their bluegrassy tones inspiring the feeling of a serious need to be lying in a bed of moss in the olympic rainforest, either way it makes for a perfect sunday driving or walking soundtrack and would accompany any dinner with wine nicely. The more I listen to it the more I feel like this band will be a favorite of mine for years to come.

In the Hole: Thanks to Randy who told Sydney who told me I have been enjoying some cerebral massages in the form of an all instrumental band called EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY. Their album "How Strange, Innocence" definitely takes a page from Modest Mouse's broodiness in "Willful Suspension and Disbelief" but with out the Isaac Brock oddity lyrics. Instead they create 5 to 10 minute mini rock symphonies that build and crescendo with the best of emotions. A great band for cooking a serious dinner.

Batting Clean Up: My brother got me a Relix Magazine Subscription where I discovered these next two little gems, so the credit should go to him.

When I saw the cover of the new LES CLAYPOOL brand new album "Of Fungi and Foe" I knew that this album was going to be a big deal. Former and still part time Primus frontman has long been known as pretty much the most talented bass virtuoso of all time. There is just one problem when it comes to him getting more industry credit for it. He's a freaking scary ass hillbilly psycho. Often outfitting himself (and his band of freaks) in pig masks and various frightening outfits he's played with several band combinations backing him: Les Claypool's Frog Brigade, Les Claypool and his Fancy Band (with Skerik on sax), and Oysterhead (with the Police Drummer and Trey Anastasio of Phish). This time I don't know who's in the band because they are all wearing freaking masks. Last week I saw them on Jimmy Kimmel's late night show and they were absolutely terrifying, naturally I had to own the album. The song is a cross between kentucky holler stomp and a serious fungal psychedelic experience. Most of the songs are about mushrooms and the plucky plodding stomping sound is funky and freaky and fungal in every way. It still retains that Les Claypool essence but pushes boundaries to new levels previously unattained in his other efforts as the band takes on a more 4 string quartet feel. Cellos and violins as well as Claypool's 5 different types of bass instruments really make this a serious musical experience...check out "Red State Girl."

When I read about an interview with this next artist in Relix I was truly blown away with his coolness (his beard is what I imagine my brother growing someday...if he ever suddenly gains the ability to grow a beard). I saw him in a little known indi movie called "Old Joy" that says so much about what will probably happen to most of us aspiring hippies (this movie is amazing please find it and watch it). I didn't even know that he was also an extensively hard working folk/rock/whatever you call it musical artist recording under many names but most notably BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY. His newest effort "Beware" is apparently his strongest yet (I can't imagine him making something shitty). I hate entering into prolific artists careers this late in the game but the guy is very remarkable and I will definitely do some back tracking. His voice is strong and haunting as well as sweetly endearing at times. The melodies are unconventional and diverse and a lot of the folk and country undertones make it a peculiar listen the first time through. I has infected me however, and I find myself slowly learning the intracacies of this fantastic singer songwriter...whatever he goes by.

Should I keep going...

The Designated Hitter:

My new good friend Brian suggested I check out an awesome free music podcast. SO now I'm passing it on to you.

NPR's ALL SONGS CONSIDERED podcast and NPR'S LIVE CONCERTS FROM ALL SONGS CONSIDERED PODCAST (both are free and can be found on iTunes). Through these podcasts I have been able to enjoy free music, interviews and performances from amazing bands such as:

Bob Dylan, Bonnie Prince Billy, Franz Ferdinand, Bon Iver, Neil Young, Buena Vista Social Club, Tom Waits, Sigur Ros, Dr. Dog, Ratatat, Mates of State, Portishead, Billie Holiday, Vampire Weekend, Magnetic Fields, Iron and Wine, John Vanderslice, The Polyphonic Spree, Neko Case, Blitzen Trapper, Radiohead, Fleet Foxes, Kaki King, Doc Watson, Wilco, Bjork, and Fujiya and Miyagi, and so many more I haven't even been able to deal with.

Personally I would check out the Kaki King Live show and the Doc Watson Live show first because they are both amazing personal performances.

DOC WATSON at the age of 70 something (blind since the age of one) is a bluegrass legend and the stories in between songs is priceless, his old voice and young fingers are a real treat for people with a sweet tooth for pickers and grinners.

