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"Make Us Proud."

I joined the Navy during my senior year of high school. The first Gulf War hadn't started yet but it wound up starting and ending before I graduated, so my friend, who'd also joined the Navy, and I watched the news carefully as events unfolded. Eventually, the war ended, we graduated, and went to boot camp, an all expenses-paid trip to sunny Orlando, Florida!  I remember standing at the train station, getting ready to get on the train that would meander lazily down the tracks from Richmond, Virginia to Orlando. My mom, dad, stepmom, and little brother were there to say good-bye. I said my good-byes, gave hugs and whatnot, and turned to board the train. And that's when it...

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On Sci-Fi Movies and High School Graduation Speeches

“I came here to save my wife and my two children… 6 billion people… it’s too much. I just hope I’m smart enough and brave enough to save three.” - Dr. Serge Leveque, “The Core”Alright, before you science fiction die-hards rake me over the coals for quoting “The Core,” yes, I agree, it isn’t a great movie. I didn’t so much watch it as have it inflicted on me (I’ve long since forgiven my “friends” who made me watch it.). My point in bringing up this quote is that it’s stuck with me for years. What is it about the quote that’s made you remember it for all this time? For me, it’s simple, and perhaps the quote might open...

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What are my "parenting skills?" Well, I'm pretty good with a Bo staff.

Hi, y'all. I know it's been a while since I've checked in. Sorry about that but here's what I've been thinking on while I've been away. I read all sorts of things, online and off, about raising kids, parenting quotes and advice, and all manner of things that promise to help you become the perfect parent (whatever that is). So I've decided to weigh in on some of these items, for your entertainment and, possibly, benefit. Although, sometimes being entertaining and beneficial can come from the same article. OK, enough of that; here we go. When you go into any activity it’s wise to do a little self-assessment, to see if you have any idea what you’re doing. I’ll give you...

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The School That Is Our Past...

One Friday night, some time ago, a man stood in front of his 8-year old son and cried because he knew he wasn't spending enough time with him. The man and his wife had divorced 2 years earlier and, like many divorced fathers, the man had to work long hours. This father apologized to his son, tears rolling down his face. But then he did something that confused the little boy. The man told his son that there would come a day in the future when the boy would need his father, and on that day the father promised his son that he would be there for him, and that the boy would come and live with him. Four years...

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Hobos and Seminary Classes

“You dress like a hobo.”“He’s teaching seminary-level classes to teenagers.”Both of these sentences were spoken in the past to describe me. The first sentence was spoken by a child, merely teasing, but later used against me in a derogatory fashion. The second sentence was weaponized to point out how I “wasn’t a good fit” for a particular position because I didn’t know how to teach age-appropriate things to teens.The funny thing, to me at least, is that only one of those statements was true. I don’t really concern myself with dressing for anything other than comfort and practicality. In the original context, the statement was made by someone whose father was known for wearing monogrammed dress shirts to the office...

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