small changeOK, so some of you are going to call me an idiot, a patsy, a pansy-faced sucker.

And maybe I am.

I’m sitting in a fast food joint, slurping a soda that I’m not supposed to have because I have braces (don’t tell my orthodontist).  I came here to write a post just for you, because you’re one of my favorite people.  The plan was to write about a cool tradition my family has for my wife’s birthday, but then I got distracted by the news that the AMA has officially designated obesity a disease.  I decided that I needed to vent about the inanity of that concept, and, having an hour or so to kill, I plopped down on a stool to ingest sugar and fat while ranting and raving.

You’re going to have to wait for both of those posts (and I hope you do), because when I did the afore-mentioned plopping, I saw something. Continue reading

Lessons from the Dog

IMG_1742I’m way too much like my dog.

And yet not enough.

Confusing?  Tell me about it.

Summer is here, and for me that means early morning walks with the lovely Mandibles of Death.  You may remember this pooch.  Her given name is Amanda, but she has claimed the title Mandibles.  She has earned it, too, being vicious in a way that only fluffy Golden Retrievers can be.

I try to use our daily walk as prayer time.  The fresh morning air and invigorating exercise are supposed to free up my mind for communion with God.  That’s the plan, anyway.  As we cruised along the block today, I couldn’t help but notice that there are ways in which Mandy reminds me, uncomfortably, of myself.   Continue reading

Real Men Don’t Wear Flip-Flops

flip flopSeriously.

I was in the market yesterday, and I noticed a display of flip-flops.  For those of you who don’t know, “Flip-Flops” is the technical term for inexpensive, backless sandals, usually made of rubber.  There are a variety of names associated with this casual footwear, but the intellectual elite know them as “Flip-Flops.” Continue reading

Good Enough

English: 4th place ribbon for a race

When is it good to say good enough is good enough?

Last time, I was talking about the astounding level of mediocrity that I find in my classroom.  I’m not just talking about the things they don’t know—like my World History student who thinks that Christianity has its roots in the teachings of Confucius.


No, I’m talking about the level of effort I see—and the level of effort that is rewarded.

What can I do to teach my own kids to be more than mediocre? Continue reading

Good Job?

thumbsFor the record…30% is not usually good.

In baseball, batting .300 is only so-so.

In basketball, hitting 3 out of 10 free throws is not impressive.

In a classroom, 30% is an F.  Large-scale F.  Like, If the grades went any lower than “F,” you’d get that lower grade kind of failure.

So why, when recording a stack of student-graded quizzes, did I come across a paper with “6/20=30%—Good Job!!” written on it? Continue reading

Keep On

trailOh, Yeah, life goes on

Long after the thrill of living is gone…

A singularly depressing and unwholesome song, yet possessing a kernel of truth.

I’ve rambled on before about how theater is kind of a metaphor for life.  I think of this again as I prepare for the second-to-last weekend of Treasure IslandContinue reading