@frankchimero • It’s my birthday this week! So I made a list of stuff I learned in my 30s. • Threads

a list of thing learned by someone in their 30s

Anyone have a favourite pencil? I’ve been writing in my journal in pencil more and more recently. Considering treating myself. Any ideas?

Complaints are a gift | Seth’s Blog

But if we choose to engage, then the complaint is a gift. It’s a clue about what might be at the root of the problem.

I find dealing working with parents difficult. The thought that runs through my head is. “I am not doing a good job and they will be unhappy with me.” So parent meetings are always a source of stress for me. I’ve tried to change my mindset a little but still find it difficult.

On Sports Parenting

Makes me think about the discussion I have in China. Nothing seems to be “because I love doing this”. Especially around kids and sports. Everything is expensive lessons to be “good”. I remember I played football in a team because my friends did.

life piles up
towers over us
leering, judging
we work
with heart
giving up pieces
to the pile
till it, we, fall
life piles up

Relaxing few hours with Lyra, introducing her to Slow Horses, getting massage and eating spicy noodles. All in the same place.

Have played Otoboke Beaver’s NPR Tiny Desk performance 3 times now. Elise calls it the Crazy Ladies video, which is fair. NPR calls it “An unhinged delight.” I would agree with that.

Ben Pobjoy’s Tips for Long Walks

I would love to do a long walk but I don’t have the time.
I should do a long walk.
I already get up at 5am on Saturday to walk 6km. Maybe I should walk further?
I should do a long walk.

New Craig Mod Pop-Up Newsletter coming in a couple of days. Always good!

what did you

Just rewatched the finale of Season 1 of Severance. It’s been over two years. Come on!

It’s the pizza with the hole.

A pizza with the middle eaten out, leaving only the crust.

Podcast mp3s

I bought my daughter a VERY cheap mp3 player for Christmas. Some of the button controls are very anti-intuitive but it mostly works fine. The battery goes and goes.

I got it because she likes listening to music and we wanted her to do that but, obviously, are mindful of screens. We hope that the kids use screens with purpose but if it doesn’t feel like a losing battle.

Anyway, found https://www.podcastdownloader.com which lets me download the mp3 from her favourite podcast so she can listen on her little player.


MacBook Air with Chinese characters on a white sticker

maybe today
walk away
from anything
without a heart

It’s easy to be busy. I’m always busy. There’s always something else I could be doing. Teaching is great for that. You’re never really done. And so, this week I’ve been trying to not always be the wrong kind of busy. The kind that involves staring at a screen. To be the other kind of busy, the one that involves spending more time with students and colleagues. More heart.

nothing happens next
this is it! and this is it !
and this is it too!

We read A Stone For Sascha by Aaron Becker in class yesterday and talked about time and how things change. Again, I tried to step back and give the kids time to speak. I still find that hard, feeling the need to fill the spaces. A beautiful, wordless book all told. His Journey trilogy is still some of my favourite picture books.

These words are from the comic of two monks that I have had rattling around inside my head for the longest time. And talking about time has brought it back, again.

Music is Rosie Thomas - These Friends of Mine

we hear, but
don’t, can’t absorb
you’re ready
when you’re ready

Stupid challenge. Been thinking a lot about realising things. Then realising these are things you’ve read, been told, were first thought long ago. But it didn’t matter. You’re ready, when you’re ready.

a few
lines each day
condensing thoughts
packaging them
releasing them
letting go

We talked as a family of doing a challenge. The kids said they would do a lap around our compound but that’s changed to just going outside after school. Lyra’s is to read everyday. I’m going to write a poem.

Vegyn - A Dream Goes On Forever

Spotify Link


Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science

Teaching Isn’t Rocket Science but It Is Surely Harder (Ryan Fuller)

When I solved engineering problems, I had to use my brain. When I solve teaching problems, I use my entire being—everything I have.

Yeah, I cut the end of that quote. Let’s not go there.

I think it does a good job of starting to get to what can make teaching ‘tricky’. Where ‘tricky’ means all-consuming.

One of my go-to thoughts is that it’s often just the volume of things you have to do and the accompanying stress of trying to do all of them, often simultaneously. If I just had one thing to do, to teach this one lesson I’d be fine, I could give that my focus.

But it’s not just one thing.
And yes, I should probably write things down.
And I have an ongoing, developing, evolving list somewhere in my head of things that need doing.
And important varies moment to moment.
And tasks vary from the simple to the complex.
And sometimes, I’m a frog in pan of water as starts to bubble.
And boil. And more heat is added and added…
And sometimes I’m right there, present.
And sometimes I’m a million miles away.
And it’s just a job?
And what of my own family?

Elise and the Time Loop - Chapter Three

My first thought was obviously not that I was caught in a time loop. The box I’d found was magical. That when I touched it I would become trapped on this particular Monday for 3 weeks. That I would need to find a….

Sorry, sorry, sorry! I’m going too fast again!

My first thought was, not surprisingly, that I must have brought it home. I definitely took it because Yang Laoshi always checks we take it. There was no other way to explain it. Just then Mum and Dad, followed by Yumo, walked into the lounge. After getting him up they were moving on to trying to get him to put his clothes on. First Mum was going to say something about hurrying up.

“Come on Yumo, you need to hurry now we’re going to be late for school,” she said softly.

Just like that I thought.

Yumo looked like he was just trying to sleep on the sofa now. Then Dad joined in, I could see that he was starting to sound annoyed now, as usual. He was going to say something about no screen time any second now…

“Yumo if you don’t start getting dressed then you can’t have screen time tonight!” he said a moment later.”

“Bingo!” Slipped out of my mouth before I realised it. They all turned to look at me.

