Note: When this blog was first created, I mentioned that its purpose was to follow in the footsteps of my annual “Things I’ve Learned From My (insert year of college) Year At Gustavus,” but would allow me to expand on my thoughts instead of writing a quick musing as was typical in those posts. This one is going to hearken to the roots from years ago, but I’ll still include a little text after each bullet to provide a little more context. Without further ado, here’s my list of Things I’ve Learned From My Honeymoon In Belize.
Many people have already asked me since I returned from my honeymoon about how it went and where we visited. It does get a bit repetitive telling the same story over and over again, so I’m going to provide a summary before I go into the “Things I’ve Learned…” portion.
My name is wrong.
Bryz-Gornia. A name straight out of your bowl of alphabet soup.
I’ve had comments on my last name throughout my entire life. Back in elementary school, I recall my second and fourth grade teacher (she was the same woman) asking me what would happen if I were to marry a woman that also had a hyphenated last name. Would we hyphenate our names together, creating some sort of god-awful conglomeration that would never fit on any government form, personal check, or arcade game high score list? I politely smiled and said no, even though I thought it was a pretty dumb joke.
In middle school, I had an acquaintance that was very immature and loved pranking me. A good example is that he tricked me into visiting a non-nude porn website while we were in the computer lab one day. Very funny, and I’m still not fully sure how that got past the school’s firewall. Anyway, he also was the person that first realized that the second half of my last name sounded very similar to the disease “gonorrhea,” so he started calling me “Bryz-Gonorrhea.” It really bugged me at first, but the amusing fact is that as people have tried calling me the same as I’ve reached my mid-20s, I just laugh at them and call them a hack while telling them the nickname has been around since I was 11.
As the New Year approaches us, resolutions are being put into place. I should exercise more this year. I should eat healthier. I should try to make new friends. Etc. etc. etc. I’ve tried doing resolutions in the past, but they’ve never come to fruition. Like many before me, it lasts about a month or so, and then one day I decide I don’t really feel like carrying through. Then that day turns into a couple days, and before I know it, I’m two weeks behind. Oops.
As for a bucket list, the irony is that they typically contain something that is much more ambitious, and yet I think they’re still easier to achieve. From the movie The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman created a list that involved travelling around the world, and then they gradually crossed off everything from that list. Granted, it helped that Nicholson’s character was a billionaire that funded the entire trip, but they managed to succeed in doing everything that they desired.
Now, there are certainly things that I would love to do sometime in my life. I would like to go skydiving someday. Visiting another continent would be nice (odd that I’ve visited every state in the U.S. but have never left North America). However, I’ve never considered these to be part of a bucket list. I’m only 24 years old, for god’s sake, I think it’s a little early for me to be finding things I must do in my life.
Few succeed from being complacent.
A few weeks ago I was watching the Minnesota Vikings lose yet another game this season. I don’t recall the opponent, but I do remember that I was at my fiancee’s parents’ house, watching the game with her father and brother as she planned on going shopping with her mother.
Occasionally I would text my coworker throughout the game. Most of it was just us ranting about the game, but for reasons forgotten I pulled out this line during our conversation: Few succeed from being complacent. About 20 minutes later, the Vikings went for it on 4th down and failed. I texted her to complain, and she responded with the very line I had said earlier.
I joked that she was just throwing that in my face, making me sound like a hypocrite, but she said that she completely agreed with the musing. We continued watching the game, dropping a text whenever we had pressing thoughts to share, and the Vikings ended up losing as expected.
Just like a voyager, I move from town to town
For I’m a puzzle piece with no box to be found
I wait for the villagers to call me their own
But perhaps a nomad always is what I’ll be known
Last week, my students were discussing the various cliques and which classmates belonged to them in our school. Now, they didn’t specifically use the term “clique,” but preferred to use the simpler “type” to describe these groups. This guy was with the jocks. That girl was in the popular group. That quiet guy in the back was one of the nerds.
As is usual in my classroom, a conversation about the students suddenly involved me. The group that was having this talk zeroed in on me sitting at my desk and wondered aloud where I belonged. However, it didn’t take very long for one of the boys to quickly exclaim, “Mr. B-G, you don’t really have a type.”
I asked him to explain himself and here’s what he said. “You like sports but you’re not a jock. You’re into video games but you’re not nerdy.” I cut him off before he went any further, not because I didn’t like what I was hearing, but because he was saying exactly what I’ve known for years: I don’t really fit in.
I collect CDs from my favorite artists.
Being a fairly young teacher can be odd at times. For one, I have a friend from working at Target Field that is just as young as some of my students. Second, I teach at the same school that currently enlists my youngest sister as a student. I could go on and on and on.
However, there is one of these oddities that will probably take years to dissipate, which is the constant flow of questions that come from my students. Within the first couple weeks, I was already receiving inquiries about my personal life, specifically about my fiancee. “What does she look like?” “Do you think she’s beautiful?” “What kind of butt does she have?” (Believe it or not, but that last question came from one of my female students. I had to have a discussion with her about appropriate questions in school.)
My doppelganger is professional golfer Rory McIlroy.
A couple years ago, I did a post about doppelgangers and how I was having trouble participating in Facebook’s “Celebrity Look-A-Like” Week, because I was completely lost with the celebrity that would receive the burden of representing me for a week. However, it was a drunk fan at a Twins game that helped me realize who I could easily impersonate.
I was working at a game in 2012 when a heavily intoxicated male approached me, circa late 20s in age. Though he was slurring his words, he wasn’t bothering anyone and the two of us were having a good conversation. Then a friend of his arrived and all of a sudden, the first guy got a big smile on his face.