Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#WeirdEd: A Reflection on Openness

Fair Warning: This blog is as much to get my head straight as anything else. So read it because I'm talking to you, but I'm also talking out loud to see how I feel about the topic.

To question or not to question, that is the question.

Tonight's #WeirdEd was about Letting Go and Planning. Because I like the chat to reflect the theme of the night I didn't plan anything. I picked the topic and then, because it was about planning, didn't plan. I like it when a chat come together like that. Like when we talked about classroom flow and the entire chat rhymed.

#WeirdEd has always been a fairly guided chat. I try hard not to write leading questions, I don't need participants to tell me what I want to hear and I don't write, or try not to write, questions with obvious "right" answers. But I do write questions. I do this because I like the focus that comes with nudging the conversation in one direction or another. Because #WeirdEd, along with being a way for teachers to talk about teaching, is a way for me to get messages across about teaching and to get other voices involved in those messages. I want to say something, but I also want to know what the brilliant #WeirdEd family has to say. I like having questions. They guide us, they allow me to be clever, the allow the chat to be as unique as it is because the questions get very specific.

This is very important: I like writing the questions, but what I like more is Your Answers. I write what I feel are good questions because every single week you blow me away with your answers. Without the #WeirdEd family I'm just a guy shouting into the digital wind. With you we are growing, learning, laughing, and building. As this reflection goes on I say "I" a lot. This chat is mine, but it's not. It's ours.

Back to writing questions. It's not that I don't trust teachers to be specific or deep on our own. We do that, especially in small groups. But to really drill down, to find the heart of some matters, you need specific questioning. To discover what people think in various situations. The questions allow me to dig and to be funny and to be creative. The questions give #WeirdEd part of its voice and set the tone every week.

Tonight I wrote no questions. And the chat was fantastic. It was huge, as big as it's ever been. The feed was flying by so quickly I know I missed over half of what was said, and there was a lot of great being thrown around. I miss stuff in the regular chats because, as mod, I'm juggling a lot of things, but I can get a feel for the basic gist of the chat and thrust of the various side conversations. Tonight was a side conversation.

Which is great and which I don't particularly like.

Ok, at the risk of sounding like a control freak, #WeirdEd is my baby and my message. It's built in a way that we all can learn. The openness of the conversation tonight meant that a lot of people got a lot of different things out of the chat, which I love. I really honestly do. But I feel like it was too shotgun. Too random and spread out. There were a lot of conversations happening under the #WeirdEd banner rather than one big #WeirdEd conversation. Does that difference make sense to anyone outside of my own head? Can anyone else see why that kind of bugs me?

It bugs me that it bugs me too, because I like freedom and openness and totally organic learning. I do that in my classroom. But I also puppet the learning in my classroom. I guide and nudge. It's not that I don't trust the people who come, I do very much, but I don't know if we'd have the honest break-throughs we've had during our chats on fear or anger or Ferguson or guns if the participants weren't pushed to certain places by guided questions. Again, I trust that everyone who comes is being honest. But being honest and willingly going to hard places are two different things.

When #InnoEd was up and running it was a brilliant example of a chat without questions that was still lead to interesting places. I'll contend that #edchat is (often) a bad example of the same format, because it's too big and too general and too safe. Too many answers are exactly the same. Too many topics are the same too.

I like writing questions for #WeirdEd. It's fun for me, mostly because the questions are almost always never easy to write. I work hard on what I want to know. And when the chat is running I can tell when the questions are good and everyone is focused and giving incredible answers. Tonight I couldn't read the chat. I was lost in the wash of sound. Good sound. Some great answers and conversations and voices. I am not saying you need me to be smart. Not at all. But I think maybe we need questions to be organized about being smart. To make finding the nuggets easier.

I Storified the chat like I always do (seriously, there's a complete #WeirdEd archive) and I have to read through it because talking to someone after the chat they mentioned an idea they got from it that I never saw. Great, new ideas I didn't plan on. That's absolutely awesome. But how many other people missed it? How much deeper could we have drilled into that idea had we been more focused?

