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Monthly Archives: February 2009

They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

I read this in Sports Illustrated a long time ago. It was attributed to the women’s soccer coach from North Carolina. It struck a chord with me, and I’ve tried to use this philosophy teaching. I make it a point to learn every kid’s name by the end of the first week of school. I can tell you something personal about each kid I teach by the end of the first nine weeks, their hobbies, where they work, something I can talk to them about that isn’t school. I’m not trying to brag here, I’ve just found that a kid will pay attention to someone who pays attention to them.

I have a girl in my 7th period class that missed three days in a row at the beginning of the year. When I called home to check on what was up her sister told me she was in the hospital. She didn’t give me any details and I didn’t push. When TrumpetGirl (another shout-out to Ms. H, I’m gonna start naming my kids like she does…) came back to school I asked her if everything was ok. She got pissy about it and kept asking me why I was asking. I told her I care about my students. She was skeptical and told me I was full of it. I didn’t push it. For a few weeks we had a dialouge going about whether I cared or not. She really thought I was full of crap when I told her once that I pray for each of them by name at least once a week.

As the year has passed on she has come to believe that I care. She has shared her feelings when her boyfriend broke up with her, we talked a lot when her grandmother passed. She has shared her excitement when she started going out with her current boyfriend. I know she thinks her dad is too strict and her mom doesn’t care.

This morning she came in at 7:00 to make up a test she had missed. Before she started the test she asked if I had a couple of minutes, she needed to talk. I told her of course. She said, “I think I have breast cancer. My boobs hurt all the time and I think I have a lump.”

Well hell.

Luckily there was another kid in the room, over in the corner. He couldn’t hear the conversation, but at least I wasn’t alone. I don’t think she’s the kind that would set me up, but I don’t ever want to be in that position in the first place.

I asked her about family history, I told her this could be an early symptom of pregnancy (I got an eye-roll on that one; Mary had a baby, but I don’t think I’m gonna be the second miracle birth). I told her at 15 she probably didn’t have anything to worry about, but she should see a doctor if she is concerned. She didn’t want to say anything to her parents, they won’t understand, they won’t listen to me, they won’t… I finally told her that since I’m a man, she probably needed to talk to a woman. She told me there is a female teacher she would feel comfortable talking to, so I wrote a quick pass and she went out the door.

6th period I have her boyfriend in class. He came in and asked if I had a minute…

I’m glad the kids feel like they can talk to me. I’m glad I can help where I can. Some days though I wish I was like the guy down the hall who they are all afraid of.

I missed the gym three days in a row this week due to late, and I mean late, nights at school, but still had 4 90 minute plus workouts.

Have kicked the 4 cans a day soda habit. Increased fruit and veggie intake. Cut out potato chips completely. No candy at all this week. Only had red meat once this week. Even added fresh fish to the menu (the orange roughy last night was delicious!). Small portions at meals and no seconds.

Gained another pound.


Call it a mid-life crisis, call it what you will, but I’m wanting to get a tattoo.

And being a geek, I’m going with a math theme.  I’ve narrowed the search down to three.

 Upper arm with my wife's name in the infinity symbol / mobius strip    

Upper arm with my wife’s name in the mobius strip             

Upper arm.

Third idea, just the numbers wrapped around the upper arm like the barbwire tats you see, maybe three spirals around.

Some people I’ve expressed this wish to have implied that as a role model for children getting a tat would be irresponsi ble.  I don’t know.

Choice 1, choice 2, choice 3, or skip it all together?

Opinions welcome.

I swear, I’d rather have a kid drop an f-bomb in my class than “that is soooooo gay.”  One of the precious little ones made the comment in class yesterday and I went Ms. H on their azz (for those not in the know, that would be the infamous ‘spider monkey’).  I went off on him, and the rest of them for a good two minutes.

When I finished the smart-ass in the back of the room says, “Jesus, Mr. W, we didn’t know you were gay.  Does your wife know?”

That set me off for another 5 minutes or so.

I’m not real sure how I kept my job…  but I’m pretty sure if one of them slips up and says it again they’re gonna run for the door before I twist their greasy heads off their scrawny necks.

As you may know from a previous post, I joined a gym last week.  I also started keeping a food diary.

I have been to the gym every day since I joined.  I’ve done a minimum of 25 minutes on the bike, 45 minutes on the treadmill, and 30 minutes on strength training every day.  

Every day.

When you write down everything  that goes in your mouth, you really start to think about what you’re eating.   Potato chips?  No, raw cabbage.  Fries with my hamburger?  No, baby carrots.  I haven’t had a soda in 6 days.  I was drinking 4 cans of coke a day.  That’s a lot of empty calories.  No more.   I’m drinking in excess of a gallon of water a day.

I’m proud of myself and stepped on the scale this morning in anticipation.

I gained 5 pounds this week.

What the hell?