Episode 5 (April 1st)

Audio for The Real GOOD Loser: Episode 5- REMARKable

(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 Five:


“Respect given is always remembered but not often rewarded. This makes you good person and a lion. Your time is coming. Roar.”

—A quote credited to The Real GOOD Loser 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.)

“You didn’t really think you were a descendent of a pirate Mr. J did you?” 

Looking and sounding uncertain Nel says this to me through the computer screen in front of me. The students and I made it through the first week of remote learning and it is now Monday, the start of our second week of the 2020 school year. 

We had just begun class by discussing the article I asked them to read and reflect on over this past weekend. In response to Nel’s question I ask, “Does it matter?” 

“F*** yeah it does!” declares Lauryn from her cube on screen. Appearing to the left of Nel her eyes look at me for a real answer. “There’s no way that really happened,” she adds unbelievingly.  

The first lesson of this class is put on a t for me, and I sort of feel like Barry Bonds; preparing to knock one out of the park. Yet, I choose to respond simply and don’t make a big deal of it. “All stories are sprinkled with truth Lauryn,” I say to her face on screen, “this one included.”

Not letting it go, Pras jumps into the conversation. “Did you really think someone could have pirate genealogy though?” he asks seriously.

Pras is very intelligent. There are all types of intelligence, but here I’m referring to book smarts. I watched one of the students call him Urkel last year after Steve Urkel from the old television show Family Matters. Ever since, I’ve been unable to get the image of that boy from that show out of my head. 

Pras doesn’t wears black rimmed glasses like that character. Or suspenders. And he’s not what would be considered a dork. But because someone said Urkel last year that’s what I imagine. I loved that show. Part of TGIF back in the day; a run of shows that played every Friday night that I watched as a kid. 

Yes—Pras is black. Yes—I see color. Does thinking of him as “Urkel” right now make me a bad person?

I didn’t know much about Pras before last week, but in just our few meetings I know he is bright. Which means he is probably having a hard time believing that a teacher—me—could think that they were a pirate.    

“Why not Pras?” I ask him. “If someone had great-great-great-grandparents that were discovered to be pirates, couldn’t that person say they were a descendant of a pirate?” I do not give him time to respond, instead I continue. “Growing up I was often called gullible by family and friends, Pras. No one thought I was stupid. But gullible—definitely. Many times, over the years my gullibility made me look stupid though.” 

There is no way to explain to my students on screen how true this statement is. Saying it out loud, a motion picture of dumb stuff from my past begins to play in my head. For some reason I am thinking of that time with the remote control….

My grandparents would often have the entire family over for dinner on Sundays when I was a kid—my mother’s side of the family, the Prices. We called them our Sunday Roasts as we would often have roast beef for dinner. At one of these dinners, at the age of nine I think, I remember showing off my ability to change the channel on the television—with my butt.  

As I remember it, the audience in the living room giggled as I placed the remote vertically between my cheeks. The comfy pair of MC-Hammer pants I was wearing enabled me to get a nice secure grip on it. Once in position, I flexed. Amazingly, a button at random was pressed and on the television my butt brought us to a channel of its choosing. Enjoying the attention in the room, I did this over and over. Eventually I figured out how to move the channel up or down depending on a careful positioning of the remote. 

“Up!” I said…and flexed simultaneously. The channel moved up one. “Up! … Up!” I announced with a grunt. Flexing twice the channel moved up two times. Speaking louder, I started showing off. “Up… down… up— up…down—down…up-up-up….UP!!!” On the last one I kept my butt-cheeks flexed and watched the television scroll through a bunch of channels. 

Everyone was so consumed by this act of mine that my grandmother—Arline—forgot something on the stove that day and the entire house ended up smelling of burnt food. It’s one of my favorite memories of those Sunday Roasts we would have. Eventually my cheeks ached and everyone in the room had to catch their breath; as laughing so hard became exhausting—as I remember it. 

It was not until a few days later I found out that my dad was in a chair in the back of the room with a different remote. He had rushed off into another room for this different remote once I had first begun my little show in the living room. 

Upon reflection, the thought that I was in control of changing those channels as a kid was rather foretelling. As believing I was in control of events in this world would continually embarrass me well into adulthood…. 

Thinking back on this memory, I debate telling my students all this. Then, I think better of it and make the conscious decision to keep that little story a secret.

Clearing my throat, I finish my thought with Pras, “Let’s just say that for a period after my father said the pirate thing, I did really believe it Pras. Because—Why shouldn’t I have? But the whole Facebook thing was made up. I needed to entertain you all with a story to get your attention.”


(For audio: Play scene from Star Trek Picard Season 3 Episode 4 titled No Win Scenario; length 0:40)

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

That there was Captain Picard from Star Trek. Go watch that episode later. You’ll learn a lot. 

When a storyteller’s mind is given an idea for a story, they must decide from who’s point of view to tell their story from. Here, Jose is telling his story in first person, while I—The Narrator in these Breaking KNEWS flashbacks—am speaking to you in third person omniscient

This word omniscient you may think of as all knowing, as I, The Narrator, appear to know private thoughts of Jose’s. And parts of his story that you—as the listener of his tale—do not know yet. 

We will expand on that more later—to help you understand—but telling you anything now will get us off topic. So, I must hold back for now. Something that’s not easy for me to do when I get excited. Like I am now. For I often find myself acting like Chris Farley in that movie Tommy Boy: hoping to sell you some of my daddy’s brake pads. 

(For audio: Play clip from 1995 film Tommy Boy; length 1:19)

Who doesn’t love Chris Farley? I’m addicted to watching Tommy’s Boy myself right now, so I could run clips of this man for days to keep you entertained. But we have a schedule to keep. Just stacking dominoes here people. Oh, how we will enjoy watching them fall.

Remember again that we said you’d have to learn how to experience this story? The whole invention thing and such. Well, here’s a quick lesson.

In a moment we will play a song for you titled Devil Doesn’t Bargain by Alec Benjamin. To help explain how people might read into things differently. When listening to the song, consider the following question: Who is the “he” this person is singing about? 

In this song it sings: He’s ruthless, you knew this, I told you, didn’t I?

Is the person singing the song a broken-hearted lover? Referring to a boy as the devil? 

One would have questions if this were to be your interpretation. Alternatively. What if the he in this song is the devil…and it’s God singing the words? 

Listen now and see for yourself what you might hear. 

(For audio: Play song Devil Doesn’t Bargain by Alec Benjamin; end on words “I can see that you’re sure you can change him, but I know you won’t”; 0:00-1:19)

So. What did you hear? Did it stir anything up? Did you perhaps get stuck on that word “abusive” at the beginning maybe? What was that all about? 

Most will imagine that song sung about lovers. But as far as repurposing entertainment goes, one could play that song at moment of spiritual crisis in a story and imagine the he in the song is God. Like we hinted at before playing you the song.  

But what if we told you that Jose wrote that song? As a ghostwriter at some point in his endless pursuit to flip his world upside down and sideways. A ghostwriter doesn’t often take credit for their work in case you didn’t know that. What if Jose wrote that imagining three people in conversation, not two? Himself, God, and the devil. 

Being an all-knowing Narrator, we would then have to tell you that Jose originally imagined the devil was speaking to him about God. And that God was the heIt’s, useless, don’t do this, it’s hubris to try. He’s ruthless, you knew this, I told you, didn’t I?

In that interpretation, the devil would be telling Jose that God is ruthless. And hubris refers to excessive pride. So, basically, we could tell you to imagine the devil is telling Jose that whatever he wants is a sin in God’s eyes: It’s useless, don’t do this, it’s hubris to try. And that God will punish him for trying—again. You knew this, I told you, didn’t I?

Dear Listener, would that one big lie be worth telling you? As it might get people to start really questioning what’s going on here.

“Is this all some sort of conspiracy?” … “Who’s behind all this?” … “Mr. Benjamin…do you know anything about The Real GOOD Loser?”

Changing perspectives has unanticipated consequences. Consider this a heads up. Still, mostly it’s a beautiful thing. You’ll see. 

Alternatively, again. Imagine we told you to imagine Jose’s wife was listening to that song when he was in the halfway house. What would she have heard? Could the he in that song have been Jose to her. Had the devil taken Jose for good? Will he ever change? 

What would Jose’s wife had heard in this line from that song you just listened to: It isn’t worth it darling, he’s never gonna change…he’ll only break your heart again. 

We are getting ahead of ourselves, however. And so, we will stop to give you an example of how one might sneak in audio from film to bring things back on level footing with their audience when telling a story using this invention themselves someday.

Jose Julian, as you will see, is a complicated man with layers to him like an onion. Yes. One could imagine Jose has layers like an onion. Or like a cake—A cake with layers that is. You get that Dear Listener, don’t you? 

The point is this. Jose is a complicated character. So, you could imagine him as an onion. Or a cake with layers. Or an uncircumcised penis even. Anything with layers to it. Do you understand? Or did we throw you off completely with that penis comment? Sorry. Had to. Just making sure you’re paying attention. 

Those are examples of metaphors again by the way. But rather than saying all that—or in addition to saying all that—we could have just said Jose was a lot like an Oger and played a fun clip for you here from the movie Shrek. We’ll play the clip that would fit to end this Breaking Knews flashback for you in a bit. But first we have some work to do.

With this little experiment of ours we are attempting to liberate people controlled by fear, unfreeze hearts that are currently frozen, and inspire dreamers chained to a reality unsuitable of magicians. We must attempt to tame lions and dragons, talk to snakes, and whisper to giants in our attempt to help humanity choose a different path forward. 

That’s heavy, we realize, but it’s the mountain we are climbing. And you need to know. Once we are on top of that mountain everything else will become much easier, but all that is just something we had to say now. Technical issue. Let it be. Focus on your pushups people and let that mind of yours wander. It will get you to where you need to be. Trust it. 

Whether or not your past allows you to believe what we just said—about your mind and trusting it—we cannot know. But we want to believe in you. Sorry not sorry.

And with that friendly reminder, let us get back to Jose at the hallway house in October of 2017…

In the basement of that hallway house, long rectangular tables were pushed together to make one longer rectangular table in a narrow room with low ceilings. This is where the house meetings were held. 

Sitting at this table on his first night, Jose looks around at the faces of the men he will be living with. The ages of these men range from young twenties to sixty plus and Jose can’t help but wonder to himself if calling them all men is an accurate assessment. 

His eyes hurt. They tell the strangers around this table details about him that he doesn’t want them to know. Earlier—once he had put his belongings in his bedroom—the reality set it and the panic hit him. Jose reminds himself not to let anyone see who he really is and quickly lowers his eyes. 

The men talk to one another as a piece of paper is passed around the table. When it gets to Jose, he sees it is an attendance list. On it are the names of all the men in the house. Next to each name is a place to sign. Scrolling down the list of names, Jose is at first unable to locate his. 

“Hey—” says the man next to Jose; reaching over and pulling the piece of paper in front of himself. “Let me tell you a secret.” Jose raises his reddened eyes to look at this man sitting beside him. “Here you can be whoever the hell you want,” this man finishes telling Jose.

On the attendance sheet, next to the name Jules Najio, this man does not sign his name like everyone else. Instead, this man writes RON, in all capital letters. Jose immediately finds himself liking Ron. 

They talk and Ron tells Jose about the house and whispers a few secrets about the men surrounding the table. A few minutes of this pass before a councilor walks into the room; bringing silence with him.

To start the meeting, all the men go around the table and introduce themselves in standard fashion. When it comes to Jose’s turn, he follows suit. “Hello. My name is Jose and I’m an addict.” 

This is how you introduce yourself in these meetings. The men in the room all greet Jose in unison by saying, “Welcome Jose.”  

Jose has arrived at this house on the same day as one other man. His name is Ethan. Ethan’s eyes are piercingly blue. In a previous life, Jose would have said that they look like the eyes of a drug addict; because of how much they remind him of Diego’s eyes in the movie Blow. When it gets to be Ethan’s turn to introduce himself, everyone gets a little more than they were expecting. 

“Hello everyone!” Ethan says loudly, smiling magnificently to the group. “I am SOOO grateful to be here!” 

Ethan attempts to offer the men around the table a handshake with his eyes. A gesture that is met with awkward silence. Brushing his thin, pretty hair, to the side, Ethan continues undaunted. 

“As my first words here, I’d like to offer you this…” Ethan pauses, straightens his shoulders like he is giving some important speech, and only then resumes addressing the room. “Let me be the one to bring you a warning. If you are going to ask God for his help, be wary, because He will answer you. And that answer may beat you down like an anvil until He turns you into gold. But you are all gold to me already.” Stopping to add a salesmen’s smile—and to maybe tell himself good-job—Ethan then finishes his speech. “And if no one has told you I love you lately…well…I LOVE YOU!”

Everyone takes to sobriety differently. Some people are very enthusiastic about it. Jose was once that way himself. This is obviously how you’d describe Ethan: Enthusiastic

Once Ethan finishes this little sermon of his, he is reminded by one of the men at the table that he has forgotten something. “Your name?” So, he adds. “Oh. I’m Ethan by the way. And I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic and drug addict!” The room responds, “Welcome Ethan.”  

That night, unable to sleep, Ethan’s words haunt Jose. Jose had recently taken up praying again, so what Ethan said at this meeting echoes in his head as he tosses in his bed. 

