Television Shows Should Be 9 Minutes Long.


So Sleepy.  So Old.I don’t mean to brag, but there was a time when I could watch 17 straight hours of television and never leave the couch (not to eat or… well you know).

During my youth, I could easily watch 3 movies back to back to back and not even blink.

Now?

Now I can’t look at a TV screen without being overcome with the feeling that I’ve just ingested a 72 oz glass of anesthesia (which would be smaller than the mega gigantic sodas they sell kids at convenience stores… can we make these illegal already?).

There’s something about life after the age of 40 (if you can call it a life). People warned me unexplainable aches and pains would show up when I reached this advanced age.

They were right.

What they didn’t tell me was that I would doze off after watching half a commercial.

People ask me what my favorite show is and I tell them I have no idea. I haven’t seen an entire television program in at least a decade (is Happy Days still on?).

My life can be broken down into two distinct eras. The years of my youth when I was alert and focused and on top of my game.

I call those The Golden Years (I just made that up).

And now my life is a pathetic existence where I spend my days just waiting for an opportunity to rest my eyes for only a quick second.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t like where this is headed (life never seems to end well).

I’m turning into an old person who eats dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon so they can be in bed by 6.

Of course this means I will be awake at 2 o’clock in the morning so I can sit at the kitchen table and wait for the newspaper to arrive.

The newspaper that no longer exists.

Sad.

Not about the newspapers.

Me.

During the course of writing(?) this blog, I took two naps. Seriously.

Even sadder, school will start soon and the kids in each grade will be the exact same age they were last year. Me on the other hand

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Get Yourself Organized. An Unpaid Plug for Stardock Fences.


Here is a free product tip.  And by free I mean I’m not getting paid (as usual).

This summer, take a few minutes and organize your desktop so you don’t have to spend 25 minutes looking for a folder or document next fall.

Below is is a picture of my laptop (gold screen) after I downloaded the free version of Fences.

I’m too embarrassed to show you what it looked like before.

Check out Fences.

Thank me later.

Man, My Computer Looks Good.

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How Do You Hide in Plain Sight?


As I get ready to change jobs something has occurred to me.

No, it’s not the daily opportunity to shove the Evil Spawn into a locker (although this does sound enticing… and may just happen at some point).You Can't See Me.

It’s the fact, I will be living in the same town where I work.

This is unprecedented.

Not for normal school administrators.

For me.

I’ve always lived in a different town from where my school has been located.

This may seem odd to some, but it’s worked for me.

It was nice to drive away each night and leave my troubles behind.  At least until my cell phone rang.

Funny how trouble knows my number.

Now, I no longer have that advantage of anonymity.

But I do have the opportunity to go to school with the Spawn (the odds of her ever getting asked out on a date have just dropped dramatically).

Like so many things in life, there’s some good and some bad.

On the upside, I will be living within one mile of my schools.

On the downside, I will be living within one mile of my schools.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a little concerned.

Proximity may not be my best friend.

This makes me wonder how I will ever get away.

Disappearing is a possibility.

And I’m not above faking my own death.  Although it will be much harder once the authorities read this blog (like anyone reads this blog…).

Maybe it’s just me (but I’m guessing it’s not), but when we go on vacation I’m always struck by how easy it would be to just disappear.

Find a small town.  Find a job.  Live under the radar.

Stay out of bar fights (easier said than done).

Disappear.

Vanish.

I bet this happens more than we know.

But how does one do this in daily life?

How do you work as a superintendent and be a parent without being consumed by school every second of every day?

Is it possible?

Or am I setting myself up for another extended period of insanity?

Should I get my fake ID’s in order (I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to do this)?

Should I ask to be put on the substitute teacher list in Jordan, Montana (see I just picked this off the map… I’m telling you it’s not that hard to disappear)?

Is this my only chance of peace and quiet?

Subbing in a town you’ve never heard of.

Or can you live and work and continuously bother the Evil Spawn in one town?

I guess time will tell.  And by then the spawn will be 30 years old and still single.

In the meantime, I’m not the only one who needs to hide.  I measured her locker this morning and I’m pretty sure the Evil Spawn will fit.

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What Will Politicians Be Doing in 20 Years?


