Monday, December 13, 2010

"All of time and space, everything that ever was or ever will be... where do you want to start?"

Where would you go if you could go anywhere? Anytime? One condition, it has to be amazing. Where do you want to start?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

End or beginning?

Today, I sit on the edge of my seat. I await a woman, in an office, to determine what I'm gonna be doing for the next year (at least). Due to certain circumstances, she has decided against renewing my probationary teaching certificate. Without a teaching certificate I can't teach, so essentially I'm out of a job. That is, unless I can convince this lady to renew my certification and in turn give me my job back.

     But as I sit here and wait for her to decide to get back to her office, I wonder if I should even bother. Do I really want to be back in the classroom another year? Sure, I could use the money. Hell, I need the money. I have a bloody high car payment to make! Not to mention a certain lifestyle that I've been accustom to. Which entails ridiculous spending and no saving--okay, maybe that's not the best reason to keep my job.  But also, I want to teach literature, maybe ESL isn't exactly the best way to do that, but everyone has to pay their dues. Everyone has to start somewhere, and this is my somewhere.

    On the flip-side, it's kind of a release.I mean, I did want to get out of Laredo, and I do want to go back to college full-time, maybe this is where my life is supposed to go right now. Maybe, taking a break away from teaching and from the pressures of it will reinvigorate me. After all, let's face it. I've been in a bit of a rut as of late. Maybe this is the kick in the ass that I need to finally get my ass in motion. To pursue what I really want to to be a professional dancer. Wait, no, that's not me. I mean, being a professor of English and writing for a living. How can I possibly write the next Harry Potter if I can't find the bloody time to write!?  It's not like I don't have options, after all.  I could retake my certification exams and become a personal trainer, I know Gold's and rock would hire me, and I'm pretty sure I'd be a shoe in at Olympus. Then I could move up north, and get clientèle somewhere else. I'm sure I could do well in Austin.

      My only pressing concern is my car payment. It's a bitch and a half, and I don't want to ruin my mom's or my own credit.

I guess things will work out in their own way. They always do.

In Faith, Hope, and Love,

Luis A. Ramirez

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Do you ever feel...trapped?
It's like your stuck in a place, stuck in a routine, a rut, a recurring dream, and you can't get out.
Do you think it's the city, your family, your friends, your responsibilities, your own fears?
What's really keeping you here, that is assuming you think you want to escape?
What's keeping me here?
As the days progress, I find myself struggling more and more to answer that question.  Yeah, I have friends, and a life, and a family, and things I do here. But what is it, really that has kept me from advancing in my life.
I'm not doing bad, by any means. In fact, I consider myself pretty bloody successful. At 24 I have a career, a car, and I haven't knocked up anyone or acquired an addiction to anything. I workout, a lot. I'm healthy.I have great friends and I have great family. On paper, that sounds like a pretty good life to me.
The problem is, that it's comfortable.
Alright, well, It might not be a problem to you, but it's a problem to me.  There's a very fine line between comfort and complacency. At this juncture of my life I feel like I've become complacent. Stagnant. My old boss, Tony DLG used to always say that if you're not moving forward, then your moving backwards. And I never really understood it until now. 


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ye Ole England Blogs (Summer 08)


It's the place where William Shakespeare was born. It's one of the top tourist sites in all of England and it's a place that has come to be one of the most significant places for many writers and students alike. It was a sort of surreal experience going to the place where THE William Shakespeare was born, raised, and eventually, laid to rest. Most of us here are English majors and have a vast appreciation for what Shakespeare did for literature, theatre, and English culture/history. So it goes without saying that this was one of the most anticipated excursions of the entire term here. It's a pretty remarkable thing to see. To look at your classmates and literally see the passion, appreciation and love that they share for what this man did and for the trade that they are pursuing is truly an experience in itself. Sure we've all cursed William Shakespeare when we've been stuck at home reading instead of doing something else or when long essays or research papers have been due, but to visit the place where a legend was born and died is surreal. It didn't really hit me until I was in the church and staring at the place where he is buried. I mean, William SHAKESPEARE lays buried there. I was seriously awestruck. I guess its just admiration or respect. But it's something that bonds us with so many that have visited his birth site and grave. Writers, poets, and countless of tourists have all shared the common bond of a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Ricky Tomlinson

The comedy show was hilarious! I loved it. The guy in the middle definitely stole the show. I had been warned by people about the English humor and how we might not understand the humor or the accent but seriously, this was right up my alley. The theatre was amazing and the crowd was alive and riveting. The "German" act was pretty funny but there was way too much…um…exposure. Let's just leave it at that. It's pretty cool to see comedy from another country it's really not that difference. Also, Al Capone's Pizza has delicious food and it's cheap! Delicious + cheap = Awesome.

