Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Pin It Ever felt sick? Yeah, me too.

You could read about it at Four Perspectives.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Unicorn Wishes

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Well, it was about a year ago that I was sitting at my friend’s house; we were out on the front porch enjoying the cool, evening air. It wasn’t long before one of their kids came out and started whining about something—I really don’t really remember what. I finally turned to this young man and said, “Maybe a herd of unicorns will come running down the street and make all your wishes come true.” There it was, like magic.


This phrase ran itself though my head many times over the ensuing months; however, it wasn’t until sometime later that I was at my school’s Scholastic Book Fair that the full potential of that statement came to me. It came when I saw a group of my students ogling over the posters of kittens, puppies, and horses with the cheesy phrases and well-wishes.

“I could make one of those…” I thought to myself. And like magic, I did.

So I present you today with a full-resolution version of this poster which can be printed…well, poster-sized. Simply click on the photo above and when the full-sized version pops up (I need to warn you…it’s huge), right-click and save.

By the way, if you post this photo on your blog, then the herd of magical unicorns will come running down your street to grant you all of your wishes, too.* Let's see just how many people can be touched by Unicorn Wishes...

*Magical unicorns not available in all areas. And yes, that horn is so real.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Card

Pin It Okay, here is it.

This card went through several 'revisions' (as you can see from the name, this is version #8 - and no, don't ask to see the others) and it was even completely scrapped at one point. But, for what it's worth...here it is in all its glory. (And yes, it is full-resolution version for all of those of you out there who weren't lucky enough to get one in the mail - you can print one for yourself; aren't I thoughtful?)

Merry Bahlidays to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Like Two Pigs Fightin' Under a Blanket...

Pin It You don't know how long I’ve waited for you to come to this blog today; for I wish to write about something a bit deeper, something growling of braggadocio. However, you know that there are days that people seem to want the fairy tale—the chirrupy and upbeat post of…well, that’s just it. Hopefully, you’re come here with no expectations, for I only wish to profess that which I know. I won’t be complaining or anything, ‘cause, you know, I have my friends. I have a townhouse. I have sole possession of a remote control. That’s very important. It really does complete me. I’m just an ordinary person, and that’s OK.

What I’d like to write about today seems to be that never-ending story of good vs. evil; maybe about those in the world who are here to save you when you need saving, cover your tail when it needs covering, and are always there when you need someone to lean on. I have been forced to think of some things while writing this post…what if, by writing it, I'm not the hero? What if I am the bad guy?

I guess what I’m really trying to say is, I understand the feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places that you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of Dr. Pepper you drink with your friends, you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you could write about and yet not be misunderstood.

Of course, I could always go on and write something else today, but this is really weighing heavily on my mind, and it seems that I have to continually remind myself not to tell the story about my molars instead. However, with my blog, with each post I write, I see cohesion. When all is said and done, they have one thing in common: they are shooting stars, a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, a fleeting glimpse of eternity, and in a flash, they’re gone—lost into the archives where adventures tend not to tread…

Okay, I know what you’re thinking…stop raising your voice in the words of mumbo gumbo and get on with the story…

Alright, you’ve got it; however, if you still haven’t figured out the topic of today’s post at Four Perspectives, maybe you should go back and reread all that again before clicking over, after all, life is full of interruptions and complications, why shouldn’t this be one of them?


Much of this text was shamelessly shanghaied from: Twilight, Pretty Woman, Sense and Sensibility, While You were Sleeping, Jerry Macquire, Hope Floats, The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sistershood, Love Actually, He’s Just Not That into You, The Notebook, and The Holiday. No copyright infringement was intended. Mockery? Yes. Infringement? No.

By the way, just so you know...none of these lines were at my immediate disposal for use. It took nearly two hours of online research to find them all. FYI.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moments with Joey – The Christmas Gift

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SCENE 1, INTERIOR. MORNING, CLASSROOM. The students are just starting their classroom Christmas party and are excitedly playing the games planned by the ‘mother partying committee.’ As the kids rush about the classroom with their oranges on white plastic spoons, Joey’s mom approaches the teacher.

JOEY’S MOM: I just needed to tell you that I took Joey to the dollar store the other day to do his Christmas shopping.

TEACHER: Oh, that can be a lot of fun. How’d it go?

JOEY’S MOM: [Dropping her voice]. It went really well; he brought his own money and I just let him go around the store, getting gifts for all of his siblings—and for you.

[The teacher glances at the package of peanut brittle on his desk with Christmas well-wishing from Joey written on a tag of demented-looking elves. He turns back to Joey’s mom as she continues].

JOEY’S MOM: Well, we got out to the car and he started to pull things out of the plastic bags – he wanted to show me everything he’d bought for everyone…

[Joey’s mom stops and a smile creases her face as she glances at her son, who is now devouring a plate of nachos at his desk].

JOEY’S MOM: He pulled out his sister’s present…guess what it was?

[The teacher shrugs and Joey’s mom continues].

JOEY’S MOM: He bought her a toilet plunger!

TEACHER: [Somewhat speechless] A what?

JOEY’S MOM: A toilet plunger! I turned to him and said, ‘Joey, why on earth did you buy that for your sister?!’ Do you know what he said? [The teacher shrugs]. ‘It’s for her potty mouth.’

[The teacher breaks out laughing as Joey’s mom continues].

JOEY’S MOM: She doesn’t really swear, but she says a lot of words to make her feelings clear. Joey decided that a plunger is exactly what she needed to take care of it. And to think, he thought up her gift all by himself!

TEACHER: I’m not surprised. How do you think she’s going to react on Christmas morning when she opens it?

JOEY’S MOM: [With a chuckle] Well, I don’t know about her, but the rest of us will sure get a good laugh.

SCENE 2, INTERIOR. AFTERNOON, CLASSROOM. The students getting ready to leave for their Christmas break. The bell sounds and the teacher dismisses them. Joey lingers for a moment at his desk. His teacher approaches him.

TEACHER: So, a plunger?

JOEY: [Grinning] It’s what she needs; so I thought I’d get it for her. After all, she could really use it.

[The boy shoulders his backpack and gathers up his candy from the party and heads out he door offering a ‘Merry Christmas’ as he departs. The teacher stands for a moment or two more before shaking his head and laughing].

[Fade to black].

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In light of Horcruxes

Pin It If one were frequenting this blog in the hopes to find a post brimming in both light and righteousness, then said person would be well advised to click the ‘back’ button right now, and stop reading—before it’s too late.

For today I wish to speak of Horcruxes.

It is at this point that I must make a confession to those who’ve decided to keep reading on; that is, before the Harry Potter phenomena had swept the Muggle world, and previous to the latest movie in the saga’s release to theatres, I was the secret-keeper of a hidden tidbit of wisdom, a little-known fact of magic. It is the knowledge of these magical devices whereby a person can take a portion of themselves and secret it away into another.

“Well, you split your soul, you see,” said Slughorn, “and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one’s body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged. But, of course, existence in such a form...” Slughorn’s face crumpled, “Few would want it, Tom, very few. Death would be preferable.”

So, I can almost hear you wondering. How, teachinfourth, could you possibly be familiar with this type of evil magic? Well, you see…I’ve been making Horcruxes for years.

However, before I go into detail any further, one must really get things straight; namely, to fully understand just what a Horcrux truly is. It’s quite simple, really. In fact, what it is is actually defined in the name itself; the first part of the word, “hor” comes from “hors” meaning “outside.” The definition of the second part of the word—“crux” is, “a puzzling or difficult problem” or “a crucial point.”

So, a “Horcrux” is not necessarily a thing of evil...but merely a point outside of ourselves that causes for us a difficult problem, or a crucial point in our own—or someone else’s—life. In other words, it is a tearing of the heart.

“Yes, sir,” said Riddle. “What I don’t understand, though... Just out of curiosity, I mean, would one Horcrux be much use? Can you only split your soul once? Wouldn’t it be better, make you stronger, to have your soul in more pieces, I mean, for instance, isn’t seven the most powerfully magical number? Wouldn’t seven…”

You see, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had it all wrong. He sought immortality through means of ripping his soul into seven pieces. Seven being the key number—or so he thought—thinking in the established Hebrew reverence of this particular numeral: seven days in a week, seven colors in the rainbow, seven notes in the customary musical scale, seven deadly sins, and most recently—Windows 7—Microsoft’s newest operating system.

But a 7-part soul is not the guaranteeor of immortality; for you see, a soul torn in the supreme act of evil to create these earthly-bound Horcruxes, will only weaken the person making them.

“Well,” said Slughorn uncomfortably, “You must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature.”

In other words, a Horcrux made from your soul is a bad idea all around. It—in the end—gets you nowhere but into a place which is far worse than where you are now.

However, a heart Horcrux is the utter and exact opposite; the heart is split through a colossal act of service—an act of love. When the heart is torn, the pieces are hidden in many individuals—making them into living Horcruxes. This in turn makes both of the individuals stronger—not weaker.

The heart grows back with these other ‘pieces’ grafted in, becoming as one yet again. These pieces are intertwined and will always be so.

I was reminded of the Horcruxes I’ve made over the years recently…in my classroom I’d informed the students that I was going to be sending a care package to my dad, and if any of them wished, they could write him a letter to be included.

Several of them set to work and wrote their letters, putting them into a pile so as I might add them to the parcel I’d be sending the next day. One of these letters, as I was putting it into the box, caught my eye and I began to read. I’d like to share “Joey’s” letter with you here:

As I thought of this Horcrux which had been made through months of service, I found myself becoming reminded of the other Horcruxes made in and from my life. With students, with friends, with complete strangers, and the one made with my mom, guaranteeing her immortality in memory—as well as in heart.

I am the secret-keeper of the magical knowledge of Horcruxes, as now are you. Now, go and make some heart Horcruxes of your own.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Goodness Sealage

Pin It Why do we always tend to wrap things for others this time of year? Mostly it's done as a show of affection. In other words, if one were to wrap a 'gift' for you, it just shows that they love you. Want to know a little more about my gift-giving experience? If so, head over to Four Perspectives to find out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Indulge Me – Just an Evening of Random Thoughts

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December 11, 2009 - 9:14 P.M.

It’s been a long week.

But I loved it anyhow. Despite the frustrations and everything which comes from my chosen line of work.

Tonight I made my way home to a house which was cold and empty; however, it was light out still. A Subdued glow came from my kitchen, and outside countless neighbors sledded down the hills on toboggans and hurled snowballs.

I ignited the lights on the tree, and started to play some instrumental Christmas music. The candles were lit, and I turned up the thermostat. Soon the house became a warm, festooned place where I found myself drawing up my laptop and composing my thoughts.

What is it about these simple comforts of home which bring such peace and security?

While the cold rages outside, I find myself thinking of the countless blessings I’ve come to enjoy in my life. Granted—not all of them have been wonderful; however, they’ve been blessings all the same.

When I arrived at work this morning, my classroom was a dark and cold place as well. I ignited the varied lamps I’d brought, as well as the four-foot artificial tree flocked with snow and ashen lights. As I turned on that instrumental Christmas music, my classroom came to life. I was thinking that before I arrived, it was just a cold, hollow place—I thought of those cozy bookstores, or small shops we love to go to, and how that first person enters into that cold, lifeless place…and from there, it suddenly comes to life—somebody has to be the first.

By the time my students had arrived, it was warm—the cold edge was gone, and it felt like home. The light and feeling therein was welcoming. It was ready.

I had a Christmas earlier this year—I’d called it, “Christmas in September.” I said I’d post photos…or nearly enough. I didn’t. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t take any…only that I didn’t post any.

It’s amazing to me how the little things can escape from us, and we suddenly find ourselves running ragged and trying to catch up on all of our varied good intentions. Seems that there is always something more waiting in the wings for our attention to which we continually put off.

