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BrassWolf

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  1. Days 48 - 52 The end of the last work week was rather... eventful with some of our kindergarten students. Had one student that we have no common language with (and no district support) so any issue with that student (including them having crying fits or running off) is hard to deal with. Have another student that has taken a liking to running off as well so many adults in the building had their hands full to say the least. Decided on Friday to acknowledge that some people were earning their pay checks and got a few people coffee and drinks to get them through the last day of the week. On Saturday I returned to my bicycle and rode 55 miles in order to continue preparing for my 100 mile ride occurring soon! The First 25 miles went great but it was soon after that where leg fatigue set in and it became an absolute mental game to keep motivated and finish the journey. Through positive self-talk, redirecting by using different strategies (like saying the goal is to finish, not to be quickest) and pacing some other things I completed it. Though I did head to the bike shop to get it in for a tune up and, of course, there were a few things that would have impacted performance negatively (Such as the brake pads touching the wheels!) -- I will get my bike back in a couple of days and will test it out this upcoming Saturday for the 75 mile, my last big prep ride before the 100 mile event on the 14th! Sunday we had our friend over for some board games which was a really nice way to spend the day especially after not seeing them after several weeks. Was glad to hear they got a job after being out of work for over 5 years. Hoping things will look up for them! On Monday we spent the day with my in-laws bowling and playing laser tag (local bowling alley had a great deal going). I bowled my best game ever and so did my husband with a 182, I got to around 109 so that was definitely my personal best as well. My husband ended with a turkey on the final frame which was a great way to end that game! Laser tag was alright, definitely allowed myself to be a little younger in a way haha! Today we were back to work and it was a relatively easy day. Needed to help the students manage their levels of tiredness at some points and had more students forget about our rules, but all I did was enforce the management plan, never got mad or upset, and just stuck to teaching music on day. That last part is definitely the beauty of putting accountability on the students. I believe in their ability to fix a lot of mistakes on their own. I've been reflecting a bit on gaming and I know for sure I will go into moderation. After reading many articles and checking videos out, I really don't feel like I fit the addict role. At this point I feel that it is out of commitment to my word that I will complete the next 38 days of this journey. My next goal is to get back on track with scheduling things during the work week and balancing all of those things out and also balancing food again. I feel that I let some things slip on that front in the past few weeks and I know I can do better than that. I am pleased that I am not beating myself up for making mistakes, however! Onwards and Upwards!
  2. Days 43 - 47 Spent the day Sunday sleeping basically. Throat was completely red and succumbed to back to school crud, deciding to take the next day off. While I was feeling better we actually took the next day to go to the range and ride our motorcycles into the natural spaces for a few hours. Went over some difficult roads and was doing fine until the hairpin turns that were up hill. Was completely in the wrong gear so stalled the engine and laid the bike down on the second hairpin. I was fine but needed assistance lifting the bike up (Making me realize I need to sign up for Athlean AX-1 and invest in some weights to build muscle). Was able to ride again after that and ended the day with chinese food (unfortunately nowhere in the area matches the quality in my hometown!) That was a great day for being sick and taking off. Returned to work the next day and did some of my sub plans with the students to ease back into the teaching day. The following day I incorporated more of the content again but interjected some of the sub plans as a "change of pace" for the students in our classes. Today was a good day back, though I'm realizing several of my colleagues are having hard weeks (We have a few kinder runners to say the least...) so I'll be surprising a few of them with some drinks in the AM to show some kindness and gratitude for dealing with the hard stuff while I am just dealing with the difficulty of being sick and recovering. Physically back to normal but my voice still needs some time to recover completely. One more day and then a 3 day weekend. Planning to get back into some hobbies a little more intentionally, cycle for 65 miles (Have the 100 mile ride in 2 weeks!) and catch up around the house. Onwards and Upwards!
  3. Right on in agreement! I think it's around 1 in 25 people that are sociopaths and whenever I encounter one I go "Oh look, there's one of those assholes. This increases the chance the next person I meet will not be an asshole!" and when we are forced to be in proximity to them, all we have is our influence and what we choose to do with what is presented to us! Glad you are finding time to make connections around you and figure things out for yourself!