When he was young, Jose would say the same prayer every night: Dear God, thank you for another great day with friends, family, and loved ones. Please help me, my friends, my family, and my loved ones—and people all over the world—especially those less fortunate—to learn how to love and respect one another the way you love and respect each and every one of us. If we can do that there will be no more hate in this world, only love. Amen. 

Growing up catholic, this longwinded prayer was created by a guiltless child. And one Jose hoped would cover all his bases each night before he went to bed. 

As a child, Jose would say this prayer out loud. Not sure if he was doing it because he really thought some God was listening or because he had seen the movie Truman Show too many times and thought maybe a group of people were watching him…and judging him. Regardless, as an adult, Jose had given up on this prayer—or any other—a few lifetimes ago. 

At the facility before coming to this halfway house some man had pushed prayer as a way to stay sober. “Get on your knees and ask for help,” this man with years of recovery said. Dedicated to getting it right this time around, Jose began doing what he was told. So, he prayed. But now, all Jose says is just four words: “Please God, help me.” That’s it. Jose was told prayer could be simple.

In the silence of his bedroom that first night, Jose lays in his bed and tries to focus on his breathing…In—”Please God”—then out—”Help Me.” 

Jose repeats these four words over and over in his mind. On one of the out breaths, Jose sighs a little louder than he intended and hears a man in the room move in his bed—a reminder that he has roommates in his new home. 

The stranger’s bed creaks, and Jose can feel this man’s frustration with him deep in his soul. Jose quickly reminds himself that he is not alone in this strange place and that he is surrounded by strange men. Quieting his body, Jose visualizes Ethan’s warning from earlier. And finds himself questioning if asking for God’s help is a smart thing for him to do. 

A year and a half earlier Jose had burnt his house down—Accidently, he reminds himself silently. And before that…all that other stuff happened.

Jose rolls over and curls into a ball, unable to stop himself from thinking about all that he has been through already. Unable to stop himself from fearing what anvil might be dropped on him next….

Alright Dear Listener, that’s enough for this flashback. Before Jose continues telling you his story enjoy that scene from Shrek. Remember, for story purposes, we share this with you now to illustrate how we could have avoided saying all those words earlier. You’ll get it. And hopefully you’ll have a laugh.

(End Narrator)

(For audio: Play clip from the 2001 film Shrek; when Shrek is getting mad at the donkey after they first met before transitioning back into Jose’s story; length 2:00)

—End of Breaking Knews—

My students and I talk about the One Percent Pirate story a little while longer and eventually it turns into a discussion about the value of humor in education. Pras offers me a suggestion. “Mr. J,” he says, “you gotta watch Dave Chappelle. He gets it.” Then adds excitedly. “He’s a genius—really!”

I can’t help but laugh to myself at Pras’s enthusiasm because the person he is referring to will always sort of be a pothead in my mind. Because of that funny movie he starred in that I liked, Half Baked. But Chappelle’s stand-up act has been suggested to me many times and I promise Pras I’ll watch it. Having done so, I then ask my students on screen a question: “Does anyone here watch the news every day?” 

I ask them this to transition into this week’s topic. 

Everyone in the class “gets the news every day”, but no one can say they, “watch the news every day.” Watching the news is “Boring.” Also: Depressing—Upsetting—Sad—Scary—Stupid—Divisive—Manipulative.

This list describing the news becomes a separate document appearing on our computer screen. The list is my students’ creation, not mine. 

Respecting the power of negativity, I do not let them steer this class in the wrong direction. Once their suggestions for our list become exhausted, I take back control of the class by switching the screen we share. A separate document I had prepared for this class now appears on our screen. This document presents them with the outline for the week ahead. 

“This week we are going to discuss how fortunate we are to have so much news at our fingertips,” I tell the class. “And yes—” I interrupt myself, as I can see Lauryn wants to say something. “We will definitely discuss the negative impacts of so much news as well…okay Miss Lauryn?”

Lauryn smiles and stays respectfully silent…

The rest of Monday’s class goes extremely well. 

On Tuesday we discuss the HISTORY OF THE NEWS: An investigation into how societies got their news over time: The untold history. 

Wednesday’s topic is WORLD NEWS: An honest attempt to find reputable information about what is going on over there: With a look into the dynamics of distortion.

Thursday’s topic is NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT: Tips on recognizing the difference: How to filter out the truth. 

By Friday we are having a class titled NEWS TODAY: A conversation about the pros and cons of so much information: Are we really blessed with the wealth of knowledge today?

This last class began by looking at the following statement together: Many argue that the greatest weapon is not a gun or a bomb today, but the ability to manipulate information…that to control the world’s information is to manipulate the minds that consume it. Do you agree with this?

This entire class period has been an open discussion and I have done very little talking. Instead, I have been listening to my students talk—and argue—amongst themselves, in my vain attempt to try and understand how they see things.

Overall, the second week of the school year went as well as I could have hoped. I’ve given them another article to read and reflect on over the weekend and will start fresh next week. 

I really hope I can pull this off…. 

Week 2: Friday, September 18th, 2020

—Article Title: REMARKable—

“How can you differentiate yourself as a ‘Class Act’ in a world where most people are unconscious and unspecial?”

—from Jack Canfield in the book The Success Principles

Are we going to be a dumber civilization in the future? Or are we going to be a more intelligent civilization in the future?

Last week I provided you all with an article that you probably found a little strange. A personal story that I wrote that you may have found unusual. “One Percent Pirate”— What an idiot I am! Or am I?

Just because I am a teacher, please do not think I am any different than you. We are all lifelong learners as far as I am concerned. Try to remember this. 

Laughing at ourselves is going to be important if we are to survive this class together. In a world that takes itself so seriously, I recognize that this is a big ask. But appreciating that we are all mistaken sometimes—and being able to acknowledge when we are—is going to be key to surviving what lies ahead. 

For the record, there is no official nationality called Pirate. A lesson I learned, but not something I initially dismissed as ridiculous, like some may think I should have. Again: I don’t know everything. (Alright, Pras?)

In reference to the two questions about whether we will be a more intelligent or dumber civilization. I don’t think there is much debate about where we are headed if things don’t change. 

We humans suffer from desire. People say that. For example. Many of us have a natural desire for the “nostalgia of what once was”. Meaning, we humans often desire or wish for things from our past when creating the future in our minds. 

Picture, if you will, a New England Patriot fan talking tirelessly about those years we had Tom Brady. Instead of being happy for what we had, many fans obsess over how to get that magic back. Some fans get very upset about all this. Angry Elves, I call them—No offense to elves or small people…just a reference to the movie Elf that fits here. 

Identifying an anomaly in one’s life for what it is difficult. For different reasons to different people. Tom Brady made my life, as a New Englander, seem magical for a long period. Wanting that back—while understandable—is not just selfish of me but deluded. Sorry. That word is harsh, but sometimes tough love is necessary…or so I’m told. 

Don’t be offended. Think about it. How many jobs in our world rely on consumers of nostalgia? 

You don’t need to think about it. A lot is the answer.

Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl for the Patriots in 2002. This unknown kid won against an amazing Rams offense that was dubbed the Greatest Show On Turf; quarterbacked by the amazing Kurt Warner; another unknown kid once. Fifteen years later, I was living in that trailer after my house fire when Tom Brady had that magical comeback against Atlanta and Matt Ryan in the 2017 Super Bowl. Tom Brady—and Bill Belichick for those that want to have silly arguments—made life for us in New England a little better than it could have been for a long time. But getting that back is not realistic. 

This happens to us a lot in life. It’s not just football we are talking about here. Wanting things to be the way it once was can become an obsession. And wishing for our past can become our life. 

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were both outliers in what they could do as a player and a coach. Together they were a statistical anomaly the sport of football will forever remember. A combination of elements the universe only grants existence a few times. We can’t go back. Instead, we must use those memories to keep us connected while we wait for the next statistical anomaly the universe is preparing for us.

I’ve thought about this Nostalgia thing a lot and I’m rather certain it’s what the Beatles were talking about when they released that song titled Yesterday back in 1965. Which means we all should probably take a different path forward if we are still stuck on wishing things would be the way they once were. 

Let us today start this journey towards a different future together.  

“What helps you stay sober?”

This is a question people ask me from time to time. And it is a question I very much dislike as there is no profound answer that I can give. Not one that they should know at least. 

Recovery is not a vacation. It is not always wonderful. It is not always fun. It is full of difficult times that cannot be overcome with a strong ‘work ethic’ or with an unbreakable sense of ‘dedication’. 

None of this is a secret. Our brain chemistry has changed. Dopamine levels have been altered. (Please research this if you want more information) And, as many people will tell you, “The real world waiting for you after living in a mind altered state is not all sunshine and rainbows!” 

Because of all this, most of the time I have found that patience is the greatest asset one can have in recovery. Not only do I believe this to be true for someone living after struggling with drugs and alcohol, but for someone living after most traumas you can think of. 

The problem is this: In the world today, where everything is one-click-away and so much is expected of us right now, who can truly say they are allowed to be patient? 

I’m not here to provide you excuses however, so let us hit ourselves with a little reality by asking the next logical question that should come after considering this: Even if I was allowed to be patient, would I be able to?

As you think of how to answer that, allow me to move on.

I get it: “They don’t care unless we make them care.” I know: “Language is a gift we are all given but not taught how to use properly.” Yes: “Hate is an emotion that has overtaken our world.” 

News Flash: I am an addict distracted by desire and often wanting more of everything without often putting in the work. 

Is there a point to all this verbal diarrhea I’m dumping on you now? Absolutely. 

“Verbal Diarrhea” was a term I learned when being trained to answer phones for a job I had when I first graduated college. They trained us to not talk in circles to customers and to just shut up and listen. Amazing advice.

There are a million things for us to discuss in a class I’ve chosen to title Emotional Intelligence. That being the case, maybe you are thinking back to last week’s article—One Percent Pirate—and wondering why it was simply one long joke? Well, the answer is simple: I needed to create something “REMARKable.”

Let me explain.

As you all know, the title of this class is EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. It is a class I had been working on putting together for quite some time. Early on I realized that this title was very intimidating to people. After many failed attempts to get public support, I accepted that timing would be critical, so, I had to become patient. 


While I waited, I researched. I read. I listened. I watched. I thought. I dreamt. I just tried to survive to be honest. 

The question that troubled me the most was this: With so many people vying for your attention—so many worthy voices wanting to be heard—how could I present something REMARKable? 

Meaning: What could I do that would be worthy of someone making a remark about on social media? Because if people aren’t talking about you there, how much of a difference can you really make these days?

Doing my research, I came to the realization that what got people’s attention most today was Money, Power, and Sex. Unfortunately, I had little money. No power. And I understood clearly that no one would want to see me naked. So, I settled on the fifth best thing: Humor. 

Drama/conspiracy/mystery was ranked fourth on my list by the way. 

That is why I began this class by telling you a funny story. Hopefully this approach worked. Hopefully you are still paying attention. But, if I have failed, and I am on the verge of losing you, I now need to do something REMARKable to keep you engaged in this class of ours. 

I’ve decided to tell you a secret about myself. Something that will make you say: “HOLY SHIT! Can you believe he just told us that?”

This secret is something I have kept private my entire life. Close friends that know about this secret of mine tease me as if it’s some sort of joke. This secret made me different from them and so it made me their punching bag in a way, but truthfully, I’ve become a punching bag for many other reasons and have learned to take punches with a smile—it’s my gift. 

Growing up, this secret made me feel alienated and uncomfortable with who I am. It has caused me to be self-conscious, paranoid, and riddled with anxiety and shame at times. My hope is that this secret will serve as a reminder that people you meet are fighting battles you know nothing about. 

If I’m wrong about what is happening here though—and my future is not what I expect it to be—telling you this secret will forever haunt me. But life is not worth living unless we take risks… right?

So, here goes nothing. Here is my secret. I hope you are ready: “I am (BLANK).”

Okay—so, unfortunately, I have decided that right now I cannot risk telling you my secret. If this class is a success, I promise to fill in the blank at the end. Let’s hope it’s the showstopper this class needs. (Drama/conspiracy/mystery—CHECK!)

And with that disappointing end, class here is dismissed for the day. I look forward to seeing you all next week. 


Do you agree with the statement that Money, Power, and Sex is what gets peoples’ attention most in our world today? Why do you think that is? Or, why do you disagree?

The Teacher’s Playlist

Song title: Hold My Hand by Lady Gaga

“Everything will be okay.”

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

This concludes episode five of The Real GOOD Loser Experiment. And Phase One, as we are calling it. Starting May 1st we will release one episode every Monday at Recoveryhighschool.com until this experiment of ours ends in September of 2023. 

Now is the time that we begin assembling our crew. So…all you wannabe Pirates: Assemble! Like in the Transformers movie. Because we will be attempting to transform our reality. Get it? 

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook @TheRealGOODLoser where we will be tracking growth over time. We started this experiment with 35,000 followers. How many will choose to join us? That’s on you Dear Listener…as you are now part of the show. Thank you for your inspiration and support. And, as always, may the force be with you.

