The Phoenix

Well, one of the last things I wrote on here was a sort of positional statement about trying to write from a less negative perspective — there’s an old Switchfoot song about “adding to the noise” that was kind of the unofficial anthem of that feeling. And I wrote that and tried to hash out how I could do it (in a very vague way) and then I got stuck.

But today’s a good day to start back. It’s been a long time, and I miss writing. Writing is great, and today was great too. Let me tell you what’s good in the world.

People. People are good (not in the theological sense — Back! Back you Calvinists!) but in another sense. Let’s not bother giving it a name or classification.

Today, I got to sleep in just a little bit, but I was still having kind of a rotten, lazy sort of day. I was just tired, but then all sorts of great things happened. I got a nice email from a co-worker when I got to work. Right before I headed to class too, and that was great.

And then my class completely, or almost completely, bombed this short writing assignment they were working on, so I got to scrap the lesson plan, put them in groups to start working out their problems, and travel from group to group helping them with the questions they had.

Those are fun days. You get to go around and fix things, little things that were getting in the way of their writing that I could explain and see the lights come on. It’s fantastic. You can see it happen: their eyes get just a little bit wider, and then they furiously grab the nearest pen and starting writing down what you told them. One student made a chart of the ways arguments are structured and that was fantastic too. And so I told them to go home, enjoy the Fourth, and we pushed back the short writing assignment that was causing all the trouble until next week. I’ll admit it, I reveled in their cheers — maybe a little too much.

And then my brother called me from Germany and we talked about soccer and language and religion and his upcoming test and that was great too.

Also, on the way home, my friend Seth left me a voicemail mocking my inability to have conversations with people who disagree with me. (I think he’s wrong about that, but we won’t discuss it now). And when I called him back we had another great conversation about board games and religious freedom.

And then, when I finally got home got to see my kids and my wife for a little while before I went to Jiu Jitsu (I took up Jiu Jitsu, it’s a long story, I’ll tell you later) and a couple people told me “you’re getting better.”

And then, when I finally got home again, I had one great conversation via text messages with Logan, in which he said some hilarious things that I won’t repeat here (they’re not bad — just need some context), and another great phone conversation with my friend Andrew. We talked about music and work and a bunch of other things that were equally great. We also talked about blogging, so everything came together and I figured the fates and stars had decreed that I should start back.

No, not the fates and stars, that’s stupid. People. People made me want to write here again. So I’m doing it.

And my beautiful wife has been working all day as a climbing tower, waiter, maid, cook, chauffer, and personal assistant while I’ve had such fun. Maybe one day I’ll be able to love her as she deserves.

People were good to me today.

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About Derrick

Derrick lives and works in South Carolina where he teaches English at a technical college and raises his two small children with his wife, Danielle.
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