Hello BET's everywhere! It has been a long while since I have posted, I know. The last six months have been a crazy time for me. Too much to go into, but always a learning experience.
Today I wanted to share a movie that I just saw for the first time. Not a new film, and not overly popular to the masses, I'm sure. But this film touched me in a way that only a handful of films have in my entire life. The film is called The School Of Life and stars Ryan Reynolds and David Paymer, two of my favorite actors, which is one reason why this was such a treat for me. I can't believe I had never heard of this before!
Now I won't go into the plot at all, because I really encourage you all to take the time to watch it. I will warn you that there are parts of the film that you will find campy and simple, but see it through. The one thing I will tell you, is that it speaks to the meaning of why you all do what you do. You may not approach it the way the characters do, or you very well may. But I encourage you to look at the real message of the film, which I believe to be this. We all teach for different reasons and from different perspectives, but regardless, what you give the students is much more than what they will show you through test scores or academic prowess. What you give is yourselves, and that, will remain with them for their lifetimes.
I hope you enjoy this film as much as I have, and by all means, let me know what you think. Until next time, keep doing what you do, and offering your students a part of you.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Thursday, May 23, 2013
With the influx of more affluent, or maybe middle class shoppers shopping in these stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army seem to have changed their mission. They seem to think that if something is worth more new, than it should be worth more used as well. Now I won't argue that there is some logic in that. But these are Not For Profit Charitable organizations and these are the same items that five years ago, were considered generic donations and were accepted without question and put on the shelf. No price checking to see if they could make a few extra bucks. What I question is the motivation behind this change in policy. Have things changed for the real needy in America? Have things gotten better to the point that we can all afford to pay more for used and mostly donated clothing items? Or is it an issue from the other side. Have Goodwill and Salvation Army adopted a policy of paying their workers a better living wage, hence needing to raise prices? I kind of doubt that one.
Is there a place in the donated or consignment world for higher end clothing to be priced this way? Absolutely! It's called Boutique consignment stores, or Plato's Closet. They exist, and for the people that are looking for that and prefer not to shop at Goodwill or Salvation Army, you have a home.
If I'm honest, in my case, I can afford to pay more right now. A year ago...no. But what about all of the people that depend on these stores for their clothes and household items exclusively? I often see people shopping there that I know, really don't have a choice. Why are we penalizing them for the shopping habits of more affluent people? Even worse in my opinion, is the fact that I see only two solutions. The first would be that as a people, we stop shopping at these establishments unless we really can't afford to shop elsewhere. The second would be for these two NOT FOR PROFIT corporations to get back to doing what they used to do best...Charity.
Monday, May 6, 2013
I do enjoy the position. I spent the better part of the last two decades working on college campuses, so I feel quite at home. I think of the campuses much like I think of the elementary school kids I used to work with. Some are small, some are big, some are fast, some are slow, some are skinny(Budgets) and some not so...but I think I like them all, no matter what type they are.
I am amazed though at the fact that, even on college campuses, there they are...my break even teachers. At the college level they are a bit harder to spot. There aren't nearly the amount of hugs on campus with teachers as there are in the elementary school. With college professors, you see it on the kids faces. The kid who just got some basic math functions explained to him again, or the kid that just turned in a paper late and was greeted with a "Way to go!", instead of a stern look and a disappointed face. How about the teacher that dresses in an ape suit on the day of their first exam to break the tension. Or the teacher that never shuts his door and sits in his office in his bare feet while students work on their homework.
They are out there, friends, I've seen them! And I hope to report back with many more amazing incidents in the near future. Until next time, let me know what's going on in your world so I can keep my six readers in the know.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Other than the "2012", this title could be as timeless as a 1967 Corvette. Aren't all picture days the same? The night before, thinking about what to wear. Be honest guys, even we did it. The morning of, your mom making sure you didn't wear your favorite striped shirt with plaid pants. The "walk of Fame", sporting your very best outfit as you walked into school for the day. The anticipation of when your class will be called down to the gym. Now, from the inside, I see that it has hardly changed.
Today was picture day at Jefferson Elementary School, where I work. What a day! The kids looked so great in their not so oft worn ensembles. It is funny though, some kids really do it up, and others just don't get into it that much. I understand that some of that is economic in nature, but I think there is more to it than that.
Some kids like the whole "dress up" gig. It's fun for them to get all fancied up. Some of the older kids come to compete, it is obvious. Many just conform to the group of kids they hang around. Some kids I am certain, think what they normally wear is already good enough, so why upgrade for a photo? I think I am in this camp.
Today was special for me though. Today, I was reminded of the most magical part about picture day for us guys. The FREE COMB! Sure, most of us had a comb or several at home. But this was the brass ring. The slim black beauty...and free! Some of us would even go to the bathroom before our turn and mess up our hair, just so we could land that tiny plastic piece of black magic. We would sport around all day with that thing hanging out of our back pockets, asking each male passerby non chalantly, "Did you uh, get the free comb?" Many of our friends would look back in horror, forgetting the whole reason for all of the pageantry, knowing that they would have to wait 365 days for this chance to present itself again.
Today, sadly, I was an adult. When asked by a bright eyed third grader, "Did you get the free comb?” I had to awkwardly reply, "Oh man!" Oh well, at least next year is not a leap year...only 364 days to go.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
As a parent, I think we spend too much time making rules for our kids. I remember vividly, my dad saying, "You're too old for that!" That is how we seem to be as a nation. We can't be the Peter Pan character, so we turn into mean old Captain Hook.
Who can make this repulsive trend turn around? Maybe we all can, with a little help from our inner child.
Let me ask you a couple of questions to get things started. 1. When was the last time you went to the playground to swing? I get to push kids on swings everyday at my job. I pull them back and let go with a little push and they are off. That's all I do. They giggle and laugh and laugh out loud as their tummy makes that uncomfortable, but pleasurable gentle lift. It cracks them up and for a small time makes all of the school days problems go away. When I am stressed out I usually get an aspirin or two and flip the TV on to the Drone channel. Why don't I go to the park and swing?!
2. When was the last time you had ice cream. I don't mean the kind you get, made en mass at the grocery, I'm talking about the individually wrapped kind that you can only find waiting for you on the ice cream truck. You hear the bells and that familiar jingle, and your kids may make a mention of it. But why don't you chase that truck? Remember how good that tasted on a hot summer day? Remember how it made all the hassles go away?
I think it is up to us as parents to reteach our children on this issue. When I am 80, would I rather sit around and complain about the old days, or be seen swinging in the park with ice cream running down my arm? The choice is easy and obvious. As for me and my family, we will chase the ice cream truck!