Author Archives: Leonard

The Worst Two Years of My Education

Last week I was thinking about the typing class I took in high school and that, although I did not realize it at the time, it turned out to be one of the most useful classes I have had.  Thinking about the most useful classes started me thinking about the other end of the educational spectrum.  In my case it is not a single class, instead it was two entire years of my public education.

I attended Shiloh Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio from kindergarten through eighth grade.  At the time that I entered seventh grade, someone in the Dayton Public School system decided that a change was needed in the teaching methods that would be used.  Apparently, it was time to do away with the old ways and implement a “new and improved” educational approach. (Doesn’t that refrain pop up every decade or so?)  This grand, new idea that was to be piloted at my school was called Individualized Guided Education or IGE for short.  The basic premise was that kids are all at different levels and learn at different rates, so each child should be taught where they are and not forced to go at the same pace as everyone else in the class.  To further recognize and facilitate this the 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes were all intermingled.

Now theoretically this might sound like a nice idea and for some it worked.  My date to the senior prom in high school was able to skip an entire year of school by taking advantage of this system.  Alas I was not that type of overachiever.  I think I was a typical adolescent boy (read that as “inherently lazy”) so for two years I did as little as possible. Perhaps the result might have been better if individual students were chosen for the pilot instead of an entire school.

 Up through 6th grade I would say that math was perhaps my best subject – after that it was my worst.  As I recall, there was little or no classroom instruction.  I was to take a pretest on a chapter in the math book, if I passed, I moved onto the next chapter, if I did not pass I was supposed to do the work in the chapter then take a post-test and, if passed, move onto the next chapter.  The idea was to go to the teacher and ask questions, I was not one to go out of my way to talk to a teacher and so I would just sit and try to muddle through it out on my own, each week falling further behind my peers. Grades were simply “pass” or “fail” – again as an lazy adolescent boy –  what motivation did I have to do more than pass?  The only real consequence I remember during those two years was an 8th grade basketball game that I was ineligible for because of a science assignment.  It was not because I had a poor grade on it, I just did not see the need to complete and turn it in.  I completed the assignment before the next game. (Not that it mattered – we were a pretty bad team and I was a bench warmer.)

When I moved onto my freshman year of high school, upon recommendation of my elementary school teachers, I took the easiest math and science classes offered. I remember looking at my first grade report in high school and thinking to myself, “I guess these are the grades I am supposed to get.” Fortunately that first report card was a very good one. I do not profess to be a genius, but I do think that I am smarter than the average bear and I can back this belief up with two earned master’s degrees and five professional certifications.

Over the years, I have thought I should gather up all the men and women who attended Shiloh during that time and we should file a class action suit against the Dayton Public Schools for malpractice or malfeasance or mal-something or other for wasting  those formative years that did not prepare many of us for anything.  Education theories and methods may be nice, but they do have a real and lasting impact on the students involved and, in my case, it was not good.

 

Friday Funny October 18, 2019 Sorry But That Is Not A Good Reason To Miss Work.

Happy Friday! Congratulations! You have made it through another week and the weekend is almost upon us!  Occasionally something might come up that can keep us from getting to work on time or perhaps causing us to miss the entire day.  When that happens, I hope the reason that you offer your boss is not one of those below.

Enjoy!

Sorry, but I forgot that you hired me.

Sorry, but when I looked at the Lotto numbers last night, I was sure I had won. I was going to quit today but when I double-checked again this morning, I only won $5.

Sorry, but I ate way too much last night at a party and I need a day off to let all of that food digest.

Sorry, but I think my dog is having a mental breakdown.

Sorry, but there is a large, angry dog in front of my house and I think he will attack me if I try to get to my car.

Sorry, but I thought there was a Level 1 Nice Day Emergency and that it was against the law for me to drive to work.

Sorry, but I am so upset about who got kicked off Survivor last night that I just can’t concentrate on work today.

 Sorry, but my cat unplugged my alarm clock.

