Hey there folks,
Forgive the sparse updates; between being a full-time English teacher, my own graduate schooling, and the various shenanigans I found myself obligated to uphold, finding time to write for the blog becomes almost Sisyphean.
Yet around the D&D table – where wisdom is freely exchanged amidst peers – I was casually reminded of the importance of indulging one’s self here and there.
“If you enjoy it,” he quipped, “you’ll make the time for it.”
Ah, comrades, how true are those blessed words. Yes, I do enjoy writing for writing’s sake even if I’ll never afford food again. That is mighty fine for man cannot live on bread alone, right?
Oh my, how my hubris has taken a turn – quoting Jesus now am I? Showing off my grad school prowess? Someone rein me in, please.
Now then, on to the meat and potatoes of today’s mad ramble.
And for you Administrator types that are concerned I penned this during working hours, rest assured this was first composed the night of 10 September over a few PBRs, coffee, and cigarettes. Scheduling a post is pretty groovy.
But if you want to start including that Blessed Trinity during working hours, you’ve my support.
They Keep Me Motivated
Students are interesting things (as any teacher or parent will attest) because of their penchant for asking questions that are usually not school-related. It doesn’t seem to matter, however, for everything can be turned into a lesson. Of that I am most certain. Seems some of my charges have taken my “Question Everything” mantra to heart; bless them.
Several of my students – the more inquisitive-about-Mr.-Bruelhart’s-personal-business types – questioned the validity of my world map, with various countries colored in, emblazoned upon the northern wall.
“Sir,” they asked, “how can we be certain you’ve actually been to all the places you say you have?” Indeed, I did tell them to question everything and to challenge me on everything I say. After all, just because I am a teacher doesn’t mean I know anything more than they – what makes my word stronger than theirs?
In a rather humorous turn of events, I attempted to pull up this very blog to show them some of my travel posts replete with pictures, descriptions of the locations, and copious, colorful euphemisms. To my eternal amusement, I was met with the following:
Oh how I laughed and laughed; if my students didn’t think me mad then, they certainly do now. To think, my simple blog about my various comings and goings was banned from the school server because of adult language? Never mind half of my posts talk about how much I drink and smoke too much – here and abroad – but because of my ubiquitous use of fuck? Truth, comrades, is so much stranger than fiction.
As we labored on Friday getting everyone up-to-date with the latest gadgets and smartphone applications (un)necessary for class, several of my pupils thought fit to actually read this drivel. Snickers and guffaws were heard as I lectured about Google Classroom and essays for homework, but I let it slide, because, hey – they are reading.
As you are a devout reader and check this nonsense on the reg, you no doubt recall how I oft struggle with matters of faith, humanity, reason, and religion as a whole. Doubting Thomas and I are actually bosom comrades in that regard. This morning I awoke from my wine-induced slumber (sans headache; sorry Ellen) to once again grapple with my tendency to cut and run. Rather than being a fell beast spawned from the darkness that is the recesses of my mind, no, the Wanderlust is spawned from the passion within my breast.
You should know, dear reader, that I find staying put to be an incredibly difficult task and few things keep me occupied for long. Tis the very reason why all of my previous pseudo-relationships have been so fulfilling in their beginnings yet end in confusing tragedy as I simply chose the Road time and again. Yes, having a mate is all fine and well, but I am incredibly selfish. Who dares compare to the warmth and insight only earned experiences can bring a man’s soul?
I mean, I write for my own fucking blog because I think I’m so goddamned brilliant. Ladies, that should be a red flag for any budding relationship – pride.
As I loosed myself from the ravages of wine and lack of sleep, I thought about how close I came to sojourning once more via the Peace Corps. A few more interviews and I would have been in Zambia by now. To travel, to see the world, to learn for learning’s sake at the expense of comfort and stability; how enticing is that to me!
Alas, Fate has it out for me and shattered those plans like a dashed Armenian babe against an Ottoman footpath. Perhaps one day I’ll sally forth in the Peace Corps, but it is not yet time. Not yet; simply, not yet. You are aware of my conversion and acceptance of being an English teacher – how can I tend to the world around me without first tending to my home?
How grateful I am, comrades, for this experience for these cherubim have taught me much already about myself, Life, and what it means to be happy.
“The weight of the world/is love./Under the burden/of solitude,/under the burden/of dissatisfaction/the weight,/the weight we carry/is love.” writes that wonderful poet Ginsberg. He is indeed correct for the burden of love – of knowledge, of others, of self – is the ultimate weight we bear about our proverbial necks as one would do an albatross or millstone. It is not for the money I relish this gig, nor for the recognition (for neither exist in any quantity).
I teach for them:
The kids laugh when I say I enjoy going to work every day and that I find their company refreshing. “Lololol, sir, no one likes teaching.” they chide. Bully, I say, for if it wasn’t for these yahoos, I daresay I’d be vein-deep in some sort of illicit substance trying to capture some semblance of meaning from external stimuli.
Yes, I realize I am a borderline alcoholic. Yes, I am aware I smoke more than an unoiled engine. And yes, I am aware my addiction to seeking out adventure is akin to drug use, but the idea that I can have a positive influence upon young minds – upon young people – is an incredible high that is not so easily replicated.
To my charges, you do not know the sway you possess over me, tempering my inadequacies with growth and change for the better. Perhaps, when you are older and long from Lovington, you will reflect upon our time together and smile (or grimace; weekly essays…). You cannot know it yet, but you bring this loathsome wanderer a modicum of respite in a very troubled mind.
Many of you will go on to grand things, far bigger than anything you will find here: prove me right.
For now, I have found purpose. It will not always be this way for the wanderlust will win – it always wins – but be reassured I shall fulfill my duty for the time being. There is still a world left to conquer, and as Father Sebastian reminded me in Chile, “Be the Seeker.” Until then, I must tend to my own flock.
And for those students of mine reading this: I wrote 1250 words; quit your bitchin’ about the seven lines.