Elfin's Link to her own World

It's been a long time since I made a website. I miss the chance of communication, the possibility that I might be heard. The internet has gone from the appearance of safety in anonymity to the appearance of safety through only communicating with people you know in person. Yet, people we think we know commit most crimes against us. Are people meaner when they think they will not be held accountable? Are they kinder when they also don't think they will be held to a consistent standard, something to have to continue to live up to? Is it a more extreme sort of world?

The idea of a reputation is a funny one. The first episode of Trigun that I saw was in the middle of the series. The women didn't know Vash the Stampede except by reputation, though most of the audience (excepting me and my friend, coming in right exactly then), knew exactly which character he was when he showed up on screen. That really affected how I viewed the story.

A student asked me if I believed in science. I thought that was odd considering I teach science and math at a STEM school, but, after thinking it over, I think what was really meant was if it was a wise idea to believe in the basic integrity of scientists who are experts in fields that I am not an expert in. It is easier to understand physics for me because I have a strong background in it, but I know much less biology and chemisty, let along social science, yet is their research as reputable usually? I think this is really relevant to the mistrust surrounding medicine, climate, and energy, and may reflect on how much easier it is to trust people we see as peers than people we see as inscrutable or even as not people. All people are people, but are they all trustworthy? Shouldn't trust be the default? I mean, I trust people every day not to run me down with their cars, though they easily could. People should be able to trust doctors, the police, passersby, friends, family, scientists, judges, teachers, repair folk, really everyone that their isn't a compelling reason not to trust. A fool or a cynic, who would you rather be? I admire earnestness, competence, and appreciation.

Today, I am really tired. All of the things I'm teaching throughout the day are connected to each other and build on each other, yet I'm the only one present for all of the classes, the only one who can see the wonderous relationships between ideas so fairly. Sure, the idea is that they learned the concepts in their previous years of math or will in their later years, but I can guarentee now. I miss teaching the same kids all day but also building their entire formal education from scratch. Many of my previous students hadn't had the opportunity to regularly attend school before, being refugees of various sorts. The connections are what thrill me. There is such a push for mini-lessons, ten minutes or less, focusing on imparting one skill or one fact, designed to hold the attention of those with short attention spans, but I think that's incredibly boring. I don't want to tell the students what I'm going to teach them, teach them, and then ask them if they've learned it. I want to build something incredible with them, something dependent on both me and them that pulls together many different aspects of the world that they have learned about and adds to their knowledge in a way that is not necessarily predictable by a learning objective. Sure, that's harder to test, but it is way more interesting. I think lessons should be hours long with lots of different aspects to explore and time to do so. There is a reason we always run out of time in my best classes. Efficiency is not conducive to creativity, and taking away creativity doesn't lead to learning, so it ends up being less efficient in the long run because you end up forgetting it and having to study it again. I'm all about the big picture. I want the public to be more educated overall, so it doesn't make sense to normalize forgetting what you've learned in school, to be not "as smart as a 5th grader."

A few years ago, one of my brightest students asked me about the science he was learning, if it was just him or if it was repeating what he'd learned in previous grades, and I had to tell him that the assumption seems to be that students forget most of it, so they reiterate what is considered the most important and add details occasionally, but that their really is more science to be learned and high school and college courses will go into more detail and expect you to build on it. In the meantime, I encouraged him to learn more on his own from experiments and reading, especially as so much information is available online on reputable websites. People are so lucky nowaways; when I wanted to research the history of the English language for my 5th grade project, there were no books about it in my village school library, so we ended up researching the Salem witch trials (there were plenty of books on that). I have books now, and I've even gotten to lend them out to kids who, like me, wanted to learn about it, but it is so wonderful to be able to find out what you want to know. We just need to make sure people have the skills to understand the answers they are looking for. That is much harder than giving them the answers.