KAKI KING the hammering, looping, drumming female guitar virtuoso (saw once open for someone) puts on her first show with a band and kicks the shit out of it. This girl can destroy things.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE sports near 25 members in the band recording and touring and often dons matching choral religious style robes. Their epic choral gospel rock sound just like a religious music revival but isn't exactly about anything traditionally religious, it is something you either love or hate. Either way they are worth checking out and I have known about them for a while, it just took hearing them live to force me to go back to their first album "The Beginning Stages of the Polyphonic Spree"


LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY: Its up to you as to what you do with all these musical suggestions, but for a reasonably cheep or free investment you can soak up the last remaining sentiments of winter and spring. Most of the music I have recommended will be seasonably out of fashion and favor when the hot summer waves and sunrays start to come around, as Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffet, Sublime and other summertime favorites start to take over as well.

I hope you all enjoy these suggestions as I have from the people who gave them to me.

I'm gonna forgo the other weekly novelties of the Weekend Update as I think you all have enough to digest.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Overalls Friday and Weekend Goals

We made it. State testing week is over. Enough said I think.

Again I do apologize for the week of bickering here on the blog, but I think that some things needed to be said.

This weekend I'm looking forward to some sleep time hopefully. I've been staying up late this week practicing ukulele, talking on the phone and eating Vanilla yogurt with hand picked tundra berries and granola. We are running out of propane (as a village we are out, but me and my neighbor still have a little left). This will put a dent in my tea drinking as I heat my water with a teapot (no microwave). I still have a buttload of berries that I picked left and I am trying to figure out how I will eat them all (and my trout too).

Yesterday, I got an amazing care package from my baby Sydney in the mail complete with some great mix cd's, honey sticks, gourmet milk chocolate mix, a cool leather wrist wallet thing that I love, and two guided meditation cd's (one I did twice last night, so amazing!) a letter and photos. Despite both of us having rather frustrating weeks I'm still feeling great due mostly to her positivity. She picks me up when I'm feeling low.

I also got to skype with my best bud Randall on Oly. We shot the shit good and dead. We talked about music and summer and stupid stuff. It was great, I can't wait to be hangin out again.

Other goals for this weekend are to talk to my mom and dad tonight and hopefully talk to my brother soon. He's been in Germany and Austria (getting Austriacized hehe) and I have only caught fleeting glimpses of him. I MISS YOU BROTHER!

Also, it dawned on me that I will be gone from this northern experience in almost a month.

35 days...whoa. I need to start packing. Tomorrow, sleep in, pack, eat berries, love life.

I've been overwhelmed with amazing new music so expect a music centric Weekend Update on Sunday. So much good free tunes out there (thanks to Brian's advice, you rule brother).

I hope you all had a good week and aren't soured on Radiate Warmth, I haven't really lived up to my blog name this week. I'm not perfect, people piss me off too. Let's all get some rest and try again on monday ok?

Love y'all.

Enough Already AC

AC the anonymous commenter has graced us with yet another one of their wildly insightful comments... I can't help but feel responsible for egging this poor misguided individual on. So I will respond to this last comment because this is MY blog and I get the last say. Then I will get back to more positive reflections on life.

I will not however apologize for standing on a soap box and damning the outrageous and incomprehensibly inappropriate American practice of High Stakes testing for graduation from high school. I do and always will feel it is completely wrong.

Now the Radiate Warmth readers seem to be on my side here AC, you haven't won many people over with your illuminating remarks. So you've taken a new approach...lets see how you've put your foot in your mouth today...

For reference, I will put AC's comments in italics and my own in bold. If you would like you read this comment in its ridiculous entirety you can find it on the last post.

AC: "In your rush to hate on America you've apparently assumed I am an American and that I work in the United States. I suppose it fits in with your world view that since America is the source of everything bad it's the only country that uses standardized testing.

Still, it's amusing when those who spend so much time criticizing others for being culturally insensitive turn around and do the very same thing themselves."

