Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

Friday Funny August 9, 2019 Memorable Commercial Slogans

Happy Friday!  This week I want to test your memory just a little bit.  See if you can recall the product that goes along with these classic commercial slogans.  Answers are at the bottom.

Enjoy! 

1.  A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YA  

2.  BE ALL YOU CAN BE

3.  BETCHA CAN’T EAT JUST ONE

4.  CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

5.  DOES SHE…OR DOESN’T SHE?

6.  DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT

7.  DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE, DOUBLE YOUR FUN

8.  HAVE IT YOUR WAY

9.  GOOD TO THE LAST DROP

10.  I CAN’T BELIEVE I ATE THE WHOLE THING

11.  I LIKED IT SO MUCH, I BOUGHT THE COMPANY

12.  IT TAKES A LICKING AND KEEPS ON TICKING

13.  IT TAKES A TOUGH MAN TO MAKE A TENDER CHICKEN  

14.  IT’S THE REAL THING

15.  LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING

16.  LOOK MA, NO CAVITIES!

17.   PLOP, PLOP, FIZZ, FIZZ, OH WHAT A RELIEF IT IS

18.  PUT A TIGER IN YOUR TANK

19.  WE TRY HARDER

20.  WHEN YOU CARE ENOUGH TO SEND THE VERY BEST

21.  WHERE’S THE BEEF?

22.  TIME TO MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS

23.  STRONG ENOUGH FOR A MAN, BUT MADE FOR A WOMAN

24.  EVER EAT A PINE TREE?

25.  THEY’RE GR-R-R-R-EAT!

 

 

1.    Brylcreem

2.    The US Army

3.    Lays

4.     Verizon

5.    Clairol

6.     American Express

7.    Wrigley’s Doublemint

8.    Burger King

9.   Maxwell House

10.  Alka Seltzer

11.   Remington

12.  Timex

13.   Perdue

14.  Coca Cola

15.  Yellow Pages

16. Crest Toothpaste

17. Alka Seltzer

18. Esso/Exxon

19. Avis

20. Hallmark

21. Wendy’s

22. Dunkin’ Doughnuts

23. Secret

24. Post Grape Nuts

25. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

The trouble with us in America isn’t that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy. ~Louis Kronenberger

http://WWW.QUOTEGARDEN.COM

Friday Funny June 7, 2019 Dialing Up Some Laughter

Happy Friday and welcome to June! I think we had the same phone (with a rotary dial) from the time I was born until I went away to college.  Now, you cannot get a cell phone to last the two years that it takes to pay for it.  It appears that it is just about time to replace my cell phones which had me looking for a little phone-related humor this week.

Enjoy!

I was once in a job interview when the hiring manager handed me his laptop and said, “I want you to try and sell this to me.” Well, I got up, put it under my arm, walked out of the building and went home. About an hour later, he called my cell and said, “Bring my computer back right now!” I said, “$250 and it is yours.”

I recently went to a movie. I choose an aisle seat because it feels a little roomier. Just as the feature was about to start, a lady gets up from the center of the row got up and starts working her way out. “Excuse me, sorry, oops, excuse me, pardon me, …” By the time she got to me, I was getting a bit perturbed, so I asked, “Couldn’t you have done this a little earlier?” “No!” she said in a loud whisper. “The ‘TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE PLEASE’ message just flashed up on the screen and I left mine in the car.”

How can you tell which one of your friends has the newest iPhone? Don’t worry, they’ll be sure to let you know.

I accidentally dropped my cell phone from the balcony on the twentieth floor, fortunately it was in airplane mode.

Phones are getting thinner and smarter. People, well that is another story…

If you cross a telephone with an iron would you get a smooth operator?

Would a lobster answer the phone by saying “shello”?

Did the cell phone need to wear glasses because it had lost its contacts?

Chuck Norris’ phone never auto corrects him.

Chuck Norris can text using a rotary phone.

Chuck Norris doesn’t dial the wrong number, you pick up the wrong phone.

Thought for the Week

“Whoever said there is freedom of speech has not seen my cell phone bill.”

