There's this prevailing theory that you should write down your goals in life, because when they're written down they mean more. I don't know if I agree with all of that. What I do know is if you do write it down, you do know what was important to you when you wrote it down. What I do know is I've crossed 2 things off of my bucket list that I created 2 years ago. Is my bucket list the same today as it was back then? I don't know, and that's the rub.
See that's the problem, because if it is, then I have have another opportunity to knock something off of my bucket list. #7 have something published that is not an academia paper, is done. I've done it. I am working daily on #10 make a living writing. That goal is one of those things that will be a work in progress until its done, or I'm dead, so essentially I've done all I can do on it. That leaves two new spots, and one of them is to write 9 John Fowler novels (as of now 5 are complete and 6 is 90% done) and I've done 2/3 of that goal.
That brings me to why this is Chris George's fault. #5. Earn a PhD. That goal was written incorrectly. It should have been Earn my doctorate. I've found the program, and there's the rub. The cost is one of the cheapest I have ever found in a doctoral program, and the residency issue is taken care of. SACS certified, so there's no question about the program's legitimacy. Now the questions begin. Do I want to do this again? Do I want to complete 12 classes and write a dissertation? Do I want to put my writing career on a slow down, if not a hold? Those are the negatives.
Now the positives. Do I want a seat at the table to help some of the people I work with everyday if I have those two little letters in front of my name? Yes.
So I break it down. Class work, can do, but do I want to. Writing the dissertation. Please? 16 weeks to write a 60 to 100 page paper double spaced? That's called a good weekend. The research? I can do, but do I want to?
And that's what it all comes down to, do I want to. Do I want to sit thought these classes (admittedly online)? Do I want to do the work (admittedly 90% I can probably sleep walk through) I guess the biggest question is do I have the want to complete the goal. I don't want to be ABD (all but dissertation).
Then I think about one of my students. I've helped him, his brother, and his sister. Let me tell you about his day. He goes to school, when he gets out of school, he goes home, gets the mail, translates it for his parents, helps them pay the bills, then goes to work for 6 hours to help pay the mortgage, comes home, does his homework, goes to bed, and gets up does it all again the next day. Did I mention he's pulling a 3.6? I asked him why once, and he told me that's what he had to do for his family to make it here in America. He was given a chance here, and he intends to make the most of it. That's the students I help, and they deserve more. Then you have lawmakers and others who talk about changing things that they have no idea what's going on in schools, homes, or anywhere else. When I speak, I don't count. I'm just a counselor, I'm just some guy at a university. I'm not a lawmaker, a politician, or a Dr, but I could be the last.
I could be.
I should be.
I think I will be.
No, I will be.
So, if you like my writing, I would like to apologize. It will more than likely slow down a bit. Now remember I've written 6 novels in 2 years. Surely I can still write one a year while doing this. 2 1/2 years it what it will take me if I go slow. 5 semester if I go fast, and only three semester of actual classwork if I go lightspeed.(doubt that will happen.) Of course I have to get accepted, but I had to accept it was what I wanted to do first.
I'd like to thank you all for listening to my online therapy session today. :) Now if you'll excuse me I have a novel to finish.
Till next time, whenever that is
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Cal’s legs were hurting from squatting behind his hiding place. It was close to midnight, and most of the activity had died down at Hernandez’s house. There were only 6 goons Cal had counted. The three had decided to make sure they got Hernandez. Cal told them the drug trade had to end, regardless if he got back the file on himself or not.
“Do you know what the signal is supposed to be?” Terrance asked Cal. Cal shook his head. “Cal, it’s dark out here, I can’t see you if you’re nodding or shaking your head!”
“I don’t have a clue,” Cal admitted. “I did see Carol sneak over there a few minutes ago, and went back to her hiding spot.”
“Where?” Terrance asked. Cal got his hand as close to Terrance’s face as he could and pointed where he had seen her. “Oh, that’s good.”
“What’s good?” Cal asked. It was at that time he saw a trail of fire head toward the direction Cal had pointed at seconds ago. He peered into the night and noticed there were a couple of drums there. They appeared to have some symbols on them. “Is that gasoline?”
That was the last thing Cal heard for a while, except for the loud explosion that took out the drums, vehicles, and part of the house.
A few seconds later a few goons stormed out of the house with weapons. Cal watched one of them dropped and realized from the angle of the bullet entry he had seen, it hadn’t come from him or Terrance. His sister was picking off the men! The second fell, and Cal had an internal count going. There were 6 goons and Hernandez by his count, so now they were down to 5 men total. Gunshots filled the night air, and Terrance and Cal got separated during the fire fight. After a few minutes, Cal was pretty sure they had taken down 4 of the 6 goons. Cal made his way into the house, as stealthily as he could. He could see movement in the kitchen. There were two men firing out the kitchen window at Terrance’s general direction. Cal came around the corner quietly, and realized that Hernandez was one of the men. He aimed very carefully and prepared to squeeze the trigger when something slammed into his chest knocking him down and the gun from his hand. He looked up, breath knocked out of his body, at the other goon he hadn’t accounted for.
