Fear seeks safety. Love seeks Truth. Please read and enjoy. Productive, truthful feedback welcome.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Accidental Student

You don’t have to be a teacher to be a teacher. Not a Yogi Berra quote, but it could have been.  While practicing the teacher’s 3 Rs of summer—recoup, recharge, and reflect—I’ve found myself in the third R sooner than expected.  This summer I am engaged in 3 recoup and recharge activities. I have re-taken-up fly fishing and golf, and I have discovered yoga. What I didn’t anticipate is these activities would force me to reflect on teaching from the student’s viewpoint. In my last blog it was from an observer’s standpoint. Now, I’ve unwittingly become a student. And you know what? Students have a tough job. Teachers can make that job easier . . . or not. Right now, I am benefiting from a great lesson in teaching from the folks at Moksha Yoga in Minneapolis. As I am trying postures no overweight (slightly), out of shape (moderately), adult (questionably), body (reportedly) has any business attempting this crew of instructors has been consistent in their approach.
·        They know the desired outcome. They call it full expression.
·        They recognize where each student is in her own abilities or practice.
·        They next determine what incremental steps and modifications will move each student along in his practice to full expression.
·        Finally, they patiently, yet persistently, set the bar just a bit higher, all the while allowing each of us to improve at our own pace. And they do it all with humility and loving kindness.

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You don't have to be a teacher to be a teacher. And you don't have to be a student to be a student. For each one of us, maybe we can recall an old “teacher” to thank.  For me, I have found new ones to emulate.

Friday, July 1, 2011

"You can see a lot just by observing.” (Yogi Berra)

Yogi Berra had some great quotes. Among them . . .

“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

“We made too many wrong mistakes.”

“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

And “You can see a lot just by observing” which applies to today’s thought.

Have you ever gone to a recital of any type: piano, dance, ice skating? As a teacher I get invited to many such outside of school activities. And besides enjoying the extra-curricular abilities of my students, I can see a lot just by observing. These recitals differ from track meets, football or softball games, and other team sporting events. With team sports you see a current (hopefully refined) product, but none of the practice. With recitals, you also see the current product, but you see it in its various stages. 

Recitals parade out their performers, usually by age, which typically translates directly into ability. As an observer you can see the stages of learning unfold in front of you with each successive age group. The younger kids can’t quite dance, spin, pirouette, or play as well as the older ones. But nobody seems to mind. At a recent dance recital the 3 and 4 year olds were a riot. Five of the six were similar enough to each other in their moves that the intended dance was clear. However, little number six was beautifully performing quite possibly the only number she had learned, and one that did not remotely resemble the others’ movements on the floor. A collective smile spread across the audience in appreciation of her blissful unawareness to the other five and her dedication to her routine.

This disparity in readiness played out to lesser and lesser degrees as the ages --and the practice-- of the dancers increased, resulting in more coordination of effort. This all culminated in a wonderfully choreographed and exceptionally performed piece by the highest level of dancers. Everybody – teachers, parents, other performers, and audience members alike – enjoyed the students and their abilities wherever those might have been that night.

As an observer that night who also teaches in the classroom, this recital reminded me that learning must take place on a continuum.  Further, it challenged me to incorporate staged learning into my classroom. I believe a format would be helpful, as well as feedback from those who have used this type of learning in your own classrooms.  I have been playing around with a 6 step learning sequence I picked up from Dr. Paul McKenna, and I share those steps ostensibly through the eyes of a dance instructor (in italics and parenthesis).

1.     a pre-test, (Where are they when they show up at my door?)
2.     independent learning activities, (Guide them to proper building activities.)
3.     practice activities, (Let’s see what you can do now.)
4.     problem solving activities, (Okay, let’s add something more.)
5.     a post-test, (Dress rehearsal.)
6.     application of the objective to the real world or an integration into other subject areas. (Dance recital.)

What have you used? What has worked? What hasn’t? 

As I move forward I know I will make mistakes, I just hope I don’t make too many wrong ones.

Friday, May 27, 2011


This post is the text of a speech I was asked by vote of the students to give at their Honors Awards Assembly.  The underlined words are those I worked into the speech based on an earlier post of the 100 Word Club.

