Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I just wanted to share a few things. First of all its been a long couple of weeks, dealing with this job transition and such, but I'm making it through. One of the things that Is really helping me is my capoeira class that i started a little over a month ago. Its this amazing Brazilian Martial art that is more of a dance then a fight. Each of the moves are responses and music plays an integral part in it. It is a physical and mental challenge, but it really takes my mind off other things.

I thought I would post some videos of it. It is originally a dance that slaves developed and practiced in brazil. It has roots in African and Portugese music and dance. This first video is from my school during the last presentation they had:

This second video is of a famous instructor mestre bimba. It has some really cool footage:

oh yeah, one other fun thing I found recently. Totally unrelated: Tom Waits interviewing himself. How postmodern

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Humbled through headphones

I was riding my bike home today, and I was very nearly pushed off the road by a truck who was turning left without a signal. I, of course, could rant about those drivers who don't feel the need to use turn signals, but I wont go off on some diatribe.

In my usual non-confrontational defensive fashion, I gave the driver the evil eye. I think he must have been quaking in his boots, so he opened his window and yelled at me. I couldn't hear what he was saying because I had my headphones in, but I was sure it was something obnoxious. So I took out a headphone and started telling him that he needed to use turn signals or bikers cant see him. I was slightly furious. And when I finished he looked at me strangely and repeated himself, "I said, I'm sorry" he yelled through the window. My anger turned into humility, "thanks man." I had nothing more to say.

I guess its not fair to think that all SUV drivers are jerks. I kinda felt like a jerk for yelling at him.

So I learned a lesson, but I still hope people learn to better use their turn signals. There have been far too many bike deaths in Santa Cruz this year.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's Official

Last week was somewhat absurd, but it is now official. I will be taking a new job on next year.

I was hired by a school that has a similar population to mine, but seems to be a bit more organized. The interview went great and the principal called me at 7:30 am the day after to offer me the job. It is a continuation school, not a charter, and it exists for students who either don't pass classes in mainstream high schools, get kicked out, or are raising children while trying to attend school.

It has some really interesting programs, one of being its nursery. There is an on-site childcare setup so that young parents can finish high school. They also serve a sit-down meal to all of the students and their parents one night every other month.

The best thing is that the principal runs a tight ship and really seems to support his teachers in any way that he can. All of the rooms have lots of technology, the teachers attend and present at at least one conference every year, and the school is a "model school."The kids were extremely respectful, and if they don't abide by school rules they are booted.

I don't want to mention the name of it, because I don't know who reads this blog, but I have to say i think the next few weeks may be difficult at my school. I really don't want to burn bridges with them, because they've provided me with so much--but I know they aren't happy with me. I also want to let the kids know, but not create chaos, as a few other teachers are also leaving.

I think a lot of wonderful and exciting things will be happening in my near future, but I will also have to deal with the transition and change of one position to another.

Oh yeah, then there's the commute. I currently ride my bike every day to school. That will definitely change next year as this school is a little over 25 miles away. Ugh-- gas prices don't seem to be going down either. but overall, I think it will be a welcome change.

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