..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Wakefield

So today we went to Wakefield Cathedral and to Sandal Castle. Something that really caught my attention about this cathedral was that it was still a working cathedral. It is still used for services despite its age and everything that it's been through. It's not as magnificent as a Westminster Abbey or anything but it still, like so many things in England, a great source of history, pride, and culture. I know that Dr. Lindberg found it pretty interesting that it was a working church as well. Something that really caught my eye was the centerpiece of the chapel being Jesus without a beard. I found it odd because Jesus Christ is ALWAYS depicted with a beard. But he was clean shaven here. I asked our guide and he told me that it was really due to artist preference. The artist researched traditions back then and it can be assumed that only old men had beards, as a symbol of age and wisdom perhaps, and Jesus was only thirty some, so his assumption and belief was that Jesus didn't have a beard and therefore his portrayals of Jesus never have beards. I thought it was a pretty cool tidbit of information.

Sandal Castle looked like a huge disappointment at first but turned out to be one of my favorite places so far. The view was amongst one of the most spectacular things that I have seen in my life. It was very tranquil and serene and it made me feel really lucky to have been given the opportunity to come on a trip like this. Which reminds me, I have to mail out those post cards. Whoops. I have a terrible memory. I'll do it on Monday. I swear. Someone remind me.


This was seriously one of my favorite excursions so far. It was really too cold during the game but I loved the tour and the walk to the cricket grounds. It was great. I definitely want to jog it a few times while I'm here. But anyway, back to the excursion: The tour that we got of the facilities was pretty awesome. Seeing the training going on and the interest and enthusiasm that these people have for this sport is uplifting. I played high school football and it reminded me of the same enthusiasm that we had for our team back in the day. We were given complete VIP treatment, we met the broadcasters and saw some players and apparently it's a pretty big thing. The excitement on Rachel's face was priceless. She even called her brother to brag about it. It was great. I particularly liked the rugby grounds. I would have LOVED to seen a game of rugby. One of our guides/coaches was an ex-professional rugby player. He seemed like a pretty small guy but then again sports have changed from back then. The game itself was pretty cool I enjoyed it and I would have stayed longer if I hadn't worn jeans with a HUGE hole in them. It seemed like they weren't giving it their all though. But then again, I wasn't on the field. The game of cricket was a little different from what I expected and was definitely a big change up from the sports that we're used to in the states. It wasn't as intense I'd say as what we're used to but I can see how a person could grow to love it. Something I found really interesting was the posters for the next game against rival Lancashire. It read "The War of the Roses" and portrayed nights in battle and presumably the two stars from either team "attacking" each other. It goes to show how intone with their history they are and how really the War of the Roses is still being fought today, only on a different field. Armor has been traded for uniforms and swords for bats, but when it comes down to it, the tension and angst and rivalry that runs through the blood of a nation is still as red hot as ever.


Well, the city of York is pretty amazing. It is the quintessential English village, in my opinion. I love the fact that it is beyond pedestrian friendly and has a vast area in the town centre that is only for pedestrians. This includes the market and local shops as well as chain stores and of course, Starbucks. Seriously, Starbucks and Café Nero are everywhere here. I love it though. I really wanted to get some cream tea at Betty's Tea since apparently it's the best thing in England—or something to that effect. I believe it too. The queue was ridiculous. I stood there for a whole three minutes, before I got really frustrated and decided to just go to Café Nero. They have pretty good tea there too. I am completely enamored with that town though. The cathedral was really nice. It's art and architecture was astounding as have the other buildings we've gone to. Our guide was pretty entertaining in his own right. He seemed so into his job and was really quite knowledgeable about everything. He didn't miss a step. That's another thing that's really impressed me with these guides that we've had so far. They know their history and the history of the place were they work/volunteer so well. Never ceases to amaze. The only regret on that day was that we didn't' have more time in York. I would have loved to experience the city a bit more and there was a haunted tour that I wanted to go on. Oh also, Mama Mia Italian restaurant is delicious! The garlic pizza bread and the Ravioli were amazing and everyone else's meals look just as good. And to top it off, it was really run by Italians! It was entertaining to see them speak in the stereotypical accent and take your order. It was definitely a family owned restaurant and the old Sicilian ways were evident throughout the establishment.

