This is my first post.I have launched into another job which is working for Anonymous* Learning in Johnson City as a tutor.  As an educational model I could make a better one in my sleep, and maybe I should.  Still, my goal now is to hold this new job for at least a year, with a sub goal of 2 months to start.  I have quit tons of jobs since 2012 graduation, and so it is finally something that I intend to stay with this job.  A former professor says gratitude is key to holding on to a job, so I am following that rule.  As I complete computer tutorials to train me to do what I should be training computers to do, I am grateful for the computers, the hours that pass, the pay, and what this is setting me up to be able to do - tutor.  Maybe some day I will create my own model for tutoring.  That would be fun.  Or supremely challenging.  Something about my personality is well built for tutoring.  Earlier this month a student of mine who I independently was tutoring Algebra had a break though on his first lesson opening all of his blockings.  I was actually sitting at the tutor training computer thinking "but really though, what is better about my teaching method?"  Could these aspects be redone or are they quirks of my personality?  The Maggie Method uses aspects of poetic metaphors, individually built for each student I encounter.  When a boy comes in with a baseball look, I explain to him that Algebra is like learning a game, but not always having the rules.  As his tutor, I am the one who will tell him the rules.  Then Algebra will become fun like a sport, because he will know how to be super good at it.  Will I be able to use the Maggie Method at Anonymous?  Maybe not as much as in Maggie Learning Center, but the work will give useful fodder for writing my Method into being.  More important than metaphors, which was just one example of success, the Maggie Method's underlying key is connection and mentoring student confidence.  In all the years that I have been tutoring, I learned about the importance of confidence early, a virtue manifested through connection.  Anonymous gives one sentence to greeting the student, and brushes over what I feel is the biggest thing in tutoring.  In tutoring, you have to dig into the psyche of the student, in easy going, simple conversation, but to tap into the heart of what might have changed to put the student behind, practically or emotionally.  The Maggie Approach is the whole student approach, with mental aspects underlined.  There also is the Overlying Educational Principle which is super important.  With equal experience and practice, students have equal abilities to perform.  The Maggie Approach sees through whatever diagnostic lens conventional teachers have been looking at students.  The students either succeeding or not succeeding for simple reasons.  It's not ADHD or Autism that's holding your student back.  Let the student be who they are and that Autism will be a shining aspect of who they are.  So you dig in and apply sincere praise, empathy, and interest.  Teaching is with some sort of classroom.  Anonymous tutoring can have 3 students.  Maggie Tutoring never is more than 1:1.  The tutor's job is to focus on that student.  Give them what they need to grow up to write their own curriculum. 

*Company names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Posted Wed May 1 10:31:38 2019

I was in a coffee shop this morning. The radical shop owner was talking to her cool barista about gratitude. I clung to her words like a fly on the wall. I could have interjected but it was not my place.

The rad owner was saying she didn't get enough sleep, but was trying to think of things she was grateful for. When people talk publicly about gratitude, that is the kindest, most important thing they can do. You enter a space hoping to see the friendliest person in the world, but you get the rad owner, and that becomes a point of gratitude. Her trying to remind herself to do what is so beneficial for all of us, maybe did not serve the direct purpose she intended, but the ripples were felt.

I have been walking around wanting to do the same, and also I am sleepy. I wake early because I am so excited for life I can barely stand it. Those are the facts. So there are reasons to be grateful abounding. Often the simplest ones are the most important ones.

So today, I am grateful for water. That most prolific element where I feel most at home. That cup on my bookshelf that washes down the meds and crumbs. The water in each of us that has emotional impact beyond our wildest dreams. The water of periods and menstruation. The water breaking with childbirth. The water of flowing rain.

I am grateful today for the most basic element in life. The one drop that harkens life to roots. Let me honor the most essential thing, authentically and hopefully, knowing how precious it must be treated, how hard it is to purify unclean drinking water.

Outside my window the leaves stretch sunward, one inch a day. The robins ask me to plant peas so they can dig them first. The peas ask for water. The peas are smart.

The peas don't need to create deities to control their neighbors. But they are nevertheless asking for something to drink. Dust in spring is the awfullest thing.

Today is May Day, and a time for sharing and giving. I appreciate the source, liquid gold. We live in a time when warring over water is not far. So I return again to the mason jar Emily poured for me. She did not force me to purchase water. The water was free, and the conversation I ease-dropped on gratitude.

