Classroom Chaos

Schools-Education-apple

So during the day I work at a school. It’s a very taxing line of work and find it fascinating looking at how far i’ve come in terms of capability. I’ve been doing this for only about 8 months, and when I started my personality demanded that I find the most effective route to perform flawlessly in the role. So I took on multiple rounds of after-school classes with the goal of gaining insight into effective explanation of material and classroom management skills. I learned many lessons, and have put hours of reflection and refinement to use after my experiences.

The first after-school program I took on was a 2nd grade homework club, where we basically do nothing but homework. This sounds so simple, however 7 year old children despise homework and will take any escape possible. I had a rough group and nearly every single one of the children had behavioral issues. This in combination with me being a rookie with this particular age group made things a rough ride. So for a general overview I had no straight lines in hallways, kids bouncing off walls, and a constant bombardment of irrelevant questions at any given time. So after a nearly a week of that I cracked down pretty hard, this helped slightly but it made the kids view me as an enemy in the process so I still had acting out. So, again after another week, I refined my process and I dished out endless consequences and even wrote up a couple kids. It got results however it was still a pretty rough experience.

The 2nd and 3rd group of students I had were amazing. One was a group of older 4th, 5th, and 6th grade girls I coached for basketball; and the other was homework club again. With the homework club I changed tactics that round, this group was considerably less rough as well. I outlined the rules clearly from day one and implemented as many things as possible into organized routine processes. My lines were always complemented in the hallways, homework was getting done, behavior was easy to manage, and I was able to focus on building relationships with students which multiplied this effect drastically.

Now I am with my 4th and 5th group of students. Group 5 has no problematic issues and most of the students in there I have had before. Group 4 however has many students that I had in my 1st group though. So my full experience is now being tested and utilized to manage these students. I’ve had them 3 weeks now and while they have made progress; way more than they had the first time I had them. I have a class policy and several go-to activities to thank for that. However I, as well as two teachers I work with have had to give them one of those serious teacher to student conversations of disappointment to correct behavior. Those two awesome teachers have become very good friends of mine and together we have worked out a good strategy to manage the group. I don’t plan to sacrifice relationships with these students for discipline as much this time as I am aiming for them to own up to their behavior and proactively shape them. With a little grit and hard work I know I can get them where I want them to be.  Too bad when that happens the program will be over, but hopefully that progress will be carried with them into the next school year.

In conclusion, I have made a ton of progress in the field of education! I am not sure if I will return next year as of yet and I can go on for days about all that I have learned (possible future posts). However I owe many teachers thanks for sharing their experience and insights with me. I put a lot of hard work into the school year, and it has paid off in terms of my own ability and most importantly, all the student success.

Short Update: Trent Begay (Coach Begay)

It has been quite some time since I last wrote. It seems all my free time lately has gone into coaching basketball. Analyzing strategy, form, and fostering a team culture has been quite a lot of work. Tomorrow morning will be our end of the season tournament. Regardless of the outcome I must say I am proud of the girls I have coached. Teaching a sport like basketball requires mastery of many different abilities on top of a functional team mechanism. All this, on top of confidence and the desire to win is something that has to be blended attentively.

While our team looks good, the anticipation of tomorrow is quite intense! After all, you can try your best at something and still lose. A lesson that has been learned time and time again for many of us right?

Foundations of Leadership: Belief

It’s been a while since i’ve posted anything (insert 1,000,000 excuses here). However, today I want to share of of my core values for good leadership. This core value is belief in those who serve you. If you cannot delegate authority and develop your team you will never be a good leader. There are many ways to sidestep believing in your team. Like not giving adequate support, neglecting their contributions, and perhaps not giving them responsibility and thus robbing them of the opportunity to grow.  You might be saying to yourself “what does it matter? They probably don’t care anyway”. Well it matters for two reasons, the first of which being that if you don’t share this philosophy you should not be in a leadership role. I know I don’t want a CEO, director, or manager who can’t implement this philosophy. The second of my two reasons on why it matters is that even if they don’t care about their job your belief in them can and will change their mind.

