Episode 2 (April 1st)

Audio for The Real GOOD Loser: Episode 2- Dedication, An Email, and Disclaimers

(For audio: play music to Starz television series Black Sails during episode intro)

The following is a written for audio presentation of

The Real GOOD Loser

A Story That Could…


Start of Episode Two:

—Dedication, An Email, and Disclaimers—

“I’ve always liked quiet people: You never know if they’re dancing in a daydream or if their carrying the weight of the world.”

—A quote credited to John Green posted on Facebook by @AwareWolf. 


At Recoveryhighschool.com, the entertainment used for educational purposes is sited in what we hope to be a mutually beneficial way for all. 

Welcome Listener to the world of The Real Good Loser…. 

(End entrance music.)


To My Boys,

I am alive again. More alive than I had been my entire life as I look out at you. I can see those ears of yours perk up as these words reach them. And my soul leaps with excitement knowing that I have been given the chance to speak to you here when we need each other the most. 

Life is hard and the world around you is in ruins. That light that shines through you—which I love—is flickering, threatening to be extinguished permanently. Darkness is setting in and you might feel broken. Perhaps you are now worried that this life was not made for dreams but for nightmares. All of what you think you knew now seems like a sick and twisted and stupid joke. 

Do you maybe feel like this life is laughing at you?

This reality is scary, I know, but we are in this together. And you will survive. In fact, you are going to do a lot better than simply survive but I want you to iron in this feeling of simply wanting to survive. Do not forget how it feels. Do not forget about others that feel this way. Do not forget how important what you become, and what you do, and what you represent, is going to be for them. 

“People will remember you for the nice things you do, not the nice things you have.”

Never forget that.

All this might sound silly to you. I knew it would and I’m about to make things worse by saying something that you won’t understand right away: You are going to become super-heroes in this world… and with this power will come great responsibility. 

Yup—I said it. And I mean it.

If I did my job well, hopefully I have prepared you to carry others on your shoulders. Hopefully I have taught you how to love without judgement. To care without expectation. And to dream without fear. As this new world is going to need you to do all these things. 

Do not be mistaken. This is not a commercial for life, intended to blind you with delusions hoping to sell you something with the promise of making the delusions a reality. The truth is you don’t need to believe any of this yet. For now, if you are hurting, then hurt. If my words piss you off, then be pissed. If you want to laugh at me, then laugh. Do what you must. I will wait. I’m not going anywhere.

We all have our stories. That’s how life works. Every person you see is experiencing different things while becoming a character in a movie starring themselves. We can’t understand everything that makes a person who they are, but we can relate to wanting to feel like we belong in this movie being made about our life. For all those times I couldn’t explain why someone did this or did that let that be my answer. Sorry I didn’t think of it until now. 

There is no way to know how old you are by the time this message reaches you. Just realize that what I’ve written for you here is meant to carry you through some of the difficult times ahead and guide you into a reality unimaginable now. 

Writing that, I picture those little brains of yours trying to make sense of it. “Let it be.” For now, all you must do is believe me when I tell you that it gets better. 

I hope a part of you can still believe that. 

You made this life make sense to me. For that I am eternally grateful. Hence, my biggest regret in life is not leaving you a better world. Sadly, however, there is no way to go back and change things now—that’s life. Please keep that in mind as you move forward in yours. 

And with that message I leave my story in your hands. What you do with it will be your decision, but I hope that it has the power to change your reality. 

What others may take from this story will vary, but for you, My Boys, I hope it makes you believe something like you did for me. Thank you for keeping love alive in my heart. Now go fly with that same love you gave me. 

Sincerely—With Love, Your Father.

P.S. Don’t forget to smile. Even if its fake now, it won’t always be. 

(For audio: Play song Broken People by Logic & Rag’n’Bone Man from the 2017 Netflix original film Bright; thank you for your inspiration and support; length 1:19)

(For audio: the following is to be read by The Narrator)

The main character in this tale was a teacher by profession and a person with a very big dream. A dream that had him believing he could change the world. As you already know perhaps, he will fail, and therefore this story is about him…The Real GOOD Loser. 

Before we proceed, you, Dear Listener, should know that those of us that worked on finishing this story for you here have a moto: “Never underestimate the stupidity of humans.” 