Congratulations students. It is truly an honor to be up here, to have been chosen by you, the SHARP 8th grade students here at Shakopee Junior High. I am humbled you would invite me to speak.  I just hope I have the aptitude to carry it off with aplomb.

Parents and extended family, thank you for your part in their success.  Strong parental involvement is the number one predictor of student success.

Students, to get here you have demonstrated you can LEARN. In fact, you are here because you are all excellent learners. You have learned how to do any number of sophisticated tasks.  But the ability to learn mainly suggests the ability to follow directions, to memorize things. You have the potential to move on from where you are today. And to do so I believe you must consistently and persistently do the following three things:  Think, Fail, and Love.

·        You must be able to THINK FREELY
·        And you must be willing to FAIL PRODUCTIVELY
·        You must choose to LOVE DEEPLY

Thinking freely does not diminish learning. It enables you to use what you learned to figure things out. TEN years from now there will be jobs that don’t exist today.  We don’t know what they will be, so we cannot teach you today how to do them and you cannot learn how to do them today. But if you are able to think you can figure out what to do when that time comes. If you are able to think you can ask the right questions. You can discover. You can invent. Thinking freely enables you to see a need and take the necessary actions to benefit others.

Thinking freely also means you will FAIL. If you think freely, if you ask questions, if you try to discover, try to invent, you will fail. But FAILING is the only path to success.  If you never try, you will never discover, never invent. You may never ask questions.  This is safe, but boring and an egregious waste of your minds. The trick to failing is to fail productively.

I did not grow up in Minnesota so I did not learn how to ice skate. When I first moved here I decided to give it a try. It was kinda fun, but I didn’t know how to stop or turn. So I either crashed into the wall or I fell. I fell often and I fell hard. So I decided I would not fail at skating anymore.  You know what I did?  I put away the skates. I have not failed since. If I continue with this choice it will be impossible for me to fail, but there is no way I can achieve success either. For me to learn to ice skate I have to learn from my mistakes. I have to be willing to fail productively. So how do we ensure we fail productively?

That’s where LOVING DEEPLY comes in. If we think freely, there is no guarantee we will be doing good things with our thinking. We can be unloving and exercise free thinking.  Hitler comes to mind, so does the scam artist who just stole someone’s identity, or the person who figured out how to open your locker and steal your phone, or even the person who talks behind your back. Each of these examples exercised thinking, but none made a positive difference. None failed productively. That is because none love deeply by their actions. So when we think freely, we MUST love deeply if we are to make a positive difference. 

So I challenge you to make a positive difference. I challenge you to think freely, to fail productively, and to love deeply.

And as successful as you have been, you are in the position to make a positive difference largely because of your parents. They have not been perfect. No one is. But the number one reason you are in this auditorium today is because your parents have thought freely, failed productively and loved you deeply. 

Pass it on.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Like Falling Off of a Bike

Let me ask you something.  When you were a kid, when you learned things; how to ride a bike, tie your shoes, play catch, bail out of a swing, climb a tree,  feed the dog, etc . . .  Did you receive a report card?  A letter grade?

“Sally, you earned a C+ on bike riding today. A bit wobbly, but an enjoyable learner”, mom joylessly intoned. 

Of course you didn’t get a letter grade. Instead, you got scraped knees, loose shoes, fat lips, the willies in your stomach, and too much food on the floor. And you know what else you got?  You got better. You got honest praise. And you got a smile on your face because you did it.  You did it. And it didn’t take a report card for you to know it.  You knew when you didn’t get it and you knew the instant you finally did. Remember that feeling? Remember when you finally rode your bike, or first jumped out of a swing? Of course you do, and I bet you’re smiling on the inside right now, recalling fondly the uneven road to learning something new.

I believe schools today are making the road too smooth. We are a standards based and a grades based nation, and that has caused us to change our emphasis. Student use terms like, “I passed!” or “I got an A!”, when they should really be exclaiming, “I did it!” Can a grade tell you what they learned?  Can it tell you what they can do now that they couldn’t before?  There’s a huge difference between, “I got an A!” and “I did it!” And there’s a different style of teaching that elicits each of these responses. 