Dear AC, I had to assume that you are American you raving nincompoop. You've commented anonymously !!! What the fark are you thinking? If you are anonymous you will get lumped in with the most frequent readership group of my blog, americans. If you had a profile with personal information maybe I could have been more culturally sensitive when I bashed moronic American Educational practice...oh wait white people control the universe so excuse me if I'm not going to be sensitive to their decisions. And for the record, America is probably the source of everything bad...by the way...

Where ever you come from doesn't change the fact that you are part of the problem and not the solution. Additionally, I don't care if you call me culturally insensitive. I live and teach in an ESKIMO village. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? I have been given an ESKIMO name. I don't need an anonymous person's approval of weather or not I am sensitive. Unlike most white people in society I know (and am embarrassed by) what privileges I get simply because of the color of my skin.


I left teaching not because it was particularly hard (it's not) but because it did not pay enough. I've since done well enough for myself financially that I need not worry about money matters now. So when I read the yearly rants about standardized testing, I'm tempted to return to the "profession" just to show all the whingers that, when done properly, it's not nearly as difficult as they make it out to be.

blah blah blah, yes we get it already you are a money grubber and now you've struck it rich, nice work. Anyways, some of us have to put that monetary pursuit aside to try and help someone out besides ourselves. If you were in teaching for the money then your are even worse than an incompetent teacher, you were a severely misguided teacher. On top of that, you must be unsatisfied with all your millions of dollars now that you make a yearly devotion to consider going back to teaching to prove everyone wrong. Please don't, however, act on your desires, as a teacher I would be alarmed to have you as a colleague and you'd probably be one of those people that goes around calling others names like "Whingers" as you put it, (oops even you made a mistake).

Finally, it seems to me your long rants about the "racist" system and standardized testing are a way to justify leaving the field without feeling guilty about it. If you're not happy teaching, you really don't need to pump yourself up into a frenzy of liberal white guilt. Just leave."

First of all I am not a liberal, liberals are pansies. Second, this country WAS founded on racism, our presidents were racist, our government didn't even let people of color vote until the second half of the last century and to this day people experience prejudice daily in thousands of manifestations. America is racist, you digg brotha? The standardized testing system is just another nuanced megalomaniac money making scheme to continue to exclude people of color/other languages from accessing the basic rights of american citizenship. I'm so sick of everyone thinking that America is the pinnacle of civilization.

Our country has a sick bloody past just like our father's the English. The minority populations, the women, the homosexuals, the children, and the disabled and elderly are the empirical strength of this country, yet they are continually shit on daily.

Also, I am happy being a teacher. I am a great teacher. I will assume that your continued lack of basic comprehension led you to think that I wanted to leave. I don't, I am a teacher, forever, in a classroom and outside of one.

I teach because I love opening young people's minds to the possibilities and power of their own hopes and dreams. I do this because this precious gift was given to me by school teachers, but more often people in my life. And obviously people like you don't help. People like you who chase paper and exist as a turning gear in the toxic machine of modern society won't help make the changes needed to make human existence on earth a harmonious and homeostatic one.

Also, I work all year long to try repair the damage previously done by the "system" so that my kids won't become another depressed, apathetic, TV watching, McDonald's cyborg. So excuse me if once a year I am slightly upset when I get reminded as to how no matter how good of a job I do there are always going to be millions of other kids that will have their hopes, dreams, and livelihood eliminated by these high stakes tests.

I will not continue this conversation through this blog forum any longer. I'm sorry to everyone else for puting you through this experience.

My readers don't deserve it and although its been fun, I would like to move on. I let it go on for a whole week for a reason though. I just wanted everyone who reads this blog to see how deep the negativity and warped sense of reality runs in the minds of people.

I don't exactly know how to close this...

I guess...Good Luck in life AC. I hope you use all that money that isn't an issue for you for something positive instead of a brand new jetski or something...please tell me you didn't get a jetski.

If you would like to continue this conversation you may email me. The address is on my PROFILE!!! EVER HEARD OF ONE?

Don't comment again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Anonymous Commenter Strikes again.

Can you smell it? sniff. sniff. yep you guessed it, another cowardly offering.

Here is the latest cup of frothing cliche American attitude vomited up by the Anonymous Commenter or (AC) for short.

"First, as to the anonymous posting issue, if you don't like it, you should disable the option. It's silly to open your blog up to anonymous comments and then complain when someone uses it.

