Tag Archives: confidence

First Day of School (after decades)

IMG_2003  Well kiddos, this is it. Almost 35 years in the making (aside for those two semesters back in 2000). We have cautiously picked out our outfit: dark washed jeans (worn enough to not look brand new), a nondescript black polo shirt (with a modest Harley-Davidson logo); the good pair of boots (for that added height); even packed the Harley-Davidson lunchbox and backpack (couldn’t find a Scooby-Doo one). All ready. Enough to give the illusion of being cool, but not enough to be too scary (though I do admit I was tempted to wear the leather top hat — maybe later in the semester). The schedule has been entered into the iPhone’s calendar (with appropriate room numbers). All in preparation for the first day of school.
There is some feeling of trepidation and anxiety. Maybe I’m not good enough, will all the other kids poke fun at me, or perhaps it will revel how much of a failure I am (damn my step-father for filling my head with such foolishness — a topic for another time, but I forgive him). Nevertheless, I am still excited. I’m thrilled with the notion of things I might learn, the doors that will be opened up, and the revelations I will make.
I hang-out at the closest Starbucks, nearly two hours early. Enough time to enjoy my caffeine beverage of choice, check over the pre-class notes, begin writing this post, and to put on my game face (a selfie moment if there ever was one).
Even though school doesn’t start for another half an hour (at least for me), I arrive early to get my bearings (love the fact that motorcycles can park right up next to the building), find the classrooms, and, most importantly, locate the bathrooms. I’m lucky that all of my classes are in the same building — three are side by side! I settle down in my first class, make small talk with the teacher until the rest of the class arrive, then it is down to business.
The next few hours go by surprisingly fast. I do have an hour and a half lunch break, but I’m ecstatic to get the first-day jitters out of my system so I can focus on learning as much as I can over the next 16 weeks. However, there are a few things I’ve noticed thus far. Here is my list of the top FIVE.

5. Young people today are clueless. I’m not saying that YOUR child is clueless, but then again… Were we (today’s adults) as clueless? They have no sense of responsibility, purpose, or maturity. And think, we give these people licenses to pilot half ton or more machines at high rates of speed on roads that the rest of us sane people use.

4. Teal colored and/or highlighted hair must be the new fashion. Quite of few young women were sporting this new colored hair-do. And for the guys, teal is kind of a bluish / green.

3. I’m all for new technology. I even have an iPhone! But it seems like almost EVERYTHING is done online. I might be cool with this, we sort of had something like this twenty years ago, but as I get older I seem to trust it less and less. Most classes (with the exception of history — she’s new, so I forgive her) spent a majority of the time orienting us with their version of the online tool. One teacher even continued to modify stuff WHILE talking about it. You know, if I wanted to do online classes I would have signed up for them. Well, let’s see how this goes.

2. It is never a good idea to schedule an hour and a half, lecture-laden class RIGHT AFTER lunch. Note to self: eat a lighter lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays.

1. Teachers / professors today do not fall into the stereotypical mono-droaning (yes, I made that word up) lecturers that I remember. Then again I was much younger at the time and went to school with a different mindset. However, it seems that teachers / professors are required to be more entertainers then educators (edutainers?) Except of course for history — she’s new, so I forgive her.

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Confidence Begins Skin Deep

ImageLast week I ventured to the gun range with the wife and had a blast shooting hand-held cannons. The ultimate being the S&W .44 Magnum long barrel — the original bad-ass weapon, made famous by Clint Eastwood in Dirt Harry. The pumped up ego only lasted until my wife posted to FaceBook pictures of me firing said weapon. The ego was further deflated when she informed me “those were the good pictures”. I basked in the post-shooting glow for a day or so allowing my brain to slowly accept the reality those photos shown.

A week later and I have come to the realization that confidence begins with image. How we present ourselves to the public is the spark to confidence. For a man; the vehicle we drive, the tools we use, the man-toys we possess, are all items that define who we are — or at least who we want to be. And of course the more flashy, more expensive, or the bigger those toys are, the more we are trying to compensate for the lack luster confidence we feel within ourselves.

This holds true to women as well, just in a different ‘fashion’. Don’t believe me? Watch a few episodes of TLC’s What Not To Wear. Stacey and Clinton will tell you that a woman’s whole outlook on life can begin with the positive image she has for herself — meaning the clothes she wears, the style of her hair, and properly applied make-up.

(Just a side-note here. Yes, I, a man, do indeed watch the show. Not so much for the fashion advice, but because Stacey and Carmandy are freaking hot! Hehehe, I watch for the pictures, not the articles.)

There was a point in my life, not so long ago, that I didn’t need man-toys to bolster my confidence. My accomplishment, my physical feats, and my athletic body spoke volumes of the confidence I felt. Hell, for the first time in my life I felt like I was attractive to the opposite sex and had the notches in my bed post to prove it. But my confidence got the better of me and over the last few years my accomplishments waned, my physical feats were reduced to getting off the couch to go pee, and my athletic body is now covered in 50lbs of fat. The confidence is gone. I now rely on my motorcycle and moments at a firing range to give me a glimmer of the confidence I once felt.

Granted that there are men out there that are my size and very content with it. They have confidence and they wear their weight well. Though we men are simple creatures, we are all different. Confidence begins skin deep, and for this man, an athletic body is what is needed. I know what needs to be done. I know how to get that Kirk back. I have done it before and, dammit, I will do it again.

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