Monthly Archives: November 2017

Shit’s Rad

I don’t know why, but when I was young, I thought adulthood was going to be like T&C Surf Design. Yup, the NES game. I have no idea why. Probably the same reason that launching a BMX bike off the end of some pavement was my favorite original extreme sport. Everything was big and forever, and then came college prep classes and school dances and jobs and insurance and all manners of other shit that were decidedly not rad.

As I get ready to enter a Third Renaissance–each Era looks really different in each decade–I ask, “What is rad now?” I can populate the list fairly easily, but not in an ultimate fashion. Some element of radness is missing, though. That T&C vibe, whatever that looks like these days.

The math on negativity bias shows that we need a 5:1 positive-to-negative input. That’s pretty ridiculous, as you’d know if you’d been outside for the last ten years. People in general don’t seem to be happy. Consumerism is rampant; the psychological infrastructure of Buy This to be Complete requires that inequalities are solved by buying something. Dopamine hit. Temporary bliss. Rinse, repeat. Social media participation alone horribly skews that ratio; if we use certain apps too much, it is nearly mathematically impossible to find the proper balance. Our happiness architecture is constantly besieged.

Not rad.

What exactly is rad differs greatly by person, but fun is a necessary part, which is completely relative. Some people’s ideas of fun make me queasy, but I accept that they are embracing their Rad. We should be so lucky.

At 38, I’m a lucky man. I know some amazing people, and even though I interact with some of them using (*hissssssssss*) social media, that’s a geographical handicap, more than anything. (I’ve filtered out a lot of Not Rad.) Wife and life are good, so if my rad is a little lacking, it’s in minute fashion. Shout out to anyone whose rad is focused. I’m thinking I’m only a quick shred away from the next level.

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fragments

There is something to being able to laugh at chaos. Currently there are four meetings going on, but only two were scheduled. The “needs” of the masses are mostly artificial, but never-ending. There has never been such a fake job that was so necessary. Outside my door, actual audio from a Dean of Education at The Local University: 

“Teaching is such a rewarding profession

…the pay isn’t great…

you get summers off…

job availability…

teaching is a rewarding profession

…you don’t want to work when you’re 80, do you?

…teaching is rewarding

…retirement…”

Five feet behind my chair, through a wall, there is a fifth meeting, and discussion of RTI. Response to Intervention is inherently good, but I have yet to see it actually carried out with consistency anywhere. The idea of a personalized curriculum (both behavioral and academic) is utopian by nature, and while it’s soothing on paper, in a high-poverty, ever-shifting environment, it is impossible to implement with fidelity. Incidentally, “with fidelity” is something oft-repeated in this industry. It’s Kool-Aid that everyone drinks, but everyone knows it’s bad for you. Jonestown. Amazing. “Thank you! May I have another, please?”

Overheard through the wall: “…has a very real problem with any kind of authority, and refuses to work or do anything asked…”

Ninety degrees from that meeting: “very rewarding profession…”

My phone rings: “Uh, yes, do you know about Situation X?”

“No ma’am–never heard of that; wasn’t aware of that…”

…rewarding profession…

All of this, swirling. I’m thinking of psychological studies that prove Learned Helplessness is real in adults. I’m thinking of how long October, September, and August were. 

–reward–

An email comes through. It’s one of our teachers newer to the profession 

(rewarding) 

and she isn’t sure what to do when her laptop

*re*

I’m pouring another cup of the Kool-Aid. Two meetings have ended, and the heat has cut off. 

“At the new school” is another adverbial modifier that I love to hear. Construction is “moving along” on the site, and “at the new school” things will be dandy.

“‘Incentives’ are important”

Rewards

Rewarding 

Rewarded