Castle Howard was ridiculous! When I found out it wasn't really a castle I was kind of disappointed but really wow the house is AMAZING. The rooms are spectacular, although I could have done without a lot of the commentary….or being in line behind old people. The grand entrance was great. Hell, the back entrance was great. It was picturesque—something you would see in movies and people actually live there. There are books there that are probably older than some cities in the US. The fact that they had peacocks just strutting the stuff around was pretty great. I met this crazy old lady who apparently has peacocks in her house and knows the bird call for them. It was then I decided to go back inside and have a cup of tea with Rachel and Erica. I've really grown to love tea. I must have at least three cups a day of it. I think I've spent more money on tea than I have on souvenirs. I'm kind of addicted to it now. I really wish we would have had some more time to spend in York though.

Armley Mills

So today we visited the Armley Mills Textile Factory turned museum. It wasn't as exciting as many of the other things that we've visited but it was pretty interesting at some points. It was interesting to get a glimpse back into history by watching "Bygone Leeds". The dark room wasn't such a great idea considering I had only slept a few hours but all in all it was a pretty funny film. I couldn't get over the women's race. It was pretty hilarious. I mean, they're wearing skirts and I think they were wearing heels and speed walking to the finish. Makes me wonder if it was unsightly to see women run back in those days? I don't know. People get crazy ideas in their heads—especially back in those days. Old school track and field was still pretty athletic. Considering it was time before gyms were prevalent and steroids were unheard of—these Englishmen were pretty athletic. It surprised me. But I digress. The mill itself was an interesting bit of history. It filled in some gaps of information about how clothes are made and all. That's not to say that I spend my time pondering the creation of fabric, but it's crossed my mind a time or two. I'm just glad they don't use urine to matte the fibers together anymore. We'd be one stinky group of people I'll tell u that much. It's interesting looking at all the old cameras and comparing them to the digital ones that we have now. It's a pretty big leap I'd say.

The real highlight of my day was Kirkstall Abbey. Aside from it being pretty chilly it was an astounding place. Stepping foot into these buildings never ceases to amaze me. They are simply breath taking. A humorous note though: the guide kept referring to the monks focus on simplicity and how they wanted to get back to God. But I really couldn't see the simplicity in a building that's about seven times the size of any church in Laredo. I mean, if that thing was simple, I would LOVE to see the extravagant Abbeys in the day. That thing was huge. I also wanted to get a monk makeover but I didn't have enough time. Oh well, next time… time

Monday, June 28, 2010

Consumed (working title)

I try to elude you
day after day
to escape your grasp,
Your spell. The incantation of your call

Alas, I fail.
and each day I fall
each day, I succumb
each day, you win.

You consume me.
Engulf me.

Your clutch.

Still, I fight.
The linen battle lines drawn,

I unsheathed my sword
welcome your wrath.

Luis Ramirez
Written April 7, 2009

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tostadas La Siberia (Repost)

*just posting this one again cause I wanted them all to be on the same page; it's only 3 posts after all*