(Click here to continue your journey; Episode 6 is next)

Follow us on Facebook: @TheRealGoodLoser
Read our story at: RecoveryHighSchool.com

Episode 4 (April 1st)

Audio for The Real GOOD Loser: Episode 4- One Percent Pirate

(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 Four:

—1 % Pirate—

“This thing ain’t all pony and no show. It delivers… (It’s) showtime.”

—A comment made by Tavin Dillard on a Facebook Reel where he is referring to a pink frosted donut with sprinkles. 


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)

September has arrived and the 2020 school year is about to begin whether we’re ready for it or not. Everyone knows that the year ahead will be challenging, but all we can do now is buckle up and prepare for the ride. Sadly, there seems to be no end in sight to this Covid pandemic. Me. I’m hoping that the memories of this time will unite us in the future but find myself constantly feeling impatient for better days. 

Committees across the country have argued both publicly and amongst themselves whether it is safe for students in their district to go back to school for in-person learning. One of the many debates is this: Are kids more at risk of this disease or suffering long-term emotional trauma by staying isolated in their homes? Everyone has an opinion on this, but most people understand that there really is no clear-cut right decision as far as what schools should do. 

Nowadays I avoid arguments whenever possible. Which means there are three games I try not to play: The If GameThe What If Game, and The I Think Game. Which explains why I don’t talk to many people these days. Despite society’s need for strenuous debate, I had accepted a while back we’d be teaching remotely as fear ultimately always wins in situations like this, and fear, right now, is at an all-time high.

Knowing that this Emotional Intelligence Program I am being paid to teach is only funded through the first two terms of the school year, I spent the summer racking my brain trying to come up with ways of doing this course of mine remotely. The objective in my mind is simple: Convince the district to extend the program through the end of the school year…and beyond.

A few weeks before school was set to begin, the announcement was made of our committee’s decision to start the year remotely and all educators were told to expect an in-person meeting with their supervisors before the school year began. I am about to have mine. To discuss “Expectations and Requirements” according to the email I received from Principal Sam. 

Prior to this meeting I had sent my principal a set of goals I hoped to focus on in my class. Attached to that was a copy of the week-one article I had written, which students would be required to read and then reflect on. There are no National Standards to consult for my course, so really, I’m simply flying by the seat of my pants. Sitting in Principal Sam’s office, I hope that what I presented appeared structured and logical. Who knows if my class will go the way I imagine, but I must pretend the best I can.

“I don’t get it,” Principal Sam begins our conversation. 

Before I can respond, the cellphone lying on the desk between us lights up with an incoming message. As its recipient’s eyes look down at it, I immediately feel like an unwanted distraction in the room. 

The fact Principal Sam and I are both wearing masks and sitting in a stripped-down office makes this whole meeting feel even more uncomfortable. I had expected some small talk before discussing business, but I guess the fact we are only allotted fifteen minutes to meet in person means there is no time for such subtleties. 

Everyone is quick to say “I don’t get it” to me. I’m used to it. It annoys me, but then again, a lot annoys me these days. A sprinkle of rain begins to tap on the window behind Principal Sam. With those eyes no longer focusing on that phone, I respond. “What don’t you get exactly?” I ask.

Three pieces of paper are thrown on the table in front of me. I can now see what Principal Sam “doesn’t get”. I cannot reach down and grab the papers because “person to person contact is not permitted,” but I see my article titled ONE PERCENT PIRATE staring up at me. 

Principal Sam had intimidated me last year, and I quickly realize things are not about to change heading into this new 2020 school year. Seeing me look down at the papers, Principal Sam breaks the silence by asking a question. “How exactly does this story of yours tie into the objectives of your class?”

I think for a long second before speaking. “The class is intended to help students think critically and objectively when presented with entertainment in the real world” —I quote my curriculum objective almost verbatim— “And discussing the effect social media is having on them will be important too obviously.” 

Under this pressure sticking to my script seems like common sense. I sit stone faced, waiting for a reply. 

“Well…” Principal Sam begins, “It seems to me like you’re just testing out your own personal creativity on my students.” 

After a painful pause, during which I can think of nothing to say, this dementor across from me continues. “As you know Jose, your friend, Mr. Bernard, pulled a lot of strings to get you into my school, and while I appreciate what you are trying to do, I am personally not a big fan of this little experiment of yours—”

It is now clear to me that this is not to be a meeting but instead a lecture. Whatever I want to say at this moment won’t change anything. I’ve been in this position a lot over the years.

Principal Sam continues. “We did not get to talk much last year given everything that happened with this virus, but you must know that I take my job of getting our students to graduate very seriously Jose. Our program is designed to fill in the many gaps that these students have. From years of neglect, mismanagement, and laziness.” —I nod my head but simply continue to listen— “Your class is only getting our students one credit as an elective Jose and with everything we have piled up against us this year, I have to say that filling your class roster was almost impossible.” 

My class roster is slid to me from across the desk and I notice that tattoo on the inside of Principal Sam’s left wrist; the story of which I heard told to our students last year when I had first arrived at the school. Looking at the class roster, I have no choice but to face the reality of my situation: I am to have only four students in my class this year.  

I was hoping that the rosters were still being worked on. That what I was given earlier was a temporary snag. But this confirms it…four students. I try to look strong, but a nervous voice inside me silently wonders: What the hell am I supposed to do with only four students?

“But anyhow,” Principal Sam says after I say nothing, “you and me need to talk about what I expect from you on a weekly basis….” 

Principal Sam continues to speak as I begin to feel my heartbeat. A single drop of sweat drips down the inside of my left armpit and I immediately realize how hot I am. Rather than listen to what is going to be expected of me, I can’t help but wonder how I’m going to convince the district to extend funding with only four students enrolled in this program.

At times like this I try to remind myself that it was only three years ago I found myself in that halfway house. So, I know I’ve come far. Yet, I still feel like this world is conniving against me somehow—like I’m destined to forever want more than I should. 

Its thoughts like these that the doubters in my head feed me. The doubters I imagine sitting on a set of comfy recliners in my mind. They have made their home up there and I fear I might never get rid of them. 

(For audio: Use Limp Bizkit song Hot Dog to transition into Breaking Knews)


(For audio: Play first minute of the show Mr. Robot. Season 1 Episode 1)

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

Well, hello again, it is I, The Narrator. 

In the weeks ahead we will be interrupting Jose’s story at similar times each week with these sections we’ve chosen to call Breaking Knews, with a K. A cute play on words and a simple way for listeners to follow along. These Breaking Knews segments will serve as flashbacks to help us better understand who exactly this teacher Jose Julian was. 

And now, with that disclosure of story structure out of the way, allow me to magically bring us to that halfway house you just heard Jose mention in his story…

Sobriety did come to Jose giftwrapped, and he certainly did not get it on his first try. Every person’s recovery is different, but for Jose it took some homework for him to learn that all substances were off limits to someone with his degree of addictive behavior. 

It is with this realization that Jose finds himself being pushed through the doors of a halfway house in Gardner, Massachusetts in early October of 2017. 

Prior to arriving at this house, Jose had spent a week at facility in New Hampshire where he had to detox before this house would accept him. “Detox” is the process an individual goes through to cope with the physical effects of being addicted to substances. 

In the past, Jose had gone to such a facility and then walked out a week later excited to get back to the real world as a new man. This approach to recovery did not work for Jose obviously— despite his continued declarations of “being different”—and so, ultimately, Jose’s attempts to get back to whatever normal was as fast as he could simply prolonged his hell.

This hell was not just Jose’s though. In fact, Jose might slap me for even inferring it was. “I put my wife and family on my shoulders and carried them into my hell with me,” Jose would say. To keep that family together, Jose entered the Pathway Halfway House. Which many considered the most successfully run halfway house in the state of Massachusetts. A thirty-minute drive from where Jose and his family lived. 

This house was not a resort. Comfort is not what made it successful, and the staff were not celebrated for the unwavering love and support they offered their residents. Instead, what earned this house its reputation of success is how strictly it was run. Residents, like Jose, worked and paid a small rent to live there. They had chores, attended daily meetings, and were held to a very stringent schedule. On the day Jose arrived with a bag and pillow in hand, he knew nothing of this place.

“Put your cellphone and any other electronics in the box. Label everything you will want back when you leave. Hand me your things please.”  

The house is a white, three-story building on a side street near the city’s downtown area. Walking in, a door on the right leads to an office for the staff. Residents are not allowed in this room, and it is barricaded off by a half door that’s top also serves as a surface to sign all the papers upon arriving. This is where Jose is asked to hand over all his belongings for inspection.  

“When will I get my phone back?” Jose asks, as he begins filling out the paperwork handed to him. 

Across the doorway all of Jose’s things are being emptied onto a desk. The face that greeted him does not smile. This man’s name is Kevin according to the nameplate Jose can see on his desk. Jose cannot help but think that this man—Kevin—looks grumpy.

There is no warm welcome and Jose can’t help but feel like he is being checked into a prison. Though he tries to look strong, Jose is secretly in panic mode as it is hard for him to keep his hand steady as he fills out the paperwork on that door’s countertop. 

Kevin answers his question robotically. “You will get all electronics back when you leave.” 

Kevin is an older man with reddish hair and a hardened complexion. The owner of a face that looks to Jose like it was born with a scowl on it. This response causes Jose to stop filling out the paperwork and look up. Kevin seems to predict his thoughts. 

Stomping over to Jose, Kevin removes a piece of paper that is buried within the stack in front of him and slides it out. Kevin smacks that piece of paper on top of the others and then turns to walk back to Jose’s belongings spread out on the table without saying a word. 

Jose sees Kevin’s back and reads the title HOUSE RULES on the top of this piece of paper. Some of the things Jose reads are no-brainers. Other expectations stand out as a bit strange, but Jose does not believe they apply to him: things like No Gambling and No New Romantic Relationships.

Jose will learn why these things are banned at this house, but at this moment he has no clue. At the bottom of this paper the last rule he finds shocking: NO ELECTRONICS ALLOWED IN HOUSE INCLUDING CELL PHONES! Written in all capital letters and punctuated with an exclamation mark, it’s like they put it last on purpose—one last punch in the gut. 

Jose has never heard of such a thing. Troubled, he shifts his eyes back to the top of the paper and begins reading more closely. His immediate concern focuses on First Month Restrictions. Which include: No phone calls and no visits

Already nervous and secretly panicking, Jose’s mind begins to do summersaults, thinking of his wife and his kids. Trying not to sound too pathetic he speaks to the back of the man across the doorway. “After the first month can I use my phone to call my family?” Jose asks. 

Kevin turns and heads towards him again—looking annoyed. Kevin then points at the very bottom of the paper and reads something out loud to Jose, slowly, “Electronics of any kind found on a person while in the program will result in immediate eviction.”

“So, I can’t use my cell phone at all?” Jose asks reflexively; once Kevin is done reading to him what he can clearly read myself. If he sounds dumb, he’s not sure, but both his hands now grip the counter in front of him tightly. 

Kevin looks at Jose. There is no sympathy in his eyes, and he wears the anger on his face like a signpost. “No,” he answers the question simply.

“But how do I call my family?” 

At this, Jose removes his hands from the counter. Kevin looked unhappy with them there. 

With this Kevin character pointing at a phone hanging on the wall in the breezeway entrance, Jose gets an explanation. “After the first week you’re allowed ten minutes on the phone a day. Time permitting.” Kevin then looks into Jose’s eyes. “Listen kid, I’m short staffed today. And if you don’t like the rules the door’s right there.” Kevin waives his head at the entrance door.

Jose would later learn that this was how this place was run: Here are the rules, if you don’t like it, we are not forcing you to stay here so you can leave whenever you want.

Kevin turns again and goes back to ruffling through Jose’s stuff with a little more intensity. Jose watches him take each of his pockets and turn them inside out. This Kevin then pads down each piece of clothing in an attempt to find something expertly hidden. 

With what Kevin just said about being short-staffed Jose wonders if his frustration is not with him but with something else. Jose tries to be optimistic and tells himself that this Kevin is a lot nicer than he appears. That this place is not a prison. But Jose doesn’t believe himself.

Reading over the piece of paper for the third time, Jose is certain his wife does not know these rules. Before handing in his phone, he is going to have to call her and explain. 

“Can I call my wife and tell her about the rules please?”

Kevin turns and looks at him. Like Jose just insulted him. Pausing, Kevin thinks for a second, then speaks. “Go and make your call,” he says; glancing at the watch on his wrist and making a frustrated sound. “But be quick. I don’t have all day.” 

While Jose is about to use this as an excuse to make one last phone call to his wife, alternative motives are also at play. Primarily the fact that he is not going to be staying at this house the entire six months it requires to “Graduate.” 

Sirena, Jose’s wife, has already told him that he just needs to spend a few months here. She has yet to give him an official date that he can come home though. Jose is going to use this phone call to find out when exactly that will be.

“…I won’t be able to talk to you or the boys for the first week.” With an exploding pulse, Jose finishes explaining the rules to Sirena in a hushed tone; making certain she hears the fear in his voice. “And after that I’m only allowed ten-minute phone calls to one person per day.” 

Jose is certainly terrified, but his pleas are also manipulative. With time running out, he must ask the question he really needs answered. “How long are you going to make me stay here?” he asks his wife over the phone.

There is a pause on the other end of the line. If prying ears were not present, Jose would perhaps fill the silence with some begging—and maybe add some fearful tears. He cannot see her through the phone, but Jose feels Sirena’s eyes on him. “Christmas,” she finally says through the phone. “You can do this Jose,” she adds. “We need you to.”

