Fear of Flying.


Tomorrow, I get on a plane for Washington, D.C.

I will be visiting the headquarters of Discovery.

I’m very excited.  I’m hoping to meet Mike Rowe, the Mythbusters, or maybe the nut jobs from Storm Chasers (really… it’s pouring down rain… go inside already).

Meeting important people (even unstable ones) will be the fun part.

The bad part is flying.

I don’t fear flying, I just have some concerns.

On the list is the inevitable groping I always have to endure at the airport.  This time could be especially painful since I’m still trying to bounce back from my "vacation".

Another thing I always worry about is changing time zones.  It’s confusing.

When I travel and have to go from one time zone to another, two things invaribly happen.

One, I’m always hungry.  And two, I’m always doing math in my head to figure out why I’m starving at 9:30 in the morning.

But the biggest thing that scares me about flying is the unknown.

And I don’t mean how does a giant metal tube hurtle through the air.  Or will a flight attendant slam a metal cart full of nothing good to eat into my elbow just as I doze off?

My biggest concern is who I will sit by.

I can’t be the only one who gets on a plane and then waits.

Waits while passenger after passenger boards.  I check them all out to see which one I might not want to sit by.

Don’t get me wrong, 99 out of 100 people I’m good with sharing a row.

It’s the one percent that concerns me.

And you know who I’m talking about.

The mom.

The mom with a baby.

The mom with a newborn baby.

The mom with a newborn baby who has never flown before.

The mom with a newborn baby who has never flown before and the baby has a terrible ear infection.

There’s one on every flight (or maybe it just seems like it).

My only hope is they won’t sit by me.

It’s not that I dislike this mom. In fact, I feel sorry for this mom.

I survived (barely) 6 months of a colicky Evil Spawn.

And I don’t want to go back there.

Ever.

So keep a good thought for me.  I know I can’t avoid the groping, so I’ll just ride that out.

But the crying.

I can’t take the crying.

"Please walk by me… please walk by… please… I promise you God I’ll be good… if they just walk by… please… please…"

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My Life Has Officially Peaked.


This may be my last blog (stop cheering… I can hear you).

There are two reasons for this.

First, my life has peaked.

Secondly, I have no business flying halfway across the country by myself (has anyone ever gotten lost in the Atlanta airport and starved to death??).  Since the odds of me surviving this travel experience are somewhere between slim and none, I think my focus should be on more important things than writing a blog.

This brings up the question of why I’m unfit to travel by myself.

If you have to ask, it’s obvious you haven’t read very many of my blogs (to summarize… I’m an idiot who doesn’t get out much).

But let’s not focus on my lack of worldly experience.I'm a Loser.  But I Don't Care.

Let’s focus on the most significant event of my 42 years.

One so grand that it may cause me to give up the blog.

And the fame and fortune that comes with it.

What is about to take place is epic.

It’s monumental.

Colossal.

Ginormous.

And prodigious (thank you Mr. Thesaurus).

This is the coolest thing to ever happen in my young life (I always make sure I hang around with old people… so I look youthful).

It’s more exciting than college, marriage, the hatching of my evil spawn, or a Mike Rowe drop-in (not a big fan of the drop-ins, but for Mr. Rowe I would make an exception).

I haven’t been this excited since my daughter said “You know, I may not play soccer next year.”

Sadly, there is only one direction my life can go after this event to end all events.

But who cares.  It’s going to be worth it.

This weekend I fly to Miami (if all goes well… and again… slim and none).

Once I arrive (yeah… right)… get ready… wait for it… this is so big…

… I will be picked up by a car service.

I’ve done it!!!

My life is now complete!!!

A car service (I’m hoping for a limo, but I will settle for anything that isn’t yellow, and doesn’t smell or say Taxi on the side). 

Who would have thought it?

Certainly not my teachers.

Or my parents.

Or anyone who has ever met me.

A car service.

A dream come true.

It’s like I’ve been drenched with a big bucket of giddy.

I can hardly wait to see my driver standing by the baggage claim holding a sign up with my name on it.

Or more likely, his fingers in the shape of an “L” next to his forehead.

Either way, I’m good.

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Famous People Read This Blog. Or More Likely; He Lost a Bet.


Another Opportunity to Post About Mike Rowe.Today, I am proud to announce that the PrincipalsPage.com Blog had its most famous visitor (that I know of… there could be others… but probably not).

