Donald Trump will lose because of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.


Crazy? Maybe, but if you have seen the issue (which I forced myself to look at for this story) you will be happy to see more than scantily clad models, you will see athletes and hijabs and a size 16 body and a 43 year old body on the cover and a 54 year old body inside and my current favorite body (not counting my wife’s of course) model Winnie Harlow. Google her, she’s fierce.


“I am not suffering. If anything I am succeeding in showing people that their differences don’t make them who they are. The only thing I’m suffering from are the closed minds of humans who have one beauty standard locked into their minds.”


To me this represents societal growth and diversity, the exact opposite of what is currently coming out of Washington.


It’s wake up shovel time at school. Don’t know about the wake up shovel? Watch this short movie about life from a few years ago to understand what I’m talking about:


Spring is always a strange time in my classroom. Just as students are ready to check out and fall in love and get outside and care about more than sitting in a classroom

(What students used to do before staring at their screens), they have to suppress all that and buckle down and make it to the finish line of graduation. Plus, many are going through the reality of what comes next (cue the Godfather’s song: “Birth, School, Work, Death”).


But because I teach in the most awesome school in the world I bag the first 10 minutes of Algebra class to watch and discuss a video about finding your passion: Five students are on their phones while the video plays which is kinda the definition of irony as the important message is that we have become addicted to the dopamine from watching. Plus finding your passion is directly related to creating and doing stuff, which is the opposite of watching. Hmmmmm.


Want to find your passion? Do stuff. Want to meet new people? Do stuff. Want to get healthier mentally and physically? Do stuff. But here is the problem, 25 years of teaching art and I could draw a direct negative relationship between time and the amount of independent creativity student’s show. Many years of coaching and I can draw a direct negative relationship between time and the amount of independent practice students devote to sports. Sure kids still do things but screens have sadly become the new stuff.


It has been a tough spring, not quite sure why but it just feels like the world is a little off. I’m also off my game in the classroom, kids are a little unfocused (both my own and my students), wife is overwhelmed, tennis season is over (second place behind Vintage, thanks for asking), summer is a month away and somehow in the last few weeks I’ve lost my pathological optimism.


Could be politics but did you realize we only have to survive 18 more months of the bully baby? And don’t worry about 2020; I have full faith that the Democratic circular firing squad will produce the right candidate who will embrace societal growth and diversity.


My advice-stay focused on real issues and leave all the shit pool drama to the stupid. I mean, didn’t we already know about financial shenanigans and tax fraud and the real findings of the Muller Report and walls over bridges and profits over people? We learned all we needed to from Trump’s golf game where he instructs his caddies to drop balls, change scores and improve lies. Turn golf game into running the country and there are no surprises.


And maybe my mood is about money. Taxes killed me (can someone explain how the  “tax break for the middle class” led to me paying 5x what I did last year?) and summer means I have to creatively earn about 5 grand through side hustles like wine bus driving and teaching camps and writing. What I want to do is pack up my truck with the family and books and fishing gear on June 8 and drive directly to my favorite campground on the Stanislaus River, set up camp and not worry about a thing except catching dinner till school starts again in August.


But that’s not reality. Reality is bills and schedules and jobs and responsibilities and pushing and trying to move forward in a system that seems to be rigged against hardworking honest people. Course I know it’s not, I’m just going through one of my many winey periods. Cause really, I am lucky and I am blessed and I am rich with friends and family and the Warriors will win and Trump will lose and summer will be fine and my kids will figure out their stuff and the dangers of pot and phones will be discovered and before I know it, the malaise will lift. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.


I take my PE class out to the tennis courts and hit topspin backhands with the ball machine for a half hour and magically the optimism returns. I’ve learned there’s very little that a 30-minute sesh with a ball machine can’t fix. I make a few plans for teacher trainings over the summer and set up a target financial goal (2k from tennis coaching, 1.5k from camp, 1k from teacher training days means I will only have to drive the bus as many times as I can handle).


This is good, planning is good, financial stability is good, societal growth and diversity is good.


The bell rings and I tell my students to get out there and do stuff.














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