Posted Wed May 1 14:40:10 2019

Choosing life is not a privilege reserved by shame faced women and bossy cult-ish male leaders, standing out side of women's clinics with actual baby dolls in strollers to make some point.

I chose life, but I think choice should be for women and politicians should not decide what women do with our bodies, but that is not what I was going to write about.

Recently I read a miserable, horrible, no good statistic that made me deeply depressed for a minute at least. That people of my diagnosis have a lifespan that is decreased by 17.5%.

Maybe risky decisions among people like me have taken some lives, but when I read the statistic, I knew the subject mainly was probably the increased likelihood for suicide.

Suicide is one boundary that I know I never will cross. I know I never will kill myself. I simply am blessed that my mental cycles have never really went in that direction, and I know I have the systems needed to keep that from happening.

So do I get the full 100 years?

It's just a puzzle I have been trying to solve. But me, I'm content to take my time.

Posted Wed May 1 15:22:54 2019

I had to rewrite my educational business model today to change the title from narcissist mode to incorporating Creativity. So now I am calling it The Contagious Learning Method.

The Contagious Learning Method

Other than removing my name from the title, though, I am keeping the first entry on initial ideas about motivation and confidence, because those still stand true.

At Contagious Learning, we take special emphasis in the hiring of stable, level headed, reformed institutionalized nut jobs. Now, I say that with an element of humor, but there is truth to it because the founding writer who taps out these words is tapping into her creative madness as she formulates this educational plan.

In fact, today I was sitting in Anonymous Learning Center, completing the Writing Teacher Tutorial on the computer, and I had this revelation that I am amazingly landing into a job of writing teacher which is my dream in life that I never even thought I would get to. So talk about gratitude. I sat there doing the Tutorial, suddenly overwhelmed with joy that I get to do my greatest aspiration of what I ever thought I could have as a career. I never had preference regarding age of my Writing students. And even though the main emphasis in Anonymous is not on creative writing, I have built a new word that I am using that embeds creative somewhere in between the i's. (wriCREATIVEting)

All writing is Creative Writing. I learn that today when I got to observe a writing session that my favorite coworker was conducting with a teenaged boy. Before she started, I questioned him about writing. I tried the method I wrote about in entry one, and actually, it has undergone some development since then. Some students don't see a point in writing. This boy was autistic which with lack of exact rules was making that extra true. While I had a solo moment with the boy, I tried to persuade him gently about the benefits of writing mastery. All the college classes require essays and he wants to go to college. I wanted him to find a purpose in the writing. Interestingly, when the main teacher returned, she got off on a bit of a tangent on Alien life because her capstone paper in college was recently on Aliens. I was amazed when she said she actually turned that paper in, and that it even ended up making a stellar good grade.

Meanwhile, the boy seemed super happy to have his mind wander momentarily from the task at hand (diagramming some fiction.)

I included the boy's writing in the conversation, turning to him and saying, "Would you like to write something along those lines?" For the first time the answer that rose from this stubborn writing resister was a resounding "yes!"

The Contagious Learning Method involves a vast level of going with the flow to the point it makes some non-student parental entities uncomfortable, until they witness the growth.

From that moment, I started thinking about my personality as one of my contagious attributes, and I would add that the the main teacher has a ton of contagion at hand, writing her scholarly thesis on something so thrilling it makes any child smile.

It is not a constant grin machine, but the smile should be present a good 30% of the learning process for optimal growth. Sometimes we smile in odd places. :) Like little emotions on our paper or embedded into our writing. I don't believe that learning has to be fun all of the time, but fun is the sign of an engaged mind, so if found it should be ceased and magnified.

Another big part of learning though, is slowly by surely building the structures block by block. I got to do that with a second grader later with the hilarious bipolar granny teacher.
I hope to describe her brilliance in greater degrees later, but the boy I was sitting with showed a concentrated nervousness in the beginning which I was happy to see lift. Gradually, by the end of the lesson, he gladly received my offer of spelling help.

Helping a child spell, despite defeating the creative accident, is actually something I view as holding great potential for future creativity, so it is also considered useful and worth my contagious time.

I can't wait to be the main teacher. I am holding back quite a bit, sitting on the side lines of training still. Soon knowledge will shoot out of me like magic arrows straight into the student's brains. But I haven't told you everything about that refined art yet.

Slowly but surely, and in measured steps as with all of writing.

And as with creativity, I am diving in with my fullness of being, and taking this job so seriously, the insanity of my method is bound to produce A's and future playwrights, poets, and authors.


