The last time I posted here was in mid-August. It’s been a while since I’ve even thought about this website… well, that’s not true. My hosting plan was about to expire and I just renewed for another three years. So here we are.
Let’s recap on everything since then.
In-person school has begun again at Orange High School.
Overall, it’s pretty great being back in the classroom with a room full of students. They are usually pretty good about wearing their masks indoors and the ones that aren’t get their name put on my board where I wrote: “X days since Meza has told Randy to wear a mask.” I got my inspiration from construction sites. Speaking of which, I have a couple of other public punishment operations in my classroom. For a couple of years now, I’ve given out “laps” which consists of students who misbehave having to get up, walk out the door, go around the building, and walk-in through the other door. Then we count down, 3-2-1, and then the whole class says “shame”. They love it. And now, after talking to the JROTC instructor, I’ve decided that when students are late to class, they can give me ten pushups and I’ll forget they showed up late. Last Friday, I had 10 students show up late and give me pushups on the dirty classroom floor, even my TA who was wearing a white shirt fell victim, no one is safe. Wall sits are also on the menu.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for grad school.
Back in February 2020, a month before the world suddenly ground to a halt, I started a credential/master’s program at National University. The program is pretty straightforward, one class a month until you’re done. 10 classes for the credential, 3 classes for the masters, and another 4 classes of “fieldwork” which is student teaching or an internship. Luckily, I was able to leverage my existing job into an internship position, so I was able to student teach my own classes and still get paid. It’s kind of insane how many hoops you need to jump through to become an educator in the US, and then you don’t even get paid all that well. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I love the job itself.
At the time of this writing, I’m just waiting for the results of my Cycle 2 TPA to the CTC and see if I pass. The TPAs are basically like passing the board exam when you become a lawyer, except it’s a body of work including a dumb amount of masturbatory writing about lesson plans and filming yourself teaching said lesson plans. Honestly, it’s so much work and so hyper-focused, it’s not realistic at all to think that this is the normal lesson planning cycle for teaching high school kids.
With a new piece of paper to my name, there’s a little pay bump attached which I can start to cash out starting in January. However, my particular district is not the most high-paying district in the area and I’m starting to come to terms with the idea of working somewhere else nearby next school year like Anaheim Union or Fullerton. Only time will tell.
Logan is getting heavy
Really though, he’s around 25 pounds and compared to holding a baby, he’s the main reason for all my back pains lately. But he’s so awesome. I think it was around the 14-month mark where I really started to see my son for all the joy he brings to our lives. Of course, I’ve loved him always but it takes time to understand things more clearly. But he’s so fun. At home, he’s got a big personality and a real funny bone. Lately, he really likes hiding behind the curtains or in the closets and he’s got the patience to wait you out while you look for him.
One of my favorite things that we do with him is giving him “chores”. After dinner, he brings me all the dirty dishes from the table to the kitchen and helps me load the dishwasher. Although that part is mostly him playing with the silverware and making a mess. And he also is in charge of feeding Carter every meal. So he walks over to the food bin, I measure the cut for him and he walks it over to the bowl, pours it in, and then points at it for Carter to eat. It’s adorable.
He also loves playing outside and with the hose especially. One day I was chatting with a woman from the neighborhood in the front yard and I walked over to Logan who was holding the hose and he pulled the trigger and sprayed me in the crotch full blast and laughed. I laughed too.
He’s also really obsessed with the computer and the tv. I
think know he gets this from me. And he doesn’t put up with the bullshit. We tried giving him a fake keyboard and he was over it. He only wants the Apple TV remote and ditches the soundbar remote. When he has it in hand, he’s clicking it endlessly watching the screen change and smiling. Sometimes I get the notification to approve a purchase and that’s when I know it’s time to take the remote away.
For a while now, I’ve always thought that circuits and basic electrical engineering were pretty cool. When he gets a little older, I want to buy some Arduino kits and get him started with soldering and components and stuff. Really, I just want to learn it so I can try modding guitar pedals but it’s something cool that could get him turned on to a cool hobby.
Speaking of which, I play Bass like every day
I’ve owned my Fender Jazz bass since 2003. I used to play in a band with my friends Ian and Rob called Roadside Massacre. It was a metal band and although I wasn’t into the genre at all, I just really liked playing music with friends. I always liked playing the classic rock stuff like Hendrix and the Doors. My musical tastes now are pretty eclectic but rock music is still my main inspiration for playing music.
The bass seems simple. 4 strings with 20 frets, so there are 80 places to play a note on the fretboard. the strings are tuned as perfect 4ths and it’s all about the patterns. Compared with a guitar, it seems much easier to begin especially since you’re not playing chords.
But let me tell you, the bass is not easy. You are the bridge between the melody and the rhythm and when you mess up, it’s super obvious. I’ll probably post some nerdy music theory stuff at some point.
Caitlyn is my foundation
One, because she supports me through all of this. Seriously, I don’t think anyone else in this world could put up with me and my idiosyncrasies the way she does. With grace and nearly eternal patience, she’s the best partner I could ask for. She’s always up on the latest stuff for Logan, has great ideas for improving the house, and our marriage is still going strong. Almost five years ago, I decided to make this career change and today, I’m still in that process. Through it all, she’s been incredibly supportive and my biggest cheerleader along the way. When she met me, I was making $15 an hour on a part time job driving my grandma’s Toyota Corolla. It was a pretty low point but she saw me for what I could be not for the zero that I was at the time.
Life is so fun and full of surprises. It’s pretty amazing to have a teammate like Caitlyn to do all those things with.