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Piece #5 - The Third Move and Education

When we moved the family to Seneca, we were bound and determined to try to stay in one location because in all honesty, Jaimee and I were tired of moving; so we did something we had never done before...buy a house! Again, Seneca was a smaller town, but there was something quaint and peaceful about the town. I know what you're thinking, 'Okay, where's the bigger town that you can actually do real stuff in like...shop...at...Wal-Mart?' Actually, that town (Joplin) was just about a 15/20 minute drive. And yes, we visited Joplin a lot. The house we purchased was literally right across the street from the elementary school. Which was great because our older two daughters were in school, so their walk was really short. By far, this house was the smallest house we had ever lived in. (Except the Cracker Jack Box House!)  I have to admit that if it wasn't for my parents, we might not have been able to have gotten the home. Thanks!

So we set up shop and were ready to go for this school year. I was rather excited because I got to work alongside with another teacher and not just being by myself. The plan was for me to coach the middle school speech team and high school debate; then I would put on the middle school play and my cohort would do the high school play. It really was an excellent set up. I started out in the morning at the high school, then at the lunch hour, I would travel over to the middle school; finally I would return to the high school at the end of the school day to teach a couple of more classes. It was a lot of walking, but it was fun. I have to admit that I've had more successes in Seneca that I had anywhere else. I had a student win in the finals at a tournament in Lincoln/Douglas Debate! My wife got to actually chaperone with me at a tournament one time as well. The play I did was more of a musical and we did James and the Giant Peach. It was really amazing to see how the middle schooler's rose up to the daunting challenge. Personally, my own daughter, Megan was at the end of the show asking James if he would share his peach. I can truly say it was a labor of love. As fun and exciting as Seneca was, a new offer was placed in front of me; even though we bought a house and had made plans to stay in the quiet town...after 5 years away, I was given the chance to teach back in my hometown of Kansas City. My wife and I seriously discussed it and the decision was made...we were going back home. (My Asperger’s did give me fits in handing some situations, though it was still our decision to go back.) [Our family wants to encourage those who were affected by the Joplin Tornado back in May 2011. My second daughter, Alicia was there when it happened; so our hearts go out to you all!!!]

Since I've been teaching for over 15 years now, there have been lots of students that have crossed my desk, so as a guy with Asperger’s, it's incredibly difficult to remember every single kid I had in class. There are a few that stand out in my mind, of course pictures and Facebook help! One person I want to give a sound out to is Scott Elbert, pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I will never forget a talk we had when he was in 8th grade because he asked me what sport would be better to play as a professional because he was awesome in both baseball and football. So I told him that if you choose football you're looking at a short career, but a lot of money can be made quickly; versus baseball were you can play for a longer length of time, but you're not guaranteed the larger contract. He picked baseball, good pick...I am rooting for you!

The Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes!]:

Song: "Hanging By a Moment"

Artist: Lifehouse

Album: No Name Face

Now it's time to play 'Where's Waldo"!!! (I'll let you see if you can locate me.) My daughter is in the front, wearing the dark green dress. This was the whole cast and crew from the James and the Giant Peach. That's alot of kids! (Who are now adults...oh, I feel old.)

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