The bullet had hit Cal in his Kevlar vest, but Cal was pretty sure he had broken a rib. Hernandez walked over and made a gesture for the goon to head into the kitchen. Cal heard a sharp crack and the sound of someone hitting the floor, Hernandez didn’t seem to notice, he was staring at Cal.
“You think you can come in here and take me out, after everything I did for you?” Hernandez asked threatingly. John heard another sharp crack. He heard a moan from inside the kitchen. Hernandez aimed his gun at Cal’s forehead.
“I should have done this the same night I took down the sheriff,” Hernandez said. Cal closed his eyes and began to pray. He heard a gun go off, but didn’t feel anything. He waited just a second, and heard something fall.
“But you didn’t and I just took you out!” Terrance exclaimed. Cal opened his eyes and saw Hernandez lying on the ground, looking towards him with a bullet hole in his head. Cal gulped. Terrance came over and helped Cal up. Cal held onto a table, to keep himself upright. Terrance disappeared into the house. Carol appeared in the doorway.
“You okay?” Carol asked. Cal nodded. He didn’t trust himself to speak. He was afraid his voice would crack from the terror. He felt something shoved in his hands. Terrance handed him the folder that Chris had complied on him. Cal took a deep breath and handed it back to Terrance.
“You two decide what to do with it,” Cal said.
“You realize this could ruin you?” Terrance asked.
“T, I have messed up bad, and it’s time I pay,” Cal responded. Terrance looked at Carol. She nodded. Terrance reached into his pocket, pulled out a lighter and tossed the file into an empty sink. He lit the folder and stood there and watched it burn.
“You owe both of us,” Carol said as she watched it burn. Cal nodded. “You can start by being a good sheriff, the kind of sheriff this county needs.” Cal nodded again. Carol sighed and waved him towards her. “Come on, let’s get those ribs looked at.”
Over the next few days life went back to normal for Cal. He deputized Terrance and told him that he had to quit smoking marijuana. He was pretty sure Terrance was stoned when he told him. A new girl, Samantha, moved to Queen’s Landing and seemed to flirt with Cal any chance she got. Carol continued to keep an eye on Cal to make sure he was on the straight and narrow.
It was a few weeks later that Cal woke up in the middle of the night and felt someone in the room. He started to reach for his weapon on the night stand when he heard a gun being cocked.
“It’s not there,” a voice said. “I know who you are and what you did, and I’m not happy about it. Hernandez was an idiot, but he’s my idiot. You had no right to kill him. I’m going to kill you Mr. Shelby . . . just not tonight.” With that, Cal felt, more than saw, the intruder leave the room. Cal didn’t sleep the rest of the night.
The next morning, at the sheriff’s office, Cal told Terrance what happened.
“What are you going to do?” Terrance asked.
“I’m going to do what I promised you two I’d do,” Cal answered. “We’re going to start by cleaning up what’s left of the Hernandez mess.” Terrance nodded, and went over to the weapons locker. “What are you doing?”
“I’m not going out there to fight them barehanded,” Terrance said, tossing Cal a shotgun.
“T, this is my mess, and I wouldn’t dare ask you to help,” Cal replied.
“That’s good,” Terrance said, checking his weapon. He looked up and Cal stood there still in shock. “If you try and hug me or something, I will shoot you.”
Cal nodded, and the two headed out the door.
“Thanks, T,” Cal said as they got in the vehicle.
“Don’t mention it,” Terrance replied. “I mean it, don’t mention it again.”
The two took off in the car to begin the long road of cleaning up the mess Cal had made.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
As they came up the stairs, Cal put his hand down to his service weapon. He heard rustling upstairs, and was afraid Hernandez had sent one of his boys to take Cal out. When he came out of the stairwell, there stood Carol.
“Did you play basketball this week?” Carol was asking Terrance. “It smells like it.”
“I have a prescription,” Terrance replied. Carol rolled her eyes and looked at her brother and then back at Terrance and the ordnance they were carrying.
“Going hunting boys?” Carol asked.
“For Hernandez’s men,” Terrance answered. Carol looked surprised. She turned toward Cal for verification, and Cal nodded. Carol nodded slowly, shrugged and headed down the stairwell without a word.
“Did she know what was down there?” Cal asked. Terrance nodded. “How does she know what’s going on down there and I didn’t?”
“You’re the fuzz,” Terrance answered simply.
“I’m your friend and knew you were smoking pot and didn’t say anything!” Cal exclaimed. Terrance turned around and looked Cal straight in the eye.
