Resolution for 2012. Give Away Some Money.


It’s time for my 2012 New Year’s Resolution.charity-donation.jpg

In past years, I’ve set my goals pretty high. Watch more TV. Learn to swim. Be less fat. Run a half-marathon.

I don’t want to brag, but check – check – working on it – and check.

But now on to bigger goals.

I’ve always thought my purpose in life was to give away large amounts of money to good causes (sadly, I don’t consider myself a good cause).

It seems like a very noble way to give back and make the world a slightly better place.

What a great gig.

Have a bushel barrel full of cash and sit around on my big behind and decide where the money could do the most good.

It sounds great.

In theory.

The problem is I don’t have a boatload of money (sorry you had to hear it here first).

Yet, I can’t shake the thought there must be more for me to do than slop down a third-rate blog with way too many readers (I’m not judging you people… simply questioning your good taste).

I’ve always resisted the urge to cash in on the blog’s nominal success.

I turn down most interview requests, guest posts, speaking opportunities, and most of all… advertising.

From the very beginning I assumed people didn’t want to visit a blog about education (and nothing) and see 17 ads from Viagra and Online Universities.

I still think that.

There is nothing worse than going to a website or blog and being overwhelmed with tasteless ads.

But I’m torn.

How can I give away money when I don’t have it?

So after over 560 posts (most of which need to be destroyed) and hundreds of thousands of visitors, I’ve decided to cash in.

Here’s my plan.

Step 1 – Start a charity (seems like a lot of paperwork, but I’m up for it).

Step 2- Get someone (any one…) to pay me for what I already do for free.

Step 3 – Take Buddy the Dog for a walk and decide where this money can best help kids, schools, or any good cause.

I’m convinced there’s no chance any of this will work.

Except, the walking Buddy part (he’s very insistent).

Wish me luck. Or call me crazy.

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Resolution for 2011? Cheat Certain Death.


It’s time once again to make unrealistic unreachable personal health goals.

My past list of New Year’s Resolutions can best be described as an Idiot’s Guide to Self-improvement.

One year it was to sleep more. That was easy enough. 

One year it was to take up smoking.  Although this one didn’t last long, I am willing to try it again.

Another year had me eating fewer vegetables.  Like stealing candy from a baby.

A couple years ago it was to watch more television. I don’t mean to brag, but I nailed that one (got off to a fast start on January 1 and never looked back).That's Me.  Dead.  Or Very Tired.

Last year I set my goal at learning to swim.  The jury is still out on this one.

I can sort of swim, but I also sort of sink to the bottom (if you don’t believe me… just ask me to save you).

People tell me I could swim if it was an emergency.

This doesn’t make me feel good.

First, like they know.  There’s no way they can judge the sheer level of my fear and panic when thrown overboard off a cruise ship.

Secondly, this is a test I’m really hoping to never take.

But you have to give me credit, I at least attempted to complete this resolution.

I attended every swim lesson and completely creeped my instructor out (she was used to working with 3 year olds… not 43 year olds).

I even have a certificate (suitable for framing) that says I’m not the worst swimmer she ever saw (I think she was just being nice… and encouraging me to just go away).

I feel really good about this.

This brings me to 2011.

My resolution for the upcoming calendar year is… wait for it… wait… I’m going to attempt to drag my big fat behind through a half-marathon.

Yes, that’s right.

I’m going to “run” 13.1 miles for no apparent reason other than to receive a free t-shirt (I continue to be a sucker for the free stuff… and it’s only costing me $45).

Is this resolution/goal doable?

Yes.

Will I actually complete the “running” of a half-marathon?

Probably not.

Can I run/walk it? 

Maybe.  If it’s not too hot.

Is it possible to finish by hitching a ride in some sort of medical transportation device (ambulance/golf cart/hearse)? 

Ding.  Ding.  Ding.Now That's a Lot of Water.

I don’t mean to brag, but this is very likely.

So there you have it.  I’m officially on record as saying I’m going to do what only millions and millions of other people have already accomplished.

Complete a half-marathon.

Maybe even on foot.

The race is at the end of April so I still have plenty of time to weasel out.

And if I do, I have a back-up resolution.

Drink more water.