  4. That's awesome dude! And you got them to smile while you were sick?! Imagine how much you'll be able to get them to smile when you have the clean bill of health!
  5. Days 36 - 42 (6 Weeks!) Thank you @Ikarfor that YT page. Should be some good videos to watch! And thank you @Tzen1 Thanks for that piece of perspective as well. It is absolutely true that the system definitely has some cracks in it to be sure but it's important to remember that sometimes success is measured just one life at a time. On Sunday our friend was unable to come over so we took advantage of the great weather and rode our motorcycles into the mountains, clocking in around 90 miles of many winding, twisting, beautiful roads along the way. Really do enjoy my bike and will become more and more comfortable leaning it over time. There were certainly a few freak out moments but it just goes to show how important being the training is. Keeping your eye on the path and where it goes, focusing on a neutral mindset and seeing as much as possible to prepare for any issues. (Knowing you can push some corners because you know a car isn't coming on the other side in case you pushed too hard, etc.) After writing the last journal my sister-in-law found a stray kitten so we had it stay over night and spent Sunday and Monday really thinking if we wanted to commit to keeping her and giving her a better home, and we did decide on a yes so we have a new kitten and we named her Leslie. She seems to be around four or five months so we've been training her and getting her settled here (while preparing the house a little better so things don't break in the process.) She seems to have two modes - play and love, or she is undecided and can't tell what she wants haha. The work week began and the classes are continuing to go well overall. Definitely took some more ownership after doing some experimentation during the first week and the classes are running better overall. The two biggest challenges are the extremely low 3rd grade class (the behaviors are getting there but in terms of academic engagement they are not close to being there, but I'm determined to get them there.) We also have one kinder challenge (and, let's face it, just one challenge isn't bad) but they have zero language and no common languages spoken in school and they've taken a liking to stealing from everyone and playing keep away. This student should ultimately be in Pre-K and not in regular school but that is how the system works. They have zero school experience or social experience and that really puts them at one or two years of disadvantage behind their classmates. The rest of the kinder class is fine (which is always a relief.) Yesterday my husband did his long ride so I stayed in and watched more cooking shows (and damn do I want to try a lot more fancy cooking things!) On the ride he damaged his helmet and was apparently able to fix it but that made me frustrated, not that he had potentially broken the helmet, but because even with both of us working full time and me doing a side-lessons job, it is not enough to do the things we want to do. Received an E-Mail from one of the people I subscribe to and they were offering a webinar about selling resources and it's been something I have been considering on and off for a while. I am definitely fearful for our retirement plans and not getting to enjoy the life we want to enjoy and I feel that I would be able to help a lot of other teachers (which is something I particularly enjoy doing, sometimes more than helping the students). The big consideration right now is that, in order to go this route, whether or not I should go it solo with just free resources or to invest in a course about marketing. The second option I feel would be better and would hurt in the short-term but, in the long-term could really maximize how many other people I could help by creating resources (something else I enjoy doing). While I continue to ponder that question I will go ahead and work through my schedule for the day of getting some cleaning done, making some breakfast things I can just take in the morning, and doing some work. When my husband gets home I think we'll hop on the motorcycles and go for a ride and hit the range in the morning before our friend comes over. It is definitely true that there are easier days, and I feel that the longer I go into this 90 day journey the more I realize I am in complete control of myself and, while I don't crave playing games right now, I can definitely see myself being able to make moderation work in the long-term. I've definitely learned a ton about emotional fortitude, language, professionalism, and taking ownership of life through this first half of the journey. In the middle of this next week we are crossing the hump and will be on the second half of the detox! More and more I'm beginning to think that a large reason I speedran was because I wanted a niche to create a stream and I thought I could make a stream economy work to, again, create the financial freedom I want for me and my family. I want to be able to be comfortable and have enough to comfortably help other people when they are in need. I don't think it was always about the games, but about gaining those viewers and subs etc. But, more and more through discovering myself here, it's good to know one of the core reasons and how much it pulled me away from what matters and what, in the long run, could actually help me achieve those goals. Even during those streams, I knew it wasn't me and I didn't want to commit to that kind of a life. That life isn't fair to me or the people around me. What I do want to do is lead, encourage, and help other people. That is something I am absolutely passionate about and with the gift of this time I feel that now I really can take on the steps to be that self and work towards the goals I have.
