You found a journal. Updated when time permits.
As I packed up after teaching my lesson, hurrying to get myself ready to teach at another classroom, I always stop myself right before the door, turning myself towards the teacher out of respect, and saying my habitual but honest "thank you".
"See you next week!" He says, with a healthy smile and a wave.
I get an email the day after from the superintendent titled - "Sad News".
It's still hard to believe that those were the last words I heard from him. Too many thoughts ringing through my head after reading that email:
"He seemed fine, Oh my god what happened, Hope it happened peacefully, I can't imagine how his class feels, I've only met him four times but he seems like a great guy and teacher, Why did this have to happen how of all times"
and so on, and so on.
My heart goes out to his class, his coworkers, his family and friends, and to all who knew him and were lucky enough to be taught by him in all this 30+ years teaching in this district.
It's not easy, and it probably won't be easy. But the best we can do as humans is to move on, but to move on while honoring the impact he had to everyone he has ever come into contact with. To not take such meetings and lessons for granted.
It feels like this year I've been grieving the most I have ever grieved before in my life with my Grandma passing away earlier this year, and me finding some of the cards left by my former saxophone professor.
But that's life. A bit cliché, I know. My heart is really heavy right now, but I have to keep moving on. Even if it's just slow baby steps right now. To stay in a rut, a pit, would not be honoring their life and the things they left behind.
We have to keep moving forward. We must.
But boy does it sting.
I still have to teach his class until the end of the school year. Honestly, I don't know how to plan for all this, not knowing what mental state everyone will be in. But I have to a least try, and try my best. To be confident and teach not to the script but react on what they need from me right now. Whatever they need, I want to do my best for them. It's the least I can do for these kids. For their teacher.
Did some traveling today to see some family about 2ish hours away. Went to the hospital to see my grandma.
It looks like she's getting better. She started to refuse to eat earlier in the month, so now she's on some liquid nutrient stuff and I don't really know all the specifics. But it was nice to talk to her and get reactions from her, like smiling and laughing. Her reaching for my hand and having a firm grip on it. She's also not as strong as she was mentally, but her still remembering my name was a good sign. I'll keep praying for her, for her comfort and peace.
Can I also just say that hospitals still give me the heebie jeebies? If you don't know, I used to have surgeries every other year starting in the 5th grade in attempts to either restore hearing to my deaf ear or to place tubes in my good ear. And everytime, going through that whole surgery proceedure, just added a bit of... not really trauma... but like... weirdness?? I dunno how to describe it.
But it adds up to the point where just being in the inside of a hospital, walking those long quiet walkways, following colored lines to rooms and beds and medical equipment just waiting for you, just even thinking about it gives me weird jives and shivers.
I'm over it and been over it, the last surgery I had was back in high school. I've matured a lot mentally since then, learning how to control my thoughts and emotions and at least knowing how my body feels in response to something and inacting strategies to deal with it.
Though I still can't escape the memories and feelings of being in hospitals. Quiet with hints of coughing and mechanical whirs and beeps, the sterileness of the hallways and rooms while trying to bring signs of life through painted flowers and landscapes, and the foreboding as you just wait there in a lobby with just your thoughts running rampant of possible scenarios which only end when they call your name. Even then, you wait inside the room for what seems to be an eternity, back into the quiet, back to the whole cycle again.
Anyways, big ups to all the hospital staff from doctors to nurses to cooks to janitorial services. It's not their fault, and they're always trying their best.
It's just a me problem.
Starting work tomorrow. Got a new gig that basically makes me full time. But nervous and excited about it. But def a lot anxious. I've been really anxious this entire month and it really sucks. I would say it takes a toll on me, but I've been dealing with this same anxiety for years and years that I just learn to live with it. It's more of an annoyance because I know it'll get better. I know I'll make it through. I just... you know... have to do it.
Anyways, we'll see how it goes. I want to make it a good time for me, and an opportunity for me to learn a lot.