One style emphasizes teaching, the other style emphasizes doing. One style tells them what to learn, the other teaches them how. There are successful styles in between, where admittedly I find myself. Each year I venture farther out to the how style, yet still holding on too much to the teaching style. It’s safer to tell them what to learn, but it’s time for me to scrape my knees and spill too much dog food on the floor as I launch out on how to let them figure it out for themselves.

By the way, do you still know how to ride a bike? Nice job, you get to keep your A.

For other of Dave Driver's works see The Bottom Turtle

Monday, May 2, 2011

Polly Want a Cracker

Many years ago my wife and I owned an African Grey parrot. In addition to being thoroughly entertained we became educated. We learned what we said over and over again. We learned what phrases and words we unconsciously repeated and we learned when we were most apt to repeat the. For example, I learned that I always said, “Well, okay . . .” just before I said, “Goodbye”, because the parrot began to beat me to my ‘goodbye’. I also learned that my allergies were annoying to those around me. I sniffed constantly, but only when the parrot sniffed back in my tone did I realize I needed to do something about it. I went to an allergist and he fixed my problem. It was too late to do anything about the poor parrot’s sniffle.

If you had a parrot, what phrases would it pick up? What would you learn about yourself?  Ask your close friends. Ask your family. It might be kind of fun.

I am going to ask my current students. I am going to learn from them what phrases I repeat. I am going to learn which ones are annoying and ineffective. Then I’m going to get those phrases fixed.

For my past students, here’s your chance. You have taught me many things.  I am asking you to let me peer into your world once again.  What phrases did I use? Which ones are keepers?  Which ones should I never do again?  

Well, okay . . . Goodbye. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Death of Schools

With Easter just behind us I have had a time to reflect on a question asked in church on Sunday. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” This was not directly asked of me, but apparently I also had my teacher hat on at the time because I remember smiling—more of a smirk, actually—as I thought, “that is a great question for America’s schools.”

Why do teachers seek the living among the dead? Why do we want better results yet keep our practices largely unchanged? Why do we insist kids use archaic tools such as the triple beam balances and at the same time prohibit the use of their electronic world? Why do we expect them to trust others, when we won’t demonstrate our trust for them; when we script their every thought and move. Why do teachers seek the living among the dead?

Why do school administrations seek the living among the dead? Why do they look ahead to school excellence yet focus their efforts on raising the bottom to the middle? That will make America great at mediocrity, but when is the last time you were excited by a mediocre anything?  Why do administrations seek the living among the dead?

Why do Federal and State education decision makers seek the living among the dead? Why do they demand better performance by kids, only to insist they are measured by standardized tests? Clearly what we need from our kids is innovation, not standard achievement? Synonyms for standard include normal, typical, average, usual, ordinary, and customary. Why do the moneylenders seek the living among the dead?

Why do parents seek the living among the dead? Why do they expect their children to be the future, yet allow them to stay up too late, feed them poorly, ask them to divide time and devotion between split households. Why do parents seek the living among the dead?

Why do students seek the living among the dead? Why do they expect good grades without putting in the work? Why do students seek the living among the dead?

Why do any of us seek the living among the dead for anything?  Why do we expect positive results to come from poor decisions? Why do we expect change to happen when no one changes?

How can we keep our schools from dying? In your circle of influence, what is your living and what is your dead? How can you, how can I, stop seeking the living among the dead?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Students are Like Puppies

Picture a puppy at play. Imagine one running at you only to be distracted by a squirrel, or a robin, or a leaf, or its shadow or tail, or any number of other things that sidetrack puppies from their task at hand. In fact, you can say a puppy’s task at hand is to get sidetracked. That’s when a puppy is truly being a puppy. But that’s not all they do.  They also wake up every morning embracing a brand new day, full of exuberance, inspecting everything, doing random things that make no sense to you, exploring their world, gradually understanding it, wanting to please you, and by their very nature—a wag of their tail and the cock of their head—trusting you to love them.

Now picture an 8th grader at school. Imagine their walking to school or getting off the bus only to be distracted by a squirrel, a robin, or by someone carrying a box of treats, wearing a funny outfit, or any number of other things that sidetrack them from the task at hand. For them, it’s been stipulated that their task at hand is school. And to their credit they wake up every morning embracing their brand new day, full of exuberance, inspecting each new thing, often making choices that make no sense to you, exploring their world, gradually understanding it, wanting to please you, and by their very nature—a smile, a look for acceptance—trusting you to love them.