  6. Days 32, 33, 34, and now 35 (5 weeks!) Starting with school definitely is the most challenging part of the year, and I noticed myself beginning a pattern in every beginning. While this beginning was simpler than others, I still found myself shaken to my core and searching for what my next job/degree, etc. would be. There wasn't anything overall challenging that day, but it definitely consumed me on the inside a bit. Definitely a reminder to speak to the people around you and not to keep things bottled up, even if it is just to get it in the open. In learning about the emotional self I am still working to prepare myself for what will happen in the work place. There is so much emotional baggage when it comes to teaching 300 elementary students. The bag gets more and more filled every year, especially noticeable as I began to go through my safety expectations with students and remind them that we have three men, myself included, who are either marines or have extensive training in defense and will not allow any bad people to harm them so their right to learn and enjoy school can be protected and is something that they don't need to worry. Their questions have certainly become more specific about "What Ifs" -- What if I'm out of the room? What if the bad guy uses me? -- All I can say is "Let me play the what if game. I need you to trust me on this." Then you also have a majority of students that are easy going but it is really challenging, even as an adult, to treat the challenging students the same. I still have emotions and still react internally, like knowing a student was talking about me behind my back. Really had to say no to the ego and think about how it is expected that not everyone will like you or be kind to you, there will be people (kids and adults alike) that betray our trust, and as the adult in the room it is my duty to show them a better way. From a human perspective, both of us being human, I am frustrated that a person would say things behind my back. But, the stoic self inside of me knows a few things. These kids, human, are still a fraction of my age. And even if an adult insulted me, that means I am doing something important and I have nothing to prove. I am going to enjoy the rest of the weekend and do non-work related things in the mean time! -Kris
  7. Thank you for the shoutout, @Tzen1 and I hope that your next plan will go well for you. When I received my first degree in music I was unable to teach and wound up being a substitute teacher for the first 5 years of my career. These were some of the most challenging, world-shaking years of my life. I believe that we each have several paths to take in our lives and that we can feel fulfilled in. I am looking forward to reading and hearing what your thoughts are along your current path and how it unfolds for you.
  8. Thank you man! Appreciate the compliments. Day 31 Today was the first day with students and it went extremely well. Again, I've really been focusing on creating (and helping to influence) the environment I want and to choose how I respond to the environment. I know what kinds of things to expect and, in some ways am pleasantly surprised, and in other ways know the students are capable of the positive outcomes and can ultimately do amazing things, so in a way, am not surprised (if that makes sense!) Definitely worked hard as I pushed my way to doing some Spanish learning and napped on the carpet at home for 20 minutes before powering through a work out and literally just relaxing and letting myself be tired. That's about all I have energy to write. Good day! -Kris
  9. Day 30 One-Third of the Journey COMPLETED!!! I knew the whole time that I would see the first month completed, and it has been an incredible month full of so many ups and downs, but I feel so much more prepared to deal with them in a constructive and positive way. I'm finally getting to develop the emotional intelligence I know I had been missing for so long, and it's wonderful. Today was the final day of preparation at work and it was busy. It started, however, with an amazing success in my cooking that I am going to post below! I finally made an omelette that 100% did not stick to the frying pan and tasted amazing too! Tomorrow will be the test for consistency! After that I geared up and completed not only my first motorcycle ride to work, but it was the first ride I was alone. It was a lovely ride. At work I definitely realized the potential that is unlocked by having an agenda with times. While I don't always stick to the timings exactly, it helps me stay focused and not fall into bad habits (like procrastination) and I got a ton done in the room ahead of the back to school night. I shocked everyone during the introductions by introducing myself in English and Spanish. My boss asked me how long I had been speaking and I said "It's incredible how much you can do when you quit playing video games!" My heart was absolutely pounding because I was stepping out of the comfort zone of my native language, but I knew I could do it so breathed, accepted that emotion, and did what I was going to do and it was absolutely fine. I felt today that I am beginning to become the welcoming positive teacher I want to be, which means I am becoming more in charge of my emotions and regulating them because that happens in my real life too. It's hard to put every little feeling I have in this post right now. I am more willing to accept that there are challenges all around me but if I am expecting them then it is almost as if I am giving them less power to derail or surprise me. In fact, I am planning on as many challenges as possible so I can continue to be the adult I want to be. Am I always succeeding at that? FUCK NO! But, when there's a victory, I am definitely going to celebrate it and more so celebrate the process that got me here and will get me beyond! Have a great night! -Kris
  10. Negative Self-Talk and the personal judge/bully is such a constant battle. Proud of you for stepping up to face them and come out the other end with a positive experience!
