© 2020 Drew T. Noll

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Paving a Parking-lot with Paradise

Paperboy, from Book of Zombie Apocalypse -   
Today I hit my head on the freezer trying to pull out a bag of rotten cucumbers from the fridge below. My hands were full trying to get as much as I could in the least amount of trips from the kitchen counter and back. I was already frustrated, having installed two lighting fixtures after removing them both and swapping them with each other earlier in the day. They didn’t work to bring light where they were installed, so with my time I decided to correct it all. The fixtures were designed horribly, both of them, requiring that whoever wished to install them needed to stand on a ladder, balancing with a tiny screwdriver in one hand, the wire connectors in the other, and the fixture itself pinned between head and shoulder to keep it from pulling out wires and falling to the floor. One of them fell. Two bulbs were shattered below, across the kitchen’s hoard.

But, I had to get to a Zoom meeting, so dropped everything to take the call. Then the morning texts started streaming in… buzz… buzz… buzz… my pocket began to scream. Luckily, I had had a chance to wander around the mud-puddles in the nature reserve with my dogs earlier in the day; but, it would have been great if I had had the proper boots to wear. My last hike finished exactly as the souls of my shoes unglued and began flopping about, spraying mud hither and thither. So to tell, I wore my work shoes instead, since THE BEST NEWS had been unfolded prior: that “today” was the first day of my vacation! Yay!! I was informed thus as I furiously prepared lesson plans for the first day’s online teaching session the following week … um … yeah, that ‘would’ have been today.

So, breathing in the freshly cleaned air out in the nature reserve, we walked into the woods—along with everyone else wandering while wondering what’n the #*LL to do with a world gone mad, what to do with the kids, what to do with our time, what to do about dwindling … um … home-economics, what to do about getting along with meters between, and what to do about MY vision of me. Everything had changed. I know how to throw a pot on a wheel, I know how to make a forge. I’ve read many things, philosophies and such, and if I so choose my thumb is as green as they come. But … what to do about who I am? Should I paint it? Or, should I write? Should I build it, or should I just fight… Who the #*LL am I in this new damn world. Somebody or something has just hit the reset button, and didn’t think to tell me…

The beginning. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

African Vibrations

Slick and traveling, I hopped onto a dream. Yes, it was mine too, admittedly. There’s a feeling inside of being trapped, being strangled … or … more specifically, being squeezed out in a specific unknown and desirably-felt direction. And I can’t resist but to slide into its gape of a jaw … slipping in and landing into a new development that becomes reality on the ground. I had a dream and it was shared by others, specifically my clinged-on, dreams I strangled in my sleep. But, arrived at … a wonderful freedom now exists, in my love, in my countenance, my expression. Yes; yes she is. Not the continent, but the woman.

It’s a kind of love poem to the world, in the world, for the world … just … so damn knowing. Almonds grown as grains of sand, spreading underfoot and over horizons. I’ve been there, but not ‘there,’ where she’s going. Africa, Kenya to be specific. A village I haven’t been in, a land remote and being reeled in. Check out this link, to liberty and beyond; she’s going to Africa to help, to be, and to heal. Donate now, or at least share, the cause is mighty and clear. Helping the youth derelict on the street, up the sides of it and in droves, to conquer its pain, restoring its hope.

Click here

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Most Beautiful Accent

Glass House © Noll, June, 2015 - 

Sliding down into the darkness of knowing, I’ve hit the bottom of midterm madness, grading papers and tests, and processing it all into the ether above. I’m made to post journal entries for a ministry upon high, education of bureaucracy-not-nigh. I’ll post it now, the last post made, just so someone says something, anything, in this strange new world I find myself swimming upon, flailing high in my own mind, and quite possibly a belly-flop towards hell:

I’m almost done with midterm grades, at the end of grading 70+ material exams for high school and the last 40 or so video and written book reviews of 150 to watch, read, and grade. I have to post it all correctly to Smart-School along with all the other Google Docs and whatnot that need attention from ‘this’ novice English teacher. It’s a lot. I have good days and bad, today of which was more in the red than yesterday’s highs. Yesterday was quite lovely, as a matter of fact. So, I think Wednesday, with a class of 9th graders, is the best place to start today’s entry for staj:

Normally I read aloud to the students in order for them to hear correctly pronounced English, with the proper intonation and expression. On Wednesday, however, a handful of the students in one of my classes really wanted to read aloud. It was a very boring literature piece, so I had been spicing it up with descriptions and antics in front of the class, trying to keep 38 teens with me; it was difficult for us all. Most of my students really want to help me succeed as a new teacher, and I can palpably feel this often in classes as the students quiet each other down, pay complements after, and laugh a lot during key moments in the lectures I give and tell.

One student was raising her hand non-stop to read aloud and when I gave her a turn, she spoke loudly and with confidence – right up until almost the end of her paragraph, when she began to giggle and grin. I complained that we couldn’t hear her with the overlay of laughter between words, and so she admitted being embarrassed about her accent, most Israeli, most guttural. I stopped the lesson right there and then, insisting upon telling a story that I had learned somewhere, pop-culture, maybe from a friend.

“Who knows who Gal Gadot is,” I said loudly to the class. They all giggled and nodded with conspiratorial agreement with each other. Of course they knew; and I also found out that they already knew the story I was about to tell  – that an entire cast of women from around the world had tried their best to imitate the exotic accent of Gal Gadot in order to accentuate the fact that they were all portraying Amazonian warriors from ancient times and a mystical dimension beyond us all. I told the young lady reading in my class that her accent was beautiful, and to be proud of it. She immediately began to glow as bright as I’ve ever seen from some of my new students in English class, all engaged with learning a second or third language, maybe more.

Excited, after class, the young lady made sure to say goodbye to me as she left, that same glow hovering about her being … and then slowly following her out the door and down the hall to her life, and, of course, enveloping her Wednesday afternoon.

The end.