The year so far has been great professionally but frustrating medically. I had to get a root canal a couple days ago and my mouth still hurts. I have a surgery (scope procedure) tomorrow to check out my esophagus and stomach to see why I'm having trouble swallowing and if it's related to my stomach cancer of nine years ago. To be honest, I'm not that worried about it. I'm more worried that I'm not worried. Go figure. My daughter also has surgery in a week to have her belly button hernia fixed. I know it's a routine thing and there is virtually no chance of anything going wrong. I know this. I really do. But I'm so nervous about it. Just her being scared rips out my insides. I am so much dreading next Thursday.
As for me doing the writing assignments alongside my students, I'm going to keep on with it. The topic today is, "What things hold you back from doing the things you really want to?"
To really get into this, I have to do two things. First, only speak about me specifically and not the great YOU as in universal you meaning all people. So to utilize some third person my prompt now reads, "What things hold Ben Jatos back from doing the things Ben Jatos really wants to do?" Second, I think I have to admit what things I really want to do. That's actually scary because by giving my dreams and desires air and putting them down in words validates them and makes them real. Right now they're just in my head where they can do me no harm and not set me up for failure. They're safe and I'm content with my desires and dreams living only inside me. But here goes... I want to be a published author and I want to earn my doctorate. Those two things are pretty much the only two things that I want which I already don''t have. I have a wonderful wife. I have an amazing daughter. I will have a sweet new house in about four months. I have great friends. My personal and professional lives are solidly satisfactory.
So what holds me back? Fear. That's it. I'm scared to death of failure and I'm possibly scared to death of success. First, the failure part. What if I'm not good enough to be a published author? Right now I can just pretend that writing is something that I just haven't gotten around to. Nobody has turned me down and I can believe that I might be good enough. And I really might be! But by trying to get published... that's scary. The odds are high that I would get rejection after rejection after rejection and I'd fail. Worse than that, I'd be painfully aware of my failure. Worse than that, other people would be aware of my failures and that would be humiliating. The way it is now, I have my little blog thing that few people even read and they tell me it's cool but they're my close friends or family or ex-students and they generally like me so of course they say nice things. That is comfortable. I feel like the average looking guy in high school who wants to date the Homecoming Queen. I'm fine being the average guy and it'll take balls to woo the Homecoming Queen. I could flame out and be mortified or I could succeed and feel like a boss. Same thing with trying to become a published author. Scary.
Same thing with earning my doctorate. Right now I can rest easy knowing that I have a high IQ and stellar SAT score from way back. I'm a smart guy. But am I PhD material?? What if I'm not? Completely scary.
Now, the fear of success. Honestly, my life is comfortable. I really like my life. What if I do get published and what if I'm actually good at writing? My life could change and I don't know if that would be for the best. I'm happy now, right? And with a doctorate? Nobody teaches with a doctorate (hardly). Anyone in education who has a doctorate is out of the classroom away from kids and working at a district office somewhere and I just don't think that would be a good fit for me. Or they're working at a university and I think that would be frustrating. Oh my gosh what if I got my doctorate and somehow became a big deal in education? I would not want that. I like being in the shadows and working with my kids in class and having hardly anyone know about the great things that happen. I want to be under the radar and I really want to avoid the spotlight. These fears are legit, right? I don't think they're legit enough though. I should do these things.
Been too long since I reviewed a piece of writing so this:
Ground Zero Mosque Speech by Michael Bloomberg
My AP class read and analyzed this today in class and it went fairly well. In the speech, Mayor Bloomberg makes the case for an Islamic mosque a couple blocks from the Twin Towers location. There was/is political unrest regarding the situation and Bloomberg skillfully cuts through the partisan rhetoric to really get to the heart of the issue.
Speech: 9 of 10
The language is strong at the beginning. The message is wonderful at the end. I didn't know much about Bloomberg before this speech other than he screwed up the New York education system but my opinion of him grew exponentially after reading this speech.
Teachability: 9 of 10
Excellent use of rhetorical appeals and diction in here. The topic is a hot button debate and could generate great discussion.