It's not like I don't encourage side conversations. Every chat is loose enough that along with the madness of #WeirdEd proper there is a side #glitterchat and who knows what else happening. I love that.

I think #WeirdEd will continue to be a predominantly Q1/A1 chat. I will keep the question count low to allow answers to breathe, which I've tried to do. I'll remind #WeirdEdE mods @LTaylorELA and @nolagirlfromtx that they are able to do what they feel with the chat. Maybe I'll cut it down to two or three questions sometimes. Your hour is important to be and I want to squeeze every last drop of goodness from it. But I also can't be tied to a format. That was never the intention. In the new year #WeirdEd will evolve and change. It will stay fun, relevant, challenging, unflinching but also unable to take itself too seriously (except for this 15000 words taking it way too seriously, but this is because I do take your time and not being serious seriously). Being unable to adapt means dying off. #WeirdEd isn't going anywhere.

Thank you all for your time and energy in the chat. It means so much to me. You make #WeirdEd the special, unique learning, bonding experience that I feel it is.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 37- Let It Go

First person to explain why this is hilarious wins

We are here at the final #WeirdEd of 2014, and I am going to try something I don't ever do. I'm not going to write any questions.

I don't write questions because I don't trust you all. The people who come to #WeirdEd (and #WeirdEdE, obviously) are amazingly smart and bring their A game every chat. If I posed a topic or a thought like #edchat does we would get great stuff. I like writing questions because we get to deeper issues that way. I can steer the conversation without dictating its endpoint. There are things I want to discuss and sometimes to get to the depth and trust I want I have to guide.

Plus I hate being unplanned. I've said before in various forums, but your hour is very important to me and I want to honor it. You take the time to come play with us, I want to bring the best toys I have. And I feel like, to me (and this is not to pass judgement on any other chat), the best way to assure our time is well spent is to plan it somewhat. The topic is a vehicle and we can go unexpected places using that vehicle. We do that all the time.

But this chat is happening on New Year's Eve. Some of you may be in various states of inebriation. New Year's Eve is certainly no time to get deep and serious. Plenty of other chats are doing reflection/looking forward topics and if there's one thing we aren't it's like the other chats. I have a reflection and a looking forward topic/theme planned, but I can save it. We aren't going anywhere.

So this Wednesday I'm going to let it go and let us flow together. We'll use our time together more as a focused coffee talk, a chat around the dinner table, the circle talk that always forms in the kitchen of the party you're at when you don't want to talk to most of the other people. Have something you want to discuss? Bring it up. By now everyone should know #WeirdEd is a safe place to talk about whatever.

To this end there won't be a #WeirdEdE this week. We're gonna to this pajama party all together. None of you are so lame as to be in bed before 7PST on New Years Eve anyway, are you?

*EDIT* I decided since I'm not preparing anything for the chat the topic of the chat this week is preparation. Still no pre-written questions. There, now the format fits the theme. I feel better.

Seriously, it's the same sequence, you guys.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Monster Palace Arcade

My class has made an arcade.

This was not my idea.

I have been wanting to get in on the maker movement in classrooms for a while now but due to pacing plans, testing, data collection, and a myriad of other reasons I haven't been able to. I do some, in my own way. I sneak in art when I can and we do a lot of movement, but we haven't really made something yet this year. Something big and tangible that took planning and preparation and critical thinking.

Then I saw an Instagram video by @hughtheteacher of his class playing homemade arcade games and a lightning bolt struck my brain. I MUST do this! Luckily, I saw it a day before the start of the last week before Christmas. You know how terrible that last week can be. Kids can smell break. They are unfocused and flighty and fidgety and crazy. But with this project I could get them excited about school and working hard towards a common goal.

I found out that it was not Hugh's original idea either, but an idea that had been floating around education for a while because of the short YouTube documentary, "Caine's Arcade." I showed the video to my students and told them if a nine year old by himself can do it, we can do it.

We set to work designing our games. They, being children and excited, wanted to grab boxes and get to cutting. This would have ended in tragedy. Out came giant pieces of paper. They spent the first section of time brainstorming, planning, measuring. Real world math and problem solving. Group communication. Compromise. Pitching ideas to each other, combining ideas, and finalizing plans.

