Category Archives: Reviews

I’ve been there

You ever get mad? You Ever Get Mad? You Ever Get MAD!?! Let’s Work On That.

You ever get mad? You Ever Get Mad? You Ever Get MAD!?!

Yes. Yes, I do. Don’t get me wrong. I do consider myself a happy person, but naturally, sometimes I want to karate-chop someone in the throat.

Sometimes I want to be that person who gets cut off in traffic then proceeds to give the finger to the offender. Really maybe my real issue is that sometimes I want to be the person who doesn’t feel bad about giving a person what may indeed be “coming to them.” Yes, instant karma deliver, at your service.
I need to tell you a story about why I don’t get as mad as I used to:
First some context.

I was one of those college students who worked full-time and went to school full-time. Through the years, I had a variety of jobs. In this story, I was the manager of an Italian ice store. My best friend, at the time, also worked at the store and the other employees did not know she was my best friend. This was a strategic approach to managing my employees because I did not want them to call favoritism on account of my best friend working there. Like I was ever going to let my best friend have a crappy schedule, seriously?

Okay now, let’s get personal.

So I’m just going to blurt this out-I was dating my boss. I was young! He was young! This was well before I learned that you shouldn’t, “mix business with pleasure,” or for the blunt, “shit where you eat.” Anyway, I really dug the relationship, at first. So push comes to shove, I’ll save you some semantics, I found out my boss/lover was double-dipping in the workspace. He was in fact dating another employee whom was also a friend of mine.

Here’s how I lose my cool.

I flip out. I want to call up this “friend” who is messing with my man and curse her out. If she was there when I heard this news initially I might have slapped her in the face, I could have let my ugly-out, and I most definitely would have got mad all over her ass. BUT really if you think about it, the best thing happened, she didn’t pick up the phone. My move was to leave a pleasant sounding voicemail encouraging her to call me back only to rip her a new one when she called.
So she called back (and I should be thinking- I got you now tramp).

But when she did call- I was tired. I had a long commute back to my dorm and an even longer day. My roommate and I decided to go to a diner and I was about mid-way through a very appealing sandwich when the phone rang. Thinking I was going to miss my opportunity, I picked up the phone. She politely said, “Hi, it’s (insert name), you called?” I responded, “Yeah, listen, I just wanted to say that I know what you did and I think it was fucked up, so do me a favor, and don’t ever talk to me again.” Then I hung up and turned off my phone.

My roommate gave me a bizarre look.

“That’s how you tell someone off? That was so calm!” It was precisely the opposite of mad and you know what? I felt great. You ever get mad and tell someone off and then you want to pick up the phone again call them back and “YOU KNOW ANOTHER THING! CURSE, YOU.” Then hang up? I get it. But because of this moment, because I knew I didn’t want this type of person in my life, I really did say the three things I needed to say: I am aware of your actions, I did not like your actions, my action is to not partake in this friendship. I felt great because I discovered a classy way to express how I felt and I didn’t have anything else to say about the matter. She can remember exactly what I said and so could I, it was a simple calm statement brought on by exhaustion.

AND TRUST ME, you don’t need to EXHAUST yourself:

Remember I told you my best friend worked with us? Also true. She told me that the next day the girl came into work and claimed I told her off, she even claimed I came to her house and threatened to beat her up. This just goes to show you that you shouldn’t get mad because people are just going to make up whatever it is they want to about a situation. The instant karma might have taken a day or so, but in the end, the person that was genuinely wrong in the situation faces a liar who says hurtful things in the mirror.

I don’t want to be the person that looks at my own reflection and feels like a terrible person; which is why I work on not getting too mad as an effort towards achieving happiness.

The Yards Brewery (Work on getting out)

Hey you, yeah you, you need to get out more; but really at the right-kind of place with the right-kind of people. Here’s where I went. I wrote you a nifty review, enjoy.

“About Two Hours From the NYC…Don’t You Want to Get Away?”

