Friday, January 27, 2017

embrace the tiger - but return to the mountain

'nother long week. i'm a sub now, at the high school, or junior high, or alternative school, or wherever they have work. they have plenty of work, but it's grueling. for one thing, i had thirty years without a single discipline problem, and now my entire life is discipline problems. and i actually kind of like the kids, they're kind of like my kids. but, when they see a sub, they get excited. they want to see what they can get away with. and, the tougher the teacher that they used to have, the tougher they are on me. i'm an old guy.

kicked one kid out today. it wasn't his first time, though; he was quite used to it. he was starting a mass rebellion, and he was working on everyone, but he was also talking back to me, and not minding what i said. i got sick of it and sent him packin'. once i told a kid i'd send him packin', and he didn't understand what i meant. send you packin', pretty obvious to me. but i have to give clear warnings. i'll explain it again if i have to.

once again my drive is a straight mile down through snowy mountains into rugged cliffs and down into the desert, a town which sits right up against the very mountains i live in. they just stop at the edge of this town, and tower over the town. some roads you take, you look square at them, like an enormous backdrop. the thing is, these mountains are in the east, so my guess is that mornings are quite cool and sweet in this town. afternoons are, well, sunny, but the whole place is. people don't have yards, they have rocks. but they have this view.

now i keep imagining, as i shoot down this mountain, enormous rocks falling right on the road right in front of me. it's bound to happen sometime, since it has already happened a half dozen times just in the three weeks i've done the road, only not to me, fortunately. i see evidence of it later. somebody has gotten out of their car, right on the cliff, and moved the rock over to the side. and it's a rock that wasn't there yesterday. and it leaves a huge rock mark on the road, where it was.

and i always imagine that these rocks are actually messages from the ancient people, since the ancient people occupied all those mountains, on both sides of the tunnel, where the dry mountains come up and meet the forested mountaintops, where they can get deer from above and plants from below, and a stream of fresh water comes down from the high snowy peaks. those people had caves, but they're long gone, and the only sign of their being there, is that these rocks are delicate, and in the extreme weather, they expand and contract, and come loose, and shoot down onto the road, where they might do some damage.

the only way to protect yourself is to be extremely sensitive, and to actually watch the hillsides, as you drive. if it comes with the car in front of you, so be it, you can stop in front of another car. if it comes straight down on you, what do you do? swerve i guess. but try not to swerve over the cliff.

will bring pictures, of the drive, of the mountain, of the schools i work in. there's an old chinese saying, embrace the tiger, but return to the mountain...i'm living that one. i think the essence of it is, live your life to the fullest, but keep your spiritual center. i have a more literal meaning, though. my high school is the tigers, and the junior highs are tigers and jaguars, and even the alternative school is the white tigers. it's pervasive, and the art that goes with it, well, that's on my phone. but i'll bring you some. and here's to the chinese new year, though it could be the rooster at this moment. maybe the tiger is out. but i'm living life to the fullest - discipline being what it is.


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