Nice picture, isn’t it? Makes puppies seem like one of the greatest things on earth.  Makes teaching seem like one of the greatest professions. For it is truly a great feeling to be greeted each day, be it a bright smile or a wag of the tail, telling you how happy they are to see you, how happy they are to be there. And there are few things quite as rewarding as seeing a student’s eyes literally LIGHT up when they finally get it, or a puppy’s unbridled delight when they have mastered a trick. These responses come easily, when the stories are good.

But what about the ones from the puppy mill, or those that have been mistreated at home? They want to understand their world, too. They want to please you, to trust you to love them. But they can’t, not easily, anyway. Sometimes their story doesn’t permit it. Sometimes our responses don’t invite it.

Students are like puppies, some are easier to love than others. Some have better stories than others. Some stories are unthinkable.  All of them want to trust us. Can they? All of them want our love. Can we?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

10 Tips to Poor Teaching

1. Ignore your students when they come into class.
2. Don't bother learning their names. That way you won't have to risk getting one wrong.
3. Keep them in their seats. They should 'just be able' to sit quietly all hour.
4. Don't treat them with respect. After all, they are just kids.
5. Treat boys and girls the same.
6. Or better yet, be condescending to the girls' drama and put down boys when they act up.
7. Make the whole class stay after for the infractions of one student.
8. Mistake their youthful exuberance for willful disobedience. Punish them accordingly.
9. Be suspicious of their motives. If you expect them to ruin your day, they will.
10. Tell your colleagues how bad your kids are. It will make you feel better about following the other 9 tips.

Feel free to add your tips. We've all had teachers we can draw from.

Check out http://ajleon.me/12-tips-to-ensure-you-never-ever-get-anything-done. This is where I got the idea for this post.

Monday, April 4, 2011


The one constant in your life. It makes that promise to you, one tick at a time. Tick after tick after ceaseless tick. At least that is what It would have you believe. But Time lies. It is not constant. It stands still. It marches. It flies. It gets crunched, warped, lost, found, borrowed, kept, and made. We slice it and splice it. We kill it. We save it. It’s eternal. It’s fleeting. We ask others to give it to us. We even take our own. Sometimes you don’t have any of it.  Occasionally, you have all the time in the world. 

Time may be your ally but the clock is not your friend. Have you ever watched one? Have you ever watched an eighth grader watch one? My favorite days are when the bell rings and it catches us all off guard. On the other hand I hate wrapping it up only to find we have 7 minutes left. Either way the clock is deceitful; in one case it hides, letting time slip away, the other it mocks, smugly peering over its hands, which have all but stopped.

Why so fickle? One word. Engagement. If you are immersed in your undertaking, if your students are engaged, time disappears, learning emerges, understanding abounds. It’s the one constant in your life, it makes that promise to you, one enterprise at a time. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Like Game

This blog is, like, about kids, ya’ know, who, like, punctuate their stories with hesitators, like like, um, and ya’ know, ya’ know. Though they are easier to listen to than they are to read, they drive me nuts either way. I discovered this pet peeve while driving my daughter and her friends around during their middle school years. It seemed they could only communicate if “like” was laced throughout their narrative so I decided to play with their minds a bit and made up The Like Game. They were allowed to tell their stories, but had to stop immediately when they said their first “like”. The story then passed to the next girl. They loved the challenge, the competition, and the camaraderie. It also significantly diminished their reliance on hesitators.
In class we will periodically do this with the um word. When students begin their narrative, whatever it may be, they must start over if they begin with or use the word “um”. This serves several purposes: students are encouraged to formulate a concise answer; students become aware of hesitator words; other students are engaged in listening to their peers, ostensibly for the “um’s” and ideally for the content.  They love the challenge, the competition, and the camaraderie.
I am careful to do this only when we are discussing previous or known topics. I do not further clutter their thinking with this game when they are acquiring new information, as I believe, um, it is, like, very important they are free to think, ya’ know.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We Didn't Get To Do That Last Year

I try different things every year. Some work, some don’t. Some I keep and improve. Some I dump. Some I simply forget about and end up replacing with something that is relevant to the time, topic, and kids. One comment I often get from previous students is, “We didn’t get to do that last year.” I smile, agree, and then tell them, “No, you didn’t. But you got to do some things kids before you didn’t get to.” Then I give them a jolly rancher and all is right with their world.