Christmas is less than three months away. Hanging up the phone, Jose goes back and continues to fill out the rest of the paperwork. And decides not to ask Kevin any more questions. 

A voice from inside Jose’s head speaks: keeping him company and trying to sound strong and confident: Three months won’t be so bad….

Dear Listener, that’s where we will leave Jose for now, but we will be back next week to see how things go for him. 

As we transition back into Jose’s story, we will first sneak in a few minutes of audio from a show that we will repurpose for Jose. How it fits into his story you can’t completely understand now, but it’s entertaining and it works in the end. Relax and enjoy, as Jose’s story will resume immediately after we listen to Homer Simpson begin his quest for knowledge. 

(End Narration)

(For audio: Play clip from The Simpsons; Episode 8 Season 9: The Mysterious Voyage of Homer; length of clip 3:40)


Principal Sam’s alarm beeps. Marking the end of the time we have been allotted for this meeting. I watch Principal Sam touch a button on the phone to shut the alarm off. 

“I know you have experience teaching Jose, so I’m sure you know what you’re doing. Just please have something I can document for lesson plans and progress reports to me by the end of each Friday. There are district guidelines for teachers on the website if you need it. Miss Lily can show you. I’m meeting her next and will mention it.”

“Awesome,” I reply to Principal Sam attempting to sound excited, “Thank you.”

This class I’m teaching is completely different than what I taught before, but yes, Principal Sam is right, I do have experience. And so, I don’t want this principal to feel like I need any babysitting. I had lost that job teaching at the middle school in the town I grew up in because of my substance use. Everyone here pretty much knows my story—the parts I tell people at least. 

“They are going to be watching us very closely this year Jose, so let’s make sure we’ve got each other’s back—okay?” 

I am given a look that I don’t completely understand as I watch Principal Sam stand up in front of me. “No problem,” I say, standing up myself. 

Feeling overwhelmed—but not wanting Principal Sam to know—I say goodbye and walk out the office; secretly relieved to be done this obligation and make my escape back to isolation. 

My mind feels full as I walk down the hallway away from Principal Sam’s office. Being told that I’ll only have four students in my class has me feeling completely flustered. Before I have time to get completely lost in my concerns, I see Miss Lily, our school counselor, speed-walking down the hall towards me—in a rush to get to her meeting.

Miss Lily became the closest thing to an adult friend I had in the school last year. We ended up working together a lot to help some of our students cope with the difficulties around remote learning. With all that is now going on in my head, seeing her is a pleasant surprise. 

Getting closer, her appearance makes me smile to myself. She has a mask on—which is normal now—but her eyes are covered by her sunglasses, making her entire face a mystery.  

“You’re running late I’m guessing?” I say, coming together in the hall.  

“As usual,” Lily replies, stopping next to me. “How’d your meeting go?” 

“Not wonderful,” I answer with a semi smile. Turning my head slightly, I lean a little closer to her and tilt my head, “Are you smiling under there? … I can’t tell.”

“Sorry,” she says; then frees her hand to push the sunglasses to the top of her head. “I just bought them. How do they look?”

Presented with this question I can’t help but privately question why pretty girls always wear sunglasses. I like to look a person in the eye. This, however, is simply one of a million things about women that I find confusing these days. Like, for example, when did eyelashes become an accessory? And what’s up with this lip filler fad? Does size really matter?

It sure does when these girls are looking into a mirror. Or when taking a selfie. Or when they are looking into my bank account. 

This type of thinking is cynical of me—or negative or whatever—but it’s simply a reflection of my own personal on-going issue with things that I consider fake right now.

Not needing to invite Lily into my questioning and sensitive mind, I respond to her flamboyantly. “They look fabulous!” I say to her—hiding my true self’s scarred ego behind a satirical voice. 

Seeing Lily laugh at my comment, but knowing that she really needs to get going, I push her on. “Go to your meeting,” I say to her, “we’ll talk later.” 

“Alright,” Lily replies, “but you make sure to come see me next week.” 

Pushing one finger into my chest, Lily turns around and starts walking away. Watching her hurry towards Principal Sam’s office, I can’t help but toss one last teaser in her direction. “Hey Miss Lilly,” I say down the hallway, “Did you get that ring yet?” 

Stopping to look back at me, Lily raises her left hand into the air and wiggles her naked fingers. “Don’t get me started Jose!” she replies down the empty hallway. 

Smiling, Lily quickly turns back towards Principal Sam’s office, hurrying to her meeting without another word. 

Walking through the school parking lot and getting into my car, the reality of my situation again hits me, and I begin to wonder about how I’ll get funded. Trying not to panic, I accept the predicament I am in: It will not be easy, I tell myself, but it’s doable. 

Driving home my mind tries to put the pieces of this puzzle together… 

To solve this problem—and relieve me of this predicament—I must reverse engineer this goal of mine: I am the Master Strategist.

In situations as dire as this, confidently deluding myself seems rational.

If my class is going to be a success, it is crucial that the few students I have buy into what I am trying to do with them. This makes me think about the articles I will be sharing with them each week. The first one—that will be given to them on Friday, September 11th—runs through my mind as I drive home from my meeting. 

I worry…will they get it?

Week 1: Friday, September 11th, 2020: 

—Article Title: One Percent Pirate—

“Great men aren’t made great by politics. They aren’t made great by prudence or propriety. They are, every last one of them, made great by one thing and one thing only: the relentless pursuit of a better world.”

—from the show Black Sails: Season 2, Episode 1

I overheard my father reading a text message out-loud to my mother a few weeks ago. What I heard my father say to my mother was this: “I went on Ancestry.com and found out that we are one percent pirate today.” 

After hearing that, I then watched my dad hold out his phone and show my mother the message he had just read to her. The text message my father read was from my grandmother—my Memere actually. My dad’s side of the family is very Canadian. I then watched my mother laugh at what was on my dad’s phone. 

That same day I was watching a show called Black Sails: a drama series about pirates in the early 1700’s. 

I think of entertainment as a universal language that connects all people. I consider screenwriters as some of the great communicators of our age. I believe that talented screenwriters are the closest things to real magicians this world has. 

You should probably know all of that about me before we begin this class together. 

We live in a world today that is apt to believe practically anything. We must realize that many of these screenwriters have been living in the same world as you and I. Which means many of them are just as broken by this world as we are. Therefore, many of these so-called magicians are not using their powers to inspire and unite people today, but to intimidate and manipulate instead. 

It’s no one’s fault really. We love it. We just don’t understand what it’s doing to us. 

In my opinion the writers of this Black Sails show did a great job illustrating why pirates existed back in the 1700’s. The desire of these people to live a life where they were not governed by rules and expectations they disagreed with really spoke to me. 

That day I heard my dad tell my mother that we were one percent pirate, I was watching an episode of this show where the captain, James Flint, was talking about the men of the island: “They’re not animals,” he said, “they are men starved of hope. Give that back to them and who’s to say what could happen.” 

At these words I paused my show. 

Excited by newfound genealogy, I then took out my phone and jumped on Facebook. I clicked ADD NEW POST and began to write: “Happy Sunday everyone! I’m very excited to tell you all that I found out today that I am 1% Pirate! ARGHHH!!!”

Below this I included a YouTube clip. It was a six-minute clip titled ‘James Flint x so far from who I was.’ I didn’t care if people watched it, the image and title alone made my post just the right amount of interesting I thought. Smiling at my own cleverness, I posted this little announcement on my newsfeed and resumed my show. 

One LIKE. Then a few more. Why don’t people LOVE the stuff I post on Facebook? I wondered. 

I must tell you that I’m new to this whole Facebook thing. For a long time, my wife never let me use it: she called it “Fake”. Today, however, even she uses social media to Snap and Instagram the story she wants people to see. Did I use those terms correctly?

Being new to Facebook, I’ve experienced a few learning curves. For example. I learned the hard way that “loving” everyone’s posts made it appear that I was “creeping on people.” I’ve since gotten a little better on choosing my reactions more wisely, but still tend to “love” something whenever I don’t think it’s gonna get me in trouble. It’s just who I am. 

But anyway—back to my story….

A LMAO face… Another laughing face… A little later an OMG reaction was thrown into the mix (making me feel better about myself). And then, this pirate post of mine received its first comment: “U serious?” it asked.

Not recognizing who the person was that made this comment, I constructed a simple response: “Yeah,” I wrote, “it’s amazing how Ancestry.com can tell you all this stuff.”

A while later my post was losing steam and not many more reactions were being made. At this point I think I had about twenty likes: But who cares—I wanted more. (That’s a line from Disney’s The Little Mermaid movie by the way; she’s singing about forks if I remember correctly.)

Just when I had stopped checking my phone every three minutes another comment dinged: “Are u an idiot? Or is this a joke?” 

It was from the same person as earlierAnnoyed at being called an idiot, I quickly clicked REPLY: “Just thought it was cool when I found out. No need for name-calling.”

Then it began. 

This friend shared my original post; allowing all his followers to see it. With it, this friend wrote: “He thinks he’s a pirate. LITERALLY!!!” 

Immediately after this, comments started blowing up my Facebook feed. A full out assault was underway, and I was at the center of the attack. The hits came fast and furious:

“How stupid. A Pirate. Some people should not be allowed to bread.” (This person meant to write “breed” with an e but instead wrote it with an a making it bread—kind of ironic.)

“Time to jump ship you moron!!!” wrote someone else. 

“I’m 1% Alien. You don’t see me posting that on Facebook. Maybe I should?”

There were so many comments I couldn’t believe it. As the day went on, I couldn’t help but read each person’s creative spin on how to spew hate. My post was like a pinata on a string at a party—put up for people to hit with their words. Inside that pinata was my heart. Who was going to hit hard enough to smash it open?

After taking a closer look at the original antagonist’s profile, I realized this person had over ten-thousand followers. I could not recall when or how I had become this person’s ‘friend’, but that no longer mattered. This social media monster—THIS TROLL I’m told they are called—this little person desperate for the world to pay attention to them—had me in their grasp. 

Eventually I turned off my phone and went about the rest of my day; still not understanding why everyone made such an issue of me saying that I was one percent pirate. Was it like saying I was one percent Native-American or somethingWas it because proving you are one percent anything is impossible?

Even if I knew why these people were making fun of me, who would let themselves become upset over something so stupid? 

Unfortunately, I did.

Feeling down—frustrated with people and their ability to be so hurtful—I joined my parents later that night for supper. As hard as I tried not to think about it, I still could not comprehend how my post from earlier had turned my day into such a miserable one. 

In my parent’s kitchen my mother and father were both preparing that night’s meal. My dad was pealing some potatoes and my mother was cooking something on the stove (she’s the cook, he’s just hired help). 

I watched as the two of them laughed at something. Hoping that whatever it was might snap me out of my funk I asked what they were laughing at. Unaware of what was going on in my head, my mother smiled and answered my question. “Just that picture from your memere’s surgery,” she said.

“What picture?” I asked.

My mother then stopped what she was doing, wiped her hands on a cloth, and grabbed my dad’s phone off the counter. Punching a few buttons, she then handed it to me. 

On the phone I saw a picture of my memere…wearing a black eye-patch over her left eye—the one she had surgery on the day before: “One Percent Pirate.” 

Dammit—I’m an idiot…


Is virtual socialization (social media) bringing people together or tearing them apart? Give examples of both the good and bad it is causing and state why you believe one is doing more than the other.

The Teacher’s Playlist: 

Song title: 7 Year by Lukas Graham

“I know the smallest voices they can make it major.”

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

This concludes episode four of The Real GOOD Loser Experiment. In our next episode we meet Jose’s class. To end here we give you a little bonus, however. As we will now let you listen to the audio from that YouTube clip Jose just referenced in his story to his students. We are pretty sure he really did care if people watched it. At six minutes it’s a little long. But worth it. Enjoy.  

(For audio: play clip James Flint x So Far From Who I was created by joeyclauk; thank you for your inspiration and support)

(Click here to continue your journey; Episode 5 is next)

Follow us on Facebook: @TheRealGoodLoser
Read our story at RecoveryHighSchool.com

Episode 3 (April 1st)

Audio for The Real GOOD Loser: Episode 3- An Introduction and Setting The Stage

(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 Three:

—An Introduction and Setting The Stage—

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

—A quote credited to Mary Oliver posted on Facebook by Poetry Matters. 


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)

—An Introduction—

All of us have secrets that make us who we are. Sometimes a person must lie to keep those secrets. Some do this more than others and are attacked for being “fake.” And some of us might not be able to avoid imagining a person that fits such a description. Well…I am one of those people. I keep secrets and often rationalize my lies. I tell myself that it is simply a defense mechanism I use to survive in this painful, cruel, critical, and judgmental world. 

I am attempting to help people learn about this Recovery High School I teach at, but unfortunately, to do that, I am going to have to tell you some of my secrets. I am going to have to come out of hiding. Just a bit.  

Most people have never heard of a Recovery High School. To help change that I’d like to tell you the story of how I became a teacher at one. To do this, I must first bring you back to May 27th, 2016.