I've been trying to read new books this year rather than just rereading those I've read before. I love rereading books, as there is usually more to find, and it is much more stressful to be pulled into a new one, allowing it to pull my emotions as it will rather than using it to control my emotions as I will, but what is easiest is not always what is best. One book I really enjoyed was: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Here's the rest of the list. These are books I've read many times.

Out of keeping with my resolution, I recently reread The World of the Five Gods books, the underlying theme of which is the sacredness of free will. consent is very important to me and was especially important as many people were taking advantage of me, exploiting my priorities (like the well-being of children). As Lois McMaster Bujold says, paraphrased, there is no meaning to yes without respecting no. I hate it when people tell kids to make a better choice. They don't respect what the kid is doing as a choice; it's not a choice if there is only one answer. Don't pretend that is is choice when it isn't one; remind them of the consequences of their actions, sure, but have some respect. With responsibility goes credit, and with encouraging responsbility, we are empowering people. After all, you can't do anything right if you can't do anything.

It's good to try to communicate, even though I'm not ready to communicate with anyone just yet. I'm incredibly tired.

I love Fruits Basket. I love how Tohru appreciates everyone so freely. I want to be more like her. I've been thinking a lot lately about how it is better to be a fool than a cynic. Sure, people might take advantage of you, but that's on them. I started watching "The Witcher", and I haven't really liked it. It doesn't seem coherent yet, but maybe it gets better. It has such disparate tones between scenes, and, while I enjoy the actual witcher character, the side stories are so "epic" in nature. I like how he doesn't believe in destiny, but it seems like the story is trying to push the idea anyway, and that always frustrates me. I've also been trying to watch "The Book of Boba Fett", but, again, the story-telling devices are bothering me. Maybe it is just my current mood, but I don't want to be jumping all over space and time for some big storyline; I would like smaller-scale stories that are actually within the grasp of the main character and driven by that character rather the characters existing within the larger story. I think about how difficult it is to comprehend recent history having lived through it, and it strikes me that it is because history is usually much bigger than individual stories, and those stories are the ones that make sense on a personal level. The power of anecdotes is mighty, and it can confuse people into thinking individual experiences are representative. I'm really concerned about reading comprehesion suffering due to the decline of history class in the last few decades. Every day, I am shocked by what kids have never heard of by middle school. Without background knoweledgem, how can they understand complicated ideas?

It's been such a day of kids being mean to each other. I'm so tired of telling them that they should try to be good people.

It's getting to the point where I can enjoy using technology again. I was so overwhelmed with all I had to do for work with e-Learning that I didn't want to use a computer during my free time, and I'm glad to get to play games and update my webpage again. Maybe I'll get get back to chatting online with friends. We'll see. I want to be braver and practice languages more, so I redownloaded Duolingo, and they've updated it a lot, so it seems a lot more sound in terms of language learning, incorporating reading, writing, listening, and speaking instead of just grammar translation. I'm also excited to explore more languages. I feel so much more relaxed lately, though I don't like not knowing where I'm going to be working in the fall yet. I finally finished "A Court of Mist and Fury". It got pretty bad, but I want to know what happens, and I already have the sequel. I think I preordered it when I was reading the first one, which was actually pretty good. Then, she just went way too dramatic and epic at the same time. It's kind of like a chain story being told by a bunch of people trying to outdo each other. I don't recommend it as serious fare.

My battle to get the cat urine smell out of my bathroom rug is ongoing. It's progressed to trying to get the rug to dry so that I can assess the situation, but it's pretty humid here. I think it will be sunny tomorrow, so I shall make the sun my ally. I've been so tired this week, probably because I donated blood, but I hope to be more energetic this weekend.

Today, we startled an amadillo, but it didn't curl up; it scurried away. It didn't even do that until the dog was touching it. They both seemed so confused. My internet research tells me that North American armadillos can't curl up; they have too many plates. It's nice to learn something new. It looked like this:

This is a pretty amazing world. There is such beauty in nature and in art, in kindness and creativity. On that note, my cat is deeply offended by the closed door. She doesn't actually want to go through it, but that's not the point.

