Sunday, March 27, 2011

Prom Dram'

As part of my job, I have been assigned duties as one of two Junior class sponsors/faculty advisers. This has been a very easy position to fill for three reasons. First, my co-adviser has been doing this in this school for many years, and knows all the tricks. Second, the kids are great, and easy to work with, especially since there are only 22 of them. Finally, third, my co-adviser has done most of the work, since I am taking Master's classes, and have not had very much time.

That being said, we held the Junior Prom last night. It was themed, "A Night in Paris". My co-worker planned this entire event. I was in on the initial phase, but after that they held the meetings after school, while I was in class. He would just come and tell me what they had decided.

It was decided that they would have a dinner along with the dance. This is a very poor farming community, and most of these kids would probably have had McDonald’s if we hadn’t done this. The menu was set as prime rib, shrimp, cheesy potatoes, rice pilaf, baked potatoes, salad, and a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. These kids have never seen prime rib. We had 2, 17 lb. roasts, cooked by a caterer friend. They probably wasted one whole roast. Some did not even touch their plate of food. About half of every piece of cheesecake got thrown away. There was so much food left over due to overbuying.

Then came the dance. They hired a DJ, who played some very inappropriate music. The kids were dancing too close, grinding, and kissing. No one but my wife and I saw anything wrong. They were very happy with everything. I have already decided that if I have this same assignment next year, there are going to be some rule changes, or I won’t do it. I also think we can plan and carry off the whole thing for much less money.

The kids had fun. One point for the positive. Stick.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Call

I know this is long. It took on a life of its own as I wrote it. I'm not even sure what inspiration started this. I hope you like it.

by Stick
He was only eighteen when he first received the call.
Accepting was a given—He was young, and free, and tall.
Hugging his mom, And shaking hands with his dad,
He packed the things he’d chosen, In an old suitcase that he had.
Early morning found him boarding A red bus down on main.
A glance over his shoulder, For one last look was in vain.
They rattled down the highway For three days in a row,
And when they rolled into the camp, He was feelin’ mighty low.
The bus deposited its burden On the pavement flat and black,
And he stood broiling in the sun, Sufferin’ from its attack.
It didn’t take them long To have them sorted, shaved, and shorn.
He was poked, prodded, and looked at More than since he had been born.
It takes a good hard poundin’ To make a bar of steel,
And that’s how they were treated—As if they didn’t feel.
Up in the early hours of morn,And to bed when it was dark.
He soon came to realize This wasn’t Sunday in the park.
Soon, eight hard weeks had passed, And he became quite able.
He was hardenin’ his body, And takin’ on the label.
When basic was finally over, They all looked like chiseled rock.
Walkin’ downtown on leave, Not a single man dared mock.
He never hesitated, When learnin’ of his first post.
He was as good as anyone, And better far than most.
The zone where he was headed, Was hot—a full blown war,
And they landed in a hail of lead, And to a tank’s dull roar.
It wasn’t long ‘til he’d proved himself In the rigors of full battle.
He’d seen his share of blood and gore, And heard a friend’s death rattle.
Step by step, promotions came, Along with scars and pain,
Until his Sergeant stripes found him Standin’ alone out in the rain.
They were waiting on new orders, To send them in to the fray.
Not a one of them were sure, If they would live throughout the day.
When the word finally came, They took their weapons and their gear,
And headed up the hill—They smelled of oil, smoke, and fear.
The bullets and the bombs Soon began to fly.
It sounded like a hive of bees Takin’ to the sky.
In danger every minute, They fought like men possessed.
They knew that they could lose their lives, Being put to the test.
Cut off from their countrymen, Alone and in dire need,
They looked at him with eyes of fear, And silently did plead.
They fought for what seemed hours, And the battle grew no less.
Ammo started runnin’ low, And they were sorely pressed.
There was not a one of them Who did not have some hurt,
And he tried to think of what to do, While laying in the dirt.
Then in the light of star-shells, As they burst up overhead,
He saw a path, a way through, Though it too he did dread.
There was a gully, a ditch, or less, A way that they could crawl,
If only one remained behind To guard them from the brawl.
He didn’t call for volunteers, Just told them what to do,
Then settled in to guard their backs, With hope nowhere in view.
The men made their way to safety, While he laid down cover fire,
And when it was his turn to flee, He dove into the mire.
Alone and friendless, He huddled in the dark.
Of his hopes for his survival, There only seemed a spark.
The bullets now were seeking For him there in the night,
The enemy advancing Towards him in his plight.
A hot sting, and his arm Was pierced through and through
Another burned his leg, As his foe came into view.
Using his own blood, His face he tried to hide,
Then laid as still as death itself, As still as if he’d died.
The searchers thought they all had fled And pursued them in the night.
He laid there ‘til they were gone, And the cold began to bite.
He bandaged his wounds The best he could all on his own,
Then began to inch his way To where the others now had flown.
As for his little band of men, They’d made it to safe haven.
Fleeing back to friendly arms, Where the battle flags were wavin’.
They called for volunteers To go and seek him out,
But the officers thought that he was dead, Like so many in the bout.
They praised him, as they pleaded, For saving all their lives,
While thanking God that they’d return, To their children and their wives.
Then, as the sun was rising On the dawn of the new day,
There came a shout of joy, A shout of ‘Hip Hooray!’
From over the horizon, He came with a band of men.
They had found him while a’crawlin’ From that viper’s den.
He was hailed as a hero, Though he didn’t see it that way.
He was just a soldier fighting, Doing his duty day to day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Moving Experience