“Yes Elise?” Dad said.

“Um nothing, Dad,” I replied but as I said it I began to wonder how I knew what he was going to say. Did my parents just always say the same things to Yumo and I? That had to be it. People must do the same things all the time, right? Like some kind of time loop.

By now Yumo was dressed and we were brushing out teeth, just like everyday. Yumo was asking me a question about our favourite teddy bears. “Elise do you think my doggy is faster or your Doggy” he asked me with his toothbrush sticking out of his mouth. Which is the exact same question he asked me yesterday. He always asking me the same things, over and over and over, so I didn’t really think about it.

Dad was shouting from the front door, “Yumo, Elise, can we please go now?” I put my yellow folder into my bag, I didn’t know what else do with it! We put on our shoes and took the lift down to the car. Little did I know we were off to what was perhaps the weirdest day of school ever! (Even weirder than the time the teachers didn’t talk all day! But I’ll tell you that story later.)

Elise and the Time Loop - Chapter Two

Chapter Two

“Elise! Time to get up!” my Dad shouted as he turned the light on. I didn’t reply but put the pillow over my head and scrunched my eyes shut. As you can guess, I’m not a morning person but my Dad is always up early. I just can’t do it! I don’t understand why anyone would choose to. Beds in the morning are soooooo comfy.

Why was getting up so hard? Everyday felt the same sometimes and everyday Dad would would say the same thing,

“Well, you should’ve gone to bed earlier then… But no, you decided to stay up reading. Blah blah blah.” It’s not just me though. My brother is worse than me, everyday he’s so slow getting up and getting dressed.

As I led in bed I could hear Dad trying to be patient about trying to get Yumo up. It wouldn’t last long. Mum had put my clothes on the bed and then gone to the kitchen to get our snacks ready for school. Finally, I got up and then started getting dressed. Dad was starting to sound annoyed because Yumo was still in bed.

As I was finishing, Mum suddenly came into my room.

“Elise, don’t forget to take your Chinese folder with your homework, it’s on the table,” she said.

I stopped, what was she talking about, “That’s yesterday Mum!” I told her.

“No, it’s today,” she said firmly and walked off to help Dad persuade Yumo to get up.

What was she talking about? My Chinese homework needed to be in on Monday, which was yesterday. I’d done it and given it to Yang Laoshi, my Chinese teacher. We didn’t need to give it in on Tuesday. I thought about saying something but decided not too. Mum had already made her mind up and I didn’t want to argue with her about it.

I walked out to the lounge and then saw it. My folder. Bright and yellow and it was sitting on the table.

Why was it there?

Chapter Three

Elise and the Time Loop - Chapter 1

(Work in progress.)

Elise reads this chapter - This was a one and done.

“42” I shouted out. Mr Bruna looked annoyed and then surprised. “Pardon Elise?” he said. “12 + 30 is 42. The ones don’t change and you add 3 tens,” I replied calmly. “Ummm, right, that’s good Elise, but… I didn’t ask the question yet, so how do you know the answer?” he said. I said nothing, realizing my mistake. I’d need to correct that tomorrow. Luckily, Jim had started fighting with Claire and Mr Bruna got distracted. I’d got away with it, this time!

My name is Elise. I’m 8 years old and I live in Chongqing, China with my Mum, Dad and my little brother Yumo. I like the usual stuff, reading, riding my bike and not doing my homework. So far, so normal, right? Well that all changed yesterday, I mean today. Yesterday is today. I guess tomorrow will be yesterday too…

Sorry, sorry, sorry. Ok, let me explain. As much as I can anyway. It’s still a bit weird for me to think about.

After school yesterday, the day before today, I had gone outside to read. It let’s me get away from my brother, for a bit. He’s just so noisy sometimes. I was sat on the bench under a tree reading Catman, my favorite book, when I started hearing this buzzing noise. I searched around a bit until I found the bush the noise was coming from. Under the bush was a small black box. It was the box that was buzzing.

As I stared at the buzzing box nestled under the bush, I felt a mix of excitement and nervousness. Should I have picked up the box? Probably not, but I couldn’t resist. I know Mum and Dad would have said I shouldn’t, of course. But they weren’t here! If I did it again? Would I do the same thing? It’s a good question. I don’t know! If I didn’t open it I wouldn’t have met Sam and I wouldn’t have got to go to…

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I keep getting distracted. That information will come later. I promise!

So I opened the box. I want to say there were flashing lights or fireworks or maybe an Infinity Stone or maybe some smoke but there wasn’t. Maybe there was a little electric shock, the static that you get when you touch something sometimes. Maybe there wasn’t. As I looked closely inside the box, there was a small dent in the bottom like something used to be inside it. The buzzing had stopped too. I thought it was old and might be cool for storing some of my stuff so I took it with me when I went home.

When I got home, I put the box next to my bed. After that, the rest of the evening was normal but I kept thinking about the box. As I fell asleep that night, I couldn’t help wondering if something was different.

Chapter Two

6.22km 20kg Ruck 66:48.

Feeling my knee a little today so took it easier than normal. To avoid comparisons to my normal pace I walked to school and back. I always feel the need to be faster than last time!

Music selection: Paul Oakenfold’s 1999 Rojam Essential Mix

MC Conrad, acclaimed drum’n’bass vocalist, dies aged 52 | Music | The Guardian

Now listening to Progression Sessions 1.

In ​The Second Mountain​, David Brooks shares a poignant observation from a friend. “I don’t really know of many happy marriages,” the friend said. “I know a lot of marriages where parents love their kids.”
You must love—that’s how they’ll know that they are loved.

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Kids - The Daily Dad