If hearing that upset you, I do apologize, but I—as The Narrator—am not here to be nice. I’m here to tell you the truth. It’s best we have that understood right away.

The dedication letter you just heard was written by this teacher. He wrote that to his children and attached it to this story of his before putting his story away for safe keeping. You’ll understand everything in the end, just know that he wrote that letter to his children thinking that one day they may read his story…when he was dead. 

While that might sound rather dark, it made sense to him. And it is something that will make more sense to you once you have finished his story. I promise. 

That letter to his children was not originally part of the story but it was decided that you should experience it, as we believe that intimate moment will be important to your overall understanding when that final rock falls in this tale.

What one does when they feel as if they are being called to do something in their life is different for all people. Some run from this calling and later refer it as just a fantasy. Some try their best to embrace this calling and pursue it with a sense of purpose. Others will spend their entire lives debating whether to do anything about this supposed ‘calling’ they might feel. All these people—regardless of what they do or do not do—then die. In the end, life is as simple as that. 

This teacher’s calling had him believing that he needed to write a book. A book that he believed would begin his quest to change the future. This story is about to begin with an email he wrote to literary agents seeking representation for this book of his. A book he titled Social Recovery 101: The Book That Could Spark A Regeneration.

After the email, we will let you experience what he intended to be the beginning of his story. Moving forward, please understand that none of this can make complete sense to you until the end. And please remind yourself that you deserve the life this story promises in the end…so don’t ever give up. Endure. Sometimes that’s all one can do. 

(End Narrator)

(For audio: play Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers to transition into An Email; thank you for your inspiration and support; length 1:19)

—An Email—

To my potential editor,

It appears to some people today that we are choosing “protest over progress”. Adding yet another thing for all of us to argue over. Does protest lead to progress, or does protest stall progress? 

Rather than fighting over how we all got here, let’s face it. This isn’t the world we wanted. Yet…this is the world we created—Together.

What script have we followed to get us here? ….. What script will we follow to get us out? ….. What happens to us next?

I have set out on a mission to prove that entertainment transforms reality. And today I officially declare war, with you as the first adversary I must sley in pursuit of true victory. 

With that—not so subtle or humble—declaration out of the way, let me now present to you the back-cover summary for Social Recovery 101: The Book That Could Spark A Regeneration.


My name is Jose Julian and in January of the year 2020 I was hired on a one-year grant to teach a course titled EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE at Lakay Recovery High School in Worcester, Massachusetts (pronounced Wister). This story chronicles my experience teaching that class. 

The course I taught was a creation of my own design and something I’d been working towards for a long time. The school giving me this opportunity was first established in 2016 to help students struggling with substance abuse. As someone who has struggled myself, the opportunity to teach my class at this school could not have been more fitting. Perhaps it was destiny?

With funding for this program set to expire at the end of second term in January of 2021, this book follows my attempt to create something that will keep it funded. Facing challenge after challenge—some due to a global pandemic and others more personal—the students and I come to realize, and accept, that this whole world needs a whole lot more than a teacher to save it. The class turns into an experiment that asks: Can someone really change the world? 

The events of this year I never could have predicted. Not only the events but the discussions and interactions with my students that those events lead to. Students who became more like family as the year progressed. The story of our time together is one sprinkled with all the elements of a good story: mystery, suspense, heartbreak, tragedy, failure, triumph, and humor. It might even be a love story…but that is yet to be determined. 

My time with these students helped me to see again just how much entertainment is molding our perception of reality and was ultimately the reason I wrote this. Presented and designed and written in a way to make us think, this story will entertain us, while at the same time force us to question the role entertainment is having on our lives.

Today, we are being fed a steady diet of entertainment to keep us sedated. Enough true crime dramas and reality tv shows to keep a person comfortably on their couch—or staring into their phones— for days and weeks and months on end. What season of MTV’s Real World are we on now? 

That show—Real World—began in 1992 and could be used to study our evolution. In that time, has that show become more real or has humanity become more fake? 

There is so much entertainment out there today that for some people work is becoming optional and the quality of service—and attention to detail—at every level of society, seems to be getting less and less with each passing year.

