Showing posts with label work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label work. Show all posts

10.7.21

Teacher's Summer Diary #2398: On the Tedium of Making Educational Digital Content (And Why a Walk, a Stretch, and a Sip of Water is Essential)

In this post, I talk about making educational resources for the middle and high school classroom and why distraction is my friendly passenger (although they don't always feel so friendly).

Author as a Gif
As per my last email (don't you hate it when you receive a message that begins that way) — or, shall I say, post — I've learned some new tips. First — there is beauty in
"Wish You Were Here  B.O.B.B.Y" Spray-painted on the side of a freight train car (pictured somewhere in Queens, New York
A message spray-painted on a side of
a train car.

small details. But my iPhone finds it challenging to capture the subtle beauty, so you'll have to contend with the bigger picture.

I read a quote today that I like — about achievement — "Before the gates of excellence, the high gods have placed sweat.”

I'm attempting to complete a monumental task this week, and I feel overwhelmed. I want to expand the teaching resources I created under my @stonesoferasmus brand — I have to go and proofread my inventory of 137 digital downloads I've created. I like the “making part” of the process — using design skills and creating incredible resources that middle and high school students can use. It's just very time-consuming. So to inspire me, I take long walks — hence the photos you see — and eat healthy — and stretch. Also — I got a bigger monitor for my computer. OMG. Having a large screen to work on makes a huge difference when creating digital stuff. OMG.

My goal is to have 200 products reviewed and created by the end of Summer. And on top of that, I'm taking a class on Special Education and Differentiation at Hunter College. The course is good — it solidifies some things I already knew about teaching and has already given me good ideas to move forward. Next year I'm teaching a section of Eighth Grade English, a World Religions class, a New York City history class — paired with Tenth and Eleventh graders in a combined section. Whew. I better get to planning. But. Oh. I see a bird in a tree. Ohh. Let me check this out. *Loses thirty minutes*. By the way, @kfs0520, is the last picture in this post an excellent example of Nantucket Red? Inquiring minds want to know.
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Staff, Not Grade Specific - TeachersPayTeachers.com

17.12.20

Quote: Isaac Watts Admonishes How Idle Hands Are the Devil's Work (And a Reflection on How I Got Into the Habit of Collecting Quotes)

"In works of labour, or of skill, I would be busy, too;

For Satan finds some mischief still 

For idle hands to do."

— Isaac Watts, 1674 - 1748
Nacer Eddine

Photo by nacer eddine on Unsplash

I do this thing where I look at my old journals. 

It's the greatest accomplishment of my youth. That I wrote a lot of entries. It's an activity that I tell my students to do often (as I am a high school English teacher), and I wonder if it must be a thing of adolescence — to inscribe one's thoughts down on paper. As an adult, I am not as prone to journal writing. I've lost interest in my own subjectivity!

That's sort of a joke, but I have done one activity consistently — collecting quotes. I found the above quote about idleness in one of those old journals from my youth.

It's easy to scoff at Isaac Watt's suggestion that one ought to stay busy. It's a sentiment ingrained in the Puritan notion of "work ethic" that has so often infused every aspect of American culture and history. In the current dispensation, productivity is rewarded, and idleness is looked down upon as indicative of a rotten soul.

I guess that is why the devil is co-opted in this dialectic between work and inactivity — since the devil is the symbol of perversion. Therefore, the lack of work, the absence of productivity is an abomination in this worldview.

There is a lot to be said for idleness, though. Even when the devil is idle, I suspect, they are having a good time! 

11.12.18

Found Object: Ancient Set of Crayons Found at Garden School


I found this ancient set of crayons 🖍 in the faculty room at work. I work as an English and Ethics teacher at a Pre-K through Twelfth-grade independent school in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens. The school is old worn and I sometimes find artifacts in drawers or closet. Hence, this find. Notice the font for “orange” on the right hand of the crayon in the bottom right hand of this photograph. #coloringtime #prangcrayons

18.4.14

From Adjunct Teacher to Typewriter

image source: videotron
Not having a job changes you.
You have to think differently when you're finding ways to carve out a life through words. For a long time, I wrote so that I could discover myself. Once I discovered myself, I wrote so that I could discover other people. Then my writing became something I did when I was not teaching. Now that I am not teaching, it is as if I have been catapulted back to that original locus of creativity.

You have to think differently to make money as a writer. You can't think, OK, I make this much money a month, and I need to budget accordingly. No, you have to think, how much do I have to work this month? It's a paradigm shift for me. I feel both exhilarated and terrified.

The first time I made money as a writer was when I was twenty-seven years old. I won one hundred dollars in a poetry contest. I never cashed the cheque. I lost it in a gay bar in New Orleans.

29.4.11

Journal & Rants: "I'm Doing A Great Job!"

In this post, I discuss my own problems and the issues I have with success and failure.
A pin that reads, "I'm Doing a Great Job!".
Pin found in the back of a chest of drawers during Spring Cleaning, 2011
14th Street Union Square Station
I gave fifty cents to an accordion player. But my thoughts quickly meandered to my own problems. I am having trouble putting together a desk. I have had thoughts lately related to failure. The desk will not be put together. But should I waste that one hundred dollars I spent? I will call the desk manufacturer tomorrow to get replacement slugs.

It is annoying. I also feel that I should have asked my roommate to help me. I was frustrated when I was unable to get the damn desk built like I wanted to. But that is the way it goes.

Spending Time Watching Movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The movie is a prequel reboot of the classic film series from the 1960s. My favorite character is Caesar (played with incredible CGI aplomb by Andy Serkis), whom we see in this film — a certain generosity to humans that is shortlived. But that is my favorite scene: when Caesar helps. The rest of the movie is just pure chaos, monkey-versus-man madness.

Problems With Failure Has to Do With Problems With Success
It is counter-intuitive but I can trace the problems I have with failure to problems I have with being successful. Moments of failure become intensified for me. In one way, I am more comfortable with failure because it is a mode of being that I have allowed myself to feel as the norm; being successful (or feeling successful) is an alien feeling for me.

How do you feel about success? Does success feel real to you or are you like me in that your feelings surrounding success are often conflicted and a cause of anxiety? 

2.1.11

Walking to Work on a Sunday

How I walked to work on a Sunday (thinking it was Monday) and what this says about my current state of being . . .
Walking to work on a Sunday, thinking it was a Monday, but then realizing it was Sunday and not Monday. What finally tipped me off that it was still the weekend (and not Monday like I had thought) was the discovery that the M train to Brooklyn through the Chrystie Street Tunnel and over the Williamsburg Bridge was not running (because it does not run on weekends). *puts the shape of an "L" on my forehead*. Well, at least on my walk through Lower Manhattan I took the above shot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Do you like my photograph? Let me know in the comments!