I’ve always believed anyone who serves in roles under mine should be developed and mentored into being leaders themselves.  Although only two of my three current jobs include leadership duties, I still try to apply this philosophy even in my support role. Behind everything I wrote here, I honestly hope everyone who has ever served under me grows to become equal to, or even more capable than I am in a future leadership role. That way my philosophy will spread like a plague for a better tomorrow.  I believe we rise by lifting others.

Virulent Obligations

Home!

Home!

I remember one winter evening years ago I was home on the Navajo reservation in the small town of Fort Defiance, Arizona where my grandparents live. It was a cold snowy, muddy, miserable day for my bored 17 year old self. I remember my grandma’s little car got stuck in the mud and my grandfather was somewhere with the truck so we couldn’t pull it out of the mud. Luckily my uncle was near by and we were able to rock, push, and slide it out eventually with his help. I remember him and I were covered in mud from basically the waist down from slipping all over, I definitely remember it was the wrong day to wear my favorite pair of Jordans. In addition, above all else, I’ll never forget what he turned and said to me as I stood there out of breath, cold, and filthy. He said: “Trent, you’re probably going to be the smartest and most capable person in our family someday. . .But always remember you’re never above getting your hands dirty”.

It’s on horrible days such as today that I remember things like that. It reminds me to push forward with the same exhaustive effort that I used to push my grandma’s car out of the mud on that bitter and cold winter evening years ago. You might not even be recognized for doing so, you might just be left muddy, cold, exhausted, and unappreciated; but you got it done, did your best. . . and sometimes, that’s all that really counts. Just my thought for today, needed to write something after all!

Character Summary: Severus Snape

Alan Rickman portrays Snape in the film, he did an awesome job.

Alan Rickman portrays Snape in the film, he did an awesome job.

So I sit here at my desk in front of a blank word document, wondering what I should write about tonight, when I stumbled across an article about the Harry Potter series. When I think about Harry Potter, I really don’t think about Harry Potter the character much as strange as it sounds. I think about my favorite character in the book-Severus Snape! Also an INTJ personality type character, and a character that I can personally relate to more than any other character in the book. The entire series of books actually revolved around Snape in many ways. J.K. Rowling made Snape a very mysterious character, always doing something that made you internally debate which side he was on.

In the very first book Professor Snape’s dislike of Harry is easily apparent. One of the worst things any teacher can do is bully a student, it really reminded me of one second grade teacher I had, she used to openly blame me, and make an example out of me for things I didn’t even do, I was the only kid she did this too also (I was the smartest, most well behaved kid ever back then). So I can also relate to how Harry could have felt, although the first book really didn’t elaborate much on how he felt if I recall. It really has been many years since i’ve read the books but they were definitely memorable. At the end of the first book it is revealed that Snape was protecting Harry because of some personal debt he owed to Harry’s father that is not elaborated on until a few books later. This all begins a debate on where Snape really stands on regards to antagonist or protagonist.

Snape loved Harry’s mother Lily Potter, they went to Hogwarts and Snape was placed in the most awesome house ever Slytherin, and Lily was placed into Gryffindor. They were friends for a few years after that, until Snape’s interest in the dark arts developed after a few years at Hogwarts. Around that same time Lily became romantically involved with a man who was a bully toward Snape named James Potter. After finishing at Hogwarts Snape joins Voldemort and the Death Eaters and learns of Voldemort’s plan to kill the now married Lily and James Potter. Snape still loved Lily immensely, enough to betray Voldemort and seek the help of Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore aggrees to try and protect the Potters but fails, James and Lily Potter are found dead by the devastated Severus Snape with their one year old son Harry Potter somehow still living. The loyalty of Snape is shifted to Albus Dumbledore who though all the books trusts Snape on a mysterious foundation of events that are never revealed until the very last book.

So the animosity Snape has for Harry Potter is always apparent, but only understood once you find out the full relationship between Lily and James Potter with Snape. I mean, just imagine being the teacher of a kid that only reminds you of your failure to protect someone you loved, the failure of turning that person against you, and some ass-hat that used to bully you. If those events had a grasp over you, of course you might be a little edgy being reminded of them.

