Sunday, August 29, 2010

His Legacy and My Legacy

I just read an article from Chris Brogan about his Legacy, and the Legacy of those who he has talked to. You can read the article HERE.

It got me to thinking.... What do I want my legacy to be? I spent four years in the Navy, so I hope a small part of that is about when our ship won a soccer tournament and I was the coach. Maybe about the deployments I did in 2001 and 2003. Maybe about being a Veteran and getting involved with Veterans and helping out where I can.

Or maybe it would be about being raised in the church and volunteering my time when I was in my teens to the community. Maybe as an adult working for a Non Profit Organization for the Mentally Ill and being an advocate for my clients.

But it really got me to thinking about my family. It got me to thinking about being raised by a single mom. I spent summers with my dad but for the most part, my mom played the role of "Fadre" (Father and Madre). It got me thinking about how growing up has impacted the man I am today and what I value.

Growing up, I was really active in soccer and baseball. My dad made a few of my little league games, but never made it to one of my soccer games. His reason: He didn't like soccer. yeah, ouch. He made it to my jr. high school graduation but not my high school graduation. I was happy my mom and family were there, but I cried when I realized he wasn't there.

I had to learn how to shave on my own, I learned about girls from playboy cuz my poor mom didn't know how to talk to me about the birds & the bees. Basically, I had to fumble my way around most things boys should have their dads teach them. I don't resent my dad for not being there for one reason.... It taught me that when I had kids, I wouldn't make the same mistakes he made.

This is the Legacy I want to have: I want to be known as the dad who is at every practice for whatever sport they are playing in. I want to be the dad who is at every event my child wishes me to be at. I want to be the dad who cries when my son goes off to his first day of school when I drop him off and choke back tears until he is out of the car and then I can go home and wail that my baby boy is growing up. I want to be the dad who is there. The one who is there the day he goes off to college or the military or whatever endeavor he chooses. I want to be the dad who gets to share a beer with his son when he turns 21 and also the one who wakes him up the next morning when he realizes that drinking isn't all its cracked up to be.

Additionally, I want to be known by my son as half of the team of Team Mom & Dad. I want my son to look at me and say "That is the husband I will be when I am older". I want my son to see how I care about others and give of myself to help people and the community we live in. I want my son to know what being a Chivalrous Man is all about. I want my son to see me open doors for my wife, my elders, and generally for any stranger out there. I want him to see me pull a chair out for my wife, see me do dishes, see me be fully involved in our house, and know that teamwork is what makes a house, family, and marriage flourish.

The most important Legacy I want is that I was a Loving Dad, Husband, and Man.

What do you want your legacy to be?

Thanks to Chris Brogan for the inspiration!

Friday, August 27, 2010

How important are good teachers?

Here in California, the debate has been raging on and on about education. I am seeing great teachers losing the love of teaching. It is such a shame because I was VERY fortunate to have teachers that cared. In elementary school, in Jr. High, and High school. Some teachers knew when I needed a swift kick to the ass, while others knew that I just needed to be reminded of the potential I had.

I was lucky enough to find some of these teachers on Facebook. Some I haven't found, but they need to be mentioned too.

My Spanish Teachers probably had one of the largest impacts on me because they truly loved what they were teaching, and it showed.

My first spanish teacher Senorita Amy was the one who first showed me how awesome language and culture were. She knew when I needed help, and when I needed to fumble my way around and learn on my own.

My second and third year of Spanish, I had Senora Netterville and Senor Hassay. They shared the class and it was awesome going from fundamentals to culture and meshing the two together. While Mr. Hassay always made fun of me and called me "Joto De" instead of "Jota De" (first means Gay D, second means JD.) I would always call him Senor Gris (Mr. Gray cuz he had gray hair.) I still learned a lot in both of those classes and again, when I needed to be reminded of my potential, they made sure I was aware of what I was able to do. I really cannot thank these three teachers enough for how much they taught me. Every job I have been hired for was thanks to my ability to speak Spanish and English.

Mr. Bauer was our Economics teacher. Yes, this subject alone could but even the most hyperactive child to sleep... in seconds. However, Mr. Bauer had a great approach. include anecdotal parts in with mundane content, and you have a shot of getting the message across. Except, Mr. Bauer took it one step further. Each week before a test, our class would receive a letter from his Aunt Gussie from Tuscaloosa, and would talk about the content from the previous week. It made us laugh, but it helped us learn. But the one part that stood out to me the most was when it came time to take our Senior Portraits. I had a dilemma... I had no neckties to my name. Didn't know how to tie one to save my life, and I was about to be the one guy who didn't have a tie for his picture. In comes Mr Bauer with his collection of Ties for any of the guys to use if we didn't have one. He found one that matched my shirt, and saved the day. I am still grateful for the kindness he showed to everyone.

These are just a few of the Teachers who made a difference to me, and I hope that any student is lucky enough to have teachers like these. I am planning on sharing some other great teachers along the way. If you have an educator who you would like to say thanks to, please feel free to comment!