Saturday, February 07, 2009


So I've been here over a month now. I've been thinking about the trip here recently and I was going to post this on the actual monthiversary, which is not a real word, but I was violently ill on the actual date and then catching back up with school and being sleep deprived still. So while it may have had some kernels of wisdom it would also have probably devolved into infantile crying and the mashing together of nonsense verbs and nouns in ways I would not accept from my students. A sort of Jackson Pollack approach to blogging which I tend to try to avoid.

In the end there are a lot of reasons that I came here, I think. But one of the major ones that I didn't think about until recently was Sean. Not the little, cute, loves Pokemon one. I had a friend named Sean, or rather a friend who named himself Sean, who committed suicide a year and a half ago. Most of you who follow this blog probably know this, as you knew him or heard me speak of it, but I do try to maintain the hope that more than the 10 people on the side of the screen read this.

Sean dying was very startling to me. He was the first person I knew well as an adult that died. I lost the only biological grandparent I knew when I was fairly young and even then she was not a part of my every day life. But I saw Sean at least once a month for a little over three years, and then he was gone. You think you have a handle on this whole mortality thing, but then it ups its' game. So yes, I had the inevitable 'life is short' wake up call and resolved myself to live a life of adventure, romance and mad science ( is a brilliantly funny webcomic, where that line comes from), celebrating Sean's life with a toast (and a wake months later that left me feeling like I had moved to the devil's colon).

But this is me, and so two months later I was back in the rut of life and doing things and desperately trying to get a handle on Chomskian Syntactics. And by get a handle I mean 'give enough of a crap to go to class'. And then I was almost done with classes, and scrambling to get in to Metro to get my stuff done, and then working full time and taking a full summer load of classes...and the dream of adventure, romance and witty one liners faded away in to the much more solid present of work, and sleep. That being largely it.

It's easy to get lost in a day to day life because routine really does create comfort. We like to have an ordered life where a follows b and c follows b and so on and so forth; we like to put our own little bit of order on the chaos of the universe. Of course down the road z leads to death (and anger leads to fear and fear leads to the dark side), but its' easy to ignore that when you're only at d and z feels so far away.

One of the other major reasons I came is because of Mr. Kirschling. My High School French teacher, who once came to Halloween dressed as a member of the Manson family (Charles, not Marilyn; and this is true, ask Cory or Nathan), had travelled through Europe and Africa working his way and having a merry time. He saw Africa with a Belgian Princess (which we forgive him for, even though he did associate with the godless Belgians) , and came back a wiser man with more stuff. And a penchant for dressing up like Manson guys, I guess. But that was very inspiring to me, and when I heard him talk about it I said that I wanted to do that, to have that adventure and see those things. I guess I was always drawn a little bit more to Asia than to Europe, however.

The final major reason is of course Nathan, and that is the sentence that will cause my mother's blood pressure to rise. My friend Nathan travelled like he was a rich man with a death sentence. He did semester at sea, he lived in Vietnam, and he lived in Thailand. His passport reads like a James Bond novel set in the Orient and parts of the Mediterranian (which would be a great idea, call me Mrs. Broccoli), and he was always texting or IM'ng with people in exotic foreign countries (or exotic local countries for me now). We talked about it, he pestered me about it, we argued about it like an old married couple (no, mom, don't worry) and eventually I remembered I had wanted to do this.

So now is the part where I say I have no regrets, and I'm living a life of Adventure and Romance and Face Meltingly Spicy Curry. But I don't have no regrets, because while life is about choices there is also the choice you didn't take. I don't know if this is ultimately better for me than if I had stayed home and kept trying to get in to the TIR program (Teacher in Residency, an alternative licensure program Denver Public Schools runs) or stayed home and just tried to get in to grad school. But life is for the living, as Mistress Leonora said in the comments section, and the die is cast as some guy said crossing some river (cue Titus aneurysm). So here I am, and Adventure, Romance and FMSC to follow.

Just kidding about the Godless Belgians, they're cool.



  1. I was going to try to be all profound, but realized it's pretty hard in a blogspot comment box. So I'll leave it at this; you will never look back in life and wonder what it would have been like to going off in your youth and teaching in a foreign land, so look at it as one less what-if you'll have come mid-life crisis time :)

    And no, I don't care if that isn't perfect use of a semi-colon, I have no regrets regarding that usage! None!

  2. Dear Matthew,

    I am getting overtly sentimental in my newly acquired older age, so as I wiped the tears from my eyes as I finished reading your post, I thought about an item or two from the graduation letter I wrote to you, and concluded "by George, I think he's got it."

    Lovely post, and I hope you will continue to spoil us. Love live the penguins!




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