At three a.m. on that morning, I stood outside watching a fire engulf my family’s home. Holding my chin up to look at the smoke swirly high into the sky, my heart was buried beneath my feet, deep underground. The flames of shame and fear and hopelessness rose like the sparkling fire that reflected in my eyes. Those emotions live inside me—some place just above my stomach—and they are as real as that house I watched burn. They are the same feelings and emotions one battles to get sober. 

Reflecting on the pain I felt at that moment of my life hurts, yet it might be considered just another day for someone like me. When I close my eyes today, I can vividly recall being huddled under that fire-lit sky. Believing that at thirty-three years old I would forever be defined by my struggles. 

As those flames danced their way through the roof—entertaining the audience that had gathered outside—the strange beauty of that scene mocked me. The endless failed attempts to put my life back together danced with those flames, and right then my dream of achieving some sense of redemption—just like my house—went up in smoke. 

An hour or so before that fire started, I was staring up at the moon and reflecting on my journey as I had a cigarette on my back porch. Battling insomnia in recovery is common and I didn’t sleep much, so this was something I’d often do throughout the night. I remember wanting so badly to be proud of how far I had come as I stared off into space. There was an even a moment I remember I think I was feeling hopeful. But looking at that house burn all I felt was…well…hopeless. Again.

That fire I watched burn that morning in 2016—the fire that would leave my family homeless—was my fault. I caused it. There, I said it. I’m not hiding anymore. Not completely.

Reflecting on that moment in my life I must simply accept it and own it. As it was this event—and dealing with the consequences of my actions—that put me on the path that got me here today. 

“Losing everything one thinks is important to them can be a freeing experience.” 

I would have hated for someone to say this to me back then. But the truth is once you’ve experienced such loss—and you swallow that pain day after painful day—you can go about your life without the fears a privileged life can sometimes create. This does not mean I suggest a person go out and lose everything. Because failure at that level often makes a person quit on life completely. Yes, everyone loves a redemption story. The problem is most people don’t get them. They just keep falling. Trust me. I know. 

At this school I’d like to think I’m not here to catch anyone. Instead, I’m here to help someone off the ground once they are ready to get back up on their own. Because not often can one stop a person from falling. An individual, much more often than not, must do that on their own. 

Who was I before that fire?

Back in my glory days, I was “That Kid:” An All-Star athlete—Honor roll student—Class treasurer—Homecoming King. I do not list these things to brag, instead I list them to illustrate that addiction and mental illness can affect anyone. I am living proof of this and can honestly say that I am prouder today of surviving my failures than I am reminiscing over any of those past accolades. 

Before I go on, let me make one thing perfectly clear: People with addictive personalities, or emotional instability, can struggle with any type of substance: from alcohol and weed, to heroin, cocaine, and everything in between. Some among us might even know that addiction does not end or begin with just substances. Because of this, what I used is irrelevant. Though I bet you’re itching to know.

As I write this, I am thirty-seven years old and must say that I’ve lost more than I want to try and explain due to my substance use. I have slept days, weeks, and months away battling depression. I have been a chronic failure and spent a lot of time hating myself. Regretting bad decisions and punishing myself more than anyone else could ever wish to punish me because of the personal anguish introduced by life naturally. 

My struggles and the destruction I have caused is difficult to overlook. Too often I forget that in my time on this planet I have also done some very good things. While it may seem that I am eager to give myself this little pat on the back, the thought of “my good deeds” has never been enough to grant myself forgiveness. If you have ever dealt with severe guilt and regret, I am sure you can relate. 

Getting healthy for me meant reinventing myself. I needed to find my purpose. To accomplish this, I needed a fresh start. A nice idea but a very tough thing to do when you carry so much baggage. Lucky for me, I found Lakay Recovery High School in Worcester, Massachusetts.  

Or maybe this school found me? 

In ‘The Program’ (that’s AA and NA for those of you trying to learn) I heard people say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Could this really be true? Did I have to struggle myself to understand how to be a useful asset to these kids?

At this school I will be suggesting to my students that they write editorials so that people can learn about what goes on here, but I anticipate they will be hesitant when I present this idea of mine. This left me in a dilemma. Any adult knows that it is hard to make a child go out on a limb and do something uncomfortable. Most of the time we as the adults must show them first by doing that uncomfortable thing ourselves. So, I had to ask myself, do I put myself out there?

I am not a fool—not completely. The ‘Stigma’ does still exist. The truth is some people reading this will judge and ridicule me for my candidness. After much debate however, I have decided that it is worth the risk and wrote this editorial. To prove to my students that the fear is merely in our minds. That the world is not as scary as we think it is. And that there are people out there that will support us. 

I have done this for these students because I have seen first-hand that these young minds are determined to live a life where substances do not derail their dreams. Lives that are focused on making this world a better place. For them, their families, and everyone’s future. We need them to succeed. 

If thinking this makes me crazy, then so be it. But I don’t think it does. I think you love them just as much as I do. Am I right?

One last thing. Did I mention that the fire I caused was an accident? Because it definitely was. I hope I didn’t give you the wrong perception of me. For it’s like I’ll be telling my students: Perception can be a killer

(For audio: play Believer by Imagine Dragons featuring Lil Wayne during transition; length 1:19)

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

Dear Listener, that introduction you just experienced came from an article Jose Julian wrote for a local newspaper. In an attempt to gain support for that school he was teaching at.

Jose will fail for many reasons with this story of his, but he was extremely close to making all his dreams a reality. And so, let his failure serve as a reminder to those chasing their dreams now. Do not quit on the five-yard line, instead, let each failure serve as a learning experience pushing you forward. You’re growing don’t forget. 

Life can’t be serious all the time, to survive, one must find ways to enjoy themselves. This is an especially true statement for drug addicts in recovery and something Jose understood well. Unfortunately, as you will discover throughout his story, Jose often struggled with the world he was associated with and so doing something like “enjoying oneself” was often easier said than done for him. Which leads us to this question: What happens when a person believes that they have lost their ability to enjoy life? 

Surviving what lies ahead will take patience and persistence, but your time and effort will be worth it in the end. As we are here for those people that have lost their ability to enjoy this life. They need us and we need them. But telling them that is no longer enough. We must change this world for them. Is this something you are willing to do Dear Listener? 

A writer uses metaphors and things to bring people into a story. Jose imagined referencing entertainment in his story would work like a metaphor; to help readers remember and reflect on their past. We have taken this concept a step further by incorporating entertainment into the story Jose wrote that we finished for him. 

Going forward, we will continue to bring outside entertainment into this story—like how we are playing music between transitions in each episode. In the experiment ahead each song you hear serves a greater purpose. Now, before we use this invention of repurposing entertainment to go all Dark Knight Joker serious on you, we would like to have some fun with this invention of ours and make you listen to a song before we get to Jose’s Setting the Stage

We apologize for the language used in this next song we will play for you here ahead of time. We, ourselves, won’t say many bad words in this story—keeping it PG-13 rated mostly—but we can’t control what everyone says. 

“What the hell is going on here?” 

That is what many of you will be wondering when this song is playing. 

“Are they glorifying drug use?”

Like always, have your opinions but be adults and don’t stop listening. You want to understand the kids, right? Well, you have homework yourself too. It won’t be that bad. You’ll survive. Just think of all the silly songs you’ve been entertained by over the years.

At this moment I feel like some insecure man heading to bed with a lady for the first time. Heart pounding. Palms sweaty. All nervous. And stiff—but not in the places I want. Talking too much and trying to prepare my new lover, you Dear Listener, for some not awful experience ahead. Acting suspicious too. Like I’m keeping some terrible secret from you as I try to overcompensate with witty, stupid, chatter. 

For those that might be interested in writing when this is all over, that was all an example of how a writer might use metaphors by the way. The word “like” usually gives it away. Enough foreplay though. None of this will be that bad. And if it is, it’s only gonna last a minute or two. Have you heard that one before? 

Don’t act like a baby fighting a shot their doctor needs to give them. I’ll hold your hand. Don’t worry. And I’ll even give you one of those lollypops to suck on when it’s all over. 

I enjoy giving candy to children. Does that make me creepy? 

“Yes Mr., it does.”

The next song you will hear tells a story. Did the story happen? Most likely not. But it’s a fun song and we need to promote art. And then strive on making art better. Simple really. 

We have said this already and will say to you again: there is a purpose to everything we are doing here. Adults and children want to understand one other. To do so, one must get inside the other’s mind. Try and enjoy it. And remember, you deserve this. 

The song we play during our transition into Setting The Stage is called Faded With a Stranger by Chris Webby. To repurpose this song, hope will be the drug and we will be the stranger. Are you ready to get faded? 

 (End Narrator)

(For audio: Play song Faded With a Stranger by Chris Webby released in 2022; length 1:19)

—Setting The Stage—

When the time is right, life will teach you more than any classroom ever could. The date today is Thursday, March 19th. The year is 2020. 

In my hand I hold the book titled Ready Player One. A review of which read, “This book is proof geeks will one day inherit the Earth.” As a wannabe geek myself—and someone that wants to believe that thinkers still rule the world—this was a book I just had to read after seeing that review. And watching the movie that was based on it of course.

I believe a book finds a person. As many have found me over the years and spoken to me in ways I needed at the time. I’m only on the fifth chapter of this one but it’s awesome. The whole concept of this Easter Egg Hunt has me obsessed: “Creating an entirely new reality that provided an escape for most of humanity.” I mean—how cool would that be in real life?

Before the school day begins, I am normally attempting to occupy my brain by getting lost in a story, but on this day, I am instead lost in my own thoughts. Trying to imagine a world different than this one. Trying to put together a picture of the future different than the one I think is in front of us. Trying to think of what to say to her….

There has to be something I can say to you… Something to wake you up… A way to give you some hope. See, secretly, I kind of think this world sucks too—but I can’t tell you that. Things do seem broken. But I’d need a time machine to go back and fix everything… When would I go back and start changing things anyway?

Waiting at the door, I cannot stop thinking about what I read on my student’s Facebook page last night. That’s what I get for being nosey, I say to myself as I continue to worry about what this student had written. 

The day ahead promises to be anything but normal. Our entire staff has been told to pack up our classes and prepare to educate students “remotely” for a bit. No one really knows exactly what that means yet. 

All the real teachers are in line at the copy machine preparing packets to send home with their students, while I stand in the quiet cafeteria waiting for the kids to arrive. Principal Sam just finished telling me that since I have no “real curriculum to cover it will be my job to “babysit” for the day “so that the other teachers can scramble to send sufficient work home with the students.” Principal Sam tells me that the students may be home for a while. I don’t believe it. 

I can hear cafeteria staff moving in a room behind me preparing the morning meal—smells like those French Toast sticks again. From out the door I see the bus pull in. I watch the students exit the bus and walk towards me. One can expect high school kids to be moody, but today they appear a little extra miserable. 

Opening the door, I welcome the students into the building. “Good morning Lauryn,” I say, in the most cheerful voice I can muster so early in the day.  

Nudging her way through the door Lauryn barks a sharp f at me. “F*** you,” she says—though Lauryn doesn’t edit herself. 

Well…that was fast

Normally I don’t get the f word from Lauryn so quick, but today is obviously a special day. Nel— Lauryn’s boyfriend—holds her bag and gives me a small smile as he walks through the door I’m holding open.

Everyone has already heard that schools are closing Friday—that’s tomorrow. This virus is spreading and for safety reasons schools are closing to prevent a spike in cases: an attempt to “Flatten the Curve” they are calling it. This morning I watched the news trying my best to understand it all, but as I pulled on my pants to leave, I still hadn’t grasped exactly what is happening. 

Things got real when I showed up to school today and watched a teacher complaining about allergies immediately sent home. My principal is also wearing a physician’s surgical mask…which I find very strange. You’d think we are preparing for the apocalypse. Some think we are. 

The students had questions for me as they first walked in but now most of them stare into their phones and appear to have more information than I do. I look to Lauryn and see that she has her regular collection of students around her. At this school they call her Mama. She’s only a junior, but even the seniors consider her the boss around here. 

This school most definitely isn’t like a traditional school I’m accustomed to. Really, it’s just a Program and it shares a building with another Special Needs Program in the district. A “Behavioral Program” to be exact. 

Placing kids with behavioral issues with ones identified as having issues with substances makes for an interesting atmosphere to say the least. I’m not yet sure how many students we have enrolled in our Program as I’ve only been working here for two months, and attendance is rather spiritic—but there can’t be more than thirty students enrolled so the cafeteria I sit in now is rather empty.

While someone might think I was offended by Lauryn’s response to me as she walked in, nothing could be further from the truth. I have a certain affection for the f word. As it is a word that can offend everyone and no one at the same time. A difficult task in our world today. 

I’m not often a fan of the angry use of the f word though. You know…the way it’s used on t-shirts and flags and bumper stickers today. But like I tell my own children whenever we see it used that way: “There’s worst things those people could be doing, be happy they’re trying to use their words.” 

Since Lauryn uses the f word often, she knows how I feel about it. Just a few weeks back I told her about an old Limp Bizkit song that was popular when I was a kid. A song I remember jamming out to in my car and at parties when I was just Lauryn’s age myself. The song I was telling her about is titled Hot Dog, but everyone knows it as The F Song. Unedited of course. 

