Friday, August 23, 2013

Back-to-School, New (Ad)ventures & the Class of 2017

Jack at the end of the summer pool party
Most of my teaching buddies found their way back to school this week marking the beginning of that fun-filled extravaganza that we fondly and not-so-fondly refer to as teacher in-service.  Since I retired at the end of last year, this is my first back-to-school in 27 years that I am not going back-to-school.

I had several teacher friends ask me how I felt about that. Well, so far, I must say, I'm feeling pretty darn tootin' good about it. So good in fact, I threw an end-of-the-summer party for my teacher friends and felt blessed that it wasn't the end of my summer yet.

I wish I could say that I spent my summer doing a whole lot of nothing. Instead, I spent most of it launching my new real estate (ad)venture and loving every minute of it.  You can check out my new (ad)venture at and my new blog at

One of the perks of retirement and being your own boss is that you get to spend some time navigating through all the social media and internet postings. One of my former students posted a link to buzzfeed that listed "32 Extremely Upsetting Facts About the Class of 2017." Most of these kiddos were probably born in 1999.

I pared the list down to my top 5…

Favorite 5 Upsetting Facts About the Class of 2017

#5…They have never lived in a world with monthly texting limits.

#4…The Backstreet Boys have been a band longer than they've been alive

#3…For them Star Wars has never been a trilogy

#2…Eminem is old enough to be their dad.

And my #1 Favorite from the list… drum roll pan-leese…

#1…This looks like something out of a fantasy novel to them…

Here's wishing all my teacher friends a great year!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beige, Training & Christmas in July

Less than two months into my new real estate (ad)venture and I find myself in an interesting position–at the bottom of the educational food chain and way off the charts of the learning curve.

It is a rather interesting place to be and has provided me with a rather new perspective from a learner's point of view instead of a teacher's point of view.

I have become beige.

And not by design either. 

Since I have been spending quite a bit of time in a variety of training sessions offered by a variety of groups, I have discovered–whether intentionally or unintentionally–"experts" tend to view beginners much like most people view beige walls–uninteresting, unobtrusive and rather invisible.

In a technology session I attended, I was the only beginner. The Internet went down. People were frantically trying to "fix" their laptops. I announced, "Hey, it's not your laptop, the Internet's down." 

Nothing but beige. 

"No really. The Internet's down," I said again.

More beige.

Someone then came into the room and informed everyone, "The Internet's down."

"Ohhhhh," said the others as if hearing the proclamation for the first time.

See what I mean? Beige. Beige. Beige. I have other examples, but I think you know what I mean here.

About a week ago, I started training with my real estate company. Thankfully, the trainer is pretty amazing. While I know lots of teachers who hand out chocolate as an incentive, I don't know very many teachers who can get their students in July to vie  for left over chocolate Santas or Easter Bunnies as a reward.

Nothing beige about that.