This year I embarked on my 100 Words Project. It’s not actually called “100 Words Project” but I think that sounds more austere in a blog than simply, ‘this year I have a word of the day.” So, this year I have a word of the day. We call it WOD for short. Not austere, but effective. Its beginnings were just as humble. One afternoon when shadowing my wife in a Bibelot store, I saw the book, 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know. I immediately decided I needed to buy it for my science students. It would be one more tool in their tool belt. The fact that it was unconventional and might create a new conversation with my peers only made it more valuable.

So for the benefit of the students and some inquisitive peers, each day I put a new word and definition on the board and have the students write a sentence or two using that day’s word, the word from the day before, and a third word chosen from any previous vocabulary word.  They are challenged to relate it to the subject matter. Some do, many don’t. Some use all three words, many use only two, and a few manage just the new one. All participate. This activity takes about 5 minutes each day and it has proven to be a valuable part of the class. Kids look forward to it so much that I have to limit the number of volunteers who want to read their sentence. Additionally, I hear them use these words in their classroom discussions and have had several bring me their other books to show me vocab words they have come across. Most recently, I have instituted a 20 Word of the Day Club on my school web site to accommodate the students who have accurately, and of their own initiative, included 20 words in a short story.

Of all the ideas I’ve tried over the years, this one ranks right up there, and it’s not directly related to the subject matter. This is an idea I will repeat. I don’t know what they’ll say about it next year, but it won’t be, “we didn’t get to do that last year”.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Learning Fearlessly in 50 Words

A new idea. Not theirs . . . Yet.
We can’t!
You can. Figure it out.
Can we shake it?
Get it wet?
Go outside?
Can we try this?
We can?
We can!!
Let’s do it.
Let’s try this.
We get it!
Not new anymore.
And now . . . it’s theirs.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Learning by Playing Games

According to Albert Einstein, “Games are the most elevated form of investigation”.

Anecdotally, this seems to be true. Have you ever watched children play? They can play for hours on end. They are content, self-motivated, and if that play involves others, extremely cooperative. But ask them to do something and their interest and energy suddenly drops. For example, have you ever seen your 16 year old shovel the entire driveway? The only time I have is when I made a game of it. And consider your own experience? Has there been a time when you were so immersed in what you were doing you lost track of time? Doing what we want is entirely different from doing what we are told.

Admittedly, these are examples of how games elevate engagement, but can investigation be far behind? Games, even cooperative games, tend to bring out our competitive nature, or at least our desire to create something better; a better sandcastle, a better strategy, a better outcome. To do that requires investigation of what we are doing and what we want accomplished. The outcome may be uncertain, but we have investment, we have autonomy, we have a hand in achieving it. We have doing what we want. Absent of games, we have chores, duties, a check list not of our own making. We have doing what we’re told.

Does this apply to the classroom? Must we tell them what to do or can we trust them to investigate by incorporating games into learning? Which is of greater benefit to them, doing what they are told based on strict expectations or doing what they want within a defined structure of games?  After watching two thought provoking TED Conference presentations, one by Ali Carr-Chellman and one by Jane McGonigal, I am convinced the latter is true in both questions. What I don’t know is how to go about it.

How have you used games to elevate investigation in your classroom or in your workplace? What has worked? What hasn’t?

Thank you for reading and commenting.
 Fear seeks safety, Love seeks Truth*.  Love fearlessly. Teach Fearlessly.

*Wm. Sloane Coffin

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Favorite Teachers

I learned throughout my life there is more than one way to skin a cat, and the other way is usually more fun. This was borne out for me in a variety of places; home, friends' houses, sports, and school.  Mostly in school since I was subject to over 40 teachers K-12. Of these 40 I had more teachers than I can remember whom I can't remember. I am convinced this is because they skinned the cat traditionally. I came, I listened, I repeated, I passed. However, the classes I do remember all had one thing in common: I was wrong a whole lot more often than I was right. I came, I puzzled, I guessed, I puzzled some more and eventually I got it, and I passed.  Same cat, same result, different way. These were my favorite classes. These were my favorite teachers.