It's been a bit. I've been watching "The Witcher". It's not great in a lot of ways like "The Book of Boba Fett" is not great, but it is interesting to see once. It's so awkward that I really don't need to see it again, and it's kind of like "Hawkeye", too. They could all be better, but there is a certain rushed quality where they just didn't take the time to figure out how to do it right. It's passable but not great, and art should be great.

Today, I got really annoyed with the low standards for my students regarding their own behavior. A few are too hard on themselves, but so many expect so little of their own efforts. It's disturbing how enamored people are with their pride in being lazy. Like being mean, they seem to have tied it to the concept of being smart, though the smartest people I know work extremely hard and are generally very kind. I'm so done with people being proud of being lazy. They should take pride in hard work. Relaxing is important, too, but that's only possible if you've actually worked beforehand. I think it is important to both create and experience the creations of others. Maybe tomorrow I will just ignore those ignoring me, but that would be really hard, and I don't know if it is the right thing to do, to just let them slip right through the cracks. I don't think it is. I think I should impose my force of will to try to get them to see the causality of learning bit by bit because they can't see the big picture yet. I could just call on everyone, I suppose, but that sucks for everyone actually trying to be part of class.

I've been enjoying my evenings more, enjoying having time to relax and do a variety of things before I have to go to bed. I like having my own space and having space set aside for my hobbies, so I can leave things in progress and return to them safely. I like being on my porch with the windows open and the breeze blowing in. I like having room to dance and a nook to read in. I enjoy being able to see all of my books and keepsakes and remember. I'm not thrilled about the prospect of moving and trying to set everything else up again, but I miss horses and I really don't want to keep surviving my work barely rather than enjoying it, too. Maybe I can find something else near here for a while, though the headache inducing weather is not ideal. I like my community, all Stars Hallowy as it is, and I like my house. I am worried about climate change, though, and its potential impact on my property. I'll make plans during spring break. That's pretty soon, and I've already done my usual activity for spring break: paying my taxes. I'll finish painting that wall, too, and finally get together with Uncle Rick to get our phones sorted. That's a good plan.

I'm in such a weird mood. Most of my obligation ties are loosened, so I'm freer than I have been in a long time, and with that comes the unbearable lightness of being. I like having time to live at my own pace, though. It's such a fine balance maintaining myself.

I have this morbid theory of population relocation and displacement going on with the prevelence of policies being put into place that go against scientific evidence for preventing suicide and to encourage people who are mysteriously against vaccines to move to places where many more people who haven't been vaccinated have died to replace them as similar voters. At first, I was wondering about the whole encouraging voters and soon to be voters into behaviors that increase their risk of death and then not being able to vote, but now it seems like acceptable levels of sacrifice because there are so many waiting to replace them that just need to be manipulated into place and counter-balanced by moving out people likely to vote the other way. It's scary that people might plan like that, but there are a lot of things that scare me lately.

I really enjoy having free time and resent things that get in the way of what I want to do, like the need to eat meals and sleep and stuff. It seems like I should be able to go until I'm tired, but that's really not a good idea. I should maintain a schedule, so I can sleep and eat and not get sick and stuff. I don't have to like it, though. It'd probably be conventient if I got hungry and tired properly instead of just getting headaches as a sort of universal "you screwed up, figure it out" message from my body. There are just so many ways I could screw up. I'm enjoying The Witcher game more now that I've got the controls figured out. I'm also enjoying the stories, and making that more complete makes me enjoy the show more. I really don't like missing information, but I knew that about myself already. Live tv really stresses me out because I can't pause or rewind. Actually, life stresses me out for the same reason. I've always wanted to read all of the choices of Choose Your Own Adventure books, but I also have a hard time even pretending to do bad things. I mean, it was really hard for me to play the thief in Quest for Glory, even, and he's not particularly bad by default. I still feel bad that I accidently hit a traveler I was protecting from a monster when he got in the way right after I defeated it and I didn't have time to stop. At least I didn't kill him. I'm doing well with my Spanish practice on Duolingo, too. It's amazing how much vocabulary I remember from high school. The grammar is harder for me, but the words are tied to specific instances of learning in class, though occasionally words come up that I've never read or heard.

