Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My geeky interests!!

I guess by now I ought to lay these out. For loving sports and being such a "guy" I'm quite a dork. Trust me, dorks have more fun.

1. Sports: More specifically hockey, college football!!! I grew up playing hockey, and I think it might one of the few "real" sports left (we just have to get rid of Sidney Crosby). If you can't tell, I'm a life-long diehard Red Wings fan. I'll take it to my grave! I live in Michigan, the heart of the Great Lakes and a hockey hot bed.
Now onto college football. I just LOVE the whole aura and atmosphere. I like the NFL, but the college game is where it's at! Student sections, bands, tailgating on campus...do it. There is just a sense you get at a college game that can not be matched anywhere...the real America...a united heartbeat. I can't explain it...maybe I'll write a book someday trying to express the intriqacies one day.
I am a graduate of THE Grand Valley State University, and our athletic program is NCAA Division II. While I was in school our football team won 4, yes FOUR national championships. I am spoiled rotten. I will bleed Laker Blue and Black till I die.

2. I like...no love, commercial aviation. Should I have been a pilot??? I am sooo geeky about planes and airports it's scary. I can spend all day at a major international airport walking around, people watching, plane spotting, watching the tarmac operations, etc. I am just fascinated with the whole thing. Less then 100 years ago, people would have laughed if you tried to describe a place like O'hare or LAX or NY-JFK. Furthermore, major airports are cities within a city. They employ thousands on their own, and support employment for tens of thousands more in the city in which they reside.
Flying....flying, that says it all. Something that by nature man was not meant to do...we do! Give me a trans-con and a window seat and I am an entertained man for 5 hours, a kid in a candy store. Sitting at 38,000 feet, high enough where everything seems so small. I can be over Lake Michigan, see Wisconsin and almost all the way to Detroit. Wow, that puts things in perspective. Then, you look up. From the Concorde, you could see the curvature of the earth, and the black of space (they flew at 55,000 ft.), from flight level 380,(38,000) you can almost see that edge of space and the curvature of earth is almost there! I think another thing is that I love travelling, which makes flying so enjoyable.

3. Craft Beer. I like a tall glass of the good stuff! I guess I just got intrigued when around the age of 23 I stumbled upon an amazing craft beer store I lived near. I never looked back. I love the flavors, the variety, the culinary adventure of trying new and different beers, as well as enjoying the awsome mainstays that are my favorites (shout out to my locals, Founder's and Bell's!!).
I often cruise and peruse sites like Beeradvocate.com, check them out if you're interested, it will open up your eyes beyond Bud, Miller and Coors. Flavor exists, that's why I like craft!
Now, I feel every beer has it's place and time, even the aforementioned (I try to avoid AB products out of principle), and I never turn down a beer when offered, I feel that such a thing is offensive and snobish. However, when spending my own money, I will often go for the craft or ale variety.

4. I thoroughly enjoy exploring large cities and urban areas. I have not been to NYC, that and it's outer boroughs would be awsome to check out for a few days. I looovvveee Chicago, and I am fascinated with the "ruins" of poor Detroit. I am also fascinated with Los Angeles, even though it's a very poorly designed urban area in terms of sustainability, it's sheer size and "density" IS fascinating.
Now to the opinion side of things. I support density, mass transit and smart, environmental, long-term urban planning. I really dislike ex-urbs, I feel they just don't have any fore-thought into their planning. I mean, in most cases, they even bull-doze all the trees!! They have no sidewalks which limits the safety and accessibility of walkers, runners, bikers, everyone who wants to venture outside of their subdivision without a car. They are car-centric, meaning that to get groceries or go to work you need to drive. They are very racially bland...all white people. Sometimes I analyze the setup and it eerily seems like they were designed that way...wait, what's that you say?? White-flight?? Noooo....enough said. I think this is a socio-economic statement of exclusion and segregation, sickening actually.

Anyway, these are just several of my interests. I think most people are dorkier than they admit. You just need to accept your fascination and embrace the world!

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not holding up my end of the bargain!

Wow, I'm really sucking at this consistancy thing aren't I?

Finished a full six-day stretch of teaching at the same elementary school last week. Some great experiences, some horrific. I don't get it, so much variance in behavior and personality between classrooms. Even at the tender age of 7 or 8, there are some kids don't care in the classroom. When I say don't care, I mean does-not-care. They are worry-free of the consequences of their rude, insulting and disruptive behavior, to say nothing of wanting to learn and do well in school.

It all begins at home, that is where children gather their opinions and perceptions and purposes of school and life before they reach school. Parental influence is huge. Does anyone actually read to their kids anymore?? How about helping them with their homework at night?
News-flash: the TV is NOT A BABYSITTER.

Another point, which I should elaborate on, this is in an urban school district. The urban school district from which I received my education. Now, I came from an very educated and socially active family background, where good grades and a college education were the expectation. There are plenty of those students in this school district. However unfortunatly, there are even more who are from the opposite background, increasingly so. So it can stand to reason that if one's parent's don't have a higher education, the chances of the offspring not seeing the value of an education is higher than usual. Again, however, there are wonderful exceptions to this rule! I happen to know one of these exceptions. Parents had no college education, but she graduated top in her class and she was the first of her family to attend college and is on the verge of graduating. The quintisential American story.

