Sunday, July 22, 2018


Happy Birthday to Ava!

Okay, honestly, I'm not actually sure it's Ava's birthday. She told me when it was, but I cannot find where I wrote it down anywhere. You see, on the first day of school every year, I ask each student about their birthday. Ava didn't come in to 5-1 until February, though, so I didn't write it down in my day planner like I normally would.

Even though Ava came in a little late to the party, she no less gelled right in with the rest of the class. You never would have guessed she hadn't been here the whole school year. She made friends with everyone very quickly, and she just as rapidly became one of those people that no one could ever have anything against. To call her "sweet" would be a huge understatement. She always had that smile on her face, and I would have gladly taught ten of her.

Thanks for coming back to Woodbrook when you did, Ava. I hope you are having a great summer, and that you had a great birthday, no matter when it was. You definitely deserve it!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Man On the Moon

Happy Moon Day, everybody!

Yes, on this date back in 1969, Neil Armstrong (good Purdue boy, just sayin') became the first man to walk on the moon. This was well-learned in the fifth grade this past school year.

The other night, when I was walking back to my car in Trafalgar, Indiana after the night I was at karate camp, I looked up and thought, "Waxing crescent moon." Some things you just can't shake.

I hope I never do, and honestly, most of me hopes your kids don't either.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

When the Cat's Away

I was deleting pictures off my phone earlier when I rediscovered this selfie taken on my phone while I was at a meeting. By the way, the Cole-prit wasn't actually as injured as he looks in this photo, because the bandaid on his head wasn't actually needed. The lip with stitches? That was real.

I'm trying to decide what Rafael is looking at in the background. The sink? Is there a drippy faucet that captured his attention?

Hope you're having a great summer! Mine is getting better and better.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ring of Fire

It was fun last night to return to one of my favorite summer traditions, karate summer camp. The first summer I was at the bonfire, I thought, "Oh, these people have never seen a real campfire before." That's when I decided to pipe up and start pulling out all the camp songs that I had led during my years at Camp Tecumseh. Then, it just kind of became my job every year.

I was unable to go last year, but last night I did make my return. It was really gratifying, and I love watching the kids (who are getting older) take over the songs I used to lead. Even better was that I had a few of them who insisted that I get up and do some songs too. It's hard to say no to stuff that's been ingrained in my head for 20+ years.

Camp is always a good thing. It creates a culture of its own which cannot be understood by anyone who isn't a part of it. I think that's why everyone used to complain about being "homesick" after camp was over. Camp is its own thing, and to be part of it is always something incredibly special.

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Only Iceberg in the Ocean

Yes, we all end up doing this at some point--careening toward some huge mistake despite the warnings of all our friends. Because we are humans, sometimes that's the only way we learn. Remember, it's not a wasted experience if you learn from it.

I hope you are all having a great summer!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Win the Race

I hope you all see this. By the way, there are all kinds of problems and setbacks that were not addressed in this video, but I'm going to guess that you can all fill those spots in yourselves and see that it still applies regardless of race.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Woodbrook World of Good

How awesome it was to see everyone yesterday! Thanks so much to everybody who came up to Wolfie's to wish me luck and send me off. It was such an unexpected thing when Mrs. Helgeland asked me when I would be able to "get together with a few people", and then it grew above and beyond. So much thanks goes to Mrs. H, Mrs. Majeski, and Mrs. Shearman for putting all this together. People from Woodbrook's past and present came in and out, and it was so cathartic.

Thanks again, guys.