Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 10, 2012: Like the drink, only spelled different.

For most, December 10, 2012 is an unremarkable date. It’s a Monday, it’s the second Monday in December, it’s the 10th day of the month, whatever. At Louisa Middle School the date is a bit more significant, it is our walkthrough day, the day that a team of people wander our building, come in your classroom for 20 minutes and tell you what a poor job you are doing. For some, these days are devastating, for me, well, I’ve been here 15 years and all you have to do is talk to my students. We learn. WE learn. I learn from them and they learn from me. I love my job, even with all the de-motivational aspects, because I am not here to feel good about me, I am here to feel good about the bright, young people that I get to steer into the future for one year. I have one rule, “Show up and do what you are asked to do.” I also had three words, “ready, responsible and respectful.” I’ve had those three words on my wall for 15 years, never had to pay anyone for them; the county bought a new program (for who knows how much money) that boiled down to, “ready, responsible and respectful.” It’s good to know that my ideas are good enough to pay for; I just wish that I had a cut of the loot. Oh, well…

I teach my kids cool stuff, just like I hope I teach you good stuff here. Good stuff like…

On this date in 1879, Ernest Howard Shepard was born in London, England. Shepard was an illustrator by trade and worked on a number of books, perhaps you’ve heard of some of the characters he drew: Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit. Shepard did the illustrations for A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Shepard also did illustrations for The Wind in the Willows and his daughter, Mary, illustrated P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. So go to the Magic Kingdom and ride with Tigger and Pooh and, as always, have a moment of silence for Mr. Toad.

I really like Stephen King; in fact two of my favorite movies are Stephen King movies, “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile.” On this date in 1957, Michael Clarke Duncan was born in Chicago, Illinois. In the last year, we lost Michael Clarke Duncan to heart disease but I will always think of him as John Coffey, “… like the drink only spelled different,” from “The Green Mile.” Duncan was a natural; his style was calm, easy and understated, difficult for a man of his size.  He will be missed but he also has a couple of Disney connections: he was the Kingpin in “Daredevil” the Marvel movie, now owned by Disney an he was the voice of Tug in “Brother Bear,” in 2003. Let’s go to the Magic Kingdom and watch the Country Bears’ Jamboree where Big Al makes me think of Michael Clarke Duncan and that’s a good thing.

Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

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