So if you need me, you will either find my hyperventilating in the gutter of a street near you (passed out from too much exercise).

Or in the school hallway holding a mega gigantic bucket of water.

Either way, I’ve got a resolution.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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My New Year’s Resolution for 2010: Not to El Drowno.


Each year I try to provide some guidance on New Year’s Resolutions.  Generally, my advice is to not make one.

Why start off the year failing miserably… again.

Isn’t it bad enough that most of us failed the last 12 months?  Why start off the new year in the hole once again?

Half the people I know will say their resolution is to exercise more.

Who in their right mind thinks it’s a good idea to start exercising during the month of January.

It’s cold.  It’s cloudy.  It’s dark.  It’s a mortal lock that you aren’t going to run, walk, or sweat for the next 3 months.

If you feel the urge (or the peer pressure) to make a resolution, do all of us a favor and make one you can keep.

For example here was (and still is) my advice from last year’s blog:

“When I make a resolution, I try to commit myself to something that I have a snowballs chance of actually doing.

One year it was to sleep more. Check.I Don't Want to Drown.

One year it was to take up smoking. Check. Although that didn’t last long.

One year it was to eat fewer vegetables. Check.

One year it was to watch more television. I don’t mean to brag, but I nailed that one (got off to a fast start on January 1 and never looked back).

This year will be no different. The only question is to which resolution shall I commit?

I toyed with the idea of reading more, pursuing a doctorate, writing an intelligent blog, or possibly volunteering at a nursing home.

Let’s not kid ourselves. All of these are well beyond my reach.

So I have settled on the tried and true.

My resolution for 2009 is to be less fat.”

Sadly, like most of you I failed.  I’m fatter.

Not a lot more fat, just a little more fat.  But fat none the less.

My trip to Disney World didn’t help because their meals only come in one size… “All You Can Eat Buffat Style!”

And Buffat’s are never a good idea.  Even if you have Buffat Pants… stay away because the one thing they won’t serve you is self-discipline.

I am relatively confident that I can drop this weight and by January 15, 2010 I will be able to declare my 2009 Resolution a success.

So now it’s time to move on to 2010.

While my advice is not to make a resolution, even I don’t listen to myself.

So here it is….

… my resolution for 2010 is…

…wait for it…

…wait…

My 2010 Resolution is to “Not Drown!”

On the surface (or slightly below) this seems easy enough.  But it’s not.

I can’t swim.  I’m celebrating the 13th anniversary of my 29th birthday and I can’t float, tread water, or swim more than 8 feet.

I‘m the poster boy (or old man) for drowning.  But not this year.

Not with my 2010 New Year’s Resolution in place.

I am going to take swimming lessons.  So between February 1 and the end of April, I will be taking a class that guarantees that I will become a world-class non-drowner.

By the beginning of summer (if all goes well) I should have the skills that will allow me to go down the kiddie slide at my local pool (with floaties on my arms of course), land in the 3 foot shallow water, slash about like a madman, stand up, and live to tell about it.

I’m very excited.

The only downside is if I fail this class, it means I’m dead at the bottom of a pool.  Sadly, I won’t be surrounded by loved ones, just some college kid making 8 bucks an hour to teach old people what babies and dogs already instinctively know (how not to drown).

So that’s my plan.  At least until April.

Once I’ve accomplished my goal of not dying in the shallow end, I will still have 2/3 of the year to tackle my next resolution.

Speaking Spanish.

Since I’m not so great with English, it’s time to move on.

I want to be able to say certain phrases.  Like “Thank you”, “Where’s the toilet?”, “NAFTA was a bad idea”, “Before you kiss me Señorita, do you have the swine flu?” and “I hate soccer!”

So by the end of 2010, I should be less fat, a Olympic caliber swimmer, and bilingual.

Or dead.

Either way it’s going to be a big year.  Or should I say “Grande Year”.

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2009 is the Year of the Blog.


Who Doesn’t Love Fireworks?

Who Doesn’t Love Fireworks?

This is Part 2 (or the Deuce for my rather large 18-24 audience) of my series on administrators using more technology (or any… I will take what I can get at this point).

The first was An Open Letter to Superintendents and Principals: You Should Blog.

