Are You Woefully Unprepared for Life?

I love this quote I read in a recent issue of Outside magazine. It completely expresses the sentiment behind proper preparation versus incomplete or no prep. Takes me back to my days in the Marine Corps and the principle of the 7 P’s.

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This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

It Isn’t Just About Winning Is It?

My 9yo son is playing kid pitch baseball this season. I don’t have my parent blinders on, so I know he’s not the best kid on the team, but I’m happy he’s in the upper 10%. I’m happiest though that he has a great outlook by getting to play and having fun.

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The kids had a terrible loss the other night, mainly because they gave up, got frustrated, and acted more like 3yo rugrats than 9-12yo boys. One of them was walking back and forth in the dugout saying, “Shit!” over and over. After the game, this kid got a bat and was swinging it around crazy mumbling to himself. Another kid got mad and threw his glove down on the field. Most of the other kids were crying and grumbling. At their last chance to bring the score up, my son got a single and the next batter hit him in for a run. No one cheered.

Needless to say, the coach had a serious pep talk for them after the game. I liked when he said, “At this age, baseball for you is more about learning how to play than about winning.” He told them they needed to be more concerned about having fun than getting upset about bad plays and losing a game.

Good words, but it got me to thinking.

You see, the two coaches stack the infield and the pitching rotation with their kids and the all-stars from last year. They send the players they don’t know well or who aren’t that good into the outfield or those kids rotate the bench. My son ends up being one of these kids. The coaches refuse to let them practice or play in the infield or pitcher positions.

But isn’t it about fun and learning more than winning?

So I told my son to test him at the next practice. Ask him if he can practice infield or pitch some balls in batting practice. Ask him if the other kids can play a few innings here and there in the infield or as a relief pitcher in a real game.

Let’s see if the coach really cares about winning more than teaching.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

 

TedxCharleston 2014

I absolutely love TED events. I got started on them a while back through mentions by Seth Godin. Then I started watching them online. Then I hosted TedxMyrtleBeach a few years ago. Then I integrated TED videos into my kids’ homeschool curriculum. And now, I can finally say I attended my first TED event purely as a spectator, able to sit in the audience and just enjoy the goings on.

Here’s my recap of TedxCharleston 2014…

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The speaker line-up…

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These are paper cuttings. It was an absolutely phenomenal experience watching her work.

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I got to see the first ever pregnant TED speaker in action. On the screen above, what did you want to be when you were 5?

My friend Ryan Smith. I was running across the road in the rain and there she was with an umbrella!

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This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Lap Dancers Get the Shaft in SC (Exploring Statistics)

I came across an interesting article about a court case in SC. I found it interesting from a statistical point-of-view, although maybe it will require some in person research.

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Now, I’ve never had a lap dance in my life, not even from my wife, but I’ve seen them on television, which makes me an authority. Let’s think about how this wage disparity might break down in real life numbers.

Dancer works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

A lap dance lasts the length of a song, which averages about 3.5 minutes.

That means without breaks and with a solid line of customers, a dancer could perform 137 dances a shift.

Let’s be very conservative and say she does only 50 because of the variables like breaks, slow customer times, washing her hands (a lot), and her legs getting tired.

In a week, she’s doing 300 lap dances. I added a few for the variation in days. I’m sure she’s busier on Fridays and when conventions are in town.

The article mentioned overtime, so now we’re looking at an average range of anywhere from 226-471 lap dances each week.

If a dance costs $20 each (I really have no clue), that would put her in a six figure income bracket, forgetting the minimum wage owed them by the club owners.

So now that we’ve examined the statistical notions of this article, how many of you are thinking you chose the wrong profession?

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

A Recap of Great Homeschool Conference Greenville

Our family had a great time at the recent Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville SC. I did 2 lectures. One was on using comic books for education. The other was on using martial arts in education.

martial arts class

Here’s my photo recap…

I always have fun playing with the dinosaurs…

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This really spoke to my inner elf-nerd…a Lord of the Rings literature study.

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The Underground Movement, http://www.theundergroundmovement.com. This was a cool line-up of shirts. I especially loved the George Washington shirt (which I bought). It’s in the style of the popular Che shirts that kids wear but have no clue what they’re wearing.

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Media on the Brain, http://www.mediaonthebrain.net- This guy and his family were super nice, but I had to wonder about something. Their ministry is all about media oversaturation, but they sell a product that’s available on…DVD?

Media on the Brain

Shatterpoint Entertainment, www.shatterpointentertainment.com. I bought several of their Lego movies illustrating Bible stories with old school stop motion photography, not the fully animated version you see in the mass produced The Lego Movie. They had some really cool custom Lego items at their booth.

Lego Duck Dynasty

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I had a booth promoting my book about using comic books for education. I just bought one booth, but my neighbors bugged out on Saturday morning. That’s right, you guessed it,my booth expanded once they left.

Before…

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After…

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I thought this was pretty cool. It’s the first convention I’ve been a vendor at that gave us an enclosed spot for storage. My kids love the neat hiding spot.

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If the convention center didn’t want us bringing in food from outside, they should make their food cheaper. It was like movie theater prices in there.

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We bought this cool curriculum for our school from The Etiquette Factory. My boys are going to be the most well-behaved Vikings ever!

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We’re changing our 9yo’s math curriculum over to Teaching Textbooks. We bought his next year’s books while there.

math booth

I thought an Iron Man mask would help sell comics, but the bearded Iron Man kind of scared away all the kids instead.