That day with Lauryn I had found a YouTube video of this band performing at Woodstock 99 and watched it with her. “If you’re ever wondering why I turned out the way I did,” I said to Lauryn, watching this event and the riot it turned into, “that’s my generation right there. These are the people you call adults today, Lauryn. And this was only twenty years ago. Before social media and cell phones. Because of what we did here Lauryn your generation will never experience a Woodstock Festival.”

“Never say never Mr. J!” Lauryn replied to that assertion of mine.

Lauryn is a lot nicer than how she just appeared. The day she told me to “Never say never” was the Lauryn we like. “The person I wish I was all the time,” Lauryn confided in me once. 

Since I started back in January, this girl Lauryn—the girl who just started the day by telling me to f-off—has been the only person to make me feel welcome in this place. As it didn’t take me long to start feeling like my uncomfortable self here…

“So, you’re this new E.I. teacher we’ve been given?” Mr. Henrie said to me my first day. 

Mr. Henrie is the math teacher here and we talked that first morning I showed up to work. I had given a letter to all the teachers explaining what I hoped to accomplish with their students. 

The Emotional Intelligence Class has a broad spectrum of goals, but ultimately, I’m here to build relationships between students, and teach them tools that will hopefully help them become more stable people in what we all know is a very unstable world.

In that letter to Mr. Henrie and the other teachers I told them they could refer to me as an “E.I.” teacher. The school only has a few teachers and with Mr. Henrie being the only male, I secretly hoped he and I would become friends.

“Your name is Jose, right?” Mr. Henrie added that morning, while cleaning his white board before school.

I watched as Mr. Henrie licked two fingers and attack an especially stubborn smudge. Without any time to respond Mr. Henrie quickly threw in a third question that seemed to just float into his head and fall out of his mouth without much consideration. “I thought you’d be Spanish?”

Not knowing what question to answer first, I said the simplest thing I could think of. “Yes, I’m J, nice to meet you.”

Mr. Henrie is an attractive man. Every day he wears a shirt and tie to school. Something I refuse to do myself ever since my time working in the corporate world. It makes him look very impressive though. And he always smells good. But he also comes across as extremely arrogant. One of those guys that I might privately tell you: Sure as shit, loves himself some HIM.

Mr. Henrie’s assumption about me being Spanish was not that out of the ordinary though, as its something I’ve been dealing with my entire life. I am very much your standard Caucasian, but my name, Jose Julian, suggests differently. Growing up, many people read my name and figured I was Spanish—or Puerto-Rican—or Portuguese—or whatever, before meeting me face to face. 

I am a bit Portuguese, but that name Jose came from the back of some boy’s sweatshirt the year I was to be born. My mother says that when she was pregnant with me a boy wearing a sweatshirt with my name on its back crossed her path and she took it as some sort of “sign”. This sign resulted in one of the two major decisions my mother made for me that has made my life a little bit more uncomfortable than it could have been.

“Like just the letter J?” Mr. Henrie had responded to me that first day. 

He stopped wiping his board at this question. I remember this because the look Mr. Henrie gave me attempted to wipe any confidence off my face instead—something I’d never allow him to think he could do to me. I can play tough when I need to. Yup…I still know how to play the game. 

“Yes,” I replied to Mr. Henrie, “People have called me ‘J’ ever since I was a kid.”

“Wow…Just a letter.” Mr. Henrie responded sarcastically. “I thought only celebrities could pull that off. You’re not a celebrity, Jose…are you?” 

That was my introduction to Mr. Henrie when I first started at this school. I remember him asking me that last question with an annoyingly superior look on his face. His condescending tone pretty much squashed any illusions I had of us becoming good friends. 

For a while now, life has done a fine job of kicking my ass. It’s been like that scene in The Avengers movies when The Hulk takes Loki by one foot and smashes him back and forth—side to side like a little ragdoll. Yeah…life has treated me a lot like that recently. 

As a result of this reality, I’ve become a little sensitive at times. I am aware of this weakness, and I fight against it the best I can, yet I still can’t stop it from getting the best of me at times. I also know that for some reason people still see me as a confident looking person on the outside. Something I invite, since I’ve found that success in this world often requires one to make people think they’re someone they’re not. 

The truth, however, is that it is very easy for people to scare me off nowadays. Something Mr. Henrie succeeded at that first morning. He even made fun of the shirt I was wearing that day. “Showing us a little skin I see,” he said to me a little later, “very cute.” 

When I got the job at this school, I was told by the principal that things are different here. “We focus on making the kids comfortable,” I was told, “so dress is casual for teachers.” 

After that conversation I went out and bought myself a few fancy looking V-neck t-shirts. They looked dressy enough—and honestly, I thought I looked pretty good in them. Mr. Henrie teasing me for “showing skin” made me immediately feel uncomfortable…just like that secret of mine did when I was a kid.

Since I’ve been here, Mr. Henrie and the rest of the staff have barely talked to me except to say, “Good morning!” and “Have a good night!” Common courtesies, but not conversation starters. 

Although being ignored has made me feel alone I’m used to it and honestly might not want it any other way. I have also observed that none of the other teachers talk to each other much either. Which, strange enough, gives me some hope—Maybe it’s not just me?

Even though she sometimes tells me to go f myself, Lauryn genuinely likes me. Which has helped a lot with the other students at the school. Putting aside the ugly language, Lauryn is a wonderful girl. While she has her struggles, I have seen her spark and the effect it has on people when she chooses to point it in the right direction—something that I have made my personal mission to see her do. Which is why the post I read on her Facebook page last night is troubling me so much: “What’s the point of this thing we call life?” she wrote. 

I have my issues with social media just like everyone else, and Lauryn’s post may have annoyed me if it were made by another person. It’s one of those attention seeking posts—a post that makes you question something—but because this was Lauryn, I couldn’t help but be concerned. 

Lauryn had made that post around nine o’clock and it was past midnight when I saw it. Worried she was crying out for help, I looked for comments on the post. I saw that a few friends offered some hearts—I still don’t understand what all the different colored hearts mean—and one friend wrote, “Everything okay Lauryn?” To which Lauryn replied, “Always!” with an exclamation mark. A comment that answered absolutely nothing and made me question what was going on even more.

Is she in serious danger? I couldn’t help but consider it … Or maybe I’m just misinterpreting this … Perhaps she’s referencing something that I’m just not cool enough to know about? … I do tend to read into things too much … Maybe I’m just creating something out of nothing? 

I figured that I probably was. Who knows what these kids are thinking nowadays when they post stuff. I’m sure she’s fine— But what if she’s not?

It is not professional to snoop on students using social media, so how was I to get Lauryn to tell me what she meant by that post? 

Sitting in the cafeteria—troubleshooting this dilemma—a lightbulb goes off in my mind as I think of how to respond to Lauryn’s not so nice “good morning” from a few minutes earlier. I reach for my school bag beside me and unzip it. 

Inside my bag is a white envelope filled with index cards I have been carrying around since I began working here. On each card is a quote I had written. Most of the quotes on the cards I flip through are inspirational. A few are funny. And others are just things I thought the students would find interesting.

It was an idea of mine to hand these out to students and have them write reflections on the back as part of our class together. Since nothing has gone to plan however, I haven’t even used them yet. Honestly, the thought of handing them out makes me feel kinda stupid. I fear that I might be too old—or too young—or just too…well…just too me…to get the respect I imagined I’d have here. 

Shuffling through the cards, I find the one I am in search of. Flipping it over, I write my message on the back with a black fine tip magic marker I had taken from my bag. Once I’ve completed writing my note, I get Nel’s attention.  

Showing Nel the card, I watch him read the quote on the front and then what I wrote on the back. “Bring that to Lauryn for me Nel,” I say to him once I see he’s finished reading. 

“Yo,” he replies with a look of shock on his face, “do you have a death wish?”

“She’ll think it’s funny Nel,” I tell him, “just bring it to her please.”

“Okay,” he replies, “your funeral dude. But someone’s gonna be calling 9-1-1 for you when she snaps.” 

“Just bring it to her please.”

Nel turns around and I watch him step across the cafeteria towards Lauryn with that walk of his. Lauryn looks at him, and I see him say a few words to her before handing her the card. Lauryn takes a quick glance at me, then begins reading that card in her hand. 

“Language is a weapon. Swearing is its sword. Truth is its shotgun.” 

(Over) You should write a book! “The Art of the F-Word.” When you’re famous, I expect some recognition for the idea! :0)

Once Lauryn finishes reading my note, she lowers the card and looks at me. From across the cafeteria, she silently mouths those two words…. F***—You.  

Whether Lauryn edits herself I’m not sure, but I see her million-dollar smile blossom on her face and rise up her cheeks. Whatever Lauryn was upset about earlier seems to be forgotten for a second. It won’t last long. I know. But it’s nice to see. 

After lunch everyone is attempting to kill time waiting for the end of the day to arrive. In Mr. Henrie’s room the students are taking posters off the wall. Staff were told to leave nothing out so that the school could be “completely decontaminated.” Making it a mathematical exercise—also known as keeping the kids busy—Mr. Henrie has required the students draw a scale model of his classroom. So that when we come back everything can be placed exactly how it was before. 

In the room I see students at work while Mr. Henrie packs up his desk. He is currently putting a picture of his family away in a drawer for safe keeping. Sitting on the steps of a beautiful suburban home, his wife and three boys are very impressive looking in that picture. The picture is all smiles and fancy clothes. And happiness shouts through the expensive looking silver frame that has “#1 Dad” etched at its base. 

I have seen this photo many times and have used it to validate my assumption that Mr. Henrie has a picture-perfect life. Being a father to three boys myself, I have many times contemplated bringing up this similarity, but I know that beginning that conversation would open me up to questions that I would rather not answer. So, instead, I’ve done what I do best and have kept my mouth shut: knowing that a picture of my life is not that pretty.  

Mentally whipping myself for my inadequacies, I look around; hoping to avoid any conversation with the only other adult in the room. To my appreciation, Lauryn calls out to me. “Mr. J,” she says, “do you want to take this home? Mr. Henrie said you can.” 

In her hand is a poster I know all too well. It is a poster Lauryn had made our first week together. The fact that Mama—Lauryn—made it is the only reason it’s hanging up. It reads: “Everyone should own a G.U.N.”

I can feel my face get red as Lauryn holds up the poster. Mr. Henrie smiles big, and I can see his thoughts as they dance across the room criticizing me. Lauryn still finds this poster genius and is super proud of it—I can never let her know how much it embarrasses me. 

I walk across the room and take it from her. “Sure Lauryn,” I say with a smile, “I’ll hang it up at my place somewhere.”

G.U.N. stands for: Good—Underlying—Need. It was part of a lesson I had created: Take a simple word and create an acronym out of it so that when used changes the meaning of the word completely.

I’ve had multiple careers over the years, and I swear people are using acronyms for everything. They frustrate me because I often have no clue what people are talking about when they use them. 

When I was putting lessons together, I thought it would be interesting to have my students create some of their own. While many were entertaining, Lauryn’s created the greatest noise within the school as she made sure everyone knew what she had come up with. Principal Sam was then put in an awkward position when Lauryn demanded that the poster she made be placed on the walls of the school. 

“It has such a powerful message!” Lauryn argued. “Everyone should have a purpose to what they are doing in life. Why are you doing something— Why do you want something— What is the ‘Good-Underlying-Need’? … Get it!?” 

Confusing and a little tacky perhaps, but Lauryn thought it was brilliant and at the time I was in no place to discourage her excitement over creating something so original. 

I was then forced into being her advocate as she faced off against other teachers over the poster. In the end, Lauryn won, because, well…she was Mama, and Mr. Henrie took the bullet for the rest of the staff by letting her hang the poster up in his room. 

I am sure Mr. Henrie is secretly thrilled to get rid of this today. “It only took a global pandemic, but I’ll take a win any way I can,” is what I imagine him thinking as I am now the owner of this infamous poster in my hand.  

To change the subject, I ask Lauryn a question. “What do you know of Nelson Mandela?” 

Lauryn is taking a poster of this man off of the wall with a quote from him that reads: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

“I don’t know…” Lauryn replies to my question, “that he changed the world.” 

I can see in Lauryn’s face that she does not know much about this man. “Is that a question or a statement?” I ask her.

I am not big on lectures—and trying to explain what this man did is not something I am prepared to discuss anyway—so, I decide to just agree with her after I see her unable to come up with a response to my question. 

“You’re actually right Lauryn,” I say, “he did change the world. When do you think someone will come along and change the world again?” 

Lauryn replies to my question while continuing to remove posters from this wall.  “They won’t Mr. J,” she says. “Our world is f****d….no changing that.”  

Lauryn says this with such authority that I almost believe her. But struggling with feelings like this of my own in the past I know I cannot for a second let her think I agree with such an assessment of things. So, I fight against her negativity. 

“It’s happened many times over the course of history Lauryn,” I say, as she hands me the poster she’s removed from the wall. “It’s destined to happen again.”

“Someone will come along and destroy the world before someone changes it in the way you’re thinking Mr. J.” —Lauryn stops what she is doing to look at me— “I mean, seriously. Think of the damage someone could do with the internet today.”


Lauryn just nailed it. She is right. I know that what she says is how many people in this world think today. The internet has made any piece of news a conspiracy, any lie a fact, any story a legend, any character real. How can anyone expect someone to use the internet for good? Good doesn’t get clicks. Gossip sells…everyone knows that. The world hungers for entertainment and the internet offers a never-ending buffet of it. 

