Last Monday was inspiring as a teacher, especially if you live to make the real-life connections I try to do in the classroom. Astronomy is not only a perfect science gateway but a cross-curricular bonanza.


In Art we made pinhole boxes, Biology was for studying the eye and why we use pinhole boxes rather than looking directly at the sun, Physical Science was about the Synodic and Draconic periods of planets plus the Saros-index panorama and Geometry and Algebra calculated the paths and math of these periods during the eclipse.


Impressed yet? Don’t be, most students just wanted to put on glasses and stare at the sun.


Which was fine as well, as we spend our entire lives trying to control the world but eclipses prove that Science is really in charge. Also, that we are really small and fragile and that all we have is each other.


It’s getting harder and harder to inspire students. Spring is always tough but this year is especially difficult due to increasing phone addiction and umm, well, me.


I’m zero for three in the accolade department. In the last week, I was not selected for the summer school principal position, didn’t win the Sonoma County Art Teacher of the Year Award and was not even nominated for the Warriors All-Star Teacher Award.


Surprised? No. Bummed? A little, but you know me, I bounce back (grit is it!) plus my tennis team is killing it, we have about 35 graduates to get across the finish line at Creekside, the Warriors are done (I am a fully addicted fan, obsessively watching 82 games at 3 hours per game for a total of 246 hours of watching which I can now commit to other activities) and have you been outside? Spring is in full bloom and as I said above, we are small and fragile and not in charge.


But it’s hard to move forward when you feel like staying under the covers all day. Six-dollar gas, double PGE bills, grocery store prices twice what they were a year ago. Unfortunately, this is life people and if you haven’t learned this fun fact, Superman aint coming. Meaning if you don’t like what’s happening, you are responsible for handling your business, so stop blaming, make a plan, set a goal and get to it.


Recent trends in education have also been depressing me. I love Sociology (Thanks UCSB) but I hate data because it often misses what is actually happening, or at least what I think is happening. The trend lines are obvious, students are less engaged with their learning. I see it in art classes, regular ed classes and even on my sports teams. Less interest in practice, more interest in watching.


Of course, I have a simple theory which I brought up in our latest staff meeting, the phones have rewired this generation’s brains so that learning is all about the destination and the checking off of boxes. Education should be about the journey, being a lifelong learner, questioning when things seem off, debating, contemplating, maybe even changing your mind.


But I’m not here to flame education. I’ve devoted much of my life to trying to make kids smarter, or at least more engaged in life, but education needs to evolve before the Nuralink scenario I talk about in my classes becomes a reality (future students have Nuralink ports in their brains so that future teaching means a simple downloading of Algebra 1-blip-there you go, a year of learning downloaded in 20 seconds). Think it’s fiction? Google it.





Do you have current event paralysis? Then stop scrolling through things you cannot change.  Don’t like the political situation? Connect up with other like-minded people or organizations, get involved in real activities and leave the noise behind.


Feeling blah or uninspired? Check your Homeostasis, food, rest, mental health, physical health, relationships, it all doesn’t have to be rainbows and flowers but if you are out of balance, guess who’s in charge?


It’s hard to evolve especially when you are sharing a planet with 8 billion other people but can’t we do a little better? This morning’s NY Times was 20% about wars and current events and 80% about a certain ex-president who I stopped talking about a year ago because bullies thrive on attention. I believe very strongly that this certain bully wants to see America fail by losing status in the world, sowing chaos and hate rather than unity at home and ruining a planet we all should love.


But, as we learn in tennis, we can only look forward. The Author’s festival, David Bolling taking over at The Sun, Stompers baseball, summer plans, graduations, Springtime walks around the Rez, there is much to celebrate because you are above ground and that’s really all that matters.













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