Who was your favorite and why?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Opposite of Love

The name of this blog site is “Teach Fearlessly”.  What does that mean? By the word “teach” I simply mean to create an environment of opportunities to foster a change in knowledge or behavior based on some predetermined (or not) content. The word ‘fearlessly’, however, deserves and requires a more thorough discussion.

In The Heart is a Little to the Left, Wm. Sloane Coffin writes, “The opposite of love is not hate. It is fear. Love seeks truth, fear seeks safety.” Love also seeks the best interest of others. Fear, at best, seeks only to preserve the status quo. In its worst form it seeks the destruction of others. It never seeks to create, only to protect.

So what do fear and love have to do with teaching? Let me ask another question: Is teaching more about creating or more about protecting, more about possibilities or more about problems? Teaching is really about both. It shouldn’t be. We have all shared the joy when a student gets it, when their eyes light up with understanding and their face beams with an uncontrolled smile, when we revel in that moment when we have truly created something new in that student’s life. We have likewise each known those times when we have chosen a safe route to guard against our potential embarrassment, when we have exchanged their chance at joy for a little piece of our safety. Perhaps it was in a meeting when we didn’t speak up against a bad idea. Or perhaps, we stuck with an established curriculum so we could get along with other teachers, even though in our heart and mind we knew there had to be a better way. Perhaps . . . fill in your own story here. . .  But know for every ‘perhaps’ we step behind, for every piece of safety we acquire, the student loses a piece of love, a genuine chance at truth.

Picture yourself in the state of fear. Your heartbeat quickens, your senses are heightened, you are reacting to a threat and your posture and energy reflect that. Your self-interest is the most important priority. You are in protect mode. Now picture yourself the state of love. Your heartbeat quickens, your senses are heightened, you are responding to opportunity and your posture and energy reflect that. The wellbeing of another is your most important priority.

Which state would you rather base your life upon? Which state would you rather create for your students?

Thank you for reading. Keep teaching fearlessly.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Have you ever had a wedgie?

This week's topic is Teacher Application Letters. You can go on-line and find any number of generic templates that, oddly enough, claim to have the application to make you STAND OUT. Well, if thousands of people are using the same out-standing templates, how likely is it they will stand out at all? I am asking for your unique letters of application, letters that you believe truly set you apart from the other applicants, your competitors, if you will. These letters may not have gotten you the job, but you were proud of them.  They presented and represented what YOU stood for, not what THEY wanted.
Here's my application letter ushering me into teaching:

  Ever had a wedgie?  Most everyone has.  You can live with it but you’d rather not.  To correct it in public risks embarrassment.  To let it ride means continued discomfort.  No one knows for sure you have one, but they may suspect.  Perhaps your gait is somehow different, or you fidget, or your focus is a bit off.  But you know.  While you can usually still function quite well, all is not right with  the world . . . until it is fixed.

 Business is my wedgie.  Teaching is the fix.  I consistently performed well—even frequently quite well—but for years I knew all was not right with my world.  My soul, my inner being—call it what you like—was in disharmony with my vocation.  It was drawing me to teaching.  I was chasing the money.  For years, I found myself incorporating teaching into my profession; as a programmer I tutored others in programming; when in PC support I conducted one-on-one and group computer learning sessions; as an independent consultant I presented information to sales groups of up to 150 people.  These were times I felt completely in sync with my gift.  I was providing something of value, something that benefited another in a meaningful way.  However, a much different feeling persistently dogged me when I was working to sell another bottle of pop to an obese society, or convince the consumer that a new brand of biscuit was better than their old.  I don’t intend to minimize business’ important role in our society.  In fact, I merely better understand my role in business.  I am an educator.

 For years I had ignored the obvious.  I was a little afraid to correct the problem in public.  Afraid of what people might think.  Afraid of what it might say.  All of that is irrelevant now.  I now know that for me teaching is what is right with the world.  Teaching uses my gift.  Teaching is my gift.  I ask you for the opportunity to nurture and use it professionally.

Please send your unique application in. Or as another option, please send in your own wedgie story.  Thank you and keep teaching fearlessly.