I don't think It can ever be said enough. Food is perhaps the quintessential essence of a culture, a city, a state, even a person. Think about it for a second. Think about your childhood growing up. Think about the holidays that you celebrate, the traditions that you hold dear, the late night food runs you have when you've had a few drinks--T.P, Whataburger, Mexican Hot dogs, anyone? i can personally attest for the power of the late night Whataburger meal. I've had some of my best ideas and conversations sitting on the booth in the far left corner of the Whataburger on Jacaman road here in Laredo. Sitting under the American themed Laredo Bucks Hockey Jersey and an old framed newspaper, I've spilled my guts, laughed until it hurts, seen my friends pass out and other unspeakable things, conceptualized the novel I will write that will change the world while in a drunken stupor and established a comic book company. Still doubting the power of it? Then you should stop reading right now and go watch something a bit more to your taste, like Hannah Montanna or that Wizards Show on Disney.But, I digress, I'm writing this spiel about food because my mom just made me the most amazing tostadas in the world: Siberia style. If you don't know what that is, then 1.) you haven't been into Nuevo Laredo and 2.) your missing out. A Siberia style tostada is a tostada (see: fried tortilla) smothered in guacamole (see: Avocado and diced tomato), topped with shredded chicken, and then a dallop of fresh cream (Vacita brand please, for authenticity), then topped with another tostada: for maximum scoopability. It's a simple dish. The chicken is simply boiled then shredded, the tostadas come from a bag, and the guacamole is relatively easy to make. But there's so much more to the dish than just the way it's created. It envokes memories. It reminds me of a time when crossing into Mexico wasn't a gamble on your life and, perhaps most importantly, a time when my father was still alive.My dad passed away when I was in the fifth grade. Heart complications due to a prolonged and untreated battle with pneumonia. But prior to that, we would go into Nuevo Laredo a lot. Both my mom and dad had family over there and we loved to visit and frankly, we loved to go eat there. So, on a sleepy Saturday or Sunday afternoon we'd pack into our 1994 Chrysler/Lincoln (to be totally honest, i don't remember what it was) that we called "El Indio"-- name given to it by my older brother's friend Juan who dubbed it that because it belted out puffs of smoke from its exhaust reminiscent of indian (native American) smoke signals. Anywho, we'd pack into our little green Indio, cross the bridge, and were instantaneously in a different land. A land where every street corner held a Pandora's box of flavor. An explosion of culinary authenticy and local flavor. Elotes preparados, tacos de Venado, aguas frescas, hot dogs mexican style, nieve de limon, chicarones, churros, tacitos con cilantro, cebolla, y salsa. All slathered in either grease or butter and except for the aguas and nieve all containing some sort of spicy salsa or chile. Ah yes. This is one of two Mexicos I remember--the other being a city radiating in it's nightlife and raging with debaucharey, but I'll touch on that on a later date. This Nuevo Laredo was my childhood Nuevo Laredo. Street vendors, family, knock-off toys and bracelets at every turn. Pigeons picking up the dropped elote of a misfortunate consumer in the plaza. It was a bit further down this same wonderful street that we'll find the origins of this famed tostada I speak of. About three (very long) blocks down; one to the left. "La Siberia" literally The Siberia, no idea where the name comes from, but frankly, who cares? It's menu was, and remains, simple. Tostada, Tacos, Caldo. That's it. You get three menu items and your selection of Coca Cola, Coco Cola Light (diet), or Joya (Manzana, pina, naranja). That's it. No, you can't get wheat tortillas, or organic chicken. No, you may not request it without grease or oil. You're in the wrong place if your looking for babying. Sidenote: although, they will substitue regular avocado for guacamole: probably because its readily available before mixing with said tomato. Ah. Those were the days. The days that said tostadas were as big as my head and I couldn't even fathom completing one much less two (as I so consumed a few months ago). It was a time when my family was complete. There were four children, two parents. No extended family as of yet, as we were all still young. It was a time when the innocence and ignorance of childhood prevented me from seeing the beauty that lay before my eyes: one of the last times that my family would be complete and unscathed. My immediate family in its purest form. After eating our tostadas, we'd walk around El Centro (downtown) and look at shoes, clothes, and buy food at the local fruit market. Then we'd visit my Tia Eva's and Tio Nono's house. These two people were and continue to be two of the most genuinely good hearted people that I have ever come across. Their home,humble; made of stucco; with two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. Nothing extravagant. No Super Nintendo or big screen TV (keep in mind, this is the 1990's). There was no hint of the age of the internet to be seen; no foreshadowing of the technological revolution that we were experiencing even then. But yet, I would have taken this house and it's owners over the grandest of toy stores. I love being there. In fact, It was the only place I ever spent the night as a child. Food was plentiful. Little tortillas, different from my moms, but equally as good, if not better. Homemade frijoles, huevos, carne. You name it.Then their was the signature dish. Tia Eva's "Pachucos". Cornmeal dough, kneaded stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and tiny diced potatoes, fried on a skillet and placed to dry in a big bowl. Then you slice it open and stuff it with avocado or chile, or your choice of condiment. Pure. Heaven. I don't think there's a thing in this world that isn't made better by frying it. As a trainer, fitness enthusiast and competitive amateur body builder, that makes me cringe. But as a man who loves food, it warms my heart a bit. Of course, that could also be the heart burn. These little packages of culinary extasy were fantastic. One of my favorite dishes still to this day. Especially, since they were so rare. It was only on special occasions that we'd get these. Then there were the little juices! I almost forgot about these. They're mexican "fruit" juices called Pau-Pau and Frutsi. Think of the Mexican equivalent of a CapriSun. Ah. My childhood was amazing. These are some of the fondest memories I have of my family and they're still something that I long for today. With the situation in Mexico being what it is--aside from the heavy congestion at the International Bridges--it's harder to go across the border and visit now. It's more of a hassle and at times, more of a risk. La Siberia still stands and still runs strong pumping out gallons of guacamole and crema a day and hundreds of pounds of chicken to its loyal customers. It's menu still as rudimentary and wonderful as it was almost 15 years ago. The street vendors are still there and my Tio and Tia are still as wonderful as they were before. But times are different now. My dad has passed on; my brother has three kids and a granddaughter, my sister has a husband and a daughter, and my other sister is recently married and pregnant. As for me, I'm a graduate student and an English teacher and looking to explore the world. I've traded in my cargo pants and parted hair for jeans and a mohawk. But there are times, like today for example, when food and family get together, for something as simple as tostadas at my mom's house, that brings me back to my childhood. It takes me back to a place where the food was delicious, the people were great, the times were good and nothing in the world was ever going to change that. For a brief moment in time, I, Luis Ramirez, was 9 again, sitting beside my dad at a table at La Siberia eating a tostada and loving every single minute of it.