It'll be scary. And it is scary. But this is what I signed up for. And I'll push on through no matter what.
Now the next part of it is to stop feeling so lonely all the gosh darn time.
That's my real problem, I think.
Oh, and the update to the last entry, the kitchen is basically done but the flooring needs to be installed before I can do my ambitious cooking stuff. So close I can almost taste it.
My kitchen has been under renovations for the past week now, still I week or two to go I think. In the mean time, I've been doing all the kitchen stuff outside. Prepping on a folding table, broiling with the toasted attached to an extension cord, cooking on a gas burner connected to a propane tank, and (my favorite part) washing dishes outside using a hose attachment.
I don't mind. For some reason, I feel a strange connection to my ancestory. Seeing my parents do the same process they seem pretty comfortable with it. As immigrants from the Philippines they probably had to do this before. My grandparents too. And their parents too. And now I get to do it. I know it's weird especially when you consider how much privilage I have, but it's fun. Of course it's a struggle (though the only real thing that's a pain to me is washing the dishes) but for some reason I feel comfortable with it. Makes me want to have an outdoor kitchen. With a working sink though, of course.
Also, heck those 6 court justices today. I haven't cursed in about 8 years now, but I've gotten so close today.
I think one of the hardest parts of being an educator in today's age
is coming back to class the day after a tragedy such as today.
A lot of emotions come out from a lot of people, and as a teacher you do your best to navigate it
all while navigating your own.
I ask myself from time to time, "why are they, my students, here?"
Of course, there's the easy surface-level answers.Learning, experiencing new things, forced to be here, ect.
Then you think a little deeper. Maybe because it's fun. Maybe because they know it'll help them in the future. And maybe because it's a way to escape whatever else is going on.
Whatever the reason is, they're here. And in choosing this profession I'm responsible for them.
One of my mentor teachers told me, "if you're going teach these kids anything everytime you see them, let it be that you're teaching them about life."
Teaching them about life, huh. It's a statement that always stuck with me, and something I try to incorporate everyday.
Life nowadays I feel has even more uncertainty and chaos made apparent through all the media we consume compared to the past.
But I always try to tell my kids that everyday you just try to be and do better every single day.
Even if you miss the mark, you have to both learn from it and keep going.
Your best can change from day to day, but you have to keep trying your best.
I do my best to be a role model and be optimistic in front of my kids, even when it's hard sometimes.
But I want to do my best because these kids are the future. As corny or cliche as it that statement is.
I ultimately want to teach them that being better, doing better is a choice. To make good decisions is a choice they can control.
The future is in their hands, but it's also up to me to help them in their future.
I'll never stop fighting for these kids. To give them a quality education they deserve.
To learn in safety without fear. It's what they deserve, and what every kid out there deserves.
And although I'm just one person, and people higher up have all the control over laws and such,
I want to do everything in my measly power to help my kids in any way shape or form.
Even if it's the least I can do, I want to give them my all.
Sometimes I wish I can work a job where I didn't have to be "on" all the time.
Like to work regular hours, and when I clock out I didn't have to think about my job until the next day.
I mean, I do like my job (even though I wish I was better at it). It's rewarding. I guess.
But honestly I just would like my free time back.
That's what I get, huh. I knew it when I signed up for this career, when I decided to study it in college.
Maybe one day when it all comes crashing down, I'll take some classes and do a career change.
Maybe in tech. Or resturant management.
But until then, I'll keep trying my best at this. At this whole "education" stuff.
Who knows, maybe one day I'll learn to really love it.
And when the summer comes, I'll have my free time back.
Just gotta push through.
Hey. Hi again. Been a while, huh?
Happy New Years Eve!
There's a lot of stuff I could be writing here. About how this year is kind of a blur to me. About how this year felt like me constantly being anxious, stressed, and just depressed. About how I felt like this year I felt the most lonely and that I lost my sense of direction in life. Like what I'm doing for myself doesn't contribute to anything. To life, to society, to my friends. Like how this year the feeling of wanting to disappear from the world forever came back.
