Mama Said There’d Be Days Like These

April 1, 2008

It was a rough day again at the old factory, mi gente. I find it hard to try and not take things too personally when kids get nasty with me, but today was an especially different case. I just found the level of disrespect at inordinate levels. I really looked at some of them like I didn’t even know them for the past couple of years. That coupled with my nervousness about the future has subconsciously messed with my sleep.

In other words, I need another vacation.

But all is not lost.

I do have ways of dealing with funks like these:

1. Go to the gym (went yesterday, but that’s because I need to stay on my weight loss game).

2. Plan something special for myself (like a trip out to DC, or Europe, or a Syracuse University alumni conference in September *CBT for my Cuse heads*)

3. Think positive thoughts (like me going to the Kanye / Lupe / NERD / Rihanna concert in May, or all the positive feedback I get from some of my closest associates and friends)

4. Breathe, laugh, and bite into a Twizzler.

5. Write (like I’m doing now).

6. Read (I’m still working on A People’s History … by Howard Zinn, but I have a good 80 or so blogs in my GReader).

7. Upgrade to WordPress 2.5.

8. Listen to the following tracks:

  • Scarface feat. 2Pac and Johnny P, “Smile”
  • Metallica, “Hero of the Day”
  • Metallica, “One”
  • Jay-Z, “All I Need”
  • The Beatles, “Free as a Bird”
  • CRS (Kanye, Lupe, and Pharrell) – “Us Placers”
  • KoRn – “Got the Life”
  • Joe Budden – “Broken Wings”
  • Alanis Morisette, “Thank You”
  • Juan Luis Guerra, “El Niagara En Bicicleta”
  • Lupe Fiasco, “Hurt Me Soul”
  • The Verve, “Bittersweet Symphony”
  • Anything else my iPod / iTunes has in store for this brotha …

9. Think and think hard about what my next move’s going to be for the next day.

10. To interpolate Jay, “Take off the blazer, loosen up the tie, step inside the classroom, Mr. Vilson’s alive …”

How do you de-stress? Not just for educators, but everyone.

jose, who’s still fielding questions. I’ll take more than one.

p.s. – Happy B-Day, Amber.

This post was written by...

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

For more about me, read here.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Wasserman April 1, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Weather permitting, I go for a walk/hike (bad knees make running painful)
Play guitar loudly and badly
Hang with people who aren’t related to the stress


Jose April 1, 2008 at 8:28 pm

nice. I haven’t been on a good walk in a while, so I might take you up on your advice.


Frumteacher April 2, 2008 at 3:11 am

ad 2: Jaaaaaay! Come to Europe :-)


Frumteacher April 2, 2008 at 3:20 am

As for anti stress ideas, try these:

1. Cook a nutritious meal with loads of ingredients. It helps you focus on something practical, and you reward yourself with a wholesome meal.

2. Put on a face mask. Yes, there are masks for men too!

3. Play an instrument. I sincerely miss having a piano since playing used to help me relax. I think like nr. 1, finding something that will keep your mind occupied with something that has nothing to do with what causes your stress, is a great way to get rid of the stress. Knitting works fine too!


angelamichelle April 2, 2008 at 8:35 am

journal, mediate, take a nice long soak with music, candles and a book, then curl up in bed with said book until sleep claims me.


Carmen D. April 2, 2008 at 8:58 am

Hey Jose! Sorry to hear about the crappy day. The gym is my salvation. Long walks are good, too. And ice cream or frozen yogurt don’t hurt. :) I also have a weakness for dumb reality tv when I’m feeling down. On another note, I upgraded to 2.5 last night. All went well, but I like the old dashboard better. Peace.


e April 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm

ha. i’m still trying out how to destress. the best thing i’ve got is the sims 2 – i can get lost in that for hours. :)

sorry bebe’s kids are stressing you.


p.s. i’m scared to upgrade my wordpress. i’ll be g-chatting or calling you soon for support through that process. haha


elementaryhistoryteacher April 2, 2008 at 6:29 pm

It is THAT time of year….

You’ve got some great ideas for destressing. I find it liberating just to let it all go and leave it behind. Do something that doesn’t have anything to do with school, books, planning, etc.


Jose April 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Wow, lots of good tips guys.

Frum: a face mask? Please don’t put that out like that. I don’t want people thinking I’m a pretty boy ;-).

AngelaMichelle: sleep claims you? HA!

Carmen D.: Yogurt might be my best option since ice cream tends to be detrimental to my gym program, especially the stuff I like. p.s. I like WP2.5, but you’re right. There was something so familiar with the old dashboard.

e., I’ll be alright. As for the upgrade, let’s work it out.

EHT, I agree. Only 2 more school days until I get to enact my wildest fantasies of sleep and more sleep …


Bam April 2, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for the many well wishes.
You are competitive. Think about it, and we can discuss later.

I don’t de-stress. I go full throttle all the time. I wish like hell I could turn it off.



Alisha9 April 2, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Take a long walk on the trail overlooking the river. . .


m dot April 3, 2008 at 6:43 pm

think about seeing ME pre-kanye concert


mzvirgo April 4, 2008 at 11:11 pm

How do I destress? I like to sit in the bathtub with bubbles and a book and a cocktail. I also like to read blogs like yours. I like to take naps too.


Jose April 5, 2008 at 11:07 am

Bam, that’s going to lead to burnout. Not that I’ve never had that before, but I wish you the best with that.

Alisha, that’s another good suggestion.

m dot, I’m on it.

mzvirgo, naps are a missing part of my regimen. I’ll take that up.


Jonathan April 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I need to make that sort of list….


Miss Profe April 10, 2008 at 6:00 pm

A manicure and a pedicure. Yes – they are for guys, too. And, a massage. I also co-sign on the nap.


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