Our children have decided to move. Not away, rooms. The girls want to take the basement, and move the boys upstairs. They were going to do this yesterday. Unfortunately, they didn't finish. The boys have their things piled all over the living room, and the girls haven't moved yet. Sara was in SLC at a concert all day yesterday, and nothing has been moved upstairs yet. I feel like I am living in a junk sale, but I don't want any of the merchandise. I hope they get it finished quickly. Sean won't have a bed tonight as it is.

Hang in there. Stick.

Spring is Relative

We have been anxiously looking for the first signs of spring here. Last week, we had high hopes that it was on its way. Temperatures were in the mid 40's all week. We were running around in T-shirts. Then I started thinking about that. When we lived in Texas, in the town where Twist lives, 40 degree weather was time for Jackets and gloves. Later, when my wife and I spent a winter in northern Wyoming, we moved from there (with temps averaging -25 for two weeks near Christmas) to southern Utah where my parents were living. Again we had been having VERY cold weather. The temps at my parents house were in the 50's. My wife and I were excited to have such beautiful weather. I even wore shorts several days.

I guess it is true what they say about humans. We ARE the most adaptable creatures on the planet. We can live in the extremes over the entire planet, and we adapt to those extremes.

Having said that. WHERE IS MY SPRING WEATHER! It snowed last night. Not much. We only got an inch or so, and it will probably all melt by the end of the day, but still. It is the first day of spring. BRING ON THE SUN!

Hope SPRINGS eternal. Stick.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Atlas, You Can Have Your Load Back

I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders at
least temporarily. I received my grade on my first project back from my
"fussy" professor. I had a good score, so I can relax now until his final
is due in May. This professor is very hard to read. It seems like I never
know what he wants, and when you are looking at a 20-page-project, that is
not a good way to start. I now have hopes for decent grades this semester,
and better hopes for the summer and following school year.

Here's hope for the future. Stick.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ain't Modern Medicine Grand!

A trip to the Dr., and I feel MU-U-U-UCH better. Or maybe its the stress relief of having that project turned in. :o)

I wrote most of one more paper yesterday, so I am on my way. (Until I get the grade from the project).

My interview got postponed, because the interviewer was out sick, so that is still pending.

Have a healthy, good day. Stick.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sick and Tired

My project is turned in. I worked most of Tuesday trying to make sure it was as good as I could make it. Made 19 1/2 page on a limit of 20. That's one thing off my shoulders, no matter what grade I get. Now to write the next five papers due in two weeks...

On the brighter side, I have an interview this afternoon for a position in town, and closer to home. I hope I get it, so I can cut down some of my travel time to work, but if I don't, the kids and teachers I work with now are great.

Gotta run. Time to make the Donuts. (some of you might get that) :o) Stick.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Don't let them get you down!"

I know, the original quote was a little more graphic, but I don't think the feeling is quite that strong.

I have a major, midterm project due tomorrow by 9 am. The professor, last night in class, raised the bar. I now have to go rework huge sections of my project. No problem,I have a WHOLE day. On top of that, I have been battling against a cold for three days. I'm not giving in, to either of them, but....

When I'm done, can I go to bed?

Hang in there. Stick.