Let’s have an honest moment. The city is complicated and you need a road-trip to distress. You might consider visiting The Yards Brewery on 901 N Delaware Ave in Philadelphia, PA 19123.

I know. I know. Gas prices. But I promise it will be worth it. Here’s why:

Your visit will make beer consuming history. They proudly boast that they brew craft beers of authenticity, integrity, and character. Their process is rooted in the British brewing tradition and for the pursuit of happiness. You can’t buy many of their selections in the store, so if you want to experience the awesomeness you’ll have to take the drive.

Your taste-buds and brain will thank you for it. Yes. Not only will you consume wonderful beer like the Chocolate Love Stout and the Extra Special Ale, but you can also get an education on the hilarious tour of their brewery, conveniently located next to the establishment. Did I mention that the tour was free and full of delicious samples?

Their décor is the cat’s pajamas. We’re talking pool tables, shuffle boards and a variety of pub grub. Beer-infused cuisine at a reasonable price paired with tasting room that welcomes both the casual and the refined.

Go ahead. Get Away. You deserve it.

Here is the trick to getting happy by getting out- good people. The older I get the more I realize you don’t need a lot of friends to be happy. Just a select few that you can laugh really hard with but also have a serious conversation with. When you get out you vent through experiences collectively with people who are also looking for happiness. You also think/worry about you problems less because you are entertained by others. Consider getting out as an opportunity to “work well with others.”

Education Reform (Work on Progress)

Work on the belief that by acknowledging how things can get better you are contributing to the process of happiness. Write an un-sent letter to a topic or group of people that need to work on certain things in order for you to be happy in their company.

Dear passionate practitioners of learning,

I’m not bitter about education. I don’t entirely feel that as an educator I was, “damned by the man” or “suffocated by the system.” I have met many students and educators that I was honored to know. I’ve experienced constructive observations and innovative blended-learning lessons. I’ve have developed content for learners on all levels at perilous districts and in achievement schools. I consider myself an avid learner of the newest technologies and well versed in a variety of design formats. I can both complain about education and commend educator’s effort(s) for reform.

Here’s what I think: I believe that education (the state-mandated curriculum) has been saturated with too many need-to-know particulars and concepts that leave very little room for the expansion of a learner’s creativity and opinion. I have written so many acceptable objectives that I was told must be measurable. I was often concerned about my lesson’s projected assessment-driven results.

I get frustrated sometimes because the answer to what students need in order to be successful is complicated. Given the advancements in technology and the increase of population and demands- I know this: moral and intellectual exploration need addressing most in this highly competitive world.

Can education have a sophisticated infrastructure and adhere to a worldly vision statement? To be honest, I believe it can- but the process is going to be one hell of a bumpy-ride. I think that what is deemed as relevant content needs to be criticized and examined as well as foster lively, meaningful, dialogue that aids the envision process. For example, when The Crucible is taught, half the lesson should address characterization and plot and the other half should encourage the students to learn about themselves (or what they can create), while applying the content’s theme of divination. For this to happen, districts need to spend more time on allowing the student’s to absorb what they can individually learn through literature rather than how many titles can be added to existing cannons.

In life, we are in search of meaning and entrepreneurs on a daily basis. I do not know the direct-answer to education’s reform; but I think we need to collectively lean a little more towards what our students are capable of learning and what it means to them as individuals and a little less towards what our students are capable of memorizing and regurgitating. For this reason, formal education has taken a backseat- I am now, more than ever, curious about what innovative companies can bring to the education reform table.

I acknowledge that the topic of education reform is broad and encompasses many approaches/understandings. What I suggest is approaching education through resources that specialize in digital tools and computational models to pursue humanist research.

To all the educators and entrepreneurs (like myself) who are passionate practitioners of the quest for learning- Good luck in the delicate balance of what is to be expected and the unforeseen potential. Sometimes I get exhausted with mission of education’s reform; but I would rather struggle through a process of something I believe in, then never to have tried at all.



I might not be able to find a solution to what concerns me today, but today I can acknowledge my concerns and in return feel happy for my progress.