Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Celebrations, Honorations (know that's not a word) & Back to Basics

Image result for coco horse day of celebrationToday, we celebrate the "Coco Horse!!", not really, but I wanted something to celebrate.  In any case, I did want something to celebrate, so of course I Googled national celebration days, and guess what came up.  Today is "National Coco Day" and "National Day of the Horse".  I put two and two together and came up with "National Day of the Coco Horse!!" A little wacky, but whatev's, it's Wednesday, and I'm at work, with my wonderful students in Credit Recovery.
Image result for Sad blog factsSo the other day I was looking at some numbers regarding my blog, this blog, the doodle with your poodle writings, and I realized I've been doing this since 2013, but haven't even reached 100 post.  This is a very sad fact.  The other sad fact that was realized is that I haven't reached 10 post for the year.  So in honor of that, or to rectify that (whichever you feel more comfortable using) I have decided to make a post this week!! Also to make sure I reach at least 10 post, I will continue to write (even random ish that may not make much sense) till at least December 31st and put it on the blog, this blog, the Doodle With My Poodle blog.

So with that decision, I thought it might be nice to get back to basics, and basics being DOODLES!!  I started this blog all those wonderful years ago because I was doodling while I was working with emotionally overwhelmed youth at a middle school.  It was called an Affective Needs classroom, and we had less than 12 students most of the day, and year. Image result for affective needs classroomI was pretty bored at times, and had time on my hand so I started doing doodles.  But now (like 4 years later) I still find myself blogging, just less about the kids and their issues, but more about other stuff because I'm no longer working there.

However, I am working with kids still, just not AN kids, and I am still working in the mental health field, just not with kids.  During the day (as you could tell from my Instagram, if you followed me there, hint hint) I work at NCAS (its an art school) with high school students who need to recover their credit.  And in the evening I work at a mental health hospital for the state of Colorado.  (I like to stay pretty busy)  In any case, I was working at the hospital, and found myself with a little bit of down-time and was able to come up with this amazing DOODLE!!  It's part poem and part doodle.  Some of the patients at the hospital, have impulse issues as well as entitlement issues.  So a big part of my day is telling them   No, and things they cannot do.  It become annoying, but in life, there must be some type of structure.  So just above this sentence, and to the right you will find the amazing doodle. I just realized you can't really read the poem, so below I'll write it out for you, in all it's colorful splendor.  I hope you have a great and wonderful day.  And be on the lookout for more blog-post from me for the end of the year!!

I Cope, You Cope 
(You May Not)

Not on a bus
Not if you fuss
Not if you cry
Not if you lie
Not if you stomp
Not if you stare
Not if you cut off,
all your hair
You may not
with a sheep
You may not
when you sleep
You may not
when you're born
You may not
with an ear of corn
You may not
if you rap
You may not
while riding a cat
You may not
with a hat
You may not
Not if you yell
Not if you scream
you can only do it
when you dream...
You may not

Thursday, December 7, 2017

End of the Year Gratitude

As I look around my class, taking note of my students and their effort, I realize it is definitely that time of the year again.  It's that time when and where we grind it out, making last ditch efforts to cross that finish line of goals and resolutions we set 11 months ago in our past. 

How has your year gone?  Did you complete those wonderful goals, or did some life train crash on your tracks derailing your year, leaving you scratched and bruised on the wrong side picking glass from your hair?  Or did you find the right rhythm in your roller-coaster, and rode the looptie-loop like
a pro leaning to the side without squishing your arm, and ready for this ride to finally wind down? 

Whatever the fate you set for yourself, you're here, you've made it to this point.  So on that fact, I congratulate you.

A few weeks back, I placed a message to my students on the board.  The famous, or infamous quote stated, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."  I felt it was poignant, and purposeful.  I'd like to revisit that for a moment and ask you, were you in a hole, did you create one, and have you stopped digging?  If you were in a hole, and got out, congrats, if you created one, and stopped digging, congrats, if you're still in a hole, trust in yourself, and know perseverance will not fail you. 

"If you're in a hole, stop digging." 

It's now 10:20am and I have a room (semi-full) of high-school students completing online credit-recovery classes.  Four of them are testing right now, one just completed and passed a test.  I am inspired every day I come to work,

 I am hopeful every time I open my door.

I wanted to take a moment to encourage all my readers.  I know I may not have many, but for those of you who are gracious enough to take time out of your day, to come and read my words, is encouraging and I am grateful.  I am a believer, a believer in you, your abilities and your dedication to that which you love.  You can accomplish anything you set your mind to, believing success is always within reach.

