Wow. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written anything. A lot has changed in since December 2019…and yet so much has stayed the same or gotten better.
Let’s see…when last we spoke I was working for PTAI, where I had been for about 13 years. I was celebrating my first wedding anniversary with my incredible wife and I was living in La Porte.
Since then? I guess we can kinda run through a few key points and then dig in a bit deeper.
There’s the whole global pandemic thing.
I made a drastic career change.
Young Master Oliver started kindergarten.
My darling best friend and wife is teaching at an incredible school where she has met some truly devoted educators and has made herself indispensable. I couldn’t be more proud.
We celebrated another year of marriage and I’m savoring every minute with her.
We made it through Icepocalypse and gratefully we did not suffer through frozen pipes, boil water orders, or lost power…as so many did. We were beyond fortunate.
I discovered Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton!
So let’s take it from the top. COVID happened. In March of 2020 the world turned upside down. I vividly remember being at work when we got the order…pack up our stuff, take what we need, and get out.
Kristin went on Spring Break and never went back.
I worked from home as best I could, trying to contribute in any way I could but also realized that this was a perfect opportunity to make a career change that I should have made 20 years before. During the lockdown I took online classes to earn my teaching certificate, passed my exam, and was hired by Aldine ISD to be a middle school US history teacher. I’m about halfway through my first year.
Now you may ask yourself, “why on earth would anyone sign up to teach during a pandemic?!” Well, it honestly seemed like the most natural time to do it. With all the turmoil and changes that have been happening I felt like I would develop more experience and battle scars in this one school year than I would have in 5 years of teaching under normal circumstances. I had felt the calling for so long and could not ignore or hesitate any longer. I’m proud of what I’ve done, I’m grateful for Kristin’s support and guidance, and I’m humbled by Aldine ISD taking a flyer on a guy with no experience. I was pretty upfront. I told them I wouldn’t be the “best” teacher on campus but I would surely be the hardest working one. I believe I’ve made good on that promise.
I feel like I learn something new every day. Whether it’s content, classroom management, a new idea about the mechanics of teaching (during a pandemic or otherwise), or about how I’m perceived as a teacher and how these 8th grades compare to me and my peers at that age. In some ways they’re so different and in other ways they’re basically identical. It’s fascinating to be true.
Meanwhile…This Boy started school too! We both had our first day of school at the same time and it was awesome. It was a rocky start to be true given that he was learning remotely for the first 9 weeks, like so many other students had to do. Since transitioning to on-campus he has grown leaps and bounds. His development from the first 9 week assessments to the most recent has been nearly off the chart. I could not be more proud of how he maturing.
I’m also incredibly grateful that he hasn’t gotten sick of cuddling and hugging his dad. Most recently he’s developed new methods of hugging. The “jump hug” involves spontaneously jumping into me without warning. He wraps his arms and legs around me and revels in my attempts at keeping my balance.
The “running hug” is when he gets a running start a la Loony Tunes style where he runs in place for a few seconds and then, at a dead sprint, crashes into me. I’m not ashamed to admit that he has knocked the wind out of me on occasion.
Kristin and I continue our journey together, shoulder to shoulder, back to back, pushing one another, supporting one another, and enjoying one another in this incredible life we’ve been building for all this time. I’m so wildly proud of everything she’s accomplished and everything that is on the horizon for her. I have a front row seat to my best friend living her best life, a life she deserves, and best of all I get to be a part of that life as her husband…which means I get to kiss her whenever I want. That’s a huge perk. 😉
I have to say, being on lockdown with her was the easiest thing in the world. There was never a time where I felt, “jeez I need some space” and I don’t recall even getting into a spat. We worked together, we studied together, we watched a lot of movies and series, and more than anything just enjoyed one another. All I can say is this: marry your best friend. Don’t get married to someone and hope they become your best friend. Don’t assume that will happen. Nope, go to your best friend, grab them, and go get married…best decision I’ve made. haha
She’s the one that introduced me to Hamilton. Oliver and I have become more than a little obsessed. I’m not going to give a review or anything like that but I will say that it is on a very short list of most incredible pieces of music and acting that I have ever seen. It’s on the very short list of most incredible works of art that our country has ever produced. Period.
Icepocalypse was merciful on us. We did not lose power for very long and we were incredibly fortunate in that we did not have any frozen pipes. We stayed bundled up and appreciated the blessings we received because we knew so many of our friends, coworkers, and students were struggling with the basics like clean running water and frigid temperatures indoors with no way of heating their homes.
Now things are returning to COVID normal. My school is in virtual mode again until next week when we plan on having all staff and students back on campus. Kristin has already returned to campus with her hybrid model where some of her students are online and others face-to-face. While a brief distraction, Icepocalypse did nothing to change our realities concerning COVID or teaching during a pandemic.
That’s pretty much it folks. I’ll try to write more often but I often find myself so immersed in this life we’ve created that it just doesn’t always occur to me that I should post new content.
I do think that this site will morph somewhat as I dig deeper into my new career. Perhaps I’ll use it to enhance my communication with parents and students. Perhaps I’ll share lesson plan ideas and such. Perhaps it will continue to be a sort of public diary. We shall see.
Until next time,
Be Well and Kind.