One of my favorite things about Snape is how sharp, intelligent, skilled, confident, and capable he is. In the books it’s revealed that he is exceptionally skilled with potions, dark arts, the defenses against dark arts, and Occlumency. As a person I strive to learn and master any and all skills that I have the opportunity to try. So naturally I would have a liking for any character that does that in a story!

In the last two books Snape kills Dumbledore due to an agreement that was only known between them at the time. Harry is furious and attacks snape, failing at every attempt as Snape flees from the scene. It is not until the very last book that the true loyalty of Snape is revealed as he shares his memories with Harry as he lays dying. Harry then learns of Snape’s relationship to his parents, protecting Harry, and the immense loyalty he had for Dumbledore. Seven whole books of totally questioning where Snape’s loyalty was, it was quite a wait and an awesome revealing!

Kind of makes you realize “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, to use an old phrase. I can definitely relate to some of the INTJ-ness of Snape, and in general just being misunderstood. Hahaha. . .Well that’s it for today, It was kind of interesting to summarize Severus Snape as a character, maybe I should have writer’s block more often. Plus I got to use the word “ass-hat” in an intellectual context, I’d say that’s a win!

Retrospect

Rear-View-Mirror-SkyI went to a middle school in an area that was questionable. Graffiti, crime, young teenagers destined for gang life, and the life of struggle that follows suit. I was always a smart kid, unfortunately I often hid it to fit in; I got into trouble a couple times, but luckily nothing too bad at all, and I moved away for high school to live with my grandparents; who instilled lessons in me that will last a lifetime. It’s very interesting to think where I was just 10 years ago, and how horrible things could have ended up if I did not navigate that minefield as carefully as I did, and have role-models whom I owe everything to.

The other day I was buying a couple things and getting gas at a gas station near that questionable area where I once went to middle school. The area has not changed one bit; I could see my old school, the only shining beacon of hope in such a dismal neighborhood, with the same grey and blue paint that once greeted me every morning 10 years ago. The youth destined to face that same potential horrid future lurking around barren parking lots near by. I was reminiscing when a man walked up to me, just as I was pulling the gasoline pump from my new car and quickly glancing at the time on my designer watch. Respectfully, he says “Sir. . .Do you have any change you can spare? I’m really hungry”. The man was wearing tattered clothes, looking grim, skinny, apparent substance injection marks littering his arm. I study the face of the man and recognize it. Although worn, dismal, it’s unmistakably the face of a kid I once knew named Anthony.

10 years ago the same man in front of me helped me fight off an attempted gang jump on a late spring night in the wrong place at the wrong time. I remember this as I look at him before me, a now dead end future looking up at me, I give him the $60 I have on hand in my wallet, he smiles, worshipping the petty gift I offer as I wish him good luck. I get into my car, and drive east, looking at the part of myself that I left in that neighborhood as it slowly shrinks in the rearview mirror.

Sometimes, the horrid things that could have been can haunt you as easily as a real mistake can. It can take any form, from not taking an action, from not saying something when you should, and from seeing how badly things could have turned out if you did not accept the guidance of others.

INTJ Character Analysis: Gustavo Fring

New Image794Over the summer I had way too much time on my hands, so I watched a series that was quite popular a couple years ago called Breaking Bad on Netflix. I was not crazy about all the drama on the show, however I just had to know how it would end so I kept watching. The last few seasons of the show they introduced a fascinating antagonistic character named Gustavo Fring. This character, many people have speculated closely represented the INTJ personality type based on the MBTI personality theory. While I still debate whether the MBTI theory is sound, I can relate to the type as it is described. (Also in evaluating the criticisms of MBTI, I find the arguments easy to categorize into one of many logical fallacies, which really makes me question the educational standards of becoming a journalist these days; in addition to lack of counter-arguments or acknowledgement that the field of psychology as a whole is based on intangible grounds).