I want to stress that I gave almost zero guidance. They watched the documentary and got to work. I did a little bit of suggesting and tweaking for clarity or reality, because sometimes ideas are bigger than what we have materials for, but I spent a lot of the work time staying out of the way and doing basic monitoring. This is fourth grade inventiveness powering fourth grade creativity. I supplied the boxes and paint.

Once groups were able to articulate their plans to me I let them loose on the boxes I'd brought from home. Students were invited to bring their own boxes but not many did. Luckily amazon visits my house regularly, as do grandparent gifts for the tiny human, so I was pretty flush.

First they penciled the outline of the cuts then they got to cutting. At this point so much could go wrong but very little did. Because I stressed planning and a "measure twice cut once" ideal games came together without too many issues. It was a joy to watch them encounter unexpected problems and work together to find ways around the problems. As games came together they were tested and that troubleshooting revealed weaknesses which needed to be shored up or strengths which could be better exploited.

Having the time and the inclination towards art, I also let them go buck-nutty with tempura paint. Tempura paint, it turns out, is not what they make the shrimp with*, so it is ok to paint cardboard with. I accidentally painted one pair of slacks blue, but the kids did pretty good. Only a few minor spills, easily cleaned.

We finished earlier today and opened shop. I have been inviting classes in and my kids have been wonderful at explaining their games and the rules. They are so proud to show off their creations and I am even prouder of how creative they were and how dedicated they were to finishing with quality products. They want other classes to come see their games. They are begging me to invite their peers.

I'll be honest, I haven't checked the Common Core standards to see how this lines up. But they wrote, calculated, estimated, clarified, explained, observed, wrote some more, designed, and worked together for multiple work sessions, all without complaint or major disagreements. My kids learned this week. If I had to defend the lesson with CCSS I could**, but I'm not going to here. Here I can defend it by saying I watched them grow this week, and I know that when they come back from break the lessons learned will have stayed with them.

I need to say again how AMAZINGLY proud I am of my kids. Watching them work through this without much help from me was a pleasure. In fact, the hardest part of the project was not giving them too many ideas. We had a giant box that I was dying to make into a pinball machine. But it's not my project. Not my arcade. So I kept my mouth shut. (I might go home and make one myself. I hope some of the kids make their own over the break too. I'll remind them of that tomorrow.)

Below are two videos. The first is a cut of the construction and testing of the games. I need to mention that the song I picked sounded fine when I sampled it, but about two minutes in it gets a really annoying hum. Sorry. The second video is our class monster, Courson, playing the games.

Monster Palace Arcade Under Construction

 Courson Visits the Monster Palace Arcade

*I feel bad about this joke

**I got curious and looked, so here we go (some of these are a little stretch, but not much):

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4 here.)

Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems. 

Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 36- Tattoos

I love me some tattoos. I have a bunch and want more. I have good tattoos done by well trained artists that I would trust and tattoos that are just ok done by a guy who was later fired from the shop for coming in to work stoned and ruining a dude's arm. I have planned out ink and vacation ink and please stop hurting me ink and all the stereotypical ink (tribal, a skull ans cross bones, and a Chinese character).

Tattoos are a part of life now. They are no longer things that only sailors and people of ill repute have. My mom has three tattoos. The woman who threatened to stop paying for college if I ever got any ink.

I got my first tattoo, the skull and cross bones on my left shoulder (no, I didn't just check to be sure it's the left one as far as you know) on the same day my sister got her first, a rose inside a star because she's a giant KISS fan and Paul Stanley is her guy. Mom gave Summer permission to get tattooed for her 17th birthday. Friends and I went with. I got in the chair when she was done. This is known as The Commutative Property of Parental Rules.

Many more followed, ones that I saved up for and ones that maybe I shouldn't have gotten financially. I don't have anything offensive and all my art is at least well done, though the shark on my left shoulder is toothless and looks more like a whale but hey, second tattoo and I learned. Still looks nice.

What do tattoos have to do with teaching? We can talk permanence. We can talk earning art through pain. We can talk being original vs picking something off the wall and doing that just to do something. We can talk the difficulty of changing your mind and how once you're in it you're in it.

