Things to be known for

I have thought a lot recently about things that people do that they are known for. It’s a hobby or its a view that people have that rises to the top of everyone’s mind when people think of a person. I usually ask myself what that might be that I am known for? Do I care much about what other people think? No. I do wish that I could partake and actually be good at a lot of things!

At different times over my life I have been passionate about a bunch of things:

Hockey, Beer Brewing, Beer drinking (mastered), cooking, learning Guitar, Gardening, Teaching Practice, Graphic Design, Reading, hiking, Writing and handymaning.

Now that I see the list, it doesn’t look all that long, but they are just subjects that take years to master. The thing is, that I want to be good at all of them. I think, I want to be respected for not being spectacular at what I do, but I would like to achieve a knowledge level in what I undertake to know that I am referenced as some person who knows what they are doing in that particular area. I realize that sounds like a vain thing, but I think I would use that feeling to validate to myself that, I have arrived.

It’s too easy today to attack new endeavors in life with only a smartphone and Google and think that you are about to disprove Einstein. Stay grounded, focus on a few things. Practice, them, stay dedicated and it will come. I need to get better at focusing on a skill that I want to work on and consciously setting aside time for it!

Summer work

This summer is shaping up to be busy! In the past I have been lucky to have relatively relaxing summers. While I was working for the college I would work longer days but I would have Fridays off for the most part. Three day weekends just felt so right in the summer.
Last year was my first year teaching and I had my first summer vacation. I didn’t really get a chance to find a job because my wife was due with our first baby and I wanted to make sure that I would be there for the moment. It was a crazy summer of preparations and figuring out what it will be like to be parents…it FLEW by.
So here I am. Summer is a week and a half away, I have secured a position teaching computers in a nearby private school. The camp is all day and five days a week for 6 weeks. It will be a lot of work, but I think it will be a good growth opportuinity for me as a teacher. There will be smaller class sizes from what I am used to and there will be access to great technology and programs. I am really excited to learn and to teach more this summer!
On top of that, we are also looking into purchasing a house! A scary endeavor, but it is something that we have wanted for a very long time! I am excited to mow grass, and take care of my lawn as well as improve my house over the years. We will need to get into it first!

Back to Android fixes

Ive been having a good time re-aligning myself to the Android OS again. I find myself searching for things less and less now that I’ve had my phone for a week.

A few things that I want to fix:

1) Photostream. My family loves the photo stream on IOS and I do too. I want to find a way to replicate that on Android, or find something easy for them to use as an alternative.

2) Messages. This one is more my fault, and now I have it figured out, I just need to fix my friend’s phones! I forgot to turn off iMessage before I deactivated my iPhone and because of that everyone else who has iPhones, still thinks that I have one. As a result, iPhone friends who text me are not getting their messages through. The work around is for them to allow sms text when iMessage fails. It is under ¬†Settings> Messages. Once you set that, all is well!

3) Baby monitor app. I found a great baby monitor for android that works with our foscam. It has so many more options than our last one. The only thing is it is not playing in the background by default. I need to figure that out so I can monitor Cam while he is sleeping!

4) The Camera. It has more Mega pixels than the iPhone camera, but I’m not sold on it yet, I’m wondering if the stock app isn’t the best, it seems that the pictures are very dark. I would like to find out how you focus on a spot and how to up the brightness easily.

Other than that, I am pretty happy. We will be saving a lot more $$ and once I figure these out, which all have a solution, I will be rocking and rolling with my Republic Wireless Moto-X!

 

Reading

The more I read the more I wish I had something profound to write about as well. It’s a viscous cycle!

The Word

Its amazing to me how consumed our lives are. Every minute has to be filled with something. We constantly jump from one thing to the next, and then on to another thing! Let me give you a look into my day. wake up, get dressed, take the dog out, feed the dog, get lunch, drive to work (grrrr traffic), get to work, make coffee, work,work, work,lunch,work work work. homework, class, Drive home, take dog out, sleep. repeat.

Yikes! Now, I know that is not an exact portrait of my entire life, as there were some moments to come up for air, like on the drive, or during lunch, but during those times, I find that it is so tough, to just figure out what to do. My days, are so planned, that when I get to a point of free time, it’s impossible to fully remove myself from what I have been doing to what I WANT to do. I find that my reading suffers because of this. I love reading, but it’s hard to terminate what I have been doing all day and then to put myself in a place when I am fully aware of what I am reading.

 

 

This weekend we went to Vermont and spent time in a cabin in the woods. To me as a high school kid growing up in Vermont, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. I am now a resident of Massachusetts going on 9 years now, and the slow pace of life for the weekend (with no power or running water I might add) reminded me how life should be: Slow. I do like having a busy schedule, but I feel that the way I was built is to be a slow, methodical person who is present in all situations. I know I can’t buy a cabin with no electricity in the woods and live there. Kate wouldn’t be keen on that, but I can strive for that simplicity in my life. As I said before, I believe that its how I am to live my life. I want to give life my all and be able to do everything that I do to the best of my ability.Let the simplicity begin? Lets hope so.

OK, Pedagogy let me get you straight…

This is a term that I never understood before I started my Master’s in Teaching degree. In the teaching realm, it’s used frequently and tooo many times than I’m happy to admit, it flew over my understanding. I’ve built up a rough understanding that it is the way we teach our students, but I still feel that I don’t full grasp this word and the ways that it is commonly used. I went to my favorite website: Wikipedia, and looked it up again. The entry on Wikipedia further muddied my understanding of the word, associating it with teaching, but not giving firm descriptions of what it is. I then went to the new wikitionary and looked for the definitions there:

The profession of teaching.
The activities of educating, teaching or instructing.
The strategies of instruction.
ahhh!! So, I guess I wasn’t far off with my thoughts on this word. I knew it. I find that it takes me a while to associate a word with its meaning and then put that into my vocabulary. It’s a big risk to be a new teacher and to use teacher words. You need to use them correctly!

Why talk politics?

I love politics. I find policy making fascinating, and politics really is war with the pen, instead of the sword. The problem is that when you would like to talk about current events or politics, people take these things very dearly. Some take criticism of their chosen political party closer to heart than country or even family it seems. I understand that too, We are pre-disposed to like everything that our parents like because that’s how we are raised. If you grew up in a tight-knit, jesus-fearing, conservative family, Chances are good that you will also desire those things. It’s not rocket science, I get it. I find however, that speaking in the presence of someone of a different political mindset 95% of the time will bring a conversation where all those involved believe they are right and that they must protect the banner of their chosen party. I wish that it was easier for people to understand that talking about politics is not an attack on you personally if a conversation is started questioning the party that you support. Like I said earlier, political affiliations in the United States are a brand you are given at birth, or it is something that is tattooed on and never removed. I wish that would change, I wish that people would keep their views, but listen to a conversation as it develops. If someone is complaining about out of control spending, then do some math and figure out is the claim has base. Put it in perspective, dissect it, chew it and spit it out. That’s how we should be forming our opinions. Through research and experience. Pulling along with your party line on every issue from birth is a lazy way to stay interested in politics. Think about it, if you have the SAME opinion as the majority of your party, then you are akin to the lemming running with the pack. It’s safe, and everybody is doing it, you feel good that everyone is doing just what you are, but it’s the ones that slow down, look around and start to think about the world around them who truly have the best ideas. Because it’s a long way down if you don’t stop and think about what you actually believe in.