This year has been a struggle.

Between legislators who claim we have a “sinister agenda” to other legislators lining up for a photo with students, promoting an ultra-conservative group in high schools to bills about jailing teachers, we Iowans aren’t well right now.

I’m not well right now.

I’ve dialed back my social media use because it does me no good. I have Facebook “friends” who have questioned me and told me that “I hope you keep your politics out of your classroom”. Good god. Pardon my French, but no sh*t Sherlock! I’d never push my students with my politics because it’s not my job. My job is to paint a factual picture and allow them to come to their own conclusions. These were people I’d considered friends for a long time. No more. I just cannot with that kind of attitude. Hell, three years ago, the only reason my students knew my political party is because we were playing a game with our school council and she said if you are a Democrat move to a new seat. I didn’t even think about it and moved, but my students were stunned! I laughed because it wasn’t a big deal to them, but apparently, I had a sinister agenda because I was posting on Facebook. Needless to say, I don’t interact with many people there anymore and have considered leaving more than once. ๐Ÿ™„

My Twitter feeds are cesspools of garbage well. I have two accounts, an “education” account, and a “coaching” account. At one point, I had a classroom account as well, but I’d let that one be just because who has the time anymore? My education account is more political than my coaching account, and rightfully so. I don’t pull many punches on that account and get called out from time to time, which is fine. I love a good political discourse because we need that to be a healthy system. Anymore, it’s just garbage. I don’t care anymore about our former president than I do our current president’s son. I worry about our country and how to repair a sinking ship.

I’ve been in a sh*tty mood for days and my daughter called a few days ago to talk. I’m not sure how we got on the topic my she made the comment, “Oh Dad, you make a huge difference in lives,” and went on to talk about the various people she knows who remember things that I did in class or during basketball.

It was good to hear because I’m not feeling like I make much of a difference at all. And no, I’m not trolling for the “oh you make a difference” crowd. Far from it. Events today make me wonder this even more. Nothing big, but something that just hurts all the same. It makes me wonder about the time and energy that I’ve spent building relationships, working for the common good, does any of it really matter in the end?

So, I’m that guy who like to end of a positive. In class, after a tough basketball, I always look to “pluck that rose from the manure” (shout out to the classic Gary Paulson book, The Foxman, a book I used to real aloud to sixth graders, many moons ago). How do I do this? Well, today wasn’t a giant sh*t show as classes go. That’s always a positive. We are supposedly getting our flooring worked on after months of phone tag. There’s another positive. Both of our varsity basketball teams advanced past the first round. A nice positive there. The biggest positive, I’m taking a day off Friday and we are going to Chicago. We are going to see the Blue Man Group Friday night, the art museum on Saturday, and who knows what Saturday night. It gets us out of Iowa for the weekend and we both need it. This state is very toxic for both of us right now so time away will do us good.

So, until next time, if you can’t do anything in the world, be kind.