Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life is like driving a "Stick"

If life was a vehicle, I'd like mine to be stick shift because if you simply step on the gas, you'll go nowhere.  Instead if you remember...
    To Enjoy the process
     
    Take time to appreciate each stage (gear) of "life" to it's maximum
     
    The steps it takes to be full speed (Success)
     
    To Shift down and engage the clutch before you stop or you'll just kill it (Relax)
     
     How long it took you to get good at driving stick (Constant improvement/Growth)
     
    Your vehicle runs a little different than your neighbors ( Be You)

I feel that's taking advantage of your own life. 

This is the only "Car" you're going to get, so you better take good care of it and appreciate the fact that you're driving something and not walking because life will pass you by!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sciurophobia

Since I was in about 5, I've despised squirrels more than I could attempt to write about.  It all started as a young boy when a kid in my class told me a story that his older sisters has told him.  The tale goes that a hunter was walking through the woods one day when he was attacked by squirrels.  They chewed off his ears, nose, and most of his fingers.  Looking back now, I was a fool to believe such a story.  After that I was sick one day and my mother was video taping me as many parents do when their children are little.  At one point a squirrel comes hopping through our yard and I immediately pulled up on the creature with my foam baseball bat.  I continued to make gun noises and when my mom asked my why I did that I replied " Because theeeeyyy scratch."  The home that I grew up in had to be squirrel headquarters of the town as there were hundreds, sometimes literally 5 or 6 chasing each other across the street at one time.  I tried to do some home removal by baiting them and sniping them with my pellet gun at one point, but my mom put a stop to that real quick.  Now the campus that I must walk through everyday is littered with the little devils as well, hundreds I would guess.  I will go out of my way to avoid them, giving them the right-away on the sidewalk.  You couldn't pay me to walk through a room of them!  $1,000,000,000 couldn't begin to get me to do it, no matter how small the room is!  I would do just about anything else other than that.  So folks, it is a real phobia, and its called Sciurophobia.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentines Day Poem

When Love came knocking
I gladly let it in
Opening the door wide
A long three years it had been
Love sat on my lap in early October
as there was one thing to earn
Hard work was never a doubt
Reputation was lit, set out to burn
Your Trust was finally mine
The longest fight of all
Ups and Downs as everyone has
But the Risk was worth the fall
Love has no face
Until I look into yours
Over 2 years down
I"m ready for many more

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last of the Old Mounties

In the winter of 2009 my entire life took a turn.  It was my second term of college and participating on a college baseball team.  I had worked my whole life to get to this point.  I had put in hundreds if not thousands of hours practicing both with my various teams and by myself.  Dozens of pairs of batting gloves, countless bats and cleats I had gone through to give me an opportunity to carry out a dream.  I had be recruited to play quarterback, but I was born to play baseball.  January 14, 2009 I will never forget. 
I had gone home for Christmas break to my parents that I had a falling-out with the summer before.  Our relationship was worse than bad.  I couldn't stay there and many of my friends didn't come home that break.  I ended up staying on the couch of my ex- girlfriend for part of the break.  We were civil, but had no interest in making amends with one another.  I had traveled home weeks before break for her birthday, stayed a few hours, we broke up after and I left back to school and in time for 5:30 weights and conditioning.  January 14, 2009 I received a text from a number I didn't recognize.  The asked if I wanted to meet up with this person.  I didn't know what to say because I didn't know who it was.  I made the joke of asking if it was in fact some kind of joke and the person was pregnant.  Well 13 weeks later I still believed I was going to be a dad.  I didn't know what to do, but I knew if it was true I was responsible for my actions.  I got played for a fool.  Maybe somehow I really did believe her, or I was at a point where I was that gullible.  I gave up my dream to come back to my hometown and take care of the situation. 
I had talked with a few guys I had played football against in high school and the got me in contact with the head coach of the football program.  I had been recruited as a quarterback at this school a year prior.  After a few weeks of conversation, I was awarded an athletic scholarship and signed my letter of intent to play football.  I suppose I did this as a source of insurance in case I had been played.  I arrived at the school after spring break to find out I was not having a kid, had been played, and gave up my dream.  She transferred out the next term and I haven't seen her since.
That was 5 years ago roughly.  Since then I became a 4 year starter on the football team, received academic all-conference awards, had two major injuries ( one of which ended my career) and played with the best football players this school has ever seen.  We had our team banquet last week and I received the Most Inspirational Teammate Award.  I was the only player on our roster who played as a freshman with guys known as the "Old Mounties."  They were a different breed than the kids today.  The entire atmosphere of life as a football player was much different than today.
So despite giving up my dream of baseball, I made it.  I made the best of the situation I was both given and got myself into.  A thank you might be too much, but whatever it is.... I made it.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Weekend Warriors

As my college career is slowly ending, I've reflected on these past years nearly daily.  Somehow through my long college experience between playing two different sports at two different schools, my struggles to stay enrolled, and now finally meeting goals I never thought I'd accomplish... I don't regret a single thing.  As most students find, time management and organization is everything.  However, with a group of buddies like mine, we find ways to play more than working on our school work.  Yet we have all been academic all-conference players, been accepted to programs training us for our future endeavors, and are happy.  We often laugh about our experience in regards to where we started as friends our freshman year to where we are now five years later.  Still best friends and still doing nearly the same thing.  As I thought about this, I began to write a few notes that turned into a poem of different experiences over the last five years  So... I'd like to share it with you and just maybe you can relate to a few things.

