Saturday, March 8, 2014

SOLSC 9 of 31 - Ten Things Right Now

Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at  My students will also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.  

I decided to use the "Be Inspired" section of the SOL page since it spoke to me tonight.  Thanks Mandy Robek's post from a few months ago.

Ten Things Right Now in no particular order of importance:
1. Getting over a cold. I felt it coming on all week and tried to fight it.  I sucked on zinc lozenges for two days while sitting on a  jury. I took extra vitamin C and other healthy supplements. I did not get enough sleep. Each morning was a little more flemmey until finally, I started coughing this morning around 4AM. I "slept" on the couch so my wife could sleep and had chicken noodle soup for breakfast and lunch.

2. Keeping up to date with the Slice of Life Challenge. I struggled to write and post every Tuesday, but I've kept up with this month so far. I don't like everything I've written, but a couple of things I really like. I have a post I want to make into a poem, and a poem I want to expand into a children's book.  The first idea is more likely, but the second seems more fun.

3. Encouraging my students to complete the SOL Classroom Challenge. Maintaining two blogs is hard and I am behind in commenting on my students' posts.  But my kids are awesome and doing a great job, many posting every day!

4. Preparing for student/parent/teacher conferences in two weeks.  I have twenty-three middle school students in my class and we have a 30-40 minutes conference with their parents to go over  their portfolios, where the show their learning from this past trimester.  Grades would be much easier, but the conferences and portfolios are deeper and more useful.

5. Supporting my family.  It's been a very crazy time lately within my extended family.  I had a cousin who died last month in a skiing accident and the funeral and memorial service were so special and important.  But it is hard.  Then ten days ago, my grandmother, 92, collapsed and spent a week in the hospital. At least she lives in town now, so we could visit while they diagnosed her need for, and implanted a pacemaker.  We had dinner with her and her husband tonight (just celebrated their 75th anniversary) and they are doing well. It is so wonderful to just "be there" for people you love. But it is also hard when it is unexpected and plenty else is going on.

I'm worried this is getting to be a "my life is so busy list" so I'll try to switch it up here.

6.  Learning harmonica. I've been at it for a little over a year and am decent for really not knowing what I'm doing. I want and need lessons to help me both see and achieve the next step. So it is time to figure that out and just do it...with all my spare time. Since I feel like I have no spare time, I just need to make it, just like I do for Slicing or family or me on occasion.

7. Coaching Ultimate. Also known as Frisbee Football, Ultimate is a ton of fun. Several students at my school showed there was interest and asked me to coach it since they needed an adult and I do throw Frisbees with them a lot at recess. I've never coached it, or played it beyond pick-up game level, but we are having fun and games just got scheduled. I am excited to be learning something newish and coaching again for the first time in seven years.

8. Planning individual units with my class. This is both a ton of fun and a ton of work. I am lucky that I have a very independent group that is really rolling already on things they are passionate and interested in. But helping each student take their next steps in a variety of academic subjects, as a person/student, all while making sure to stay true to their interests and intentions is hard. Some days (weeks, years) I'm better at than others, but I am excited by what I have seen so far!

9. Getting outside. I need outdoor time to be fully me. Not just a recess or a walk, but entire, or large potions of, days in the elements doing something. With the springing forward today, I gain an extra hour between work and dark. Some days, I need to go play disc golf, get to the park with my daughter, go for walks with my wife and daughter after dinner, or do some gardening/yard work.

10. Working out/eating better. I don't have specific goals, but I want to be in better shape for the summer. I want to hike several fourteeners and get closer to my goal of climbing all 54 of them in Colorado. I've summited 27 mountains over 14,000 feet thus far. So I'm trying to do some cardio and light weight lifting at the gym two nights a week. I also went to a rock gym last week and hope to return every couple of weeks to work on rock climbing moves. I won't need to do lots of roped up climbing to do the peaks I have my eye on this summer, but feeling confident on rock is important. I am eating better food overall and snacking less, although the teacher's lounge has often been my snacking downfall in the past. Doing pretty well so far though and I have yet to even eat a Girl Scout cookie this year.  CRAZY!

11. Bonus - List of things I would like to be doing more of, or be working towards, or that I just think are interesting/good to do: Disc golf, fly fishing, writing articles on education, writing children's books, taking art classes, getting an MBA, buying/fixing/renting houses, taking my wife on vacation, visiting my brother's family, writing more letters to people I love, traveling, walking in the woods, starting a school, working towards becoming a school administrator, volunteering my time, saving the world, sleeping, forgiving, learning guitar, inventing stuff, writing my memoirs, performing stand-up comedy, and other fancy stuff.


  1. You are a very. Busy. Person. You have an intense list of work right here. Best wishes for completing all you hope to accomplish.

  2. Ultimate caught my eye. My Finnish cousins are all about ultimate, competitions and all! Wishing you more time outside enjoying the spring and sunshine!

  3. Wow, Max, I was exhausted just reading your list! You have so much going on in your life right now - bravo to you for keeping up with and giving your all.

  4. Phew! I'm tired! You are one busy fella. Hope we hear more about the Harmonica!

  5. It is kind of sad that I am not as shocked at your busyness as I expected to be. I'm trying to relax and lounge around, but I have so much going on that it's hard to.

  6. If you could only be two or three people... I know a lot of this, but am still impressed when you put it all together-whew! But I may have some good news. Swallow Hill is now at Lowry, just down from the town center, stared lessons last week. So in your busy life, at least they're now close to work! Have a great Sunday!

    1. That is good news. I wonder if the harmonica guy I want to take lessons works from there? I guess John Shoe grew up with his son and knows him well.

  7. That is quite the list there. I wish I could be that ambitious!

  8. Max, I'm so glad you tried 10 things right now, today. I enjoyed meeting you via this post. Keep going with the extra Vitamin C and chicken noodle soup. Bravo - not one Girl Scout cookie this year. We just got our second delivery, my family is Girl Scout cookie happy.

  9. Amazing, Max. It inspires me to be and take note of my own constant-list-making-checking-things-off mind. You are an amazing teacher, to both kids and teachers.

  10. Sounds like you are a Colorado blogger too???? I really want to try to get a group of us together sometime, just to keep with all of the Ohio bloggers, that get together once or twice a year!