This has been a question on my mind a lot lately.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, some negative stuff took place that has refocused my attention to making sure I am where need to be, period. This past Saturday, another incident took place to reinforce those feelings.
First, a whole bunch of fun.
It’s Ragbrai week in Iowa. What is Ragbrai you ask? Well from the Ragbrai website, it says:
RAGBRAI is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state. Heading into its 48th year, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest multi-day recreational bicycle touring event in the world. Des Moines Register Media has been the title sponsor of RAGBRAI since 1973.https://ragbrai.com/about/
Ragbrai stand for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. You have easily 20,000 (closer to 25,000) people who come to Iowa to ride their bikes across the state.
Yup, you have people from literally all over the world who come for this event. This year, the last overnight was in the town just up the road from our house, which was pretty cool. Even cooler, we got to help our daughter, her boyfriend, and a couple of their friends ride the last two days. I delivered the “kids” to Thursday overnight spot, then we saw them Friday as they came into our town, and headed over the Lansing, Iowa to pick them up and deliver them back this afternoon. They were tired, sore, a little sunburnt, but happy. That’s why we do these things, to watch our kids enjoy their lives to the fullest. An extra bonus, I taught my daughter, her boyfriend, and the friend they were riding with during the day. That in itself was really cool, although, driving them up to their starting point (we had one more friend with us who rode one day), I was the “dumb one” (my words) in the vehicle. We all have taletns and I get that. However, driving a mechanical engineer, a software engineer, an aerospace engineer, and a nurse who was going back to the ER, I just kept my mouth shut!
I will say, we are seriously considering doing this event next year. It’s always, always, ALWAYS been on fair week. This year, it wasn’t. Watching all the riders interact, the “fun” they were having and it’s been something we’ve always talked about as well. Who knows? I could be run, right?
Back to the story!
There were a TON of people, bikes, tents, campers, and all kinds of “stuff” both Thursday and Friday night. Last night was pretty cool because there was an AC/DC cover band who played and kicked some major ass (my wife even liked them which is saying something). We ate in the midst of all sorts of people we didn’t know and ate food that is NOT normal fair food. Then, another tribute band, Arch Allies (America’s Premier Tribuate Band), played a rocking set! My wife totally indulged my love for good old fashioned rock and we both sang along to the “classic rock” (makes me cry saying that!). On side note, this is back to back weekends of singing, dancing, and loving life. Next weekend, Iowa Irish Fest! Three weekends of fun?? Who are we?
But, our time at the party was tained, just a bit.
My wife and I are both career teachers, both in the classroom and as parents. We know there are people out there who look at us as we have our summer break and think “you teachers have it easy”. Teaching is in my family, but yet, my dad did not want me getting to the profession. He’d get the “oh you have all this vacation time”, and yes he did. We went places, did things, and are the people we are because of those trips to Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, along with so many trips around Iowa. My own daughters got to see the nation as we had the same situation: swim dad, fair trips, trips to Washington DC, Wyoming, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and trips around Iowa as well.
There were comments made about “you teachers” and “vacation” and “no sympathy” when asked if we were ready for school to start. 95% of the time, comments like this just roll right off. I’ve heard it all my life and I’d get irrated. As time as gone on, it’s just become a game. That night, it just sat wrong. And it’s been sitting wrong the last couple of days.
As we watch the education system get pulled apart by people whose expertise is they went to school, comments like those only reinforce to those of us in the profession that people just don’t care. They know it’s hurtful, they know it’s not true, and yet, there they are, making comments flippantly and without care.
Which brings me to the title, where do you want to be? Right now, I’m not sure. I’ve written, deleted, written and deleted this a couple of different times. I just don’t know. I’ve been told I overshare here, so we’ll just leave it as, I don’t know. I guess that’s ok for now.
However, just remember, don’t be a fool to those educators around you.
Just know, they don’t know right now either, even if they say they do.
And, remember to get out and have some fun, regardless of what people say.