Sorry, but I got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store.

Sorry, but someone glued all my doors and windows shut and I can’t get out of the house.

Sorry, but I was bitten by a goose on my way to work and need to go to the doctor.

Sorry, but I just can’t find an outfit that works with my mood today.

Sorry, but the cookies I was going to bring to work today did not turn out well and I will have to make a new batch.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Researchers at Harvard say that taking a power nap for an hour in the afternoon can totally refresh you. They say by the time you wake up you’ll feel so good, you’ll be able to start looking for a new job.” ~Jay Leno

http://www.quotegarden.com

The Most Useful Class I Took in High School

It has been several years since I was in high school, okay it has been several decades since I was in high school.  As is the case with every generation, I remember asking myself if any of this stuff would ever come in handy in real life.  I will even admit that although I do not spend my days happily quoting the quadratic equation, I do make frequent use of some of the simpler functions of algebra.  I have had to write many reports over the years and the more recent affinity for blogging does take advantage of a decent grasp on the English language.  However, I would say that what might just be the most useful class I took in high school is one that I underappreciated at the time – typing.  At least it was called typing back then, today it would be called keyboarding.  I will admit that I did not put a lot of time or effort into that class and remember my main achievement was producing a picture of a bowling pin and ball by typing x’s in the correct pattern to accomplish this astounding feat.  Little did I realize how many hours of my life would be spent pounding out numbers and letters on a qwerty keyboard with a side 10 key pad.  As they say “if I knew then what I know now” I would have used my time wisely then to develop a quite useful life skill.  It just goes to show you that one should take advantage of all learning opportunities because it just might come in really handy down the road.

Friday Funny October 11, 2019 Bungals

Happy Friday!  The NFL is entering into week 6 and there are 4 teams that have yet to win their first game.  Among those is the once-again bottom dwelling Bengals.  In 1970 the Cleveland Browns traded Paul Warfield who was my favorite player and that was  the end of be being a Browns fan.  I rooted for the Bengals through thick and thin (there was a lot more thin) for forty years.  At the conclusion of the 2010 season I made what has appeared to be a wise choice and decided to just not care about the Bengals or the NFL any longer.  However, just because I do not consider myself a fan any longer, does not mean that I cannot have a laugh at the expense of the Bengals.

Enjoy!

Q: What do the Bengals and the United States Postal Service have in common?

A: Neither one delivers on Sunday.

Q:  Why don’t they make Bengals jerseys for preschoolers?

A:  They are choking hazards.

Q:  What is the most popular pastry with the Bengals?

A: Turnovers.

Q: Why don’t former Bengals players make good trial lawyers?

A:  They have no defense.

Q: Why do the Bengals watch their game films in reverse?

A:  They gain more yards that way.

Q: How many Bengals does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Two, one to screw the bulb in and one to recover the fumble.

Q: How do the Bengals count to 10?

A: 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4, 0-5, 0-6, 0-7, 0-8, 0-9, 0-10.

Q: Name four things that adults should stop believing in.

A:  Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Q: Why doesn’t Andy Dalton use the phone anymore?

A: Because he can’t find the receiver.

Q: What do the Bengals and a Chick-Fil-A manager have in common?

A: Neither one shows up for work on Sunday.

Q: Why are the Bengals like a grizzly bear?

A: They both go into hibernation in the fall.

Q: What’s the difference between the Bengals and a dollar bill?

A: You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

Q: What do the Bengals and possums have in common?

A: They both play dead at home and get killed on the road!

Q: How many Bengals does it take to change a tire?

A: Only one, unless it’s a blowout, in which case they all show up.

Q: Why don’t the Bengals have a website?

A: They can’t string three “W’s” together.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings.” ~ George Will

 

Friday Funny October 4, 2019 Over the Hill

Happy Friday!  Happy October!  I recently celebrated a birthday which has reminded me that I am not as young as I used to be.  How do I know?  Well there are a lot signs to let one know.

