Thursday, May 26, 2005

I post this while outside, watching the sun reflect brightly off of the Horseshoe, tending to a Sanpete turkey a-roasting on the Campchef. Tis good where I am presently.
Asher is doing adance on top of the picnic table, screaming at some injustice that he perceives and then smiling at me.
I suppose I should be at a meeting right now, but I forgot about it pretty well. As school winds down for summer, I have a hard time even thinking about other peripheral obligations.
Neato thing: Last time I was up in SLC, I stopped briefly at The Pie Pizzaria and got a small sample and a gray T-shirt to take home and wear. I wore it today, it makes me feel all youthful and flibbertigibbity. That's not bad the day before school lets out, so I'll run with that.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Yesterday had a flavor all its own.
Here at the school, the attendance has dropped precipitously, with an average of only twenty five out of sixty five attending during the week. Things are mighty laid back, right now, making me feel a bit useless and like the days are misspent. Not much for a teacher to do but keep the few on task and answer a question here and there.
After work, I stopped off at Wally's to get a snack for a trip over the mountain with Ryan to fish. In the parking lot was something indicative of these odd times here in Sanpete. There has been a bit of an oil rush in northern Sevier and Sanpete counties the past few months, and people like this are showing up in our normally staid and lower-income population. You probably see this sort of thing all of the time where you live, but here in the lowest per capita income and highest unemployment county in Utah, this sort of thing is rather in-your-face-conspicuous:

See what I mean? The status quo in our little county is older Suburbans, flat-bed pickups and other tattered domestics, so this is fairly like a greyhound amongst pugs.
There are quite a few speculators here about besides the Texas Olman above, with even local wannabe tycoons getting into the act. At least one fellow has been going through land titles, offering little old widows and the like ridiculously low sums to sign over mineral rights on property in an effort to increase his holdings made in cellular and real-estate.
All of this turns my stomach. If oil really happens, I don't know if I want to be around as our little place becomes something like freaking Evanston, Wyoming; thousands of opportunists descending like locusts, bringing change at a pace and magnitude never before seen around here.
The fishing trip was a cold and snowy outing, with whiteout conditions at the top of the pass. There is more snow up at the high elevations than there has been all season. The drifts at the side of the road are falling down onto the lanes in places. Lower down the hill, there is evidence that the roadbed is slumping and might head into the canyon below. One such place, about forty feet long and as wide as the road itself had fallen at least four inches by the time we passed on our way home. That was somewhat freaky, I'll say.
As we came into the valley, the sun finally came out. Off to the south, the dark clouds remained and the valley floor was shrouded in mist, but we were bathed with brightness in the clear air after five days of rain and snow. Everything shimmered as we headed through Fairview, discussing fly patterns and parasitic speculators, the two ideas conflicting in our light banter almost as much as in our hearts.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

school and rain

Rain continues to fall here in central Utah, and as the grass rises, so do my expectations of the sweet respite that awaits on the other side of this school year.
There was an uncomfortable silence at the staff meeting last week when our principal asked for people who wanted to teach a session or two of summer school. I was stone-silent and still while others fidgeted and glanced from side to side, but eventually a couple of people spoke up and relented to the pressure. I did not, and wouldn’t have even if my job would have depended upon it at that time.
Circumstances have since tempered my deepening level of aversion to being anywhere near this good school, but I am glad that trial has passed.
The kids are pretty excited to get out of here and there are more seniors scrambling for year-end credit than there have been for many a year. Most should make it, but I’m more than a little worried for a couple of them. We’ll probably be checking a bunch of work around the May twentieth senior deadline. Carpe diem!

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Between sessions, I often head up to the third level to sit on the couch. The sun came out strong for about an hour and a half. A dandy thing to have, a ten-story high south-facing window on a cool morning.

Out in front of that same view, Cliff Lodge, Snowbird.

The tram coming down from the mountain. I should have been on the next trip up, but I was too dern weary. Plus, after all, duty called.

