Random End of the Month Thoughts

Hi and happy last day of August.  Can you believe it will be September tomorrow?  I sure can’t. This month has been a busy one and flew by.  Ian has been in school for a  month now and is doing well.  For that we are truly thankful.

It is hard to believe that this is only my second posting this month.  The one I did two weeks ago doesn’t seem to have been read by many people. Oh well.  I really need to get back to regularly writing and posting.  Here are some thoughts over the last week.

I enjoyed my first PTO meeting this week as an interested parent, not an officer having to do something.  It was different and good.  The PTO at this school is different than last year.  Not as much to do and support but what there is to do is quite important.  Nice to be a part of that.

This weekend is football time in Tennessee.  For those who don’t know, the University of Tennessee is a popular team and many people plan their Saturdays in order to watch the games. Orange and white are the colors of choice for many fans as they are yelling at the stadium or cheering in front of the television.  It is almost a religion here.

In 1998, UT won the national championship game.  It was a big year for UT.  One of the local television stations is airing information about that year’s team, information on each week’s game and the fans.  It has been a great look back.  We hope for a winning season this year for UT.  Last year was rough for them and I hope they are on the rebound.

Also this weekend is Labor Day and a three-day weekend, which is so nice.  We can sleep in for three days instead of our usual two. YEAH!  Ian asked this morning what that day is for.  I told him it is to celebrate workers and also the end of the summer.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

I don’t know about you but I grew up learning that everyone at an office has an important and vital job in the success of the company.  The janitor keeps the building looking nice, the boss leads everyone and all of the worker bees also do their part.  My hope is that we can all appreciate our co-workers and those who provide services to us and for us.

Speaking of hard work and doing their part, you know who has amazed me this week?  President Jimmy Carter.  He is 93 years old and is building a house with Habitat for Humanity.  He and his wife are working together with other volunteers.  He has been busy giving back ever since he left office as president.  He is someone for Ian to learn from.

Another person is the late Senator John McCain who died this week of brain cancer.  This is the same cancer that led to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, and to Beau Biden.  These men were all mentioned and praised during the remarks yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden and McCain had an unusual friendship, especially in today’s atmosphere of hating those we don’t agree with, or ridiculing them.  They were totally different and called each other on it. They had major disagreements but were still there for each other and were friends.  They knew how to laugh and respect each other.

At the funeral in Arizona, Biden said, “I’m sure there’s people who said to you: ‘Explain this guy to me.’ Because, as they looked at him, in one sense they admired him. In one sense, the way things changed so much in America, they looked at him as if John came from another age, lived by a different code — an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive…. truth is, John’s code was ageless…. He’d part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency and respect.”

If only we could go back to that treatment of each other again. I am so very tired of the idea that the other side is the enemy.  They aren’t.  They are just different in what they think.  They could, however, be considered an enemy if they are out to do you harm.  Egging others on to violence and hate is so very wrong and needs to stop.

I didn’t always agree with Senator McCain on issues but I did respect his service to our country, his time as a prisoner of war, the fact that when offered to be sent home he declined since he wasn’t the first one there, and his love of his family.  He was decent, had integrity, and amazing courage.  And, he never thought of himself as a hero.

These are the traits that I want Ian to have as he grows into manhood.  These are the traits that my husband and I are trying to teach him, trying to model to him, and trying to discuss with him.  We want him to be a man of integrity, honor, courage, love, respect for others, compassion, and so much more.

(All pictures are from Power Point Clip Art). What random thoughts did you have this week?  Please share them.

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Public Schools Rock!

Playground.5The vote this week to confirm someone as the Secretary of Education who has no experience in the public schools had me dumbstruck and confused.  Why, oh why would the Senate do this?  They almost didn’t but a first ever tie-breaking vote was made to approve her.

I want to give her a chance and see if she can bring something new to the discussion about education.  I hope and pray that she does.  I just am not sure and am concerned.

I want her to listen to the thousands of teachers, principals, superintendents / directors of schools, school boards, PTO and PTA members, parents, and others who have been working and supporting our nation’s public schools.  I also want her to understand the importance, value, and need of the public schools.

I come from a long line of public teachers and am proud to say so.  My grandparents taught in the schools as well as one of my great-grandmothers. My grandfather worked with special needs students and all students to have what they need to learn.  My parents both taught.  My sister is a teacher.  I also have aunts and uncles, friends, cousins and others who are teachers or have taught. I have one thing to say to all of them, thank you!

I am a graduate of a public high school that provided wonderful classes and information.  I went to a public elementary school, a public junior high, and a public high school.  My school district was and still is one of the best around.  I hope they continue to be.

Now, I am involved again in the public schools with my son now being a student.  He loves his school, he loves his teachers, and so do I.  They all want what is best for him and work hard to teach him, help him, and encourage him when he has struggles. They not only teach academics, but also life skills and values, and recite a pledge each morning to be kind, work together, give no put-downs, and do their best.  This is said after the Pledge of Allegiance.

As you are aware, I am also active in his school’s PTO.  I very much enjoy working with the school staff, administration, teachers, and parents to help our students.  I will continue to do so as long as he is at this school.

Those of us who love our public schools should continue to fight for our students.  May we be positive and support our teachers, our students, our principals and vice principals, our staff members, our superintendents and directors of schools, and our school boards.  May we continue to have a wonderful public education.

4 More Weeks of 1st Grade

Ian's.Sentences0003It is amazing to me to think that there is only one more month of 1st grade.  This year has flown by! It has been a great one with many changes for Ian.  He has developed into an amazing student who I am really and truly proud of.

He has learned to work hard on his studies and do his homework.  He does well on his weekly spelling quizzes, enjoys math, and reads to us each night. I feel very blessed that our child enjoys learning and realize how rare that really is.

And, for the times that he doesn’t feel like doing his homework, which do happen, we remind him that he doesn’t have a choice.  It is his job to learn and do his best.  That usually works, or the threat of no computer time or toys being put away for a while.  We have to find what works, don’t we?!

Ian wrote the above sentences using spelling words, which are underlined.  I have to agree with his teacher who said they are great sentences.  I continue to be amazed at all he is learning and doing.  Some of the words are written phonetically since he doesn’t know how to spell all of them.

There is still much to do in the last month of school — a walk to raise money for our PTO and our programs, many Cub Scout activities as he finishes his Tiger cub year, a cookout at school, the holiday, receiving his yearbook, and finally the last day of school.

I have mixed emotions but am looking forward to summer and the next chapter and the next grade.  There will be many transitions of a new PTO board, new teachers, a new Cub Scout rank, new friends to be made, and much more.  As with anything in life, we will have some old and new and some good and bad.

I wonder how this next month will go?  I hope and pray that it will be a good one and that things will go well for us.  Hope it will for you too!