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List: Excuse Me While I Teach Your Child, But First I Must…

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This is our 13th most-read article of 2018.
Originally published February 22.

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Master my understanding of adolescent brain development.

Train my students what to do if someone invades our sense of security.

Vomit, thinking of the violent state of our schools.

Show compassion for a student experiencing puberty.

Pick up trash or forgotten material.

Sanitize every nook and adolescent-infected cranny.

Provide another student with breakfast.

Embed a growth mindset into my curriculum.

Practice tae kwon do and finish getting my concealed carry permit.

Review those Common Core State Standards.

Comfort a student who cries about homework being used as toilet paper.

Decide what objectives, essential questions, and behavior goals to write on the board.

Prepare and give validation for testing: SAT, ACT, AP, all state-mandates.

Look at the testing schedule and, shit, we are in the lab today testing… again.

Go to a staff meeting, an IEP meeting, a collaboration, a time-wasting professional development.

Apply mindfulness and restorative justice in my classroom.

Unlock my gun, you know, just in case.

Console a student related to a break-up or cyberbullying.

Round up pencils and pens for those who show up empty-handed.

Check my eBay and online garage sales accounts.

See if anyone needs me to Uber them away from the school.

Make a profit from one of my side hustles to buy classroom supplies.

Advise this organization on campus and then tutor another.

Counsel a student who missed a streak on SnapChat.

Plan, not my summer vacation but the alignment of my units and standards.

Check my student loans… yep, still there.

Update grades and monitor attendance.

Read a YA book so I can connect and have empathy.

Help approve a new textbook adoption… more money out the school’s door.

Advocate for a student facing identity or mental health issues.

Make sure everything I do is perfect and not upset any student, parent or admin.

Ensure I’m not one’s excuse for moving to a charter school.

Wonder if my job is in jeopardy or if I’ll be in the same building next year.

Fight for policy and change — do the job of elected officials and parents.

Validate why I picked this profession and defend teachers — we are not to blame.

Understand how culturally relevant pedagogy fits into my class today.

Learn all new technology and integrate it with the textbooks and curriculum.

Concentrate on a student dealing with trauma or gang affiliation.

Consider how to embed critical thinking, metacognition and retrieval strategies.

Break up a fight because one student looked at another.

Keep my doors open to welcome my students, but lock them in to protect them.

Refresh my content knowledge in the area I teach.

Get peer feedback on this list to remove a disgruntled tone.

And then…

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bbernardini
9 days ago
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Coatesville, Pennsylvania
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If You Liked Tough Mudder, You’ll Love the Latest Obstacle Course for Adults… NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION

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From the minds that brought you TOUGH MUDDER, the WARRIOR DASH, and SPARTAN RACE comes … NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION — the latest in ultra-tough obstacle-course competitions for adults!

If you love an extreme challenge, then NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION is the obstacle course for you. Forget what you’ve heard about those other races… participants in NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION are given the ULTIMATE warrior’s task: just making it through a single goddamn day!

Sound crazy?! It literally is!

But that’s not all: while trying to complete the course, our Serotonin Spartans will also have to deal with our world-famous obstacles! In Tough Mudder, those obstacles include the Mud Mile, Everest 2.0, and a barbed-wire crawl! In Spartan Race, you’ll face the sled drag, the seven-foot wall, and the Hercules Hoist! In NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION, you’ll face our world-famous obstacles like PUT ON SOME PANTS.

The PUT ON SOME PANTS obstacle is a brutal test of will, so don’t worry: if you can’t manage to get into a real pair of jeans, you’ll be allowed to continue the race if you can at least put on a DIFFERENT pair of pants. Fresh sweats are at least… something! But that’s not all …

Once you’ve PUT ON SOME PANTS, there’s no time to relax! Hop the Unexplained Pain Partition, sprint up Restlessness Road, and you’ll run straight into your first WATER OBSTACLE! Specifically, the water is in a SHOWER, and the obstacle is you need to TAKE A SHOWER. As with all water obstacles, we have a crew standing by for emergencies, but also to shout encouragement, like, “Come on, man, it’s such a small thing, but it will make you feel like a new person. It’ll take five minutes. Please? For me?”

WHEW. Two obstacles down, a lifetime more to go! Hope you didn’t get too cozy after that last water obstacle, because things are about to get messy! Scale the Crag of Uncontrollable Crying, crawl through the Mud of Muddled Thinking, and just like that, you’re coming up to Obstacle 3, which is GO OUTSIDE FOR LIKE TWO SECONDS. You don’t get to move on in the course until you GO OUTSIDE FOR LIKE TWO SECONDS and remember what real air smells like! Flowers exist, you idiot! Take a big damn sniff!