No one wants to work anymore.” … “Getting good help these days is impossible.” … “People are just lazy today.” 

Could we maybe blame entertainment for these complaints of ours? Are people more focused on living some reality television show in their minds to pay attention to what is going on in their real life? 

If so… Do we really blame them? 

Despite some of entertainment’s unfortunate side effects, most everyone appreciates the joy entertainment brings…to a certain degree. Humans created it and it has served us well for thousands of years. Television, however, has only been around for about one hundred years. The internet and social media have been around for much less. What are we humans using these tools of entertainment for today? Are we building things or tearing things down?

Many argue that entertainment today is bursting with hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Some call it “over-reaching” and claim it pushes too hard to promote and advocate for change—or equality—or justice—or inclusion—or acceptance. Some even claim that the entertainment today is attempting to brainwash people and consider it nothing but “Self-Righteous Propaganda!” 

Entertainment—in all its forms—uses misperception and deception to keep us engaged. While many of us appreciate this distraction, we must all ask ourselves: What is this distraction costing us?

Children are growing up in a world that their parents cannot possibly understand, yet those same parents grew up in a world their parents could not possibly understand. They survived the experience and so will these children…most of them at least. 

With a bountiful supply of remakes today, could this authentic story provide something unique? Is it perhaps the answer we have been looking for? Is it possible to unfreeze all those frozen hearts? … Could we all maybe find a way to believe something again?

This book is a reminder to those that have forgotten the power of story. It is a dare to anyone that has lost faith in tomorrow. It is a cry for help, and it is a scream for change. 

The challenge ahead of us is monumental and downright daunting to be honest, but the class objective is simple: To make us dream again—of a future brighter than this reality we are stuck fighting in today. 

—End of Back Cover Summary


To my potential editor,

The class this story follows takes place during the Covid pandemic. But there was another pandemic happening at the same time which received less attention: Humanities fixation with being an enhanced or altered version of oneself…or someone not oneself entirely. 

This is not something I am critical of as I can understand why a person would want to be someone other than themself in this world. A person that feels alone in the dark might try to be different in the light—to feel alive, or important, or relevant. 

I like to think I get it, as shows and movies and audiobooks entertain me. And sometimes I find it fun to imagine characters as friends. Sometimes I’ll even hear music and think a song was written just for me. Does that mean my ego has gotten the best of me?… Or am I merely a product of this time in history? A person in desperate need to feel a sense of purpose living in an age when friends on a screen—or Earbuds—are more convenient than friends in real life. 

This is not a story about me or about this class I taught. This is a story about us. A story that tries to answer the following question: Why are we so angry? 

I hope to have written a story that can speak to everyone. From people like Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates—good people with the money to really change the world—to the likes of people like Morgan Freeman and Drew Barrymore—and all the other people with the public support to really change the world—to any child sitting in a Detroit Public School right now with the ambition to really change the world. 

Money. Public Support. And Ambition. The three pre-requisites I’ve decide a person that wants to change the world must eventually possess.

As a first-time author, trying to get people’s attention in a world so loud has been difficult. For that reason, I am reaching out to as many agents as possible to get my foot in the door. That is how I have come upon you…. whoever you are. 

Like you do not know me, I do not know much about you. But that is how new relationships work. Could this be a special new beginning for both of us? 

I posted articles I had written for my students each week on a website. If you are interested in reading this story of mine, you can find it prepared for you on that very same website: RecoveryHighSchool.com. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely Yours—With Love, Jose Julian 

“In the vacuum of time, all possessions are merely things, ideas and dreams are the only investments we need consider.”

(For audio: play Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz; thank you for your inspiration and support; from 1:19‑2:10)

Start of Act One:

—The Pledge—

“What unites people? … Armies? … Gold? … Flags? … Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”

—from the show Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6: “The Iron Throne”

(For audio: play clip from this show; fade out after words “Why do you think I came all this way?”; length 2:45)


All this started with a simple question: How powerful can a story be?

This was a question I considered when a character in a show I was watching claimed that nothing in the world was more powerful than a good story. “Nothing can stop it,” this character on screen said, “no enemy can defeat it.” A claim that prompted the other characters in this show to debate amongst themselves who had the greatest story to tell. 

