Missing: The Swine Flu.

What happened?Confused.

Why didn’t all of the schools close?

Why did the media stop covering the story of the century?

Where did the Swine Flu go?

I’m confused.

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Top Posts of 2009. And the Duds.

It’s time to summarize what I’ve accomplished in the past year.

In two words:  not much.

131 blog entries have produced little more than some rambling incoherent thoughts.  Tens of thousands of words and yet my writing skills remain largely sarcastic, immature, and borderline angry.2009 Blogs.  They Can't All Be Winners.

Ahh, who am I kidding?

It’s good to be me.

The PrincipalsPage.com Blog continues to grow each and every month.  What started out as a pathetic attempt to amuse myself has turned into a pathetic attempt to amuse others.

People from all over the world (171 countries in 2009) have taken time out of their days (and nights… who knew so many people read blogs between the hours of 12 am to 5 am???) to visit and sometimes even leave a comment.

Comments are one of the ways to judge which blogs people like and dislike (another way:  long rambling emails laced with lots of cursing).

What I have learned over my last 42 years of writing blogs is that I have no idea what subjects interest people.

The blogs that get the most comments are often times written (or thrown together) in 15 minutes.

The ones in which I put actual thought and effort often turn out to be duds.

So with that in mind, I have complied a list of the “Most Popular” blog entries by month (based on the number of comments) for this past year:


January 2009 is the Year of the Blog.
February When Hiring Employees, Avoid This Mistake.
March People Want a Boss.
April Is Your Email Address Keeping You From Getting An Interview?
May Swine Flu.  Just When Schools Thought They Had Heard of Everything.
June Girls and Sports.  Why Their Love of Sports Isn’t Really Love at All.
July If You Think Your Kid is Gifted.  Think Again.
August 5 Things I Haven’t Done (and Everyone Else Has).
September I’m Old.  And Evidently Fat.
October Schools Can’t Change.
November Fired.
December Helicopter Parents:  Leave Your Kids Alone.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a list of what I thought would be “Instant Classics” that turned out to be “Colossal Failures” (based on the number of comments).  Who knows, maybe someone will feel sorry for these and leave a comment (or 12).


January What Feelings?  I’m a School Administrator.
February We Need More 8 Year Old Kindergarten Students.
March Enough With the Resumes.
April Class Reunions.  Pick a Side.
May School Pictures:  How Many Friends Do They Think I Have?
June Dancing Without Shoes?  Not on My Wife’s Watch.
July It’s an Odd Feeling Meeting People.  Especially, When They Already Know You.
August Is Three-Day Weekend a Mood?
September Speeding Ticket:  The Prequel.
October The Golden Rule:  Scream at Others and They Will Scream at You.
November The Weather is Too Nice to Blog.
December All Blogs Are Niche Blogs.

So 2009 comes to an end. 

I’ve worked a full-time job; written some blogs; traveled to Washington D.C., Miami, and Walt Disneyworld; attended countless meetings and presentations; watched what seems like a thousand athletic events between school and my Evil Spawn; and had an endless supply of snot-nosed 3rd graders visit my home.

I also started a very special relationship with Buddy the Dog (again, don’t judge us) which has nothing to do with the point I’m attempting to make.

And I look forward to 2010, I am struck with one thought.

How have I escaped the Swine Flu?

Wasn’t I supposed to be sick by now?  The government and the media was obsessed with me getting the flu during the first 11 months of the year.  They wanted me to get a shot.  They trained me to cough into my arm instead of my hands.

They told me to close school if students were sick.

What happened?

Oh yeah, Tiger Woods went for a drive in the middle of the night.

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Which Will Make Me Sicker? The Swine Flu or the Media?

Remember When Pigs Where Our Friends?  I Wonder If They Are Upset About the Whole Bacon Thing?Last winter I wrote (slopped down… whatever) two blogs about the overreaction surrounding this country’s newest arch nemesis… the Swine Flu.

If you haven’t heard, the Swine Flu is not our friend.

How do I know this?

Because it has all of the characteristics of the perfect arch enemy.

It’s mysterious, has a cool name, comes from a less than intelligent animal, gives schools the opportunity to close or dismiss early, and it doesn’t like children.

Basically, it’s kryptonite for school nurses.

And you know it’s a big deal because nothing can stop school nurses.

This spring school districts all across the country were burdened with the decision about what to do if their community experienced an outbreak of the dreaded Pig Flu (not as catchy, I know).

Government officials were happy to do their part to fan the crisis.

The Department of Diseases Contracted from Filthy Farm Animals (which I personally didn’t even know existed) put out daily emails explaining what schools should do if one of their students had the flu.

I appreciated their guidance in the first few emails. Though, I must admit my interest waned after email #154 (and this came in day 2 of our long national Swine Flu crisis).

To the amazement of no one (other than government officials), schools have a pretty good handle on kids who are ill.

Personally, I have a standard reaction when a student gets sick in the hallway.

Step One: I try not to step in it.

Step Two: I try not to breathe so I don’t throw up in the hallway (no one likes the Vomit Chain Reaction).

Step Three: I send the student to the office so the nurse can comfort them until mom, dad, or grandma can come and pick them up (it always seems like grandma… never grandpa… another one of education’s great mysteries).

Step Four: Call a custodian and ruin his/her day by telling them a 1st grader’s stomach just exploded (I have never seen a custodian smile after receiving this dreaded news… and they should because it could have been something worse than the stomach explosion).

Step Five: Involves Mom/Dad/Grandma. They simply keep the child home until he or she feels better.

It’s a tried and true plan.

Simple but effective.

And it served us well before the Department of Diseases Contracted from Filthy Farm Animals came along.

The problem wasn’t that the government wanted us to take this situation seriously, it was the media’s overreaction to the entire event.


Yes, I said it. The media overreacts.

And then they beat the overreaction to death.

This goes on and on and on and on until a more exciting story comes along.

Remember Gov. Mark Sanford from South Carolina? The guy taking secret “vacations” to Argentina to “see” his girlfriend.

He was all the rage (and still would be) before Michael Jackson passed away.

I’m not saying the Governor was happy about the unexpected death of Mr. Jackson, but I’m not say he wasn’t…

In the case of the Swine Flu, the media has had all summer to get revved up to cover this story as the flu season cranks up.

And schools will be right in the middle of it.

Lucky us.

One day we may look back and appreciate the good old days when flu was just a smelly interruption to a winter school day.

I for one am going to take this latest outbreak of Swine Flu seriously.

I’m getting my annual flu shot for $60 (used to cost $8 five years ago).

I only regret there isn’t a Media Shot that would prevent me from getting sick as I watch all of the “Swine Flu and Schools” stories on the news this winter.

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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.