Archive for the ‘running’ category

Coffee Stain: I’m _So_ Gay

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Or at least that’s what a student said I was.

The student wasn’t too happy with an answer I gave to a request and then in the next few minutes used her creative energies to pull a picture of me off the school’s web directory into a MS Word(r) document and write in a 24-point bold script “He is so Gay!” Mind you, the students were working on an annotated bibliography about an important jouralism person or publication during the classtime–At least that is what I had intended the time to be used for.

So, what did I do? Mostly what I normally do: ignored it. She was upset because I didn’t grant permission for her request and funneled her ire into Microsoft Word (and I can deal with that). I have that effect on some of my students: I make them mad sometimes and I’m okay with that. Question is: should I have been upset at being called “so Gay” or even that the student was using a “derrogatory term” to channel her passive agreesive anger?

Again, I chose not to respond. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true. What I usually do in these situations is pretend to ignore the behavior, the comment, the DDJD LookSneerCurse. But what I then will do is use proximity: I lean or walk in the student’s general direction. I might walk right by their desk. But most of all, I will make sure that the student knows that I acknowledge their presence by my presence and that’s about it.

Besides, I think she was having a bad day anyway.

Now on the “so Gay” part. I grew up in Northern California during the 70s and 80s and I have generally, for the first part of my teaching career, been trying to remind the students and youth (and perhaps adults) in Northern Indiana that to call someone “Gay” borders on being homophobic. And, as a sidenote, it really is the worst thing to call another male student (as if to be gay is to be one on the Highway to Hell).

And so, I would have a talk with my classes as it came up (as someone loudly would namecall another student “gay”) and remind my students of what exactly they were saying. And generally, like most teacher lectures on proper EmilyPost “be nice to one another” lessons go, it fell on CharlieBrown AdultTalking “wa wa waa, wa wa waa.” You get the picture and you hear the tone. The problem, though, is that I wasn’t any better than my students were: I and my friends, did the same things and made fun the gay community also.

As I mentioned before, I grew up in Northern California and our family moved to the Russian River community during my 8th grade year and then back for grades 10-12. We lived near the community of Guerneville and we had fun saying some things about the folk that would come up during the weekends and the summer. See, Guerneville, as I remember hearing, was a fairly “clean town” and “many of the business were owned by people who were gay” (mind you, we lived about 60 miles north of San Francisco and to many of my students that means I lived by the gayest community the world). And so– and I learned this from a high schooler whom we thought was cool (probably because we was stoned most of the time…no kidding)– we would yell out the window some name or title when our car went by two men holding hands along the sidewalk or road.

I’m not proud of it; I’m just saying that I did it.

Along with that, my church buddies would come out and visit me and one particularly funny kid in our group thought Guerneville should have a tagline underneath the city limits sign: Guerneville: Where the women are women and the men are to. And we laughed and thought we all were quite witty (remember, to be funny as an adolescent wins more points than being good-looking and being a decent athlete).

So, when I denied the student’s request to go to her locker so she could retrieve her electronic listening device, I wasn’t really shocked that she used a term, though I don’t think was too witty, to project her distaste for my declining her request.

Before you remind me of my duty as a classroom teacher of a public school, think for a moment and remember that we all are guilty of name-calling. It is human and yes, it is ugly, but it is very human to do so.

Though one of my former newspaper students, who happens to be African-American (see how careful I worded that), calls me her “wigger.” She’ll say “Hey, are you my ‘wigger'” and I’ll remind her that she realizes that I can’t say the same thing back to her and she’ll say “I know.”

Now that’s witty.


Sledding fun

Monday, 7 January 2008

Times of being a kid are great. 

The Things I Love

Sunday, 25 November 2007

We’re back from the 9th annual family gathering of the Bickels (Lois’ parents and Lois’ brother, his wife [Jinger] and their son), the Certalics (Jinger’s parents) and us on Thanksgiving weekend in Schaumburg, IL (home of the Woodfield Mall<= really big).