Thank you for taking your valuable time and reading me---C. Barbee, aka nabraska, aka poet402, aka dadddy's home

Monday, October 30, 2017

Notes & thoughts on teenagers, teaching, and my day at NCAS 10-30-17

-Seniors are just as bad as freshman...or sometimes middle-schoolers
-they need to be constantly poked and prodded to complete the simplest of task
-they have to be reminded to read all the directions
-they are more attached to their phones, than their next move in life; whether job, college, next position on their mother’s couch
-where friendships are vital, but much like removing the chicken from the grease, they need to be separated for either to be any good.
-I often think of the phrase under-achieving--but some just refer to them as lazy
--they lack moral fiber, they will resort to cheating rather than being upfront and honest
-”there are very few shortcuts in life, and you can waste much of your life looking for them.”
-my goodness, is your bladder issue always that strong, or do you just need a diaper at 17
-why do you always look so surprised when eye contact is’s like you’re not expecting me to survey my class
-I would like to take a poll to see how many of my students actually know the meaning of “survey”

-between the internet and netflix, the souls of our young are already decrepit
-I catch them with their phones out so much I wish their finger and thumb tips would just fall off
-sometimes they are funny, referring to their phones as their “friend” and i then have to threaten, “don’t make me take your friend”
-if they worked as hard at school, as they did on getting their hormones satisfied, there wouldn’t be an educational issue in this country.
-why does the hall smell like hot kool-aid
-credit recovery is boring, but sometimes I’m happy because it’s boring, that means students are quiet & working.
-just 6 minutes till lunch!!!!
-all of my classes are different, and the senior who sometimes wears his hat, and is allowed, now knows it.
-this is not an art class, i seriously doubt you pull out a laptop and work on credit recovery in art. so no, you can not work on that in here.

-it is sad when you give the opportunity to 3 seniors to make a good decision, but you end up having to make it for them because they can’t handle opportunities.
-i really don’t feel like doing grades tonight…
-did that child just answer his phone in my class….oh hell naw!!!!!
-at the end of the day, yes it’s worth it, but going through it, you want to cut out their tongues, snip off their fingertips, and blind them so they’ll stop looking at you crazy!  goodness, so glad monday is over!!

Instagram/Twitter Read poem on Friends

So, maybe about a week and a half ago, I posted a video of myself reading this poem.  I got one request to post it, so I'm doing that now.  It's not that great of a piece, not that bad either, but it's unedited and short. Enjoy the read.

You are not the clothes you wear, or the car you drive; You are not bad decisions or awful times You are more than the paranoia and the sum of your fears you are present you are powerful you are here. Ain't that evil that others claim ain't that conniving or crooked Don't hang your head in total shame Are creative, Are right in step, Are that energy, unable to forget Are intelligent Are on time Are total beauty, personified You make me proud You make me smile Again and Again, AM so grateful to have you Friend

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday 13th Before Lunch....& After

Before Lunch

We ain’t doin’ time,
like convicts convicted;
Be we got
convictions like church believers
in Christ, & the Holy Trinity.
Be wise like the Father,
Fight like the Son…
Don’t just sit there
like some damn indigent
holding a sign—
I need you,
to work like
the time you complete
will clear yo’ mama’s left ventricle
of all the cholesterol she’s collected
for the last 30 years
I need you to
work like
your last is your first,
& your first is like
fist of fury, flying
& blind men walkin’
all over the world are in

I understand
how difficult it is
to focus on flat screens
from a laptop as your
teen-age hormones are
raging against the system,
we ain’t even talkin’ ‘bout sex.
It’s a matter of
knowing your surroundings
knowing your place
It’s finding integrity
amongst a table full
of cheats,
it’s staying awake,
persevering &
bending just enough of
the rules
to make it through the class.
It’s fucking high-school,
in the hood,
in a cold ass room
recovering credits with a teacher
in a Negro League jersey.
(but they don’t get that last part.)
And it’s the most,
because respect, rules, limits,
and relationships
go hand in hand
to create this atmosphere,
this learning space,
this, room 118.