Posted Thu May 2 00:41:07 2019

No one needed to wonder 'who's going to walk Tobin now?'

Though his bladder has gotten so old,

no one wondered,

but I guessed.

I envisioned.

I dreamed

of Ken who always seemed to be followed

by a procession of dogs,

in the holler through his life,

I knew when Ken went off,

he'd probably find his way to Tobin

on that side

as living minds that are like tend to cluster together.

I have friends on the other side,

hanging out by a willow and a stream,

with more cats than most can count,

and so pleasant dogs,

in the happy hunting ground,

where the people have also gathered.

Dogs are creatures made for man's company to keep,

in life,

and later,

I think we follow them to the other side.

Calypso and Baker are there too.

Even George.

So many good dogs,

over there our Percy has befriended Mary Oliver's.

Where endless fields of phlox grow wild

and the mind can visit anytime.

Posted Thu May 2 02:48:25 2019

One of the jobs I am way behind in, because I rarely do it. It is for a very flexible professor who says she doesn't mind. That's the research assistant job.

Then I got hired on as an Algebra tutor, but just do it about once every two weeks lately.

Then there's working for Anonymous Learning Center, as a tutor. Job 3. My calling.

And yesterday, I started a 4th job, the 2nd new job that week, reading the GED for a disabled person. Pay is good.

I guess I am one of those whole hog or nothing type people.

Posted Fri May 3 17:36:19 2019

Out of the blue, I am a writing teacher, in some magic stroke of luck! It may be that just one of my several students is actually just writing to begin with, but I have confidence this will grow. Meanwhile, I am glad to teach general subjects too like early math and reading. Even if the Anonymous Method just includes 5 minutes of journal writing per time, where I crave the free write exercises and creative stuff, I am so overjoyed to get to do this. I have really had a great time training for this job. My second week will start with a little more training and then will end up with me operating the table by myself. Learning oriented instruction is my element, I am finding.

It is raining, and the neighborhood children are out playing, as if nothing's changed for 30 years. Very nice.

Posted Sat May 4 20:30:03 2019

Is facebook completely contrived? I quit facebook and am not going back, but certain times I miss the feeling of connection it sometimes brings. Of course, I could install messenger, maybe, but it seems too close a friend of facebook itself to suit me. Plus people don't even use facebook as much anymore, which is a good thing. Maybe more will surface to meet and communicate with me over here in the world of blogs, email, phones and actual human encounters.


Reaching out is an art form.

Posted Sun May 5 22:40:35 2019

Dark room. Life through cloth, gap in curtain. Wet outside. Bird cheer leader.

Posted Sun May 5 22:44:01 2019

In what universe should the president be held at a lower standard than every single other person living in the country/world?

Posted Mon May 6 23:30:53 2019

If I had a little boy

I would name him Whitman

and cradle his soft body

and cup his gentle head,

stroking his smooth, blond hair.

And I'd raise him a citizen poet.

And encourage him to join the Peace Corps, Nepal.

And he'd grow to be a wise, fat, old man.

Posted Tue May 7 10:59:01 2019

Since graduating from Berea College with an English degree in 2012, I have been working as a Research Assistant for a Contemplative Writing Professor, contemplating my future. But just last week I started serving in another part time role, a tutor. Suddenly I am overcome by clarity that my calling in life is in teaching English and Writing. The experiences I have had in English, Writing, and Publishing have been a great gift. I have been blessed with the opportunity to shelve books in a bilingual library in Costa Rica, to be published over 50 times, to self publish myriad chapbooks, to overcome mental illness through journaling and blogging, and to work as an intern in a Quaker center. My literacy skills have been paramount in every experience and chance that I have been given. I find myself in a place of emphatic goal formation. I have been serving for one week at the Learning Center, and find myself writing up a learning philosophy on the side. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a writing tutor, and doing this is the thing that tells me I will not let anything stand in between me and being a future English teacher. I am so dead certain that I need to teach grades 6-12 English, to give others the great opportunities that exists for each of us by virtue of being English speakers, and to empower other creative writers to share their excitement for writing. Literacy has gotten me to where I am. I have been very grateful for a huge exploration period of my life. Now I am hunkering down in career with a clear direction and plan.

Posted Tue May 7 15:09:22 2019

A bad day is a flower growing too,

maybe a whole pea shoot,

upended by some sidetracked gardener

trying to hoe a line

that just keeps bending and turning

like the seasons

and my mind.

