Retreat – a video blog in two parts

Part 1 – What It Means

Part 2 – Where I’m Going

In case you missed it, I just posted my 50th blog post a few days ago.  Isn’t that exciting?!



I was reading this blog, someone else’s account of his failure and why it is meaningful to embrace it.  He embedded a video of J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement address back in 2008.  It was extremely meaningful to me, so I’ve included it below.


The DC Teaching Fellows Experience (& Why It Didn’t Work Out For Me)

I want to give a fair, objective overview of the experience of going through the DC Teaching Fellows Summer Institute program. I get a lot of readers that are searching for insight into the program and the process, so hopefully this can be a more extensive account than I was able to find when I was enrolling. At the same time, I want to explain why I didn’t make it through. So this will be some mix of objective reporting and editorial story. Bottom line: everything here is true, in my experience, but take it at face-value. If you want even more details about anything I talk about, leave a comment or send me a message. I will definitely answer any questions or explain anything that may be confusing. Continue reading

How I’ve Been

Man, I have been busy.

I thought I was good at time management, but I’ve never had this much to accomplish on such a continuing basis.  Obviously I’m getting better, though, since I had time to write this entry :)

I just got up to get some dinner started and the can opener is gone.  No beans for me.  That’s okay, I had an open carton of soup in the fridge that I needed to finish.  I’ll check with the roommates when I see them.  There is one drawer where all of the silverware and utensils go.  But I checked everywhere.

So, anyway, I’m getting better at appropriately tracking my time.  I have to turn in my lesson plans for the coming week by 8pm on Sunday.  Last week I think I submitted them at 7:58.  Then I kept working on them afterwards until at least 11:00.  This week, though, I submitted them before 4:00 and that was because I finished and just let the sit in case I wanted to make any changes. Continue reading

Practice Teaching by Teaching

Gods, what a week!

This week has seen a rapid oscillation of my emotions and my confidence.  And I am glad for that because the feelings are in proportion to my stressful and meaningful circumstance.  I am able to fully enjoy the joyous moments I’ve experienced.  More so, the low moments are not world shattering and I can more easily see the path out of the darkness.

I realized this blog became a big ol’ wall-o-text.  So, here’s the simple breakdown:

  • Tuesday: First day of practice teaching, but I was alone with the whole class all day.
  • Wednesday: I was alone again all day.  Definitely discouraging.
  • Thursday: My first practice teaching observation, I did decently but there are a lot of areas for me to work on.
  • Friday: I got a job! I’ll be teaching 8th grade math at Hart Middle School.
If you want the whole story, then keep reading.

This week is definitely a hell of a story. Continue reading

First weekend as a teacher (updated)

I have now completed my first week of DC Teaching Fellows Summer Institute and my first days in a classroom for Practice Teaching (PT).  I teach Algebra I at Stuart-Hobson Middle School to 9th and 10th graders.  The class is relatively well-behaved, and I think I’ll be able to keep them under control.  I am in the class with my Cooperating Teacher (CT) as well as another Fellow.

My first day at practice teaching both of the Metro lines I take were unexpectedly delayed, so I ended up being about 15 minutes late.  It turns out it didn’t matter.  Our CT quit the day before Continue reading

A Good Week

If you follow my Twitter feed you know that I had a really good day on Monday.  At the end of the day I said a blog would be following “soon.”  Well I meant for soon to be faster than four days, but this is what you get.  I’ve been busy.

Anyway, my first week on the East Coast has been incredible.  There has been stress and worry, certainly, as you know from my post about my first day here.  My friends and family have been very supportive and encouraging as I dealt with those feelings of loneliness and fear in this new environment.  I have also received both of the boxes I was worried about.  That is a huge relief.  The apartment is clean and livable.  Crisis averted.

Since that first day, though, things have really turned around.  I have gotten used to navigating and travelling via buses and trains.  I am a master of the Metro :)   Continue reading

Day One…frak, what have I done…?

Everything about my move to the East Coast was easy until I got off the shuttle that dropped me off in front of the place I was going to live for a couple months.  I walked up to the place and looked for Apartment E.  Weird, the apartments were numbered.  So I went to apartment 5; E is the fifth letter of the alphabet so they must be one-and-the-same.  I knocked.  “Uh, yeah?” I heard as the door opened.  “I’m Ryan, are you Jared?” I asked.  “No, man, sorry.” Hmm, maybe I had the wrong apartment, so I asked “Is there a Jared in the building?”  He replied, “I’m not sure, man.”

Well, that’s not good, I thought to myself.  As he closed the door, I grabbed my bags and regrouped.  I checked my notes: yeah, I had written down 7404 Rhode Island Ave Apt E and I was at Rhode Island Ave Apt 5.  There were only six apartments and they were all numbered.  Maybe I wrote it down wrong?  I checked my text messages and sure enough, the address was 7408 Rhode Island Ave Apt E.

I headed to the apartment building next door.  A realization hit me and I literally stopped.  I shipped some of my stuff and I used the wrong address!  One box had some more clothes, towels, and some other things I wanted to have here with me.  The other one had my Xbox 360 and all of its accessories.  Oh no!  What was going to happen to them? Continue reading