I'm enjoying my own company and remembering how to be myself rather than who other people need me to be. I feel like I'm really twelve again, right before I made friends. There is a lot of freedom in being alone, and I've enjoyed being able to listen to music, work on my puzzle, watch shows, read, play the piano, dance, fence, and play computer games. I don't need to spend a lot of money to enjoy my vacation. I haven't painted the wall, written my appeal letter, or found a new job yet, but I did laundry, went grocery shopping, and mowed the lawn. I guess I am pretty weird, but I like myself the way that I am. I enjoy being surrounded by my favorite things, bright colors, space to do my hobbies comfortably, and having less demands on my attention. Being good at something isn't an obligation to do it, and I don't believe in destiny or that anyone should be disappointed in me not living up to my potential. Yes, I've been blessed with many opportunties, but I value my quiet life.

I just read the Narrative of the Wreck of the "Favorite" on the Island of Desolation: Detailing the Adventures, Sufferings, and Privations of John Nunn; An Historical Account of the Island, and Its Whale and Seal Fisheries: With a Chart and Numerous Wood Engravings from 1849, and the guy was shipwrecked at least three times in his life, survived years with two guys names James and another John, accidently blew some of the fingers from his right hand off after he returned to England, and then wrote the book to try to raise money because he was having a hard time raising money to support his family because they didn't want to give him a license after piloting a boat for many years after because of his injury. He was only in his 20s when he was shipwrecked, and he lived into his fifties, dying ten years after the book was published. The writing from 170 years ago is still so clear, language learned 220 years ago, yet it is focused on the practicalities of survival, barely mentioning how anyone feels other than happiness at finding some books. Like the Tongan boys on 'Ata, the young men worked together to survive.

Today, I learned I was looking for a notebook for a student, and I found an old journal entry from my big brother's graduation. I guess I did meet my cousin with almost the same name who also became a teacher and who died soon after she did so. She was only three then, and I was fifteen, so we got along well. I showed her my ruby slippers and how a slinky worked. I wrote about how smart she was even though the others treated her like she didn't understand anything and about how she looked just like me when I was little except that her eyes were a different color. She did add me on Facebook when she grew up, and I accepted her, but I had forgotten that I'd ever met her. I wonder if she remembered me. We have a lot of cousins, but I remember now how happy I was playing with her that one those few days. I wish I'd known her when she was older. I wish she hadn't died so young. I wish parents respected teachers in the U.S. more. It's not like that would have saved her, but it would probably have made her life easier. Today has been a really rotten day because of people's illogical choices. My friend says that they wanted to fight and were frustrated because I'd already granted their kids the chance to redo the assignment correctly that they'd ignored the directions on, and that's why they just went on and on about how unfair it was. I mean, yes, it is unfair that I have to regrade their assignments, but I'm willing to do that to give them a chance to learn from their mistakes. Their kids aren't being oppressed in any way. I just don't understand the level of trust that they suppose to exist between us, the relationship that we have. I mean, how can they entrust their children's safety and education to me and then also not believe in my benevolence? In what way does disrespecting me and threatening me lead to a better education for their child? Am I supposed to be concerned about my job? I mean, they keep asking me to come back, there is a huge teacher shortage, and I'm a really good teacher in high need areas, so what benefit would it have for them to drive me away? Their lack of humility is what is preventing any kind of honest relationship. I don't pretend that I know how to fulfill the every needs of children (despite society trying to put everything on teachers because they aren't having much luck pinning things on anyone else) or families, but I do my best at my job. I recognize that "it takes a village" is a valuable idea, and we all have things to contribute to our communities.

