Vacation Means Driving Around and Looking at Schools.


I can’t be the only one who does this.I Shouldn't Be Blogging While on Vacation. I'm An Idiot.

Who in their right mind doesn’t like driving by the local schools when they are on vacation?

My wife thinks I’m weird (not for this… other stuff).

Here’s how it works.

After surviving a long school year, you take a vacation vowing never to return to the world of education you left behind.

As soon as you arrive at your destination, you begin to wonder where the school is located.

You look it up on your laptop and then you drive by to see it.

It’s simple.

And interesting.

And it’s not weird.

Okay, maybe it’s a little weird.

But it’s not like I went in.  Doors were locked (Palm Desert High School… Go Aztecs!).

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Turns Out Following Directions is Important.


I write this blog for two reasons.

One, so people will stop contacting me to ask how my "vacation" is going.

And two, as an open apology to every student and teacher who I have accused of having no ability to follow directions.

You see, I haven’t yet experienced my "vacation".

I was ready.

I was prepared.

I was even hopped up on a handfull of valium (by the way, I think I’m hooked).

My lovely wife (as lovely as one can be considering she drove my to the butcher with a giant smile on her face… she looked sort of like the Joker from the last Batman movie) was even prepared to look after me and Buddy the Dog on our days off.

But it didn’t happen.

I got up early.

Popped the prescribed pills.

Which of course made me feel pretty good about the upcoming procedure (and if I’m honest… at that point I felt pretty good about everything from famine to communism).

I wobbled into the doctor’s office and only bumped into one person I knew (that wasn’t awkward).

I hopped (crawled) up on the table and waited to get gutted like a newly caught fish.

The very nice nurse (or two… since I was seeing double at that point) asked me if I had taken any aspirin lately.

Normally, I would have lied but since I was under the influence of so much free prescription happiness, I said yes.

They said come back in a week because if we cut you open you will bleed to death (I’m summarizing the official medical conversation).

They also mentioned maybe I should have read the directions they sent me a month ago (whoops).

So I went home.

And Buddy and I promptly slept for the next 19 hours (turns out free meds come with a price).

It’s the closet I’ve come to death.

If you are wondering, it’s peaceful.  Very peaceful.

I just closed my eyes and went towards the light.

Then I woke up in a pool of my own drool.  As an added bonus I couldn’t feel my left arm.  It had evidently got trapped under me during my coma.

I’m glad I didn’t experience any halucinations because I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have shoed away any monkees crawling up my legs without the use of both arms.

Actually, when I came to, I felt great.  It was like a mini vacation (no wonder Buddy is always so happy during those 14 minutes a day when he is awake).

Everything would have been great if I hadn’t remembered my real "vacation" is in a few days.

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Taking Vacation the Hard Way.


Like most people, I love vacation.

Sadly, I’m just not good at it.

If I go on vacation for 5 days, I can’t even enjoy it until day 4.5.

I’ve considered practicing my vacation skills, but I never seem to have enough time to get away.

But this week this all changes.

On Thursday and Friday, I will be taking two days of sweet sweet vacation time.  It’s possible I will even take the weekend as an extended vacation.

And I am looking forward to it.

No getting to the office early.

No phone calls to return.

No 75 emails per day in my inbox.

No students or teachers asking "Do you have a minute?"

No making a decision which automatically makes half the people mad at me.

Just peace and quiet.

Just me and Buddy the Dog laying around watching bad TV (technically he just might be sleeping).

I’ve been looking forward to this short vacation for weeks.

What I’m not looking forward to is the surgery.

But my wife is.  She really doesn’t want to have two Evil Spawns running around.

I may write a blog during this vacation.  I’m guessing I’ll think I’m hilarious while hopped up on valium.  Maybe it will be about the bond of shared experiences Buddy and I will now "enjoy".

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Vacation Face.


Summer Vacation 2010 is winding down so it’s time to review (before I begin my 87 hour drive back to dreaded civilization).

As noted in a previous blog, I stink at vacation.  That’s the bad news.Me.  If I Were Happier.

The good news is I’m not the only one (actually that’s more bad news… evidently there’s a lot of Type A weirdo’s running amok at resorts near you).

Even though I’m coming to grips with the idea I might have a problem with too much free time, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good things about vacations.

So here they are:

 

10.  I’m not at work.  This one’s pretty self explanatory.

9.  Living in a strangers house is both cool and creepy (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve never stayed in someone else’s house).

8.  No early bedtime.  It’s vacation.  I can stay up as late as I want (which sadly turns out to be right around 10 p.m).

7.  No alarm clocks.  Well, until that last two days… I had to get up early… got things to do (vacations only last so long people… and note to self:  change alarm sound to something besides Jamaican music).

6.  DVD’s to watch.  What else am I going to do at 2:30 in the afternoon when there aren’t meetings to attend?

5.  Unscheduled exercise.  It’s nice when I don’t have to worry about finding 45 minutes before or after work.  Plus, for some odd reason it’s more fun to exercise in a different state (you know I’m right about this one).

4.  Books to read.  Or more truthfully,  1/2 book.  I’m still working on Linchpin (a chapter at a time… it’s good, I just get so sleepy).

3.  Junk food (see #5… if I want more Howie’s Tacos, I just take another walk… it’s not like I don’t have the time).

2.  Golf.  I’ve played more golf in the last 6 days then I have all summer.  Now that I think about it, I’m getting a little sick of golf.

1.  With a doubt, the best thing about vacation is I don’t have to shave! 

 

The happiness I get from not shaving is indescribable.