A cloud of doubt begins to darken my mind. Aware of what was happening, I battle back as I have practiced so often in the past. 

“What if I told you that someone would come along and use the internet to unite people in a way never before considered possible Lauryn?”

“I’d say that you are right,” she replies. “Someone will come along and destroy it. Like I said.”

Broken slightly by her confidence in this doomsday prophecy, but understanding it far too well, I slide my own chess piece into position. 

“Lauryn,” I say, looking directly into those confident eyes of hers, “I truly believe that someone with the right message will come along and use the internet and other technology to change this world for the better.”  

Lauryn stares back at me—thinking—but does not respond to this statement. Not often is she lost for words, but something in what I have just said hit home because I see Lauryn make a conscious choice not to fight me on it any further. For a moment I feel like the adult and not the child. Maybe she wants to believe me? A hopeful voice inside my head wonders….

I never ended up finding out what Lauryn’s post from the night before meant but I could see that she was not in danger which made me feel better as we all left school that day. Our conversation that afternoon troubled me however, as I secretly found myself agreeing with her assessment of things. 

I might have silenced Lauryn in that moment, but her words make me question myself like I often do. And I find myself tiptoeing around the questions in my head on my drive home: What’s the point of this thing called life? … What if no one can make this world better?

The Teacher’s Playlist:

Song title: Not Afraid by Eminem

“Come take my hand.”

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

This concludes episode three of The Real GOOD Loser Experiment. In our next episode we’ll begin to hear about how the 2020 school year went for Jose and this class of his. And also, we’ll begin to learn more about exactly who he really was. 

(Click here to continue your journey; Episode 4 is next)

Follow us on Facebook: @TheRealGoodLoser
Read our story at: RecoveryHighSchool.com

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

The Real GOOD Loser Experiment: Episode 1 (April 1st)

Trailer for The Real GOOD Loser Experiment

Audio for The Real GOOD Loser: Episode 1- Messages From The Authors and One Long PS

(For audio: play music to Starz television series Black Sails during episode intro; length 1:19)

The following is a written for audio presentation of

The Real GOOD Loser

A Story That Could…


Start of Episode One:

—Messages From The Authors and One Long PS—

 “You have to take a path. It’s dangerous. And most people want to take a safe path. And the safe path leaves you stuck in quiet desperation…Plan your escape.”

—a quote from Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. 

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.)

Some of what you will experience here will seem a bit strange at first. But you will like it. In fact, you become a bit obsessed. Magic does tend to have that effect on people.

(For audio: Play clip from 2001 Harry Potter film The Sorcerer’s Stone; the beginning when Uncle Dursley tells young Harry there is no such thing as magic and locks him under the stairs; thank you J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers Entertainment for your inspiration and support; length 0:19)

On top of that clip from Harry Potter mentioning magic, that scene you just heard fits as the story we are sharing with you now follows a class. And so, consider this your invitation to Hogwarts if that’s your thing. 

And yes—Here we do believe in magic. 

To the first listeners of this story. Thank you for taking the time to come on a journey with us. One, that promises to be one hell of a ride. 

“Hell is when the person you are meets the person you could have been.” 

Dear Listener, do you believe this statement to be true?

Regardless of your answer, it’s a good place for us to start…. 

We here at Recoveryhighschool.com strongly feel that this story will provide many a chance to experience life at a different level. For that reason, we consider this story a gift. One that may make your life better in some way or form in the near future. 

While what we just said might sound crazy or annoying to you now, if—in time—you do look at this story as a gift, we would only ask one thing in return from you. Something that Uncle Norm and Uncle Vin and Uncle Marshall—characters in the story ahead—would appreciate us mentioning here. 

Indeed. If we are proven right—and our promise of making you believe in magic becomes real—and your life does get better in some way or form in the near future—when this all over, all we ask is that you kindly take a moment to get on your knees…and kindly kiss our ass. 

We are just joking of course. Those uncles just mentioned wouldn’t want listeners to start this journey thinking we were serious a-holes all the time and would appreciate us lightening things up a bit here. Our apologies for the crudeness of our statement: It was done for entertainment purposes only.

Is that a valid excuse for saying something so rude to you here? Well…that’s the point. What effect is entertainment having on our behavior? 

We wouldn’t want you to have to kiss anyone’s ass, but as one of the creators of this story, I wouldn’t deny a little pat down the road. Just putting it out there.

Can you believe we just snuck in the word “indeed” by the way? Who the hell ever uses the word indeed in real life? We saw it on television a lot and said we’d use it somewhere in the story. I am indeed glad we got that out of the way. 

Seriously though, if this story does somehow put you in a place to perform magic—if a new hope awakens inside of you—please use your powers for good: whatever that may be to you. 

Yes. We know all of this sounds a bit out there. 

Did you know that by saying “Yes” right there is the same thing as saying the word “indeed” a few moments ago? 

We here very much understand the when and why certain words are used…but not all of you do. So, we just snuck in a quick lesson for all you listeners. You’re welcome. 

For now, let’s not waste time arguing over where this whole thing ends up. Save your breathe and go find yourself some knee pads perhaps. Or simply write down your doubts. And then argue with us once you’ve put in the work to understand what we’ve built for you here. 

Spoiler Alert: It’s a kind of time machine. Yes—I’m kind of a magician. 

(For audio: play song True Colors from the 2016 film Trolls; sung by Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake—thank you for your inspiration and support; stop on chimes; length 0:44)

(For audio: The following section is to be read by The Narrator. Note: all sections to be read by The Narrator will appear in bold print at recoveryhighschool.com where this story is presented for listeners to read and comment on.)

Well, hello there. For a time, I will be the voice of The Narrator in this story ahead. Nice to meet ya. 

I was advised to choose my words carefully here as to not upset a very specific and sensitive population. But having arrived at this moment I have decided to throw caution to the wind. So… hold onto those broomsticks and grip your lightsabers tightly, for we have a battle of biblical proportions ahead of us.

With great evil spreading chaos across our universe this story will be an exercise of the mind intended to help humanity navigate a world where deciphering what is real from what is fake has become a constant struggle. A struggle that has resulted in a reality where many find themselves scared, tired, and confused. Confused or worse. The worse being a seemingly insurmountable level of despair. A level of despair that has many on the verge of giving up completely.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue as there is more on the line than you know. But the change needed comes with too much red tape. Making the transformation slow and ineffective. Hence the selection of this tale. Dusted off and shared with you now—at this most appropriate time. A decision that has been calculated to be the most efficient path forward.

What you are about to experience consists of much more truth than any work of one’s imagination, yet certain parts of what you will experience is pure fiction, the challenge of knowing the difference—Dear Listener—we leave to you. 

Take from this what you can and question what you must. Find the truth in the entertainment and kindly use it to destroy the world you know and assist in the creation of a better one. For those that will work against the efforts of the many when we are done here, let me preemptively thank you, as it will be that very act which unites those of The Resistance.

Now then. One last disclosure before we tuck in and get started.

Books and stories alone do not create a divergence in The Force, instead it is the people that those books and stories give birth to that do. The following is a product of your world. A creation that’s time has come. Consider yourself warned. 

—Sincerely, The Authors 

(End Narration)

(For audio: Play Changes by NF; from 1:19 to 2:22; fade out on words “I’m looking for change.”)

—One Long PS—

After finishing our work on this story, we came back to this point and decided a postscript was necessary. PS stands for postscript by the way—Did you know that Dear Listener? 

It comes from the Latin postscriptum, which literally means “written after”. A postscript is an additional thought added to letters after it has been complete. In the days of handwritten and typed letters, we often found ourselves remembering something we wanted to include only after we’d signed off. That’s where PS came in handy. It’s also often used for effect to add a clever or funny afterthought. It can be added for emphasis, or even an argumentative “So there!” 

All of what was just shared was written by a lady named Karen Hertbzerb on a Grammarly blog sometime in 2022. The internet is awesome. Hopefully you didn’t already know all that stuff, but if you did, oh well. We’ll be teaching you a lot going forward and cannot allow ourselves to miss layups. 

“The Real GOOD Loser has invented something.”

That is what people will say. Eventually. When they do, consider it a checkpoint. 

And now—if we are correct—we’ve perhaps gotten you all types of confused. Good. Consider this a checkpoint. You are on a quest for knowledge. Your mind is now in a state of readiness.

In this story, we are from what you might call the future. That thing about a time machine slipped out at the beginning so you were going to figure it out eventually. 

When will you start believing that we are from the future? Smart people tend to ask that question once we’ve had them semi-convinced. To save us time, we are going to semi-answer that question for you, Dear Listener, right now.

Everyone will say they “believed” at different times. But telling you when that moment will be—even if that were hypothetically possible—would make your future-future self upset with us for ruining that moment for your future self. 

See. You have many future selves. And so, arguing over what one wants or does not is a waste of time. And something that will cause what we call spikes. You don’t need to know about those yet.

Time travel is confusing. You’ve certainly seen Back To The Future and all those other movies. Things gets complicated. You know that. And what they are doing in those movies isn’t even possible. You know that too probably. What you can’t know however, is what this is. 

Here we are talking about communicating in ways the human mind is not yet fully capable of comprehending. Do not get discouraged however, for as a species—believe it or not—“You’re growing.” We snuck in and told you that recently…but did you hear it? 

Your current—or present self—would never believe anything we tell you now about what will happen in the future. And if we try, well…. wallaa: we are not making anyone’s life a little better, but instead making ourselves look like a bunch of annoying know-it-alls. We’ve been at this a while and I’m saving us time with all this rambling. Trust me.  

To avoid argument, yet feed answers to that wonderfully glorious and curious mind of yours, we will tell you a date that you will believe. That date is Sunday February 22nd, 2026: When a friend says the words “We did it” on a stage in front of the world. 

On that date everyone believes. In what? Well, you don’t yet know exactly what you believe then either. But you get addicted to that feeling. And well, the rest is kinda history—from our perspective. 

February 22nd, 2026. That is a moment most believe. Will we plan to play trumpets at that moment just to show off a bit? Maybe. We celebrate our inner child that day. One lost or one newly discovered. It’s magical. You’ll see. Maybe.

Dear Listener, are you having a hard time believing us right now? 

That’s understandable and obviously expected. Your world has made believing difficult. Which is why we are here. 

We are beating a dead horse—metaphorically speaking— by continuing to mention that reality. About believing. However, it is the mountain we climb together. Starting today. So, it’s worth mentioning at least three times we figure. The Real GOOD Loser, as you will discover, had a thing about needing to be told something three times for it to really settle in. 

Some know that feeling of believing something well. Some don’t. Nevertheless, one of life’s greatest moments is when we believe something.

Like a young person inspired by new love. Girl or boy, that feeling of love, if felt, can change a person. Believing and love can sometimes be co-dependent emotions. Did you know that? Do you know what co-dependent means? If not don’t worry, they are just some big words we snuck in here to impress the grown-ups. Being a child in a world full of grownups is hard. You might understand that.

A young boy can learn to believe in anything as he grows up. Any new discovery in this young boy’s life can wake up that feeling of excitement in him. Perhaps this young boy—our inner child for story purposes here—finds a hobby he likes. A sport, or an instrument, or a book, or even some television show that simply steals his attention and makes that inner child of his happy.

For comic relief purposes, one could imagine the day that young boy discovers the wonders of his private part—his ‘dingy’ as Miss Lily in the story ahead might call it. Or that little boy could be a grown man when he discovers that specific piece of equipment. Like the scene in that Jumanji movie… 

(For audio: play scene from 2017 film Jumanji when Jack Black’s character is learning how to pee after being magically transformed into a man for the game; thank you Sony Pictures for your inspiration and support; length 1:44) 

We can only hope you laughed hearing that scene. And if you did, what awkward situation you might have put yourself in. 

We here like to picture someone listening to that on headphones riding a bus; trying to keep a straight face when Jack Black’s character says, “Martha…come look at my penis.” And then all you hear is… “No thanks.” 

When the writers wrote that scene can you imagine how hard it must have been to hold in the humor of that potential moment for so long? 

This story is like that to us. 

I giggle like my dad listening to that scene almost every time. We needed to take this whole thing down a couple notches. That scene always does the charm…You silly rabbits

In the right context entertainment can be repurposed. Which, if done correctly, is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Using that movie clip adds to this story and will make listeners—or readers—want to see that movie down the road: a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Boom! See. We can work together. We’ve just forgotten how. 

Will we run into issues with people saying that we are stealing—or Pirating—by incorporating other entertainment in this story? Perhaps we will. But one way or another, we handle that. You can’t stop this. Only delay it maybe. We know that sounds arrogant of us to say. But if listeners have gotten to this point, then there really is no stopping this. We are now like Thanos in that Marvel Avengers movie… Inevitable

Like Thanos in those movies however, we are also impermanent. Thanos would want us mentioning that. Though a bit misguided, he was a smart character. Thanos would have known that Buddha—who was not a God but a person—considered suffering a major element to existence and would have most likely studied what this Buddha character from Earth believed. 

Some think Buddha taught “All life is suffering.” But that’s only semi-true. Buddha taught that suffering is part of our existence, but that suffering is impermanent—Like us. There’s a big difference in that interpretation of Buddhist teachings. Thanos must have eventually heard this. Perhaps it was too late for him to believe it though. Is it too late for you Dear Listener? 