That discussion on screen made me think of a teacher I had myself once. Who said, “Words are mankind’s greatest achievement!” during a lesson covering the history of the written word. I remember silently sitting in that classroom listening to that teacher continue. “The reason some are so good at bending men towards their will is that they know the power of a story and how to harness it to its own ends. Humanity”—this teacher claimed—”has yet to fully grasp the power of a story… Or its potential” I remember that teacher adding. 

But in a world filled with LOL’s and scrolling videos, can a person really change the world with just words? 

Here’s a spoonful of truth for you. That thing I just said about a teacher talking about the power of words was a lie. It was not a classroom teacher that said those words, but a character in another show I enjoy, Black Sails. A show you will hear me reference with my students shortly.

Why did I lie? 

To prove a point. 

Most children today—and adults if you can handle me saying that to you now—are learning more from television and the internet and from music and from social media than they are from teachers. Yet, in the Unites States at least, which is where I reside, we barely discuss any of that in schools. And trying to probably seems impossible to most. I get it. I’m a teacher. I know. 

So… what do we do? Create some sort of revolution in our educational system. 

What a joke. 

Putting aside my pessimism for a moment, let us expand on my original question a bit further by considering three things. One. Why, historically, have books been considered dangerous? Two. Why, in some dystopian literature, are books often outlawed in future civilizations? And Three. Why—in heaven’s sake—would people ever fear a book or a story?

In this technologically fueled age of ours many will argue—and rightfully so—that there are simply not enough people taking time to read books for them to truly impact our world today. This is a rationale statement and gives me the opportunity to congratulate YOU for being part of a dying breed. 

Knowing that you are special, I must now ask whether a book has ever changed your life? And expand on that question by asking you this: Can you think of a book that has ever changed the direction of humanity as a whole?

Surely your answers to these questions will spark memories that are unique to your personal experiences thus far. But did you stop and take the time to think about the questions? Or are you in a rush to find out where I’ll be taking our conversation next? 

That is the problem is it not? We are in a rush. A rush to get things done. A rush to have things understood. A rush to know what’s next. Life is a funnel of experiences, and we hold it to our minds attempting to drown ourselves in its wonder. 

Maybe this is not how you approach life, but surely you can see a world that overwhelmingly approaches life in this manner. With that said, let my intentions here be clear: I have come today to argue that a good book—or story—can be like Pandora’s Box. And now I get to ask you: Are you ready to see what’s inside that box?

I am not a fool. Not completely. Depending on when you are reading this, I understand that sneaking up on you and saying such a thing might turn you off before we even get a chance to begin. Nobody likes to be forced into listening to someone that sounds so pompous—Or do they?

Either way, I have decided to lube you up a little with a poem first… I’ve been told it helps:

This poem is titled “The Never-Ending Story;”

It has been created to ease your worry.

For a new Class is now in session.

A course created by obsession.

Click by click, bullets are fired into the future.

Questions you will have, that’s for sure.

Now, as you proceed,

Understand that the lessons we read,

Simply create a story we need.

Just one teacher’s attempt to diverge,

So that a new hope may emerge.

A leap of faith that we all can grow,

In a belief that we are more alike than you know.

Scroll to discover that anything is possible.

If only we become responsible.

Just remember that to read,

Patience you will need,

As this teacher plants a seed.

For what you are about to begin is a story that starts at the end…

Presenting a battle of the mind that requires a sense of humor and wonder to comprehend.

And now, with that little tummy-rub out of the way, let’s start with an excerpt from a book I read:

“We are now perched on a strange cusp of history. A time when the world feels like it’s been turned upside down and nothing is quite as we imagined. But uncertainty is always a precursor to sweeping change. Transformation is always preceded by upheaval and fear. I urge you to place your faith in the human capacity of creativity and love. Because these two forces, when combined, poses the power to illuminate any darkness.”

It would be wonderful if a leader appeared in our world, spoke these words, and magically saved us all from the misery that is difficult for many to see past today. Unfortunately, we do not live in the movies, and there is no Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne armed with billions of dollars, the intelligence—and the sexiness—to persuade people of this world to follow them into battle. Instead, this excerpt was taken from a novel by Dan Brown titled ‘Origin.’ I chose to use it here because I want to believe it applies to our world and is not simply a set of random words strung together by some author to make a novel, and character in it, more compelling. 

