Sunday, April 17, 2011

County Fair Thank You's

Being an agricultural teacher means that for one week each year my entire life revolves around county fair. Monday thru Sunday I leave my comfy home, head an hour into the center of Phoenix, hang out with other agricultural teachers and pray that each animal makes the sale at the end of the week.
Thanks are always in place: to many people.  For those individuals and companies that buy our animals and our agricultural mechanics projects.  For the superintendents, of the animals and the agricultural mechanics auction, for the endless hours they put in.  For the other agricultural teachers for being a support system when it is needed.  For the schools for still finding value in teaching kids about where their food and fiber comes from.

Thanks is a simple word that is often forgotten by the people that should be saying it. Many times these people do not realize how many hours another individual puts in just to make it so their day runs a little smoother.  They forget to say the simple phrase, and while it may go unnoticed, it is always nice to hear a “Thank You” when your life has been turned upside down for the joys of another person.
So, for all the people that worked hard, were not with their families, were not at their regular jobs and that spent endless hours making the lives of my students run a little smoother for county fair week, Thank You.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are You Ready?

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh, what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast. What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting tomorrow.”
it’s what everyone needs in their life…a chance to do something new, explore new places and push one’s self to the limit of what we believe we cannot do. I used to live my adventures through two books: Winnie the Pooh and Wind in the Willows.  Now I LIVE my adventures: whether it be hiking through a new place, boating on the lake with friends or snowboarding after driving for six hours: I live them.
The adventures in the next few months are not my own, but those of good friends. Last week was a whirl wind for my friends. My best guy friend got married, my best girl friend (who just moved within a 20 minute drive of me) had a fabulous interview in San Francisco and my very good friend found out she got a job in Indianapolis that starts in June.
I’m happy for all of them, but it does make me wonder, what other adventures are they going to have? Are my friends going to have kids soon? Are they going to actually like living in snow for the majority of the year?  Are they going to remember to jump in puddles? Are they going to have moments where they let go of everything, and just have an adventure?
I picked up my trusty Winnie the Pooh book – it’s been read so many times that the ear marks never quite stay up – to get perspective on the past week.   There is a chapter called “Surrounded by Water”, where Christopher Robin and Pooh climb into an umbrella to escape the water. This chapter comes right before Christopher Robin throws a party to say goodbye, goodbye too many things, but most importantly goodbye to his good friends in the Hundred Acre wood. I found this somewhat calming, as if we could really escape whatever is coming up by climbing into a giant umbrella, climbing into something that people say cannot actually happen.
I’m reminded by my good friends in the Hundred Acre Wood and the Wild Wood, that life is not always about being grown up, but it is about being a kid every so often and still having ADVENTURES.  That life should be measured by the number of adventures you take, and not by the what ifs. So, I wonder, when do we all know if we are actually ready for our next adventure?