After writing the first one, I was overwhelmed by thousands of emails, comments, and letters (do people still write letters??).

Actually this isn’t true.

I didn’t get thousands, but I did receive several. The problem is they all came from people who recognize that technology is the future of education.

I already have their support. Now I need to broaden my base. I feel like a Democrat running for President.

Very few of the comments came from administrators. They are the ones I was hoping to shame into starting a blog. Or using email. Or simply just turning on their computer.

And by few, I mean 0 (that is a zero and not an O… in case you were confused).

I apologize if I insulted your intelligence, but I have often typed O when I mean 0. But enough about my dyslexia.

Administrators should blog. Or email. Or anything on the computer (just put down the pencil… it will be okay).

Why should you take this drastic step?

For one, it is 2009. Not 1979.

It is too easy to get stuck in our small part of the educational world. If we aren’t careful we will get bogged down by jammed copiers, hallway duty, locker room incidents, milk cartons that won’t open, and bathroom mysteries.

You can spend hours contemplating the minute details of your building and school district.

Before you know it, years will have flown by. Teachers will be organizing your retirement dinner (or roast… depends how good you were at handling those bathroom mysteries).

And just for the record, if retirement does call… answer the phone (don’t feel badly… you have earned it).

But before that happens, it is your obligation to keep up with the ever-changing times.

And these days that means technology. All technology, all the time. If you think it will go away, think again.

This isn’t something you can wait out. In education, we have been trained to do this with regulations, directives, and even testing. It won’t work with technology.

Our children and grandchildren are going to see to that.

As an administrator how many times have we all complained about the teacher who presents lessons in the same way he or she did 30 years ago?

Often times using the same lesson plans (just go to the filing cabinet and pull out the file folder for Chapter 1).

No innovation. No changes. No updates. No excitement. And no technology.

Yet, we seem to be okay doing things in the same way we always have.

As administrators we have built in excuses. We are too busy, we don’t have time to keep up with ever-changing computer stuff, and there is no point to blog because who will read it?

Sure we are busy, but so are teachers and students. If we have high expectations for them, we need to have the same for ourselves.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. The question is how we choose to use those hours.

Surely, all of us have 30 minutes a week to focus on updating our technology skills.

Technology is like a raging river, so you can’t expect it to stop and wait on you. Your only choice is to walk up to the edge and jump in (or have an employee push you… don’t kid yourself, they have been dying to).

Every school has a teacher or tech person who will sit down beside you and help. All you have to do is ask.

And in many cases, they are just dying for you to ask (just be careful this isn’t the same employee who wants to push you in a river).

Once you get started, it is amazing how much you can learn in a short amount of time.

Make 2009 the year you become a better administrator through the use of technology.

You will be glad you did.

Your teachers and students deserve it.

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My New Year’s Resolution for 2009: Be Less Fat.


Resolutions.

Resolutions.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 2008 is just about over. It doesn’t seem possible that another year has left us (time to do the taxes again and my last dental appointment was in 2008… crap).

Just yesterday it was 1999 and I was in our basement stockpiling water, guns, Twinkies, and beef jerky. The next thing I know (after noticing Y2K was yet another shame by the government) another decade is coming to a close.

Actually that last sentence is a lie.

Not a big one, the usual smaller type of lie with which I used to move along the plot of the blog (I am sure there is some sort of “official” English term for this, but my knowledge in that area is limited at best).

When I was stockpiling survival items, we couldn’t afford a basement. But basement is way funnier than small closet in the 2nd bedroom/computer room/storage area of a small apartment (just for the record, we thought we were living large).

So the end of a year can only mean one thing.

It’s time to make a resolution. Like everyone else in the world, I will undoubtedly keep this resolution for the entire year.

It’s time to make myself a better person.

Sure, I could do this on any day of the year, but to make it official I must wait until December 31.

My motivation for resoluting seems to be at its highest when college football bowl games are on (don’t ask me why, it’s just the way it works… and yes, I know resoluting isn’t a word, so save your emails).

Since I only have this one shot at improving myself, I really need to focus.

Why do I do this? Why do I feel such a need to make myself better? Why do I put myself through such torture?

Because. Just because.