I love talking about ink. It's living art. The application of tattoos is complicated and intense, even when it isn't painful.*Good artists aren't sticker stickers, they are true painters working on living canvass and they take pride in their work. This isn't something you're hanging in your house, this is something anyone can see and you'll have for the rest of your life. A tattoo is forever and an artist respects that bond, that commitment.

Like a teacher.

*it's always painful. Sometimes it's less painful

**I don't normally do this but I've got a really fun story about a tattoo artist speaking to my students in my book He's the Weird Teacher. You should check it out. Please.

***none of the tattoos on here are mine

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Testing Environment- Security vs Comfort

I recently took three tests through Pearson/Orela to complete the transfer of my teaching credential from Hawaii to Oregon. These tests took place in a special Pearson building run by special Pearson testing elves with special Pearson/Orela Rules And Regulations. These Rules and Regulations are for TESTING SECURITY and are inviolate.

They also create the least friendly of all possible testing environments. They create an atmosphere that, if you were a person inclined to stress or test anxiety, would negatively impact your testing abilities.

When I walked in the door I was early, so I brought with me some of the notes I'd taken from various free online study sources. My plan was to look them over one last time and pretend that would help my score, even though you and I know that the Last Minute Concept Stick is a myth not even movies can pull off.

This was not to be. As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted with, "Good afternoon, are you here to take a test? Are those study materials? No study materials in the building, they need to go back in your car." Not rude, per-se, but I'm still in the lobby. I haven't sat down or signed in or given my name yet. I'm a foot in the door and already I'm in possible violation of Testing Procedures.

I put my notes back in my car.

Upon re-entry I gave my name, rank, and serial number. My palm was scanned to be used as an identifier later. Yes, my palm was scanned. Did you know palm scanning technology existed as a means of identification through blood vessel matching? I did not. It exists. The future is now. She scanned both palms. Just in case, I guess. (Side note- how much of my testing fee went towards palm scan research?) After my identity was verified I was given a locker key and told to put everything in it. Everything. I could bring my drivers license and the locker key in to the testing area. "I have a handkerchief," I said. "For the sniffles."

"In the locker. If you need a tissue raise your hand and someone will be by with one."

Oh. I see no way that could go poorly.

Once this process was completed I was taken down the hall, literally a dozen steps, to the Testing Area Observation Cube. The Testing Area Observation Cube is where Panopticon sits and faces three glass walls, which look out on the U-shaped testing room of computers.
And my palm was scanned again. My drivers license compared to my face and the faces of dozens in the FBI's Test Cheater Registry. I was given an erasable board flip board for taking notes and working math problems and told, "Do not erase anything you write in this. If you fill it and need a new one raise your hand and I will bring you a new one." Because erasing notes is a common practice among the cheater cheater pumpkin eater sort. (Note- pumpkin eating while testing is also prohibited.)

"When we enter the testing area stand with your back against the wall until I close the door and then follow me to your testing station." I expected to get deloused with powdered sugar at any second.
I have a bad habit of cracking my knuckles when preparing for something. I fidget. I can't help it. Sometimes the fidgeting is noisy, sometimes it's a silent foot/leg jiggle. I realize this does not help those around me focus and I try to not do it. I cracked my knuckles. "Get that out of your system now, you can't do that once we get inside."

Ever been told not to do something you were doing subconsciously? What happens? Yeah, so now I'm working on a low/moderate stress level about testing (I was confident going in, but the test was basically an unknown and my job depended on performing well) and I'm thinking about not being distracting to others.

I was let in, stood with my back against the door, followed the leader to my testing station, a computer with a big screen and partitions on either side, handed my erasable notepad that I couldn't erase, logged in, and left alone. In silence. Staring for the next 90 (or however long it took) minutes at a big, bright screen, trying not to talk to myself even though I think better reading out loud because then I can hear the problem. Trying not to think about how much easier it would be to think if I could stand and stretch or pace, because movement helps my brain work. Not tapping or whispering or moving in a way that generated any noise because I'm not a jerk and I don't want to distract the people around me either.

