Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Post 1

Am I here because I think I am or because I am?

My philosophy professor at my alma mater, the University of Alabama (that is 14, if you keep track), started and ended his course by demanding that we prove we exist and not because we thought we existed. So when someone asks me who am I, I want to laugh, thinking, I never adequately proved I actually exist.

That said, I have too many years to whittle down into a short blog post. I am a military brat, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, and a dog lover. (Yes for me, they really are substitute children, but I won't bore you with all that.) At the moment, I have two "children" left at home: a sweet, loving yellow lab named Kota and Mr. Grumpy Old Man aka Bo aka Heinz 57 because we have no idea what breed he is.

My BA is in history with a minor in education. My favorite part of the education minor was student teaching at Decatur High School (Decatur, Alabama); my worst was subbing in the Montgomery (Montgomery, Alabama) school system as a young college graduate. I turned my back on teaching and went on to have a myriad of jobs. My I'll-retire-from-this-one-because-I-love-it, writing for a trade publication, derailed in the current economy leaving me jobless, and at my age scary does not even cover it.

On the encouragement of a friend, I decided to sub in south Baldwin County schools until I found a "real" job. To my utter astonishment, I LOVED it. So much so, I called Montgomery to find out what I had to do to renew a very old teaching certificate (they found it on microfishe, any one of you know what that is?). They said take three classes, suggested South and wala here I am...if in fact I do actually exist.

Cleaning Under the Banister Doesn't Count?

Randy Pausch, gone too soon, left a rich legacy of time management instruction and a passionate plea for more research on pancreatic cancer. In this short video on time management, Pausch threw out some very thoughtful comments to consider. He humorously suggested do not bother cleaning under the banister. While I understood his point, I do believe in cleaning under the banister, perhaps especially where people don't normally look. I consider this doing a job well. However, Pausch continued by saying doing the right thing adequately (not worrying about under the banister) is better than doing the wrong thing well, pause for thought. Hands down for me, was his suggestion to consider whether the items on your "to do" list were in fact items that needed to be done. What happens if you do not complete that task? I have the sinking feeling I have spent time doing the unnecessary at the cost of the necessary. Discovering that he died relatively young makes his comments on time management more poignant and thoughtprovoking.