It’s Yawpin Time!

ā€œIt’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.ā€

–J.R.R. Tolkien

One of the main things people tell me about myself is that they never know what I’m going to look like the next time they see me. Every school year, I undergo a metamorphosis as I grow all or some of the hair on my head and then cut it all off in the spring, usually mid-April, but this year I waited until May and then cut it in stages to make the transition more gradual. I have several reasons for this seasonal transformation. Outside temperature is definitely a factor (it’s way more enjoyable to have a built-in facemask at 20 below zero than when playing ultimate frisbee at 80 degrees), but keeping students, family, and friends on their toes is a definite side-benefit.

My summer/fall look at the State Fair, August 2018.
Just before my annual self-care treatment, May 2019.

Currently I’m somewhere in between, with a short beard that still covers my face and short hair on most of the top… (except for that one spot up there people tell me is thinning… but I can’t see it, so it doesn’t exist… right?)

By day, I am a high school teacher at one of the larger local high schools, and for the most part I’m pretty happy and satisfied with my job.
I teach media classes like Photography, Video Production, Graphic Design, and Yearbook back in the classroom where I took a few of those courses myself when I was a student at the very same school. I enjoy building working relationships with students and all the positive energy and excitement many of them bring to their daily activities, especially when I can facilitate those Ah-HA moments when kids actually get something important. I’m not as thrilled with the meetings, bureaucracy, endless emails, and requests or mandates from the school district to do more than I’m already doing.

By night (and on weekends and major holidays), I am a husband and father-of-four (edit: now FIVE!).

Newest member of the family! We’re so glad you finally decided to show up, Sam!

When I was younger, I never would have predicted that I would have a family with 5 kids, but I love it. It’s certainly trying at times, but sharing life experiences with my kids has been one of the great joys for me in the last 10 years. Outside as a family we enjoy hiking, camping, and being on the water at our lake cabin. Inside we like to play games, watch movies, and eat good food. I will say that the care and maintenance of a family this size doesn’t always leave a lot of free time to do these things that we love. We also have to resolve a lot of conflict, clean a lot of dishes, and buy vehicles with an abundance of seat belts. Although there are moments where I am less keen, most of the time I enjoy all of it immensely.

The sliver of me that is left after work and family take their pound of flesh still has some interests too. I love all kinds of games: board games, card games, video games, party games, brain teasers, and puzzles. I love boating: sailboats are my favorite, but I also enjoy kayaks, waverunners, canoes and SUPs. The final category I’ll mention here is books. Predominantly I enjoy high fantasy novels, but I also love classic literature, self-help, and even the occasional history or biography. Recently I haven’t been able to find time to read, so I’ve been listening to audiobooks that I borrow from my library via various apps and listening to them while I do the housework or drive to/from work.

To provide some more information, I’ve compiled a list of a few of my ALL-TIME favorite things:
And another of CURRENT interests:

(After reading some of your ideas for lists, the ones I created above seemed a bit…ordinary.) . SOOOOOOOO…
Stops and Activities I will Photograph on My Trip Around the World
(after I write my best-selling novel that becomes a movie, of course!)

  • Eat Sushi in Japan
  • Hiking in New Zealand
  • Train Ride Through the Australian Outback
  • Stay in the highest hotel room in Dubai
  • Walking Tour in Jerusalem
  • Kayak in the Grecian Mediterranean
  • Oktoberfest Beer and Brats in Germany
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride in France
  • Visit Globe Theatre in London
  • Tour Edinburgh Castle in Scotland
  • Bike Trip Pub-Hop in Ireland
  • Atlantis Waterpark in the Bahamas

Online Activity

I feel that for being a somewhat techie person, I have a relatively small online social footprint. I think since finishing college and starting work and family I haven’t prioritized keeping up an online presence. Here are the places online that I can think you might be able to find evidence that I exist.
Adobe Spark I created this for an online Adobe class I took this spring called “Creative Imaging for Educators”.
Facebook (note: I don’t use this much anymore, that baby in my profile pic is now 9! Sometimes it takes me 6 months to get back to people who message me via Facebook…)
Myspace (Whoops! Really dating myself here, but I had a myspace in the distant past. I tried to resurrect it for this assignment, but gave up after a few minutes fussing with logging in. No great loss since it was more outdated than my facebook page…). Google+ was another one that I began using, but never kept up with it, and it’s been abandoned now too. Twitter as well, until I needed it for this class.
Some places I work online that aren’t available for public viewing: Google Classroom, Google Drive, and whatever online platform the school district has chosen to use for grades and parent communication (currently Powerschool).
I also have a group of people that I play console games with online, but very little information about my activity there seems to be publicly available. I really enjoy online shopping via Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist, so I’d bet that there’s some info out there somewhere that can trace back my searching and buying history from these venues. Similarly, most of the media I consume now is online, via Netflix and Amazon Video.

Finally, I would say that I’m looking forward to establishing more of a presence online. I love to create media, like photography, videos, writing, and graphic design, but I rarely seem to publish it anywhere that others can see it. My immediate and extended family used to clamor to see pictures and videos of mine, but the publishing of that type of media always seems to get crowded out by the day-to-day life activities. I am hoping to use this site to facilitate getting some more of my creative work out there!

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. Eliot

4 thoughts on “It’s Yawpin Time!”

  1. Welcome Paul! Looking at your list, I have to agree with your book choices! Although Wheel of Time almost needed a flowchart by volume 7 to keep track of all of the characters.
    Before getting into academia, I was a paralegal. My favorite MySpace story was finding THE “smoking gun” photo on the opposing party’s MySpace page. In the caption of the photo, the OP admitted he was going 120 when he rear-ended my client and we had a settlement offer within 5 minutes of disclosing the post.
    I grew up playing pinochle and cribbage with my grandparents. then I married to a gamer and dabbled in board games until he found the 18xx railroad game series (all 87 versions). Not my cup of tea. But I can get down with any of the Settlers games. I’m not able to post a photo of our (very messy) game room here, but swing over to my website (www.deanamwaters.com) and I’ll add some to my personal interest page.

    1. That is a good MySpace story. I guess it’s one more example of the internet-age-old adage: “Think before you post!”
      The only railroad game I’ve really enjoyed is Ticket to Ride, but I think it’s WAY less complicated and involved than the games you’re referring to. I thought I had a lot of games before I looked at your pictures, but you guys put me to shame! I can also see several that are still shrink-wrapped (like my games stash). I think maybe the idea or hope of playing a game gets the better of my budget-conscious conscience, and I buy games but then never find much time to play them. One of my hopes is that as my kids grow up we’ll stop playing Sorry! and Chutes and Ladders, and find our way to more interesting fare. Time will tell I guess!

      Thanks for visiting my 1st collection!

  2. Welcome! I enjoyed reading your bio and congratulations on your new addition!! I especially enjoyed your photography trip around the world. Before and after photos were also great. Being military my husband doesn’t get the chance to do that, he gets a month at most, but I have a feeling in 4-5 years when he retires his face will not feel a razor for a while.

    1. Thanks Maureen, the new baby has been lots of fun already, and I feel like the other kids each want to interact with him more than they did with previous infants. I have several friends and relatives in various branches of the military and they always enjoy getting to grow their facial hair a little too, but it’s difficult to keep up with me when I can just let go!

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