A dear person got married yesterday, Emily Kimball Bigelow, now Emily Kimball Bigelow Marchant. Em married Josh, a very good friend to my good cousin, KC Burningham. I was able to make it to the reception in Salt Lake before heading back home to SpringTowne.
Good on both of them, and we wish them only the best.
There is a sense of angst in my soul in relation to reality, more specifically, human perception of reality.
Our own role in continuing our threads and lines of perception is a subject open to much discussion. Too many eddies, vortices and tangents cross my own little sliver of consciousness. I have long seen people as basically good, but I see those who are at some level basically bad in their intent, or at least in my perception give much energy to their personal lust for power over others.
That lust for power seems to be the origin of many of these eddies that I see.
The Tao and Christ would have one flow with the natural currents of power and energy, using them for good purpose and ends that promote some kind of harmony. The gentle changes and adjustments in the course of human events and lives produced by this sort of use of personal and social power would be gradual and gentle.
In such an environment, steady growth and natural entropy is more given to progression and consentual modification.
Such would have each individual consciously manage one's own field of influence and grace. Repentance, healing and other positive change would be more simple and achievable by a higher percentage of people, and a greater level of social transparency would become possible.
How's that for a vague thread of malleable perception?

Friday, May 6, 2005

Another day up here at the 'Bird. I'll be taking photos as I see them and we'll see a post sometime later on. P'raps tomorree. Quien sabe?

Thursday, May 5, 2005

It's been a nice day. Things have gone well, and I've gotten quite a few ideas. It was sure nice to see all of those birds oiut before the sky opened up again, the birds are always great up here during spring.
Nevertheless, right now it's quite blustery and the sky is full of Mjolnir's fury. I need to get back over to the lodge for dinner right quick, but I'm not going out in that sleet and lightning. I'll sit tight and watch the sky for now.

Just outside the overcast window where I'm drinking over-honeyed chai right now. I missed the woodpecker. Danged camera.
This is really all you're missing right now, Ryan.

Much to say about the presentations I went to this morning. One was the typically motivational keynote, presented by Hasan Davis. Nice guy with a nice approach to our population. I enjoyed his presentation and took a few notes and observations of my own. That's usually the barometer to whether or not my time is well spent during these things, the amount of cryptic blatherings vs. bored doodling I make during a session.
I also went to a presentation on the No Child Left Behind, UPASS and SB 145 conundrums. The gentleman behind the speech is the superintendent for the Salt Lake School District and is a veteran of Alternative High School teaching. This is a very rare person, and though I had a rough time following all the way through the morass of jargon and statistics, I really enjoyed his views. I fired off an email and talked to him after, so hopefully I'll get a bit more info and guidance in these areas.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

It's that time of the year again, when the thoughts of all 'at risk youth' workers turn to the Troubled Youth Conference at Snowbird.
I made it up here, in spite of the stalled semis blocking lanes of traffic on the interstate. I made it in spite of my desire to not part with my family, even for just a couple of days, even though I look forward to this time just about from the time I start driving down the canyon to go back home each year. I carted all of my assorted junk up to my room and called Drie to let her know I'd gotten here safely and sat to collect my thoughts, but not for too long.
On a lark at around ten o'clock, I decided to walk down to the Iron Blossam Lodge at the other end of the resort earlier this evening to check on things generally.
I played a game of pinball (quite without any finesse, at that) and instinctively walked up to the sixth floor straight to old #606. Sheesh. It's been at least nineteen years since I did that.
I hesitated in front of the door, reflecting upon all of the good things that happened there, and the people who were a part of them. Our family had some wonderful times in that loft, spending many a week after school let out swimming, playing pinball, hiking and generally relaxing about. I thought about Tad and my dear grandfather, Bompa, who shared great times there with me and have since passed on.
I sat in the lobby on the couch for a minute or two, listening to a chance play of "Closer to the Heart" by Rush and writing a wee bit in the old pocket journal.
My walk back was sweet, with a warm breeze bringing a scent of pine and woodsmoke, and Chuck Mangione and Buddha Bar II on the iPod accompanying the creek in the bottom of the canyon. I talked with my dear ghosts, walking the paths and snow until I got here to sit and write a little more...

Sunday, May 1, 2005

This picture is a link to a story on a southern Colombian tribe that resists the violence all about them through non-violence and dialogue.
Happy May Day.
In spite of the flooding and streams overflowing their banks in places all over Utah, we have thus far fared pretty good here in SpringTowne. Our little creek has been at about a third of capacity for the past week or so, and that's about it. It's been pretty cool, and the rain and snow has been coming at even increments. No cloudbursts so far.
We got a new Jonathan apple tree to replace the several that died last year from lack of water, deer dining and generally harsh conditions. I'll be taking some precautions against the deer early in the season, I've found some trunk protection material and I have some welded wire fence if that doesn't do the full trick.
I got a Faux Orange and some Honeysuckle for a couple of places around the house, as well. Something has to work, and if it smells good, we're that much better for it.