Thursday, August 20, 2009

School is coming… so get ready!!

I am getting ready for a new school year and there are several ideas that have been trundling around in my mind. For instance, does it really do any good to change the physical environment of my classroom every year? Unlike some teachers, I have an inordinate number of family pictures in my room so I wonder how affects the students when I change the arrangements. Oh, I usually add some things relating to our course of study (this year it is Book of Mormon) but the essence of my efforts lies in my infatuation with my family. Maybe someone could do a study to see if there is any cause and effect in what I do.

My bougainvillea plant passed on to the spirit world and some of my ivies have given up the chloroform so I went to Home Depot and got a few 'baby' plants for the pots that were empty. Turns out I had six naked receptacles. Didn't know that!!! With new dirt and some TLC (not the Jon and Kate kind), I now have a happy supply of little green things that may or may not enhance the oxygen supply in my classrooms (I have two cause I'm teaching at a Jr. high and a high school). Their success will create an atmosphere (figuratively and literally) where the young people can learn and grow (not unlike the little green things).

Lest you think I am loafing in life, listen to my new teaching schedule. Each morning I will arrive at the seminary early to teach the 0 (zero) hour class (formerly known as Early Morning or OH Dark Thirty). Immediately at the conclusion of that little venture my horse will be saddled and I will traverse the scary 3500 South construction zone ( to share the gospel with the citizens of West Lake Jr. High. These fine lovers of truth will enjoy their learning experience for two periods after which my little green pony will scurry right back to Granger High School to finish the classes I am assigned there. It sounds worse than it is--- I really love what I do and I volunteered for the 0 hour class. It's just a very busy schedule, both teaching and prepping.

On a more serious note, I have been watching the news stories on some events in our lovely state. While I am not so naïve that I believe nothing bad will ever happen here, I am of the opinion that good people in the world outnumber the evil ones by a large margin. But, it has become apparent that there are many in our society who have forgotten what it means to stay on the correct side of the line of goodness. Despite warnings and examples to the contrary, a contingent of folk have initiated relationships that are illegal, unhealthy and downright BAD. These soirées are with people they have no business 'relating' to. Teachers who work with young people are taught how to avoid circumstances that will lead to misery, prison, and loss of trust from their own family. Yet they still step into those dangerous liaisons and think they can survive. Businessmen who travel have a mistaken idea that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Specific events may be hidden but character cannot be covered up. Even religious leaders will find themselves crossing over previously solid lines with the rationale that they are helping. Sadly, all they help is their own downfall. All of these scenarios are part of the work the adversary promotes in his efforts to destroy man, the family and the work of God (For those who believe we make our own karma/choices, you are correct. But the devil sure does his part in opening doors for us). The line is set and cannot be moved one iota. Moral behavior is expected from every one of us. There is no exception for celebrity or political presence or power-broker or any other entity. A life of honest morality is expected. If lines are crossed, then penalties must be paid. God will forgive and some men/women will do the same (though all should, D&C 64:9-10). But the losses caused by the execution of these forms of wickedness will have long-lasting and debilitating effects on the nation, the family and the individual. It makes my heart sad to see the devastation reaped by so many who choose so poorly. May God protect my family and those I love from these things!!!

Next blog I think I will consider how my life will be changed when the new Health Care program is instituted. Or maybe I will focus on what it feels like to have my toenails plucked out one by one. Seems like both will provide the same end result……….lots of misery! See you next time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wood Badge and Ears

I know the title isn't what you might expect but it signifies where I was for the past week. Before you get all crazy, I am not a fanatic scouter who wears his uniform everywhere and bleeds green blood (or blue or orange). But I do have a healthy appreciation for the benefit scouting is to young men so I try to be informed. For several years I have wanted to become Wood Badge certified so I finally took the time to go learn. For those wondering if it is worth it, it is. Not the easiest thing to do (I am, after all 54 and not quite as nimble as I used to be) but well worth the effort to become a better leader.

For those familiar with Wood Badge, I am a Beaver (I used to be a beaver, a good old beaver too…). My patrol consisted of five other men besides myself. We are all from differing backgrounds (soldier, engineer, furniture salesman, social studies teacher, not really sure, and me) but we were able to make a pretty good and efficient group. We had the advantage of all being independent so we were able to look at situations and see where we could be of use and get right to work. Other groups had folks who waited until someone told them what to do and lost time waiting around. Some of our activities required creative thinking so the fact that we all were willing to be involved made it more likely we could come up with a good plan. All in all, I enjoyed the week.

The negative is that I lost my hearing aids while we were up there. I had decided to take them out so they didn't get full of dust (I can still hear without them but they help with the high range…women and kids voices) and left them in my truck. After the week was over, I looked for them and discovered they were gone. Nothing else was missing so I can only assume I somehow kicked them out of the truck and lost them. It's not such a problem for me because I can get by without them but it is a big problem for my sweet wife (who has taken to carrying a stick to get my attention) and my students at school (when we go back). I suppose if we don't have some luck finding them soon, I will have to replace the silly little beasts.

I need to make this short because Melissa said my last entry was the "longest blog she has ever read." Bye for now.