Where Has the Time Gone? · 16 June 2018

A calendar from
the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad

by Visitor7
Licensed under
CC BY-SA 3.0

Here it is the end of another school year and I am wondering where the time has gone. I am wondering what the students have learned. I am wondering what I have learned. And I am wondering if I am still doing what I am supposed to be doing.

I hope the answers are lots, lots, and yes.

Most of my students have learned lots. They have learned how to program computers or how to make cool 3D stuff on computers. They have learned that work ethic is important. Some have found their passion. Others have found that their passions lie somewhere other than in the subjects I teach. And still others have found that they just like to be in my crazy environment.

I know I have learned lots. First and foremost is that I am sure I know less than I thought I knew. It is the old maxim: the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. I have realized this over and over again, and still, it never ceases to amaze me. (Of course, my friend Marc is always quick to point out that he has always known how little I truly know. But that is a different story.) But seriously, I learned a lot more Java than I knew before, I learned that I can still program computers, and I learned there are many more ways to use CAD software than could ever be learned in just a year of class. I also learned that you can never stop learning. Or at least you never should. For even when you are learning, you are probably going backwards. (It goes back to that thing about realizing how little I really know.) I also learned a lot more about throwing the shot, discus, and javelin. (Yet another story.)

The answer to the third question is also yes. I am supposed to be teaching and coaching. And believe it or not, writing. I do the best to listen to what God is telling me about all three questions, but especially the one about doing what I am supposed to be doing. After all, I want to be the one saying, “Here I am, Lord.” And whether He tells me to stay or to go, I want to be the one saying, “Yes, Lord.”

No. I do not look for signs, but I have said since I started teaching that I would do it as long as I was having fun. I probably should amend that and say that I will keep teaching and coaching as long as I am having fun, the kids are having fun, and we are all still learning. And as long as they will still have me.

Each year flies by quickly. Seemingly quicker than the year before. And as I stop to think about where the time has gone, I reflect on my original questions. I hope my students keep learning. I hope I am still learning. And I hope that I am still doing what I am supposed to be doing.

Another year has gone by. All too quickly.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Summer’s Almost Here · 9 June 2018

Academic Costume
by Gardner Cotrell Leonard
This work is in
the public domain.

I know I should be glad
     that summer’s almost here
But all I feel is dread
     that the end is drawing near.
No, I do not fear apocalypse
     or anything so drear
It’s that I do not like the fact that
     the close of school is here.

For we have to say “Goodbye”
     at the end of each school year
To the graduating class
     whose hearts we hold so dear
To the children who not so long ago
     came to us in fear
Now they’re all grown up
     and so we give a cheer.

“Congratulations graduates!”
     Now we’ll send you on your way
I hope we shared some wisdom
     as you’ve come to us each day
I hope we helped you get ready for
     each bright and shiny day
And I hope you will remember us
     as you go along your way.

For I’ll remember you
     even if it is just by your last name
I’ll remember you
     and I’ll be so glad you came
I’ll remember you regardless of
     whether you attain great fame
And hopefully you’ll remember us
     and be so glad you came.

So please excuse me if I do not like
     the fact that summer’s almost here
Please forgive me that I feel such dread
     that the end is drawing near.
But I’m so glad we got to spend
     some time together here.
Congratulations graduates!
     Know that in my heart I hold you dear.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Going to the Zoo · 2 June 2018

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Going to the zoo is quite the adventure. Even when you take a grownup kid.

My wife and I went to the Woodland Park Zoo last weekend with our middle son. It was a great time. We walked around most of the exhibits and saw nearly everything. We even got to park without much hassle. The weather cooperated by being warm and sunny. All in all, it was a wonderful day. If not a bit surreal.

One of the strange things was seeing all the people there with little kids. We wondered how we did it way back when. Sure, we had a shepherd (our oldest son) to help with the younger two boys. But we would still have been going this way and that way, that way and this way. We would have had to wash faces and hands. We would have had to find restrooms when we were the farthest away we could be. We would have had to go back to see the giraffes. Again. Sure., we had fun way back when, but you forget all the little things that go with taking little ones anywhere.

One of the things you forget but love to hear is the sound of little voices. There is always wonder in them. And there is that lilt in the voice of toddlers that you never forget. When you hear the wonder and that lilt in other kids, you remember it in your own. And you miss it.

Besides the wonder in the little voices, there is something else we missed when we went to the zoo. Or at least it was something we thought about. We missed the stroller. Not only did we carry the littlest one in the stroller (and anybody else who wanted to ride and could get away with it), we carried everything else. Including the kitchen sink. Or so it seemed. We had wipes and snacks and diapers and extra clothes and just about anything else you could think of.

Diapers are one thing I definitely do not miss. But I do not remember taking the kids to the zoo when they were diaper age anyway. We probably did, but I do not remember. I suppose some things are best forgotten. At any rate, it was always nice to have the stroller. Not only to carry all the stuff, but to carry the little ones or even the big one when they were a bit tired. Or asleep.

This trip, we did not need to have all that stuff (so we did not need the stroller). Yes, we each carried our own backpacks, but we did not need the kitchen sink anymore. Or diapers.

Speaking of being the pack mule. (I know I never said anything about it this time, but I know I wrote about it sometime.) I was fortunate to only need to carry my own stuff to the zoo this time. I had water and extra clothes. And everybody’s food. In the old days, I had to carry everybody’s stuff. (Thus the pack mule reference.) Which is why it was nice to have the stroller. Now, I just carry my own stuff and the food. And since I had my backpack with a hydration system, I had plenty of water. In fact, I just kept sucking it down the whole time we were there. Which was why we still had to look for restrooms at the most inconvenient times. Even though we did not have any toddlers with us.

When all is said and done, going to the zoo is not really about the lions and tigers and bears (oh my). It is really about being together and having a good time. We enjoyed seeing the lions and tigers and bears (oh my), but we really just enjoyed being with each other. Being with each other looking at the lions and tigers and bears (oh my), and birds and plants and rocks and things. Watching people. Talking and reminiscing and wondering.

It really is strange to watch people and wonder how we took three kids to the zoo without going a bit crazy. But we had a great time being there with just one of our nearly adult sons. When it comes right down to it, going to the zoo is a great adventure. At any age.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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