Weekend Warriors is what they call us
As we start early
JSDs for Tankard Thursday
A heavy buzz and the munchies surely
Friday brings a jump start
Class is out at two
Head to the store to fill a cooler
And begin to have a few
The day is long
And eyes get heavy
So we take a nap
For the night we're ready
Saturday comes too soon
As breakfast is made
We eat it up
Recalling the nights mistakes
We hang out all day
Eying the sun
As it sneaks away
Its time for some fun
We purchase our potion
Cases and bottles
Our vision is doubled
Strap on the Mountie Goggles
We head out
The night unfolds
We have no DD
So we start to walk home
Over the tracks
And down the road
To the party house out on Cove
The house is empty
So we head to bed
The sun’s coming up
Its Sunday we dread
Recuperate and Hydrate
Those are the goals
Weekend Warriors is what they call us
Or at least that’s what we’re told
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Homecoming

Today was my first day in my Core II practicum.  I had been anticipating this day for not only the last couple of weeks and months, but for years.  Today was the day I would go back to my elementary school to work with my favorite teacher I ever had.  We have quite a history as her son and I are best friends and we have spent nearly every summer together since I was 9.  I had started my 4th grade school year at a different school and had a terrible experience.  Midway through the year I started commuting twenty minutes with my dad to go to Imbler Elementary School.  Imbler is one of the smallest towns in Eastern Oregon, but by far my favorite.  Although a new school has been built since I attended, the staff is still much the same.
I began today much like I did for the 8 years that I went there.  I woke up around six o'clock in order to meet my dad to hitch a ride out.  He teaches at the high school there so I wouldn't have to drive my pickup and use up my gas ( we all know how that turned out last time I had to go to class).  The twenty minute ride out was much like it was back then.  Listen to maybe twenty seconds of a song and he'd change it, then turn the volume off and sit there in silence; much like an athlete would preparing for a contest.  I arrived and entered the new elementary.  Although it's maybe half the size of the school before, it still holds the 100 or so students that attend comfortably.  I walked in and had a great feeling about where I was and my purpose for being there.  Students began to enter the class and of course were curious as to who I was, just as much as I was trying to guess who they were related to that I may know!  They welcomed me and were eager to learn about me and once they found out I was had their same teacher, went to the same school, and was best friends with her son we had an immediate friendship.  The rest of the day I helped them with work as they prepared for state testing.  The funniest part was when I was moving about the room and took a seat next to a boy who had missed part of the morning.  This was during a review for science when he kept glancing at me.  Finally he whispered to me "Hey."  "Yes," I replied.  He followed "I'm part German," and smiled.  I couldn't help but laugh and knew I was in the right place!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bad Day!

The day started as any other typical school day might.  Hearing my alarm go off at 7:00am for an 8:00am class.  The alarm is set to repeat every 5 minutes in the event I happen to push the snooze button.  7 repetitions later of the alarm and I scramble into the shower for a quick rinse.  Scrambling out the door with 15 minutes to spare should give any student who lives in town enough time to get to class, yet somehow I manage to be late no matter what.  I've tried waking up earlier and getting to school on time and I always walk in a few minutes late.  However, today on my way my pickup was acting a bit funny and I figured it was due to the cold weather that night.  I managed to get to class on time, spent my 3 hours learning about how to teach students science and headed home for my hour lunch break. 
As I headed back to school with plenty of time to spare my pickup was acting up again.  I checked the gauges and everything looked ok, and I had checked my oil when I had gotten home for lunch.  I was running low on gas but I had tested it a few times and figured I would make it to class and get gas later.  No more than two blocks from home my pickup begins lurching and bucking down the street.  I rode the clutch to rev it a bit.  Pedestrians and other drivers probably thought I was still learning to drive a manual transmission.  6 blocks from campus and my truck dies at a stop sign, so I start it back up and creep to the side of the street.  I checked my clock and new if I didn't act quick I would be late.  This ordinarily wouldn't be a problem except I had three hours with a professor who gave a lecture on professionalism and being on time.  I had managed to be late the day before and had to report to him during one of our breaks.
 So I began to panic, hoping I would make it to campus.  I took a side road in the event I did completely break down.  My parent's house is located between campus and where I was at this point.  I figured I could possible get to their house and use the gas used for the lawn mower to limp my truck to campus.  WRONG!  One final lurch and my truck shut down right in the middle of the street.  I didn't know what to do and there was no way I was going to be late again so I put on my hazards and sprinted for my parent's house.  3 blocks later I am scrambling through drawers trying to find the keys to our shed which of course is locked today.  I find a key and sprint through the backyard to the shed and found a gas can.  The can was completely full ( which is a rarity), 5 gallons in all.  I didn't know what to do, so I picked it up, bear hugged it, and turned for my pickup.  Sprinting 3 blocks with a full gas can between your arms isn't easy, and its harder to keep all the gas in the can as your running for your 'academic standing'!  I arrive at my truck covered in gasoline and quickly put enough in to start my truck and speed off to school.
Normally when I see someone sprinting to class as the campus organs are playing, I think to myself- "Self, why would anyone run to class, there is no way its that important."  Well I now know why!  As the organ is playing the Star Wars theme song I am sprinting across campus hoping the clock in the class is slower than one that sets off the organs.  I sprint up the steps and down the hall and rush through the door out of breath and covered in gasoline.  I made it with less than thirty seconds to spare and was allowed to change my shirt too!