Before I Get to Anaheim

We’re less than a month away from taking our first family trip with Madison, but it’s one of those things where there’s a huge disparity between how much time I’ve got and what has to either take place or be taken care of. First and foremost is my stuff with work.

"I'm just a soldier, Prime."

“I’m just a soldier, Prime.”

I had a talk with my buddy Brent (yes, the Brent Limos) this morning during which I told him how I missed just being an English teacher as opposed to being the department chair. I said something about how coordination, organization, and paper work aren’t really my strong suits. That’s when he threw out the gem “You’re not Optimus Prime, you’re Ultra Magnus.” And just that like, he was able to say what I had tried to say – but with an awesome Transformers: The Movie reference.

It’s true. I just wasn’t built to lead. Like Ultra Magnus, I’m a grunt, and I can do grunt things pretty well, but the whole leadership thing escapes me. I’d simply rather work alone and do my thing. I’ve spent a lot of my time as department chair fumbling around with uncertainty and a lack of confidence; it is more or less just like Ultra Magnus clumsily and unsuccessfully trying to unlock the Autobot Matrix of leadership on the Planet of Junk before being mercilessly gunned down by Galvatron and the new age Decepticons. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

"Oh, yeeeeah!"

“Oh, yeeeeah!”

Madison’s going to graduate from Cornerstone next Friday, and I’m sorry, every time I think about a graduation, I hear Pomp and Circumstance in my head, and every time I hear Pomp and Circumstance in my head, I think of the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. You have to give Savage credit: anytime you can single-handedly change the cultural identity of a thing so entrenched like that song and its tie to graduation to something else completely unrelated, you’ve left your mark on the planet. Madison’s got a cap and gown and everything. It’s going to get dusty at Cornerstone next Friday. And don’t worry, I’ve already made sure Madison can hit a signature Macho Man pose. Last week when we were talking about her graduation, I asked her so stand up. “Put your left hand on your belt,” I said. “I don’t have a belt,” she said. “Well, fine, just tuck your thumb into your skirt – like this,” I said, modeling for her. She did. “Now, lift up your right and hand point with your pointer finger,” I said. She did that. “Now, spin your right arm around like this,” I said, making small circles with my raised, extended pointed finger. She did. “Good! Keep doing that, but bend your knees, too,” I said. She was a great study. She nailed it. “Okay, copy what I say,” I said. “OOOOOOOH, YEEEEAAHHH!” I said, affecting the Macho Man’s constipated, gruff tone. She stood straight and dropped her arm. “I don’t want to do this anymore,” she said. Apparently, Mad draws the line at vocal appropriation. Don’t worry, I’ll get pictures of her hitting the pose.

Okay, I probably won't stuff a tiger cub into my luggage, but it's still going to be tight.

Okay, I probably won’t stuff a tiger cub into my luggage, but it’s still going to be tight.

Finally, there’s all the logistical stuff regarding the trip that we have to deal with and that I haven’t even really started thinking about in any real sense because I hate it. I’m just not good at that kind of stuff for the same reasons I’m not comfortable being a department chair. Minutiae like that isn’t my strong suit. I’m a big picture guy, not one of those guys who builds big picture mosaics with a thousand little pictures. That’s what Lynnette is for.

Honestly, I probably won’t even start making moves in that direction until after the school year officially ends during the last week of May. There’s too much clutter in my head right now. I’ve got exams to edit and print out for the seniors tomorrow, and I’ll have to grade them. Then I’ll have Frankenstein essays from the juniors, and finally their exams. Like I said, it’s not a whole bunch of time, but it’s a whole bunch of stuff in between.

From here to there, then.


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