a deLayed teacher

to learn, to teach & to become

The Gorilla Position

The Gorilla Position was named for Gorilla Monsoon – one of the biggest figures in the early days of the professional wrestling world.  Wikipedia describes it thusly,

The staging area just behind the curtain where wrestlers come out to the ring, named after Gorilla Monsoon. Refers to a wrestler who is in the early stages of their career and, as a result, may be prone to make mistakes because of their inexperience.

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Into The Mystic

Why yes, the headline refers to Van Morrison’s hit, which you can listen to here.  It’s been an alarming three months since I sat down to ponder my education, but I had my reasons.  I spent 205(!) hours working the some seriously amazing middle school students.  My college coursework broke me for about a week in the middle of the semester and I had to hike my way back to the summit, sick and tired.  All while planning a wedding and working 20 or so hours at my part time job.  I had to learn a few hard lessons this semester.  The great thing is what I did learn can be connected to my future students and classroom.  The best part? I’ll still be learning next semester.  The greatest illustration I have managed to come up with about what life is like (especially for college students) is that you are like the local highway system – always under construction and never really finished.  You’re always going to need help from others to patch up your hurts, your stress and your pain.  And you’ll never be perfect or know everything.

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The Things I Learned at CLAS 2016

You know that moment when you discover the kind of folks you knew existed – the ones that love the things you do, feed on the same energy you do and have a never ending passion to keep innovating their craft? I had that moment this weekend and it’s all thanks to this year’s Colorado Language Arts Society Regional Conference. I could write you a long winding journey that would probably bore you (and me) about the event, so instead I’ll give you a list. Here’s ‘The Things I Learned at CLAS 2016’.

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The Rookie

Up until this semester everything has followed the traditional school path.  Go to class. Attend the lecture with notebook and pen answering questions, participating at an acceptable level of activity and turn in the homework, essays and reading responses.  Do those things and you have a excellent chance at passing the classes.  Fall 2016 promises to be anything but those things.  The rubber meets the road.  The gauntlet is thrown.  The moment is at hand.  I’m no longer Bilbo on a epic journey of discovery.  I’m Frodo facing down the path required to Summit Mount Doom.  To accomplish the dream of teaching, I’ll need to toss everything I know out the window and journey into the unknown.

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Smokey and the Bandit

If you’ve never seen the movie that serves as the title for this post you need to drop whatever you’re doing and buy, rent or stream it.  It is a classic car and truck movie.  But there’s one specific car in that movie that inspired plenty of petrol heads to new heights of love and adoration.  The Pontiac Trans Am.  She’s a sleek muscle car that, with help from the movie, just looks really cool.  The reason I bring up the beloved movie and car is that today I ran into an old friend from my past.

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Returning to the Valley

A year ago on the 19th of July I wrote a blog post about being “In the Valley of Peace”.  I talked about why it was important to take a Sabbath away from the (at times) soul crushing nature of life and the things it requires of us.  Well, summer semester just tapped out to the three count so I decided it was time to return to the well.

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