Monday, February 16, 2009


I am not much of a churchgoing fellow. I go about 3-4 times a year (never on Christmas or Easter). Also, I am not the biggest gospel music fan. I hate to say it, but I just do not be feeling it.

However, there is one gospel song that hits me hard. Whenever I hear it, I feel choked up. The song called "I Need You To Survive". I remember the first time I heard it...

I was visiting my friend Jessica once during my junior year. I did not want to spend the weekend in Erie so I went to visit her at Pitt-Johnstown. Plus, she asked me to come see her sing at her church. I told her I am allergic to Jesus. She laughed and said that comment was even more reason to come.

After spending the weekend drinking and attempting to fornicate with her friends, I go to church with her. Jessica, being a white girl, went to the most Black church I have EVER been in. It felt like I was in Atlanta, not northern PA.

So the chorus gets up and starts to sing. And they start singing the song. I feel slightly emotional as I hear the words. As the chorus continues to sing, I get even more emotional as I sit and listen. I feel myself start to shed a tear. I quietly, in this church, start to weep slightly. I bowed my head and felt myself connect to God. On the inside I guess I felt myself open up. I was receptive to the message of the song. It really seemed to fit how I view my relationships with other people and God

I never "caught" the Spirit before. I always thought it was fake. But I guess for me, maybe that was a moment I caught it. Maybe for me, the Spirit is not dancing and shouting. The Spirit is a quiet opening of my heart to the message being shared. It is a introspective, reflective moment in which I feel that God has spoken to me. I do not feel extreme joy. I don't speak in tongues and break dance in church. I feel open and receptive. I feel as if God had spoken to me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Big Ups

I just wanted to let you all know that recently I was a winner of a poetry contest! It was called the "Lyrical Bullets" contest held by a writer and artist whose blog I read (check it out here). I am definitely excited! It is a bright spot in my rough life here is the poem that was selected as a winner

The Most Terrible Voice

The most terrible voice there is...
Silence is an act of violence vilified by the fact that it keep me from writing.
With silence ever present, probing, and penetrating my mind,
Motion of clear thoughts cease.
Creativity is chased from my head,
Haunted by the most terrible voice there is...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Welcome To Real Life

" I hate to have these kind of meetings. I do not want you to take this personally. I really do like you. You are a great person. I have to let you know that the school is not renewing your contract for next year."

I just stared at him and kept my professional smile up all the while feeling like I was just hit in the chest with a hammer. I nodded my head in understanding, but not really understanding.

" We will talk later about specific reasons. I think you need time to adjust."

I again just nodded my head in assent. Why not tell me now and get the closure now? Why wait?

Rising out of the chair, I shook his hand and walked out the office. I felt like a weight was lifted off my chest. There was a sense of relief. While I love teaching and all that it entails, this school year has been rough. There is no other way to put it. I have had several issues to deal with. I personally felt that my learning curve was not that great. I put in tons of effort but I did not get the results. This was partially due to me but there were some things I cannot control.

So walking to lunch I kept my head held high. I have no clue what I am doing next. I am ok with that...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fighting Fair

"Growing up is not a straight line, but a series of advances and retreats" - Kevin Arnold of The Wonder Years.

The gf and I got into an argument recently. I was upset by something she said and we started arguing. However, the argument went from me being mad to us arguing about how I argue.

My gf stated that I am condescending when we fight. She says that the way I talk to her is as if I talk to her like one of my students. It is as if she cannot possibly understand my point of view. She says it sounds as if it is either my way or no way.

Now, I try not to be that way. I try to stay calm while fighting. I try not to accuse. I try to fight fair. Yet I see I still have to improve. With other relationships, I would openly express how I felt without consideration of my words. I guess in my effort to remain calm, it has turned to sounding condescending.

I do not want her to think I do not value her opinion. I really do. I often ask for her advice (which is something I have always struggled with). Her advice has become precious to me. I love when she expresses her opinion and I value it. I told her that. I now know that I need to work on fighting fair. Making sure that I express my opinion without downgrading hers.