 

Odd Song Lyrics from the 1970’s – MacArthur Park

Musically I am and probably always will be stuck in the 1970’s.  It is the soundtrack of my youth.  The 1970’s had a lot of good songs and a lot of bad songs.  But if you remember “American Bandstand” they all “had a good beat, I’ll give it an 85…”

The 1970’s gave us disco and many may never forgive the decade for that.  “MacArthur Park” was a song originally released in 1968 by Richard Harris which  peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  In 1978, Donna Summer re-released it with a disco beat and made it to number 1 on the Billboard chart.

Here is a portion of the lyrics:

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
’cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, nooooo

Several questions come to mind:

  1. Why was the cake left out in the rain?  Who leaves a cake in the rain? Why didn’t she put it in a Tupperware cake container?
  2. Why did this cake that much longer to bake than a normal cake? Was it extra big?  Was it extra fluffy?
  3. Why will she never have that recipe again?  Why didn’t she write it down? (Today, I am certain she could find that recipe on the internet!)
  4. Taking us back to #1 above – if this was such a special cake that took an extraordinarily long time to bake with a once in a lifetime recipe, shouldn’t she have taken note of the weather forecast and made sure that it was not left out in the rain?

The song had a good beat, I will give it an 85, but inquiring minds want to know.

 

Baseball Fever 2019

If you know me, you probably know that the greatest passions of my life are baseball, God and family – not in that order.  So, with Opening Day upon us, my thoughts have once again turned to baseball.  If you have been following this blog for a long-time, what follows is something you may have seen before.  But this time of year, I wanted to share it again.

There is an ailment that I have been afflicted with for as far back as I can remember. As a very young boy, I was exposed to baseball and, like most boys growing up in Southwestern Ohio in the 1970’s, I caught a bad case of baseball fever. Baseball fever, like many other fevers, can cause one to lose touch with reality and to act in odd ways. As a child, I was prone to spend countless hours during the summer playing the game of baseball. If I could not find any fellow sufferers to share in a game, I would spend hours simply throwing a baseball against the back wall of my elementary school. This exercise was often accompanied by the delusion that I was pitching in the seventh game of the World Series and that the outcome hung on each and every pitch. Night brought little relief as the fever led me to sit on the front porch with my father and brother and listen to Al or Marty and the ‘ole left-hander describe a baseball game on the radio, hoping to hear phrases like “that one is OUTTA here!” and “THIS one belongs to the Reds.” On days when the weather was bad, I would spend my time studying little pieces of cardboard and memorizing the numbers and facts printed on the back or perhaps recreating the picture on the front of how each player held a bat or wound up to throw the ball. I would beg my father for some change so I could run up to the drugstore and buy more of these pieces of cardboard and the cardboard-like gum that came with them. In those days a quarter could be exchanged for five packs of baseball cards with each pack containing five cards and a stick of gum. Over the years, I have constantly guarded these treasures from harmful disasters like house cleanings and garage sales.

There were some days when baseball fever had me in a state of delirious splendor. On these very wonderful occasions, my father would take me to magical places called Crosley Field or Riverfront Stadium where I had the grand privilege of watching my heroes play this game I had come to love.

As years went on, the fever never went away. It would subside for a time, but it would always return in the spring. I moved out of Ohio for a number of years, but every year we would return to visit family and the trip would always coincide, mysteriously, with a home stand. This would invisibly, irresistibly draw me and my father, and later my sons back to a place where others gathered to watch these chosen men who somehow were fortunate enough to earn their living by playing this child’s game.

Fortune smiled and I was able to move back to Southwestern Ohio. For several years I could look out from the building in downtown Cincinnati I worked in and gaze across at Riverfront Stadium, that place I went to as a youth to see men named Morgan, Rose, Bench, Perez, Foster, Griffey, Concpecion, Geronimo, Gullet and others. Sometimes at lunch I would walk around the stadium and I could almost hear the cheers of days gone by. I was able to see Great American Ballpark rise up and take form and have seen Larkin, Casey, Griffey Jr., Votto, Phillips, Suarez, Lorenzen and Gennett build the memories of a new era.

Now it is spring once again. With spring comes not only green grass and flowers, but the return of baseball fever. This is one ailment that they have not yet found a cure for and I hope they never do.