In preparing this story—which began as a class—there were many things I wanted readers to know before we began. And so, I created a list of disclaimers. A list of disclaimers that I continually fought with and modified. Creating something of a Disclaimer Dilemma: a tendency we humans have to over explain in an attempt to justify ourselves.

This list of mine quickly got out of hand and I decided to scrap it…mostly. And so, that long list turned into the three I will share with you now. 

I wrote this story because I was convinced by a good friend that we are all “in recovery” from something. This is such a cliché term that many reading it will be offended. It’s why I toyed with calling this story “SR101” instead of Social Recovery 101, as I thought the mystery of this alternative title might open the pages of this book up to a wider audience. To those people that may be turned off by the perceived seriousness of it. 

Ultimately, however, I stuck with the original title. Which brings me to…. 

DISCLAIMER NUMBER ONE: Humanity has become super-sensitive to words.

A person only needs to look at the headlines we often see. The people creating them know that the exciting words they use to get our attention is often more important than the information they are trying to share with us. Personally, I don’t blame them. We are terribly overwhelming frighteningly fabulously scattered brained these days. Most of us that is. 

Fun Fact: There is a word for this tendency to use big words and big awful scary things to get people’s attention, it’s called Sensationalism. It’s not all bad though, good journalism does use the power of story to help relay information we need. But I’m smart enough to shut up and move on. So….

DISCLAIMER NUMBER TWO: Everyone should own a G.U.N

G.U.N. is an acronym a student of mine created. You’ll meet her shortly. In such tumultuous times, this is the only thing that will keep a person sane. I agree with my student Lauryn on this and do not simply say that to tease you as it connects to my first disclaimer. Though it does conveniently prove my point. Hopefully you can now understand this Disclaimer Dilemma of mine. Proof that many of us tend to talk too much—ME INCLUDED! 

If you found that second disclaimer too troubling at first this last one might be gut wrenching to hear. Yet, it’s something that absolutely must be said before moving forward. So, here it is….


Yes… him. 

Whether this third disclaimer tickles your pickle, or makes you want to punch me through the page, it is important that you let me explain myself first. 

Ask anyone that has stood beside someone struggling with an addiction whether loving and supportingsomeone suffering from such an affliction is the same thing. It is not. We want the best for the person we love, even when we disagree with their actions so strongly that it often destroys us, but we in no way support the behavior that is causing the world to crumble around this person. We are often helpless however, so all we can do is love this person and hope that they will one day see the light and come back to us. Then—if they do—we can support that person if we have the strength left in us to do so. 

The world has changed so drastically—over whatever timespan you choose to look at—that we are all “in recovery” from something. Yes, every single one of us. And like a fingerprint, what we are recovering from is unique for each person. 

For Donald Trump, let us say it is his wealth, fame, and success he is trying to recover from. Do not laugh. Though many of us cannot imagine it, dealing with these things present challenges that manipulate the ways in which we interpret reality. 

The 2016 election of Donald Trump reminded people that anything is possible. For that I am grateful and can say “I love him.” Do I support him? I’m sorry to those that might have gotten excited, but no, at this moment, I do not. 

One of my best friends in the world today and one of the most genuinely good person I know very much does however. You’ll be hearing me mention him in this story of mine soon enough. h. He and I recently had a small falling out over this. Like I’m certain is happening all over the world amongst friends and family. 

“You hate him so much that you shut down when I even mention his name,” my friend said. 

My hope is that the story I have written will illustrate how hard I try not to hate anyone. Though, as you will see, it is a constant battle. The truth is I’d very much like to set up a meeting between my friend and Donald Trump someday. And maybe even tag along. So that I might find out for myself what the hell is going on. Because right now I simply have no clue. 

What my friend doesn’t know is that what really upset me was—forced to make the choice—this great person and friend of mine would choose to support Donald Trump over me. And so, that conversation woke up the doubt inside of me again. “I need to keep hiding,” I thought walking out of his house that day and getting into my car.

