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The Top Ten Ways School Administration is similar to Military Police Work

Ten: I investigate criminal and delinquent behavior

Nine: Confidentiality is key

Eight: Most of the time, I don’t get to choose what my day will entail

Seven: I understand trauma from first-hand experience

Six: I dress for the part

Five: I train for an attack

Four: I serve others

Three: I search people, rooms, and lockers for contraband

Two: Working well with others is a must

One: Every day is an adventure

Epic family photo fails

Ever since we’ve struggled to capture the perfect family photo, I’ve embraced the beauty that comes from raw emotions. I have often joked that I’m going to start a photo album with all of our photo fails. Then I asked myself, “Who even makes photo albums anymore?” Ha! But a blog? Now that’s trendy…

It all started with this little girl who wouldn’t stop crying. Nothing was wrong, she was safe but she was sad. So I captured it. Now we look at this photo fondly. Her crazy blond curls and her poor sad face.

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Then we move on to the only family photo we captured at our youngest’s baptism. Lesson learned–take a picture at the beginning of the event before exhaustion sets in.

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These sad Brewer game photos are icing on the cake. It was most likely due to the fact that naps were skipped, junk food was plentiful, and the kids were out of their element. I like to think that the kids were just upset because their daddy dressed them in Cubs gear.

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The few times we try to get a picture with my husband’s family have proved futile as well. Two out of three kids crying are not good odds.

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In the end, we have great stories to tell and these pictures somehow make us smile and laugh a little more than the perfectly cheesy grins we always hope for. There’s the silver-lining for you. I would love to see your photo fails!

 

 

A lesson for all during 8th Grade Recognition night

I wrote the following speech for our June 2019, 8th grade recognition night. It’s not too often that one has the ear of hundreds of community members and students. It seemed like a great opportunity to share a positive message about kindness, and more importantly, of empathy. I wanted to thank NPR for setting the stage with their story on “The End of Empathy.”

Without further ado, here’s the speech:

WELCOME to the 8th grade Recognition night!

Dear Future Freshmen,

As you embark on this next chapter of your life remember that the most important thing you can do is to be kind. The second? Empathy—the ability to share someone else’s feelings—according to Webster’s Dictionary. I could talk all day about why kindness is vital to success, but I feel like kindness is all the rage right now. Instead, we’re going to take a walk with empathy. Why? Because empathy will open lines of communication, will teach you to think beyond yourself, teach you true compassion and understanding,  and it will help you to better understand the world around you.

National Public Radio came out with a report this April entitled The End of Empathy. The author, Hanna Rosin, identified that the American culture has been losing their appetite for empathy in the past decade or so. And that by 2009 young people on average measured 40 percent less empathetic than a generation before them.

In the 70’s, empathy was the buzz word. The idea was that we had to start to see the world through each other’s eyes in the midst of the rise of nuclear weapons. Students in the 70s even wrote letters to pretend Russian pen pals to learn how to open their hearts to the enemy.

The article went on to point out that empathy exists today, but it is usually for the people on our team, people we agree with. It also pointed out that without empathy we would just be alone. Feel alone. Isolation. We could go down another rabbit hole that talks about how social isolation is detrimental to both your physical and mental health and well being. Instead, let’s create a goal together, shall we?

Goal: Choose to understand others rather than fear them or dislike them. Before criticizing others, try to imagine how you would feel in their place. 

 It makes your minds richer, it expands your imaginations.

You will never regret those actions for as long as you live.

Class of 2023, you are amazing. Do you know that? You have persevered through four different principals, you didn’t have a single referral in 5th grade and halfway through your 6th grade year. Your music teachers have expressed that you are one of the most musically talented groups they’ve ever had.

Go forward and continue to do great things. Things that will make you proud when you reflect back on your younger selves. Things you can brag to your own kids about. I beseech you to not only be kind but to be truly empathetic.

 

Grateful for Warriors and Quiet Waters

Carlye Luft, a great friend and fellow Army vet, hollered from the confines of Google Messenger, “Hey! You need check this out!” That fateful call harnessed a soulful retreat for four of the females I deployed with and me.

On September 23rd, we converged into the Quiet Waters ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana. The brown, three-story ranch sits in Gallatin Valley with majestic, snow-capped mountains surrounding all four sides.

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I don’t deserve this! Then we were introduced to our own rooms. Swag sat on the edge of our beds waiting patiently for our arrival. The tour continued with a stop in the movie theatre further into the basement, then a stop at the indoor pool and hot tub on the main floor. Walking into the larger than life dining and step-up living room conjured contentment and relaxation with the smell of fresh-cut wood, the mounts on the wall, a sled base converted into the coffee table.

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A covered, eating area outside sits next to the fire pit, which overlooks the burbling brook and beautiful sunrises.

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This is what my soul needed. Our next stop was Simms to get outfitted for our fishing adventures.

On Tuesday, we learned the art of casting, finding the right flies, and the joy of catching fish after fish on the Legacy Ranch in Paradise Valley.

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Warriors and Quiet Waters has provided an opportunity to heal through nature, companionship, camaraderie, and tranquility. My fishing guide, Sky, has been a true friend through this experience. He lends advice on fishing with ease, perfection, and compassion. He listens, free of judgment.

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We are given a companion as well through the hours of fishing. I feel as though I found a true friend in Leslee the past couple of days. She sounds like a beloved cousin making her voice a healing salve as we navigate the ponds and rivers of Montana.

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Today was a day for respite and a chance to hone our fishing skills. We went to a few ponds on the ranch and a hike on a nearby mountain.

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Thank you to the thousands of donors across the nation, the staff, and all of the volunteers that give up their own time to enrich our own. Don’t be a stranger to Wisconsin! You can fish on Stratton Lake anytime!

Vulnerability – My First Blog

Writing is scary. Posting on the internet is even scarier. The art of writing does not come easily to me. My brain is slow in retrieving the appropriate words, in sounding intelligent in nature, and in remembering and adhering to all of our fun and wacky English rules.

I will, however, persevere and proceed with this blog of mine. This venue for putting into words the thoughts and reflections that bounce around in my brain.

I will not apologize for being a novice, for my inability to put the commas in the right spaces, and for missing a semicolon. I will not apologize for haphazardly talking about my job, my family, and my hopes and dreams. Perhaps this blog will morph into one of those three categories, but for now, it will just be a place to write and express my inner dialogue.