The Final Fronteir

"Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise it's continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."
Opening monologue, Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Series (modifired from Star Trek original series).
It's been well over 40 years since Gene Rodenberry's vision of the future Star Trek aired on Tv. The iconic mantra "to boldly go where no man has gone before" has become a staple in Americana. 10+ movies later, 6 series later, and countless novels, Star Trek's appeal has only broadened with the recent reboot by director J.J. Abrahms.
In 2010, well past the boom of the space race and the paranoia of the commies invading (at least the Russian commies), we move on to a new age in mankinds ever pursuant venture of exploration. Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Mobile, Virgin Airways, Virgin Records) has spear headed the next frontier of space exploration. Move over NASA, perhaps the real predecessor of the Star Trek universe isn't our government but the Branson owned Virgin Galactic.
Virgin Galactic is the worlds first ever space tourism--ah, capitalism in space, take that communists! Virgin Galactic has announced that tourists flights will be ready (pending smooth testing) to launch in 2011. 2011, why, that's just next year!
Get this, the ships that will be launched into commercial sub-orbital space flight will be named, appropriately, the V.S.S. Enterprise and the V.S.S. Voyager. Both ships share the name with both an actual NASA spacecraft (The Enterprise and Voyager space shuttles, and the Voyager sattelite launched in the mid 20th century) and with starships in the Star Trek Universe, the most famous being the flagship of the show the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.
So, why am I telling you this? Why am I bantering about Star Trek and space exploration, and virgin mobile and the like. I'l l tell you why. Because it's fuckin' cool, okay?
As a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. I was, and continue to be fascinated by the stars and the cosmos. What lies beyond the Terran realm once captured my imagination and put a choke hold on it that remains to this day. I would later, as a child still, discover Star Trek and fall in love with the series and it's message. I dreamt of exploring space, of exploring the final frontier, of catching a glimpse into a future that seemed unimaginable at the time. To catch a glimpse at the moon from orbit. To fly past the rings of Saturn, to look at the Earth from outside of it!? Can you imagine it. The images engraved in our head of a blue earth with green land and white swirly clouds, suddenly palpable. Suddenly, stricken by the sharp contrast of the blackness and emptiness of space, the maginficence of the Milkyway, and the fieral burning of the sun. For the first time, you could see both night and day on Earth and be subject to neither!
Virgin Galactic has done for my dreams of space exploration what NASA could never do. Put it within reach. Maybe, I won't be courting green aliens, or talking to a Scottish engineer who's telling me that we can't go any faster, maybe I won't be butting heads with a pointy eared little freak who's undeniable logic irks me, or instructing a prepubescant boy to "Engage". Perphaps, I'll never go faster than the speed of light or save a planet. But, thanks to Sir Branson I'll be able to travel in outer space on the starship Enterprise, and I'll be damned if I'm not wearing a Starfleet uniform.

