Stop looking for the “Quick-Fix”

So, today I pulled out my soapbox because I’m pissed off.  The original intent of this post was to just show you that schools and teachers think about this day in and day out, and it’s about time the rest of the country did as well, so we can all do what needs to be done to stop this mass shooting epidemic that is killing Americans every day.  But, as I started writing, I started feeling everything that bothers me about this mass shooting cycle we seem to have found ourselves in.


I’m part of a few online professional communities for educators, and since the events in Florida, there’s only one thing the teachers are talking about- how to keep your children safe.  So, I’d like to now include snippets of that conversation, so maybe you can see that teachers across the country are trying to save your kids and will GLADLY die and leave their families behind in order to make sure you get to keep your child.  That’s the most magical thing about teachers; they will lose their lives for kids they only get for a limited period of time.  If only the rest of society was as dedicated to their well-being and success as teachers, maybe we wouldn’t be here.

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I tried to keep them in order, but with soo many, I know I probably mixed them up.

Either way, the message is still the same- your child’s teachers are prepared to defend them and lose their lives in the process.  Your child’s teachers have prepared them how to handle this situation as best as possible.  Your child’s teachers will not run and duck for cover leaving your children at risk; they will hide them all and pretend the classroom is empty, so they are the only victim.  They will push them into classrooms and lock the doors, so the gunman is satisfied with just killing the teacher and moves on leaving your baby unscathed.  And, after every shooting, we teachers get back online to our communities and begin to have conversations again like the one above.  We study aspects of the previous school shooting to create new plans to deal with new unforeseen possibilities.  Day in and day out we are plagued with this possible situation, combing through every last thing that could go wrong.  We say our prayers and silently thank our loved ones for our time together because we never know if the day will come that it will be our school and our kids, and it doesn’t matter if it is because we’ve already decided that a gunman will kill our (your) kids over our dead bodies.


But, after every school shooting, we follow the same “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle


And it’s starting to get tiresome.


First, we are shocked and surprised (I literally don’t know why you are shocked or surprised- for me, this is normal American behavior, and that’s a problem).  Then, we are quick to find a reason behind it all (because people need a reason)- ‘oh he was severely mentally disturbed’; ‘he must have snapped because of ‘x-y-z reason”.

Then, everyone has a solution!

More guns.  Fewer guns.  Arm the teachers.  Employ veterans to carry arms on campus and defend students.  Do something about mental health.  Get rid of violent video games and movies.

Everyone always seems to find their voice after any mass shooting, but as quickly as it comes, it disappears just as fast.

This is because we only get ‘sort of’ angry at lawmakers for doing nothing to pass laws to protect Americans since the last massacre.  And it’s only ‘sort of’ mad because we wave our signs and talk to reporters about how angry we are, but then no one marches on Washington making demands for anything, and we all go back to our own lives and await the next time and location that we get to do this little dance again.  And we will do it again… that is an American guarantee.

And through all of it, people are quick to make suggestions like the ones above (among many others), and they always act like their suggestion is the one true answer that will save us all.

It’s not.

There is not 1 answer to save us all, and frankly, with the direction this country is headed, it’s going to take a complete overhaul of our thinking and beliefs before we ever find an answer that will minimize the number of deaths we have because of mass shootings.  We cannot eliminate mass shootings- we’re too far gone for that- but, we can start working on something now to hopefully lessen the number of incidences and casualties in the future.  Maybe by being fully committed and proactive, we could eliminate them, but I’m not entirely hopeful on that.

Anyways, the reason your little solutions don’t work is that they’re targeted at one reason or flaw or situation that caused the mass shooting in the first place.  For example, someone with a mental illness bought a gun and committed a massacre at whereever- now they can’t buy guns (well, I guess not anymore… sigh…).  Either way, that’s great and all, but that is one group of individuals, what about everyone else with undiagnosed mental illness?  What about those that wish to harm churchgoers simply because of the color of their skin?  What about angry employees who are borderline unstable and at any moment could snap?

What checks do you have for those people?


It’s not a gun problem.

It’s not a mental health problem.

It’s not a video game problem.

It’s an American social problem.


Until we decide to set aside all loyalties and have an honest to God conversation with one another about how to fix it, it will continue to happen… over and over again…


More or less guns are not going to solve the problem that people today have no compassion for others or human life, and it will not solve the problem that we do not have adequate services and specialists for troubled people or those with mental health issues.  Having more people with guns on a campus does not stop people from coming to a school and killing them anyways.  Arming more citizens does not stop them from holding and acting on racist beliefs.  More police officers do not equal schools having adequate resources to deal with troubled youth.

And, this will continue to happen until we, as a society, change how we raise and the services we provide our youth… because from what I see of America’s youth today, the mass shooting epidemic is only going to get worse if we don’t do something to stop it.

