new toothpaste

I flinched awake for the third and lasting time this morning at 5:39 a.m. to “Hair of the dog” by Nazareth. The first time I had slapped my alarm clock’s snooze button as quickly as my body allowed me to without noticing what the radio was doing; the second I reacted similarly to my back-up alarm on my phone, “Eruption” by Van Halen.

I opened a brand new tube of toothpaste today, Crest Extra Whitening with Scope, and opened my computer to check email and the temperature. I had an email about the column I wrote for the paper waiting for me already. The guy wrote me an hour after the electronic version of the paper went out… I skimmed it while getting dressed for work and the kids. He basically pointed out the thing approach I was forced to take… by condemning moral relativism WITH moral relativism… I had to take such an approach so as to not condemn and enrage specific religious groups. Whether you know it or not, it’s something you NEVER do in print. You lose all credibility and are never allowed to write anything about spirituality or religion again for that publication, if you’re fired first.

I was reminded today just why I like working with kids. I used to hate kids, but somehow that changed, I’m not sure when, how or why… but along the way it did. I can connect and interact with kids somehow on a level they like…and they love me for it. Who knows, maybe it’s just the fact that I’m one of the only male authority figures in their lives, maybe it’s just because I’m so freaking awesome…No one can be sure 😉
The first kid to always show up, Dustin, a little hellion, was good and even-tempered today. He was funny, responsible with the younger kids, he was nice and he actually listened when I told him to do or NOT do something. This is the opposite of what he is usually like. At some point, I’m not sure how, he said he liked coming in the morning because he likes hanging out with me and Matt, the guy I work with in the morning.
Then Derek, a five-year-old who’s usually second to arrive, ran through the door in-front of his to-be step-mom and hugged Matt and I.
“Ahhhhhhhh!!! UHH *grunt from impact* HIII!” he shouted.
Matt and I tried to somewhat match his level of excitement when saying “hi” and asking about his weekend, but being the tired college guys we are, couldn’t fully hit it.
I ate some cinnamon Pop-Tarts I took from the snack box while kids streamed in, some cheery and some tired and upset looking.

Then Alexis came in.

Alexis is a spunky, red-headed, five-year-old who doesn’t stop smiling and laughing unless she falls off the monkey bars and smashes her face into the wood chips… which happened…I saw it! I felt SOOOO bad as I tried consoling her while laughing my head off. I couldn’t help it.
So Alexis came in and without saying anything, ran to me and latched on to my arm. She giggled and said hi and I said good morning. I asked her if she wanted to do or play something, she nodded and ran to get something. She came back with a 100 piece puzzle of otters. So we sat at table while I did the puzzle and she just hugged my arm.
Then Caitlyn, a first-grader, came in a bit later and hugged my leg.
I said, “Hey Caitlyn! How are you?!”
“It’s my birthday!” she shouted.
“It is? Happy birthday!” I said, this time matching the level of excitement, and gave her a big hug. I asked her if she wanted a piece of candy, she lit up and slapped my leg and said, “yeesss!”

Classed today were SUPER boring. We’re going through our presentations for the rest of the semester in one of my marketing classes and I don’t go until Dec. 10, so I just sit there scoring each person. With each person giving a 20-minute presentation, only two people go in a day. And in my news editing and design class we are just editing more leads and nutgraphs “as if the story is going on a site like YahooNews.”
By the time our teacher, who is awesome, gets done talking, I’m already half done with what we’re supposed to do. So by then, I just sit back and listen. The other people in class somehow have all of these questions about editing. It’s very subjective, but it’s not hard. All ya do is take out the old news, interpretation, unnecessary modifiers and fluff…and bam, you’re done and it’s good for a Web clip. When he comes by me, I usually just chat with him because he can’t say anything other than, “It looks like you have a good handle on what we’re doing.”

For the first time, I think, I enjoyed walking away from class in the cold. In the building I have my CJ classes and the Spec office, I always get really hot, especially in the news class – major swass. So walking outside was refreshing. And as I walked, snow flurries blowing around me and in my face, I smiled. I smiled broadly like I had just heard good news, or saw another bike in a tree, or another house’s front door barricaded shut by five chairs and a hay bale or another girl trip and fall right in front of me… As I kept walking, listening to Steele Crosswhite, I kept smiling randomly and looking down shyly to not broadcast myself too much.

Now I’m sipping some hot chocolate, hot cocoa if you prefer that, and resting in my bed. I have Spec meetings tonight and a bunch of reading to do… but, maybe it’s residue from this weekend, I’m relaxed. Unless something awful comes about, I’ll be like this through tomorrow at least.

I’m thinking about starting another blog…for misc writing about observations and prose stories that wouldn’t fit here. Maybe… we’ll see.
Too much now.


1 Comment

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One response to “new toothpaste

  1. Moore KNOX?

    Can I just say that I loved your blog today.. It made me ROFL and even think ” aww cute nate does have a heart” Haha… but seriously good stuff!

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