This is truly as happy as one man can get. 

Since I will never get to experience the joy of childbirth, I will have to remain content with the grand experience I like to call Vacation Face.

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I Stink at Vacation.


Vacation.

You are either good at it or you are me.I'm the One on the Right.

And as usual, that’s not a good thing.

Because I stink at vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the time away from home (code:  work).

I’m just not good at it.

Vacation is everything I despise.

No structure.  No schedule.  No reason to set the alarm to get up early.  No To Do List where I can scratch off my accomplishments in the order of importance. 

Just day after day of sitting around watching time pass by.

It’s unstructured and exhausting.

On the other side of the spectrum, my wife (Tech Queen), daughter (Evil Spawn), and Buddy the Dog are great at vacation.

They have walks to take, books to read, little towns to explore, naps to take, and movies to watch (in the effort of full-disclosure… Buddy isn’t that great of a reader).

This is also exhausting.

Watching them relaxing and accomplishing nothing.

The best part of vacation for me is the anticipation of going.  After that it’s all downhill.

Once I arrive at the chosen vacation spot, my thoughts turn to when we have to leave.

When should we start packing?

What time should we leave so we beat traffic?

Will we get back early enough so I can mow the yard?

A vacation is almost more exhausting than staying home and being in my normal routine.

Actually, it’s more than exhausting.

It’s a little pathetic now that I think about it.

 

Question/snide remark from said “Tech Queen” – A little pathetic?

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Field Trip to Washington D.C. and While I’m There, I Need to Swing By NECC.


NECC 2009 - Washington, D.C.

NECC 2009 - Washington, D.C.

On Sunday, I will be blogging (posting… whatever) from Washington D.C. and the National Educational Computing Conference.

It starts with a trip to the airport on Saturday night with the Queen of Technology, my Evil Spawn, and the Mother in Law (before you email me… Buddy the Dog is staying with Grandpa… which could very well be a blog in itself).

I’m not sure if this is a great deal for me or not… dropping off man’s best friend and picking up my mother-in-law. I have noticed Grandpa doesn’t seem disappointed about the swap.

A long drive to the airport, security, hotels, cab rides, 3 women… what in the world could possibly go wrong???

Hopefully a lot because that makes blogging so much easier.

First stop on the field trip… being a panelist at the SIGTC Forum: The 21st-Century Technology Leader for Max Frazier from Newman University. This will take place Sunday , June 28th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Room 207B at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Please join us for the discussion and the first person who walks up and says, “I read the PrincipalsPage.com Blog and at times it rises to the level of not terrible,” wins nothing but my undying gratitude and admiration (and possibly total consciousness on your deathbed… so you would have that going for you).

After that, the wife and mother-in-law will be attending 8,000 sessions on technology (feel free to instant message them on Windows Live Messenger smith@recesstec.com … nbrach@recesstec.com or find them on Twitter at @brachsmith… @nbrach).

They will then report back to me about everything they learned that I can use at my school.

This is so much easier than if I attend the sessions.

Plus, they are so busy they don’t even eat lunch and that is just wrong if you ask me.

Meanwhile, my daughter and I will become tourists (although I might swing by and see my “father” Alan November speak).

If we take any good pictures of the White House, the Capital, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian, the Lincoln Memorial, the Mall, etc. I will post them on the blog.

If we die of heat/humidity, I will most likely not be posting.

Once (if) we return from Washington, it is possible the Blog will be going slightly more mainstream.

I may be going to work for “the man”.

More on that later but right now I need to pack. And packing almost never goes well.

But it will take my mind off the Buddy the Dog for Mother-in-Law swap.

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Two Day School Weeks Are Cool.


School is back in session after a two week break for the holidays.

Last night, I was overcome with sadness and depression and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was causing it.

Was it the weather? Was it the fact that the holidays are over? Was it the fact that my mother-in-law was sponging yet another free meal off of us?

I have never met someone who is happier when he or she gets a free hot meal.I Wish I Lived Here.

I don’t think the woman eats between visits. I think she starves herself and then comes and eats enough so that she can then hibernate for about two weeks until she can return to our house.

The preceding three paragraphs were written in fun and in no way should imply that my mother-in-law is a mooch, a big eater, or a bear. Mother-in-law jokes are easy (plus this is my last gasp hope that I still might be in her will… obviously my odds aren’t good now, but maybe if we invite her over for lasagna…).

But back to my original thought. Yesterday was a Wednesday evening, yet it felt like a Sunday.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I should have recognized the actual source of my sadness earlier. The answer was right in front of me the whole time.

Going to work after a long break isn’t fun. That’s right; I just wrote what everyone was thinking.

I would rather stay home day after day, never shave, occasionally shower, sleep in, stay up late (9:15 pm), and certainly never iron dress shirts or wear a tie.

This sounds better than getting up at 5:00 am and going to work.

There you have it. I said it. I prefer sitting at home doing nothing as opposed to going to work (with one exception… as long as I am getting paid from work).

But the best thing about education (besides the students, the long hours, and the high pay) is the time off that we get.

Summers, long weekends, and holiday vacations. You can’t put a price on free time.

That is why we shouldn’t complain about the pay in education too much. Time is worth far more than money.

This week I have to go to work two straight days. Yes, you read it correctly. I have to work a Thursday and a Friday before I get a weekend off.

I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this pace.

I’ve considered quitting my job because permanent time off would be nice, but I need the money for groceries.

Although after reading this, she may not come back.

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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.