All kids demand instant gratification, and when they don’t get it, they get mad.  Now, it all comes down to what they do with that anger that is different because they were all raised different- my parents taught me how to cope with my anger and how to treat others with respect and humanity which is how I’m raising my own child.  I learned how to fail and what the consequences were when I did.

Other parents, however, stand behind their children when they act wretched and claim that it had to be someone else because there is NO WAY their precious snowflake could ever do anything wrong.  “You must be lying that he/she acted that way because my baby would NEVER do that.”  “You’re certainly out to get him/her because you don’t like him/her.”



If your child throws a fit to get something, and you cave and give it to him, guess what we teachers see at school- THE. SAME. BEHAVIOR.  If your child feels entitled to things at home, they feel entitled to them everywhere, and when they don’t get it, they lash out, and you come to their defense thus exacerbating the problem.  And, the teacher knows who these parents are within 2 weeks of school.  We know because your kid acts a certain way, and it’s not good.  You and your kid are the ones we warn the teachers about for next year.

We see your kid who constantly disrupts class because “this is boring”, and we see him/her when they cuss us out.   We see them when they demand you take work weeks after it is due because ‘they can’t fail’ because they’re on the football team, and when we say no, here you come emailing and calling wondering why we won’t accept the work.  We do see you, parents, when you call and email, and we see you when despite repeatedly telling you that the work is over 2 weeks late, you gave their child 2 days in class to do it, and they played on their phone the whole time despite being told to put it away, you still can’t seem to understand why we’re ‘being so unfair’.  And we see you when you go to the administrators who understand that we followed policy, but also are trying to keep you happy (because we don’t want you going to the Superintendent at all).  So, they compromise that an alternative assignment will be given, and we, the teachers who were trying to teach your child about responsibility and consequences all along, stare at everyone in disbelief that we are saddled with extra work, all because your kid couldn’t be bothered to do the original assignment in the first place and you, the parent, couldn’t be bothered to help teach him/her a valuable lesson.




I constantly stare in disbelief as I listen to parents claim their child never did this or said that.

If your baby is a star athlete or your a well-connected member of the community, you can best believe that kid will walk through school untouchable to discipline.  Look, if you’re one of those parents who entitles their children, I’ve just given you the keys to success in American public schools.

I have seen so many things that I often wonder if I am in The Twilight Zone.

And it won’t change until society changes.  Until we deem human life more important than money received, connections, or sports, and until we as parents and educators step up and teach our children the true meaning of respect, responsibility, and hard work, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

Children need to fail, and we need to let them.

Failure is the best teacher, and we are robbing children of that opportunity.

Children need to be taught the value of human life, decency, respect, and responsibility.



It sucks to say, but I know we’ll have another mass shooting in less than a month (if that- probably 2ish weeks) because no one wants to do anything about it except blame everything but themselves.

Blame the guns.  Blame the mental health.  Blame the parents.

Blame whoever and whatever you want.

But, whatever you do don’t blame yourself!



This is an American problem, and we are all Americans.

It is our job to fix it. Together.


So, while I know I don’t have all the answers, I do know there is one OVERWHELMING PROBLEM with America’s youth today that we can start to do something proactive about.

We, as adults charged with making sure we have future FUTURE generations, need to:

Have conversations with our kids about what it means to value human life- let them know that real-life is not Call of Duty, and if you pull that trigger the consequences are permanent.  Teach them to understand that you CANNOT have everything you want in life and how to COPE with that.

Be proactive about it.

Prepare your children to be functioning, successful, accepting members of society.  Prepare them to cope when life doesn’t go their way or they fail.  Prepare them for how to deal with the unexpected, so that when it happens they don’t go off the deep end (teach them a contingency plan and for Christ’s sake have one! especially if your child has a mental illness).

Teach them that taking human life is not the answer.  Teach them to be responsible, independently-functioning members of society.  Teach them that just because someone is from a different country or culture than you, does not make it wrong.  Teach them the meaning of coexisting with other humans and being respectful that views and beliefs are different, and THAT’S OKAY.  Teach them that if they forget their lunch or their homework, then they need to learn how to make that work, and DO NOT BRING IT TO THEM (the cafeteria will give your child food- make them buy their lunch and then pay you back for it).  Make them get a job and pay for things themselves.  Teach them that guns are not toys and taking it to school to show your friends is a BIG NO.

This is your duty as a parent, friend, educator, administrator, citizen, American.

It is not your job to be their friend or cater to their every need.  It is your job to make sure they understand that the rules apply to them.  It is your job to help them understand what it means to get consequences and fail and how to come back from that.  It is your job to make sure as absolute best you can that your sweet innocent babe does not grow up and decide to execute people.  It is your job to give them the tools necessary for them to understand NOT TO KILL PEOPLE WHEN THINGS AREN’T GOING YOUR WAY.  It is your job to provide them a safe and loving environment, so they don’t have the urge to lash out and destroy lives.

