College.


Sunshine is Nice.

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Only Idiots Run Marathons.


The title of this blog may be a lie.Run Forrest, Run.

I really have no idea because I’ve never ran a marathon.

26.2 miles seems like a long way.

I know when I’m in the city if a restaurant is over 5 blocks away, I take a cab.  Or I don’t go.

It has never ever occurred to me that I should run to the restaurant.  And it’s only 5 blocks (although city blocks seem rather long).

So the thought of running over 26 miles seems insane to me.

But the thought of running a half marathon seems like sheer genius.

Train hard.

Lift weights.

Waste my winter weekends traipsing around the ice and snow covered streets of small town America.

And then the big moment arrives.

Race day.

Time to run with 20,000 like-minded completely insane people.

People who wear trash bags as jackets.

People who use porta potties like oxygen (anyone who uses a porta potty has completely lost their marbles… or REALLY has to go).

People who get sick along side the road during the race.

People who collapse from the heat.

People who double-over with leg cramps and scream like they are giving birth.

Runners are an odd group.

And I’m not too embarrassed to say I’m one of them.

I just don’t know why.

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Sundays Are No Longer a Day of Rest.


When I was a kid, Sundays could be boring.Sunday Should Be Fun Day.

You slept a littler later.

You went to Sunday school and church (tried your best not to sleep there).

You ate lunch.

Maybe watched a game on TV (of course, this was before there were a thousand games on television at all hours of the day and night…. so you had a choice of one).

Took a nap.

Sunday afternoon stretched in to Sunday evening and they both seemed to last forever.

Now, Sundays fly by.  Before I know what’s happened it’s Monday and the start of another work week.

Saturdays are no better.  They are spent getting everything done in advance of Sunday so when it arrives I can be completely busy on the last day of the weekend.

Or is it the first day of the week?  I don’t even know because they all run together.

The world has gotten busy.

Some might say too busy.

Being bored used to be a terrible feeling.

Now it might be kind of nice.

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Discovery Education Part Duex: Beyond the Textbook Continues.


Instead of making you watch a projector slideshow of my trip to Washington (old school reference), I thought I would just share my thoughts about my experience at Discovery Headquarters.Discovery Education.

First, I love a free trip.  I’m not sure which I love more – the free or the trip.  Combine them and I’m in heaven (if you are reading this and in charge of giving away free trips, please keep me in mind).

If you recall and I’m almost positive you don’t, I was invited by Discovery about this time last year to take part in a forum on digital textbooks (I’m told it’s the wave of the future).

The way this works is Discovery pays your expenses for two days and then they own you.  Sort of like a college athletic scholarship except there aren’t coaches from Discovery screaming at you.

Discovery flies or trains you in, provides a hotel room, feeds you, and then asks a lot of questions.

Their purpose is to learn the thoughts and ideas of people who may one day implement digital textbooks (or techbooks) in their school districts.

My purpose was to be helpful but most of all to learn something.

This is harder than it sounds.  Think about all the workshops, webinars, speeches, curriculum groups, etc. we’ve all sat through.  More times than not we all leave these experiences dumber and angrier than when we walked in.

Going to Discovery is just the opposite of this type of experience.  These people are so happy with their jobs  it’s almost creepy.

It is hard to be around them and not take something positive away from the experience

When the forum was over, I felt much smarter.  I’m sure I’m not, but the feeling is nice.

I would like to feel taller, but that’s a different blog.

Participating in an event like this at Discovery is fun for several reasons.  The biggest for me is I’m not in charge.  And it’s nice to be part of a group where you don’t hold any responsibility (other than being there on time and eating Georgetown Cupcakes).

It’s also nice to be asked questions instead of being the one asking.  Plus, anytime you find yourself in a situation where everyone else in the room is smarter, you should take advantage of it.

For two days, we were quizzed by the good folks of Discovery Education on a variety of topics.  The main one being what a digital math techbook should look like.

I’m often asked my thoughts about buying textbooks, but no one has ever asked me to help design a very preliminary version of one.

I guess I can check this task off my bucket list.

When Discovery comes out with their Math Techbook, I’m sure I won’t recognize it.  It will likely not look anything like the one our group came up with, but that’s okay.

We were there when they started.  And that’s pretty cool.

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QR Code Birthday Cake.


The Evil Spawn just turned 12.Happy Birthday Ashton.

She’s a nerd and I use this term with respect.

She’s a great nerd (she prefers geek).

For her birthday, she wanted a QR code cake and a QR coded scavenger hunt that led her and her friends all over town.

They went to all of her old haunts.  From her first babysitter to the dentist’s office where she lost her first tooth. 

The clues led them to the grocery store where they had to figure out how much money we have spent on Buddy the Dog’s food in the last four years.

They even visited their 2nd grade teacher where they had to recall the order of the planets from their very first big school project and recite them to her in order (funny what they forget).

They had a blast even though they have evidently forgotten everything they learned in 2nd grade.

It’s good to have a school technology coordinator as a mom.

Go ahead, scan the cake with your reader.  It works.

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Where Have I Been?


I can tell you this, I haven’t been blogging.Buddy the Dog.

Why?

I was hacked.  Not mad, hacked.

As in my blog was hacked (I think you probably get it by now).

Fixing something like this took me longer than I imagined.

So, since January 21, I haven’t written a thing.  Other than about a bazillion Twitter tweets.

And I launched my own website at www.michaelsmithsupt.com.

And lucky for me, school seems to keep me busy.

The break from blogging was good.  I must admit, not having to come up with the next topic has been kind of nice.

Although, I have felt a little guitly.  I never wanted to become the person who just stops blogging without an explanation.

So during my time off I’ve tried to stay productive.  I’ve updated the cartoon on the blog (actually, I have people for this). 

The Evil Spawn and Buddy the Dog continue to grow up right before my eyes.

Weirdly, my wife and I never age.  Not sure how that works, but I know if you pay your cartoon guy enough everything seems to fall into place.

So I’m back.  Hopefully, with interesting stories about my school year, family, and soon the highlights of my trip to Washington D.C. (Thank you Discovery Education).

I do appreciate all of the people who continued to check in and read the blog even without anything new.

I question your taste in blogs, but I do thank you.

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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.