BUT I'M NOT GONNA.
Well, I kinda did already. But that's besides the point!
This year was full of challenges, and with all years it's an opportunity to grow and do better next year.
And I want to do better next year. So much better.
So good luck to 2022. To me, to you, to everyone. Wish everyone the best.
Take care of yourself. Be more kind to everyone you meet. And lastly, stay hydrated.
See you next year, bud. :)
It happened. AGAIN.
Last hour into my shift after a slowish day, it felt like everyone wanted something from me. A crew took all the cutting boards to polish them including the one at my station, meaning I couldn't make the pizzas I'm supposed to make and in a flash a group swarmed around the pizzas and took the last of the backups I made. I would have made more if I didn't have an order to do.
But the real kicker is in this hour someone ordered a pizza on gluten-free crust. Cool, I have those ready to do and I don't have to travel to the freezer to get (and which they moved really far away). I took the order, reviewed it, made sure I had everything, then started working first on pizza replacements for the board then working on her pizza.
Made some pizzas, put them in the oven, then looked back to see her again, 5 minutes later, standing in front of the counter. She says to me, in a quieter voice than when she ordered:
"I was waiting for my order out by the curb when I got a call saying my friend had died."
"Holy heck lady, why are you telling me this" I thought.
"My condolences," I replied. To which she said "It's ok, (they) lived a good life."
"Do you still want the pizza? I still haven't made it yet." I said. Maybe it's kinda rude to say?? Kinda weird?? I don't know. It's an honest question though.
"You can go ahead and take all the time in the world. I'm in no rush" she answered.
After that, I made her pizza right away. Gluten-free, sauce, with "that fake cheese", red onion, and basil and arugula at the end.
An honest pizza. Tried my best to make it look pretty. Kinda worried that I messed it up somehow. But whatever.
Printed out the tag for it, undercharging her for the toppings. Cut the pizza into six slices because the gluten-free crusts are small. Boxed it up, and handed it to her.
"Thank you," she says. "And remember to cherish every single day!" she says with a smile under her mask and a tone of voice where you know she honestly meant it.
30 minutes later I got to go home.
I didn't want to think about it that much on the drive home, so I got some McDonalds to help distract myself.
What is it with this place, man. I want to leave.
Right before I got off from work today, my boss was talking to a group of my coworkers as I was cleaning up. As I walked past them, a look of shock fell on their faces. I didn't know what was going on, but a walked past them to finish cleaning up.
As I was finishing my paperwork, my boss pulled me aside to talk to me about what he told the others.
One of my coworkers passed away.
What was I to say? I was never good at immediate reactions. I'm one of those guys who take a bit to process things. And when I do process them, it hits like a truck.
And what a truck I got hit by.
I was told he missed three shifts in a row, so they did a kind of welfare check on him. Found him lifeless.
"No speculation", said my boss.
To be frank, I don't want to. I didn't want to.
At that moment I tried to remember who he was. Though I still had a lot on my mind even before the news. Once I left the building, it all started coming back to me. I mean, I never really knew him on a personal level. But I do remember of him. The kindness in his voice, an attitude of jest, and his vast knowledge of cheese pairings and alcohol. Memories of him full of life.
Grief is weird. I never thought it would be affecting me this much. But it is. My overactive thinking brain is filling my mind with thoughts and I don't want to think but I can't help it.
Even today in a group chat with friends, it was hard to be my normal self and respond properly. I can't stop thinking about this news
Right before I left and in the break room, the night shift manager came in. Telling everyone how much she loves and appreciates them like family.
I've always kept in my mind that "tomorrow is never promised", a phrase I do believe to be true. Though, it feels different when it's actually proven so close to me.
The last thing my manager said to me and to the others was that if we needed to talk to someone let someone in store leadership know.