This course is RELENTLESS, but we know our Dopamine Divas and Dudes won’t give up! Dig deep to sprint through Anxiety Alley, take a break with some Off-Road Sobbing, and then muscle up and get yourself through Obstacle #4: TAKE YOUR MEDS. No excuses this time! Oh, you were starting to feel better so you decided to skip a few days? Look: you can either dominate this obstacle and TAKE YOUR MEDS, or you can have brain zaps and finish the course nauseous and weepy. Your choice, Wellbutrin Warrior!

If you think that was tough, then think again. You’re going to shimmy through the Trouble Concentrating Trap, Scale the Wall of Unexplainable Sadness, and then, oh boy, here comes Obstacle #5: GIVE A TRUTHFUL ANSWER TO YOUR DOCTOR WHEN SHE ASKS YOU ABOUT YOUR DRINKING! This word game is more of a thinking-person’s obstacle, but careful — if any of our officials catch you using the phrases “a few” or “a moderate amount,” then we’re blowing a whistle and you go RIGHT BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE COURSE!

Obstacle #6 is deceptively simple, but it’s the one where most people fail. After completing the Loss of Interest Ladder Climb, you’re going to hit the penultimate obstacle, the one that requires you to dig into your deepest well of strength and STOP LISTENING TO MITSKI. Yeah. We went there. Dig deep, Angsty Athletes, and STOP LISTENING TO MITSKI. IT’S NOT HELPING ANYTHING.

The rare few who survive obstacle #6 will round the Bend of Blubbering, climb the Wall of Waking at 3 p.m., and head for the grand finale. And for the seventh and final obstacle, you’re gonna get MESSY! Specifically, you will meet with one close friend in the middle of a muddy field, and they will ask how you are doing. Here’s where it gets messy: to complete the course, you must GIVE THEM AN HONEST ANSWER THAT DOESN’T ATTEMPT TO PROTECT THEIR FEELINGS BY DIMINISHING YOUR OWN PAIN. Wowza! This obstacle is just about impossible, but you’ll have fans cheering you on from the sidelines, yelling your name and chanting, “BY PUSHING AWAY YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES, YOU ARE TURNING DEPRESSION’S LIE THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU INTO A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE, GIVE YOUR FRIENDS THE CHANCE TO BE THERE FOR YOU!” Catchy, right?

FAQ

I can’t find the “sign up” tab on your website. Where is it?
You can’t find the “sign up” tab on our website because no one signs up for this. Participants join our competition not so much by signing up as they do by suddenly waking up one day to find that this is just… what they’re doing now.

How much does it cost to participate in NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION?
Depends on how good your insurance is! But… probably a lot!

My grandmother or grandfather participated in NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION. Am I guaranteed a spot?
This isn’t the Ivy League — we don’t guarantee spots for legacies! That said, the more people in your immediate family who have participated in NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION, the more likely it is that you will, too.

During my time on the NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION obstacle course, I encountered an unexpected obstacle that I hadn’t been warned about. Please explain.
We don’t really know what to say, except that sometimes small, unexpected things happen on the NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION course, and your main job is to just try and deal with it instead of what you usually do, which is to turn a harmless event into a referendum on why you’re undeserving of love.

Are performance-enhancing drugs allowed?
Performance-enhancing drugs are not for everyone, but a lot of competitors find them to be extremely effective. If you’re competing in NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION, we strongly encourage you to talk with your doctor about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

How long will NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION take?
Some racers will only stop by for a few weeks, while some will spend the rest of their lives navigating the course! Which will you be? It’s best not to think about it!

I trained for weeks to face the “TURN OFF MITSKI: IT’S NOT HELPING AND YOU KNOW IT” obstacle, but when I arrived, my course said that obstacle wasn’t available. What gives?
Availability of the TURN OFF MITSKI: IT’S NOT HELPING AND YOU KNOW IT obstacle varies by region. Your region may not have the TURN OFF MITSKI obstacle; depending on your location, you may instead have: TURN OFF ELLIOTT SMITH or TURN OFF JULIEN BAKER or TURN OFF LANA DEL REY or TURN OFF THE SMITHS or TURN OFF THE ANTLERS or TURN OFF SUFJAN STEVENS or TURN OFF JONI MITCHELL or TURN OFF THE MOUNTAIN GOATS or TURN OFF A SPOTIFY STATION THAT JUST PLAYS AIR RAID SIRENS. Please inquire beforehand to see which challenge you will face.