I’ve been hiding for so long that the thought I can’t share this story because of our politically charged environment makes me sad. And angry if I’m being honest. So, I’m hoping you will now let me identify as “confused” and allow me to move on. 

My opinion of Donald Trump—or anyone else for that matter—shouldn’t mean much to anyone. As I’m just another a-hole down here myself. Just like you perhaps. Trying to find a place to fit in. Questioning whether I even belong on this planet anymore. A planet where competing ideas of liberty and freedom are pushing all of us closer and closer to a Third World War. 

Please. Don’t let my words scare you. As that line I just used—about warring over competing ideas of liberty and freedom propelling us all into a third world war— I pirated from a Star Trek episode. Don’t tell me television can’t be useful. 

“Friends and family shouldn’t talk politics or religion.”

People love saying that. I hate it. There’s that word again. Sorry. 

If we can’t talk about this stuff, then what is there to talk about? Dreams and ambitions? Yeah right… Dreams don’t live in this reality. And ambitions usually just feed resentments. 

And so, we bitch and complain and poison our existence with negativity. Which many might say currently describes our world in a nutshell today. I guess that’s why I’ve been hiding. The negativity affects me more than most, I think. But I’m ready to come out of hiding…once you experience my story at least.

That upsetting moment between my friend and me, while painful, served a purpose, however. Reminding me yet again to stop trying to convince friends and family and neighbors that I wasn’t crazy. I’d need to let the world decide. 

Preparing to write this for you I have done a lot of reading. In his extremely lengthy and very wordy book titled Altruism, Matthieu Ricard goes on a seemingly never-ending voyage where he speaks in defense of “Altruistic Love” as being the answer to how humanity might save itself. I tease this author not because I am critical of his opinions, but only so I may again mention that we all tend to talk too much. 

Just so you know, I had hoped to shorten this book as much as possible myself when writing it, and so, while it still might be longer than some might like, don’t think I didn’t try. 

In that book by Ricard, this author mentions the Columbine School Shooting early on. You remember that one, right? It’s so many shootings ago that you might have forgotten. According to this author, the two boys that performed this shooting made a video before they committed the act where they can be seen debating which film director, Steven Spielberg, or Quentin Tarantino, would make the movie about their story. 

Am I the only one sickened by this?

Egotism has become an epidemic in our world and Hollywood has blood on its hands. These two boys believed they would be stars in their own movie someday—by killing people. When did these two boys that performed this shooting become so angry? Why did they become so hateful? How could they then take this anger and hate out on real people?

“We have become desensitized to violence.” 

It’s a common thing we say to one another, and we all have our own ideas on how to fix things. “Give teachers guns!” “Put police in our schools!” “Invest more money in better lockdown procedures and get metal detectors… I’d rather lil Johnny or lil Lizzy be nervous about going thru a metal detector or some sort of security for a week then to have our society worry about sending their children to schools that are easy to terrorize.” 


Sadly, nothing ever changes. No matter how much we talk and argue and finger point, we have no choice but to just go numb and forget. I mean…what else can we do? 

Things aren’t all bad though. We live in a world of excess today where we can still buy nice things. Put a ring on it. Do things for appearances. Smile. Then do our jumping jacks on social media and say, “Hey World! Look at me! Look how happy I am!” 

But are we happy? Really? Are we content with our lives? Are we at peace with a world that seems to be going to shit?

Am I being overly dramatic about all of this? Or do you think I’m simply speaking truth? 

OR… Do you perhaps believe that all the words you have just read were carefully chosen and artfully assembled—and weaponized—in a way to keep you reading?

I guess only time will tell… Welcome to Class.

The Teacher’s Playlist:

Song title: Bombs Away by B.o.B. (featuring Morgan Freeman)

“Time is ticking.”

(For audio: play 1:19 of the song from The Teacher’s Playlist to end episode.)

This concludes episode two of The Real GOOD Loser experiment. Going forward, we will end each episode by letting you listen to parts of the songs from The Teacher’s Playlist. Listeners are encouraged to find and listen to the rest of the songs played. Consider it homework. 

(Click here to continue your journey; Episode 3 is next)

Follow Us On FaceBook: @TheRealGoodLoser
Read our story at: RecoveryHighSchool.com

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