I don't think I'll take them up on their offer.
But it would be nice to talk it through.
Today, one of my favorite vtubers moves on from being a vtuber. Although she was kind enough to let us know about three weeks in advanced, it still hits hard. I woke up an hour before I usually wake up and get ready for work just so that I can catch her last stream, at least just for the beginning. But as soon as it started, the heaviness of my heart and the welling of tears just couldn't be stopped.
Even at the start of the stream, Coco keeps her overseas fans in mind by having the interviews subbed in English. A smart idea to having it edited and prerecorded too, for the sake of everyone involved because lord knows how many possible emotions are being held back having these final public conversations. It was good seeing Haachama, and Korone with her bamboo hat costume. And even though Gura was missing from the EN crew interview, Coco must have really wanted her to join in and made it happen. And Ame having Coco do one last cartwheel? Blessed.
I have too many thoughts and too many things that I should be doing tonight, so I'll just leave it at this. Coco has done so much for the vtuber scene, been through countless of trials and misfortunes but always maintained her strength to keep going, and with her ambitions and dreams just kept on being apologetically her. What just amazes me too is how transparent she can be, and how her wisdom and knowledge she shares in one of my favorite segments "Bar Coco" is just so hard hitting and inspiring to me. I still have three clips of them I definitely want to write about them soon.
No matter where she goes, she'll definitely find success and most of all happiness. She'll make it happen, in true Coco fashion. I will never forget you, Kiryu Coco. Big hearts, and big up's to her. She truly is one of the best to have ever done it.
I've been listening to this song all day. Even trying to piece together a drum part for it and thinking about doing a sax cover for fun. It's such a fun song.
To be honest, I didn't really vibe with FnF at first. I remember playing it for the first time when it was only on week 2, thought it was a nice but there was something about it that was holding me back from fully liking it. It was pretty novel, a bit cheesy and corny, a bit juvenile in the sense of its jokes and humor, all wrapped up in this cute and seemingly-friendly presentation.
But I decided then it wasn't for me.
Now that its kickstarter finished, it's on week 7, and I've watched plenty of vtubers I like play it, I'm looking back at it and wondering why wasn't I on board with it?
I think it was because in a way it reminded me about my past, growing up on the internet in the mid 2000's. The past I'm not particularly proud of, so sometimes I reject it.
I then came to a realization that rejecting it was dumb.
Friday Night Funkin is, in a way, a love letter to that era of that time. An era of fan games made in flash, flash animation, and particularly the Newgrounds culture at the time. You see it first and foremost with the guest characters of Pico and Tankman, also with the collaborations like Sr Pelo's character and stylistic changes from the creepy lemon dude and Senpai's art style. The ability to easily mod and create mods of the game just opened up the floodgates of fan content and creation of new OC's and adding existing OC's and the ripples of other content that comes with it: art, writing, theory crafting, ect.
This game is so special. One that transcends just being a game. One that not just creates a community and a fanbase, but encourages people to create and contribute. One where emotional connections can be formed and made. In times like these, such an experience is a welcome change.
I can go on and on about so much about this game, buuut I need to sleep.
Bless up to Kawai Sprite, ninja_muffin99, and the rest of the FnF crew. Thanks for reminding me that the mid 2005's Newgrounds wasn't all that bad.
Anxious. A huge wave of anxiousness tonight.
I know I'll be ok. I've been in this boat before.
It's just a matter of making it happen.
Some encouragement would be nice. But tonight, right now, it's just me.
I can either be the person I need right now, at this moment in time. Or I can be my greatest detractor.
And I want to make the right choice. I got this. Deep breaths.
It's show time. Let's heckin' go.
I saw my friend for the first time since March of last year. It was pretty lit.
Driving the hour to his place was like a kind of trip down memory lane. Going down the freeways I would often travel for four years of my life. And of course, seeing his bright, beautiful, tired-after-a-day's-work face made the commute worth it, even if it was the shortest four hours of my life. Still a lot of fun being in his company.