  11. Day 29 @Ikar That is awesome! I teach Music K-5 and run private lessons on the side for a wide age range. Today went pretty well overall. Began the day with some motorcycling around the neighborhood, really getting a feel for being on it and it was definitely a great day to be on. We watched a few episodes of Stranger Things 3 while eating lunch. After that we started to get busy with things around the house before engaging with dinner and some of our own projects. Of course, one of my own projects was doing a couple of things to get ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the first full week and the first week with students. I feel a lot better about this upcoming year and really putting the Stoic philosophies as well as some new mindsets to work and becoming one step closer to the adult I want to be. I will, in some ways, miss having the building be just us adults but am honestly looking forward for the students to be there and bring the building to life. I listened to several people around me share anxieties about the upcoming year, and while that is always there, there are a few things I feel about it. 1) When did worrying add a year to your life? Or even an hour? I know right now that there will be challenges this year, but I am also not going to be surprised by them and know I can handle them. I will leave those challenges for when I need to face them. Right now, on this Sunday, I was spending time with my husband and that was what was important. 2) When it comes down to those challenging moments, all we have is our best efforts and our influence. If that isn't enough to create a desired outcome than it is out of our control. Even a desirable outcome is out of our control, since it all comes down to what other people (in my case 300 other people) are going to do with my input. I can do a lot to influence but, ultimately, these other 300 people are human beings and get to choose how they follow along, so why should I be worried? Have a great night. I look forward to putting these new beliefs to the test and working to have a much better year than last year! (Last year was hard but, again, I think dreaming of escaping to a career as a Super Smash Bros. player was a large part to blame, as well as the intense speedrunning before the school year began. This year already feels better without the regret of playing so many games during the summer). -Kris
  12. Day 28 There are people in life, both close and far away to you, that will be a vacuum aiming to suck the positive life force from you. It is important in these moments to remember that there are all kinds of people and that each type of person doesn't have to define humanity for you. When in close quarters with such a person, it is absolutely okay to empathize, especially when they are close to you. Realize that their view does not need to alter your view of life, especially if their's is an attitude of complaints and negativity. Acknowledge the negativity and let it flow through and away from you. Know your limits and figure out the ways to recharge yourself. For me, the negative person was a family member complaining about every thing and basically being anti-human. I was around this for a couple hours today and, when you are tired, that can definitely feel draining. So, what do I do to recharge? I surround myself with positive people so tonight a few friends and I went bowling and hung out until around midnight. This was a very recharging experience and it was great to be around the people I enjoy and make me feel great because they are so, in my opinion, balanced. Their positivity is tempered with reality but they are optimistic about the future, and it is such a useful view of life in my belief!
