What I can do

“Lisa, I hate to tell you to stop working out …”

This is the statement my doctor kept repeating yesterday while she was checking out my foot (turns out I have developed plantar faciitis … boo).  I looked at her with a steady gaze and asked, “Can I still swim?  How about cycle?”  She looked at me, thought for a brief moment, and said, “Well of course you can do those!”  I asked her, “Just to clarify, the only thing I can’t do right now is run, right?”  She brightened up and replied, “Yes.  You’re still good to swim & cycle.”

Well, that was an easy fix!

So the Mission 10K on the 9th is out … unless I want to continue training and make the plantar faciitis worse. I’m not willing to play that game … especially since I’ve already registered for the Wine Run on May 14th and I have no plans to miss that!

I must confess, I’m not used to people telling me what I can’t do.  I don’t look at life through a glass half-empty.  We all have our limitations.  So what?  Even mountains can be scaled by blind men.  And men without limbs can travel the world to share an incredible message.  Who needs limbs? Or sight?

I am an educator.  I work with children with disabilities.  I have spent the past dozen years of my life helping my kids (and the teachers that work with them) find ways to be successful in spite of their physical or intellectual obstacles.

I agree whole-heartedly with Taylor Mali. I wanted to shout at my doctor to not tell me what I can’t do but what I CAN!

“Lisa, I hate to tell you to stop working out …”

Okay.  Then don’t.

Remembering Mr. Bole

A good friend of mine, the law professor, sent me a message yesterday morning letting me know that one of my favorite teachers had passed a way this week.

I received her message just before I was due to step into my annual evaluation.  I grimaced at the irony.

We were told during our pre-conference a couple of weeks ago that the focus of this year’s evaluation would be on what we are doing to impact/enhance/improve student achievement.  I’ve spent the last several days seriously reflecting on what it is I do on a daily basis that improves student achievement on my campuses and I was prepping for the conversation concerning this topic when I received the news about Mr. Bole.

And I got to thinking: What is it I do … what do I REALLY do … that impacts students?  What was it about being in Mr. Bole’s class that impacted me so much that he is in the honored position of being one of my favorite teachers?

Was he an exceptionally tough teacher? No, in fact his class was fairly easy.  Of course with Da being former law enforcement, I had an interest in the subject.

Can I remember a single lesson from that class? (It was Law Enforcement) No.  But I do remember falling through the hole in the floor of that stupid portable because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.

I don’t have single memories of Mr. Bole, but a whole collage of memories, both during and after high school when the law professor, a couple other friends and I would stop by his house in the evening just to visit with him and his wife.

I remember him, not for the subject that he taught us in school but for teaching us about being there for each other.  He was a relationship-builder.  He would talk with us, not to us.  We weren’t just students, but people.  He respected us and listened when we talked.

I gave a professional development a couple of weeks ago at one of my campuses and in the course of the training, I shared that I’ve had more success working with reluctant/resistant learners when I make the time to get to know them.  Learn their interests, let them talk about their relationships.  Once I’m able to develop a relationship (or rapport) with my students, they’re more willing to try.   I like to think I learned this philosophy from Mr. Bole.

I sent a message out through Facebook letting my high school classmates know about Mr. Bole’s passing and funeral.  A couple posted news of his passing on the public wall to share with other alumni.  It’s been sweet reading the messages everyone has been posting about Mr. Bole.

I lost touch with him during college.  Studies, sorority, mixers, marriage … all these took priority.  I’d think about him every so often during the years and wonder how he & his wife were doing.  If they were still living in the same house, if I even remembered how to get there.

I didn’t go to my high school reunion but Mr. Bole did.  I saw a few pictures of him with some of my classmates.  He looked happy.  Frail, but happy.  The law professor shared that she went to visit him this past Thanksgiving Break and that despite his being very sick, he still had a positive attitude.

I’m sorry I missed out on all the opportunities I had to visit with him.