And, for the last 9 years, we had all read the same book and had a book talk (this year: A Thousand Splendid Sunsets [Hosseini of The Kite Runner]). At the suggestion by Lois, we each created a list of “Things we loved” that didn’t include the usual things like family or country or belief-like items. I scribbled mine on the back of notes from a little talk that I gave the editors of the Student Publications class and found more room on the hotel’s small notepad paper. It was interesting to hear each person’s list and was in general a pretty cool to do.

Try it sometime…or now–as a response to this post–it’s fun. It’s not so much in making this list, but sharing it with someone else who has made the list too.

So, here’s mine:

The Things I love:

  • Venti Bold lots of room for cream with four packets of Sugar in the Raw from Starbucks at 7:07 a.m. before school.
  • New England Clam Chowder with sour dough bread at The Tides restaurant in Bodega Bay, California.
  • The Mac OS X OS with its Unix core underneath and the bling bling of the UI on our eMac.
  • That each Bickel has a bottle of nasal spray on their night stand.
  • Celtic Women, Riverdance, and “Danny Boy.”
  • Most BBC comedies.
  • Netflixing with Lois.
  • Colin’s red hair and Evan’s hitting the floor.
  • Making Ken and Doris coffee.
  • The first bass note in a song.
  • The pictures of Lois and me at the Japanese Tea Gardens (Golden Gate Park) in 1989 and 2001.
  • The beginning, middle and end of a marathon.
  • My 2007 Grand Rapids Marathon shirt.
  • NPR (“Wait, wait…Don’t Tell me,” “This American Life,” and “Speaking of Faith”).
  • Troubleshooting a website’s code and the moment when it works as it ought to.
  • Writing in a black marble composition book.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge on a bright foggy day.
  • My running shoes.
  • My Timberland shoes.
  • A 1988 Ford Festiva.
  • Building inuksuk on the Lake Michigan shore in Milwaukee, WI.
  • The flatness of the Midwest.
  • When Lois calls me a jackass.

Lakefront Marathon report

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Here’s a report from last weekend’s Lakefront Marathon (Milwaukee, WI), the smaller marathon from the weekend with less press. I decided to use my older camera phone to record the sights and sounds of the race. For the sights, I used my Flickr account and for the sounds, I used my existing Twitter account with Dave Winer’s mashup, Twittergrams (the upshot is that you can record a 30-second message and people who are following your Twitter account have a link that they can follow and hear your audio message). [Note: time stamps are EDT and we were in CDT, so subtract an hour for reality].

Saturday, 6 October 2007

(BayView Farmers Market: Baby Jessica)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 08:34 AM October 06, 2007 from TwitterGram

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 01:32 PM October 06, 2007 from TwitterGram

Some pix from this morning in Milwaukee (Bayview):; time for lunch and packet pickup. 01:43 PM October 06, 2007 from web

(Milwaukee: MSOE field house)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 03:17 PM October 06, 2007 from TwitterGram

Sunday, 7 October 2007 (Before the race)

Today, Lois and I are running in the Lakefront Marathon (WI); we’re headed to the bus pickup and I’ll be twittering (t-gram) from the race. 07:00 AM October 07, 2007 from web

Have a great day folk…it’s gonna be a warm one…drink lots of fluids. 07:01 AM October 07, 2007 from web

Being transported to Grafton, WI

On bus with chatty people runners. 07:48 AM October 07, 2007 from txt

15 minutes before race time

Mile 0: Start of race (Grafton High School, Grafton, WI)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 09:02 AM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 3 (High point…maybe)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 09:33 AM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 4 (Losing Lois and Accordions)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 09:46 AM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 10 (Ambulance)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 10:58 AM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 15 (Fox Pointe and finishing)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 12:06 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 17 (Crowd support)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 12:21 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 18 (White Fish Bay, now all downhill)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 12:41 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 19 (What not to eat)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 12:52 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 20 (Flickr pix)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 01:07 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 23 (What not to eat, part 2; Meeting the Lake)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 01:48 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 24 (Jack)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 02:04 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Mile 26.2 (Finish line)

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 02:23 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

Post-race commentary

Phoned-in TG from Lakefront Marathon weekend 02:40 PM October 07, 2007 from TwitterGram

New PR at Lake City

Sunday, 16 September 2007

At the finish line with the boysMy initial goal for this running season was a 3:30 time; I figured I should give it a whirl and try harder at improving my time…just to try it. Then, around the time of the Elkhart Co. 4-H fair 5K, I decided that my pace was fast enough to try to qualify for Boston: 3:20. I changed training schedules, trained more often and more miles and Lake City was a strong race.

