MONEY CAN BUY YOU A BETTER HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE

My partner works for a private school. I have attended a few events and watched some of their livestreams. By doing this, I have learned that money can buy you a better high school experience.

I attended a public school. I had wonderful teachers. Don’t get me wrong – a few teachers were definitely there to collect an easy paycheck by doing as little as possible. Most of my teachers were intelligent, engaged, and loved their job.

I did not have college or university guidance provided to me without request. Most of us went to high school the way people go to day jobs: clock in and clock out. I had no idea I needed to request this kind of assistance until it was literally too late.

The private school has what appears to be endless funding. Kids are being drafted for college sports, being given arts scholarships, and access to academic programming during and right out of high school. College prepared and acceptance rates are staggering.

They have pools, tennis courts, recording studios, and more at their fingertips. Healthy meals with vegetarian and vegan options. Multiple foreign language options are available. Ballet. I could keep going.

The handholding that happens at this school is incredible. Students should never feel lost when it comes to their college path. Especially since they meet with school staff often to plan their current schedules and work toward future goals.

I can’t help but feel a little jealous. I wish I had known the people in my high school where there to help me. That was their job. I should have requested more attention, asked more questions, and insisted someone build a plan with me to get where I wanted to go.

I’m not mad at private schools for having nice facilities, competent staffing, and a high ticket price.

My high school -a public high school- was clean, safe, and the staff were mostly nice and cared.

I just wish we could all stop lying to each other about it. You can buy a better education. When staff are paid enough money to have only one job, they are able to do that job better. When staff have better tools, they can do better, more efficient work.

Public schools have good people in them, but they aren’t given the financial security to focus wholey on their duties while they are there.

So, what’s the solution?

Money? Maybe. But let’s say that money isn’t on the table, because, frankly, it isn’t. What’s the solution?

Talking openly with the children in your life and the people in charge of helping them achieve their goals. Educating your children about working with guidance counselors and their teachers is especially important if you do not have the time and resources to do it yourself.

If you do have time and resources to educate your children on the process of applying for scholarships, filling out applications, etc., great. Teach them how to work with school staff anyway. You get busy sometimes, and those folks are paid to help.

If we can’t throw money at public school problems, let’s throw some knowledge and action on them, and watch the balance be created.

Social Media Experiment

I’ve done a few social media experiments in my life, but this last one has taught me to stop doing social media experiments.

Let me explain –

I thought I was spending too much time on Instagram. While I have no problem with scrolling through content that makes me laugh, think critically, or simply feel happy to have seen (every single fountain pen Instagram account that I follow), I do take issue with scrolling mindlessly over things that do not interest me. Things that only appeal to me because they were designed to leech onto my most base of instincts and curiosities.

I caught myself in a scroll of posts featuring the actors from Friends in their teen years. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I was in that feed for well over half an hour.

Half. An hour.

Do I like Friends? Sure. Do I like it enough to learn about the actors and writers? No. I do not seek Friends content. Yet, there I was wading through a river of their high school photos like that wasn’t creepy.

This event led me to the experiment: Only posting twice a month. Uploading a lot of content all at once and forgetting about it.

This idea is excellent on paper, but just like depriving yourself of your favorite food while dieting, the moment you cut yourself off, you think about it a lot more than you did before.

This is why deprivation dieting doesn’t work by the by. The moment you give in, you feel relief thereby building neural pathways in your mind that equate giving in to your craving or, in my case, Instagram with pleasure, relief, and relaxation.

But here’s the thing: I didn’t feel deprived this week. I didn’t think about Instagram at all really until a friend of mine said, “Hey, I really miss your daily mug picture.” I explained my experiment to you and told her that I am still taking pictures of my coffee. I’m only waiting to share them.

As I said that, I felt so stupid. The thing that I was hoping to avoid was endless scrolling which wasn’t a problem for me. I corrected it when I found myself doing it. I have already fixed the glitch.

So, why did I think I need to take a step back from the only social media platform I use? I let messages about social media influence my use of it.

Yep.

You may have noticed that people on social media like to post about taking breaks from social media. People are constantly talking about how they spend too much time on social media. Where are they talking about it? On social media and traditional media!

I fell victim to social media in this way. I was convinced I had a problem when the fact is I got trapped in a rabbit hole and found my way out…ONCE!

So, what does this have to do with my social media experiment now and future experiments?

I’ve decided to not do anymore experiments and end this one. I am an adult. I’ll just post when I want and scroll through pictures of fountain pens when I want.

The Warring Factions of Geese

A Scene from My Window

Two geese are circling over the pond and my RV. All the geese below with the exception of the one with his head in the water and tail in the air are honking at the circling geese. The circling geese are honking back.