Second, I used to work in the field before I left for greener pastures years ago. Having made some money, I sometimes think about returning to the "profession" -- if only long enough to stick my head in the teachers' lounge and point out a) what a hard time most would have in the real world were performance standards are the norm and b) that if they spent half as much time preparing their lessons as they do whinging about how terrible they think it is to actually have someone check up on their students' progress, nobody would ever have to ask why little Johnny can't read."

Let me field this in two initial parts, a first, a second, and then a spastic ramble caused by the utter ridiculousness of these statements.

First, the really silly thing is commenting on people's blogs when you can't even comprehend what is being said. I think the teaching profession is lucky you moved on to greener pastures seeing as how you show repeated inability to address the important underlying meaning of written text.

Second,
teachers who don't plan their instruction are incompetent, as are the ones that complain in the teacher's lounge. But what you have just done by saying this is identified yourself as someone who has no idea what it is like to teach in a non traditional setting. My school doesn't even have a teachers lounge, my school has 29 impoverished eskimo kids who don't speak english and have no comprehension of all the societal norms that a big school with a teachers lounge would. Dude, have you ever been outside of suburbia?

But you already demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about because you have repeated yourself and continue to make comments without going back, re reading what I wrote and realizing that you aren't even commenting on the basic opinions of the conversation.

In fact, you sound like someone who probably didn't listen to there students.

And trust me students performance standards are much higher. Unlike a mattress or a car door, they look back at you with human tears in their eyes. Teachers don't make "stuff" they make people, and as soon as parents get "performance" standards as they spend the other 6 hours of waking life with the kid, then you can start sticking that argument to teachers. We can't control the emotional baggage these kids bring with them to school.

But, I refuse to get checked up on by the white ruling anarchy of American thought for teaching a kid something pointless when on top of it the students often show up to the test malnourished, under slept, mentally and physically abused and living in a toxic environment of alcoholism or drug abuse at home (family conditions brought about by your industry standards no doubt). You tell me how someone who works in industry has to work with stoned machinery or parts that show up to work and punch a wall because they were punched by their alcoholic machine father.

I don't think you know what you are talking about.

How long ago did you leave teaching ? How long ago has it been since you tried to teach someone in the bullshit environment of this american school system?

REMEMBER, you left teaching, probably because it was too hard.

But hey I'm glad you made money, because that's the most important thing in the world right? I'd like to leave for greener pastures too, but mine would be actual pastures with soil and grass and life, not a plump bank account.

...and lastly, I have comment moderation on this blog, my blog by the way, which allows me the choice to include your comments or not, I have allowed it the last couple days because you serve as a perfect counterpoint to my arguments as you are of the mindset of the same thinking that has created an entire nation of depressed, robot, prozac popping, chemically dependent, keeping up with the jones', lemmings. So thank you for being you, and proving my point by simply talking.

I will continue to allow your comments as long as they stay as pointless as they have been so far because it doesn't hurt me and it gives me more entry points into dissecting exactly what it is that is fundamentally wrong with the world, or you could try opening yourself up to the possibility of trying to comment something other then drivel.

This is Radiate Warmth, but I think you're getting burned.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

STATE TESTING Comment Response

Yesterday during my state testing rant someone (anonymously how brave of you) commented this plebeian little turd nugget:

"It's funny to read about teachers hyperventilating about standardized tests. You'd think if they were doing their jobs properly there wouldn't be anything to worry about. But nothing really seems to wind them up more than the thought of having someone check to make sure they're actually doing what taxpayers are paying them to do. I wonder why that is?"

I take offense to this comment on so many levels. This comment represents so much that is wrong with America and American mentality that I have to respond to it.

First the comment states that if teachers were "doing their jobs properly there wouldn't be anything to worry about." This is such a fucked up thing to say. Mostly because if teachers were doing their jobs "properly" to the states letter, following the state standards exactly, doing exactly what the government wanted them to, then we would have a nation of commercialistic, materialistic, anglo-saxon, white ethnocentric, robotic, android, non freethinking, non creative, non common sense having idiots, cheeseburger eating, boners the likes of which have run our country into the ground. (oh yeah the people who made up this whole effing idea really did a great job with the whole Iraq thing, oh yeah and the economy is great too thanks politicians).