I enjoy my own company quite well. When I spend time with people, I often regret the time lost alone. I enjoy other people's company, too, sometimes, but I wish I could have it both ways. I guess that I sort of do in that we are never really together and never really alone, but it is a matter of focus. It's so rare for me to be relaxed around people. My mom was so startled recently when I fell asleep during a movie (action sequences get me) because she hadn't seen me sleep since I was a baby. There were very few people in the past that I could sleep around: Amber, Vensre, and Aaron were the only reliable ones, so that was important to keep in mind if you wanted me to sleep before tournaments. I don't mean that I could sleep alone, either. I've always struggled to sleep. I trusted them completely, though, so I could always sleep around them (and thus missed a lot of movies). I don't trust anyone completely now, but I trust more people some, so I just miss action sequences and get some sleep most nights. I've got rituals to soothe myself to sleep now, including Spider-Solitaire and reading certain passages where I know what is going to happen, but it isn't reliable, especially if I mess with the timing or daily routines. I'm pretty bad at maintaining habits, but they are good for me. Lately, I've been studying Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese on Duolingo, practicing piano, reading "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows," and watching dramas each day. I've been reading the Witcher books, which have suitably soperific action and political sequences for most of them, but then come in with actual characters and stories occasionally, so that is more invigorating. I finished my 2,000 piece puzzle of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with cats, though it is missing a corner, stolen at the very start by my cat, so it is only 1,999 pieces. It's the biggest one I've ever completed, but it was really fun with all of the individual pictures and distinctive shades and brushstrokes of the paintings. I love the real painting. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I'm not really ready to be vunerable and communicate directly with people again; it's been harder and harder each time exposing my heart ever since that first heartbreak. I never used to cry emotionally before then (just for pain), but now I cry so easily.

I'm watching Trigun again. I've never seen the dub all the way through, and I still mightn't because it apparently leaves Hulu this Friday. My timing is inpeccable. It would be great if we could find a place together, especially if I could have my dreams, a library of my own, a horse, and a job teaching physics and ESL. I've had parts of it at a time, but never all at once. Of course, maybe it is better that way so that none of them get stale. I've heard that's a problem for people, but I haven't really gotten over any of my dreams due to exposure. I would like window seat, too, along with my hammock. Window seats are nice for when the weather isn't as good for being outside. College was so great. Maybe I should just go back to school and get my phd. I think I'd like to be a professor again anyway.

I wrote the appeal letter, and I applied for a job. There are so many factors at play, so many things to coordinate, but maybe it will work out. The truly logical thing would be to sell my house and moved back in with my parents for a few years, letting the interest build up and maybe housing prices drop. That or work somewhere with dorms or go back to school. I could go abroad if not for my cat. It looks like all of the listed places near the school are millions of dollars and designed to be huge. I'm not a huge person; I just need a small place. Maybe I need to go more rural, but I would like to actually teach physics like I trained for.

I had a truly wonderful day yesterday, and today's been pretty good, too. Hopefully, I can find my dream job and somewhere to live happily with my family. It's a bit complicated, but we'll keep trying.

Funny how I spent hundreds of hours teaching on camera, but I don't have any of the videos because my computer died from making too many videos teaching online.

I really hope I get this job, moving goes smoothly, and I finally get to have a horse. I think it will all work out, but I don't like the uncertainty of waiting.

I got the job. I got preapproved for the mortgage. Now, I have to get the house and then get all packed and moved.

Is your name really short? Is your name really long? Can you tie it in a knot? Can.you tie it in a bow? Can you tell us really quick, 'cause we really gotta go? What is your name?

I feel that this article https://thehill.com/opinion/education/3608170-decades-of-villainization-caused-our-mass-teachers-exodus/ and this onehttps://www.google.com/amp/s/www.huffpost.com/entry/she-divorced-me-i-left-dishes-by-the-sink_b_9055288/amp are related.