I'm thankful for a friend I can just talk to about whatever. Dumb stuff, real life talk, venting feelings, reminiscing, and just creative ideas. And it's a two way street too. In any case, it's comfortable being with him. I'm glad to have each other, after all these years and years together, since elementary school.
It was nice today to have friendly physical contact with another human being today. Long overdue after this year/world event we've been having. Truly a blessing.
Today, someone gave me a $2 tip today at work and I got unreasonably mad. This guy just said thanks and dropped it on the counter. I don't want your money, guy . Just let me make you food the best way I can, you say thanks, and you leave. Easy transaction.
Also, from my experience in food service, I only believe if you do have tips the only good way to do it properly is if it's split among the entire staff. Of course it also assumes that the wait staff is also being paid a proper wage, along with other staff. Perhaps working on a food truck spoiled me though, but I have to admit how much of a motivator getting tips were, especially the days where the split was $20+. I remember a time where the split was like around $70, pretty worth all the travel and grease burns. And it wasn't so much me getting more money, but seeing the rest of the crew get that dough. Food staff supports each other, and that's one of the reason why I love working in small kitchens. A kind of comradery among a few hardworking individuals. Makes me happy seeing others being supported and enjoying working together. Tis a good thing to see.
It's been exactly 6 months since the last entry. Huh. What a coincidence.
Anyways, the jobs been pretty alright. Wish they'd give me a raise, but teeechhnically I'm still considered "seasonal" while I'm working full time hours and being one of the better employees in terms of work ethic and getting stuff done. Perhaps I'll nudge my boss about it.
Nah, who am I kidding. I think I have it in my mind that this job is just temporary. Which is true. But I'm also putting up mental barriers and trying to make deeper connections to this place. Maybe it's a bad thing. Maybe good? Who knows. My main goal everyday here is to make good food and don't do anything that will get me fired. I'm hitting those goals everyday, but I'm kinda keeping everything else secondary. Mainly the socialization aspect. I know I'm introverted, but it also just seems like I'm putting up barriers again because I know I'm going to have to leave eventually and I want it to be as painless and worry-less as possible for everyone involved.
I also think I'm just being an idiot and just overthinking again. Most likely. In fact, 95% most likely.
I start a new job tomorrow. Pretty anxious about it. Anxiety doesn't have to be a bad thing though. It usually just comes from a change in one's environment or life. As a musician, I'm used to this anxiety. Or at least I say I am. Funny enough, my anxiety this time is from a different place, but it's familar. "Something weird might be something familiar viewed from a different angle". It's new, but at the same time, it's not. Funny, huh?
The best thing I know how to do is acknowledge that anxiety as an energy, flowing through my mind and body. Then I take that energy and transform it into something else. Sometime that works positively. I call it: excitement.
No need to wish me luck. I know I'll do great. Not that I'm being overly confident or cocky or anything. I'm trusting myself. Trusting in my values, and what I know. But always keep an open mind, and open spirit, and give time to reflect. It took me a long time to figure this out. And I'm still working on it. But if I believe in my desire to do my best, then that's the first step into willing it into existance. But if it doesn't happen, well that's ok too.
Hope you're doing well. See you around.
Current vibe on repeat: ◆+｡･ﾟ*:｡+◆+｡･ﾟ*:｡+◆+｡･ﾟ+◆
[Update: The song is "Wacha-Mocha-Pettan Koushinkyoku" by Hello, Happy World but it gets copywrite struck a lot]
Having family over unexpectedly is always tiring. There's a lot of work to do, from helping cook to helping clean to watching over an energetic 6 year old kid and making sure he doesn't destroy anything. Luckly, minimal things have been destroyed. I think I deserve a little rest now that they're gone for this weekend.
Anyways, tomorrow's another day. Hope you're doing well.