Then this"the thought of having someone check to make sure they're actually doing what taxpayers are paying them to doI think" if the taxpayers even read the "standards" that these "state tests" are assessing (which I guarantee you they don't and even in the smallest chance that they did wouldn't understand them anyway because they themselves are the product of moron america) then they might not be so happy about what the government wants to require teachers to teach.

Furthermore, if I was a English as a second language speaker or a minority of any ethnicity (and a taxpayer ) I would be pissed because the standards and the test are written in an elitist white academic language that culturally excludes everyone of non middle class caucasian descent. Having just administered this test to Native Alaskan Eskimo teenagers I think I can safely say that these tests are not culturally responsible and exclude certain populations simply by race alone.

Unfortunately I think that whoever made this comment severely miss read what I was saying. In fact when I went back to re read what I wrote yesterday every paragraph made me feel as if the comment and the thought behind it didn't even really comprehend the paragraphs and what they were saying.

Now, that being said, I'm not "hyperventilating" or "wound" up because someone/the government is checking in on me. I know some good teachers out there, but there are far more by lazy, union hours only working, staff and pedagogy development refusing, outdated practice having teachers. Trust me, teachers need to be monitored, especially in Bush Alaska.

The thing is I'm not one of those. I am a kick ass teacher. I know this.

What I am is: upset. After having to read through an entire State Graduating Test on Reading yesterday because of Special Education Accommodations/Modifications of my test takers I am disgusted and ashamed to even be part of the system of education. If this test, these tests, are what the state and the taxpayers and the educators of the state of Alaska deem is the pinnacle of knowledge and thinking necessary to receive a high school diploma (the mark of a person ready to be a citizen, person, and worker in America) then I am in the wrong profession. It was culturally insensitive, pointless, completely impractical and did not address any of the real literacy skills that teen agers actually possess. Yesterday I was embarrassed to be a teacher, not because of my lack of instruction or quality of job execution, but because of the umbrella of racism and elitism that I operate under as an educator in America.

If you would like to continue commenting on my blog and making comments such as the one highlighted above I would suggest you slap a name on the end of the comment otherwise I will take offense to it seeing as how I have provided my name and you the reader come here of your own free will.

You wouldn't go into someones home with a mask on, and make fun of their family photos and values so don't come into my home anonymously and make comments about my beliefs unless you yourself would like to be identified.

Thank You for reading.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Child Left Standing

I'm giving the HSGQE today. (High School Grade Qualifying Exam). Not only is this entire experience foreign, uncomfortable and forced for many students, its excruciatingly long and boring. It has a Reading, Writing, and Math component and this year they are trial running the Science portion.

On one side of the coin I think it is important that people know certain things for them to rightfully earn a high school diploma and be a functioning adult. No Child Left Behind has devoloped standards and fail safes to check and make sure that not only to students know their stuff but that teachers are qualified and are actually teaching these skills and content.

The other side of the issue is where I tend to sit. I don't think its wrong to have standards for our kids. I just want to know who's writing these standards, who chooses and deems what is worthwhile knowledge, and who is making all the buttload of cash off of giving tests like the HSGQE, WASL, ACT, SAT, and others.

When I see a state that writes standards on how to grow your own garden, recycle, conserve energy, express creativity, stay physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally fit, and communicate with others peacefully and treat people fairly, then I'll support that state test. I will get behind that one and be strict about it. But this piece meal, unimportant assesement makes me sick. My kids can read, my kids can write, my kids can do math, but no one wants to do this kind of reading/writing/math sitting in silence writing on a peace of paper(and lord knows, science is falling under this too).

I have very high standards for my kids (and I recognize that others might not thus needing a check and balance system like state testing) but I think that these test are totally bogus. At least if they are gonna ask our kids about mostly useless mumbo jumbo they should do it online and let the kids type their answers and click the right ones. I mean, that is how our kids read and write, on the computer. I'm so sick of old ways and people fearing the new people will always know how to write, but we rarely do anymore, I'm not saying abandon it, but seriously let the kids be assessed in a forum they are comfortable with you elitist old curmudgeon assholes!