Alan November was kind enough to stop by and leave a comment on “Travel Does Stink, But Alan November Was Great” (and no, I didn’t pay him… not that I wouldn’t, I just can’t afford it).

He qualifies as our most famous visitor because he has his own website, people pay to hear him speak, and it’s my blog so I get to decide who is famous and who isn’t. Please don’t confuse Mr. November with Alan Rickman, Alan Thicke, Alan Keyes, Alan Arkin or Alan Jackson (pretty much all of the famous people with the first name of Alan that I could think of).

As I mentioned before, if you get a chance to hear him speak; run don’t walk. You will learn more about technology in education than you could have ever imagined.

I have no idea why he picked that particular blog on which to leave a omment, but I am assuming he lost some sort of bet and was forced to read it (and possibly because his name was in the title).

You would think that he would be too busy to read this meaningless drivel, but life continues to surprise me.

Since I have officially named Mr. November our most famous guest, I want to thank him. And just as importantly, whoever forced him to read the blog.

Hopefully, he has opened the floodgates and the blog will be flooded by even more famous people.

Actually, I have never understood the fascination with famous people. Aren’t they just like us; only with nicer cars and better hair?

I have always been dumbfounded by the paparazzi following them and taking their picture coming out of Starbucks; or people hounding them for their autograph; and especially the fact that they need to thank God for their latest award (isn’t God too busy to worry about this year’s Best Supporting Actress?).

I usually find famous people odd and a little sad.

But if Mike Rowe stopped by and left a comment, that’s another story. Quick, someone bet him.

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Life has a Funny Way of Choosing a Career for You.


I'm Still Searching for My Career.Every winter, I find myself asking our juniors and seniors what their plans are after (if, in some cases) they graduate.

Generally, I get the same answers; college, work, the military, get married, or the #1 most popular response… I don’t know.

As adults, whether we are administrators, guidance counselors, teachers, or parents; we all want a specific answer and an even more detailed plan on how students will accomplish their goals and become productive members of society.

We don’t want to send them into the future and have them change their mind 27 times (that being said, you know a lot of people go to college for 7 years… they are called doctors- Google it).

We want young people to pick a path in life and then stick to it.

This is well-intentioned advice, but how often does anyone pick a career in high school, and then actually stay with it for 40 years?

When I was in high school, my plan was… well I didn’t actually have a plan.

Come to think about it, I still don’t (mental note… come up with a career goal so that I can stop flopping around through life like a newly caught bluegill thrown onto the shore).

By the way, I think that was my first fishing reference (you have to admit…it was just a matter of time).

One of my greatest achievements in life is that I have never really looked for a job. Opportunities just seem to find me. If you are thinking that makes me kind of pathetic and extremely lucky… I would have to agree.

It does bring some excitement to my life. My anticipation builds as I wait until my next job finds me. Keep your fingers crossed, I am hoping for greens-keeper, neurosurgeon, typewriter repairman, or Mike Rowe’s sidekick.

Regrettably, I spend more time reading about career advice, then actually doing anything about it (pick a career blog… there are about a 1,000 of them).

As educators, we seem to push kids towards getting a four year college education. I think maybe because that was our plan (those of you who actually had one).

This is good advice, but lots of people are successful without graduating from college.

It doesn’t concern me if my plumber, mechanic, or cable guy didn’t do that well in high school Chemistry or English 4 class, or have a college education.

They have skills that I don’t. Sadly, they also probably did better than me in Chemistry and English, but that is not my point.

I often wonder if it is unrealistic to expect a 17 year old to have a plan. Most of them think the future is what will happen at lunch or right after school.

To expect them to map out a long term career goal while still a teenager seems like wishful thinking on our part.

I meet people everyday who are great at their jobs, but I don’t think they are necessarily working in a career that they considered in high school.

They probably had some idea of what they wanted to do after graduating, but life has a way of pushing us towards what we are meant to do.

Everyone’s career choice is much more complicated than meeting with the guidance counselor 3rd period and choosing one out of a book.

Money, relationships, children, health, etc. often send people into a career that they hadn’t thought of at the time of their high school graduation.

I think we might be better off having a system that has kids work in different vocational areas during high school which would give them options and ideas.