Gustavo Fring

Gustavo Fring

Gustavo Fring operates a large drug empire secretly behind a front of legitimate businesses, including an extremely successful fast-food chain and laundry facility. To keep up appearances Gustavo is on the board of directors at a hospital and a huge contributing philanthropist to the Albuquerque Drug Enforcement Agency. In managing his business front Gustavo Fring is charismatic, charming, and very hands on in managing his fast-food chain personally. However, behind that veil of benevolence he is very much darker, ruthless, crude, and dangerous.

gustavo-fring

The main character of Breaking Bad, Walter White, seeks out Gustavo in order to gain access to his resources and logistical capabilities for methamphetamine. Walter White is a middle-class high school chemistry teacher who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. In order to secure the future of his family before he dies, Walter uses his in depth knowledge of chemistry to manufacture superior methamphetamine.

The past of Gustavo Fring is one of turbulence. He immigrated to Mexico from Chile in 1986 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet with his friend  Maximino Arciniega. The two opened a chain of restaurants called Los Pollos Hermanos in Mexico and had a plain to use the chain to distribute a drug with rising popularity called methamphetamine. So Gustavo and Maximino Arciniega sought out the help of the Juárez Cartel, the leader of the Juárez Cartel was not impressed by the idea of a methamphetamine start-up over their success with cocaine. So one of the leaders of the Juárez Cartel named Hector Salamanca, kills Maximino as the helpless Gustavo Fring weeps on the ground staring at the lifeless body of his dear friend as blood spills from his fatal head wound into the nearby swimming pool. The cartel then spares  the life of Gustavo and he moves to the United States where he establishes his food chains and drug empire. The experience of losing his friend changes Gustavo forever, pushing him to the more extreme side of the INTJ personality type; ruthless, extreme, and machiavellian. Gustavo builds his empire over the next 20+ years, and plots his revenge against the man who took the life of his friend. This whole backstory adds amazing depth to the character and really draws you in!

Gustavo Fring weeping as he looks at the body of Maximino Arcinega.

Gustavo Fring weeping as he looks at the body of Maximino Arcinega.

At the end of the series Gustavo attends a celebration with the Juárez Cartel to celebrate a new partnership of sorts. At this celebration he presents a bottle of poisoned tequila, everyone pours a shot as the cartel kingpins stare down Gustavo to watch him take the first drink to ensure it’s not poisoned. Gustavo takes his shot and poisons himself and the rest of the cartel members follow suit, Gustavo goes to the restroom and attempts to throw up as much of the poison as possible. Soon after the cartel begins to suffer the effects of the poison and Gustavo is rushed to a doctor they have waiting as this was all planned out, as of course any INTJ would do.

Gustavo Fring, just before he gets revenge for the death of Maximino.

Gustavo Fring, just before he gets revenge for the death of Maximino.

I honestly thought the acting and portrayal of Gustavo Fring was amazing. In addition there are many parallels between the backstory of Gustavo Fring and the development of Walter White in season four of the series; I believe that was very masterfully written and planned out. I also think it”s awesome that there’s a lot parallel to the INTJ personality type. Although I am not nearly as ruthless, I can relate to shifting between charismatic and detached like this character does more than anything. So what happens to Gustavo Fring? Well, to find out that you will ether have to watch the series or already know what happens, because it’s truly beyond my writing ability to portray it as masterfully as watching it does. However, here is a tribute video of Gustavo Fring.

Short Status Report: Trent Begay

So i’ve been pretty busy lately, the time is 8:30PM right now, and I just barely got home after a long day of work tensions, basketball coaching, misbehaving children, solving organizational issues, and a meeting regarding organizational structure and all the fun Arizona laws that entail a ton of work in the near future for me. It’s no wonder i’ve been so unfocused lately when my mind constantly shifts from one issue to the next. I am currently placing a great deal of effort into smoothing out as many issues as I can before next month. However, honestly, I am tired, although I would never admit it to anybody. Luckily the chances of anybody I know reading this is very remote.