I got into a little debate with a colleague a week or so ago about this very topic. Parents want their kids to succeed in life, and apparently graduating high school is really important, it gives you a nice piece of paper that basically stamps you on the forehead with the other cattle as another American who has been socialized the same way as everyone else, Home Room, homecoming, prom, jocks, cheerleaders, science fairs, cafeterias, bullies, we all went through these experiences. Rarely do schools actually teach the skills, attitudes and real needs of people transitioning toward adult hood.

SO if school isn't actually a place to learn stuff (because most people don't remember what they learned in school, more so how they felt about it when they 'learned' it), but rather a place to get initiated into the national populace's consciousness, then why do we test our kids on stuff. Why aren't our standards about how to fill out a job application, or how to balance a bank account, or how to budget your money, or how to raise a baby, or how to get a home loan or apply to college, or how to vote, or how to actually do something useful for a change.

Its madness. What we test our students on says a lot about where our nations values lie. And after one day of testing I think our nations values in what people should know in order to graduate is seriously off kilter.

That doesn't mean I don't prepare my kids, it does mean that I prepare my kids harder, because...

Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do, so that you can earn the freedom to do what ever you want.

1 day of testing down, 3 to go. BLEH!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

No Weekend Update

No update today. Sorry.

I think the 400th post was incredible enough, it took a week to make all the links, and until I get more than 2 comments about it (thanks to those who did) I am gonna take a short break. If you are feeling cheated then go to the post below and reread some of the amazing content from the last 399 posts to hold ya over till I regain my strength.

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

POST NUMBER 400: BLOG INDEX

On August 8th 2007 I wrote my first blog post "Holy Isht Batman I'm in Alaska" now over a year and half later I'm writing my 400th post. On that day I wrote:

"I just set up this blog so keep checking in or subscribe or whatever so you can see my spiral towards bearded hermit freakout."

Truer words could not have been said. A bearded hermit freakout indeed.

This blog has featured many evolutionary adaptations.

Of course there has been Poetry and song lyrics.
Yes I know
Thank God for KEXP

Sunset
Untitled #1
Where Did I Go (song)
The Next Big Show (song)
I Need Life (song)
That Would Be Impossible (song)
Can You Please Tell Me (song/freestyle)
Mostly Freely
Love
Untitled #2
The Bill (song)
Butterscotch Morsels
In the Flow
Run To Make a Difference (Poem/Song)
Orbitals
Loosen This Load A Little
We Sigh Along
Its You Who Waits
Electrified Virtues
We Shall Overcome (song)
Don't Cry For a Ramblin' Man (song)
Undertow (song)
Into the Wild
Its Been a Long Time (song)
Souls Will Find a Release
Awkwardly Simple
Salty Symphony
A Feeling Out Loud
Standin Still
Grids And Gods
Love Overgrown
Christmas Eve
Its What You Been Made For

I can't believe how much music and poetry I have been able to share on this blog!

There have been "Readers Choice Topics"
Reader's Choice #1: Cheese
Reader's Choice #2: Gnomes, Triceratops and Kevin Costner
Reader's Choice #3a: The Neverending Story
Reader's Choice #3b: Subaru Story
Reader's Choice #4: Bowl Cuts
Reader's Choice #5: Aberchrombie and Fitch
Reader's Choice #6: Trustafarians
Reader's Choice #7: The Drive to WSU

Hopefully these were as fun to read as they were to write.

There have been moments of great comedy and joy
Fig Newton's Law
Fridaysia and Ogres
Grand Awesomus (my invented holiday)
Why University of Washington Sucks SO MUCH!!!
Wild Mekoryuk Saturday Night
Overalls Friday
I'm a Nerd/Alaskan Dress Code
Iversonius Great White Wizard of the North
An Arctic Home Supplement: The News From Nunivak Island "Spring Mud Love"
An Arctic Home Supplement: The News From Nunivak Island "The Fear Of Falling Through"
Spring Weather The Upside Downside
An Arctic Home Supplement: The News From Nunivak Island "Let's Get Real"
Sasquatch Band Review!
Fishing With Dirk
Nuniwaarmiut School Student Art Show 2008.

