Month: March 2014
It seems an interesting to look back at one’s childhood and remembering the small items that shaped into what it was. And I now by writing these words the all-to-familiar visuals of childhood romping grounds come flooding back like a great tidal wave. I am writing this as much to dip my cup in the well of remembrance as much I am encouraging you to look book on some fond moments of your life. It would be foolish to think all of our memories are as perfect a scene as Julie Andrews singing with her children in ‘The Sound of Music’, but all the same life as we now it know wouldn’t be what it is without them. Here is my quick list of life lived through a child of the 90’s eyes:
- Disney’s: Toy Story
- Uno’s Pizza on 3rd St. Booneville, Indiana
- Playing basketball against my Dad
- Television Sets with only 10 channels
- Tape players with built in radios (Fiddler on the Roof cassette tape)
- Calvin and Hobbes
- Having to sit at the dinner table until I finished eating my dinner
- Going to the video store
- Watching the, then new, Danny Glover Predator 2 and eating pizza
- Meeting my dog Blue for the first time
- Going to the bank and being utterly bored (not much had changed there)
- Beer Claw Donuts and Chocolate milk after Tae-Kwon-do class Saturday mornings
- Star Wars episode 1 with little Anakin “Annie” Skywalker
- The YMCA summer camp
Again, I encourage you today to set aside a moment to think about the positive building “Lincoln Logs” that helped you develop into the fully functional, fantastic person you are today.
My fascination regarding stories of deep and unexplainable connections with our pets is one of consistent marvel to me. This picture in which I have simply titled “Heart to Heart and Mind to Mind” speaks exactly to this. This type of picture is usually reserved for a mother and her child, but here it is a loving moment shared between a young woman and a beautiful Caucasian animal.
The example here is that we reach out outwardly for love from the inner most recesses of our soul.
The Stuff that Murphs are Made of
3/26/14 12:00 P.M.
There I was lady Murphs and papa Murphs; in the midst of the darkest foulest creature of them all… This stinky entity oozed disgusting dribble and spewed horrible nonsense in all directions. I, personally, feel the need to hawk up food that I ate from now to two weeks ago at the thought.
I am referring to Math, my Murphs, Math.
So, let me get right into. I was there in my Lululemon yoga pants stretching out my hammies…. Gotcha (winky face)! I was rocking my 80’s style “Scooby Doo” T-shirt, my rainbow jeans, and my groovy Jesus sandals. I had my head phones in and, quite literally, rocking out to the new Lego Movie song “Everything is awesome” featuring my home-slices ‘The Lonely Island’. I was doing a two-step right in the doorway to get psyched up for my mathematics class. People were so in awe of my jiggery that they were giving me looks of absolute love and desire to be with me (sorry, ladies only FYI!). I rocked back and forth on my heels and punched into the air like I was Rocky Balboa on the speed bag. And by complete accident, I accidentally gave an uppercut worthy of Rocky to the campus security guard.
The security guard saw stars, and by stars I meant he saw me as a star. The black uniform, badge bearing uniform security guard appreciated the strength of my punch so much that he tried to wrestle me playfully! He squeezed me very tightly, but I wouldn’t be bested! I squirmed out like a baby mole rat doused in baby oil sliding around on butter. He tried to catch me again, and I yelled gleefully behind me as I ran into the grassy field by the school “If you catch me I will dropkick you!” He became winded and shouted how much he wanted to be best friends and hang out. Alas, Darwin’s social theory “Only the cool survive, and the rest are uncool.” For the record I received an F on my BIO 101 test, which stands for “first in the class” (if you don’t believe me than get one yourself and see).
So, I circle back to the school all the while singing my own original song: the Insanely Happy Song:
“I’m happy so freaking happy!
Today is not at all crappy.
I’m awesome, you’re awesome, and we’re awesome.
There’s only 24 hours in a day to be happy and that’s the only thing that’s irksome
Not having fun? Awww poo poo!
I am so happy I high fived a polar bear and played cards with a tiger
Today is so awesome I flew over an active volcano with a hand glider!”