As I push mowed my lawn this weekend, it occurred to me that politicians are setting terrible examples for our children.

It also occurred to me that I need a riding lawnmower.The Look.  Of Idiots.

Or, as the Evil Spawn calls them, a Sit-n-Mow (she may one day major in marketing… which unfortunately means she will be moving back in with us after graduating from college).

Since it takes me forever to mow, I started thinking about all the politicians who have failed us.

And not just with their policy judgment.

I’m talking failing us by having no moral compass.

When I was a kid, the list was two.

Richard Nixon and Gary Hart.

That was it.  Or at least that was all we knew about.

Now, every day brings another moronic situation where a politician has done something so immature it would cause a 7th grade boy to shake his head in disgust.

President Bill Clinton.

Governor Mark Sanford.

Senator John Ensign.

Senator John Edwards.

Representative Anthony Weiner (that’s his name… really…).

Governor Eliot Spitzer (also a real name…).

They all have one thing in common.  Besides being male (which may explain the immaturity and bad judgment), they all lied about what they did.

Isn’t this the 3rd rule you learn in kindergarten?

After “share with your neighbor” and “raise your hand before talking”?

It usually works like this. 

Politician does stupid.  Lies about stupid.  Continues to lie about stupid.

Holds a press conference in regards to stupid.

Tries to talk wife into attending said press conference.

Half-heartedly apologizes for getting caught.  Begs for forgiveness.  Promises not to do stupid again.

Or at least promises not to get caught doing stupid again.

Gives the look of shame (see picture above).

And repeat with next idiot politician (they don’t seem to learn how to avoid stupid from each other).

My question is what will elected officials be doing in 20 years?

Now it’s girls and Twitter.

By then it could be robbing liquor stores and stealing cookies from Girl Scouts.

These people need to be stopped, but there are just so many of them.

I’m starting to feel overwhelmed.

They are everywhere.

It’s the same feeling I get when one 2nd grader asks me to open their juice box and before I know it I’m surrounded by 127 juice boxes (these kids are like cicadas).

I just need a moment to get my thoughts together.

And also remember how to shove that little straw into the tiny juice box hole (this is NOT a euphemism on politician behavior… although it could be).

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New Principals: If You Read Only One Blog, Make It This One.


I began my administrative career as a principal 9 years ago and can still recall how I felt on my very first day.

The sun was out.  Not a cloud in the sky.  I recall a slight breeze out of the southwest. 

It was the perfect school day.  I Was a Little Bit Nervous.  And This Isn't Me.

There wasn’t a student or teacher in sight (it was summer).

I walked into the office and plopped down at my desk.

And that was it.

I didn’t have a clue what to do next.

So, I just sat there.

In a puddle of my own sweat and fear.

In summary.  New principal.  Scared to death. 

My gut told me I was unprepared and in way over my head.

My gut was right.

And a little nauseous.

I felt like two cats were wrestling in my lower abdomen.

As I look back, I realize how thankful I was for two things.

1.) What a lucky break I didn’t eat the night before.  This eliminated the possibility of getting sick on the giant stack of paperwork which sat before me.

There’s really nothing more pathetic than a new principal hurling on his desk after 30 seconds into the job (the custodians would have never let me live this down).

2.) I was blessed with a secretary who recognized the “deer/principal caught in headlights look” I was wearing on my completely translucent face.

It’s a miracle she didn’t call the morgue on me.

I’m still not sure what kept me from sprinting out of the office and back to my life as a teacher (it might have been because I was concerned running might cause me to wet myself).

Luckily for me, I survived my first day and many more.

The one piece of advice that helped me through those early days came from a wise old administrator.

He looked at me with a slight hint of disgust in his eyes and said “Don’t be an idiot.  Do what’s right for the kids because you are probably going to get fired anyway.”

So wise.  So true.

The moral of this story: If you want to survive, find a good secretary and make decisions in the best interest of kids.

And if you remember nothing else from this blog, please know it’s probably not a good idea to eat Mexican food the night before you start a new job.

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I Know You Can Believe in Yourself.


This little guy just learned to ride a bike.

And he’s excited.

And he’s about to give a motivational speech.

His experience is a lot like life.  If you want sucess, you just have to keep practicing.

And believe in yourself.

Rock and Roll!

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.