It’s the American way. Everyone has to make a New Year’s Resolution. If you don’t make one, you are a complete failure as a human being.

You are a loser. I hate to use such harsh language, but it’s true.

Yes I am talking to you, loser not making a resolution.

If you don’t make one, it’s like you are snubbing the rest of us. Like you are so perfect, there is nothing that you need to change about yourself.

And don’t forget it’s the law. I read that somewhere.

This would explain why Americans are so focused on making resolutions. It will be on the news, in the papers, all over the internet, and even in moderately read blogs (I would name such a blog, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head).

And you know if it’s on the internet, it has to be true.

When I make a resolution, I try to commit myself to something that I have a snowballs chance of actually doing.

One year it was to sleep more. Check.

One year it was to take up smoking. Check. Although that didn’t last long.

One year it was to eat fewer vegetables. Check.

One year it was to watch more television. I don’t mean to brag, but I nailed that one (got off to a fast start on January 1 and never looked back).

This year will be no different. The only question is to which resolution shall I commit?

I toyed with the idea of reading more, pursuing a doctorate, writing an intelligent blog, or possibly volunteering at a nursing home.

Let’s not kid ourselves. All of these are well beyond my reach.

So I have settled on the tried and true.

My resolution for 2009 is to be less fat.

I am guaranteeing that on December 31, 2009, I will weigh less than I do today.

Why? Because I don’t want to end up being that guy on the Discovery Channel who needs an intervention and a chainsaw (the chainsaw is to cut a huge hole in the side of my house so that they can roll me into the yard).

Plus, who likes bedsores?

You may be asking yourself, how much weight will he lose? 10 pounds? 20 pounds? Or even 50 pounds?

Let’s not get crazy.

We are talking less fat, not a lot less fat.

The official number is at least 1 pound.

Sure it sounds like an unreachable goal, but I can do it. Even if it takes running an extra 3 yards each day. Or another 15 seconds on the exercise bike. Or possibly, cutting down to 12 Oreos per serving instead of the tried and true 13.

Just so this is an honest and fair competition (and please remember, there will be no wagering… unless you are feeling brave), my official weight today is 188.5.

So at the end of 2009, I will weigh at least 1 pound less.

This resolution will be like all of my others…an unbridled success.

And you know it’s true because you read it on the internet.

If you want to join me on the Resolution Train 2009, feel free. It’s wide enough for all of us.

Have a good and prosperous new year. If you need me I will be in the weight room.

Or at McDonald’s (getting my two Quarter Pounders, super-sized fries, chocolate sundae and small Diet Coke… after all, I have to watch what I eat).

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My Resolutions are Officially a Failure.


I Have Failed.  Again.

It is now official. At 9:15 a.m. my resolutions became a colossal failure. There you have it. I’m out.

Like most people, I got off to a good start. Woke up late after watching Ryan Seacrest on television (the man is a genius… no discernable talent and yet he is on TV 400 days a year).

I was quite excited to begin the New Year. So, I quickly threw down 14 Twinkies (which I bought by the case yesterday at a warehouse store for $3.00… I felt like I was stealing).

I must admit, the Twinkies went down smoothly. I thought I could get used to this gorging myself thing.

After swallowing them (they are a lot smaller than I remember as a kid), I washed them down with a small Diet Coke. I was well on my way to achieving one of my resolutions… I was going weigh 400 pounds during 2008.

But I evidently had gotten cocky. It all turned on me so quickly.

I went outside to enjoy my new hobby; smoking. I fired up the first of what was going to be several Marlboros.

Took that first long, smooth drag from the cancer stick. And threw up 14 Twinkies and a small Diet Coke right on top of a snowdrift in my backyard.

So, even with my sad little attempt to keep my 2008 New Year’s Resolutions by making them easy to attain; I have failed.

The shame I feel is overwhelming.

I have no choice but to go back to the old resolution standbys; exercise, eat right, volunteer, read more, spend time with family and friends, and get a large tattoo of Bob Barker on my lower back (don’t judge me… I love the Price is Right and his acting was genius in Happy Gilmore).

So I went for a walk. I don’t know what the weather is like in your part of the world, but it is 87 degrees below zero here (with a wind chill).

