every happening. (1)

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Back to School 2019 Blog Post >>>> One Teacher’s Journey

By allen | August 18, 2019 | 2 Comments

The First Hour, Days and Years Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 24th year of teaching, and despite the many years that have passed, I remember well my first day as a teacher. In truth, my clearest memory is of the first hour of my first day as a teacher.   Incoming students had to locate their name and room number on lists taped to the walls around the school, and then find their way to their homeroom class. Some students arrived early and waited in the hall outside my classroom, even though the door was open. It seemed nobody wanted to be the first to enter the room, but when the first bell rang, they…

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A Brunch of Thoughts

By allen | August 14, 2019 | 3 Comments

My wife and I lead what we consider to be simple, unassuming lives. We still live in the same modest house we bought over 30 years ago when we were in our mid-20s.  That’s a time in life when many couples buy their “starter” homes. Fast forward 30 years and most starter homes in our area are far larger than the house we bought, Based on a couple of decades of conversations with young couples, I doubt the majority of them today would want to begin their lives together in a home that is a cracker box by modern standards.…

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Dark Skies, Lighter Attitude

By allen | August 10, 2019 | 2 Comments

As I am trying to go to sleep at the end of the long embarkation day, I’m struck with the thought that this whole vacation might have been a huge mistake. That thought is hardly uncommon for me. I’m hit with it at the end of the first day of every cruise and many other vacations too.   Fortunately, I’ve learned in most circumstances that my snap judgments are not very reliable, and this proves the case once again. On our first day at sea, I’m always looking forward to the opportunities the day will hold.   Today, Tuesday, we wake up early.…

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Embarkation Day Blues (Part 2)

By allen | August 9, 2019

We finally got into our cabin at 1:45 and were pleased with our selection. It’s an interior cabin, but squarer than the usual rectangular room, and the layout gives us far more room to move around the room than on other cruises. On every cruise Becky insists we take a nap after our embarkation lunch. Of course, she insists on naps after lunch when we are at home too. Normally I’m not too excited about beginning our vacation with a nap, but today was different. I had gone to sleep the night before about midnight and woke up at 4…

Embarkation Day Blues (Part 1)

By allen | August 8, 2019

After an uneventful 32 minute drive from Friendswood to the Galveston, I dropped Becky off at the Carnival terminal where a porter took custody of our bags. Becky grabbed our carry-ons to wait for me while I went to park our car. Even though the lot I always use, Galveston Park n Cruise, is directly across the street from the Carnival terminal, I am forced to follow a long, congested road in the opposite direction. Eight minutes after dropping Becky off I finally exited the port and drove a mile back toward the terminal. I checked in at the parking…

The Things That Survive

By allen | July 21, 2019

They blew up the first Pasadena State Bank building today. Yes, I know the modern terminology for for taking down a building like that is implosion. But this was a building of the 1960s, so I’ve decided to forgo the the refined vocabulary I enjoy today and address it like I would have in my youth. To a kid of my day, turning a 12-story concrete and steel building into dust and rubble meant you blew it up. Growing up in Pasadena the building was a fixture of my formative years, and really, the whole town’s life. Even before the…

A Con in a Can

By allen | July 18, 2019

When I was a kid, the idea of a ham in a can (from an exotic, far away land like Denmark no less) was fascinating. My parents, raised in the Depression and steeped in frugality, never bought one, which only added to the notion that these were some alluring delicacy and the fare of a people far more aristocratic than us. As an adult I now know the pale, slimy horror the colorful can hides, and the desire to buy one is permanently gone along with some of my naivete. So much of the stuff the world tries to sell…

Something More Important Than Sleep

By allen | July 15, 2019

For the first time since Liam was born, Henry stayed overnight with us. I laid down with him and put on ocean wave sounds. Within 10 minutes he was out. 2 1/2 hours later I woke up and I had been pushed to within a 1/2 inch of the edge of the bed. Not only that, but he had intertwined his arms around mine. I was slowly able to extricate myself and push him back to his side of the bed. When I woke up at 4:00 he had his head on my chest and other arm wrapped around me.…

Why Keto Economics? Part 5: Putting it into Practice

By allen | July 9, 2019

In my last post I wrote about the two kinds of  “experts” you will find online. The first are people who endlessly hype questionable and overpriced supplements and products they sell in their online stores. The second group of keto educators, the ones I deem trustworthy, tend to keep keto simpler. They help. They don’t hype. That said, you will find some good, trustworthy people who recommend things that are effectively outside the budgets of many consumers. Let’s face it, high carb foods like rice, potato chips, pasta and Little Debbie snack cakes are cheap. How different from many items…

The Battle of Allen

By allen | July 1, 2019

I was looking back through some of my Facebook posts and came across this one from 2015. Back then, my only thought was of the medicines that were going to “save me” from the complications of diabetes. In the post I mention how the drug “worked wonders in allowing me to regain control of my blood sugar.”. At the time, a drug that worked wonders was one that gave me blood sugars below 150. I am not going to demonize diabetes medications or the pharmaceutical industry, but I now know I can’t count on medicine to be the primary force…

A Little Bit of the Griswolds

By allen | June 27, 2019

I tend to spend a great deal of time thinking about the future, and I doubt that I’m in the minority in that. For most of us, this is at least partially a biproduct of our jobs. Each year from the middle of August until the end of May, hardly a day goes by that the specter of upcoming classes is not on a teacher’s mind. Many jobs have similar demands and result in a preoccupation that is neither comfortable nor encouraging. As the weeks and months pass, the constant demands of the jobs can become a grind. In the…

Something Worse than a Lump of Coal

By allen | December 11, 2018

This was the best picture I got of my grandsons with Santa.  At this moment Liam was still in the curiosity phase of looking at Santa.  Moments later the look on his face was pure anguish. It was like I told him he was getting kale wrapped licorice in his stocking.

We Stay!

By allen | August 18, 2018

Monday will be my 23rd first day of school as a teacher, but I remember well the nervousness I felt and the many questions I had on my very first Monday. I also remember the few teachers who really helped me and those I went to who gave me the impression I was bothering them. I decided then that if I made it as a teacher I was going to be proactive in reaching out to the new teachers and I hope I have never given one the impression I was too busy for them. I recognize that I am…