Summer 2008 PART 1
Summer 2008 PART 2
Summer 2008 PART 3

A Short Story: Cabernet Play-Doe Spectacular
Darwin's Birthday Breakdown
My Trip To Anchorage
Not a TheraFlu Drinking Cranky Pants McGee Anymore
Random Shit "Teacher Kale Vs. Free Kale"
Taxi Cab Confessions: Bethel


And sometimes there were moments when the planets aligned and I simply wrote from the heart with no idea of where it would go and something amazing happened. Like a 19 minute jam in a live version of "Wild Eyes" I just hit a cosmic moment in introspection and reflection.

Here Are some of my favorite and most important posts:
Heartstrings
Radiate Warmth
Random List of Pointless Things
Comments on Education "Things Not Looking So Good Indeed"
Sunday Morning Sunrise (amazing photos)
Glimpses of Light
Rhythms of the Heart
Awaken The Goodness Inside
RadWarm101: A Toolkit for Loneliness
!!!RADIATE WARMTH's ULTIMATE EXPLANATION OF RELIGION!!!
Boom! Zap! Splat!
Che Guevara and Massu Iverson
Desolation Angel "Desolation Alaska"
Notes on a Generation of Weaklings and My first free summer in a decade
Stayers and Goers
Grassroots Iverson
Snow Day and Free Thoughts "Wavelengths and Frequency"
Oops, False Start Monday "improvisational teaching"
Freedom and Being Free

Also We have witnessed the evolution of the "Weekend Updates"

The Weekend Update Index:
The First Old Person Phrase of the Week
The First Actual Weekend Update
The Second Weekend Update
The Third Weekend Update
The Fourth Weekend Update
The First Weather Update
The Fifth Weekend Update
The Sixth Weekend Update (with new art progress feature)
The Seventh Weekend Update or "Weekly Information"
The Eighth Weekend Update or "Weekly Update and Info"
The Ninth Weekend Update "My Birthday"
The Tenth Weekend Update
The Eleventh Weekend Update (w/ Weblink and Book of the Week)
The Twelfth Weekend Update
The Thirteenth Weekend Update
The Fourteenth Weekend Update (with the first lastly but leastly/final thoughts)
The Fifteenth Weekend Update
The Sixteenth Weekend Update
The Seventeenth Weekend Update "My Brother's Birthday"
The Coffee Shop Update
The Eighteenth Weekend Update
The Nineteenth Weekend Update
The Twentieth Weekend Update
The Twenty First Weekend Update
The Twenty Second Weekend Update
The Extra Umph Humpday Updatacular
Humpday Umptacualar Updaterific Update
The Twenty Third Weekend Update
The Twenty Fourth Weekend Update
The Twenty Fifth Weekend Update
Thursday From Hell Update
The Twenty Sixth Weekend Update
The Twenty Seventh Weekend Update
The Twenty Eighth Weekend Update
THE Twenty Ninth Weekend Update "THE LAST ONE OF THE YEAR" (with summary)
The Thirtieth Weekend Update
The Fortieth Weekend Update
The Forty First Weekend Update
The Forty Second Weekend Update
The Forty Third Weekend Update
The Forty Fourth Weekend Update
The Forty Fifth Weeked Update
The Forty Sixth Weekend Update
The Forty Seventh Weekend Update
The Forty Eighth Weekend Update
The Forty Ninth Weekend Update
The Fiftieth Weekend Update (Cougs win the Apple Cup Edition)
The Fifty First Weekend Update
The Fifty Second Weekend Update (Christmas #1)
The Fifty Third Weekend Update (Hal Graduates College)
The Fifty Fourth Weekend Update
The Fifty Fifth Weekend Update
The Fifty Sixth Weekend Update
The Fifty Seventh Weekend Update (Monday Update)
The Fifty Eighth Weekend Update (Early Edition)
The Fifty Ninth Weekend Update
The Sixtieth Weekend Update (LITE)
The Sixty First Weekend Update
The Sixty Second Weekend Update
The Sixty Third Weekend Update
The Sixty Fourth Weekend Update

Please enjoy this index of all the best Radiate Warmth has provided over the last 400 posts!
to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE