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    24th November 2015

    Eleven years and counting…


    Part 1: November 24, 2004. My life was forever changed that day and today marks eleven years that have passed. With the crazy pace of my life I don’t often stop and reflect on the accident, and I normally find myself too busy on the anniversary of the event to even remember that it was a November 24 when my life as I knew it was rebooted. This morning I missed my flight (1st time ever - bus and shuttle issues), so I’m taking a moment at the airport to reflect on these eleven years.


    Part 2: Thinking of the activities that used to bring me great joy (running, hiking, climbing, etc) does fill me with a sad sense of longing for a version of my life that I didn’t get to fully live, a reminder of loss of freedom and simplicity and innocence and identity. However, every time I consider my life or tell my story, I’m also reminded of how far I have come and how good and faithful God has been to me. He has blessed me in so many ways and this year I am particularly thankful for my family, church family, and friends. I wish you all safe travels, rich conversations, surprising adventures, and a sense of purpose and belonging during this holiday season!

    26th July 2015

    #LBpwrout and fumigation

    The past two weeks have had two interesting developments.

    1) Last week there was a 3 day power outage caused by fire in several electrical vaults in downtown Long Beach. The whole downtown area was without power that time. For east coasters who are used to storms that doesn’t sound TOO crazy, but it sure threw southern California folks for a loop. Other than climbing the stairs to the 4th floor, it really wasn’t too bad and I enjoyed getting to know my neighbors a little bit as we all helped each other out and commiserated over our lack of power.

    The first night, especially, there were just tons of people out wandering about on the street with their cars stuck in garages and their buildings’ electronic access not working, not sure what exactly to do with the grocery store closed and most of the restaurants and bars closed, too. Fortunately, we were able to get in and out of my building via the stairs because the electronic access system for that door has a battery backup. Some of my neighbors brought chairs down and sat them down by the sidewalk in front of the building and just sat and talked. I went strolling out and about to see what else was happening and ended up talking to a few people and making a new friend. It reminded me a bit about what life can be like without phones and computers and TVs. I did some reading using a headlamp style hat each night, and it reminded me of camping as a kid or living up at Covenant Heights, doing everything by flashlights. Somehow it made me feel… reconnected… to the REAL world.

    2) So that was last week. The second development is that the building I livin in is getting fumigated for termites this weekend, so I’m staying with friends. This really isn’t so bad of course, but it is a bit annoying to be out of the house after more or less being out of the house for the power outage.

    A silver lining with having these two events back to back is that all the food in my fridge went bad during the power outage, and so I didn’t really have to think about what to keep and bag up with the special fumigation bags they gave us… and in the end I barely used any of the bags as I decided just to take all of my non-perishable items with me in my trunk. Which reminds me that I really need to get some applesauce out of my trunk before it heats up and explodes. It’s the one thing that I forgot to take from the trunk to the fridge at the place where I’m staying this weekend.

    11th April 2015

    My Year by the Numbers…


    8th April 2015

    Swim With Mike GIF!

    Swim With Mike GIF

    Swim With Mike is this Saturday! Still time to support my swim:

    A GIF making test for my class…

    I’m trying to figure out how to save and insert GIFs into web documents and social media so I can teach one of my elective classes how to also do it, so here’s a little GIF I whipped up as an experiment. Don’t stare at it too long and get a seizure. And yes, the LBC is that cool.


    29th March 2015

    Swim With Daryl! (2015)

    Guys! Folks! Ladies and Gents!

    I’m swimming at Swim With Mike for the 5th consecutive time. The event is April 11, 2015. If you’ve been in contact with me over the last 5 years, you know how much this organization means to me. The scholarships have so far helped 178 recipients rise above the challenges after devastating life changes, and I was one of those recipients.

    It’s the 35th anniversary for Swim With Mike, and in honor of this, I’m going to attempt to swim 3500 meters and raise $3500. This is ambitious given that I have a late start, but I think that we can do it.

    Here are ways that you can participate:
    1. Come to the Swim With Mike event at USC on April 11 from 8am-3pm.
    2. Swim with me at the event or some other time in Long Beach!
    3. Sponsor me as a swimmer:
    4. Give my Swim With Mike or my fundraising page a shout out!
    5. Go to a different Swim With Mike event (listed here: - I will probably go to the San Diego event on May 2, as well.