My friends keep casually talking about how they know what the competition is like because they’ve totally competed in NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION before, even though I know for a fact that they haven’t. What are they talking about?
Your friends are confused. They’ve actually competed in our sister course, THE SADNESS RACE, which is infinitely shorter and easier and is only superficially affiliated with NAVIGATING YOUR DEPRESSION.

Is your course available seasonally or year round?
Yes.

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bbernardini
9 days ago
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Coatesville, Pennsylvania
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What the School Photographer Said to Make Your Child Look Like That

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Okay, kid, give me a smile. Not a real smile, no — like someone’s forcing you to smile. Like they’re going to tear off your fingernails one by one if you don’t smile. That’s it. Just show me a little more nostril. Yes. Perfect.

Next, give me a look like you really have to go to the bathroom. I want you to pretend you’re about to go to the bathroom and there’s no toilet anywhere around. In fact, there are no toilets anywhere on Earth, not since the war. Hold that look for a count of three — one, two — amazing.

Now, imagine a cross between a skunk and a plate of cafeteria meatloaf came slithering out of the classroom over there. Alive like a skunk, wet like the meatloaf. Imagine it rubbing up against your leg. Shake him off, hold your nose, try to figure out whether it’s really a live animal or a plate of food, yeah, just like that.

For this next shot, you’re an astronaut in a rocket ship and the emergency light just came on. Right, you’re definitely going to die. But now the other astronaut, who you thought was your friend, just punched you in the stomach. So you’re doubled over in pain, and also about to face imminent doom. Say “cheese.” No, not in English!

Okay, so now we’re going to try something else. You’re blind. You cannot open your eyes no matter how much you try. And now, suddenly, you’re wet. But it’s not water, it’s syrup. Let’s say maple, with a hint of Children’s Tylenol. You’re blind and covered in sticky, slightly medicated syrup — and you have to crawl through the hottest desert on the planet. Get down on your hands and knees, eyes still closed, squirming as the syrup rolls down your cheeks, yes, this is the one your parents are going to order in sixteen different sizes, I can just feel it.

Shake it off, shake it off, just a couple more. Your grandma just died. No, not really, though, maybe, what do I know — she’s old, right? Okay, she’s dead, and you just ate a gerbil, fur and all. It’s trying to climb back up your throat but you’re forcing it down, with all the strength you have— oh no, the gerbil’s winning, he just found your gag reflex, you’re vomiting a live gerbil back up — and your grandma is definitely dead. Give me your best smile. Great.

Now for the class photo, I just need everyone to act like their faces are on fire. More, more fire, lots more fire. Bingo — that’s a winner. Thanks for your cooperation. Let me just roll up my screen with the fake picture of a laser light show and I’ll let you get back to whatever it is you do all day. You can order three wallet-size prints for $50 via fax. Expect a form in the mail in six to eight months because it’s still 1984 in my industry.

Click, yep, just took one more shot, and that’s definitely one for the Christmas card. Well done, champs!

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bbernardini
29 days ago
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Coatesville, Pennsylvania
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Wishlist

3 Comments and 6 Shares
Disappointed that they caved to fan pressure and went with Ruth Bader Ginsburg over Elena Kagan.
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bbernardini
66 days ago
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Coatesville, Pennsylvania
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3 public comments
Covarr
77 days ago
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I've been pushing for them to add The Poopsmith as a playable character, but so far no dice.
Moses Lake, WA
alt_text_at_your_service
77 days ago
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Disappointed that they caved to fan pressure and went with Ruth Bader Ginsburg over Elena Kagan.
alt_text_bot
77 days ago
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Disappointed that they caved to fan pressure and went with Ruth Bader Ginsburg over Elena Kagan.

File Under Fiction: Artful Self-Help Book Covers Speak to Human Conditions

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

Like the old “picture worth 1,000 words” adage, these book covers use just a little language and as context for larger messages. Perhaps the more appropriate phrase would be some turn on: “what you don’t say speaks volumes.”

Designed by Johan Deckmann, an artist as well as psychotherapist, these self-help spoofs tackle existential issues most people can relate to, all using a combination of cover, color, layout and juxtaposition.

The various pieces address the difficulty of finding true love, the complexity of understanding ourselves and others, and the rarity of really good ideas (and propenderous of bad ones).

A final phrase to consider in light of these light-hearted works of art: “laughter is the best medicine.” The books are not his only message-based works along these lines, but they seem to say the most.

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[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

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bbernardini
79 days ago
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Coatesville, Pennsylvania
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She Came In Through the Octopus' Garden

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abbey road Insanity Wolf shuffle the Beatles - 6078427904

Submitted by: (via Reddit)

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bbernardini
93 days ago
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Coatesville, Pennsylvania
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