Enjoy!

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

Your joints provide more accurate forecasts than The Weather Channel which is the only station you watch these days.

You can pull a muscle while driving a car.

You have some clothes that you kept when they went out of style – they have come back into style and gone out again.

You have actually worn a leisure suit (thankfully, that one is never coming back in style.)

You know what a punch card is.

You can remember life without a cell phone.

You have developed an appreciation for mulch.

When talking to you doctors often throw in the phrase, “considering your age.”

You remember a time when the milkman, the bread man and the TV repairman came to your house.

You are in a conversation about a song and you say, “it had a good beat, you can dance to it, I’ll give it an 85.”

The hospital you were born at, the elementary school you attended and the high school you graduated from have all been torn down.

The twinkle in your eye is only the reflection of the sun on your bifocals.

It takes twice as long to look half as good.

You look forward to a dull evening.

Your mind makes contracts your body can’t keep. 

You look for your glasses for half-an-hour, then find they’ve been on your head all the time.

You begin every other sentence with, “Back in my day.. “ or “When I was your age…”

You sing along with the elevator music.

You are proud of your lawn mower.

 Your secrets are safe with your friends because either they cannot hear you or they cannot remember what you tell them.

It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired. 

Your childhood toys are now in a museum.

You frequently find yourself telling people about buying a candy bar or a pack of baseball cards for a nickel.

You know the answers, but nobody asks you the questions anymore.

You enjoy hearing about other people’s operations. 

Your last car cost more than your first house.
 
If you still had your first car in mint condition, it would be worth more than your current house.

Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work. 

You actually know what is in your 401K. 

You own a metal detector. 

You scout for a warmer place to spend the long, cold winters. 

Youthful injuries return with a vengeance. 

A ‘late night’ now ends at 10 pm. 

“You are as young as you feel” sounds rather ominous.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~Leroy “Satchel” Paige  http://WWW.QUOTEGARDEN.COM

 

Friday Funny Septermber 27, 2019 A Quick and Easy Quiz

Happy Friday and Happy Fall!  Let’s kick off this Friday with some mental calisthenics.

Enjoy!

Ten quick questions to get your brain working and kick start your Friday.  You should be able to answer these quickly. No pencil or paper required! Time to prove that you are the sharpest pencil in the box!  Good Luck!

First Question:  If you spell “sit in the tub” s-o-a-k, and you spell “a funny story” j-o-k-e, how do you spell “the white of an egg”?

 

a-l-b-u-m-e-n or e-g-g w-h-i-t-e – hopefully this question did not leave you with y-o-k-e on your face. Get back on track with number two! 

 

Second Question: You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?

 

If your answer is that you are first, that would be incorrect. If you overtake the second person, you are now in second place!  Maybe you should get some more coffee before going further.

 

Third Question: What word would you use to describe a man who does not have all his fingers on one hand?

 

Given that people usually have half their fingers on each hand, I think normal would be a good word,

 

Fourth Question: Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

 

Wouldn’t Mount Everest still have been the highest mountain in the world even though it had not been discovered?

 

Fifth Question: How much dirt is there in a hole three feet deep, six feet long and four feet wide?

 

If there was any dirt in it, would it still be a hole?  The good news is that you have halfway through.

 

SIXTH QUESTION: You are participating in a race. If you overtake the last person, what place are you in?

 

If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. How can you overtake the LAST person? Perhaps your brain has started the weekend a little early this week?

 

Seventh Question: If you have twelve fish and half of them drown, how many remain?

 

Twelve – they are FISH – how could they drown??

 

Eighth Question:  Math alert!!  Do this in your head!  Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator.  

Take 1000 and add 40 to it.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 30.

Add another 1000.

Now add 20.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 10.

What is the total?

 

Did you get 5000? That is nice and incorrect! The correct answer is actually 4100. Do not take my word for it – get that calculator out and check.  Two more to go – finish strong! 

