Mark’s Notes

A new home

The blog of lo-these many years has a new home, now. I had to retreat from the previous blog because what I write here has never been a money-making enterprise. When I write for profit, it is for an editor at a publication of some kind, but the blog is mine-uninhibited, as it were, by the necessities of commerce and fortune. I write because I want to–and the freedom of that should be unfettered, as it now is.

In the near future, I’ll archive the old site onto this one so that I don’t lose all of those posts–some of which are very dear to me and I want to hold onto. What happened? Well, I simply got wrapped up in my day-to-day life this summer and neglected paying the bills on the old blog. This led to the revelation that paying bills on a blog that doesn’t pay me isn’t necessarily forward thinking when there is all of this free software around that I can use. So, I moved over here to weebly, where I keep my classroom website, and found a simple blog format that works.

Summer’s travels were elegant and ethereal and it’s hard to believe that Fall has risen and shorter days, lesson plans and school-work have taken over. I’ve found a great deal of solace in changing everything I do at school. After 26 years of largely doing things the same way, I made profound and fundamental changes in my classroom from the way I grade papers to how I communicate with my students electronically and even how I talk to them. Everything is new–and it’s rather exciting to me to be in the midst of it.

Shannon (Peanut) has grown into a remarkable young lady and as I teach her now how to drive, I am flooded with all of the feelings you dads out there have had. Where did that little princess go? Answer? She’s standing at the front door rolling her eyes at me, one hand on a hip-the other one outstretched awaiting delivery of the car keys. It’s a rich life.

I’m in my 27th year in the classroom now and I look forward to what I’m doing–but I am also thinking very seriously about retirement from the classroom within the next four to six years. Depending on a number of financial factors, of course, I’ll make a decision. Primarily, I want to explore other things, do some more freelance writing, perhaps pursue working as an adjunct education instructor and maybe work in a winery, while I find a place to call home, walk my dog, be in the outdoors and near the city. It’s the little big things that count.

A weaving of threaded days has led to challenges with real grief these past few years. The loss of Edd, Brett, Craig, Jarvis, John and many others before their time–has me reeling. The sweeping scythe continued apace this summer as two days before the start of school, Shannon lost one of her dear friends she’d known since kindergarten. Young John (a different John) was 16 when he passed. I’ll simply not go into details–but the tragedy has been visited upon this community and the sadness is deep, lasting and profound. Shannon struggles with processing the grief and as much as I can help her, I do–but she has become aware that while there is help, solace and love for her–the healing she must do, she must do on her own.

I’m grateful for all of you who read the pages. Thank you for that. More posts to come at this new home of my writer’s life. 

​Onward.