Society Has Gotten Too Fast.


I have a theory.Ferris is Cool.

Not because I’m smart, but because I’m old (two of the benefits of being old are you can say whatever you want… and eat dinner at 3:30 pm).

I think life is getting easier, but less enjoyable.

The interweb is great.  Stores being open 24/7 is wonderful.  Getting our news and weather whenever we want is nice.

Every day more and more things come along to make our existence more pleasant.

In theory.

Apps are nice.  Movies on demand are great.  Central air certainly has it perks.  Smartphones are cool.

There is no arguing technology is great.

But on the other side of the coin, everything happens all the time.

We’ve lost something.

And I think it’s free time.

Boredom is good because it makes you appreciate other experiences.

And in this day in age, I’m never bored.

Who has the time?

Between work and weekends that are busier than ever, there is no down time.

This weekend I ran (jogged… whatever) a half marathon.

I hadn’t trained nearly enough.  I had a bad foot (worse now).

Yet, I didn’t want to miss running (jogging… whatever… I get it).

Why?

Because I was so looking forward to the 2 hours with no phone.  Or email.  Or resposibilities.

Just running along with thousands of complete strangers who wouldn’t ask me a single question about anything important.

No responsibities other than putting one foot in front of the other (and not wetting myself… runners will understand).

This doesn’t happen often enough.

No, not running a half marathon.

Slowing down for two hours.  Or two minutes.

Maybe I need a skip day like Ferris.  Anyone want to go… Bueller, Bueller, Bueller… anyone?

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What a Long Strange Run It Was.


I’m alive.

The announcement of my impending doom turned out to be a little premature.

Although there were several times during my half marathon where I was praying to all that’s holy to grant me the precious gift of sweet sweet death.

But I survived.I'm Alive.  Barely.  But I'm Alive.

And you know, the half marathon wasn’t that bad.  It seemed more like 12.79 miles than 13.1.

Now that it’s over and I’ve had time to reflect (and ice my knees), I would like to share my thoughts.

There are a surprisingly large number of moronic people who like to put their aging bodies through massive amounts of pain on a Saturday morning and call it a sport.

They seemed okay with all the suffering as long as they got a medal.

And a free t-shirt.

It’s never been more clear to me than this very moment that people will do almost anything for a free t-shirt.

As the race started, I met two college boys who partied until 4:30 am and then stumbled to the starting line.  I’m not sure if they finished the race.

I’m guessing they got arrested somewhere along they way for RWI (running while intoxicated).

It’s never a good sign when you smell that bad BEFORE the race.

I found out that when you run long distances, sooner or later you will come upon a bad Elvis impersonator.

Of course, this assumes there are good Elvis impersonators.

I found out spectators along the race route LOVE to dress their dogs up in costumes.

After it was over, I found out I finished 2,136 out of 6,435 runners.

This means there are a lot of slow people running around (although not very quickly).

I shouldn’t poke fun because they did beat every other living human being who didn’t run (so they have that going for them).

And 2,135 beat me (all the training and over 2,000 people beat me… a little discouraging).

During my 2 hour adventure (and 21 seconds), I saw lots of strange stuff.

People along the race route were giving out free beer.  And hot dogs.

I almost got sick when I saw this.

Then I realized at about mile 9, I was both thirsty and hungry. 

Maybe these people weren’t as strange as I thought.  Maybe they were just being helpful.

I had no idea if you are running in a half-marathon this gives you a license to use the bathroom anywhere you choose.

All you have to do is send in the entry fee and you’ve evidently purchased the right to publicly defecate. 

Who knew?

I’m putting this in my “Things to Remember” file.  It could come in handy.

I saw moms pushing baby strollers.  I saw little kids running (and beating me).  I heard at least 5 people say “I can’t believe I did it!”

I saw thousand of total strangers cheering thousands of other total strangers.

I saw grandmothers and grandfathers.  People in good shape and bad.

Skinny people.  Not so skinny people.

Hundreds and hundreds of volunteers who wanted to be there just to help.