I had Peeps. They were frosted Christmas figures. They were from last year. I challenged my friend’s son, “Joey” to eat them. I’d even bribed him with a buck or two. I then told him I’d race him…

The Peeps were awful. The frosting had hardened. The marshmallow was crystallized sugar. The frosting cut into my gums and tasted like sweetened chalk.

I hate Peeps.

There is hamburger in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator waiting to be made into spaghetti sauce with basil and oregano. The Mint Bites on the kitchen counter are waiting to be consumed. Good friends will be here before I know it. But tonight I just wanted to speak out into that great space.


I cannot say, really. Only that tonight is going to be a great night. But only because I choose to make it so.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Christmas Card - While Supplies Last

Pin It If you frequented this blog two years ago, then you’ll recall the Christmas card I created which upset quite a few folks…

Got a few phone calls from hysterical relatives, some emails of confusion, and even a few folks who were miffed that I’d run off and gained a family without their sanction or blessing.

Yeah, it was awesome.

Well, tonight I finished my newest Christmas card. It’s ready for printing, and I had planned to send them out on Saturday; however, I was wondering if there were any out there in blogland who’d like a copy? I will be posting it online…in a week or so. Possibly on Christmas Eve…I really haven’t decided…however, if you’d like your own personal copy before it hits the web - delivered right to your mailbox - leave a comment and send me an email with your address at teachinfourth@yahoo.com.

Since Saturday is the day I'll be sending them, that is the deadline; 12 noon. This way, you should get YOUR copy before it arrives online. And I promise not to send you junk mail or letter bombs...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Visitor

Pin It I was sitting in my kitchen this morning reading up on blogs and such when I heard an odd out-of-place buzzing sound. Startled, I looked quickly around the room.

Out of nowhere swooped a fly.

I don’t know why.

This particular insect hadn’t been here before, and I started to wonder how it came to be in my home on a morning when the snow is falling in troves. I always leave for work in the early morning when it’s nearly dark out and freezing, and I return home again when it’s nearly dark and freezinger. In fact, I couldn’t recall having seen any flies outside for weeks, and yet here was this little guy coming from nowhere.

And why hadn’t I seen him before now?

Was this an early Christmas miracle? I thought. A reminder of something? Perhaps that summer—though seemingly gone—was still there, beneath the piled-up snow? An omen of sorts?

I began to wonder about this little bug as it landed on the ceiling and regarded me with its many-faceted eyes. For a time, I just sat and stared back, my mind spinning with the possibilities of how this little critter had come to join me for breakfast.

Then I sucked it up with the vacuum cleaner.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Pin It What’s happening today? Why don’t you pop in over at Four Perspectives to find out?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How I thought It Would Be

Pin It I feel that I need to preface this post with the following.

Set your way-back clock to 9 years ago. My brother and I were both attending BYU – he before his mission for one semester, and me just having completed my degree and readying to start my first year as a certified schoolteacher.

It was a Sunday evening. We sat in apt. 210 of Centennial. I plucked away at the strings of my dad’s old 12-string guitar, and a set of chords kept repeating themselves underneath my questing fingers. Again and again these chords played, and a picking pattern emerged, filling the room with the sweet tones that that old guitar could give.

My brother, reading something for one of his classes—or perhaps just the newest Harry Potter book –stopped what he was doing, and started to hum a melody.

What happened next could only be described as magical. We had a song.

No words. No lyrics. Just a tune and some chords.

Over the next hour we wrote what came to be known as “How I Thought It’d Be.” We then recorded it…either through a set of headphones made into a makeshift microphone into an old computer, or by using our answering machine—I simply can’t remember which.

Over the course of the years, I started to save files onto hard drives, and I threw away a lot of disks; I couldn’t find the file of Yancy and me singing our song. I thought for sure that this particular disk was one which made its way to the trash heap, and was now buried deep in the earth, as part of a landfill.

Until today.

I found a disk; written on it in my all-to-familiar hasty scrawl it said, “Songs with my brother.”

I slipped the disk into my laptop.

