What’s one thing I’m proud of?

I’m proud of being published in the Iowa Science Teachers Journal.  I helped write it, even if my group members modified what I wrote.  The feeling of being published for a school activity means I may help others in their teaching science to students.  That feels good!

I mostly met with a fellow cohort member Jacob P.  He is a great guy.  Or, he was when I was in contact with him.  I should reach out to him again.  He enjoyed board games, videogames, and science.  What a great combination!  Plus, he wrote very well.

This is highlighting the importance of asking others for help.  Doing things with others helps us get things done.

Another moment in my life I am proud of is when I chased down Abbie after a date.  I finally got the first kiss!  I even went to the wrong address, but I persevered!  That was a fun day!

This was a continuation of the Live Your Legend Blog Challenge!  I’d write more but it is 11 pm and I have to teach in the morning.

What Makes Me Angry About the World?

The prompt supplied for the LYL challenge is the title of the post. I’m surprised nothing is jumping out at me.  But, I do have some things that upset me.  A good place to start would be listing those.

  • Watching people not try
  • Not trying my best
  • People blindly accepting things
  • People hurting others for entertainment
  • The school system and its regimented standards
  • How we fail to use the creativity of students

I’m beginning to understand more about myself.  There are some things that annoy me that are within my control.  How I act and how my classroom operates is within my control.  Those should be my focus.

A key thought that continues to run through my mind is how I don’t know what my goals are.  I am complaining about not giving my best, yet I couldn’t tell you what giving my best looks like.  Moreover, I want to use the creativity of the students to help solve problems within the community, yet I don’t know what that would look like either!  Knowing what to focus on is also an issue, for I know the future will never be exactly what I envision.  How much detail is enough detail?

Live Your Legend Blog Challenge!

A dream to be satisfied.  A dream to fully live.  This is what I have.  What I want is an incredible life that I wouldn’t change for the world.  To help me get there, I am participating in the Live Your Legend Start a Blog Challenge!

We were given the puzzle of writing about our story.  I will begin with explaining why I chose the word puzzle instead of something similar like task or challenge.  A puzzle, to me, is a fun problem to solve.  A puzzle has less stress behind it.  I’ve been running from challenges or problems for most of my life.  I would avoid scary situations.  I would procrastinate out of fear.  I would tell lies or make up excuses for not doing things.  One way I’ve learned to help me is to frame any difficult situations as puzzles.  So, there is the darker side of me.  I also want to spread some light!

I love to play.  Almost any type of game, I will be into.  I particularly like soccer.  Currently, I am volunteering as a Dad’s Club soccer coach and just love spending time with those kids.  Videogames and board games also are a great interest of mine.  Part of what I love about games is the fact that there usually is a clear goal to strive for.

Speaking of goals, that is why I am doing this blog challenge.  I want to identify what my goals of life should be.  Maybe I can turn it into a game.  Here’s to discovery!

Tempeh Marinade – Great for Salads or Wraps

This recipe has a special memory attached to it.  I used it on one of my early dates with Abbie.  Still to this day, she says it is one of her favorites!

  • Ingredients
    • 1 package of tempeh
    • 1 tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp dried rosemary
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
    • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • Directions
    • Cut the tempeh into half inch cubes
    • Place everything in a quart-size plastic bag (or larger)
    • Shake the bag to cover the tempeh
    • Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour
    • Preheat a frying pan over medium low heat
    • Fry the tempeh for about 10 minutes, turning as you see fit
    • Enjoy!

Reflection on “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by Chris Hadfield

The video encapsulates the wonders of space travel and the talents of Chris Hadfield.  Watching Hadfield and the guitar float causes the feeling of wonder.  What would that feel like?  What does it take to be able to do that?  The answer to this latter question is summarized by Hadfield in his book that also includes a number of life lessons.

The path to becoming an astronaut is a long one.  Hadfield says he began dreaming of being an astronaut at the age of 9.  From this moment, he weighed his choices based on the following question, “Is this what an astronaut would be doing?”  From eating his vegetables to diligently doing his science homework, the dream of being an astronaut strongly influenced his decisions.  He referred to this as checking his attitude, which in spaceflight terms means orientation relative to, say, the sun.  Don’t let your spacecraft drift wildly.  Give it an attitude.

Maintaining an attitude requires a lot of prep work.  Astronauts are known for being space cowboys, riding on rockets and living on the edge of humanity.  This image is highly skewed.  Almost all of an astronaut’s work is in preparation.  Hadfield recounts hours and hours of his life lived in simulators.  Astronauts practice over and over for their mission.  Hadfield summarizes the lesson here to always sweat the small stuff.

Sweating the small stuff is not something I do regularly.  Life is overly simple.  But, I do remember one time that I did sweat the small stuff.  Last year when I was training for the Bix, my plan included how I would recover from an illness that caused me to miss some training days.  I didn’t end up missing any days, but that possible fall was already planned and it caused me ease in knowing how I would handle an “emergency.”  Hadfield repeatedly said one of the reasons for the space programs success is that they always asked the following question: What could kill me next?  My potential missing of a training day wouldn’t have killed me, but it follows the general idea.  Plus, we are lucky to not have to deal with life or death situations regularly (unlike Hadfield and other astronauts and cosmonauts).

One of the best ways to reduce risk is to ensure you have team support.  Hadfield showed me an aspect of the space program that I never knew about.  He had a role of being CAPCOM, or head communicator to astronauts on a mission.  He also spent years living in Russia.  I’m forgetting his exact title, but he represented NASA and worked closely with the Russians.  This view strengthens the concept that everything takes a village.  People are helping you all the time, often without our realization.  I’m reminded of watching the documentary on the Hubble Space Telescope and it mentioning that over 10,000 people had a hand in its set up.  Great feats require a great team.  Be grateful for peoples’ contributions.

Speaking of teams, what makes a great team great?  Most of it lays in the values of the team.  The team of NASA is a great example of valuing learning.  Any mistake made is looked at for the sole purpose of learning, not ridicule.  Hadfield tells a story of how he went blind, due to residue from his visor cleanser, during a spacewalk.  NASA took this seriously and changed the cleanser used.  Great teams value growth (and having strong players doesn’t hurt either, as being chosen to be an astronaut is incredibly competitive).

Hadfield ends his book with a description of how to always be happy with life.  His advice is simple.  Give it everything you’ve got.  You’ll never be disappointed knowing you put forth all your effort.