Thursday, April 27, 2017
I love to travel.
I love to see new places.
I love to go and do things in new places.
And I absolutely love doing it with my family involved.
My family is not always involved and I wonder if I am selfish for having these experiences.
I don't feel selfish because my wife disapproves, but because I miss them, and worse yet, they miss me.
So am I selfish?
Probably, but I try to be less selfish while away by attempting to do good things while gone.
Do I always?
But I am always looking and trying to make the separation worthwhile.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Washington D.C. is the American ideal.
From the history of the city, to the monuments, to the history of the country, to the video they show you in the Capitol about our government, it represents all that is good with our government and country.
But it is the ideal.
I have tried hard for many years to not be cynical when it comes to American ideals, but it is hard as I have seen many political issues become what's good for the individual political party and not what's good for the country.
If you speak to many people who have worked in Washington for just a short amount of time, it is sad to hear the idealism has dulled or even disappeared.
But the thing is this, the more we know the more cynical we will get, and it has always been that way.
The country has been political since the beginning with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton fighting over policy. There has been mud slinging, immoral activity and less than ideal behavior by many of our national politicians since before our freedom as a country and it will continue long after the US is gone. We've had presidents be impeached, resign and murdered and yet we continue to strive on towards what we should become.
But Washington D.C. is the American ideal.
It's what we strive to be and fail every single day.
It's what shows us what working together can accomplish even though there was often division that had to be overcome to get that "united" item finished.
It's what we, as Americans, look at and fills us with patriotism despite our failures as a country.
Washington D.C. is the American ideal and ideals are hard to attain, but they exist so that we continue to strive for them.
We must strive for them through our cynical realism and even when people are telling us "no" and fighting against us whether from abroad or within this country.
If you have never been to our nation's Capitol, go.
It will remind you of what we could be and that we must fight to continue taking steps towards that ideal reality.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
My wife and I were pretty good athletes in our day and our son is really good at many, but watching Maddie, well, don't tell my son, but I believe she's the most athletic person in the family. Competitive cheer, softball, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, golf, soccer, and now track and field...she's not bad at any of them.
I realize that some people cannot afford to go on this trip (I think pretty cheap especially everything that the kids get to do), have other things going on, or just think they do not want to spend time with some of the kids going. But I truly believe that the memories and bonding that go on during this one week away from school far outweighs the negatives. Again, I realize that some cannot make it, but it should be a high priority for any junior that thinks they might want to go.
The senior trip occurs so late in the school year for my school that there really is a sense of "this is it" for many of them. It is such an over powering double feeling at the end of the trip that the trip is over, but so is the school year and ultimately...their secondary school experience.
The 90+ students that go on this trip share a common story that the others will miss out on.
It is emotional for me as well to witness this happen.
I can feel the emotion of some of them as they come face to face with the "real" world they've been preached to for so much of their young adult life. They realize that many of them will go their separate ways and they may not see any of their classmates again, or for a long time. And I think some of them even realize that they are going to miss their teachers. We are the ones fighting every day for them and in the cruel "real" world, there will be far fewer doing that for them.
I enjoy going on this trip to watch the bonding, to watch the laughs, watch the pictures being taken, and to try and make it a more fun trip for them by being a little...umm goofy at times.
So good luck class of 2017, you got to spend a week with people you will love forever in one of the world's greatest cities...Washington D.C.
Never forget this moment from this trip and do everything you can for the rest of your life to continue creating these moments for you and those you love.