I know it will pain many to read that title and this accompanying blog post. Even now, fifteen years after my high school graduation, it feels a little wrong to even type it. It's true that The General and I were born and bred Trojans, and we have and always will hold the kelly green and white close to our hearts. Several years have passed though, years where we have since planted roots in this new community. Our daughters are now both enrolled in school here carrying with them through the ranks titles of Coal City High School Graduating Class of 2022 and 2024. It's time to let our Coaler Pride flag fly, and now is as good as time as any.
Here are a few random items I've declared as awesome this week, all tied together with a green and gold string:
1. In my last blog post, I complained about Shortcake's choice for a project for her A/E class. I realize in hindsight that the project really wasn't that big of a deal especially since The General carried the workload and I merely stood by as project manager. In a talk with Tru Stories on our walk to Dwight's homecoming game last week, she mentioned that Page Turner was envious of our district's offering of enrichment classes. It took that statement for me to realize that even though it might mean the occasional extra assignment, Shortcake is really lucky to be afforded this opportunity for academic growth. Oh, and in case you've been sitting on the edge of your seat for a look at the final product . . .
2. Today I was walking through the hallway at the Intermediate school (grades four and five). I heard music playing from one of our fifth grade classrooms, and as I walked past the room I realized the teacher was passing back tests to his class with the music providing the soundtrack. That music? It was the Top Gun Anthem. You know the one.
How awesome is that? Now, I realize that these born-in-the-early-2000s students probably have absolutely no idea what that song is or where it came from, but from now on I've made it my life's mission to play The Top Gun Anthem as background music to all moments - both poignant and trivial - in my life. Next time I am able to see the bottom of the basket containing all the clothes that need to be ironed? You can bet this song will be playing.
3. Last night, Punkin read The General a book. My child who I was convinced was going to be incapable of learning is already spelling and sounding out words. Sure, she has a significant portion of Go Dog Go memorized, and it's not like there is SAT worthy vocabulary contained between the covers but still. It's exciting to watch unfold, and if you ask me I will tell you that her kindergarten teacher is my own personal Anne Sullivan.
4. I love my school supplied iPad. I will admit that I was reluctant to buy into the hype when they were first released. I just didn't think it was all that. Sure, it looked flashy and admittedly I was a little awestruck at all it claimed to be able to do, but was it really that much better than my newly acquired (also school supplied) MacBook? I had my doubts. Even when one was placed in my hands last spring I was hesitant. But I am here to say that like DVR is to Tru Stories the iPad is to me. It's life changing. I have seen first hand the doors it has opened for students, the way it has changed how information is presented to classes and individuals alike, how accessible it has made the world from our relatively remote place in the world. It has given a voice to those who before had none and serves as an educational tool and extrinsic motivator to even the most reluctant students. Every day I'm learning new ways to incorporate it as part of my day, and I know I have barely even scratched the surface of what it is capable of doing. If I had the power (and money) I would put one in the hands of every school aged child in our country.
5. So this next one isn't really Coaler related, but it ties in to my iPad infatuation so I'm throwing it in here anyway. Plus, it is AWESOME. Why am I just now coming into the world of Google Docs? I have heard of its existence for some time, but I didn't really get it. Now, in the last three days? I'm a believer. Again, changing the way I do business, it is rocking my world this week. And yes, haters, I am fully aware of how I'm really revealing my inner nerd today. It's my salute to Steve Jobs, may his brilliant mind rest in peace.
6. You may have seen my plea on Facebook earlier this week, begging for votes for our school to be picked as this week's NBC prep destination. Thanks to those of you who indulged my request, Coal City set the three year record for number of votes received, and bright and early tomorrow morning (5:45 am, to be exact), the cameras of NBC Chicago will be focused on the Coal City and Manteno communities from our football stands. They will be sending live shots of a pep rally type atmosphere back to the studios in Chicago throughout their morning broadcast, so if you're awake tune in. You won't see any of the One Carbon Hill clan there (we value our beauty sleep and sanity), but we'll definitely be representing tomorrow night at the game.
7. And speaking of the home game tomorrow night, these two will be sporting looks similar to this:
This is their standard uniform on Green and Gold Fridays. I was forbidden to allow them to enter the grounds of Dwight Township High School last week wearing these clothes, but tomorrow night all four of us will be showing our Coaler Pride for the first time. Some of us will look a little fancier than the others.
8. Finally, Punkin was very excited to tell about what she is learning in science this week. Apparently, soon after being released from school, she explained to The General that she couldn't wait to go to school tomorrow. Why? Because tomorrow is the day they're putting "testicles" on a sea anemone. We like to expose our students to a variety of opportunities here in the double C.
Okay, I think I'm ready. Let the hateful words fly. Remind me how I've forgotten where I've come from. Chastise me for joining the Dark Side. It's okay. I think I can handle it.