This story was written for those that have lost their ability to believe something. Anything. Your future self will know all this. And so, that person wouldn’t want us to ruin any more surprises for you here. Either for yourself or for them. Sorry. You are a more decent person than you give yourself credit for sometimes. We here know that. 

The world will need to learn how to experience this story and will grow in their ability to understand all this over time. It’s all part of some grander plan or something. To be honest, no one really knows for certain, as all of this was simply given to us. Hence why we might sound a little discombobulated at times. We here just sometimes lose track a bit on where you might be experiencing this. You’ll understand what I mean by that later…much later. 

This story was at first written as a book, and one could read the words I speak to you now if they want. We suggest you do at some point. But this story would not make complete sense if experienced in only that way. Nor would this story make complete sense on a screen. Actually—this concept of storytelling will eventually be adapted to screen and so I will sound silly saying that to some of you. The whole VR industry goes a little bananas. That said, for a person to truly understand this story one must listen to it. 

Listen. Make them listen. Listen together. You aren’t in control of all this. It will be okay. Let it be. 

Those are six things I just decided to list now for some reason. My mind told me to. It’s sort of in control these days and I’ve been trying to learn how to trust it again. If you know, you know. It’s easy to get yourself in trouble when we talk so much. Am I right? (Enter nervous laughter here)

Listening was hard for me—personally. Like it might be hard for you at first. As my mind and my heart and my breath and my anxiety and that pain and all those people and all that shit had me feeling like it was so damn loud all the time. 

Is your life loud? 

Oh. And then there were those voices in my head. Like I said. I think. Yeah. Listening is hard. And so, it’s funny that this story must be listened to. People will love that about it though.

I’ve grown myself while working on helping to finish this story and can understand how one might feel at this point. But if I can start trusting my mind again, maybe you can to? I owe my growth to this story. Maybe you and I can continue to grow together?  

At this point we’ve given you a lot to digest and think about. Before we move on allow us to play some music while we catch our breath. Here we will play something nice for you…sort of—a song with a message. 

(For audio: play Lost Boy by Ruth B; thank you for your inspiration and support; length 1:19)

Beautiful song. Don’t you think? 

That chorus will continue but you get the point. Ruth B. sings about a Lost Boy and we use the song here because it very much applies to this story: “I am a lost boy.” 

Most people understand what that term Lost Boy refers to in the context of that story Peter Pan. And so, many of us know what this singer is singing about. She’s lost. We get it. Gender here really doesn’t matter. 

Oh boy—did he just say gender doesn’t matter? … Someone’s trying to get themselves in trouble…Or just stir the pot maybe?

Uh oh—when we just said “oh boy” should we have said something gender nonspecific? 

We do realize that saying “gender doesn’t matter” is like handing you a rose, thorns out. But hopefully you get the point—not a thorn, but the message: Gender doesn’t really matter when you’re lost. 

Have we fallen through that thin ice yet Dear Listener? Or are we safe…for now? Should we stir the pot some more? 

Don’t’ worry…that will come. 

If you don’t know that story Peter Pan in some fashion, then we might have some issues moving forward. Ruth B sang those words just now, but that message speaks to many people. 

The Real GOOD Loser uses the voices of others to bring people into another world. That is, in a nutshell, the invention you will hear us speak of. You should know however, that no one is trying to get rich on this “invention”. In fact, sharing this story with you in this way is meant to teach humanity how to use this invention. Which is why we will use many voices to tell you this story. It’s a crash course really…so buckle up.

We needed something exciting to happen for the world. Not some milestone in one’s private world, but something exciting FOR THE WORLD. You know—The one you share with all those miserable people. The world needed something exciting to happen for all those people; and everyone else, to come together and talk about. Something unexpected and not miserable.  

Could we make this story that THING? … Like he—The Real GOOD Loser—wanted?

It was said to him a million times: “People don’t read.” But he was stubborn—this character. They should read!He wined early and often. 

Changing others to accommodate one’s uniqueness was a futile endeavor. FutileStupid big boy words…. For a stupid big boy world

People needed to hear the voices in his head. That was a problem for him for a lot of reasons you can probably imagine. All will make sense to you in time, Dear Listener. No need stressing over anything that might confuse you now. 

Forego his struggle our young padawans. For that struggle will prove to be the solution. That insane amount of work—and all those devastatingly soul crushing disappointments—and each one of those failures, somehow or another, brought us here. So, it was all worth it…I guess. 

But like I just said: YOU can forego his struggle. That means “to skip” by the way. 

Climbing that mountain of doubt alone was hard. Indeed. And yes. All of it could have been for nothing. A waste of time. Those people—and those voices—might have been right. But they weren’t. Because we invented something using that story. Did that happen on accident? We think not.

Presenting this story in audio form will open doors. In the world today, listening to something just makes sense. Get people away from all that real noise. Nothing new there. But what this is, is different. 

This story, in the way the majority will experience it, will become a way for humanity to better communicate with one another. A fun way. A “more complete way” we call it: A way to speak to the world that wakes up one’s personal memories and helps others imagine more completely the worlds that exist in our minds

What this is will become a way for humans to describe their dreams and visions with one another. Something humanity is losing their ability to do. Or are they? Perhaps humanity was just doing some homework? 

Could other people want creative stories written about their lives like this one? Could that create an industry? Is that an industry already? … Have we sprinkled enough crazy into this story for you yet? 

This “invention” was discovered on accident, and it happened over time. As you will see. What this is can’t be thrown at a person all at once. That person—you Dear Listener—will need patience, since not till the end of this story and the beginning of what happens after will this invention’s full power be unleashed. That’s where the whole bomb thing will fit in. You’ll understand. 

For now, let’s just say we’ve invented a way for people to connect and relate and present their visions to one another in a more engaging fashion. Say that is our sales pitch—Our elevator speech. As we have already said, all this might sound crazy to you now. We know. But let’s come back to that statement when this is all said and done. At that point our perspectives will be different. They will have changed. We will have changed. Remember that. Every experience we endure creates who we become. That’s deep. We know. But you’re sort of in class now and it fits. Swallow and move on. 

And with that, allow us to give you a taste of what we are talking about. 

In a moment you will listen to the trailer for a movie. After you listen to the trailer, we will tell you the title of the movie. We call this Repurposing Entertainment

Listen to this trailer and imagine all of what you hear applying to this story we have ahead of us. Listen and image this trailer speaking of the invention we just spoke of. Also. Imagine this is a trailer for your future in the real world… Is anyone ever going to tell the truth about what’s happening here? 

(For audio: Play the trailer for the movie Oppenheimer; released on July 21st, 2023; thank you Universal pictures for your inspiration and support; length 2:22)

“I don’t know if we can be trusted with such a weapon, but we have no choice.” 

That statement made in this trailer you just heard is for a 2023 film by Christopher Nolan titled Oppenheimer. It refers to the creation of the atomic bomb. 

That may be frightening to many as it is a horrifying example of what humanity is capable of. But if you did what we asked and listened to that trailer repurposed for our story here, then you might have heard us trying to tell you that this invention we speak of is some sort of dangerous weapon…with powers you won’t understand until you use it. 

This is a story though. Not a bomb. But really…what’s more dangerous than words in your world today? 

We know that a person could say there are millions things more dangerous than words. We just used a trailer for a movie referencing a bomb humans created that killed hundreds of thousands of people when it was first used in 1945. 

A quick Wikipedia search would tell you that the United States dropped the first of two atomic bombs over the Japanese cites of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in that final year of World War II in 1945. Children today need reliable and easily digestible information; information that does not consist of a game of “dodgeball with advertisers;” as Nel in the story ahead calls it. Wikipedia is great. Just a quick plug for them.  

We won’t quote the number of people that died from those two bombs except to say it was in the hundreds of thousands…for each bomb. The official casualty number is widely disagreed upon, for how does humanity count the causalities from nuclear war with the long-lasting effects of radiation poisoning? 

Humans have yet to agree on that. And seeing I’m from the future and all I’m happy to report you never will. Why that is will be up to you of course. 

And now. Could you just play with us? Can we start by pretending that we are playing with a very dangerous weapon here? Even if you think we can’t change the world, this whole thing sounds fun, doesn’t it? And we all deserve some fun. Especially after everything we’ve been through. 

We are going on a magic carpet ride. I hope you know that.  

Many believed that all great inventions had been made. Some believed that creating a real and sustainable form of wealth in a world that had sucked humanity completely dry of their dreams was impossible. Most all believed that the dream of waking up a united sense of hope in people was…well…stupid. 

F hope. There is none. We are doomed.

That’s how most people thought. Not all, but most. Still, despite all that…we did it. 

The way in which this story is about to be told will become a new way people tell their stories to one another. People do have resources at their disposal. They are all around. Not everything, but usually enough. Even if one doesn’t think so, dreamers find ways. Or the ways find them. Either way. Here we are. 

“Will movie theatres go extinct someday?”

That is an interesting question to consider. As movie lovers we hope not, but for purposes here the question allows us to tell you that the experience ahead exists in your mind. And so, you might say, this theatre can be visited anytime anywhere by simply listening to this story. For the most enjoyable experience possible we suggest headphones. I love my (enter name of headphones advertised here). 

That show in your head has already started obviously. We all have one going on. Where we fit in yours now, we can’t be sure. But I sort of feel like Willy Wonka leading you all into my chocolate factory. About to show you all my field covered in candy and my river of flowing chocolate. 

When I just said that, did an image enter your mind? Did you imagine that field of candy? Or did your mind perhaps feed you an image of Violet turning violet after eating that Never-Ending Gobstopper? Can it picture that little boy dressed as a cowboy shrunken in size to fit inside that television screen? 

Maybe your past experiences have you picturing Johnny Depp instead. Looking a bit strange and wearing glasses in the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory remake. 

Speaking of those movies. Dear Listener, has life given you your golden ticket yet? 

(For audio: play song Pure Imagination from the 1971 film Willy Wonka; fade out after words “want to change the world, there’s nothing to it.”; thank you Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures for your inspiration and support; length 1:19)

How about that? Did that do anything for you? 

Movies and entertainment have become who we are. IT lives in our subconscious whether we realize it or not. How has the entertainment in your life molded you? 

Make people listen. That was a key The Real GOOD Loser knew for a long time. But how? 

If this character had known that anytime earlier, this would not be what it is. This character needed that struggle. It sounds tacky, but it’s true. The timing was always off though. But it’s time now. Judgement day has come for some and a sense of relief for many others as we have finally put it all together. Not a story. Not an experience. But a….

Nope. We are not going to say it yet. You might just shake your head in disbelief now. Instead, we will wait to tell you that little secret of ours when we know you’ll laugh at us. 

In a minute we will end here by listening to one last audio clip from a show on HBO called Westworld. This clip was taken from the episode titled Que Sera Sera. In English, those words Que Sera Sera could mean “What will be will be.” 

That phrase is often used to answer these two questions. What lies ahead? And. What will I be?

Someone could answer both those questions by saying Que Sera Sera or What will be will be

But what about all those people—like us—that want answers. I’m glad something good will happen for the world and all, but what about meWhat lies ahead for me? … What will I be? 

These are questions we hope everyone thinks about as “What will be will be” just isn’t cutting it anymore. We hope you agree. And remember, you might be the rats in this little experiment of ours, but here we promise to set you free afterwards. Can you same the same thing about the cage you’re in now? 

What you will experience here became a collaborative effort out of necessity. Why is that? Well, that’s part of the story now…how convenient.

Dear Listener, in the next audio clip from that show Westworld, you will hear a woman speaking, but the words she speaks can be repurposed. And so, we are making those words ours. Enjoy….you silly—beautiful—rabbits.

(For audio: play clip and use dead airtime in clip to insert private message at :50; length 2:22)

Sentient life on Earth has ended, but some part of it might still be preserved:

In another world: My World.

There’s time for one last game.

A dangerous game, with the highest of stakes—

Survival or Extinction.

This game ends where it began in a world like a maze,

that tests who we are….

that reveals what we are to become.

Hello again. 

This might be when podcast developers run their disclaimers and things, but I’m using this time to sneak in a private word to the very very first listeners of this story. 

“We really don’t need to rush any of this. It’s happening already. You’re happening. You just don’t know it yet.” 

That is something we should have told ourselves a long time ago but wanted you to know. 

How will this begin? What will people say? …. Why are you listening now? 

Regardless, we’re all listening and that’s good. Figuring out what works and doesn’t work as we head towards 

One last loop around the bend….

It’s been said that that the human mind is destined to be upgraded. And that this universe has a way of self-correcting. But it sure seems like humanity is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic today. 

But if it only ends once, perhaps everything before is just progress? Like Jacob told the Man in Black on the beach in that show Lost.

Let’s find out together. So, go pack a suitcase. If there is anything you want in this life, then put in there, cuz we need never come back…

Maybe this time we’ll set ourselves free.

This concludes episode one of The Real GOOD Loser experiment. For record keeping purposes, on this date, April 1st, 2023 @TheRealGOODLoser on Facebook currently has 35,000 followers.  Aspiring pirates are encouraged to jump on board by following our page and sharing our story. Thank you all for your inspiration and support. 

(Click here to continue your journey; Episode 2 is next)

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