January 7th, 2016

Pedal to the Medal

I know I say it every year at this time - but we are headed for the mountain. After January 18th, we are pretty solid until Spring Break. Next week, I will be using our new walkthrough template - and I'm excited about being back at work with the students. As always, any work I do, feel free to grade and share with the class.

We are +7 on kids since Christmas, so we are just over 600 students. So, we are still way below where we were last year at this time.

Days of Destiny will return soon, but will be accompanied by a different reward.

I appreciate how everyone has returned to work, the kids included.

I sent a letter home with report cards reminding parents that the 2nd semester is like the beginning of the year....all over again. Of course, accompanied with increased responsibility for our students.

I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished so far this year.

As we approach the mountain, we will need to put our foot on the gas.

Next Week:

Please remember that Fridays are our spirit days from here on in.

January 9th - Boys Basketball Tourney, Home

January 11th - Board Meeting

January 12th - Picture Retakes

January 14th - Girls home vs. Athens, Boys @ Athens

January 16th - Girls Bball Tourney home, Robotics @ Grand Saline

Papa at Emhouse's Truck

Both of my grandfathers were called Papa. One was "Papa on North Beaton" (which is a street in Corsicana), and the other was "Papa out at Emhouse" (which is a small town outside of Corsicana, population 99.) I have their names in quotes because for the longest time, I thought those were proper names.

My mother's father was Papa at Emhouse. I had more general affection for him than I had for nearly anyone else when I was young. I admired him a great deal - and his house was one of the most peaceful places I remember. It was a tiny shotgun house, one window unit, and a screened in porch.

There would always be some sort of livestock around, maybe a goat or three, and my grandfather would sit on the back porch entertained forever by one of those goats licking salt. He had a well covered by a piece of plywood with a saw on top to keep the "lid" from blowing off. That did not bother anyone until Jessica McClure - after Baby Jessica, I remember my mother being terrified of that well. (Y'all remember Baby Jessica?)

My favorite thing my Papa at Emhouse had was a 1971 green (and rust) Ford Ranger. I drove it to Jewel T for groceries with him, we took it to Ennis to eat barbecue, and he drove me down a concrete slab to a dirty creek full of green water and old tires where, he claimed, the Hulk lived.

There is a man around town with a beautiful orange and white '71-ish Ford Ranger. Every time I see that truck I get jealous, and if he was selling it, I'd buy it - because I know the secret of how to drive that particular make and model.

I learned how to drive on a lot of vehicles, but that truck was different. There was no A/C and no power-steering. You could bury your foot down on the accelerator, all the way to the floor, and it would respond differently from day to day. Some days you got a kick, some days you didn't. You could punch it or pump it - and get the same response. I remember being able to stand on the accelerator with my rear all the way off the seat and still not be speeding up - at least, not to the speed I wanted to go.

My grandfather would laugh at my frustration. He never got frustrated by the truck and always drove it the same way. It minded him better than me.

Y'all know where I'm going - we have a lot of '71 Ford Rangers in the building, and I know it's Pedal to the Medal time - remember that, regardless of how you think it might be best to get down the road, the truck will have it's say, too.

Y'all are all great drivers, but listen to the trucks.

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