A Thirst To Spend My Fire and Restless Force Tracking My True, Original Course

But often, in the world's most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;

- Matthew Arnold
The Buried Life


The Class Assignment

I created this research assignment for my Honors students this semester, based on the tv show The Buried Life. I showed them an episode and then we talked about the amount of research it takes to get stuff done. This was also great for them to see what "research" in the real world looks like. It is sometimes looking stuff up online, but it is combined with a lot of phone calls and talking to people as well.

Then they made their own lists and spent the rest of the semester (on their own- we did other stuff in class) trying to cross at least one thing off.  We ended the year with their presentations of what they did. 

It was amazing. 

Kimmy, Sergio, and Brooke conquered their fear of heights and rode roller coasters for the first time.  (This is pee-in-your-pants-laughing-so-hard kind of funny).  You can tell from the video how much this was genuinely scary for her... but she did it anyway. 

A bunch of students wanted to go skydiving. Not only do most skydiving places require that you be over 18, their parents pretty much all said no, but they tried the alternative... indoor skydiving.

Natalie learned to knit. I am impressed... I certainly couldn't learn to knit, especially as well as she did, and knit a whole scarf in just 8 weeks.

Janelli, Hugo, and Carlos learned to rock climb... and really conquered nature.   I got to go with them for this one, and it was a super fun adventure.  

Jackie and Alejandra had never been to a concert before, so they went to their first concert. Their enthusiasm is contagious. I am totally not into banda, but their excitement during their presentation got me excited. 

Stephanie attempted to bake something from scratch for the first time and had, in her words, "an epic failure"... but she kept at it, and ultimately baked cupcakes that she brought in for the class. They were very, very tasty. Next, she just has to conquer homemade frosting.

Desiree learned how to drive, Jessica and Carol saw Disneyland's "World of Color," Adriana went bungee jumping, and Adahli wrapped a snake around her neck. Gloria, Yanella, and Eric were not able to accomplish their chosen tasks, but they sure made an awesome effort, and clearly learned something. Despite Eric's odd video about duct taping his hands to his bike, I think Eric will manage to swim with the sharks some time this next year, and Gloria will be able to volunteer at an animal shelter later this summer. Yanella is determined to go skydiving, and will probably get there sooner rather than later. 

Overall, I learned a lot from them. I love watching them shoot for the stars and learning the importance of networking and not giving up on the first shot. Reading their stories was a wonderful experience, and their lists inspired me to add to mine. It was fun reading their lists and seeing how many things on them I had already done. They have a fun 10 years ahead of them.

The List- In Progress (and will be updated as it comes)

My “buried” list

1. Spend a week lying on a remote-ish tropical beach drinking delicious drinks and swimming in warm water.   

2. Visit Venice and eat real Italian food and gelato.

3. Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans.   (February 2012!)

4. Sit in a Jacuzzi, in my backyard, sipping pink champagne, eating chocolate covered strawberries.

5. Spend a summer in Romania with the orphans. Maybe bring one home.

6. Learn to dance hip hop.

7. Be in a stage version of Hair.

8. Learn to surf.   

9. Be in a movie.

10. Write a recommendation letter for a student to go to an Ivy League school  (December 2010 Estefani & Cynthia, but neither got accepted)… and see him/her actually get accepted and attend (and ideally graduate)

11. Bless another teacher with something really awesome. (June 2011 - Going into details would kind of ruin this, but this was far easier than I thought. I forgot how much little things mean to us poor teachers).

12. Take a group of students to work with orphans in a 2nd or 3rd world country.

13. Get published in something real… like in print… not just on the internet. (April 2012 - Acorn Letter to the Editor)

14. Go to a protest for something I truly believe in.

15. See Alaska in the summer, when it doesn’t get dark (and isn’t cold).

16. Direct Rent with a perfect cast and as much time and money as I need to make it perfect.

17. Be in a Shakespeare play as a lead role.

18. Make homemade tortillas.

19. Spend 2 hours floating happily in a lazy river.

20. Cruise the Caribbean, stopping at several different islands.

21. Spend a week at Disney World at a nice resort, with a meal plan and everything, not having to worry about money while we are there.

22. Be on the Amazing Race.

23. Convince my mom and dad to go out of the United States, preferably on a mission trip. I would ideally like to come too, but will consider this one accomplished if they go without me.

24. Be in a Flash dance mob.

25. Grow enough vegetables to make a complete salad.  (Working on it... Summer 2012)

26. Completely and totally surprise Marc with an unbelievable gift.

27. Go to the airport on a random Friday and take the first flight out on Southwest, no matter where it goes (like in Yes Man).

28. Camp in Encinitas for a week with a really awesome RV. I am eliminating this one by choice. I no longer want to do it. I have decided RV camping is overrated. 

29. Own a Jacuzzi.

30. Learn Spanish… like, fluently.

31. Tour Jerusalem.

32. Go to the Olympics (just to watch, hopefully to watch Marc)

33. Write a letter to the president and my congressmen about something that is really, really important to me. Hopefully get a response.

