A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Craig's List Band

Last night, my wife's friend from 3rd grade, Wendy, invited us to watch her husband Dave's new band perform. About 20 friends and family gathered in their basement to witness the band's first ever live set.

Dave's last band was called Divide by Zero, and as we were in the kitchen readying to leave the party, Karen inquired, "What's the band's name."

Wendy replied that the band was asking for suggestions.

Karen suggested "Screwdriver," since Ron, the guitarist, who also plays lead guitar for another band that plays all original music, who had been looking for a cover band like Dave's, that plays a variety of music, had been looking for a screwdriver. I suggested "Poetic License." Wendy jotted down our ideas.

Karen wondered, "How did the band come together?"

"Craig's List," Wendy replied.

"How about Craig's List Band, CLB?" I joked. We all laughed.

My day began with haircuts for Joe and I at the Lyon Village Barber Shop in Arlington, where I learned that Joe was trying to be "hooked up" with a girl by a friend and baseball teammate. Joe also revealed to Hung, his childhood barber, that he wanted to have 3-4 children, to not have an only child.

Later, I paid my final respects to someone who had left the world far too soon. The stunned gathering of family, colleagues, and students were left wondering why, wondering what signs we had missed, wondering what else could we have done? I channeled my energies using Tony Robbins' re-framing strategies, and spent the rest of my Saturday reflecting on everything and everyone for which I was thankful, doing the gratitude walk, noticing all of my blessings with ever step, being a little more kind to my dog, my son Joe, my wife Karen, and everyone I ran into on the street.

Normally not a person to start a conversation on my personal time -- I prefer to keep my mouth closed, to keep moving on, although I find myself drawn into conversations all the time -- yesterday I did something unusual and called my brother Mike. Mike was riding his motorcycle along the twisting Loudoun County Byway, Elk Run Road. Having read a report in the Washington Post that IBM had laid off 12,000 workers the other day, I was genuinely concerned. Mike explained that IBM was simply changing its business model because it had lost money for the past 8 quarters. He was, in fact, getting getting ready to work on a project in France, where he will be staying a few extra days riding around France on a rented motorcycle. He will send me a link to an app so that I can track his movements.

Today, I'll need a little help from the snow to keep ahead of the gathering storm. 8 to 12 inches are forecasted. To do: grades, IEP's, lesson plans, and drive to Kinkos to make State Test Prep packages since we ran out of paper at our school on Friday. So much can go so wrong so quickly in education, and sometimes everything starts spiraling out of control after the copier runs out of paper -- a Butterfly Effect?

Somehow I feel the eyes of March watching me. I sense that others, including Dr. P, are somehow comforted by my renegade it's all a game attitude. Maybe that's why my daily trespasses are forgiven, as trespasses are less and less likely to be forgiven in education, thanks to an accountability movement that has become cancerous. As certain teachers prepare to teach to the rule, I'll continue breaking the rules because lives are at stake, because all the rules are all broken anyway, while people in education continue to see the world through a 20th century production line mindset. Meanwhile, the countdown to the Singularity presses on relentlessly, with the "velocity of change" proceeding, as was written at the dawn of the 20th century, in Middle Town, leaving everybody numb, some taking desperate measures, and others simply giving way because they just can't take it anymore.

I wonder about The Wheel of Time series, Jim had been so fascinated with? We shared so many interests, including a love of books. Had I known, maybe I could have been a better friend and shown a little more interest. Maybe I could have invited Jim to watch a group of friends who came together randomly to form a band, a Craig's List Band. That might have made a difference, but it's too late for Jim. Live moves on.