I saw a little bit of everything.

But there is one thing I will always remember.

And that’s the feeling you get when you are surrounded by thousands of people who have a goal.

Some want to win.  Some just want to finish.  Some want to run with their son, daughter, parent, or best friend.  Some want to simply not die.

But they all want something.

And everyone is pulling for everyone else to reach their goals.

You don’t find this in everyday life.

But there seems to be a special bond when you line up thousands of people, a guy with a microphone yells “Go!”, and total strangers head off on a 13 mile adventure.

People have asked me if it was worth it.

The answer is yes.

Hello, I got a free t-shirt.

Of course it was worth it.

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Running a School Doesn’t Count as Exercise.


Running is Way Different Than Running a School.The working title of this Blog was “School Administrators Are Fat”. My wife thought it was unusually mean, so hence the change.

I almost always follow her judgment because it is impeccable (expect for her choice of spouses, but that’s a decision with which she has to live).

During my extensive travels last week, I noticed some things. Examples of my observations include the rattling air conditioner in my room, the general awkwardness of riding in an elevator with total strangers, and the fact that my Master’s Degree in Administration is of no help to me when I am struggling to open a hotel room door.

By the way, who knew that if you put your room key card next to a credit card it will no longer work. There is so much for me to learn in this great big world.

The number one thing I noticed on the trip is school administrators are fat.

That may sound a little harsh (or a lot harsh), so I take it back. Please forgive me, I didn’t mean fat.

No on second thought that is exactly what I meant. But when I use the word fat, I am saying it in the nicest way possible.

I base this latest theory (and trust me I have a lot of them) on a couple obvious clues.

One; school administrators love the free food. A lot.

A buffet for administrators is as special as a teacher discovering cake in the lounge or a coach being handed a free t-shirt.

The look of joy on a ballroom full of administrator’s faces when they are staring at a line of 27 tables of free fried food is enough to bring a tear to your eye (by the way, try to say “free fried food” 3 times fast… if successful your speech pathologist will be quite proud).

My second clue was the workout room at the hotel. Between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. it was a ghost town. It was so quiet in there that I could hear myself sweat (sorry for the graphic description; I apologize if you just ate).

This leads me to believe that administrators don’t exercise or their arteries are so clogged from the free chicken strips, onion rings, and the assorted hor’ dorves that they couldn’t fall out of bed.

And yes, I did have to look up the spelling of hor’ dorves and no I did not try any.

I have two rules about food; one, never eat anything a high school boy has cooked in class and two, never try anything new.

Judge me if you want, but these hard and fast rules have kept me alive.

So the basis of my “school administrators are fat” theory is we love the free food and we don’t like to work out.

I don’t really mean say that we are all fat, but I am attempting to make a point.

For the type of lifestyle we lead, we need to exercise. All administrators should have the goal of being healthier.

Too much stress, long hours, and boring meetings make an administrator susceptible to… well, everything bad.

I have heard administrators say they don’t have enough time to exercise, but we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Each one of us should set aside 30 minutes each day to exercise by walking, running, doing aerobics, playing golf, or something besides answering emails, handing out detentions, trying to figure out who was smoking in the girl’s restroom, and fixing the latest crisis.

The healthier we are; the better job we will do for students, staff, and the entire school.

So my goal with this Blog is to disprove my own theory. Maybe we aren’t as unhealthy of a group as I think.

There must be an administrator out there who is healthy. There has to be at least one.

I am hoping someone can email me about an administrator who climbs mountains, runs 4 marathons a week, swims 15 miles a day, or wrestles bears and still has time to be in charge of a school.

If you know this person (especially a bear wrestler who is also an administrator), please email me their story. Maybe they will win a prize (or not; the PrincipalsPage.com budget is very tight towards the end of the school year).

I want to believe one of us is in great shape (and not fat). Please help me prove myself wrong.

To come up with a theory and then to come up with another theory to prove the first theory wrong takes a great deal of time and effort. But I am willing to go the extra mile for you the reader.

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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.