Kids These Days Are Weird. I Mean Wired.


I’ve noticed something about The Evil Spawn lately.Rockin It!

She is growing up (sad, I know).

With this comes the inevitable.  She will spend more time with her peers and less time with her parents (this part isn’t completely sad… but we try not to tell her as to not hurt her feelings).

She’s at the age where she wants to be around her friends all the time.  Sleepovers, parties, movies,  etc.

She even likes to arrive at her games early so she can spend more time with her teammates.

But, I’ve noticed something.

The girls she plays with like to be in the same general area, but they don’t spend much time talking to each other.

Everyone has an iPod.  Or iPad.  Or iSomething.

While they are in the same general area, they aren’t really together.

They all have their own apps.  Or music.  Or TV show to watch.

This is fine by me because they are quiet.  Which is a huge bonus if you have ever lived with an 11 year old girl.

But what will they be like in the future?

Will they continue to be around people but not directly communicate?

Will they go off to college and never speak to their roommates.

Instead of meeting new people as they get older, will they continue to text or contact their friends from home while ignoring people who are 3 feet away from them?

How will they act as adults?  Will they know their neighbors?  Will they interact with other parents?

Even more confusing to me, how will they be when they are old?

Are we raising a group of children who will become the first generation of nursing home residents who sit together but never speak to one other?

It’s possible they may be way too busy downloading apps to talk to their grandchildren.

Of course, by then, there may not be apps.

Or grandchildren.

Because they really don’t interact.

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The Voice of the Active Learner.


From Blackboard.

Share with a teacher or administrator.

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Why Are You Reading This Blog During Christmas Break?


IMG_6834

Get a life people.

Most of you probably have a few days off, and you shouldn’t be wasting your precious time on this drivel.

We all spend way too much time mindlessly staring at our computers and looking at the same websites over and over.

Trust me, what was on ESPN.com 2 minutes ago is still there (I just checked).

What’s sad is this blog has an extremely large amount of visitors every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

How pathetic it that?

I feel somewhat responsible for the dumbing down of America.

So, if you are reading this blog, I have some suggestions.

 

1.  If you are enjoy reading a blog about school administration (boring), save it for when you’re back at work and need to waste time.

2.  Read an iPad (books are so yesterday).

3.  Talk to your family.  Or if you don’t care for your family, talk to someone else’s.

4.  Sleep (from the picture you can see Buddy the Dog has taken my advice on this one).

5.  Go to the movies.  Tom Cruise needs the money and we all need $12 nachos.

6.  Take a walk because in about one week we will all come to the conclusion we’re fat (in retrospect, lay off the nachos and invest the $12).

7.  Write your own blog (this would take some of the pressure off me and also give me something to read at work).

8.  Pick up trash (this just seems like the right thing to do).

9.  Clean out the junk drawer you know we all have.  As an added bonus, you will no doubt find the 47 batteries you are about to need on Christmas morning.  Plus, this will save you a trip to the gas station in your pajamas.

10.  Go shopping and get your spouse a very special Christmas gift.  They will not only love it, but will owe you for all of 2012 (I’m personally counting on this one).

 

Merry Christmas.  If you need me I will chasing the Evil Spawn down the side of a mountain (skiing).

I look forward to starting the new year on crutches.

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Are You Thankful?


The Evil Spawn is.

She has a list of 25 items for which she is thankful.

I’m happy to say I made the list.what are you thankful for

Right underneath…

Mom.

Buddy the Dog.

Food.  Water.  Air (the girl has her priorities).

Chocolate.

iPads.

Her teacher.

Coats (?).

Friends.

Art.

Softball and basketball.

Dogs.

Beagles (evidently, not covered under the categories of “Dogs” or “Buddy the Dog”).

Pokeman (it’s a phase I won’t miss).

Earth (fair enough).

4-H.

Flip-flop socks. (What are those?)

Color (?).

Creativity.

Desserts.

Computers.

And the woman who answers questions on my iPhone, Siri.

And finally, last but not least, her dad.

I guess I should be thankful I made the top 25.

It would have been discouraging if I got bumped out by “Coats”.

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Why Has This Blog Been on Vacation? Ask My Computer.


This is one of those blogs only I care about (but this works out well because it is my blog).

Let’s just get this out in the open.

No need to sugarcoat things.

We‘re big boys and girls after all. (if you are under 18 and reading this… get a life).

I can no longer coexist under the present circumstances in which I am forced to live.

Sure, I can put on a happy face.broken-laptop1

I can act like everything is okay.

In fact, I don’t mind saying I feel some pressure to do just that.

Pretend like things are great.  Pretend like things are wonderful.

Act like we are the happiest couple in town.

Well, we’re not.

And I’m tired of living a lie.