We have to decipher in that instant

- the uprooting -

do we try to replant a fragile pea

or just give up on it entirely;

and if our hopes for pods will perish,

are we wise enough to see in those leaves

a possible salad delicacy?

Or do we just wish to put our head upon a pillow,

ignoring potential saves?

Posted Wed May 8 04:41:37 2019

My day sucked. I let it. I wanted to do better, but I was a sucky teacher today, and couldn't get certain students to sit to learn, and meanwhile called the 15 year old boy the name of the 8 year old, and visa versa. Doesn't seem bad? That was the icing on the cake.

Another angle to this is that in my commute and dreaming I have been spending every spare penny I have, so what is the point of the job? What a bummer that here I am on week 2, starting from scratch with my savings, lesson plans, ego, and in my free time, I feel this unsavory feeling that I can't even do right by my own dog. I've been enlisting a 76 year old granny to fill in as dog mom, and in the process my bonding time is all slighted, I haven't got enough exercise, and my poor puppy is a bit off.

Will tomorrow be better?

Posted Wed May 8 04:53:32 2019

The question has come up in my thoughts about whether I would really be a good teacher if I had a whole class of students. It would not be one on one or 2 or 3 on one, like my Learning Center job. That is one big difference. Another thing to recognize is that I get overwhelmed sometimes and then I am not good at instructing or giving super clear articulate answers. I think. Also, it wouldn't just be 4 hours at a time, it would be a whole long day. Today I had a great day at the Learning Center. I tutored 2 children, and each of them were super engaged and interested and with positive attitudes. My positive experience doing what I am doing could skew how I look at my aptitude to do what I might want to do. Teaching is entirely different than tutoring for a center. I find it is easier to work with students with good attitudes like the 2 I had today, but I doubt all of my students as a full time teacher would have good attitudes. Some of the challenges I have encountered as a tutor would be amplified if I had 16 students rather than 3. There was a little boy who was jumping up and down in his seat. On a good day, I would have known exactly what to do to get his fidgets out (stand up and wiggle for a while to get it out of his system likely) but I zoned out somehow and forgot he was wiggling for a reason, and I think it detracted from our session. What if I zoned out for 16 students?

I also have something else on my mind about this that is not currently a determining factor, but since it is floating around in my mind, I feel I should mention it. Have you noticed this new trend with school shootings where the kids are fighting to defend themselves? It started last week with North Carolina and now Colorado. I call it a trend because it is clear to me that this happening 2 times in one week is a trend. (Correct me if I got that wrong.) And where there are 2 there will inevitably be 3. And where there are 3, 4. How will good parents equip their kids in discussions about hero-ship and self defense at the possible loss of life? It is a drastic new age we are living in. I really kind of think all school should be canceled until all the guns are melted away, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Things used to be so simple.

Posted Fri May 10 00:03:21 2019


I wake up so early. The birds are so loud.

Hoping not to wake anyone, I am still glad that I have risen. It's a good time for a little peace before the day really starts.

Posted Sat May 11 09:29:00 2019

Snake faced mossy branch,
streets become rivers,
alleys become creeks.

Posted Sat May 11 21:26:06 2019

I will probably never make it to India or Japan but Japan surfaced again as a place I might like to see. I always have been more drawn to India in my heart of hearts. Bright colors, dusty poverty. Reading in a book on haiku, I learn that Indians traditionally believed impermanence meant less importance. Japanese people traditionally think impermanence is beautiful. That is the one reason that I am more interested in Japan. They see impermanence as I do.

Posted Sun May 12 13:56:20 2019

Posted Sun May 12 21:38:14 2019

Is it coincidental that my the Social Security Administration has decided to end my Disability Benefits in the middle of the Trump era? Probably not. My doctor says that even though I have the diagnosis, I am now capable of work. A lot of mixed feelings around that.

Posted Tue May 14 02:06:50 2019






But I am trying to be positive.

Posted Wed May 15 02:36:21 2019

Cheers me up every time.

Posted Wed May 15 11:27:17 2019

I feel her paw

weighing down the bed

but I don't know

if she stayed for sure.

I have to rest in faith

that her body is present.

I cannot open my eyes

and bend my neck.

If I move,

the potential kitty will move.

I just listen to the wind

and believe it exists.

Posted Wed May 15 11:48:00 2019

Mothers can be nerve wracking.

It's a symptom of how much they love you.

The worst it gets, the more they do.

