This was meant for Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life on Tuesday. I’m in such a funk right now that now it’s on Friday. I don’t know. Things are different this year. Maybe it’s the fact I sound like my “kids are different these days” father of 20 years ago. Maybe it’s I walk out of school each day physically drained, but am constantly told I need to do more. Maybe it’s the political climate of my state is going more red and it makes my soul hurt because my daughters won’t stay in a place that won’t share their values. Maybe I’m just old. Sorry, pity party there.


This past Sunday and Monday, I traveled to Des Moines for a social studies conference. I first went in 2019 and it was a good conference. I went last year and it was another good one as well. This year, not so much.


Just very little for a sixth-grade social studies teacher. Not much middle school content for sure and it was disappointing, to say the least. Next year, I may not go back. It took too long to get my trip ok’d through school, it was a scramble to get a hotel (and the hotel was garbage, a whole different blog if I feel really cranky!), and to reserve the school vehicle (a mini-van that both my daughters mocked me for driving, but had a BOOMIN’ system), and I just wasn’t really impressed with the social studies breakout sessions for this year. Who knows? It’s been that kind of year of letdowns and general disappointments, so why would this be a whole lot different?


Hush yourself! 🙂 However, I did have a takeaway about the goodness of people. I got up and got ready and made the 5-minute drive to the convention center. The hotel was good for one thing, it was close to where I needed to go. I unloaded my stuff out of the van and walked into registration area. As I was getting the required lanyard, a woman approaches me and asks if I was driving a silver van as the side door was wide open.


I hustle back to the van to find the door wide open! Grrr!! So, I click the handle to the side door, and it starts to close, until it doesn’t, and pops back open! At this point, I’m ready to load back up and head home, but I take deep breathes, get my head cleared, and walk back into the conversation. No harm, no foul. I find the woman and thank her for letting me know about the door and continue on my merry way.

My takeaway, there are still good people out there, watching out for each other. For me, that was what I needed because otherwise, Monday was such a “meh” kind of day. I came across a quote of Gandolf (S/O to Lord of the Rings – incredible books AND movies) that said:

Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is in the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…..small acts of kindness and love



So, there’s your “finish with a positive” for this blog. We have have absolutely sh*t days, but remember that in the end, keeping the demons at bay only requires the little things: please and thank you, holding the door for someone, picking up a piece of trash, smiling and greeting someone. All of those things matter.

I wish you the best of Fridays and hope you enjoy your weekend. We may try to camp one more time before we take our camper over to get inspected and winterized. It’s supposed to be 28 degrees tonight, so we’ll see if that happens! 🙂