“You’re a dirty cop,” Terrance explained. “I didn’t know if you’d try to blackmail me, turn me in, or just let it ride.” Cal’s mouth was open in shock. It remained open as he saw Carol bring up two bullet-proof vest and a rifle with a scope on it. Terrance started to stay something but Carol cut him off.
“You can’t lay cover fire and help him take the place,” Carol said. Terrance thought, nodded, and turned toward Cal.
“How long will it take you to deputize her?” Terrance asked. Cal shook his head.
“Nope, no way!” he exclaimed. Carol gave Cal the don’t be an idiot look.
“You know Dad taught me how to shoot,” Carol said.
“If you get shot, or worse, Dad will kill me,” Cal replied.
“I’m simply laying down cover fire,” Carol said. Cal couldn’t believe the mess he had gotten himself in. “Besides,” she continued. “Someone’s got to help you two. You can’t shoot and he’s half-baked.” Terrance looked up from what he was doing, started to argue, realized Carol was right, shrugged and continued to load his weapon.
“What are you even doing here?” Cal asked, trying to get some control of this situation. Carol looked at Cal, very angrily.
“I came to tell you that Becky that you went to high school with, she’s dead. Heroin.” Cal didn’t say anything, he just looked down at the floor. When he looked up, Terrance and Carol was staring at him, not sure whether to be mad at Cal or not.
“Come on,” he said quietly. “Let’s go to my office so I can figure out how to deputize you two.” Cal turned and left the house without another word.
“Try not to let him get killed,” Carol said quietly to Terrance.
“I know, he’s your brother,” Terrance responded. Carol shook her head.
“That’s not why,” Carol replied, grabbing the rifle and heading out of the house. “I’m still not sure I don’t want to kill him.”
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Terrance led Cal downstairs to what Cal could only call an armory. There were guns and ammo everywhere. Shelves, display cases, and hooks on the walls all held guns of every kind. There were crates holding bullets everywhere.
“Expecting a zombie attack?” Cal asked. Terrance looked at Cal like he was stupid.
“Let’s just say I’m ready in case I ever need to be for anything,” Terrance answered.
“T, you have more ordnance here than we do,” Cal said, still surveying the room.
“I’m better trained than you too,” Terrance replied. Cal slowly turned to Terrance.
“Why are you showing me this?” Cal asked.
“I said I owe you,” Terrance replied.
“So you’re going to loan me ammunition and weapons to take down Hernandez?” Cal asked, hoping that was the answer, but fearing it wasn’t.
“Yeah,” Terrance answered, picking up an automatic rifle and beginning to load a clip into it.
“Is that all?” Cal asked. Terrance gave Cal an annoyed look.
“What do you want from me?” Terrance asked. “Do you want me to hold hands with you and sing Kumbaya? Or, would you rather I strap up and we go run Hernandez and his boys out of town?” Terrance gave a challenging glare at Cal, waiting for his answer. Cal ran his hand through his hair and looked around the room. He looked back at Terrance.
“I can’t,” Cal responded. Terrance looked at Cal flatly. “You’re not a deputy.” Terrance barked a laugh, but Cal’s face never changed.
“You’re serious?!” Terrance more said than asked. Cal slowly nodded.
“If we do this, then people will get killed, and I can’t protect you,” Cal answered. “If you were deputized, then we might, and I mean, MIGHT, get away with it.” Terrance stuck his tongue into his bottom lip, thinking. He slowly nodded.
“Do it,” Terrance said.
“Do what?” Cal asked, not believing what he was hearing.
“Deputize me,” Terrance answered.
“You cannot be serious,” Cal said, not believing what he was hearing. Terrance was grabbing more guns from around the room.
“You heard me, deputize me,” Terrance answered. “I’m more than qualified. In fact, I’m probably overqualified.” Cal had never seen his friend like this since high school. Terrance looked so alive.
“What happened to you over there?” Cal asked quietly. Terrance stopped in mid-movement with his back to Cal. Terrance’s face tightened. He never looked at Cal.
“Some things are better not known,” Terrance answered. “Let’s just say the same guy didn’t come back.”
“Are you sure about his T?” Cal asked. Terrance didn’t answer for a second. “You don’t have to do this T,” Cal said softly, knowing he would never survive this without his friend. It didn’t matter to Cal, he couldn’t ask his friend to do this. Terrance remained facing away from Cal.
“Some things are worth fighting for,” Terrance answered. “You done taking dirty money?”
“Yes,” Cal answered quietly. Terrance nodded and turned to Cal.
“Then let’s strap up, get me deputized, and put these punks out of business,” Terrance said with a gleam in his eye that Cal had never seen before. “I can’t stand drug runners.”
“You smoke marijuana,” Cal replied. Terrance looked at him like he was crazy, shook his head and started up the stairs.
“It’s for a medical condition,” Terrance replied as headed upstairs leaving Cal by himself.
“I swear I am never going to understand that man,” Cal said to himself.