Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Wheels are Falling Off

This is the time of year in 5th grade when our students seem to forget normal expectations and begin to think it is okay to bully, cheat, steal and lie. Well, maybe not THAT extreme, but close. There is an art to keeping the balance while addressing certain issues and avoiding breaking spirits or stemming momentum since the big science test is next week. After Thursday, all bets are off.

5th graders only have less than 30 more recesses in their academic careers.

Sucker in the Room

I really enjoy mowing and I also enjoy performing acts of service for people. Recently I was asked to mow for a coworker whom I know is stuggling financially. The place is a bit out of the way, but I agreed to mow in exchange for future childcare. A fair trade in my mind is one mow, worth about $30, in exchange for about 3-4 hours of sitter service. Well, my coworker was just put on bedrest since she is having sciatic back problems while being pregnant. I know what this means, I'm mowing for charity.

Is it wrong for me to not want to continue mowing? My wife suggested I tutor her husband and teach him to mow. Is it wrong for me to mention to my coworker that maybe it is time that her husband take over mowing responsibilities? That is what homeowners do..take care of their lawns.

I'll struggle with this one. As Matt Damon says in the beginning of the poker movie Rounders, "If you can't spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker." That is kind of how I feel right now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blogging vs. Facebook and Grieving

I really miss blogging. Facebook really stole me away from blogging on a regular basis. I actually have 4 blog accounts, my TheMANFC, one for each of my kids and one based on scripture readings. Saddest thing is that I haven't posted to my scripture blog in over a year. I started blogs for each of my kids as a form of journaling what is going on in their lives. My daughter was born in 2001 and I actually wrote in a journal for her. My son was born in 2004 and I wrote very little in his journal. Blogging for them was kind of a way to document what is actually going on in our lives. It may serve as my memory someday. Sad thing is, I couldn't remember my password to my blog accounts. TheMANFC blog in its hey day was a good way for me to keep up with BillyV and Huffdaddy without actually talking to them. It also allowed me to connect with a few other people in the country who teach, one a substitute and another a professor.

I really enjoy Facebook and I give it credit for reconnecting me with MANY friends that I had lost touch with. I only try to become friends with someone if I would truly consider having lunch with them if we crossed paths. What Facebook has done is stolen what we call screen time in my house away from Blogger.

Last Thursday I made a visit back to blogger in a desperate attempt to find out what had happened to a good friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a few months. A mutual friend informed me that this friend had passed away. I didn't really find anything on blogger about my friend and ironically it was on Facebook that his wife posted the details of his Memorial Service.

Oddly enough both medium have allowed me to grieve the loss of my friend. Many of his friends posted their feelings as they shared how special a person he was. It was therapuetic to read how much he meant to so many people. Then tonight I was able to read his most recent posts. On a few of them I should have been able to realize how tough things were going for him on a daily basis. And most of his posts you would never realize how much he was battling just trying to stay healthy.

What I do have in our blog connection is the ability to read his posts over the past few years and to hear his voice in his writing. I can go back through my posts and read his comments. 9 times out of 10 his comments make me smile, even chuckle, and now I look forward to spending more screen time listening to my friend who has moved on from this life. It was also cool to see a new post from his 9 year old son on his blog. It was my kind of post too: A restaurant review......NICE!

I really hope I am able to keep a healthy balance between Facebook, blogging, bible reading and family.