07 November 2014

Brave Project: Step One

Thanks to an inspirational and serendipitous presentation from Dr. Lynne Herr, the English 10 students will take part in the "Brave Project" she started. You can read more about that here.

The first step of the Brave Project is to list out any and all "lines in the sand" we don't cross; in other words, the things we actively avoid doing, either because it scares us or makes us uncomfortable. Why push ourselves out of our comfort zones if we don't have to?

So, here are my 10 lines I never cross (plus a bonus):

Haunted Houses

This line confuses my wife and friends. I love gothic literature, film [read: dark, creepy films that have gripping storylines and poignant themes] and folklore (think Dracula, Frankenstein, Grimm's Fairytales), but I hate Haunted Houses and gory movies. I can get freaked out by an unsettling tale or movie if it serves a purpose greater than scaring for the sake of scaring, or grossing out for the sake of a reaction.

I am attending the Drama Club's Haunted House (10/24) to help move my line; I know all the students involved, so I think it'll scare me less than one of the big terror-fests in Lincoln and Omaha. My dear wife is my partner for this line, because she loves Haunted Houses and will literally force me to participate...
Photo Courtesy Utah's Bicycle Lawyers

Living healthy
It's not so much a fear as much as it is pure, unadulterated gluttony, slothfulness, and a few other seven deadly sins thrown in. I love lemon-cream cookies and staying up late to watch "The Walking Dead". Sue me. I eat like crap, get little-to-no exercise, and my body gave up hope of ever having a circadian rhythm.

I'd like to fix all these problems at once, but I know I need to take baby steps. I might start with a bedtime (you know, take a throwback to my kindergarten days), or cut down to one pop every other day (typically I only have one a day), and cutting out sweets every other day. I'm using Frau Graham and Mr. Daniell as my support people. Both are hyper-health conscious, and I know that they will both be the kind of support person that will check on my regularly.
Photo Courtesy Canadian Cancer Society

Saying "no"
I have this awful need to please and help people. Unfortunately, I never stop to ask myself pertinent questions like, "Do I even have the gifts and abilities to help in this area?" or, "Do I have the time and energy to lend a hand to this person?" and, "What slice of my personal or professional life will I have to neglect in order to help someone else?" Many times, I impose extra duties on myself that I don't need to.

For this line, I'm using my dear friends Frau Graham (again) and Carrie Petr. Both ladies are highly intelligent, and completely unafraid to tell me when I need to pull my head out of my nether-regions.
Photo Courtesy TremendousTraining.co.uk

Being absent

Saying "no" feeds directly into my next line that I fear, which is being absent, both physically and mentally. The time I spend at school and in drama and journalism keeps my away from family and friends in the physical sense, and the time I am at home, my mind is racing through all the things I have to do.

I am going to schedule time with family and leave school at school. To do this, I'm going to use my dear friends Ms. K and Patrick, and the Gregorys as my support people. Patrick and Rachel have survived the early years of a husband-and-director life, and have invaluable insights on how to balance the theatrical world I'm living in. Also, the Gregorys, despite being very busy and involved educators, coaches, and sponsors, still find time to spend with each other and their flipping adorable son, Roy.
Look how darn cute that little chunk of love is!

Perfectionist & Perception

Even as I type this blog post, I'm editing and rewriting, tweaking, revising...I simply cannot do something with half-effort because I know I can produce high-quality work. And, like most people, I falsely think people are paying more attention to me than they actually are. Gone are the days of, Egad! I wrote a blog post that had a very obvious typo! Also, the Drama website doesn't look as professional is it should! What must people think of me?!...at least I hope those days will be gone.

I'm going to pick a handful of projects I have and only give it a "first draft" effort. What those projects are, I do not know; but, I will make myself let the error live on indefinitely in no one's memory. For this goal, I'm going to use...
Photo Courtesy Frontlinegaming.blogspot


I think Barney the friendly, purple dinosaur indoctrinated me a little too well. Whenever conflict arises, I bend myself over backwards to make it go away by any means necessary. Oftentimes, the magic trick to make it go away is to requires me to do more (which goes into the whole aforementioned "saying no" and "being absent" issues). Whether it's an issue with a student, colleague, or boss, I don't bring up or address problems. However, I've done this long enough to know that avoiding a smaller problem now makes issues that much worse later.

At some point, I'm going to start listing conflicts that need addressed, and take them one at a time. To help me prepare for the confrontation, I'm going to use my better half Ashley (who isn't afraid of initiating confrontation?). She'll also be my follow-up person.


Asking for help

For as much as I like to help others--whether they ask for it or not--I refuse to ask for it. I abhor the thought that others might see me as weak. It's a pride thing (hmm...I'm starting to notice a pattern).

Simply put, I'm going to ask others for help for as many projects as I can. Drama alone will be a great outlet for this, so I'm asking for more parent volunteers and help from my friend and colleague Patrick (a theatre expert).

Time management and organization

I may have multiple-personality disorder (another issue for another blog, perhaps)...I started the year in hyper-organized mode. I managed my time like a champ. But, as time went on and I got more and more bogged down with the weight of the year, it all hit the fan and went out the window. "Organized" is not my default mode like some. I'm the flighty, big-picture dreamer that flies by the seat of my pants kind of guy. "Chaos" is my default.

Ergo, I'm going to work on regaining that sense of organization that seems to be so elusive for me. I'll schedule my time, use a planner, and utilize my students, journalists, and drama members to keep me accountable; I will tell them when things will be done (grades, assignments, et cetera), and will get them done by that time. If not, they have full permission to call me out.

Handyman repairs

You might not know it from looking at me, but I'm not what one would call "overly-masculine" (note the sarcastic tone). I'm not a die-hard sports fan (I almost enjoy Husker football), I'm rarely outdoors hunting and fishing and scrapping about like a mountain man, and I couldn't fix anything to save my life. I'm much more comfortable in the performing arts arena singing and acting and expressing my feelings.

As a result, I'm going to complete a handyman project. It may be changing the oil in one of our vehicles, it might be doing a household repair...I'm not sure! I do know that something will come up and it will need addressed. Depending on the time and repair, I'll either use my old man or father-in-law Larry (for general repairs), or my other father-in-law Mike if it's auto-related. Mike is a mechanic by choice, though a businessman by trade.

Letting circumstances affect my joy

One of my greatest struggles that I refuse to fix is letting outside circumstances affect my joy. I tried to get a new Advanced Theatre class a few years back (and I'm still trying), but it just hasn't been a possibility. Talk about getting your knickers in a twist...I might have a

Looking scrubby in public