A View from the Other side or The Back of Heads

It's 3:00pm now. I'm sitting in a stuffy room, behind a desk. The air reeks of hormones that 25 semi-damp teenagers are letting out, particularly accentuated by the lack of ventilation. The ventilation is poor; it's a bit warm and I've been staring at the back of heads for about 3 hours now. This is my view from the other side...the other side of the teacher's desk, that is. It's 2010, 5 1/2 years since the last time I sat as a student in a high school, the last time I sat in those wonderful little chair-desk combos that work as chair, table, bed, and chiropractic-miracle worker all at the same time. I am still a student, a graduate student at the University so I guess, I play a duel role. I guess, it's why it feels so weird. Maybe that's why I'm good at what I do; maybe it's why I'm bad at what I do. Not too far detached from the student state of mind, if by detached I mean still almost fully immersed, I come to work everyday at 8:00am (give or take 5, 10, 20, minutes) and stand in front of a class of 15 or so ESL students all eager--I assure you--to learn. Right. Today was an irregular day. Today was TAKS benchmark day. TAKS stands for the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. It's the standardized test that we take--or should I say give--the students to assess their knowledge that we as teachers have drilled in the brain for the past couple of years. It's the barometer from which we measure our schools, our districts, our towns. It's how we get funding, how we keep our jobs, how we lose our jobs. When it boils down to it, it's pretty much everything. The morning started out pretty much normal. After a night of tossing and turning, my mind a venerable whirlwind of thoughts that, no matter how hard I try, I can't shut off, I wake up. It's 7:30. I have to be at work (a good 15-20minute drive solely due to traffic) at 8:00. I still have to shower, because I was too lazy to do it the night before after I came home from jogging. What? It was cold, I barely broke a sweat. Don't judge me, you've probably done worse. Eh, what the hell, I’ll stay in bed for 5 more minutes. It's now 7:36am. Shit, one minute over. This could throw my entire schedule off! Maybe, one more minute in bed...I contemplate not showering and using a vulgar amount of Axe body spray deodorant. I decide against it. I hop into the hot shower for an invigorating part of my morning--sometimes, the most invigorating part. Hauling-ass, I get dressed head downstairs, grab a waffle that my sister has made me and head out the door. I jump into my car, pick a song, and speed off into the cluster-fuck of stupidity and carelessness that is the morning rush. I get to work, I'm not early, but I'm not late. I pick up the sacred treasures that are the test exams and answering sheets and I head to my room. Today's the math test, and I have no calculators. Great. Well, they're not my kids. Not my scores. Not my problem. Side note: you don't test your own students on benchmark days; you get assigned kids by classroom. I walk in and begin to separate and count the materials. 25 pencils, 25 erasers, 25 highlighters (why you need highlighters for a math test is beyond me), 25 booklets, 25 answer sheets, Word by word instructions, and...a...a breakfast corndog?! Sweet. I forgot I stuck it in there in the rush out of the teacher's lounge. Maybe, today is going to be a good day, after all. I commence testing, I go through the ins and outs of procedure, take attendance, handout materials, you know: teacher stuff. I sit down. Now, wait a few hours for the kids to finish. I'm sitting behind my desk, organizing my system of filing the tests as they come in and I have a sudden revelation. I'm the test administrator. Sure, I've been a teacher for a full semester already, and I've already administered another test prior to this, but there was something about this particular junction in time, something about this new room, about this new group of kids. Something about the blank stare that their giving me, the zombie like acknowledgement of the instructions, not really listening, but semi-pretending to listen. It reminds me of a certain young gun. He knew it all. He had smarts, a smile, great hair. Oh wait, that was me. I joke, I didn't have great hair. Whatever it was, today felt different. It suddenly clicked that I'm these kid's teachers. These kids--unlike my regular kids--raised their hand to speak, asked for permission to get up. They understood. They, for the mere fact that I was their teacher, their elder, respected me. The rest of the day, is uneventful. It's announced that the students are to stay with me all day. They finish testing about 11am and we don't get out till 3:30. This should be a blast. I don't even have a movie to show them. I have Romeo and Juliet, but that's a drag, I've seen it about 5 times already. Maybe, I'll put on that bootleg of Star Trek I have. I mean, err, that digital copy I have that I received on the DVD combo pack. Yeah. That's it. I decide, instead to read a book. Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Great read. And now, I'm wasting both yours, and my time. What are the students doing, you ask? Nothing. Most of them have iPods or phone's with music players and they're entertaining themselves with that (thank GOD for technology), the others either asleep or talking, not too loudly, alternating turns going to the bathroom and drinking water, a service I'm more than happy to let them use. Get out of my class you little stinker. Ah, it's three-thirty and the kids are ancy. I let them out. The bell rings a moment after. I hit save.