Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mr. Roush and Julius Sumner Miller

About ten years ago I had a physics teacher named Mr. Roush that brought a very unique way of teaching to my attention. Walking into his classroom was like walking into Wonka's candy factory, it seemed like this crazy guy came up with some saying or action that would cause you to fall on the floor laughing. The best part was we never knew if he was serious or doing it as one elaborate prank. He would stand at the front of the room with a meter stick and as you were asking him a question or answering one of his he would be playing an imaginary game of golf or baseball with previously said stick. He would even pause after swing, admire where the ball landed and then answer your question. It was fantastic. He would refer to everyone as Mr. and Ms. and he loved putting you in awkward situations. I had a buddy that slept in his class all of the time, and Roush loved calling on him because of that exact reason. He would be sarcastic and yet sincere in his drubbing of him "Ah, Mr. (Smith) it's so nice of you to join us, I will let you get back to sleeping in a minute but could you help us out". The best was when you tried to lie to him about something, he would get all huffed up and say "Now, Now, Now don't be telling me that" He would repeat that about three times in a row....you either cracked up or told him the truth.

One of the greatest memories most of his students have from his class is a man by the name of Julius Sumner Miller. I think it was at least once a chapter we would watch this old cable TV show of a professor doing physics experiments. He was quirky and yet entertaining. Here is a clip, don't watch all of it, but at least watch his intro.

Mr. Roush was all of those things I mentioned above, but now that I am a teacher and I look back, he was the guy I would want my kids to have. He was real, even though I couldn't tell if he was spoofing us all. He made me enjoy physics and I even remember a good amount of the experiments we did. He wasn't like other teachers and that is why I can remember him now. I have to admit, over the years I have stolen his technique of the meter stick swing....and I get the same crazy look from my students. Maybe it was his way of dealing with a job like teaching, whatever it was Mr. Roush made an impact on many students, including this guy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coming up Short....

You ever feel like in life no matter how hard you try you end up short on some things? Your intentions are there, you make an honest go at it, but you fall short. I can't tell you the number of times in my life I've set out to do something and fall short, for whatever reason I didn't reach my goal. But I was taught to get back up and try it again, or in a different way. That one time you succeed erases all the other failures.

This boy knows what I mean.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wanna be startin' something....

My phone started buzzing around 6:00 with the same message. Michael Jackson: Dead at 50.

Thriller was my first and only record I can remember having. My brother and I had this fisher price record player that we would spin the wax on for hours. We could speed it up so it sounded like the chipmunks were singing "billie jean" or slow it down so a deep voiced homeless man was singing about a "PYT". A moment of honesty if I may; I was scared to death of the creepy voice in thriller. To go with the official record we had a white glove with sequins on it (actually made at vacation bible school i believe) my father had a black hat, and I had an obsession of trying to mimic his every move.

For years his music would accompany me in my cassette player, portable CD player, the black mazda truck, and finally on every computer I've ever owned. It was his music and his dancing ability that made him such a phenomena to me at least. Like a sports star he was on top of the music world, whatever he did was gold, and you can see the influence in today's stars.

The shame of it is, is that most people are going to reflect on him today for the blemishes that stained his career. I can't argue with that nor can I blame them. But to each person that thinks about a crazy guy that held a baby over the railing of a German hotel I say this.... no one will be remembered for one single dance move like he will be for the moon walk.... no one could entertain an audience on the fly like he did at each of his concerts..... you can take your memory of a broken masked man, I'll take my memory of the guy in the white tux in smooth criminal, putting any other dance solo to shame....ever.

When it's all said and done you'll remember MJ for every song he recorded and the mind blowing dance moves he performed with the same ease as you and I putting on our shoes. For me, MJ died today, but in a weird way he hasn't been alive for the better part of a decade. His music has been living on and the memory of who he was is stronger for me than the person he is. MJ was talking about a comeback, 50 show tour, I had my heart set on finally seeing him live, until today, but the wax record will have to continue to spin, chipmunk or homeless voice, it's still a solid gold #1 hit.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bando or Cheerleader?

I was once told by a friend "If you don't play sports you're either a Bando or a cheerleader"

enjoy this clip

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Agent

I have a friend that said Jerry Maguire is the biggest spoof on every male out there....look at the sports, look at the sports...then BAM...."you had me from hello"...... aawwww suckers.

I have thought about the idea of having an agent before, someone out there that works hard for you to get a better job, a better contract, or whatever. The more I think about it, the last two years I really have had an agent, just not on payroll. I have a close friend, I'll refer him to him as Otis. Otis is a high school asst. principal, but before that he was a lowly teacher just like me. I had the pleasure of working with Otis in the classroom and on the football field. We developed a friendship that was partly mutual respect for our views and because of flat out humor. You see Otis is the kind of guy that when he says something, you want to hear it because you're going to roll over laughing. My man has more one liners than anyone I know...he's like a rolodex. I had the pleasure of being on the headset one year with him on fridays night....I heard some of the funniest quotes that would make eddie murphy bust out with his big hearty laugh...

but the reason for this post is because of his agent status. Over the past two years Otis has been working behind the scenes to help me get a job. Last year when I didn't get the head coaching job at Hayes he worked tirelessly to get me an interview at North Union, where he was on the interview committee. I know he was in a tough spot but he put the pressure on me and forced the best out of me during the three rounds I went through. When I didn't walk away with the job, he was as disappointed as I was, but didn't stop being my agent. That same week he was back on the phone searching better jobs for me....and wouldn't you know it, I got a call about an interview at Orange. I did end up with this job and to be honest if it wasn't for my agent, Otis, I might still be sitting in a classroom where it's like a carnival of chaos outside and I wouldn't be challenged professionally like I am now.