My philosophy about being tired, worn out, or overwhelmed is pretty crude. I basically just get angry with myself for the thought and tell myself to deal with it. However that’s pretty much how I deal with anything difficult. The disciplined words of my uncle often ring in my head saying silly things such as “Yawning is a sign you’re getting lazy”, after the first time he said that I learned to suppress my yawing reflexes if I am consciously aware of the urge (hahaha). The main point though is that I always have reminders that discipline makes all things possible.

This post was just an update, a chance for me to unload a little maybe too(?), and a reminder that I really need to put effort into being less tense! Not just for me but the people that surround me. Definitely need to start writing here more though!

What I Gained From My Early Role-Models

Sometimes, good advice can even be in the inside of a bathroom stall if you look. Hahaha

Sometimes, good advice can even be in the inside of a bathroom stall if you look. Hahaha

When I was growing up I can always remember there were certain people in my family that everybody went to for things. I was very fortunate to have such amazing role models as a child. I would observe men such as my uncle Anthony, a very intelligent man who is kind of a jack of all trades, he taught me that organization is paramount in everything, My uncle Walter, who taught me that you can be audacious yet adaptable. My uncle George, who taught me that education will only take you as far as your discipline and planning ability will allow.

On top of these character traits I’ve learned to embody from them, each of them has a wide range of skill sets. From management, computers, electrical work, auto-repair, welding, carpentry, business, etc. The list is quite extensive, but when I was a teenager I took the initiative and learned as many skills as possible from each of them. I really admired their capability and competence since childhood, so, when the time came I was thrilled. As an INTJ personality type I am obsessed with competency and learning new things, I commit subject matter to memory almost religiously.

So these days I often think back to this admiration, and the learning process I undertook; and today I am that “go-to” person in my family for a wide variety of things. I surpassed all of of my former mentors in ability, and went on to find more mentors, and as I continue my relentless drive to surpass them my only goal is to repay them with my success.

So I guess the central point to all this is that there may be people you can learn a great deal from all around you if you just keep your eyes open. It may all seem like nonsense, but In every position I’ve ever held my perspective on things like this has taken me way farther than I began. This has been a lesson that I have been very fortunate to learn early in life!

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I Once Knew A Mass-Murderer

Can you believe this man killed 5 people?

Can you believe this man killed 5 people?

A couple years ago I took courses in real estate and sat next to an interesting man. He was a genuinely nice person, always upbeat, always talkative, and very intellectual. We always had interesting conversations about a variety of subjects about everything from science, history, and even politics. This man was in his mid-50s, a pharmacist, and the picture perfect ideal of a first rate citizen in society. Now here’s the shocker: he committed a murder suicide.

On October 26th, 2013 shortly before 9am, Michael Guzzo busted into a residence armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and began his spree killing 5 people and 2 dogs. I remember talking to him vividly, he would tell me great stories of his experiences in the U.S Army, so he had enough familiarity with a shotgun to do at least some damage. I heard of this murder-suicide almost a year ago, and when it happened I thought “there is no way this is the Michael Guzzo I knew”. However, I did not learn it really was him until a couple months ago, when a local news agency wrote a story on the real estate laws in relation to buying homes with violent history in Arizona. Right there in front of me, above the article, was the picture of the “genuinely nice person”, that I sat next to for near 5 months. I was honestly shocked, kind of confused, and a part of me wished there was something I could have done to stop this tragedy since I crossed paths with this individual.

When you read all the articles about this event; they describe Michael Guzzo as “depressed”, “angry”, “forceful”, “ready to snap”. However those statements are pretty much just the media milking all the sadness they can out of the story. In all honestly this man would be the very last person I would suspect for this crime, yet it happened. Even with all my talents that I’ve written about previously such as reading micro-expressions, body language, psychology; I didn’t see the potential for disaster. So moral of the story I guess is, that everyone is capable of great evil. You never really know what hides in the darkest places within a person.

We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of this shooting, so I thought it was something interesting to write about. So, have you met anyone in your life that did something that you would not suspect them to be capable of?