Sorry, you had to read it here but you’ll eventually get over it.

After the tears.

And the sleepless nights.

And of course, the self-loathing.

All stages I’ve had to work through.

Well, here it is.

I hate my computer.

Hate it.  Hate it.  Hate it.

I know you aren’t supposed to hate things (except for Hitler, door-to-door salesmen,  stubbing your toes, people who tailgate you on the interstate, and diarrhea).

Well, I hate my computer.

And all of those things listed above (especially the last one… which is incredibly funny if someone else has it).

My whole life is on my computer and yet it fails me at every turn.

Have a big report due?  Computer isn’t working.

Leave the computer on the bed for 2 short days and what happens?  Buddy the Dog eats the N and the M keys.

Have a PowerPoint presentation to give to 200 people?  Computer ate it.

Need to write another low-level mindless blog?  Computer won’t hook up to the internet.

I’m in the habit of writing(?) a bad blog every 3 days.  If I don’t, I get jumpy.

And you don’t want to see me jumpy.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why do I need the internet to write a mildly amusing (only to me) blog?

I don’t.

I just like to check out www.espn.com a couple thousand times instead of doing something productive (by the way, you’re welcome for the free plug ESPN).

The point is, my computer is only broken when I need it the most.

I don’t like this.

I don’t like it one bit.

My iPad never lets me down.  It always works.

So consider this a warning laptop computer.

You are officially on notice.  Get your crap together, or else I just might start using a Mac.

My love for technology is turning to hate.  Luckily for me, I realize the first step to recovery is admitting I have a problem.

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Buddy the Dog Has An Arch Nemesis. And So Do I.


We have a new member in our household."We Meet Again, Mr. Robbie."

Robbie.

No, we didn’t buy the Evil Spawn a brother (she is adamantly opposed to the idea of sharing her stuff).

We got a Roomba.  Robbie the Robot is now vacuuming the house while we are busy not vacuuming the house.

He’s a good robot.

Mannerly.  Well-behaved.  Neat.

Everyone loves him.  Except for Buddy the Dog.

He’s also adamant about not sharing his stuff.  And his stuff includes all flat surfaces which may be used for napping.

As you can guess, he’s not thrilled with the idea of a machine darting across his territory while he’s in the middle of one of his 9 snooze marathons.

Up to this point, Buddy has lived the perfect life.

His typical day consists of:  Morning sleep.  Treat.  Afternoon sleep.  Treat.  Eat.  A walk.  Treat.  Early evening sleep.  A bunch of treats.  Three humans fighting for his attention and love.  More treats.  Late evening sleep.  Treats, treats, treats.  And bedtime.

And then the cycle continues.

If you are scoring at home, that’s roughly 21 hours of sleep, 1 meal, 1 walk, 34 treats, and 957 kisses on his beagle head.

From my perspective, it’s a pretty good gig.

Until his dreaded arch nemesis snuck up on him from behind (and who among us likes that).

This got me to thinking.

Now that Buddy has an arch nemesis, what’s mine.

Some might say The Evil Spawn, but that is just for blog purposes (of course, this will change when she’s an actual full-blooded psychotic teenager).

After much consideration, I’ve decided my arch nemesis is time.

No, not Father Time.

Although I do seem to be obsessed with the aging process (life never ends well).

Just regular time.

My days aren’t long enough.

My weeks go by far too quickly.

Weekends and holidays barely exist.

Vacations are a blur.

And each school years seems to get shorter and shorter.

It didn’t used to be like this.

Time used to be my friend.  Time used to last forever.

I hate to say it, but I think technology may be to blame.

Weren’t computers, cell phones, iPads, Twitter, blogs, etc. supposed to make my life easier?

These things were going to give me more time, not take it away.

Maybe my New Year’s Resolution should have been using less technology.

I bet Buddy would agree with this.

I bet Buddy would like it if Robbie “disappeared”.

I’ll have to ask him.  If he ever wakes up.

For more Buddy the Dog vs. Robbie updates… follow The Evil Spawn on Twitter (@Buddy322).  Sad, but true.

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Cursing is Wrong? I Wish Someone Had Told Me.


I knew when we bought the Evil Spawn there would be some new responsibilities as parents (I like to think of her as an investment in my future… which means free-housing when I’m old and senile… or older and more senile).

I anticipated doing things I wouldn’t necessarily love.

Like watching soccer games.

Keeping the Santa thing quiet.I Always Feel Better After Letting It Out.

Attending school open houses and feeling awkward (me, not her).

Arguments about not buying her a cell phone until she can vote.

Paying for college (college… from my mouth to God’s ears!!!).

Listening to her bedroom door slam for no apparent reason.