So be sure to tell your mothers

that you love them too!

Posted Wed May 15 23:21:47 2019

Sometimes I wish I had the email of some wonderful friends from college. Bradly Neiderider. Kenny Madden. All my English majors.

You can always email me!

Posted Thu May 16 01:06:06 2019

I feel I have a magic for tutoring. I still feel it after a few weeks. I quit about 20 jobs because they were not right for me. Not I found a job just perfect and my duty is to treasure it.

I haven't written a lot of criticism about Anonymous LC lately or rewritten the Center into my own creation. This is largely true because I am just doing the best I can in the given role, and making my own thing out of the pre-fabricated wheel of sorts.

For example, today there was the cutest 1st grader I ever saw. She kept petting my fuzzy hat, and I felt like I was a purring cat. ;) She informed me about the serious hard work involved in the first grade. "They put numbers on our tests, and we have to wait 10 days for summer!!!" The hardship in that statement could be laughed at, but in a child's life, it also is very real. We adults understand true joy only through knowing how it feels to fall and to fail. We need to be able to compare the pain with the glee. These concerns raised by this sweet girl are as bad as it might have ever gotten for this girl. I want her to continue to feel the joy she knows which is true and beautiful, and to protect her from the low numbers on her tests.

The other day I had a different girl, a kindergärtner, who seemed like I didn't know what all was going on with her, like there was something she was trying to heal already. A hardship at home maybe, a source of worry. I want to give her a sheltered place to come and learn her letters, a place without worry at all.

There is this awesome high school girl who I get to work with on test prep. I am convinced she is doubling her correct answers on my watch. The college preparatory tests are among the most important tests anyone can take. I am certain this student can place into any college she wants. My fingers are crossed for her!

I keep working on writing with this one high school boy. I am seeing him grow how much he writes and return to edit some of the content. I am proud of him.

I am so glad for this opportunity!

Posted Thu May 16 02:04:22 2019

Right after I graduated from Berea, something symbolic and supernatural happened to me. Up until now, I only mentioned that it happened to L and R who owned my home at the time. I went to the reservoir to swim by myself which is something I have done a few other times since I am a confident swimmer. I swam out to the middle of the reservoir and tread some water in the center of the water body before starting back to my car. Out of the blue, this thing happened where the waters kept growing in front of me. The expanse between me and the car grew and grew as I paddled forward. It sounds hokey but it wasn't in my head. Maybe it was the Universe sending me a lesson. I don't know. All that I knew then was that I am a talented, skilled swimmer, but I had to break through a parallel universe to make any progress at all. I swam and I swam, but I did not move one inch. I have swum distances before. It was not me being impatient or miscalculating how quickly I could swim. It is like there was a rope tied around my waste holding me in spot in the water. It was like the Universe said to me, graduating will not be your final hurdle in life. Life will have many battles. You have the inner resources you need to fight through this, to get past the parallel universe and onto dry land, but you must fight with all your might. And I clearly did.

Posted Thu May 16 09:54:36 2019

When I die

I will soon


high overhead

a cloud

passing gaily

white fluffy

and in that moment

I will be the only boss of me

where ever I float

on some gale

or out to sea.

Posted Fri May 24 22:55:25 2019

Know the sickness that moans you,

know the company that owns you,

know the food that grows you,

know the horse that brings you home,

know the Origin and the Other.

Posted Fri May 24 22:59:12 2019

Don't ever let anyone say you are no longer a child

in the playhouse with the blocks.

We put pass codes so we go slower

from one screen to the other.

That's all.

Those are the puzzles and these are the lego's.

All the problems of the world

a maze we made from our own scratch.

Posted Fri May 24 23:04:11 2019

Little kids toss gravel

why shouldn't I?

We have in our fists


resource necessary

to heal all ails.

Clutch and heave

release chicken livers

bad energy that brought you here.

Posted Sat May 25 12:06:02 2019

I figured it all out just now, as I researched the root of my fever: undercooked chicken livers. Ugh. Children, do not be a dufus. Cook your chicken livers all the way through, and be sure of it! Or better even, go vegetarian!

Posted Sun May 26 01:14:53 2019

​I come weeping to these waters

I may be excessive with my impulses,

But I have to be more grateful

I am here with you I will be there

I will not run away or flinch

I will not leave you somewhere

The way I look is so fragile

yet here in my hand

is assurance of eternity.

I try.​

Posted Thu May 30 12:56:31 2019