January 19, 2016

Self Is A State Of Flux

One of my favorite things to do is to drive around in the car, by myself, blasting music. This has been a love of mine since the first time I took my old 1972 VW Bug out for a spin on my sixteenth birthday. I love music infused cruising even if it is just to pick up a few burgers for dinner or running quick mundane errands.

I like to imagine that I'm the lead singer of whatever band I am listening to, and I am on stage performing the song currently playing to a massive crowd. I secretly wish that I had a massive speaker on the roof so I could broadcast my amazing musical taste for all my fellow drives.

Sometimes our mediocre stereo speakers thump painfully as the bass pushes its limits. I air guitar on the steering wheel and air drum on my lap. At any given time, a stranger may look over and see me in full scream or banging my head. I’m not much of a dancer, but on rare occasion, usually when Childish Gambino is the song du jour, I can be seen shaking my shoulders and waving my arms in a way that might be construed as dancing.


I read a lot. Books, although not many in the last few weeks, but I read a lot. Tweets, Facebook updates, articles, news, song lyrics, student work and menus. I read on pages, websites, and flimsy scraps of paper. I read on the toilet, in the car and in my bed. On the couch, the beach, by the pool, and standing in line. I read walking around and standing still. I read for fun, for work and to alleviate boredom. I read to learn and I read to teach. I read as an excuse. I read to procrastinate and to do work. I read paintings, photographs and films and street ads and signs. I read faces, moods and body language. I read to myself, my students and my kids. I read poems, stories and play scripts. I read reviews and Op Ed pieces. I read ignorant comments and hyperlinks. I read for inspiration, frustration and motivation. I read when I’m happy and when I’m sad. I read what I write and then read it again, missing the typos and the grammatical gaffs. I read cartons and recipes and warning signs and fortune cookies. I read subtitles and rolling credits. I read instructions and many many other things.


I let the ants out tonight because no sentient being should ever be imprisoned in any kind of cage for any reason.


“We’re doing it. We’re doing it everyone! We’re creating a beautiful piece of art” I shouted to no one in particular during our Lit Mag activity as I looked around and saw twenty middle school kids invested in the creation of this thing for no other reason than that they love words, and they want this magazine to exist. It was a beautiful thing.

Never underestimate the intrinsically motivated student, unconcerned with school or learning, but inspired by the passion of creation.


I needed a new face today and captured it in a sun soaked alley. A new iteration of this tired old self. Absorbed ego pushing out from the inside for something resembling authenticity. Not quite right again. How can we be ourselves when each second our cells are busy dying and being reborn?

It feels like the thoughts trapped in these words are closer to my real self than the blood and guts and hair and skin. No amount of selfies or avatars seems to get close to a clearly articulated self. Have you seen me lately?

Lesson Learned:

  • Cars + Loud Music= Joy
  • Reading is good for the soul. 
  • Give students a chance to create things they love. 
  • Self is a state of flux. 

  1. What weird things do you do in your car?
  2. Write an I Read poem. 
  3. What captures the real you best? 

No comments:

Post a Comment