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Archive for September, 2011

So, the title of today’s blog may be confusing.  I also could have called it, “Be Careful What You Wish For”, but I thought that was too cliché.  Nonetheless, I am often confronted with getting what I want, only to find that I really didn’t want that, or more specifically, that particular version of what I got.  For example, I wish I had more friends, but I hate it when people talk to me.  I am going to share two stories of my life that illustrate this dichotomy that I live with everyday.  Both stories occurred yesterday.

My son and I went shopping.  We were looking for a velcro strap for his leg.  He rides his bike to school and the weather has been cooler lately.  Since shorts season may be leaving us soon, we needed something to protect his right pants leg from the bike chain.  While shopping, I saw a woman who I recognized from church shopping with her two kids.  She was directly in the path of where I was planning on walking and I foresaw an impending forced hello and meaningless conversation about something irrelevant.  To avoid this torturous situation, I turned down an aisle and pretended that I did not see her, and hoped, or at least assumed that she did not see me. So, my son and I continued our shopping and went down an aisle, turned the corner, and BAM, there she was right in front of us.  She then, proceeded to walk right passed us, along with her children and did not say a word.

What?!?  How dare she not say hi to me.  I know she saw me.  What kind of person walks by another person that they recognize and not say hello?  That’s not very Christian.  I was upset.  I can’t believe she would just blow me off like that.  I almost turned around and said, “Hey! Lady! (Because I did not know her name, although I probably should have, since I know her husband’s name)  I know you know me!  You better recognize!  What would Jesus do?  WWJD!  WWJD  Bee-yotch!”  OK, the bee-yotch would have been too much, but you get my gist.  At least I had the common decency to duck down an aisle and attempt to avoid her all together, but I guess love and kindness is truly dead.  Yes, I know, I need help.

The second event took place after my son’s football game.  My son is 11-years-old and plays in a youth football league.  His team plays other sixth grade teams in the region.  My son has a physique built for football.  He is 5’6″, weighs at least 140 pounds, size 10.5 shoe and is strong.  He mainly plays nosetackle on defense.  The problem is, well, it is not really a problem, but one obstacle to football greatness is his lack of a single aggressive bone.  He is the nicest kid you will ever meet.  The phrase gentle giant comes to mind.  The truth of the matter is, I want him to do well in football.  And without much effort he plays a lot during the games, but he is not first string.  His coaches know that he could be the best player out there, but they have not been able to tap in to his aggressive spirit.

What bothers me the most is that he doesn’t seem to care or mind that he is not better.  I have on more than one occasion got mad at him for not, in my opinion, playing his best.  He also doesn’t seem to be bothered when the team loses, which is rare, but this might anger me the most.  How can you not want to win?  This is why I no longer go to his practices.  I do not want to ruin the experience for him by being one of those dads.  But, this year, I have been quiet.

Yesterday, his team was behind the whole game and ended up losing 26 to 12.  My son played one series and that’s it.  After the game I was furious, but again, chose not to say anything to him, nor his coach.  I really don’t want to be that guy.  While driving him to his mother’s, I noticed that my son seemed sad.  I asked him what was wrong.  He told me that he was disappointed that he didn’t play much and sad that the team lost.  He looked like he was going to cry.  OK, I did not want THIS.  We talked some more, and I suggested that next practice he ask his coach what he can do to improve and therefore play more during games.  He said he would do that.  And I hope he does.  I am excited for this, but it is crucial that I let him find his own way toward finding self motivation.  It is less about what I want, and more about what is best.  I want him motivated and to care, but not to be overly sad about every defeat.  It’s a fine line.

A quick addendum; I normally sit by myself at his football games because I really don’t know anyone else.  I am sometimes upset that no one sits next to me, or says hi.  Yesterday, I sat next to one of my son’s friend’s parents.  I hated every moment.  It’s not easy being me.

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Last week I drove to work and parked my car in a parking lot that is about 300 yards from my building.  As I am walking a woman starts talking to me about how nice it is to park in a lot that’s free.  Then ponders how many people know about this free lot and wonders if it will always be easy to park in that lot.  She introduces herself, and then asks a whole bunch of questions about me.  Luckily for me, she did not work in my building and I had to cut the conversation short to go to my office.  Who does this?  She talked to me like she knew me.  She talked non-stop and in my opinion tried to make a conversation way too personal for a first-time, you-are-a-stranger conversation.  You know what is weirder?  This happened to me twice this week.  This kind of stuff happens to me ALL THE TIME.  Why?  Why?  Why? And how can I make it stop?!?  I’m just sayin …

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So, it has been a crazy transition back to the world of working.  As many of you know, I am a professor, and with school starting again, I have been rather busy.  On one hand, it is good to be back.  On the other hand, it has made it increasingly difficult to keep my blog up to date.  The sad part is that I am constantly thinking of new blogs.  If I had the time, and the energy, I could probably write 20 blogs tonight, but alas, I am tired, and must go to bed soon.

With the new semester comes new students, and yet the same students.  I teach biology for non-majors.  What that means is I have about 150 students looking at me wishing they were somewhere else.  They do not see the value in biology, and if they could avoid taking my class, most of them would.  Our university requires a science lab course, of which my class qualifies.  On the first day of class, I often ask the same question:  How many of you would not be here if you didn’t have to be here?  I would say about 95% of the students raise their hands.  I will also ask them; How many of you think biology is NOT relevant to your lives?  This response to this question is generally less depressing, but only slightly as approximately 80% of the students respond with biology as irrelevant to their lives.

Biology irrelevant?  Seriously?  How can this be?  Biology is the study of life.  How is life irrelevant to your life?  This is simply impossible.  Granted, I am biased, but I simply do not understand how people don’t appreciate the need for biology in their lives.  Now some of this I blame on biology teachers, or science teachers in general.  We all have had experiences, including my self, of having science teachers that were boring as hell.  Of course, if you take biology from me, you might call me many things, but boring is not one of them.

Quick side note:  At what point did hell become boring?  How do boring and hell go together?  I can think of hell as many things, but I am quite convinced that it won’t be boring.  The druggies, alcoholics, and gang bangers alone should make it quite the ‘exciting’ place.  I’m just sayin …  OK, too early for that.  I digress.

My point is: I can’t think of any subject more relevant to a person’s life than biology.  Here are a list of subjects that I think are cool, relevant, and 100% biology:

Food – You are what you eat, literally.  Everybody eats, and everybody poops (I refuse to say more about poop).  Bammm!!! Biology.

Breathing – You can’t live without air.  Boo-Ya!  Biology.

Dancing – Exercise, grooving to the beat, getting your freak on with the local barfly.  BaBam!  Biology.

Beer – Yeast, fermentation, Yummy goodness.  KaDoosh!  Biology.

Sex – Need I say more.  Crazy face making, toe curling, heavy breathing, loud screaming (if you roll like that), spasm, then coma inducing freaky sex.  And you know this maaaaaaan!  Biology.

Appreciate it.  Know it.  Love it.  Can’t live without it.

Biology.

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If someone were to videotape you during sex, would you want to see it?  I don’t think I would.  It’s not because I am prude or anything, it’s just that I am not convinced that the facial expressions produced during sex would appear natural, especially at the summit of lovemaking.  But if I were to walk by a screen showing my big butt bumping and grinding, I would have no choice but to watch.  It be like a bad car wreck; I know I shouldn’t watch, but I just have to.  For those of you reading this that know me, try getting that image out of your brain.  I’m just sayin …

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