Otis didn't feel satisfied with just vaulting my career to a fantastic district, he had to do the same for my wife. This past month my wife accepted a job in my same building large in part because Otis and his wife (his much better half) we'll refer to her as Pretty Girl, spoke very highly of Lindsey to my principal/their friend.

My family can't thank Otis/Mike Mcdo enough, who knows, maybe that agent will be my co-worker again someday, but knowing him he'll look to better my career again and I don't even know it. Thanks 'boot.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Got Cute?

So the summer of brent had a stipulation of getting into shape, so I took that first step saturday with lindsey. We ran in the Powell 5K. I have to say that with little to no training I felt like I did ok....that was until the point I went ahead and told my wife to "go ahead, you don't have to go so slow"..... she then took off and proceeded to beat me by 4 and 1/2 min. It's amazing the amount of mental battles you face during a run. It's nothing but your mind telling you

"hey stupid, doesn't a chipotle burrito and an episode of saved by the bell sound great?"

Then your ego kicks back "shutup man, I can do this.....I can be like running zack" (sorry if you don't get the reference)

whomever wins that battle determines if you are going to stop and walk, or keep on running. I lost that mental battle right after I got a drink of water at the halfway point and I choked on it. After that brief walk it was like world war II in my head. I started running again and I would go back and forth arguing with myself about stopping, running, stopping, sleeping under that shaded tree.... Meanwhile, my amazing wife is just trucking along passing all of these people like it's a stroll in the park. She later would tell me all about the houses that she liked and etc...on the run. I said "There were houses?" I just found out that the winning female ran a 20:08 or something, my wife ran a 24:12. So even though I was watching people fly by I could say "you won't catch my wife....sucker."

This type of event defines my wife. She is a person that doesn't back down from anything. (shoot, she married me). She has a work ethic and desire to succeed that is hard to match, the thing I love the most is that she busts down that stereotype of a "cute blonde" all while being a really really cute blonde. She wakes up every day, whether she's feeling good, sick, or upset and says "I have to workout today"......so she goes on to kill herself on a spin bike or running the lonely pavement. It's inspiring in many ways and I am very proud of her each time she wins her mental battle.

They say that marrying someone is like finding your other half, and I believe that now. I started to lose some of that spunk in my step and work ethic towards things like staying in shape took a backseat to what new gadget I could play with. Lindsey is helping me find that again, she's challenging me in different ways and even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it, she has the best intentions at heart. So let the summer challenges continue, find someone to do it with you, I have my cute blonde, whatya' got?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer of Brent....

June 3rd marked the official end of my fifth year as a teacher. I am sitting here this morning on my first day of summer vacation writing and watching emmy eat/chew anything that moves. Before I go into my post I know those of you out in the real workforce as you put it, like to scoff at the thought of a summer vacation. I say this to all of you hhaaaatters, "Spend one month, or better yet, one week as a teacher and let me know if your brain, body, and sense of life doesn't need a 2 month break". Don't throw out three months because we don't get three months, pipe down chachy.

My bro just wrote a great blog about picking up challenges and how it changes his life, so I got to thinking about the challenges I could pick up. For the first time in 20 years or so I will not be on a football sideline, practice field, or film room. It's with weird emotions that I start this summer because typically I am planning everything around my hectic football schedule. Now as I am in my 3rd hour of summer I am looking at endless possibilities over the next two months. I want to make some changes, I want to have some fun, but overall I just want to enjoy it. I said goodbye to 100 7th graders the other day and they busted out of school with such joy...looking forward to going to the pool, playing pick up games, and having slumber parties. I started to think about how much that last bell meant when you were a kid and the endless thoughts that popped into your head. The summer was the fresh smell of grass after the sun was setting, the cool breeze that made it possible to stay outside in the heat, the feeling of the sand volleyball courts at Hedges Boyer, the pure exhaustion of football workouts, only to have everyone over to swim till the late hours. The summer was a non-stop thrill ride without an alarm clock or deadline to meet.

So my plans for the summer is simply to reach back and grab some of that old feeling. Whether that is taking trips to the lake with lindsey or sitting outside around a fire pit in my backyard late at night, I am going to enjoy it. Every moment I plan on finding the joy that we did as kids. I want to take on challenges like brad talked about, i want/need to get back into shape...I want/need to get this house to where we want it....and I need to find relaxing time and happiness with my wife, dog, and friends/family. So if you are on board for the summer of brent propose a time or place to hang out, propose a challenge I should take on and you'll join, or simply stop by to enjoy a beer around a fire and laugh. Summer is too short to not spend it laughing.