Listening to her and her loser friends sing every generic Top 40 song that comes on the car radio (how do they remember all the words???).

Wondering why she can’t tell the difference between a dresser drawer and the floor of her bedroom (one has handles and one is made of carpet… it’s not that hard).

The usual parent-kid stuff.

What I didn’t anticipate was the child to which I gave birth (yes, it wasn’t all her mother) would become the official Judge and Jury on my language.

This is an issue in which the Evil Spawn and I just don’t see eye to eye.

I’m pro-cursing.

She’s anti-cursing.

I blame her babysitter for steering her down the path of righteousness (when the spawn was 4 she was told stupid and crap were bad words… which I think is a bunch of Stupid Crap).

Don’t get me wrong, my language isn’t terrible.

It’s also not good.

Every once in awhile I need a word that is a bit stronger than my day-to-day selection (it’s a free country after all… except in the school hallway).

I really only curse at two things.  Myself and machines.

And in my defense, I usually do it under my breath (at least in my head it’s under my breath).

How am I supposed to go through life doing stupid stuff without cursing?

Occasionally a man stubs his toe, drops a plate, or misses a 2 foot putt to lose $20 dollars on the golf course (most if not all of these have happened in the last 48 hours… as far as you know).

I don’t think cursing at myself can be held against me.

The only other time I curse is when machines don’t work.  A mower, bicycle, laptop, iPad, toilet, and my car have all got a good tongue lashing in the last few weeks.

If I don’t put my machines in their places, how will they know I’m in charge?

There has to be a pecking order or else we are looking at mayhem.

But the Evil Spawn is having none of this.

She has a strict No Cursing Policy in what used to be my house (now it’s hers… and Buddy’s).

Every time I say something she considers inappropriate (see:  stupid, crap, butt, or anything that has a question mark or asterisk in it…), she stands in front of me with her mouth dropped to the floor (just like the clothes/towels in her room) and points at me like I just drop kicked a kitten.

I feel horrible.

Not because she’s disappointed in me.

Because I can’t enjoy a good curse word (or paragraph).

Before I reproduced, I wish someone would have told me about the “No Cursing Rule”.

Evidently, when you bring a child into your home, you have to abide by their rules.

The whole concept makes me so !@#$%* mad!

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Ahead to the Future.


I Used to Ride My Bike.

Evil Spawn.  4th grade.  Yard.  iPad.  WiFi.

What’s this?

A little thing I like to call the future.

Don’t wait, it may pass you by.

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I Bought a Book.


It’s true.

I’ve purchased a brand new 2010 book.

It has a shiny cover and 244 pages.  Much to my disappointment, it has no pictures (or sadly pop-ups).

My intention with this new purchase is to do a little something I like to call “reading”.

I’m not sure how this adventure will turn out, but I’m optimistic (always the glass is half full kind of guy… or not).

You see, I don’t read unless it’s on my laptop or phone.

Consequently, I don’t buy books. 

That wasn’t always the case.  I used to read.

Of course, that was way back in the Pre-Technology Days.It's a Book.  I'm Going to Read It (in Theory).

Many of you probably don’t remember the good ole days.  The 80’s, 90’s and the whatever the 2000’s are called (back when I was youthful and vibrant… before life had beaten me down).

Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for me to read several newspapers a day.  On a good day, I might even crack open a magazine or a book.

Not now.

I’m way too busy.

Too busy searching the interweb.  On my email machines.

My time is spent on sports scores, the 10 day weather forecast, watching my investments tank, and looking for retirements spots (I WILL win the lottery… I NEED to win the lottery… and SOON).

I’m busy.  Really busy.

This is my way of saying  I “waste” a lot of time.

The world wide web is one part convenience, one part information, and 7 parts time sucker.

Something tells me this book may very well be the last one I ever buy.

I don’t own a Kindle or an iPad.  But I will.

We all will.

And probably sooner than we realize.

In fact, and I’m going out on a limb here, I think devices like these will be required by every Pre-K through college student in just a few short years.

This may sound crazy today, but it won’t in 5 years (if you don’t believe me reread this blog in 2015… like it will exist in 5 years, or 5 minutes…).

Presently, schools require students to provide their own pencils, paper, binders, folders, glue, Kleenex, and countless other school supplies.

Why not have each kid bring a machine on which they can read textbooks?

Your first reaction may be Kindles and iPads are way too expensive for the average family, but they won’t be in a few years (or months).

It just doesn’t make sense that schools continue to purchase expensive books when students can simply download them on their first day of class.

This sounds far-fetched, but I think it’s coming.

And soon.

Now while you contemplate my latest half-baked idea, I’m going to read a book.

Quite possibly, my last one.

Book report coming soon.  Unless I get busy checking the long-range forecast.

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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.