School Administrators Don’t Fail to Plan, They Fail to Plan B.


School has been is session for 3 weeks. Which means a couple of things.

One, I can no longer recall this past summer. And two, I can’t envision next summer ever arriving.

Other than that, this school year has been great.

We’ve survived registration, Institute Day, Open House, the start of the football season, and the first full moon.

Since these big events are behind us, it’s time to settle into the everyday routine.

Routine is always good, but tiring.See, We're Not the Only Ones.

This became clear to me on Thursday evening. That’s when I decided to get up early Friday to exercise.

I didn’t plan to jog before work for the normal reason (exercise so I don’t have a heart attack in the hallway because it might be perceived as weakness…), but for a new reason.

I needed a nap after school on Friday.

School has been in session for over 15 days and I’m exhausted.

One might think I would be better off sleeping in and then exercise after school concludes on Friday afternoon.

Nope.

A quality nap is the type of long-term goal that gets me through the day. But it does need to be preplanned.

I schedule my naps so I can not only enjoy the experience, but I can enjoy the anticipation of the experience.

It kind of makes sense when you think about it (if you think about it and you are me…).

The ability to plan is a key to surviving as an administrator (notice I didn’t say succeed… just survive).

So on Friday morning, I got up bright and early at the precrack of dawn to jog. It was dark but the moon provided enough light to safely run.

I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed out into the early morning.

It was cool and I had the streets to myself. Perfect weather.

I don’t mind saying that I was cruising along. 3 miles from the house and it seemed like I could go forever.

Then it hit me.

I’m not comfortable describing exactly what hit me, but please know it wasn’t good.

I quickly recognized that while I had put a plan in place to exercise, I didn’t have the all-important Plan B.

If you are a runner, you know that in this case Plan B stands for bathroom.

This was a problem.

So I considered my options and quickly realized I didn’t have time to put together a committee.

I was on my own. A school administrator’s worst nightmare (after all, there is safety in numbers).

I’m no math teacher but when I run 3 miles away from the house, it is roughly 3 miles back to the house.

There is an educational lesson here.

Administrators need the ability to only plan, but the skill to quickly come up with Plans B, C, and D when their first plan fails.

And it almost always does.

This happens with scheduling, curriculum, athletics, AYP, and just about everything else that is part of running a school.

In my case Plan A (exercise) was a big success. Plan B was a little trickier, but I made it home.

Barely.

Plan C was the nap. After all of my work, what could possibly go wrong with me getting a little shut eye after school on Friday.

I rushed home, changed out of my school armor (shirt and tie), turned the TV channel to golf, and snuggled in with my best buddy (Buddy the Dog… and yes we were spooning… don’t judge us… because you don’t understand our love…).

I immediately went to that place where I’m almost asleep but still awake.

Then I heard it.

It was the end of Plan C, the nap.

My evil spawn throwing open the door, tossing her book bag aside, and yelling… “You two are pathetic… who sleeps on Friday right after school?”

Apparently, not me.

Lessons to be learned: One, exercise is a good thing. Two, fiber bars are tasty and filling before an early morning run, but they are also fast acting.

Lastly and most importantly, you can never anticipate everything that might happen to derail your plans. Especially if your opponent is an 8 year old evil spawn.

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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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If Exercise is So Good for You, Why Does My Back Hurt?


Even Homer Simpson is Running.I am punishing myself by running in a 5K. You might ask yourself why, well I am asking the same question.

School is about to start so it has been a long week, it is hot, the humidity is around 427% (just like recess in Florida), and it is early in the morning. A smarter person would still be in bed.

Of course if I was smarter; I would have gone to law school.

Like most kids, my youth revolved around sports, but I always hated anything to do with running. I wasn’t very good at track, mostly because I could easily convince myself if I didn’t stop running when I felt tired my kidneys would shut down, my eyes would bleed, and my brain would explode and seep out of my ears.

I started running a year and a half ago in the hope that it would prevent or at least postpone a mental breakdown and/or a massive heart attack.

Being a principal comes with a certain amount of job stress. I thought running might put off my untimely death by at least a few months; maybe even years (call me a dreamer).

It has also become my goal not to have a stroke at school. It is not that dying scares me; I just don’t want to give the students and teachers the satisfaction of seeing me keel over in the hallway.

I say that I run, but it is really more of a jog.

In the 5K today, I will get passed (not really passed because I will never be ahead of them) by old men who talk about their “mileage” and “workouts” and 104 pound girls who look like they need to stop running immediately and go eat a sandwich.

Running isn’t fun.

If you are thinking about starting an exercise program involving running, my advice is don’t. Running is a lot like drugs. Once you start it is hard to stop and it can’t be good for you.

People ask me if I enjoy my daily run.

What a stupid question. Of course I don’t, it hurts.

My knees are slowly wearing out and my back hurts. If I had sponsors for the 5K it would be Advil, Ben Gay, and Depends (if you run long distance you may find this funny and a little sad).

One thing that concerns me is you hear about people who run 82 miles a day, eat healthy, have low cholesterol, and then wake up dead at the age of 32 (a young age if you are as old as me… an old age if you’re in your high school).

It has never really been a goal of mine to be a really good-looking corpse.

At my funeral, I want people to say- “He looks terrible” because I am so old and shriveled up, not “Man, he looks great, I heard he ran every day.”

If I don’t survive the 5K, this could be my last blog. So, to the people who read this (yes, people actually read this blog… at least a few), I say thanks and go find something better to do with your time… just don’t take up running…

LATER ON THAT SAME DAY…

…well, I finished the 5K. I have gained the strength to type after nearly having a mini-throw up, drinking 16 gallons of water, and taking a 6 hour nap.

I saw lots of young ladies who really need to eat at least once a week and several old people who seem to enjoy running.

Around mile 2, in the heat, when I couldn’t pass what looked like 72 year-old man and I believe a pregnant woman, I vowed that if I finished I would never run again.

Unfortunately, I think running and exercise is like being in the mob… once you are in, you are in for life.

Sadly, I will wake up tomorrow (if all goes well) and I am sure my first thought will be… when can I get my run in.

My second thought… just when I thought I was out it drags me back in.

At least I will look good at my funeral.

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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.