 

Ninth Question: If an electric train is moving north at 80 mph and the wind is blowing to the west at a steady 15 mph, which direction does the smoke blow?

 

Given that it is an ELECTRIC train, there will be no smoke.  One more chance.

 

Tenth and Last Question: Mary’s father has five daughters: Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono.  What is the name of the fifth daughter?

 

Nunu? Nana? Nene? NO! NO! NO! The fifth daughter’s name
is Mary. Read the question again.

Now that your brain is limbered up and ready to go – have a great weekend!

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure. ~Author unknown

Friday Funny September 20, 2019 Garage Sale-ing

Happy Friday! As the end of summer draws near, it is a great time to get rid of some of that stuff that has been taking up space in the basement (and magically growing!) by having a garage sale. (My wife has planned for this weekend.) After a garage sales way back in 1990, I started thinking, always a questionable activity for me, I put my thoughts into words and even managed to have it published in the local newspaper in Evansville where I worked at the time.  I did manage to make the front page of the same paper doing a lizard impersonation but that is a story for another day.  This week I have dusted off the garage sale piece just for you..

Enjoy!

Garage Sale-ing

Along with the warm evenings, cookouts and baseball games, summer brings garage sale-ing.

The object of the garage sale is to try to get someone else to actually give you money for the junk that you are ready to throw away. You go through the boxes that have been collecting dust and feeding moths for the last five years and you display it in the garage, or on the porch, or in the yard in hopes that someone will happen by who actually wants it.

I have been to a few garage sales and I have actually found a few good deals, but recently we decided to have our own sale. Believe me, there is a big difference between going to a garage sale and holding your own.

The process of determining what treasures would actually be offered provided some interesting discussion between my wife, who does not find sentimental value of much use, hence was willing to sell our wedding album, and myself, a packrat who can find a reason for keeping my third grade spelling test. But, with give and take, we survived the process (I gave and she took it).

One of the essential ingredients for a successful garage sale is the classified ad. In the ad, you put all the vital information: any special items you have, your address and the times for the sale. It is important to put the time in so that people will know to come two hours early and get you out of bed to allow them to have first shot at the treasures you’re willing to part with. I’m concerned about people who have nothing better to do than go to garage sales at 5:30 in the morning.

Now you’re outside, half-awake, half-dressed and still waiting for your first cup of coffee. The fun begins! People you do not even know, total strangers seeking bargains from your outdoor bonanza, pull up, get out of the car and start rummaging through your personal belonging. I would have never thought that this could happen in America.

They look at your clothes, your furniture, your comic books you’ve taken care of for twenty years, and haggle over the price. It is like they are judging every detail of your life. The articles people purchase are interesting.

Generally you can sell anything that is broken: small appliances, toys, lawn mowers, you name it. But if it is in good condition, they will be skeptical. Clothes tend to do well. Someone will come who is three times your size, hold up your clothes to see if they fit and still buy them. People will pour over items searching diligently for any type of break or imperfection before they are willing to invest one dollar in a picture frame you paid $10 for, but never used. The sale can be a dangerous time for small children. Every time they venture out of the house, someone will grab a toy out of their little hand and offer you 50 cents.

And the day drags on. You fight off the hot sun; you fight off the bugs and at times you fight off your customers. You watch people trample your flowers and listen to them complain about your prices. You see them carry off a piece of your life.

When it is all over, you count up your money, subtract the price of the ad, divide by the number of hours worked, and you realize you made about 37 cents an hour for all the effort. Yet, you’re proud to be a part of the free enterprise system. The sale is over and a lot of your junk is gone, probably destined to show up at someone else’s garage sale in the future.

In a strange way, I even enjoyed it. I realized I can part with a few things and survive and just maybe some of that junk might actually do someone else some good. My wife even let me keep our wedding album, but I had to buy it at the garage sale.

Happy Sale-ing!

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Ashes to ashes.  Garage sale to garage sale.” ~ John Green