“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet.”

“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet.”

– D. Elton Trueblood

This quote resonates with every inch of my teaching soul.  Fortunately, I get to see many of my seeds grow into saplings, although it is unlikely that I will be the for their full bloom.  I love inspiring my students to be the best that they can be; to help them become self-motivating and strive for excellence, if for no other reason than to show themselves that they can achieve it.  Even if only a handful get the message it will have been a worthwhile endeavor.

The world is always changing and today it appears to be doing so at a more alarming rate than ever.  Technology has skyrocketed and with it we are presented with new challenges.  Challenges that my generation and generations to come will be forced to deal with and overcome.

It is my sincere hope as a teacher that I can help prepare future generations to push through adversity.  Prepare them to be victorious in the fight against global climate change, pollution, overpopulation, social injustices and the rest of the hand that our predecessors have dealt us.

How does this quote resonate with you?  Have you ever “planted a seed” knowing that you might never see the fruits of your labor?

2014 will be a big year

2014 is a big year for me. Frankly, every year is a big year but seeing as how this one is immediately upon us I think it’s the most important. For the first time in my life I will be waking up in a foreign country on New Year’s Day. A few days later I’ll fly home to another foreign country that became my home 4 months ago and promises to be home for a minimum of 14 more. After transitioning from a child dreaming about the what I want to do in the future to a young adult learning how to fulfill those dreams I have finally taken the leap as a young professional giving it my all!

2014 is a big year for me. 3 years ago I decided to motivate myself beyond the mundane by compiling 30 goals to complete before I turned 30.  I turn 28 in 2014 and have found myself looking at that bucket list and coming to the realization that I might actually cross every item off.  So, now where does that leave me? It means that I need to make bigger and better plans and this is the year I will begin those plans.

2014 is a big year for me. The world is changing every day, every hour, every minute.  Every second technology brings us closer together while somehow distancing us from the humanity that we once knew. The humanity that we will become with every new invention is not one that I fear but rather one that I readily embrace.  It is a future that we have worked together to achieve.

As a child I wasn’t alone in wondering if Star Trek would ever be real, if we could use Jetson style communicators and see the person we are on the phone with, or if handheld devices like my gameboy would ever wirelessly interact. What about teleporters? What about exploring the galaxy? What about making the world a better place?

2014 is a big year for us. Every year we make self improvements but the difference is that in 2014 I will work my ass off to spread that change and positivity.  I vow to conjure up my infallible optimistic attitude and declare that our generation is NOT hopelessly lost as the media would have us believe.

Everyone has struggles, some greater than others. Every generation has hardships, some greater than others. Those who dwell on the negatives are doomed to repeat them. So this is where I ask you to work together! Who gives a sh*t who caused global warming? Global climate change is OUR problem now so let’s find a way to fix it together! I don’t care who decided we could throw millions of pounds of plastic in the ocean; it’s OUR problem now so lets find a way to fix it!

2014 is the year where I will spread my message to all those willing to listen. Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting we have one. Let’s stop complaining about the issues that we inherited and remember the advantages that we inherited too. Viral media in 2013 has cast quite a big shadow on us and would have us feeling doomed about the future.  Let me remind you that our generation has already made a difference!

We have great minds who have found a way to utilize this wonderful new thing called the “internet” to connect those living in the harshest third world conditions with the rest of the world. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t alone in his ability to come up with a groundbreaking idea that changes the world. We’ve had an incredible number of software innovations that help make us all more efficient.  There are countless young engineers jumping at the opportunity to tackle the biggest problems our race has ever faced.

We have the best technology in human history with the fastest computers and the ability to access a nearly unlimited source of information at tip of our fingertips. We inherited medicines that can cure millions, medical procedures that can save hundreds of thousands, and medical technology that can preserve a human heart.  Heck, we can even replace the heart in dire circumstances! There are plans to develop a colony on Mars, we possess the technology to condense air into water and to turn a pile of Martian soil into clean drinking water.  Let’s not forget that wear the BEST educated-generation yet.

Sure, we have problems. We might even feel entitled yet can’t find jobs, lets no forget about the burden of massive debt. We have all these excuses to sit back and do nothing but I say it’s time to start finding reasons to act! If you can’t find a job than make one, use your time wisely and make a difference.  Volunteer if you have to, it will build your resume and get you ready for a real job; it might also open your eyes about how little money your dream profession makes.  If you’re lucky entrepreneurial spirit might even help you turn that idea into a business which provides jobs. We are so focused on getting a job that we often forget that how many of our forefathers made their job.

2014 is a big year for Earth. It is the year that my generation, the Milennials, will take a stand and make a commitment to ourselves and our future.  We may have big problems but we also have the biggest advantages!  As you decide on your New Years Resolutions be sure to include something that will not only help you but help those around you. If you can read this then things could certainly be worse.  You are literate, have internet access and can speak English!  Share your knowledge and ideas so that we can come together as a generation and a race, so that we can take the first steps in the right direction.

A new found sense of wonder for Dinovember

“in the age of iPads and Netflix, we don’t want our kids to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. In a time when the answers to all the world’s questions are a web-search away, we want our kids to experience a little mystery. All it takes is some time and energy, creativity, and a few plastic dinosaurs.

Childhood is fleeting, so let’s make sure it’s fun while it lasts.”

A couple that sounds like a great set of parents finished their post about Dinovember with that quote.  Dinovember is an annual event that they invented where their children’s dinosaurs “come to life” and wreck havoc on their house.  I love it, it inspires me to make my classroom even more fun and creative.  Anytime I hang a new spiderweb, decoration or piece of art I always pretend it just appeared the instant the students notice it.  I try to have them think of how it could have possibly gotten there and if there are some critters involved I turn it into a huge act, usually about how I’m afraid of said critter and they need to help protect me.  Then we always laugh and they realize that I just hung it up.   

As a parent, a teacher, or just someone who is around children it is essential that we help develop their sense of imagination and wonder.  They won’t be kids forever but if all of our children lose the creativity and imagination that comes with the simple naivety of being a child we are in bigger trouble than global climate change, oceans of plastic and all of the social injustices you can imagine.

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Cynical quotes about a modern world

“Life is what happens while you’re looking at your smartphone.”

Check out these illustrations. My favorites are the above link & “Please like me.”

Smartphones are great tools and can make boring commutes go quicker but there is so much more out there. Pick your head up and go live your life!  Before smartphones you never saw someone staring at their hammer for 8 hours a day.  Sure once handheld video games were invented we had some awesome distractions for a 12 hour road trip but they are inherently “games.”  There is so much more to life than playing games and staring at Facebook!

“Please like me.”

Forget what everyone else thinks.  When I was little I was a “band geek” and a “nerd.”  I played nerdy sports and liked video games; I actually enjoyed school, learning and music.  Crazy right?  (Whats most amusing is that the older I get the “cooler” all of those “weird hobbies” are becoming.)

My parents and teachers taught me not to worry about what other people think.  The phrase “he’ll be pumping your gas” was said a few times and although I crave all of your “follows” and “likes,” the real reason I write this blog is because I enjoy it.  I enjoy writing down my thoughts and perhaps even providing advice and insight to someone out there.  I get to chronicle what is the biggest adventure thus far in my life and share those experiences with whoever wants to stop by.

When I read and see all the cynicism out there on the internet it inspires me to do more rather than give in to mediocrity.  Get out there and go do what you love, don’t do it because someone else likes it, do it because you want to!