Note: This was started in July as we were making sure our animals stayed clean for the up coming 4-H fair. It felt like the to time finish it out.


As I write this, it’s 12:45 in the morning, I’m about to crack into my second Mt. Dew (NOT my drink of choice), I’m in a barn with 60 of my closest four legged friends, and I’m looking at maybe two hours of sleep tonight. This can mean only thing:


This was as far as I got with this blog before the animals started getting up and I started cleaning up after them. After they got settled down again, I got distracted and forgot this blog was here until I started looking through my drafts. Regardless, it’s a good time to reflect on a lot of things happening then and now.

  1. I will miss fair week. As my wife and I settle into an “empty nest” we’ve been talking about what to do with our place. If I were 15 years younger, or known I’d love having the big brown cows around, I’d look at some Brown Swiss herds and see if I could buy some calves, raise them up, and try to sell them. Now, I’m 47 and I love having them around. The problem, I think I’m going to enjoy them being gone in the winter time when it’s 5 degrees and I need to haul hay and water!
  2. I forgot how slow sixth graders are. It’s 20 minutes before we get everyone in the room. 8th graders take 5 minutes. There’s a “oh my goodness, I have to tell you this right now” that 8th graders don’t have. It’s not a bad thing, just something I need to adjust for.
  3. Empty nest? Nope, it’s just time for us. This weekend, we went to Lanesboro, Minnesota, the “B&B Capital of Minnesota”, rode our bikes 20+ miles, ate flat bread pizza in a bar, and watched the Hawkeye play. We ended up in my wife’s classroom to move some of her furniture around, and finally home. Yesterday, we took a trip to Prairie Du Chien for a little shopping. It’s stuff like this where we don’t need to ask anyone if they want to go, we just go. Our youngest is coming home this weekend, so that will be nice, but it’s nice to eat what we like too. We’ll need to find more activities (I’m thinking cross country skiing, she’s thinking yoga), but for now, this is nice.
  4. The best way to ruin a mood is to look the politics of Twitter. Today, it’s the Supreme Justice nomination. It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from and it bothers me. There’s zero decorum both from Democrats or Republicans.
  5. It’s hard for me to reflect, because it’s just hard right now. As I reflect on the last three years in 8th grade, our team just knew what to do. We knew each other, we knew each others strengths and we played to them. Right now, I don’t and that’s hard for me. It’s almost like changing schools because I have new kids, a new grade, new team, and I really am not good at change.
  6. I need to exercise. I do. But when? And what? i checked on “Anytime Fitness” and they are expensive. We have a YMCA, but it’s a 15 minute drive in the wrong direction for me and school. With my cancer and stroke, I need to find something. I need something to deal with stress rather than eating (which I do well).
  7. I’m nervous about basketball as well. I’m not teaching 8th grade anymore, so I don’t have that connection with the team. So many things have changed with this grade level switch. Anyway, I don’t have the connection, I don’t know the girls really well as I didn’t have them in class except for a little bit of time as 7th graders.

Reflection at this time of the year is hard, because you feel like a new teacher all over again. It’s uncomfortable, which I guess is the point, but for someone lacking in self-confidence right now, maybe I should wait and do this again later! 🙂

However, I want my students to reflect, regardless of where they are at, so here I am doing what I’m asking them to do.

And not enjoying it, just like they don’t enjoy it either! 😀 😀