Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding Room to Grow

  It is not easy to be human and to have our short comings or weaknesses laid out for us. When this happens it is with in our nature to protect ourselves and to blame the others or to make excuse or to deny what is true. Whether it is a friend, spouse, family member, boss, or our preacher that hands us our hat it all comes down to one question....are we willing to grow? The answer is not easy. To say we need to grow often implies that what we have been doing is wrong and that we have been failing at whatever role it is that we are being judged at. But in reality it means that we have reached a place and a level of success in what we are all ready are doing and that we are ready to achieve more. If we choose not to grow than we face the chance of becoming stagnant in what we are doing. It takes courage to grow. We must start by admitting that we must learn more, rely on others to help us, and that we may fail along the way. If we do not face these type of struggles than we are not growing. Growth changes us. Growth takes energy. Growth makes us better. The opposite of growth is decay. For those who refuse to grow the will face decay...they will loose the edge they once had, they will become smaller and weaker, they will be left behind. A friend of mine wrote that it is not only the children who grow but also the parents. How true that is. We must all continue to change, grow, and adapt to what is going on around us. This does not mean we must waiver on our believes or our principles but rather take those principles to a higher level and learn how they will drive us as we change. I look forward to growing! It means I am a living, thriving creature who is full of life! I will grow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Power of One Good Teacher

In today's world of high stake testing and teacher accountability we are led to believe that it takes a village to raise a child and that if the child turns out bad then the village must be burnt to the ground and all of it's inhabitants ritualistically sacrificed to the education gods in order to correct the great mishap. But what about those of us who remember what it was actually like to be a student?
I was not a fan of school! Let me say it a different way...I greatly disliked school! It was not because I did not have friends, a sense of belonging, or bad teachers because none of that was true. As a matter of fact I had great friends (many of who I am still in contact with today), was very active in sports, and had teachers that went above and beyond everyday! But in the end I did not like it, neither here nor there...I did not like it anywhere! I guess it was like sending me to the ballet everyday. It did not matter what they did or which story they told it was still the ballet and I still did not like it!
Was this the fault of the school system? Was it the fault of my teachers? Maybe it was the fault of my family! Or perhaps it was who I was! I specifically can remember many of the things that my teachers did along the way to make learning fun...I had teachers who buried artifacts in the yard of the school that we later had to go and discovery, map, and make a hypothesis about the culture we were uncovering. I went to a school that had an outdoor science lab that students used to explore all aspects of life science. I had computer and math teachers who wrapped their teaching around real life. All of my teachers were student centered and at the cutting edge of their field. Despite all of this I did not like school!
Needless to say that the further I went through school the worst my grades became. I tried to play sick as often as I could. By the time I was a sophomore I had become a C/D student and had no desire to even try. I hated school! But then something happened!
In my junior year I took a life science class with a teacher who made a connection with me in a way that no other teacher had before him or since. He did not work with me personally and he actually may have a difficult time remembering me as one of his students. What he did was he spoke in a way that helped me understand how to be a successful student. It was not the content but the delivery that made the difference! Quite simply he was the first teacher that taught me about me and what I needed to do to be successful. He moved the ball into my court and the rest was up to me! In one grading period I went from a C/D student to a straight A student! All because of one teacher....
SO in the end I guess I want to say that many of our students do not like school and yet we expect them to act like it is the best thing in the world...we need to understand that school is not every ones favorite place! Second, very few people who are teachers are doing it for selfish reasons and that they are actually very talented people who have been asked to deliver the highest quality of education ever expected in the history of our country with the largest lack of resources ever facing our education system. And finally, many students are just waiting for that one teacher to make that connection.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Placebo Effect

Today I sat wondering how do any of us know if we are truly happy? Oh I are going to start telling me about how great everything is going and remind me of all the blessings but before you do let me thought came from thinking about medicines and wondering about those people who are in these studies and are given the placebo instead of the real deal. Some of those people feel better and are even cured by the placebo and go away sure that their life is better because of the medicine the are taking. But are they? If they truly have only taken a placebo than their illness is no better they only believe it is...and if they were later told that the medicine they were taking was only a placebo than would they start to regress and want for the real thing?

Maybe now you see where I am going with this...if not just ha g on because we are almost see many of us say we are happy and we act happy and we act as though our lives are perfect. But what if they are not? What if the life you are living is a placebo? Would you want to know that their was a better life waiting for you? Would you walk away from your placebo to get the real deal?

Unfortunately, I believe that most of our society is doing this today. They look at their happy life and begin to wonder if there is not more. Soon they stop wondering and start looking and actIng. Unfortunately, these people usually find out that they had the good stuff to begin with and find themselves on the outside looking in.

As for me I just have to look at my wife, my son, and two daughters and I know that I have the real thing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monster Storm!

Now let me start by saying that I hope everyone in the path of this storm has a warm place to stay and that everyone stays safe. I in no way am making light of your situation! With that said I will begin my rant!

I will start with our weather forecasters who have been warning us of the impending doom. I believe that almost a week ago we were told to be prepared for a storm that will dump 6 + inches on the Louisville area. As the week went on they started to back peddle and create room for error by talking about the shifting jet stream, the fact that most of the snow falling from the clouds melts before hitting the ground and on and on it went. Finally 2 days ago they started to call this a rain event but spent most of the weather time talking about the non-viewing area that was "just an hour north of us" and how they would be getting the snow and ice...we apparently were to far south and our snow and ice was melting before hitting the ground. I believe they really felt that by covering central Indiana we would feel that it was a very near miss.

Well let me tell you a thing or 2! First when snow and or ice turns to liquid before hitting the ground we call it rain! Not snow...not ice...but rain! Second...stop spending the entire news time covering the weather for areas that cannot even see your broadcast! I am sure that if you try you could find a snow storm of the century some where on the planet everday if you wanted to....please show me what is going on in my town! Finally, stop threatening us with weather events that you have no true idea of what is going to happen! I am ready to find me a weather bug like Granny on Beverly Hillbillies used!

With my rant ended I now wish everyone a safe night!