This entire process, while efficient and cold, is not comforting or creating a relaxing environment. It is not a thinking-positive environment. It's not a place where you should feel comfortable. It's a place where you should feel watched. It's Testing with a capital T. The way It Should Be.
The goal of this place is a secure Testing Environment. Period.

Which means the goal of the testing facility is not the goal of the test. The goal of a test, as we all know, is to assess learning. That is not the message the test facility is projecting. It doesn't say, "Do
your best." It says, "If you cheat we will catch you. And if you don't cheat we'll make you feel like you might be anyway." The testing facility cares about the process, not the product, and in this case the two are inseparable. You cannot claim the results of the test are fair in the conditions of the test are not conducive to quality test performance.

I know Pearson and Orela are businesses. I know they don't actually care about how we do on the test. Were I cynical I'd say they want us to do poorly because then we have to retest, putting more money in their pockets, so they create an environment under the guise of safety that is just unpleasant. Like the TSA. I also know that swinging how they conduct business won't be possible until someone uncovers a massive digital cheating program has been hacked into their systems, which probably hasn't happened yet but I'd bet will happen soon.

What I can do, and the point of that extremely long prologue, is change how I test in my classroom.

I'm The Weird Teacher (tm), right? I have a reputation for doing things differently, creatively, sideways. I'm a wild and ca-razay guy!

Except when it comes to testing. Oh, you can learn and practice on the floor, or on your desk, or standing, talking to a partner or group or working alone. You can learn with music in the background, with movement, with noise. But the tests? In your desk, in your seat, quiet. Why? Because Test Security. Thou Shalt Not Cheat and to ensure that Thou Shalt Be Where I Can See You. During a test my class suddenly looks very traditional.

And I realized about fifteen minutes in to my first Pearson/Orela test that I suuuuuuck. How dare I? My class is still a friendly environment, even during testing, but is it as friendly as it could be? Is it as conducive to student success as it could be? Or is it built to keep cheating from happening first and learning to be assessed second? Put my students in this environment and some would fail not from inability to learn but from inability to deal with the stress and overwhelming environment. I know grown ups who would fail for the same reason.

So I've changed things. Some things. A written test in my class is still a silent thing. I don't know how to get around that. It's not a prison lockdown silent thing, but it's a no talking thing. I'm playing music in the background now, soft piano music, something none distracting. I had a conversation with my class about whether or not the music was distracting first. We're dialing it in.

The biggest change is my movement rules during a test. I was on my way here anyway. This is the next logical step. My kids can now sit wherever, however. Just like when they are learning. On desks, under desks, on the floor, on our beanbag chair, against the wall, standing, shifting, fidgeting moving, as long as you aren't disturbing another classmate you can do your thing while you're doing my thing. I long ago decided books during reading comprehension tests are good as gold because on The Big Test they will always give the kids the selection next to the test, and in life you can probably look up what your question is. Finding, in this world, is as important as knowing. Sam reason I'm giving times tables charts and calculators on math tests. Here's a tool, but if you can't use it properly it's still useless.

I'm the first to admit that this is can not be the end of my evolution on testing. I don't love the Worksheet Test, I don't. But it's one of the Don't Like It Have To Do Its in my school. I get around it when I can. But we record data and that data has to be standard across the grade level so I can't throw these tests out completely.

I digress, this post is not about the assessments themselves. It's about the test environment. It is here that I can make a difference. It is also here that I run in to my one hurdle- preparing them for The Big Tests that they will someday take. When my class does Smarter Balance I won't be able to hand out beanbag chairs and let them sit wherever. My school as a whole isn't that open yet. I'll ask about it, I'll try, but they will probably be in the computer lab, locked in to a screen, stuck in a chair.

Which leads to my final questions. Does my looser testing environment in class hurt them by not preparing them for what that will be like? Should I alternate between one way and the other? How can I ready them for every institutional test they will take going forward? I'm not just talking about The Big School Tests. When I got my Oregon drivers license and my motorcycle endorsement the DMV sat me in front of a screen and told me to shush and answer the questions. This post opened (remember when it opened, ages ago? It was still light out and you didn't have to pee?) with me not taking a Big Test at the End for some silly score, but for my job. We can say that they aren't real life but sometimes (not often but sometimes) they actually are.

