Friday, November 12, 2010

Veteran's Day-- A Time for Thanks

I hope that everyone I know is enjoying a long weekend.  This weekend is very special, and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to those that have served our nation in one of the most demanding ways possible.  If you get the chance this weekend, thank a veteran for their service.

I have read and received a few messages of thanks for my own service, and they are warmly appreciated.  I cannot, however, neglect to say thank you to those that have supported me in my own endeavors over the years.

I have to give a warm thanks to my wife and kids.  They have put up with so much over the years that there is no quantity or value that can really be placed on that.  Their sacrifice has been real, and I want them to know that I appreciate it.  The love and support that they have given me is immeasurably important.  I don't know how I could have made it as far as I have without them. My wife has been a rock of support over the years, and her patience, love, understanding, and sacrifices have been truly noteworthy.

To my parents, I say thank you for everything.  I don't have enough room to write a complete list of the things they have done for me, but they certainly did a great job of raising me.  Despite my faults and stupidity over the years, I think I turned out pretty good.  Thanks Mom and Dad; you've always been there for me in many ways.  I also must say thank you to my dad for his service during the Korean War.  Yep; he's a vet too.

To my sister, I say thanks and remind you that you are an amazing woman.  I've not stayed in touch with all of my fellow Marines that I fought alongside during the war, but I have vivid memories of many of them saying things like, "Hey guys, staff sergeant's sister sent another box!"  She even put special things in there that she knew my driver liked; he didn't smile much, but she brought a smile to his face during some particularly dark times.  She's a good friend, and I'm lucky to have her as family.

To the rest of my family and friends, I say thank you for being there.  There is no good way to quantify the love and support that I've been blessed to receive over the years. Just getting a nice email, a letter, or even a phone call can often make a bad day forgettable, or help the push toward getting the job done.  You never know how much somebody might appreciate your efforts.  Thank you all.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Woes of a Teacher

One of my favorite cousins is a teacher.  I think being a teacher is one of the most thankless jobs that you could possibly have.  To make matters worse, she actually cares about the kids that she's teaching.  Can you place a dollar amount on that?

She expressed some distress about the fact that a couple of her kids wouldn't stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance.  She then went on to express her distress over the school's focus on nothing but test scores.  Don't get me started!  I admire her patience for not smacking those kids or, more appropriately, their parents.

I don't have ANY sympathy for a school district that focuses more on test scores than it does on the kids and teachers in their charge.  My cousin sarcastically asked something along the lines of, "You don't do your homework or study for anything but I'm held accountable for your test scores?"  I shout a hearty WTF on that one! 

I shake my head in disgust at the piss-poor excuses for parents that keep sending their offspring into our government de-tuned schools.  I feel bad for the teachers that care; they get shat upon on a daily basis.  To my cousin:  Hang in there and keep making a difference!