    13th March 2015

    Live in Long Beach and need a high school diploma?

    I briefly mentioned this when I posted my poem/life-update, but I’m currently working for the education branch of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach ( We serve 18-25 year old students who are in need of their high school diploma - and also offer job training and paid experience for students. We started out as an affiliate of a statewide network of schools for non-traditional high school students, but separated to become our own independent charter school: CCLB Gateway Cities Charter School.

    The last few weeks I’ve been trying to improve our web presence and drum up some attention for the school so we can enroll new students or reach out to old students who stopped coming. I created a facebook page for the school, I also use my Instagram account to post news about what’s happening, but I know there must be better ways to communicate and create community.


    As for me, I’ve been at CCLB for a year and a half now, and the school is an interesting and amazing place. The students that come in are in their current situation for many and various reasons: they had kids while in high school; they had family problems when they were younger; they fell behind in school and didn’t get the help they needed; they have undiagnosed learning disabilities; they were rebels of various sorts. Now they’re motivated to return to their studies. Some come to improve job prospects, some to prove to their families and children that they can do it, and some to keep themselves out of trouble.

    Whatever their reason, the students here have decided to come back to school, and I’m really proud of them. I make them work hard in my classes, and I know that the other teachers here keep up a rigorous curriculum as well. On the other hand, every student that comes in is coming in at a unique level, and so we have to do more differentiation than anywhere I’ve ever worked. I still structure my class similarly to a traditional education classroom, but I end up working one on one with students more than I used to. I love this aspect of my job with CCLB GCCS. I feel like I get to know my current students, both personally and academically.

    Another change that I have really enjoyed in working at CCLB GCCS is that now I teach not just English, but also science (last year I took the test and class to add a credential). In fact, most of my classes are Earth Science or Life Science, with a few English sections and an elective here and there. Teaching science as a substitute at Poudre High School is what got me into a teaching in the first place, and it feels a little like I’ve come full circle - though my current teaching environment is far from Fort Collins. Perhaps someday I will really come full circle and return to Colorado, but for now now I’m happy in Long Beach, where it’s going to be beach weather this weekend, making it very difficult to concentrate on my homework for the UCSD classes…

    5th March 2015

    Where to follow me these days…

    I haven’t really been writing on this blog at all lately. I probably have many things to write about, but haven’t really had the motivation to do so.

    For this reason, I would suggest you check out my Instagram: @holmlundlife, that you can see here:

    Or you can find me on twitter @DaRollHomeland (or - but my twitter feed is basically a repeat of the Instagram pictures.

    I’ll try to find time and energy to do some real writing soon!

    26th August 2014

    Nice CAHSEE prep link.

    Here’s a link that I’m mostly posting for my students to use for preparations for the CAHSEE - the test that all students in California have to pass in order to graduate from high school.

    Of course, if you aren’t my student, you can check out the lessons and practice quizzes, too.

    31st March 2014

    24 lines to describe the last 2 years of my life…

    Dear friends and family,

    I wrote a poem to describe the last year of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

    I spent time with 9th graders in South Central L-A
    Then moved on to farm kids in central C-A
    I nearly went crazy at a middle school in Watts
    The students talked lots and lots and lots
    I changed one more time to a different type of school
    Closer to home – no more train or carpool
    I ended up surrounded by dropouts and thugs
    And mommies and daddies who used lots of drugs
    Pregnant teenagers and boys newly free
    And a few other teachers much older than me
    Back in Long Beach, with new roommates each week
    One Egyptian, another Chinese
    One by craigslist, and two from SC
    And one last one from my church family
    A good church I found of the Covenant variety
    Swedish it’s not, except by society
    This town is surprisingly good for biking
    So no surprise it’s taken to my liking
    It’s amazing to think that just three years ago
    I still lived in Colorado
    I moved to California with just one friend
    Now I have plans for every weekend
    I hope that you’re well – wherever you live
    Come visit me soon…

    I live 5 minutes from the beach and 25 minutes from Disneyland. That doesn’t rhyme, it’s just true – so seriously, come visit!

    P.S. It’s Swim With Mike week - support my swim and all of the recipients of the physically challenged athletes scholarship!

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.