From the speakers poured our song. The one we wrote and recorded. I can’t remember if we’ve sung it since that day we wrote it, but a friend of mine recorded a version of it in a studio after Yancy had departed to Nevada for two years, and I had moved across town.

So, today I present you with the song my brother and I wrote nine years ago. It is the original version with the hiss and the poor quality you’d come to expect from two poor college students.

And it still reminds me of how life could be…

How I thought It Would Be
Jason and Yancy Zimmerman

There’s a road somewhere lost in my past
Dusty dreams echoing in my head
Times gone by, days of carefree hearts
There’s a place, way back far in my mind.

Standing tall holding her hand with mine
I act brave, leaving for the first time.
I say goodbye, tears on the windowpane.
Feel my heart, with her it will always stay.
(with her it will always stay)

Keep hanging onto dreams of my old home,
Back when I thought I never would grow old,
Things were perfect like a summer morning…

Time goes by, by like the Autumn leaves,
Memories of how I’d thought it’d be.
But for now, I wish I could make it change
In our hearts, I pray that we are the same.

Softly falls the gentle winter snow
Iced inside warm hearts need to know,
Of the love, of family oh so dear
In our hearts, we need to know they’re near.

Keep hanging onto dreams of my old home,
Back when I thought I never would grow old,
Things were perfect like a summer morning…

I stand outside the home that’s no longer mine,
feel the breeze, the same blowing from my mind.
I wish the thoughts of those days would not fade
As I grow old the world turns to gray.

Keep hanging onto dreams of my old home,
Back when I thought we never would grow old,
Things were perfect like a summer morning…

We keep hanging onto dreams of our old home,
Back when we thought we never would grow old,
Things were perfect like a summer morning…

Then it changed without a warning.
Then it changed without a warning.


Pin It As I went outside yesterday afternoon to an overcast sky which hinted at snow, but it offered up nothing; I ventured out into the frigid air to run errands, as well as pick up odds and ends from the store. I traveled from one place to another, and still the skies were silent. I began to feel a bit of lackluster at the grey afternoon when, while conversing with a friend I happened upon in the parking lot of the local market, a few flakes began to fall from what had previously been a silent sky. My friend and I both looked at each other and grinned.

As I drove home, a few flakes settled on my windshield as I waited at the light; the perfect, little six-pointed creation began to melt upon striking the windshield and, gathering strength from others who’d met the same fate, streaked down the glass. It wasn’t long before a small flurry gathered strength—the first flakes had brought their fellows with them, and in their steady stream they floated down from the heavens.

I arrived home and pushed open the front door, greeted with the condition of warmth I’d left it in earlier, and the hint of fresh cider lingering on the air. I ignited the lights on the tree and into the playlist went Amy Grant and David Archuleta.

The warm, fiery glow of Christmas burst to life, even though the snow soon ceased. I found myself amazed how simple little things like sights, smells, and sounds can combine to create a feast for memory—a smorgasbord of the senses; whether in remembering those things from the past, or storing new memories for days of future perusal.

I braved the cold again to check the mail at the end of the street, it was there that I found a package awaiting me—laying amongst the offers for insurance discounts and utility bills.

It was from a fellow blogger.

Ah, Christmas was even more so alive and well, as I feasted on Christmas delights which (as claimed) contained no rat poison or arsenic.

I basked in the simple pleasures which were mine, and made my way to a restful night’s slumber. You can imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to discover inches of cotton-fluff blanketing the world in an array of spotless white.

I felt myself becoming excited—the first real snowfall always tends to make me think of newness, of new beginnings, of sledding down deadly hills at breakneck speeds on silver runners which—really—have no existent way to steer or to stop. It brings to light the memories of yesteryear when the snow was never a burden, but instead something to take pleasure in—opening up limitless possibilities to build and create, to eat, and to pelt others with when they ventured out.

Outside, the snow still falls. Memories remain. Blogging can wait.

I need to enjoy the wonders of this glorious phenomena while it is mine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Point of View

Pin It Perspective; it's all about the way one sees it, isn't it? If you're feeling up to it, today was my day over at Four Perspectives...you can read more about it here.
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