They are so small. They are like little humans.

On Thursday of this last week I got to see my new students for the 1st time. I have spent my whole career teaching high school students and now I have been given the opportunity to educate 6th graders. It makes sense that being a teacher you just teach, but they are so small, so small. My 1st bout with freshman was last year and now this. Someone is either testing me for something or preparing me for something, I am not sure which one it is yet. Sarcasm will not fly, they are not old enough to get it. So my humor will have to be adjusted towards goofy and playful. Those are two words that have not really been associated with me on a regular basis. The funny thing is that of the ten 6th grade teachers, I am the single male. Being a minority has never been a problem. Since the start of my career being on the shorter side has always been the way to roll for me. On most occasions being white makes me a novelty, but this is the 1st time being a male has made me in the fewer category. The ladies I am working with crack me up and tend to want to nurture me. If you have ever met me, nurturing has never been a word used around me. Apparently, according to my wife, nice isn’t something that is bantered around near me either. That all being said, it should be a blast.

The good thing I found out this week was that one of the women I work with has been trying to get a cohort together to get an E.D.S degree from Samford University. We went to lunch on Thursday and I showed interest. She told me that she could add me to the mix and hopefully January of 2013 I will be working my way to another degree. So if you are not in education let me explain what getting another degree is like: take a hammer, hit someone next to you as hard as you can, then hand that hammer to them and let them take out their anger on you. In most professions you get a degree or two, make more and more money because you are good at your job, and then one day retire and hope to enjoy all that hard work. In education you apparently have to just continue to be in school till you retire and then they pay you 70% of what you made after all that work. This will be my 3rd graduate degree plus counting my undergrad, that brings the total to 4 college degrees. Any other profession would laugh uncontrollably at this asinine pursuit. Some say it is because I am greedy and want to make more money, that is partially true. I would love to make enough money to get my wife home to raise children, but alas, in education you must be an administrator of some kind to pull off that feat. Then some say you just want to continue to educate yourself because that is your chosen profession. To those people I say, you may be right, but you do not learn more in graduate education programs you just do projects that simulate the pressure of dealing with being a problem solver at a school level. After this degree I will have one more to obtain, because I have gone this far and I am not stopping right before I cross the finish line.

Last, but certainly not least, I have been exercising like a champ. I have been either running or riding a bike everyday. This Saturday I went on a 13.3 mile ride with my boy Chris Olney. He is a crazy biker and I am just trying to get back in shape. The food has been what we can grab in a hurry this week, but I went grocery shopping yesterday and today and got some good stuff. Life is moving fast and I am just trying to keep my head above the water line. Everything in perspective, life is good and I hope to see more of it. I now realize that being in Birmingham has truly been a great decision. This is our city and I am proud to be back in the South. I hope all is well and I will write to you next week.

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