This brings me to weathermen (or women… I am okay with disliking them all).

Weather people have no idea what the weather will be like next week, tomorrow, or 2 hours from now.

Yet, they come on TV three times a day (more than Seacrest… again the man embodies everything that is right with America) and act like they have it all figured out.

If they don’t know if it is going to snow, shouldn’t their first step be admitting it? If you ask a weather person this, they say there is no way they can predict the weather long term.

Which my response would be, “Then stop putting the 7 day forecast on the screen, goofus!”

They tell us what the temperature will be (their best guess) and then what the wind chill will be. I don’t need both. Just tell me how cold it will feel when I am outside exercising.

You may be asking yourself, what does the weatherman have to do with me failing on resolutions 12 minutes after I started?

Nothing. I was just really cold on my walk.

I needed to vent. And my belly hurts from the Twinkies. And my chest feels tight.

I think I may have black lung from the one long smooth drag from that Marlboro (is that possible?).

If you work for either the Twinkie or Marlboro Corporations and need a spokesperson, I am not feeling too well so I will have to decline. You could buy advertising on this website, but I don’t think it would be the best way to spend your money.

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My New Year’s Resolution Advice: Focus on What You Can Achieve.


A Cat Smoking is Always Funny.This year I am going to choose my New Year’s Resolutions a little more wisely. 2008 is the year that I follow through on all of my resolutions.

I have been far too unrealistic in years past. No more feeling like a total failure when I give up on my resolutions. This year on January 9th, I will feel good about myself.

So for my 2008 resolutions I have chosen the following in no particular order:

• I resolve to become a cigarette smoker. I have never smoked, but I am not getting any younger. No time like the present.

First errand for me in 2008; purchase a pack of cigarettes for $900 at the local convenience store. I may pay in change, so if you are in the line behind me, I apologize (I may also be purchasing scratch off lottery tickets, so I hope you aren’t in a hurry).

• Another resolution is to pack on the weight. It is my goal to get as fat as possible. If all goes well, I could be one of those people authorities have to cut out of his or her house by December 31, 2008 (keep your fingers crossed for me).

I always thought that I was thin, but the doctor always tells me differently. She puts me on the scale and then looks at some mysterious chart with my ideal weight compared to my height.

The chart says at my height of 5’10”, I should weigh between 81 and 92 pounds. I will never beat the chart, so I might as well be huge.

• Along with gaining weight, it is natural to exercise less. Combining resolutions doubles my chances of being successful. No walking, running, biking, or lifting weights. The less movement the better. I may not be able to leave the house for the next 12 months, but I am willing to sacrifice.

• While I am smoking, gaining weight, and sitting around doing nothing I want to accomplish my fourth resolution. Put myself in such debt that there will be no way I ever recover financially.

And I don’t mean just regular debt. I mean maxing out 47 credit cards.

Why be one of those fools who puts money aside for a rainy day? I want the instant gratification of overspending. And with online shopping, I can stay in the house and eat while I overspend.

• My next resolution is to get far less organized. I figure with all of the smoking, overeating, lack of exercise, and huge debt, I am bound to spiral into depression.

Hopefully, the depression will lead to a total lack of motivation and who can be organized when they are in a cupcake induced depression? This one seems like a natural to me (almost too easy).

• Next I want to forget several things that I have learned over the years such as geometry, what an adverb is, and how to floss.

Lots of people make resolutions about expanding their knowledge. Not me, I want to cut back.

• I resolve to spend less time with family and friends. After all, I will be too busy out in the yard smoking Marlboros and eating Twinkies.

• Another resolution is to read less. Books take time. By giving this up, I will have more time for reality television. If I do this, I will never be smarter than I am as of today. This seems like an achievable goal.

• Lastly, I resolve to not walk around school with a 5 gallon jug of water the first week back. This should be an easy one to accomplish because I have no idea why teachers do this.

There you have it. My resolutions for 2008. Some people may call them “negative and unhealthy”, but I prefer the term “attainable goals”.

My hope is to lower expectations to a point that people are impressed by my accomplishments.

I already feel like a better person.

Happy New Year. I’ve got to go.

Those cigarettes aren’t going to smoke themselves.

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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.