34. Sit in a tropical waterfall (I have to say tropical, because I have done this in the mountains, but I want to do it in a warm one). Road to Hana: October 2011

35. Drive across America, coast-to-coast

36. Go whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon.

37. Be in the pit at a Green Day concert.

38. See a concentration camp in person.

39. See Phantom of the Opera professionally (like on Broadway, but LA or Vegas would work) January 2012!

 40. See the Cirque de Soleil show “Love”    April 2011 - See blog for details; it was amazing!

41. Go kayaking in the ocean.  

42. Visit the Channel Islands.

43. Hike a volcano.  (October 2011: Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii!)

44. See the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

45. Speak at an educator’s conference.

46. See Robin Williams do stand up comedy.

47. Go tubing in Kauai

48. Take my students on a totally awesome surprise field trip, probably funded by me.

49. Share my faith with students at my public school campus, somehow without getting fired.  Spring 2011 - Rather subtly, but found a few ways. We did a "relationship rating" activity while learning about drama, and when I modeled the activity, I rated God as my closest relationship and explained it. I even did it in front of an administrator, and I didn't get fired.... yet. Haha.   :-)

50. Plan a huge “thank you” banquet for youth pastors’ wives.

51. See the Hollywood sign up close and personal

52. Go to a foam party.

53. Ride a mechanical bull.  November 19, 2011

54. Try doing stand-up comedy in front of an audience.

55. See the aurora borealis

56. Visit India.

57. Zip line tour. 

58. Rent a house on the beach for a summer. 

59. Write my will.

60. Stay in one of those huts in Bora Bora or Tahiti or somewhere where the hut is actually IN the ocean.

61. Milk a cow.

62. Participate in a holli festival and throw colors.

63. Cross the intersection at Abby Road.

64. See a play in the  Globe Theater in England.

65. Le tour d'effiel.

66. Write a book. Get it published. 

67.  Have a BMI that is NOT overweight.

68. Walk through a real corn field.

69. Run a half marathon.

70. Meet Johnny Depp.

71. Have a meal (or even coffee would do) with Shawn Achor.

72. Go to a real TED conference.

73. Go on a murder mystery dinner cruise.

74. Take Tracy and the kids to all my favorite so-cal destinations.

75. Go wine tasting in a vineyard.

76. Do a real "spa day," with multiple treatments, preferably with friends.

77. Have a massage in a cabana on the beach.

78. Stay at the Grand Wailea, just for a night.

79. Give a flower to a stranger.

80. Slide on the slide rocks in Arizona.

81. See Niagra Falls.

82. Spend the night at Disneyland (one can dream)

83. Visit Stratford upon Avon.

84. Put on an amazing production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged.

85. Teach at a university.

86. Get a standing ovation.

87. Learn to play "Good Riddance" on the guitar.

88. See the pyramids of Egypt.

89. Run for school board.

90. See Vinny perform a solo for a real audience.

91. Commit a crime of civil disobedience for a really just cause.

92. Give my mom a truly amazing, truly unexpected present.

93.  Become a regular composter.

94. Dress up like a Disney princess. Like really, unmistakably. Go out in public.

95. Be able to see a Broadway show, open the program, point to a name, and say to the person next to me, "Yeah, I was his/her drama teacher."

96. Get invited to a former student's college graduation. (And actually go).

97.  Visit Kingston, Jamaica. Honor Mr. Robert Nesta Marley.

98. Adopt a child.

99.  Coincidentally spot my sister in a background shot. (Like, without her telling me where to look).

100.  Meet the President of the United States.

101. Watch a Dodger game from a club suite.

102. Mud run.

103. Get back on stage....


New Blog.... The Buried List Journey

So, I created this blog back in 2006 as part of a class assignment to learn about blogging. It didn't catch on at first, but I have to admit, now I am addicted. I have my primary blog, which is pretty much just about my life journey as wife and mother... and second mom (a.k.a. teacher) to 140 something teenagers. 

But I decided that I need a second blog to document something that has become somewhat of a passion for me. My buried list journey. I've decided to use this one... because it was so appropriately named. I named it after a song that has been one of my favorites since the first time I heard it. The lyrics speak for themselves of my feelings on life:
I've been here so long, I think that it's time to move
The winter's so cold, summer's over too soon
Let's pack our bags and settle down where palm trees grow

I've got some friends, some that I hardly know
But we've had some times, I wouldn't trade for the world
We chase these days down with talks of the places that we will go

We live on front porches and swing life away,
We get by just fine here on minimum wage
If love is a labor I'll slave till the end,
I won't cross these streets until you hold my hand....until you hold my hand

In early Spring 2010, I started watching the show "The Buried Life," and I was instantly hooked. Something about the show, the concept, the 4 guys... it just resonated with me. It was like, "These guys get it."  I blogged about it back in May 2010. And so I decided to write out my list. I totally already had it in my head. I was constantly saying, "Before I die, I want to..." and so I decided it just needed to be written. Although the buried life guys came up with 100, I could only come up with 50 (although it has started to grow). 

In 2010... I crossed nothing off. I think I was just waiting for opportunities to arise to cross something off, and guess what? They did not come. Barbara Bush once said, "You just don't luck into things as much as you'd like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it's friendships or opportunities.
 Couldn't be more true.

So this year, I set the goal of being intentional about trying to cross off as many as possible, and thus, I search for opportunities and I build them, step by step. It has been a beautiful journey. I crossed my first item off when I saw "Love" in Vegas in April.

I also took another cue from The Buried Life guys, and I decided to help others cross items off of their lists. I created a research assignment for my students, and they attempted it too. More about that later.

Anyhow... so this is my new blog. A blog about living life to its fullest.