Then we could send them all to college for a year or two without having them declare a major.

That should be enough time and life experience to allow them to make educated decisions on their career paths.

Now that I have this educational problem solved, I think I will search the internet for a new car.

I’ve heard that neurosurgeons make really good money.

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Thanksgiving is Over, TV Stinks, and I Have a Man Crush.


Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.Now that Thanksgiving is over, I thought I would watch some TV. Turns out there is nothing on, because television stinks.

What other industry in the last 20 years has grown and diversified like television, but has steadily gotten worse?

I think we were all better off back in 1980 when I was a kid. We lived in the country and had a TV antenna that provided us with four television stations. Of course this could change if it was raining, then we might pick up additional stations or have none at all- it was a roll of the dice.

Maybe I am getting old and cranky (who am I kidding?….maybe?… more like definitely), but I think TV was better when we had less choices.

I have no idea what is on TV tonight, but I can still remember what was on when I was 12 or 13. That would have been somewhere around 1979 or 1980 (please feel free to check and see if my memory is as good as I want to believe it is- although I can never find my truck keys or remember what day of the month it is).

On Sundays, I watched Disney’s Wonderful World, Chips, and Trapper John M.D. I would have preferred staring at Charlie’s Angels, but my mom considered that pornography. She was right, but I would have still loved to have a Farrah Fawcett poster or t-shirt (for you youngsters- she was hot before bad plastic surgery and the insanity set in).

Mondays were all about That’s Incredible and Monday Night Football. Where have you gone John Davidson and Fran Tarkenton? The football game was a huge deal, because this was before you could watch 20 pro and college games every week on TV.

Arguably, Tuesdays were the best television night of the week. Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Three’s Company (funny and rude, although I didn’t get the rude part back then- evidently my mom didn’t get it either or this would have also been considered pornographic).

Wednesdays brought us Eight is Enough or Real People, Different Strokes, and Facts of Life (this was before all the kids on these shows were on drugs). As I got older, I would also watch Vegas or Quincy (Quincy was old, grouchy, and cool- he was CSI before Grissom).

Thursdays were the next best thing after Tuesdays. Our viewing choices were Mork and Mindy, Bosom Buddies, and Magnum P.I. (man those guys were cool- although in retrospect, Magnum’s shorts could also be considered pornographic).

Four words sum up Fridays- The Dukes of Hazzard. Magnum was cool, but couldn’t hold a candle to Bo and Luke. They gave country boys the hope that they too could be cool (all we needed was a fast car and some flannel shirts- scratch that we already had the flannel). Plus they had Daisy and that in combination with puberty was a recipe for disaster. It is my understanding that “Daisy Duke” in French means- pornographic.

Saturday was Barbara Mandrell and her less talented sisters (dad controlled the TV on Saturdays). Don’t even get me started on Hee Haw (Sunday nights I think- maybe that is why I still dread Sunday nights- this is like therapy).

Back then TV had fewer choices, but I think it was so much better. When you went to school everyone had watched the same thing, so we all had that in common. Maybe having 500 stations isn’t such a great idea.

HD is nice, but it doesn’t make a bad show any better.

Now that I am older and have all of these stations to watch, I have no idea what is on.

The only day I even feel the need to watch is on “Man”day’s (that is Monday for those of you who don’t live in my house). Prison Break, Heroes, and 24 are the only shows I have to watch. Except for…

my friend, my pal, my hero, my man crush- Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. If he is on, I am watching. If you have no idea who I am talking about, you have my condolences on the sad and pathetic life you are stumbling through.

Mike Rowe is a hunk of man candy and without a doubt a genius. He goes around the country helping regular people do their terrible, often unappreciated jobs and he gets paid (I am guessing a lot) for it.

I wish he was my neighbor, but it is probably for the best that he isn’t. I would stalk him and he would probably never be home anyway.

There are a ton of bad jobs out there for him to shadow. And as long as there continues to be 500 stations with nothing on, there will always be a place for Mr. Rowe.

And with my luck, my next neighbor will be Mr. Roper or Ralph Furley.

Please feel free to Google: John Davidson, Fran Tarkenton, Mike Rowe, Mr. Roper, Ralph Furley, or any other pathetic 80’s or TV references that I have made. I am sure you won’t be alone. Please don’t Google pornography on my time. Thank You.

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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.