  13. Days 24, 25, 26, and 27 This has definitely been a transition week as a new school year begins. Realizing I need to do more planning to do up-keep on food and the home, but I'm thinking with good planning I can get there for this weekend and beyond. Not too much to say and am rather tired so will attempt a longer post for tomorrow. Hope all is well with everyone! -Kris
  14. Thank you for the compliment @Tzen1! I know doing something for yourself is important and feels good on its own, but it is nice to be appreciated. Days 22 and 23 I feel that I am able (and tend to) sleep in a lot more when my husband is home on his weekend (the last two days) and so we got a late start. On Sunday we went for a morning motorcycle ride and tried to get his motorcycle pants fixed by his mother (which will be a good fix for a few uses before they need to do something a little more time consuming). We went to lunch together and then our friend was going to come on over and play some board games with us. We played Sushi Go together which was pretty fun and then... this is the part of the journal where all of you are going to feel something... we played the Switch together for around an hour and a half before starting to make some home-made NYC style pizza. I am actually going to comment on this experience. It was interesting to notice how neutral I was to playing the games. They were enjoyable as far as they were part of something social with the three of us and it was a cooperative game so we were having conversations about how to do something better etc. We played another game where we were competing against each other and I was again neutral about it but it was interesting to notice how easy it is to hear comments from the others about how unfair something is etc and I'm sitting their being all "Well... I'm having fun even if I am in last place or first place in this race" This is the major thing for me - From turning on the console, seeing other games, actually doing something like this DURING the detox I still feel more willing to do all of the non-game things. It was used as a fun thing to do with a friend for a short part of his visit. It was enjoyable and not taken seriously. This is the big thing, I believe. I don't really feel the urge to find a game and become the best at it because I lost or didn't measure up. I didn't feel an urge to start up a stream. I reflected on that part of my life and said "Wow... I have already changed within these last 3 weeks." Due to my stubborn (or really determined) self, even knowing moderation might work in the long-term, I will continue to stick to this detox period. I am not going to play a game for myself and continue to focus on finding other ways to fulfill those four areas like I had been before that moment and like I have been doing after that moment. My husband finished his home-made pizzas for each of us and OH MY GOSH were they absolutely amazing. They were right on par, or even better, then one of the great NY style places in our area. He is going to play with the sauce and some other elements for the next time to try and improve it even more, which is awesome. After this we got some ice cream and watched the South Park Movie before our friend headed out and we got ready for bed. Today (Monday) we started our day by checking out the local County Fair (I had never been to one) but because it was during the day on a Monday, there wasn't much going on there. Not many things were opened and it wasn't much worth mentioning! We started to plan our evening motorcycle ride when we got home and ate lunch. We started to head into town during the middle of rush hour, and I've only been riding up to this point in desolate areas with minimal traffic. I KNOW I am capable of doing what we planned, but the number of people out there during the time and the fact that it began to rain got the better of me so I pulled us into a parking lot and we went home. My husband gave me some feedback which I already knew but it was good to hear out loud from an outsider and, 10 minutes later, decided to give our journey another shot and this time it was way more successful. I did attribute it to the fact that the sun was out and there were less cars, but the concept of "sticking to your training" really helps. When you are on a motorcycle, emotion can be extremely dangerous. It's important to accept what can and might happen before you go on a ride and then think of how you are going to handle it before hand. The training speaks for itself because it helps you know what part of the road to ride on, how much to push speed, what to look around for, etc. If you don't do that focusing, then you can become a victim of your own emotions and can't be successful. I'm glad he was there for me and that we ultimately gave it another shot. On the way back home I decided to be a little gutsy and stick to the main (busy) road all the way to our training grounds, but this time, I led us to where there were more curves so we could have a little fun before heading back home, cleaning our gear, and sitting outside for a few hours connecting with eachother. As I finish this journal I will be packing all of my things away to get ready for work in the morning. A new school year begins and I am more equipped than ever to be strong. I remember well the lessons learned in my first two years at my current position and understand the realities of what it is I am doing. Due to this, I know that this year will have a higher probability of being great. If it isn't, then I know I will have some great stories. This summer (the last 5 weeks) have been absolutely incredible, especially these last 23 days. Enjoy your week everyone, and thank you for listening! Kris
  15. We are the average of the 5 closest people around us. I hope you find people that support you just how you want/need and you are able to surround yourself! You can do anything, @fawn_xoxo!
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