Off the Grid.


I’ve been a little lax in my blogging.  The reason… we’re on vacation.

The View From Every Window in Our Cabin.

Well, kind of.

I’m not sure if you can technically call it a vacation when you drive over 19,000 miles with the Evil Spawn and Buddy the Dog in the backseat snoring (if that isn’t bad enough, they both drool while they sleep… and neither one can figure out why the truck seat is wet).

I must admit this obnoxious snoring is better than hearing “Are we there yet?”

To get from our house to the North Shore in Minnesota took approximately 87 hours.

Or at least it seemed like 87 hours (it may have been longer because at one point I passed out).

The trip was so long that I could have sworn we were going in circles.

I kept thinking… I know I’ve seen this “Welcome to Wisconsin” sign at least a dozen times.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is I’ve been able to drop off “The Grid”.

For educators “The Grid” is a triangle.  It goes from your home to school to Wal-mart (feel free to substitute another large mega-billion shopping store of your choice).

It’s a law.  Every teacher and administrator must spend 90% of their time inside their grid (unless school is in session… then it’s 98.5%).

I think there might be some fine print in NCLB that requires us to stay inside this restricted area.

Rumor has it educators who venture outside the “Grid” too often are never heard from again.

It’s the opposite of tenure.

So it’s a fine line between leaving your grid and going insane (and not a little insane… I’m talking Jack Nicholson in The Shining insane).

Because I don’t see the need in chasing the Tech Queen with an ax, we like to go on vacation at least once a year (unfortunately these never take place during school).

This year we headed for the woods.

A cabin in northern Minnesota.

Frighteningly close to my sworn enemies… the Canadians.

People ask me what I have against the good people of Canada.

Nothing.

I just don’t trust them.

Sooner or later they are going to get sick of the cold and storm our borders with the intent of taking Florida just so they can sit on a beach.

Mark my word, it’s coming.

As I sit here and type this blog, I’m within miles of the US-Canadian border (rest easy, I will keep an eye on them and if I can’t chase them back… Buddy the Dog can… unless of course, he’s napping).

So for the next several days I’m officially off “The Grid”.

No ESPN.  No internet.  No email.  No phone calls. No meetings.

No contact with any other human beings (unless it’s on a golf course… and I do apologize for almost hitting you with my drive off #7).

I’m unreachable.

I’m a ghost.

I don’t exist.

At least that’s what I told everyone at school.

Do you think they will believe I pre-wrote this blog and uploaded it before I left?

I guess I’ll never know since I’m not getting their emails.

Or at least I’m not answering them.

It’s good to be off “The Grid”.

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School Administrators Shouldn’t Leave the Office. Ever.


Wal-mart... You Can Never Find One When You Need One.I just spent a month in Wisconsin this past weekend.

The trip started off poorly and then went downhill (skiing reference). We should have gone to the beach, or better yet, just stayed home and I could have worked 18 hour days at school (not really, I am just being dramatic… I hate the beach).

On Friday afternoon, we left on time (3:30 pm for a 5 hour trip). Our punctuality turned out to be one of the highlights of the entire weekend.

My in-laws went with us. Many of you are probably thinking this is where the trip went horribly awry, but you would be sadly mistaken (on occasion the in-laws read this blog and I don’t want to jeopardize my 1/128th of the will, so I will steer clear of insulting them in print).

We drove separately from them and the trip went smoothly for us. Things did not go quite as well for the in-laws.

About an hour into the trip, my unemployed daughter called her grandparents on the cell phone to see how things were going (she is 6, so she prefers texting if you need to get in touch with her). About a minute into the call her grandmother hung up on her.

Everyone loves their grandma, kindergarten teacher, and best friend’s mom, so getting hung up on was a shock to my daughter.

The conversation was so short, we immediately asked what happened.

My daughter said she could barely hear grandma, but she did say something about the tailgate not being latched.

This couldn’t be good.

You see, their luggage was in the back of the truck. And by was, I mean was.

Turns out grandpa didn’t put the tailgate up which resulted in their luggage flying out along the side of the road. This is what we call “bad news”.

On a positive note, they recognized this little fun fact about the luggage not being secure. Unfortunately, they realized it about 50 miles too late. This is what we call “more bad news”.

If you see a suitcase in a ditch, please send me an email (or text my work-avoiding spawn).

If you are married, you know that at this point they had only two choices.

One, a quickie divorce, preferably in Mexico where it is warmer and the matrimony laws are a little looser. Or two, find a Wal-mart ASAP to replace everything in their luggage (if you live in the 1% of the country that doesn’t have Wal-marts, I pity you and please substitute your gigantic retail store here).

As we continued on our drive, we passed a minimum of 27 Wal-marts, 14 K-marts, 11 Wal-greens, and 7 malls.

The in-laws, traveling the very same road, noticed exactly zero stores of any kind.

That’s right; they traveled 300 miles on a major interstate through roughly a bazillion towns and cities and didn’t notice any of these stores which were all located within 200 feet of the highway (I could also mention that these stores had big neon signs on top of them, but I don’t want to rub salt in their wounds… see inheritance comment earlier).

This led me to believe that they may be legally blind, or one of them desperately wants to go to Mexico.

This lack of vision concerns me because we allow them to babysit. If they can’t locate a Wal-mart, would they notice if my daughter sticks her head into the microwave and hits defrost?

Agh…who am I kidding, cheap babysitters are worth the risk (if this kid breaks, we can always go buy another one).

The in-laws did finally arrive at the ski resort after getting lost in the mountains for a couple of hours (a little travel tip… if you own a GPS, make sure you take it with you when you travel… that is what they are for).

There was some good news. After they arrived, it didn’t take long for them to unpack. They certainly didn’t have to bother the baggage handler.

Actually, my wife told me this because by 1:30 in the morning I was fast asleep.

So the trip was off to a rousing start. I haven’t even got to the part where we all got caught in the blizzard.

I really should have just stayed in the safety of the office.

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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.