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Be sure to check my Twitter feed for that weekend for more of the funny pics like the sleeping man and the sanitary napkins joke.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Tom- A Life Saved, Lives Lost (Book Review)

I first met Goffinet McLaren through a friend and fellow author. I was intrigued by her efforts to promote environmental responsibility through the story of a seagull named Sullie. Her book Sullie Saves the Seas tells the story of humans trashing the beach from the bird’s point-of-view. You can find my review of it HERE. When I met with McLaren so that she could tell me about her book, I was intrigued by another story she told me in conversation. It was a true story about her father in World War II.

When World War II stories are told, they often focus on certain areas of the world where the big stuff happened, like Normandy, London, and Iwo Jima. And yet so much happened in other parts of the world. Those stories are often told, but they don’t get as much attention. McLaren’s story is one that deserves more attention.

TOM is the story of Royal Air Force Sergeant Tom Hutton’s successful evasion after bailing out of his Lancaster bomber over Belgium in 1943.

Here’s the book description from Amazon…

In the middle of the night you bail out of your stricken plane over Nazi occupied Europe during WWII. You don`t know if you`ve landed in Germany, or somewhere else. A local farmer comes along. He doesn’t know if you are a Nazi, posing as an Allied airman; You don`t know if he is a member of the Resistance who might help you. Later, hiding in a Resistor`s safe-house, imagine your fear at the sound of Nazi jackboots marching outside the home. And feel the Resistor`s fear for himself and his family that the dreaded black car will pull up to the front door and the Gestapo will step out to search for evaders. How can you and your Resistor guide pretend to be unconcerned in a railway carriage as the silver-suited SS officers move along the aisle, checking traveler IDs, while you know that your papers are fake! These were some of RAF Flight Sergeant Tom Hutton`s experiences, now told by his daughter Goffinet. Parts of Tom`s story are tragic, such as the hail of bullets that cut down one of the most famous agents in Britain`s SOE, an agent who had helped her father escape just weeks before. Parts of the story are even amusing, like the Resistor guide who dressed in a flamboyant outfit to attract the Germans` attention to himself, rather than to the two Allied evaders who were following in his wake. And almost seventy years later, Goffinet learns the full story of The Village Priest who was instrumental in her father`s escape, and why she is reminded of this priest every day of her life.

It’s a great read. Not only does McLaren tell the story of her father, but the book begins with a short history of the war in Europe, which really sets up the background before Sgt. Hutton receives special order for his ill-fated RAF Bomber Command mission. One of my favorite parts about this story is that it focuses on lesser known parts of the World War II narrative. We learn so often about American pilots and bomber crews, but not so much about those from the RAF. In this story, we also hear of the exploits of the Resistance in Belgium.

Although Sgt. Hutton’s story was certainly repeated many times over the years, McLaren lived it as much as she could before she wrote it. This book includes additional research into the details, including photographs of the places mentioned and names and accounts of people relatively unknown before. She also includes maps and drawings as the events unfolded. The author actually went back to Belgium in 1955 as a wee girl with her father to meet Resistance fighters who assisted him. Then she and her husband returned in 2009 to complete more research for this book. It’s amazing to read the last section in which she talks about her research and additional meetings with people who helped her father and seeing the places where he was hidden from the Nazis.

This is an absolutely amazing book. I’m a huge reader of military books, and I would place this one in my required list of books regarding World War II in Europe. It’s not a dry historical tome, but the retelling of events that took place with the life and vigor they deserve. Unlike most historical books, this one also delves into the aftershocks some fifty years or more later as we see a daughter still searching for more clues to her father’s amazing story of escape and evasion from the  Nazis.

If you live anywhere near Myrtle Beach SC, I would urge you to contact McLaren and buy her book. Get it autographed. Offer to take her and her wonderful husband out to lunch so you can hear the story firsthand. If not, the book is also available on Amazon HERE.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

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If Your Life Sucks, Please Change It or Crawl in a Hole

Recently, I sat down for dinner with a couple of people talking about work, family, and life in general. It started out like most conversations, but quickly went sour. One of the guests, we’ll call her Medusa,  just could not stop talking about work and how much it sucked, and I mean that it really sucked. Everything about it was wrong.

The customers were stupid and ignorant.

The bureaucracy in charge was inept.

The coworkers were idiots.

The pay wasn’t enough.

The other dinner guest kept trying to bring up other subjects or at least talk about things other than the work-slavery combine. But every time something came up, Medusa somehow managed to bring it back to the work problem. Then guest #2 realized the subject was set in stone (see, Medusa!) and tried to talk about other things Medusa could do for work that would make use of her education and experience. Medusa wasn’t having that. There were a million reasons it wouldn’t work.

It got to a point where I wanted to just scream, “Enough! Just quit your job or at least quit sharing your misery with us.” This wasn’t a guest that I could do that to for several reasons- out of respect, they wouldn’t listen, sharing the misery was more important than ending it, set in their ways, etc.

So, a quote hit me from Sense and Sensibility…”I could no longer endure such conversation.”

Rather than scream, I did the next best thing. I abandoned guest #2 to Medusa and went to sit at a table with a bunch of pre-teen kids. It was way better. We talked about possibilities. Kids are like that. They still believe anything could happen. You can talk to them about hope, and they’ll make you see it.

The point here is this, don’t sit with adults when you can sit with kids, leave Medusa to play with her stone statues, be more like a kid, and don’t allow people to share their misery unchallenged.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

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