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written Friday, 11/27/2009

Things to be thankful for:

A job.

Even better, a job at which I have the opportunity to contribute something of value. Students who don’t assault or curse at me. At least not to my face.

Students who don’t compel me to assault or curse at them. At least not to their faces. Actually, not so much behind their backs either.

A non-negligible number of students willing to strive to approach their remarkable potential.

A small handful who can’t seem to earn impressive grades from me despite their best efforts, yet still muster the perseverance to keep asking for help anyway.

A few who entered my class preceded by unrealistically-fantastic reputations, and have actually managed to live up to all the lofty praise.

Not just good students, but good people.

One extremely capable math student who helps with my after school tutoring more often than required by the terms of his senior project, and has also proven himself to be an excellent tutor.

Several students from past years who are now in college, and have taken the time to let me know how that the demands of my class helped them excel in their current math classes.

Leibniz, Newton, and all others who contributed to the development of the most fascinating subject I could imagine.

Four years of teaching experience behind me.

Being done with certification and stinkin’ grad school.

No hurricanes to chase us away from NOLA this year.

The official end of the Atlantic hurricane season in a few days.

No burglaries of my apartment this year.

The official end of NOLA burglary season in a few days (okay, one can dream).

No NOLA earthquakes, tornadoes, mudslides, avalanches, rogue militia takeovers, politically-motivated massacres, or alien invasions.

Health care coverage in my current job.

Not yet needing to take advantage of health care coverage, beyond routine dental checkups.

Electricity, heat, water, working appliances, shelter, money to sustain them.

No bullet holes in my apartment. No psychotic family members.

Two beautiful cats and the secure manhood that allows me to unabashedly proclaim my profound affection for them.

Opportunities to look for something better when I don’t like what’s in front of me.

Plenty of alone time, and even when that alone time seems excessive, the consolation that it’s better than being stuck in misery with someone else.

Multiple good friends who offered to let me share their Thanksgiving.

Plenty of other things that I’m surely taking for granted.

Photoshop, Flash, Audacity, a little creativity, and a week off from school.