Mr. Bole’s funeral is Monday.

May you rest in peace.

Impossible dream

There comes a time, tatertots, when technology just can’t.  I know what you’re thinking.  This is the 21st century.  If we can dream it, it can be done.

Ahhhhh … no.

You can not, for instance, take a TV show you’ve downloaded from iTunes and convert it into a .wmv format to use in a power point for an upcoming professional development.  I know this because I’ve been struggling with this concept for the past five days.  I’ve sought the assistance from some incredibly tech-savy people including the world’s greatest librarian.  There just isn’t any way to do what I want to do.

I present on Friday … as in the day after the day after tomorrow.   Yikes!

With Plan A out the window, it is on to Plan B.  I’m not happy with having to move to Plan B, but I know this will work.  It’s worked at home and at two different campuses (one not even in my school district).

Not all things are possible with technology.

But with God, all things are! (Matt. 19:26)

Good night sweetheart

Last night was the first time in a l-o-o-o-n-g time I’ve slept a solid seven.

I credit it to two things:

  1. I was bloomin’ exhausted
  2. All of my end-of-month stuff was turned in on time

Meeting deadlines might not mean much to some people; I stress horribly if I don’t meet my deadlines.  Which means I don’t sleep and lack of sleep makes me crabby (just ask Hub).

And can we talk about the cool weather?  My goodness it’s such a welcome break from the heat we’ve been having.  “Downtown” Steve Brown is predicting a mild winter.  I can’t say I mind so much.  Last winter was a challenge to get out and run because of the wind chill.  Since I’m planning to run/walk a half mary in April, I need to be out training as many days as possible (no access to a dreadmill).  The cooler weather has opened my workout window, meaning I can sleep in without feeling the guilt of missing that 60 minute window of time before the day turns so hot that the only thing I want to run to is the nearest fan.


Ah, the blessings of a good night’s sleep!

Up next:  Coffee time!


Cinco anos

Sunrise over Haleakala volcano

“Lisa, where do you see yourself in five years?”

This interview question has been on my mind a lot lately.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it really did get me to focus on the fact that while I have a ten year plan, I don’t have a five year plan.  And so I got to thinking:

I have talked about going back to school and working on my doctorate in Education, but haven’t been sure if I want to continue with Education Leadership or concentrate on something else. Hence my “dragging my feet” to apply.

I really want to be happy with what I’m doing: satisfied, content, EXCITED.  I can’t honestly say I am any of these right now.  Sure, this school year has started off better than last.  But that’s because I have a better idea of what I’m doing, not because I enjoy it.

I love teaching.  I love watching my students discover.  I love watching the “light bulbs” flash when they stumble upon the answer.  I don’t, however, love the politics of teaching … the required curriculum, the massive amounts of book knowledge mandated at times into almost a scripted form where I can’t even provide or allow time for my students to develop a love of learning.

So what is my five year plan?  Well, I want to work with two distinct segments of the population: the elderly and the young.  Pretty broad, I know.  My plan requires me to head back to grad school and complete a second Master’s.  I’m not sharing all of my plan right now as there are several benchmarks I need to accomplish before I can say I’ve truly achieved my goal.

All I can say is this: I checked the temp just now and it’s 64* outside.  SIXTY-FOUR DEGREES!

It’s going to be an awesome day!

Goal Setter

I did something tonite at dinner I haven’t done in a long time: I shared my goals with Hub.  I haven’t shared goals in a long time because I haven’t made goals in a long time.

I’ll be heading back to work in a little over a week (officially, although I’m going to go in next Tuesday & Wednesday to clear up the file fiasco I left last month when we went off contract).  I typically have a plan/rough agenda at the beginning of each school year.  Last year was the exception.  Now that I know what I’m doing (or at least have a better idea of what I’m doing), I can go to each of my campuses and share my vision for the new year.

I can’t wait!

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this alive.

No wonder I’ve been sleeping so well lately 🙂