I want my classroom to be a friendly, safe, welcoming environment all the time. I believe humans learn better, and demonstrate their learning better, in that way. I'm taking steps towards making that a reality and taking a Test taught me something I brought back to my own room.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 35- War on Christmas

Ah yes, the holiday season. A time for joy. A time for merriment. A time for reflection. A time for some humans to wonder why everyone can't say "Merry Christmas" and why they have to bend over backwards to make their lips form words which might encompass more people that their immediate circle of contact.

Pictured: The Author While Writing
This Paragraph
I am not a giant fan of Christmas, I'll be honest. Sure, some of the songs are good, some of the books and movies are good, and presents are never a bad thing. But the whole, "Hey, be cool to everyone, peace on Earth, goodwill towards men," thing rings a little hollow when it's accompanied by Black Friday tramplings, the CIA torture report, and closed-minded Americans unable to realize that their particular holiday might not be everyone's holiday and yeah, maybe that should be ok.

Excuse me, I just noticed this soapbox I'm standing on. Sorry, one second...

 Many of our schools will soon be putting on some kind of Winter Festival. A Holiday Sing-A-Long. A December To Remember Sales Event. And we are all old enough to remember a time when that wasn't what this event was called. It was a Christmas Pageant. There were traditional Christmas songs and all was merry and bright.

No longer! The forces of evil and quality have swooped in and politically-correctified that most sacred of educational institutions. Now we can't invite parents to a Christmas Assembly. We have to invite them instead to a *sneer* Holiday Assembly. Ugh, just listen to that. Holiday. Hooooliday. The word doesn't even have the same meaning as Christmas!* I had a Jewish friend in college who loved when our university called it "Holiday Break" because his particular holiday was already over by the time we got out of school.

Let's talk about this. Let's talk about diversity and expectations for diversity and the actual practice of diversity in our schools and classrooms. How do our schools handle differences of tradition? How open are we to it? I'll be honest, it took a while for me to not complain about having to send Jehovah's Witness out of my classroom for all our various holiday whatnot. I felt like the kid was missing out of cool stuff his/her classmates get to do. They are missing out on fun. I still struggle with this and I think I have good reason- they should be exposed to other cultures. I realize this isn't an "other cultures" thing though, it's a god thing. Much harder to make a point against, not that I'd try. You imagine that conversation with a parent?** I need to be better and more accepting.

Happy Holidays.

*holiday literally comes from the old English "holy day"

**"Stu should be able to stay in class and watch The Grinch because he needs to be exposed to other cultures, like that of the loving Whos of Who-ville."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 34- Anger

I'll be honest, this chat stems from the Ferguson protests and the protests that have echoed out from it across the country. We might not directly discuss what is happening in those places, but we are going to hit the effects and possible causes. As such, this might not be as happy-fun-time as normal, but it will still be #WeirdEd. That means it's still a safe place. Have an opinion. Have a dissenting opinion. Then have a discussion. Jerks will be muted and blocked and not welcomed back. You're still free to take the conversation off in whatever direction you like, you know #WeirdEd is the Land of Side Chats.

Our kids get angry. We get angry. Anger, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. It's a healthy emotion. I don't think squashing emotions is the right way to go about life. Feel them and understand them. Acting on emotions is a completely different conversation and how that happens is largely what makes someone an adult versus a larger child.

Someone out there, because I know my audience, is going to go all Yoda on me."Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." And with all do respect to Master Yoda, sometimes anger is a positive emotion. IF you don't use it to go fight your father before you're ready and instead put it in the fuel tank.

So let's talk about why you're angry. Why kids get angry. Henry Rollins says he stays angry because it keeps his blood thin and his mind alert. George Carlin and later Louis Black (pictured above) made careers off being angry. Bands for generations used anger as grist for the mill.

But this is #WeirdEd. We are a positive people. So we are taking our anger and spinning it positively. Make it work for us. Feel a sense of injustice? Don't be paralyzed by it, use it to get up and go.