The circling geese are coming in for a tight landing. One of them lands easily on the grass while the lands inches from the edge of the pond. He appears to be embarrassed by this. He removes himself from the pond and honks with his fellow circling goose.

The land geese find this whole brazen display distasteful and unacceptable. They lower their heads, elongate their necks, and charge toward the previously circling geese.

The circling geese do the same.

There appears to be some confusion as two of the land geese have turned on their friend – one of the other land geese! What madness is this?! They are honking and nipping at his feet!

The circling geese, confused by this sudden betrayal, and take off leaving the land geese to their infighting.

This appears to have been the land geese’s plan all along as they have immediately resumed normal activities of napping, snacking, and quietly coexisting.

The Best Laid Plans…Am I Right?

as seen on notnowimwriting.com only a few moments ago…

I had excellent plans. Plans that neatly placed all of business in one box and under one umbrella. Plans that I assumed would make it easier for me to do my social media work and newsletter writing.

Spoiler – I was wrong. I was wrong not once, but twice!

I started an educational writing platform under my small press just to find out that the people that were visiting the site and buying the books were only interested in, well, books!

Then, I moved my learning platform to my personal log just to discover that I do not want to brand the heck out of my personal log or personal instagram. I do not want to niche that mess into the ground. My personal accounts are a place for me to blog and post because I enjoy it. I don’t want to think about organizing my thoughts or matching my photos to blog posts all the time. It isn’t for that.

So, my dear writers, NotNowImWriting is B A C K!

1995

I’ve been keeping a journal since 1995. I started journaling long before that, but 1995 is when it stuck.

1995 was the year I got my first desktop computer as well which came with a Weezer video you could actually watch on your computer. Observe this advanced technology here –

I also got a printer and lots of paper. I typed thousands of pages of the mundanity of teenage life in every single font imaginable. I printed these pages and trapped them in three-inch, three-ring binders.

When I turned 18-years old and moved out, I lugged all of these binders with me to every house and apartment.

In the early 2000s, I burned them all, but that’s a blog post for another time.

What I’ve done a poor job of saying here is that journaling and I have been cool for a while. Journaling got me through a lot of hard times in my life, but it also helped me to mark my achievements and get to know myself better.

There’s a reason I’ve continued to journal into my late, very late, 30s – it helps me live my life.

Some days, I just write things like, “Angry. Hate everyone.” Other days, I write four or five pages about what I believe to be the meaning of all life, or my desire to eat cheese cake for every meal because I watched every single episode of The Golden Girls as a child.

I’m Dorothy, and that show holds up. Go watch it.

I mentioned near the top of this post that I burned my journals. I will explain that another time, but I want to highlight it right now as a way of saying that your journals don’t have to be pretty or for public consumption.

In fact, I encourage your journals to be full of your worst handwriting and crappy ideas. You can always pick out the good ideas and great bits for personal essays and burn the rest.

If you are interested in learning the fastest and easiest ways to start journaling, click here to visit learn.hellothisisbara.com. Once you are there, you can sign up for a free journaling course that will launch on February 20th, 2021 at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time.

I hope to see you in there.

Updated Journaling Course on LEARN

 Many of you have enjoyed my writing classes on Skillshare and Udemy.  I am very grateful for that.  I love hosting courses on these platforms. I also want to host some live writing classes for you all which I cannot do on either of these platforms.  To do that, I need a little more access and control over the platform I’m using.  With that in mind, I have started building out LEARN.HELLOTHISISBARBARA.COM.

What does this mean for Skillshare and Udemy?
  
Nothing.  The courses available on Skillshare and Udemy will be there until the sites shut down (barring any unforeseen circumstances).  

Will I be making more courses for Skillshare and Udemy?
  
I genuinely hope so, and I plan to.  Though, new courses for Skillshare and Udemy take a backseat to courses on LEARN (or HELLOTHISISHERACADEMY as I like to call it) and my small press.

My first course will be an updated version of my journaling course called How to Journal.  The course will launch at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time on February 20th. This course is free and shows you how easy it is to begin journaling without pretension.

LEARN (or HELLO.THIS IS HER ACADEMY.) is very new – so new I cannot commit to a name – so if it looks a little empty, that’s because, well, it is.

I’m remaking my signature courses and making plans for live workshops, larger courses, and other fun things. For now, I am keeping it simple for us all by offering one course with the promise of a fresh version of How to Write a Short Story course coming in March.

I hope you find the updated course interesting and useful. I wish you all the journaling luck and joy.