I missed the qualifying time, but ran a 3:25 (12th overall out of 57 registered runners, 9th Male finisher) and was happy with how prepared I felt. I was on track for the first 13.1 mile loop (we ran the course twice) with a time of 1:38, but my second time, I dropped 9 mins. behind. My previous PR was 3:47 and it’s fun to reflect back to my first marathon in 2002 with a finishing time of 4:27 (here’s the result page; I’m in 569th place).

I wrote about my progress up through the 2005 season in a previous post , and if I remember right, last season I was trying for a two marathon year, but ending up doing 3:

  • 2006 Sunburst: 3:47* (PR; Previous PR was 3:56, Sunburst 2004)
  • 2006 Lake City: 3:53 (leg cramped up at Mile 17)
  • 2006 Columbus (I ran with Lois as her running buddy).

This season so far hasn’t been entirely groovy:

The Hanson training schedule has been more demanding, but I would agree with the many others when I say that you don’t have to run over 16 miles in your training schedule to be prepared (at least in the beginner/intermediate level). Lois and I are running Lakefront the first weekend in October and my sister, Stephany, just got her tickets to fly out for her nephew’s birthday and run in Grand Rapids. (I might try another qualifying run there if the training holds up).

I wasn’t exactly planning on five marathons this year, but I’m 40 now, and why not. I still want one of those Segways, but until then, running marathons still amuses me.

Twittering for two after a tempo run

Thursday, 28 June 2007

This morning’s tempo run (7:40 pace) of 5-miles was nice (+66f; 92% humidity; listened to Bruce Hornsby, the “Everybody Dance” track from Paul M. and Train).

As I look back on the last 3 months of blogging (or at least on this site) I can see a mish-mash of stuff and things that I find amusing for that day. Sometimes the thought of hashing out a cohesive 3 or so paragraphs slips my mind and I find that my tumblr account has been much more active than this WordPress account. (I’m not going into all of the psychology of that right now, as many other folk have put a lot of type into the internet tubes on writing blogs vs. mini-blogging and the like). What I’m wondering from people is how do they manage two Twittering people on one computer.

We have an ol’ eMac 700 that’s not going to be replaced just yet (because it still does the stuff I need it to do) and because both Lois and I Twitter (and have different “friends,”) I went with two Twitter clients so that both of us can view our social life at any time (the computer is in a central place). Because I follow more people, I have the Twitteriffic program which is slick and so usable; for Lois, I set up tweetr (an AIR app that is maturing well and I just like the idea of using AIR as it seems to be on the edge of some really cool content).

I realize that we could sign out and sign in on Twitterrific, but that just takes too much time and frankly would be a little annoying. (Plus, both apps have their distinct sounds when a new tweet is received: And like Pavlov’s dog we run to the computer <g>).

This way seems workable for us, and though a bit resource heavy on the little ol’ eMac 700, we can continue our social lives in 140 characters or less.

Short Indy trip; fast tempo run

Thursday, 21 June 2007

(Hey, my whole html toolbar shows up in Safari…cool)<= Spoke too soon…shows up, not fully functional
Anyway, the new teacher portfolio scoring took less than half the time we had planned for, so I got to come home Tuesday. (BTW, this is a worthwhile process: the portfolio, the mentoring, and the scoring…I will post about this later, but for some reason, some people think it’s “just another hoop we have to jump through”…I’d like to go on record and argue that assessment…later).
This morning was my first tempo run (a run at marathon pace) and I was planning on a conservative time of 8:00 miles and my first mile today was 7:35 and then I figured I might as well see how the rest of the run went. For the 5 mile run, my average mile was 7:40 and I felt comfortable and could breathe easily…which makes me wonder about my plans of qualifying for Boston next year: why not this year?
So the journey begins and I will continue to trace my progress here. I’ve been keeping track of some of my training over at Buckeye, but I can’t seem to figure out how to have my training log show up in my sidebar (that’s another project, I suppose).