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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Midweek Meandering - Thanksgiving Edition 

It is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and all is fine.

This is of course the time of year when we are supposed to reflect on those things we are thankful for. I have so much that a complete list is a challenge.

I have a wonderful wife and kids and a loving, supportive family. They are simply the best. Their love is life’s most precious gift.

I have friends that enhance my life, help me grow, make me think, challenge me, and make me want to be a better person. Many of those will read these words and others will not. Whatever the case, you know who you are and I always wish I could do more to show my gratitude.

I am privileged to work in a job that suits my interests, needs, and abilities. I know that a lot of people are down on teenagers these days, but I work daily with some of the best kids you’ll ever meet. They give me hope for the future, keep me young, challenge my thinking, and warm my soul. There are others that break my heart, challenge my abilities, sometimes discourage me, help me focus, and acknowledge my purpose.

I work with some of the most talented people you’ll ever meet, dedicated to improving the lives of our young people. They inspire me.

My doctoral cohort colleagues are incredible people, dedicated to improving their practice and providing leadership in a system that is starved for it. They stretch me and make me better.

I live in a democratic country made up of free people. Imperfect though it is, there is no place on Earth I’d rather be.

The world is full of problems. Economic times are turning bad and the coming months will be difficult for many. But in times such as these it is all the more important to give thanks for that which we do have.

I have my health and hopefully much more life to live. Fleeting as life is, it is to be savored and celebrated. That is what this day should be.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Midweek Meandering 

It is midweek and the ball just keeps on rollin.


My latest toy is a Blackberry Pearl. I just got it yesterday and am trying to figure out all the functions, but it sure is sleek. I think I’m going to enjoy it.


Like most of the rest of the country I watched the elections last week with great interest. Congratulations to President-elect Barrack Obama who ran one of the best races I have ever seen in all my years of watching politics and elections. He is a supremely gifted leader and I hope he is successful. Our country is in some dire times and we need strong leadership out of the White House.


When you look past the politics end of it and consider what this election means culturally and historically, it is a tremendous step forward. In my own lifetime I remember some aspects of segregation and vividly remember when schools in my own town were desegregated. To go from that to electing a black president says much about how far we have come as a people during that time. We still have a long way to go, but this makes a large statement.


We had a couple of minor fights at school after the election. I told two boys, “guys, the election is OVER. In a democracy we argue, debate, and vote. Then someone wins. Then it is over until next time. There is nothing to fight about. Someone wins and someone else loses. Get over it!” I will say that high school kids were more engaged and interested in this election than any I have every seen.


Now they need to stay engaged beyond an emotional election and participate in their community. Citizenship is not just about voting or supporting candidates in an election.


Some kids made their own Obama t-shirts and wore them to school the day after the election. Another girl wore her McCain button the next day, telling me, “I just want to stand up for what I believe in. I know we lost and I’m ok with that. I won’t wear it again after today.” Good for all of them.


I am in the midst of some major writing for my qualitative research class. Qualitative research is all about the writing and we are doing LOTS of it. Only two more “classes” before we are done and start to focus on writing a dissertation. Yowza!


So how is YOUR week going?


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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Vinyl 


My mom has been doing some fall cleaning. She absolutely insisted that I take a rather large stack of vinyl records out of her house. There is no telling how long she has had them. I can’t even remember the last time I saw them! I can’t even remember the last time I listened to music on a record player. Yet somehow, some way, my vinyl has survived all these years.

How old are some of these records you ask? I came across this one. Those of my generation may well remember K-Tel Records, which offered up albums of the greatest hits of the time. Like “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby” by David Soul but don’t want to buy the entire album for the one song? K-Tel was for you.




I can’t say that I remember all the songs but I do remember the era. I may have to download a few for the memories.

I also came across Steve Martin and Bill Cosby albums which we listened to over and over again, never ceasing to be funny.

Now if only I had a record player………..

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