DIVING INTO THE SHIT STORM

But first a little metaphysics. The yin-yang symbol makes a cute calf tattoo. Maybe cute is a little harsh. Maybe chic. God damn even first thing in the morning I’m judgmental. No disrespect if you have a yin-yang tattoo. I’d get one too. It’s a powerful symbolic representation of reality. Ram Dass says it’s the last symbol on astral plane. The last layer of duality. The last skin to shed. Lol. I’m tired and I didn’t sleep well. Ram Dass says it’s all a state of mind. Like change your mind and you change the world. I’m telling myself I’m awake and well rested and therefore happy. 

But the yin-yang is slippery. In real terms, it’s like this. Shit hits the fan one moment. Then mists strawberry-lemon pleasantries the next. It’s up, down. This is banal and bullshit and hackneyed and yeah yeah yeah and what’s new. But I’m saying it’s interesting because on Saturday when Kate and Ellie were in Chicago visiting Kate’s college friends and I was home in Milledgeville thinking thinking thinking and I felt this animalistic rage like punch punch punch the pale carpet floor, which I did, I just pummeled the carpet floor, and then the organic breathable foam bed, and then my own shoulders because the pain felt good, and then my chest. And I was like Jesus Christ Ryan. I opened my eyes and looked at my fists. Then I closed my eyes and did it again. Clenched jaw, eyes wide shut, neck veins screaming AHHHHHHHHHH. 

A few days ago I emailed my boss at Georgia Military College and asked if she’d write me a letter of recommendation. Said I’m moving to Minnesota. Said I want to start applying for jobs. Said I had a great experience here and great experience with her as supervisor. At first she messaged the she was very busy right now with finals. And then I messaged back okay I can wait. And then she wrote she’ll be very busy for the next few months. And then I asked her if she’s really going to be busy or if she just doesn’t want to write me a recommendation. She said Ryan I really like you as a person but I don’t feel confident in your teaching abilities. I resisted replying and instead went to her office yesterday to discuss in person and I listened carefully first and then put my foot down hard on the floor of her garbage reasoning. To be frank. I said quite frankly I hear what you’re saying but it makes absolutely no sense how I could be GMC Teacher of Year, receive two back-to-back positive classroom teaching evaluations from YOU, be currently employed, be employed for the next semester, and have GMC inquiring if I’d be available to teach for fall semester, not to mention raving student reviews….and then hear my supervisor who herself has reviewed me positively not once but twice in vivo say she has reservations about my teaching ability? Whattttt? Her argument basically was that I awarded too many A’s last spring and that even though we’ve talked about this then and I’ve agreed then not to award all A’s, she needs to see me finish this current semester and award a varied grade distribution and then as a quality control measure she said she also needs to see my students go on to take English 102 with another instructor and receive grades similar to the grade I awarded them. 

So that’s the shit that hit the fan and is spinning. 

I recorded the conversation because that’s what people without insurance do for insurance policies. I said teaching is really really important to me and I told her that I’m a fantastic teacher who is hardworking and determined and bent on becoming great on all metrics and that fact that she won’t recommend me is disappointing but it’s fine because I’ll get it from her supervisor, the Dean, or her supervisor, the President. 

I write about it here not to vent but to document. A textual yin yang, you know?

Part of this weekend’s realization revelation raarrrrrrrrrr moment was: yeah Ryan, you’ve got to accept the whole you, the whole spectrum. Recently, I’ve been telling myself Ryan Ryan Ryan you’ve got to believe you can do this writing thing. Just believe believe believe! No doubts, just focus and commit and manifest. Right but that’s ignoring the massive doubt and when you ignore you repress and bottle up and tighten up and this weekend it came out in pale fists pummeling the carpet and AHHHHHHH and I think it’s a good thing because we’re the yin yang calf tattoo, right?

I need to re-read the bible story with Jacob wrestling the Angel becauseI feel like god came and talked with me this weekend or more like wrestled with me and I know that’s arrogant to say but I mean I think I’ve discovered as much good and bright light inside myself as hate and anger and rage from my flailing fists of anger. 

The universe is alive and undulating and so are we. 

The boss isn’t the enemy. That’s what Ram Dass says. They say the enemy is within. 

My main mission right now is to not get fired from my either of my two teaching jobs. Which is a negative goal. NOT getting fired. It’s my up and down. How can you be a creative instructor and not get fired? 

It’s all up and down. 

Even though the shit hit the fan, in other areas of my life, I’m up and up and up. For example, hip hop is a space that I’m a novice in and I’ve wanted wanted wanted to be here for a long time, I’ve talked about it to myself and talked about it with Kate and I’ve put it on my New Year’s Goal Sheet for the last two years and finally I’m like fuck it I’m doing it and I feel like the 3rd string quarterback whose sat on the bench for 90% of the season and sat on the bench for the first five minutes of the Super Bowl and then the first quarter back gets injured and pulled out and then the second string quarterback gets injured ad pulled and then there’s 3 quarters left and it’s me and the other team and I’m like hell yeah I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. This is misting of strawberry-lemon pleasantries. 

Yesterday one of my students told me that tragedy is just unfinished comedy. 

Ram Dass says my supervisor at GMC is inside me. It’s my vibration. You emit what you get. You get what you emit. 

I don’t know about that. It sounds right. The way mystics always sound right. But it also sounds meandering and muddy. The way mystics always sound. 

Is this oversharing? Part of this diary project is the attempt to hold the flashlight really steady over the things we’re not talking about. To talk talk talk talk and listen to the gurgle garble gabble of stream of consciousness. Real talk is a hashtag so I’m not sure it has much meaningful cognitive resonance. But I’m trying to make sense of the yin yang in words and stories that are my day-to-day that are as real as the nutrition facts on the back of the almond butter or golden raisins. 

 

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