(And that’s only 1 verse out of 500)
As I finally roll up into class like an ultra-cool version of Fonz from Happy days; my teacher Dr. Portici, aka Dr. Porcupine, smiled at me and pointed at the clock. The clocks face shown 12:00 P.M., and class started at 11:00 A.M. He obviously was ecstatic that I showed up. He coughed loudly as I got my last couple of dance moves out before I sat down. I high fived my girl Brianna and she blew a kiss at me which I caught ‘in flight’ and placed on my cheek.
Then the trouble started… I opened up the ancient Greek textbook known as “Math”. Now, as some of you hyper intelligent Jesters and Harlequins might know, I have a serious phobia of Math and its squirrely nature. What do I mean by squirrely? Math jumps from tree to tree and then asks you how tall the tree is, and then how tall each tree is compared to the other tree, etc. etc. Not only that but those accursed word problems are as torturous as those awful ‘One-Direction’ girls and their incessant crowing. So, Mr. Porcupine opens his mouth and the ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’ immediately starts spewing forth. My eyes become glossier than card stock paper at Staples. I start leaning forward getting my slump on, and start working on the next 500 verses of “Insanely Happy”. Then out of nowhere the room gets quiet, and all eyes are on me, which quite frankly is not unusual. I keep working on the verses when my teacher coughs, and I look up. He’s frowning and pointing again. His finger is pointing at the white board.
“Oh. Mr. Porcu… I mean Mr. Portici you want me to answer the math question.”
“Why, yes, sir. I was so afraid I was taking you away from your future award winning hit song ‘Insanely Happy’. Could you please humble me and your fellow classmates and answer this question?”
So I popped up like a whack-a-mole and did the electric slide all the way up to the front. I snatched the green marker from his hand and went immediately to work. The question was “2 = 4x + 7” one of those ‘slope-intercept’ questions or some such nonsense.
Ah, it was beautiful great pen strokes of powerful light green cascaded over the white board. It took me about 5 minutes to complete it. It was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. It was a drawing of Michelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
My teacher was speechless, and if I remember correctly I thought I saw a tear in his eyes. I dropped the marker on the floor, packed my things, and finally gave the “peace-out” V with my fingers and let myself out of the back. Everyone was clapping and you could hear it all the way down the hall.
Ladies and gentleman… I am awesome.
I appreciate good humor, and this article found me in a particularly humorous mood. Check it out.
The Royal Order of the Tutor
By: Joshua M. Colliluori (Pen name: Nosef Thing)
It takes a special sort of man or woman to stand in front of hundreds if not thousands of people, and capture their hearts and minds, to direct them from out of the darkness of their own folly and into the light of knowledge and truth, to be a gentle shepherd to those unfortunate souls who find themselves fallen on hard times, and finally to be a calm voice of reason through the tumult of madness rampant in our world.
Fortunately for tutors, we only have to focus on one student at a time.
This semester at NOVA, the Manassas campus in particular, has put their sights on an area that has been somewhat lagging: on campus mentoring. With attendance at NOVA seemingly on the rise; the need for gifted student mentors is in demand.
From my experience: no class is without a need of some out-of-classroom assistance. As such the aforementioned mentors leave very classes without that necessary service. To illustrate this point I will describe a few of my outstanding fellow tutors: Mateusz (Matt) Filipowicz is brilliant with computers and plans on looking for work in the IT private sector, Brian Urias is taking classes and is well versed in Arabic and practices it regularly, and Aaron Deneau is a mathematician par excellence. That is only a fraction of what these human ‘super computers’ are capable of. Now, as for the wonderful, beautiful, and beyond knowledgeable team who greets all visitors with a smile: Cheryl Snider, Jill MacDiarmid, Christine Rainey, and the other staff are truly wonderful to work with. And who can forget the always pleasant Mrs. LaDelta Williams who is the ‘go-to’ guru for problem shooting, and of course all things tutoring. If my humble descriptions haven’t sold you on these Kings and Queens of education; visit the testing center and have a conversation with them. They might just give you the royal wave as you depart.
Seriously, my friends, if you are in need of direction and “the struggle is real” then visit my friends. They are some of the most delightful people on campus, and really put the effort into turning your frustration and confusion into peace and understanding.
So, if you ever find yourself in the throes of a marauding math class or faced down by the IT the Terrible… Call on the Royal Order of the Tutor to be your knight in shining armor.