2018 is gone and 2019 is a day old.  Last year featured so many wonderful moments.  In no particular order:

  1. The Red Sox won the World Series!!!  For the fourth time since 2004 my beloved BoSox have won the World Series; each time (2004, 2007,

    2013, and 2018) is so sweet.  This team of young kids are so fun to watch and are actually really likeable.  Unlike the Yankees; no one likes them.  They are the worst.

  2. National Championship PhotoMy 2017 – 2018 We the People team won the 6th We the People National Invitational!!  These kids faced the expectations head on.  They worked, they grew, they competed against the best and came out on top.  I wrote about them in an earlier post.
  3. My 2018-2019 We the People team won the Indiana We the People Middle School State competition!  IMG_20181211_191725_705These kids are so much fun to teach!  They care, they work, they want to change the world.  One of my kids wore a t-shirt at tryouts that read, “A Woman’s Place is in the House and the Senate“; I knew right then how speciala womans place is these kids could be if I could get them to believe.   I cannot wait to see what these kids will be at Nationals.  They are a force and will represent our school with honor.  I cannot be prouder of these kids.   If you want to help these kids get to Nationals please donate to our GoFundMe at gf.me/u/pb4wif.  If you are interested in what my kids do in competition, below is my Unit 2 in State competition in December 2018:

    Unit 2’s focus is on the Colonial period with an emphasis on the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Colonial governments.

  4. Caitlin experienced her first lobster at one of the oldest Lobster shacks in Maine; the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound.  Caitlin and I took a vacation to Maine last summer.  It was an adventure and an caitlin and i at trenton bridgeexperience of a lifetime.  We had fun.  I took her to the places of my youth and walked her to all my old steps; something I have never done with my family.  We ate lobster (she loved), steamed clams (she hated), Houlton Dairy Bar (we loved), Winnie’s Dairy Bar (okay for her–gluten intolerance was a hinder), and spent A LOT of time in the car driving.
  5. The family was able to see Lion King and Rent together.  I love musicals.  Ally and I normally go together, but this year we expanded to the whole and extended family.  Lion King was simply amazing.  Rent

    harkened back to the early 80s and terror that was the AIDS epidemic.  The girls were not ready for the death part of Rent, but it moved them; so the point of art was achieved.

  6. Laurel and I turned 60 this year.  We have lived in two different centuries and millenniums.  We have seen a lot and hope to experience a lot more before we go.
  7. I completed my inactive reserve commitment on December 12, 2018img127 that began on October 24, 1977.  When I retired early from the Air Force in 1995 there was a caveat to the early departure.  I had to be part of the inactive reserve until I turned 60.  I thought it was ridiculous, but there was always that thing in the back of my mind.  So finally, I am done after 41 years.
  8. Rachel, my adopted daughter, got married to a wonderful man.  Rachel was part of my National Junior Honor Society officer, my student, my cadet teacher, a Camp Tecumseh counselor and my student teacher.

    She was the best teaching candidate in my career, because she wanted to be great and was willing to put in the hard work that was necessary.  My only compliant is that Rachel falling in love ruined my master plan of her replacing me when I retire; however, love rules the day.  She will take her talents to another school district in another state.  She starts second semester and, as I wrote on her recommendation, she will endear herself to students and staff alike.  She will make a difference in young lives.  I am already proud of her.

  9. Another Indy Freedom wedding!!  Teaghan, “8”, or “Blondie” got married.  Teaghan’s dad and I coached the Indy Freedom together for ateaghan million wedding couple years and look back at those years fondly.  I love the Million family and was excited to go to the wedding.  My family had a blast.  The wedding was beautiful and the reception was so much fun.  The best moments were watching my second baseman come down the aisle and marry someone who adores her.  It warmed my heart to watch her the grown-up version of the earlier version.
  10. The fourth BFM trip to Wisconsin.  They boys and I continue to enjoy our trips.  We watch baseball at any level, eat in the best local places, see everything interesting in the area.  It is one of my favorite parts of my summer.

Looking forward to 2019!  So many things to look forward to happening, but not in rush.

  1. Ally and Matt graduate from Ball State on May 4th!
  2. Ally and Matt are getting married on June 1st!
  3. Caitlin and Lucas move into their house in early June!
  4. My We the People team competes at Nationals in early May.
  5. The family will go to the musical Waitress in April.

Ancestors or Ghosts

My friend Sammy sent me a text out of the blue and told me that I needed to watch Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show that was on Netflix.  To be honest the show was cut deep.  There was a parSpringsteen on Broadwayt of the show when Bruce talked about the challenging relationship he had with his disassociated father.  He spoke a line where he talked about parents are either ancestors that walk alongside their children as supportive guides or ghosts that haunt their memories and actions.  That part of the production destroyed me for a bit; flooding my mind with regrets and memories as my own father was a ghost.  My biggest adult fear has been a fear of coming up short with my own children.  I have always tried to be a good dad even though admittedly an ancestor would have been nice to have at the hard moments.

America is Losing Its Teachers at a Record Rate! 

shock face - joeyI read the article from Fortune Magazine called America Is Losing Its Teachers at a Record Rate and my reaction one of no surprise.  This is a result of 21 year assault on public education that started with the Houston Lie (George W Bush hired the Houston superintendent of schools who raised score through testing — the only problem is that the data was a lie and falsified, but the standardized testing movement began) that started the use of standardized tests to determine if students were learning and schools were successful.   No teacher goes into teaching to raise test scores; teacher candidates enter the profession to effect a small part of the world either through the love of subject of the love of children.  For 20 years there has been a two-prong assault on teachers.  Money has been pulled from the classroom to fund standardized testing that has sucked the life out of the classroom; forcing teachers to chose between test preparation and educating their kids.  The second assault has been through the transfer of money from public schools to private, charter, and virtual schools.