As I Hurdle Towards the Sweet Relief of Death.


I just had my 45th birthday.  At least I think it was my 45th.I Need This Car.

At this point, I’ve lost track.  And really don’t care.

My theory is any birthday from this point forward beats the alternative.

If I really think about it (and I try not to), my life is probably half over.

It’s probably more than half over, but I’ve convinced myself with advances in medicine, an occasionnal walk around the neighborhood, and only eating17 cookies instead of 21, I should live until at least 90.

Not that I want to be that old, but again it probably beats the alternative of a dirt nap.

Since the clock is ticking I should really get on with accomplishing something (anything) before it’s too late.

I shouldn’t waste my last few remaining good years watching TV, tweeting, mowing my yard, or even going to work.

I should be making the world a better place.

My time should be spent on charity work.  Traveling.  Maybe building a school for the less fortunate.

Meanwhile, I’m shuffling paperwork and worrying about mandated testing.

This doesn’t seem right.

I’m on the clock.  I have things I need to do.

And first on the list:  Mid-life crisis.

So if you need me, I’ll be driving way too fast in my brand new red convertible I can’t afford sporting a mustache and wearing a tight shirt unbuttoned two buttons lower than appropriate.

Once I get this phase out of my system, I can help build a school.

Or at least mow my yard.

*Note from editor in chief…aka…tech-geek wife or whatever it is you call me on this "blog"…ummmm…it’s 46 and no…just no…on the mustache and unbuttoned shirt that is…I am totally good with the brand new red convertible.  Maybe I am having a mid-life crisis too…after all I turned 39 this year.

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In Education, What’s Really Important.


As a school administrator, one of the best parts of my job is seeing students mature into young adults.  Keep in mind it’s only one part.  Getting a paycheck is also quite pleasant.Really?

I see first graders grow up and become Prom King or Queen.  I blink my eyes and the fourth graders who play soccer or basketball during recess are now playing on high school teams.  Little kids who sing their hearts out in music class suddenly become the lead performers in the high school musical.

Time goes by so quickly (a sure sign of old age).  The experiences we have with our kids when they are young are valuable.  It is the basis of how successful they will become as adults.

This is why parents are always concerned about their child’s education.  They want everything to go just right (and in my case to make sure The Evil Spawn is self-efficient enough to live in her home after she graduates).

Parents want the best for their son or daughter and that’s how it should be.

They worry about getting them in the right school.  They worry about them having an advanced curriculum.  They are concerned about getting them placed with the proper teacher.

I think all of these concerns are valid, but in my opinion they are not the biggest issue in regards to a student having a positive school experience.

The number one thing a student needs to be successful is placement in the right class with the right mix of students.

In the correct situation with the right peer group, a student can make wonderful progress.

Academics can improve.  Behavior will be appropriate.  Attitude won’t be a problem (until they become teenagers… then it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves).

Without the right peers, all of this can go the wrong direction.

A good class can bring everyone along for the ride.  Every student will maximize their potential.  A bad class can drag everyone down to the bottom.

This doesn’t mean they all have to be “A” students.  It’s more about their personalities meshing.

Student placement in the right class far outweighs the right teacher or certain school building.

I don’t discourage parents from worrying about their child’s school, teacher, or curriculum.

They just shouldn’t forget to worry about the peer group that will surround their son or daughter for the next 13 years (if all goes well, of course).

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Parents: Just Say No.


I’m old, so I have the right to complain about all of society’s problems.NO!  Say It!

As an old person, I’m of course bothered by young people and their new-fangled ways and crazy ideas.

I like things, not the way they were, but the way I remember them (which is a lot better than they were).

Lots of things bug me, but I don’t have time (or the strength at my advanced age) to blog about all of them.

One, stop with the trophies.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  if your kid (or mine) is crappy at a particular activity, they don’t deserve a trophy.

This leads them to believe they are just as good as the other kids and it’s just not true.

It’s okay to be bad.  It encourages children (and adults) to search for activities in which they are better.

Finishing 2nd stinks, but it’s not the end of the world.

The Constitution says “We are All Created Equal.”  This is true.  You will notice it doesn’t say, “We are All Good at Soccer When We are Eight Years Old.”

Some kids just aren’t as good as their peers.  If you ask them, they know.

Giving them a trophy might make the adults feel better, but it doesn’t make the kid any faster.

Another thing (actually there are many more, but I’m getting sleepy) that bugs me is parents need to man (and woman) up and tell your kids “No.”

“No” isn’t a curse word.

It’s not insulting.

It won’t ruin their lives.

If it hurts your child’s feelings, who cares.  They will grow up and hate you for a lot more complicated reasons than telling them “No” when they wanted candy, or to watch TV for 47 straight hours, or begged you for money, or wanted to wear something inappropriate to school.

“No” is good.  We all need to hear it.

Discipline is what we do for children, not what we do to children.

Stop with the trophies.  Stop trying not to hurt you precious child’s feelings.

They will survive.

We did.

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Time Flies.


This is my first blog since May.Time Flies.

Where have I been?

Everywhere.

Michigan.  Indiana.  Ohio.  Home.  School.

Asleep.  Jogging.  Bike riding.

Softball games. 

Twitter.

Mostly, Twitter.

Way back in April, some crazed anti-education blog person (probably Eastern European… because they are always the villain) infected this blog with a dreaded virus.

By the time I got everything fixed, I wasn’t in the mood to blog (notice I didn’t say write… since nothing on these pages qualifies as "writing").

Blogging is funny.

If you do it all the time, you want to do it all the time.

If you don’t, you don’t.

Sure, I could have replaced all the hours I used to blog and done something productive like charity work, but instead I wasted them on Twitter. 

It seemed so quick and easy.

Maybe it’s my ADHD.  Or maybe I don’t have ADHD.  I can’t remember, and I’m out of medication.

Plus, I think I just saw a squirrel run by the window.

Anyway, a lot has changed since I last posted.

The Evil Spawn is now a full-fledged teenager.  Buddy the Dog is staring down middle age.

Actually, he’s asleep, but if he ever awakens, I’m sure he will be staring down middle age.

Another school year and summer break has come and gone.

I’m older and everything takes longer.  And I can barely see, but that’s another blog for another time in a size 24 font.

Maybe I will get ambitious this fall and blog about my adventures.  Or maybe I won’t.

Time will tell.

On my Blog 2.0, I am no longer linking anything. Takes too long.  And I have a squirrel to chase and an old dog to pet.

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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.