Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Gift Exchange

I am not a lover of the gift exchange. I hate having to follow the money limits, but I also feel bad for those who do follow the money limit and their gift doesn’t compare to the money-limit cheaters.

I had a bad gift exchange experience in middle. The name I drew for the gift exchange was Brian Nelson, Desert Sands Junior High’s Fonzie. He was the boy that every middle school girl was in love with and the kind of guy every middle school boy wanted to be. The gift exchange limit was one dollar. (This was in the late 60s before the invention of the dollar store.) My mother was a gift exchange rule follower, if the limit was a dollar, that was all she was going to spend.

THE Christmas Exchange Gift was the Lifesaver book, twelve rolls of assorted Lifesaver flavor. This was the perfect generic gift. No one made fun, rolled their eyes at or pooh-poohed the Christmas Lifesaver Book. I asked my mom to get it for Middle-School Fonzie, but at $1.50 it was over the limit, and she wasn’t about to budge.

The day before the gift exchange my mom came home from the store with a pair of Christmas socks! I was going to have to hand Brian Nelson, the cool guy of the school a pair of .89 cent Christmas socks. Oh Boy!  Christmas socks, mom, really. I tried to play sick the next day but it didn’t work. I went to school dreading the gift exchange that was going to take place at the end of the day.

The time came and everyone was opening their gift of Christmas Lifesaver book, but not Middle-School Fonzie. Nope, he was opening a pair of Christmas socks much to my chagrin. He sauntered over to me, the girl with the face as red as a holly berry, and cordially thanked me and said it was a great gift. I shyly smiled and proceeded to go home with my Christmas Lifesaver book.
A couple years later, I ran into Brian Wilson, High-School Fonzie, after a sporting event he had participated in and won. As I rolled by, I smiled and said, “Congratulations on your win.”
He replied, “Thanks. It’s because I was wearing my lucky socks.” He raised his sweatpants and he was wearing my thread-bare-Middle-School-Christmas-Gift-Exchange socks. He looked at me, gave me that cool-guy chin lift, winked and walked away.  

Paco's Perspective
I wonder if there is a Lifesaver Book for dogs! I wonder what I am going to get in my stocking this year. Hey, do I have a stocking. I should get something for wearing that silly Santa suit.

The Flip Side
We cool guys are nicer and more sentimental than you think. And, Paco, quit your whining, the gingerbread cookie outfit was the worst. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ask For and Expect

 Many of you already know that back in ’98 I was in a severe car accident and I broke all my bones from the waist down. I broke both hips, both femurs, both tib-fibs and my left ankle. (I’m saving the right one to break sky diving someday.) During my recovery I was in severe pain, of course I went to work too early, and when anyone would accidentally bump or even nudge me the pain would start at the tip of my toes and radiate up to my head and down my spine.

I would leave work right after the students left and go home to bed to recover for the next teaching day. One evening when I was laying in bed everything hurt. I closed my eyes and prayed, “Please, God, just make this pain go away for a few seconds!” And at that moment, a sense of relief permeated throughout my body. I felt no pain, but it only lasted a few seconds. I thought, Darn, I should have asked for the miracle! I blew my chance!

Eighteen years have passed and just the other day I was going to be observed for my yearly evaluation and I was sick. I was coughing and choking and hacking. Every time I started to talk I would start coughing but of course I didn’t want to cancel my observation. I know the administrator observing me would have been very accommodating but I just wanted to get it done. The observation was at one. My students were reading silently while we waited for the administrator to show. I was in the back of the room trying to breathe without choking and I closed my eyes for a minute and prayed, “Please, God, just give me forty-five minutes without coughing or choking. That’s all I need just forty-five minutes.”

My administrator walked in at 12:57 and at 1:42 when I was wrapping things up my voice quick. I had to whisper my last sentence. And I started coughing and choking! I thought, Darn, I blew it again!

The moral of the story is ASK FOR AND EXPECT THE MIRACLE!  I know there are many of you reading this that don’t pray. But I am not just talking about prayer I am talking about life. At work at ask for and expect the miracle. When teaching your students, ask for and expect the miracle. Especially, when it comes to what you expect from your self, ask for and expect the miracle. What’s the worst that could happen? Getting something close to a miracle? 

Paco's Pespective

It's been a long time, sistah! Where you been? P.S. I want to be a German Shepard and chase bad guys.

The Flip Side

I want all the lizards, bunnies and gopher in the area to come on my side of the fence.