Friday, March 8, 2013

Today the world lost its best teacher.

In high school I had a few teachers that I really respected. I enjoyed their class and felt like I learned a lot from them all, but I think they are all on the same page with me when I say he was the best.

I remember hearing about him when I was a freshman. I got put into his German class, but went to the guidance counselor and switched to spanish so I would be in such a hard class. I hoped every year once it came time for me to take British Literature I wouldn't have his class. I was scared. His class was so hard, or so I had heard. He was one of those strict teachers. To be honest, I was a senior, I was ready to take it easy and get out of there! I wanted one of those teachers who were laid back and didn't care.

When I got his class, I definitely didn't get a teacher who didn't care. I got quite the opposite. I got all the things I was scared of. I quickly learned though, it was all of the things I needed.

I was always very quiet in his class. I knew the subject wasn't my strong suit so I didn't want much attention. To be honest I didn't always make the best grades in there either, but I tried. I would go before and after class and ask questions and do extra credit. I still didnt' make the good grades, but I tried. He saw that too. I don't know how it happened, but I passed the class. I think the only reason I passed was because he saw that I tried.

He called me Vic. I don't know why I loved it so much. Maybe it was because while I was quiet and trying to hide he noticed me, he remembered me, and he truly cared. I know this because years later he still remembered me. He remembered everyone, and not just remembered, he cared about every single person.

Now that he has passed away Facebook is flooded with memories of him. I'm seeing that he has touched every single person who has been in his class. We were all special to him, it wasn't just me, and he was just as special to all of us.

I remember doing a newspaper article about him where I asked him questions about his past. I wish I could find it today because my memory isn't good enough to remember much.

What I do remember is that he use to be in the military, Navy I think. Its hard for me to picture this. He has been all over the world and learned multiple languages. If I remember correctly, it was 5 languages, including Latin. He was engaged, but his fiance died young. I remember not asking anymore about that. It seems he has been alone ever since, but he always had his students. I asked him how old he was and the answer was something crazy like 250. He told a lot of people this, and I think we all believed him. He seemed to be immortal. He was here long before we got here, and we just thought he would be around forever. I just couldn't ever imagine a world without him teaching.

He told us he would die teaching, and thats just what he did. I pray that he died happy and that he knew even just a fraction of the love that this community has for him. I think most teachers go to work with the hope that they touch just one life, but this man has touched hundreds. Its been six years since I stepped into his classroom, but the things I learned there will stay with me forever.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do you ever get in those moods? Where everything just sucks... I suffer from depression... Its not exactly horrible, like I don't want to hurt myself or anything like that. I just have days where I feel worthless. Somedays I feel like everyone hates me. I feel like there is a big rain cloud over my head and it is just pouring down on me. I also withdraw from everything, which really just makes things worse.

Frankly, I'm tired of it. I'm ready for a change. I don't want to load myself up on meds so I figured I would just put together a quick list of things that can lift my spirits, and hopefully yours to.

  • First of all, if you are like me and start feeling like everyone hates you then you need to realize that its just NOT true! If you really think about it, its easy to see that all of these negative thoughts are coming from Satan. He is telling you anything he can think of to knock you down. Someone once told me that the way Satan was designed it was impossible for him to tell the truth. With this fact we can gather that when Satan tells us we are useless and hated, we know we have purpose and that we are loved. I know it is such a simple thought, but I do this every time I start thinking really negative thoughts. 
  • Going on with thinking that what Satan said was a lie, block all of those things out of your mind. Figure out the truth (basically the opposite of what you were thinking before).. I'm useless really means I have value and a purpose.. Everyone hates you means you are loved more than you know.. So take this and make a list. Good thoughts and truth. What are good things about you? What do you enjoy? What are you good at? My list usually starts off like this: I have an amazing daughter. I enjoy couponing and I'm good at it! I have a good husband who loves me! I am a good person. I am loving and kind... You get the point..
  • The first step alone hopefully lifted you up, and from here on out we just want to keep that good mood flowing. This is the point where I find something to do rather than just sit around and proving myself to be useless. Tonight I cleaned up some and started typing this. I also spent an hour on Photoshop trying to make that picture you see at the top of this post... I need some practice.. haha.. Anyways, the old saying is "Idle hands are the devil's plaything" or however it goes.. Its true. That stillness causes those bad thoughts to stir back around. Why don't you clean up? Once you're done  you will feel accomplished and you will have a clean house! You could also go outside.. Vitamin D will help you feel better, thats a proven fact!
  • This isn't the best one, but when I'm really stuck in a mood I watch TV.. Lately I got sucked into Downton Abbey and felt like I was in another world. Its the same with books, we get into these other places so that we don't have to be in our own. Of course you really need to sort out your problems, but this is like a bandaid I guess.
  • Talk to someone.. This one may be so cliche, but its really the truth. When I feel the worst I just tell my husband everything. I usually start off the conversation with "Sorry I was such a bish to you..." or "I apologize in advance for my bad mood, its not your fault.." Once I say one of those things he is in listening mode. Once we talk I am almost always in a better mood ready to move onto something else..
There are a million more things I could list, but I'll add just a few and be on my way.. These may seem like just random things to do to keep you busy, but I think keeping busy is a great way to keep your mind occupied and stay happy :)
  • Drink hot tea
  • OH, or hot chocolate!!
  • take a walk
  • play Call of Duty (serious stress relief for me - I swear I'm not a geek!)
  • shopping! retail therapy really works as long as you don't overspend!
  • pinterest
  • listen to music
  • visit someone new
  • play with your kids
  • or someone else's kids...
  • take a random drive
  • temple run..
  • write
  • take a class
  • learn something new