Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day

Well, race fans, get ready for the "greatest spectacle in racing!" I am not a huge race fan. Oh, I like the hubbub of the prerace fanfare, but after the first lap, it's pretty boring until the last lap. I hate watching it on TV. I was raised listening to it on the radio. Somethings should never change. We all will miss hearing Jim Nabors sing, "Back Home Again in Indiana." The fans will be singing it this year. Jim will be there via satelite from Hawaii.
Tilly has been preparing flower arrangements to take to family gravesites. She always has done the arranging, and has again outdone herself creating a beautiful arrangement for my parents grave. We also put flowers on our son's grave. He never got to come home with us, dying during the birth process. We do it as a form of respect and remembrance.
At this time of year, I remember the two good friends I lost in Vietnam. I wonder what their lives would have been if they had come home. I also remember my best friend Dave, who many years ago rode his snowmobile out onto the ice of a large Area 52 lake on New Years Eve, and went thru the ice and was never seen again.
I remember with love all of the grandparents who had a part in my younger life, and the memories that they left behind.
Of course, I recall all the good times and bad that I had growing up, and the two wonderful parents I was blessed with. My dad died at age 53, so I didn't really have enough time with him. Mom lived to be 76, and knew our children and her only great-grandchild. She was taken away from us too soon. Tilly's dad passed several years ago, leaving a hole in our lives that we wish we had been able to fill in a little more.
So, aside from all the commercial rapture of the "Indy 500" let us continue to remember and honor those who have gone on before us.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

To The One I Love

I heard these song lyrics and just thought of you...

I remember clearly
How you looked the night we met
I recall your laughter and your smile
I remember how you made me
Feel so at ease
I remember all your grace and style
And now you're all I long to see
You've come to mean so much to me

...40 years later, I still remember and feel this way!

Love ya,


Thursday, May 03, 2007

What is happening to our Youth??

Okay, I work in public schools. Our school is in a repressed socio-economical area. We have LOTS of students on free or reduced lunches, reduced school fees, and etc. Jobs in our area are scarce, and it's hard to make ends meet, even if both parents work. More than half of our our school population come from 1 parent homes. All in all, our school suffers from being low funded, and a great amount of apathy on the part of the parents and even from the town.
On to the problem I am seeing. It is call disrespect. When we have to waste class time combating students on a daily basis, there is something wrong. Dicipline must be non-existant at home, because students in some of my classes certainly don't know how to behave, and have respect. I am talking not only respect for me as a teacher, but for their peers as well. They are mean to each other, and say awful things. Degrading things. When I call them on it, they turn their venom on me. Many of theses students don't have respect for themselves, either.
I try to treat every student the same. I know who the ones are that are from the poor families. I have eyes and can see the difference in clothing, hair cuts, and overall appearance. But that doesn't matter to me. It's what is inside them that counts. Why can't they see that?
I have a chubby, cheerful boy that is repeating seventh grade for the second time. He's not even a special ed student. He just doesn't have enough respect for himself to try to pull himself up by the boot straps and do better. Today I made a tiny step forward with him by having him explain a math concept to me. I admitted to him that I hadn't done this kind of math for about 45 years and that I had forgotten. He did himself proud and I could tell it made him feel special. For about five minutes. Then it was back to being self-depreciating and disrespectful.
I don't have an answer. I have an opinion, of course. I think that respect for others and self needs to be taught at home. That should be taught just like parents teach their children to walk and talk. But I also think that schools have been forced to be more lenient and cannot discipline students like they should be disciplined. I don't believe in corporal punishment at school, but just sticking a student in "in school suspension" is not enough.
We recently had a student who distroyed some school property. For two weeks he had to be at school at 6:30 a m and work with the janitors until first bell, and "worked off" the cost of the property he had ruined. I think it made him a better person and also gave him a wake up call.
Another student was caught stealing supplies from our supply cabinet, and was "sentenced" to 3 days in ISS. That taught him nothing. He is still denying that he stole, even after a locker search turned up the stolen merchandise.
Is there an answer. I am sure it is. Is poverty the cause for this problem. I am sure that it adds to the problem, but I know that being poor is no excuse for apathy, disrespect, rudeness and being cruel to others.



It's a Gas

What is up with the gas prices? I about hit the roof today when gas went to $3.19 a gallon! I haven't been out of town much lately to see what is happening in nearby towns, but this is just too much. And it isn't even vacation taking time yet. Tilly and I don't vacation anymore, but even going for a "Sunday drive" is going to be nigh on to impossible. I told her tonight that we will have to limit ourselves to just doing the necessary things until prices come back down. No more shopping trips to the big outdoor mall for us. Maybe it's a good thing both of our cars are not in running order. I don't think we could afford to gas up both of them. I am seriously thinking of looking for a good used bike to get around town on. The only thing wrong with that plan is that our town is so darn hilly. Wherever you go, it's uphill one way or another!
I am basically not a political person. I don't know my candidates, but I do know that anyone who can get this mess settled in Iran/Iraq and also get the gas prices back down to a reasonable amount will get my vote. Personally, I think it's too bad that Oprah refused to run!!
I still think that this whole "gas" thing is just another ploy to make a few rich people richer at the expense of the poorer masses. Of course that's just an opinion. But soon the American people will have had enough and will take a stand. Let's just hope it isn't too long.