What I am really trying to boil my point down to is to the worst factor. The parents who have no interest in their child's life or advancement, and it results in an absent-minded young person. As sad as it is, it exists. The real victims here are the kids. By the time school starts, they are disadvantaged. By the time middle school comes around, they have no concept of the value of an education, let alone respect for peers, adults, or authority figures. By the time they are in high school, no one gives them any hope or chance. They are already failures in the eyes of others, and worst of all, in their own. The mindset is "It doesn't matter so why care or try?".

Where is the intervention? There's no money for it. The challenge ahead is so daunting that the current system can not even begin to touch the issue. We need massive reform and funding to help this situation. But apparently we'd rather spend $10 Billion a month to fight a pointless war in Iraq than help educate our youth.

We can't babysit everyone's children and raise them for you. The mindset of parenting in these situations has to be changed....and how do we do THAT?!?!

God Bless and fight the good fight...

Monday, September 14, 2009


Hey again non-existent readers! Been a bit too long, apologizes for the absence.

Previous week has been a lazy and busy one. Got the first college football tailgating under my beslt at the GVSu home opener Saturday. GREAT time, it always is. Nothing better than a gorgous fall day with friends, beverage of choice in hand, coolin' in a bag chair. Great win over the hated Sagnasty Valley State Cardinals, great bonfire afterwards in Allendale.

Started substitute teaching again last week after a summer off. My re-introduction was easy enough. A simple afternoon with 1st graders, the teacher assistant/student teacher in the classroom was doing all the lessons, so it was really a breeze. This week will not be such a vacation however. I have a full week at a very difficult elementary school, and today proved just that. You can't help what environment these kids have at home, what values they're taught. It just really bites the dirt when they don't care no matter the consequence. Especially at that young of an age. We just do the best we can with what we are given.

More news of interest, I officially signed up for Linkedin this morning! I don't yet have a full understanding of the website, or everything I want to have on there yet, but it's great for making connections! Employers are all over it right now, so there's the "hot tip" of the day, even if I am a few months late on the bandwagon.

Stay safe kids! Play hard-play fair. Remember, always keep your stick on the ice!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Four Wonderful Years!

It's been four wonderful years since I met my wonderful girlfriend at college and I wouldn't trade a single day of it for anything! I am truly blessed to have such an amazing person to share my life with.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Memo: I am NOT in Sales!

This is a little memo to all the job search engines out there. On behalf of my fellow Advertising and Public Relations professionals, WE ARE NOT SALES REPRESENTATIVES.

Why does it think that "Media Planner", means "telemarketer"?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer's almost over...

Well the summer adventure is almost over. Back to subbing in the next few days.

Still searching for something in my field that fits me. I'm tired of applying for openings that have nothing to do with my major, are something that I have no interest in doing, and/or have no chance at landing because I am only "entry-level" out of college.

I'm sure there are many others out there like me, in my situation, but it sure doesn't feel that way. Five years of tireless effort, thousands of dollars, and I can't land the job I want in my field. At this point, I'm not sure it exists.

I'm not looking for pity, I'm looking for chance. I think doing everything right and everything I was told I needed to do I've earned a chance.

Ok, rant done. It's too nice outside to sit in here any longer.

Peace and chicken grease kids!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Facebook | Meagen Spillane

Facebook Meagen Spillane: "What is a Laker? It’s walking the Little Mac and knowing where to find the only color copier on campus. It’s being placed in the “old dorms” on campus, and having the best stories to tell. It’s eating Yesterdogs at 2 in the morning after spending your last $10 on your favorite band playing at The Intersection. It’s “off campus living” in the middle of a cornfield and scouring RentGR.com for an old downtown duplex with your best friends for next year. It's not knowing the cost of gas or insurance because the '50' can take you where you need to be. It’s throwing a dollar in the can at Mojo’s to hear your fight song, and throwing your arms in the air fighting for the national championship title. It’s throwing down on the best of Founder’s beers, and throwing some caps with Natty. It’s 10-cent drafts at BFE, knowing it’s not in BFE, and knowing what the Pink Drink and Hairy Buffalo is. It’s going to class with a wind chill of ten-below, and laying out in Grand Haven before the first football game of the year. It's taking exams, taking your college years for granted, and taking your degree around the world... Only to find yourself missing the mitten.

It’s about being a part of a place in its youth, in your youth. Growing with it. Growing around it. Growing because of it.

Missing you, GV."

The Beginning

Whoever stumbles across this, this is the beginning. I've always wanted to create a blog, and until now, never followed-through with it. We'll see how long I can keep with this.

I hope to post and link some fun stuff as I go, as well as voice my opinions on this crazy world we live in.

As Kenny Chesney said so rightly, "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."