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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Graduates: Rules for Real Life.


It’s the season.  Graduation Season. I’ve been too busy to blog, so here’s some advice for the Decatur Herald and Review. (Decatur, Illinois)Good Luck Class of 2013!

Since it’s graduation season, this seems to be a good time to publish this list of rules for graduates as they move on in life.

The rules are often, incorrectly, attributed to Bill Gates or deceased novelist Kurt Vonnegut. The list, however, is the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book “Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, or Add.”

At any rate, it’s a good list to think about:

Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping. They called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rainforest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades, and they’ll give you as many chances as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

There are three additional rules that aren’t always printed:

Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic.

Rule 13: You are not immortal. If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure, parents are a pain, school’s a bother and life is depressing. But someday, you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.

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Life.


When you break it down, it’s really quite simple.life2

This does explain why preschool was so challenging.

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Life Moves Pretty Fast.


Life Moves Fast.We now have about two weeks until Thanksgiving break. Life continues to speed by. I am sure it was just spring like ten minutes ago. This whole thing is starting to approach the ridiculous stage.

The longer I work in schools, the faster I think the time goes. School day after school day rolls by like we are sitting still. We get through one holiday and another one is upon us.

I think it is more noticeable in schools because we judge time not by years, but by midterms, nine weeks, semesters, seasons, holidays, and events like graduation. Every time I turn around, there is another event quickly approaching.

I get to school early (unless I’m sleepy), work for an hour (unless I’m lazy), go to morning duty (unless I get lost), come back to the office (again, unless lost), and then it is 7:30 p.m. (back to sleepy).

Kids who were just in 5th grade are now picking out their high school graduation announcements.

Teachers in the middle of their careers, when I began teaching, are now looking forward to retirement.

Students I had in my classes now stop by and visit when they come to school to pick up their kids (from 4th grade).

We just brought my daughter home from the hospital, and now she is almost a third of the way through her first grade year. Before I know it she will be in junior high (unless she continues to forget to do her chores; then we are giving her away- I am not joking- her room is such a mess that the other day she lost her bed).

Somehow, someway I have got to figure out a way to slow life down. If I could figure this out and then bottle it, I could make millions.

As that great American figure Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

He was/is a genius (and never got sleepy).

The fact that Ferris Bueller 2 was never made is the greatest crime of the 21st century.

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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.