When they,
come in
more quiet than church mice,
I wonder if it’s because
they struggle with English
or they’re just shy.
With one, I can’t lie,
let him slide by
b/c the young man
handles his biz; kinda look
the other way when
thumb swipes @CellPhoneFace
It’s the quiet class, the chill
class, the break in my day,
I’m almost ashamed to
collect money on.
Almost like,
my students are almost focused
Almost like
my students are almost working
Almost like
I didn’t even come close to
believing that bald faced lie,
and allowing him to leave.
That phone shit can wait if
you expect to graduate.
Almost like
damn, you’re so close, you had
so many 2nd chances
Almost like damn;
you’re busted, you’re a cheat
Almost like damn you can’t focus.
Almost like, you almost graduated
Almost like, these students
almost impressed me.
Now it’s that shallow time when
you’ve thrown in the towel &
you’re just waiting for the bell to

Fuck these kids
Fuck this school
Fuck these teachers
why does it feel like
I’m working
harder than the kids

Somehow good interactions
removed all
anxiety, frustration, & pisstivity

….After Lunch

Last class,
last pass,
last time I tried
was before lunch.
So when room is
filled with hoodlums from
hood-slums, smellin’
worse than Denver’s finest—
Fuck you,
bathroom passes for everyone,
hoping that
every child bails
at 2:28pm
2 minutes before the bell rings.
Happy Friday,


Friday, September 29, 2017

For National Poetry Day (In Protest)

Before hands
raise high,
to darkened sky;
Before 1 & 2
come together
& day goes by,
allow the pen
to gather might
from the mighty
& clarify the cause.
It’s not about
an anthem, or flags, or
kneeling, or NFL players
or the NBA.
It’s about MURDER,
& Crooked Cops,
and a president,
presiding over INJUSTICE
with a smile, & wink
to white supremacy.

If this were a school of
elementary students,
we could
“shame the ‘right’”
for thinking, and acting, and
being, so wrong—
Alas, it is not,
but if this were
a class
with the leader at the top,
he’d surely be
an ass,
and our knowledge base
would drop
as some are not
heeding the lessons
of our past.

I will not
be a slave today
or tomorrow
or next week
Not for your
corporate greed
or freedom of speech
You cannot
buy my silence
by placing the face
of my foremother
on the 20-dollar-bill.

This is for
the people and
poets and
protesters and
victims of storms
amassed by factors
the federal government
says it doesn’t exist.
We shall not
be sheeple,
to be herded and
ignored; shaved and
taken advantage of.
You will see us
in the streets,
tired and weary with
worn shoes and
heavy hearts
yet full of
life and opposition.

For we are
the people, and protesters,
and victims of storms,
amassed by
the factors the federal government
trapped in an unfair justice system
with a president
presiding over
injustice, with a
wink & a smile

to white supremacy.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Past the Midpoint (Poem)

So because we’re past the midpoint of this year, and I’ve clearly failed in my goal of writing, editing, and posting more…
I’m going to write a poem today.
One for the masses;
for mothers and fathers with
premature babies,
stuck in hospital rooms, with
incubators or isolettes.
With teeny tiny diapers,
allowing only the NICU nurse to change them.
I didn’t get to change my daughter’s first diaper.

It sucked. But then
I saw her mother hold her
for the first time,
and I saw my family
for the first time
and I began to breathe
for the first time,
in a long time.
And my life changed
as the country changed leadership,
and the ship that 
seemed to Hope,
couldn’t float, and in waves
we took to the street — 
In solidarity and confusion
we asked:
What did we just do? How in the hell
did that happen?

Then true colors were shown
in Charlottesville,
when words were not strong enough
and hoods removed to display
in all his divisiveness.
And we had to remember,
this is not post-racial,
there is no post-racial.
 But there are clocks
with hands, that can be
turned back.
I am a father now,
I must continue to fight
for what is right,
for what is fair.

And still more disasters,
happened in Houston, 
while 45 tweeted book promos,
and complaints.
I worried about the 
people in waters brown, up to 
knees, flooded cars, lives in ruin.

Reminding me of Katrina,
while my own father was dying;
Reminding me 
I am now a father.
I must continue to educate, 
and document. 
To remember, 
to be able to show the future
what went wrong.

Under the shadow of dual jobs;
one as educator, the other as 
caretaker for schizophrenics,
there was yet one more 
DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Defined by 44,
Destroyed by 45.

To be alive in such a 
that so much could occur in such short
that so much ignorance could stew in such little 
I have no time, as dual jobs defer
my days from my daughter;
I make precious moments count.
Counting with her, showing her colors, 
while carrying her on my shoulder, watching her smile,
I let her know, it’s ok.
I let her know, Daddy’s here.

Through all the recent 
hopeless disasters 
the country has gone through,
we’re still here. Mama’s here, Daddy’s here,
and so is she.

My little fighter. Born three months too early,
she fought through tubes, and wires,
isolettes, and first touches with rubber gloves,
instead of soft Mother’s skin.
She knows of disaster, even if 
she’s too young to comprehend. 
She is not afraid, she shows no fear,
she faces it,
head on like hurricanes heading to the shore.
She is certain she will make it.
And I, her father
am reassured.

©2017 Clarence