It. Is. Our. Job.

And, if your not up to that job; then sorry, but I think you should enlist someone else to do it for you.  Someone who is willing to put every last bit of energy into raising a human being that is not going to cause another statistic.  If you are not willing to have the tough conversations with your kids and raise them to understand that things in life aren’t just given to you, then you probably shouldn’t be having any.  Being a parent is not supposed to be easy; the kids are not the ones who are supposed to be in charge- you are, so act like it.

And, this isn’t the complete whole answer because there are people out there who are sociopaths and enable their children to do awful things, but this is a step in the right direction.  Instead of constantly trying to find ways to blame objects and brain functions, why not provide schools and parents with more resources and funding to deal with troubled youth and people with mental illness.  Why not shell out the extra dollars to create programs for these kids to find focus and drive in a positive way?  It seems like we’re willing to spend money on a lot of things, but not our kids and they’re who we’re leaving this world to.


My heart goes out to all those in Florida.

What happened in Parkland should have never happened.

My heart breaks for everyone involved.


And then my heart gets pissed off.

Pissed off at the senseless loss of innocent life.  Pissed off that children who had so much to live for and accomplish will never get to see their dreams fulfilled.  Pissed off that teachers who sacrificed their lives, so that a child wouldn’t have to die, had to do it in the first place.  Pissed off that we’ll hear about this for about a week, and then the people of  Parkland will be forgotten until another comparable school shooting occurs.

And you should be pissed off too.

Get mad.

Because then you might be finally willing to fight for something to change.

March on Washington.

Let those who make laws understand that they cannot continue to think with their pocketbooks if they want to continue to represent the American people.

Let them know that we need support in arming America’s youth with the tools needed to cope and manage in life rather than arming or disarming more Americans with weapons.


What happened there was yet another terrible tragedy, like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and everywhere else (here’s a list), and it will continue to happen until we, as a society, make the decision to change, and have honest and open conversations about this epidemic.

We need people to stop suggesting ‘quick fixes’ to this (reactionary laws, misrepresentations of mental illness, banning violent media).

There is no quick-fix, and there won’t be, so stop looking for it.

The problem won’t be fixed overnight but over time.

It took us many years to create it, and it will take many more to fix it.

So I think it’s about time we get started.


Loose Lips Sink Ships

It’s important to note that I didn’t really edit this… I just kind of went with it.

Living in a small town can teach you so many things about life and human nature; if you ever get the opportunity, you should try out that rural small-town living.  It really is magical to just sit back and take in all the peace and quiet a small town has to offer.  I would definitely live in a small town again especially now that I am much wiser…

When I was in college, and for a short time after, I lived (and I mean LIVED- coexisted with the locals and everything…) in the ‘oldest town in Texas’, good ole’ Nacogdoches.  Weird name, indeed, but a place that will always be special to me.  I learned many things growing into adulthood in Nacogdoches, but, and almost most importantly, I learned something that I have taken with me long after I left my beautiful 2nd home.  That is, as the title tells you, that loose lips do, in fact, sink ships, and they do it exponentially faster in small towns like Nacogdoches.

You see, when you’re a local, or immersed with the locals, in a small town, everyone knows everything about everyone’s business even if they don’t know them.  The shows are not exaggerating this fact- this is 100% legit and something I never really experienced growing up.  I lived IN Dallas (yes, actual Dallas- Plano, Garland, Frisco, etc… are NOT Dallas), and while sometimes things got out, the chances of you going to Kroger and someone looking at you because they know your secrets are incredibly slim, like almost impossible.  When you live in a big city, running into someone who knows all your business, and may or may not have beef with you and that business, is a true surprise because you honestly didn’t expect to see them there because the city is just so dang big.  But, in a small town, oh you better believe you won’t just see one person who knows everything about all of your comings and goings, you will see every. last. one of them.  They literally appear out of nowhere as if a homing beacon was sent out the moment you left the house.  And this was something I was ignorant to until my comings and goings soon became topic among the locals as well (it’s what happens when you have a volatile relationship with one of them).  Everywhere I went, there was someone who knew something, and they just glared or sneered or whatever it was that made them feel good, and it started to make me uncomfortable because it was unfamiliar.  Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am used to getting dirty looks- I have a nasty of habit of ruffling feathers- but, in a city of over a million, you at least get a reprieve.  There is no reprieve in a small town.  You are at the mercy of town gossip; it spreads like wildfire, and once it has started, you best believe you won’t be looked at the same again which it sucks.


So, what brought all this up…  I am an educator, and every school is just like its own small town.  We have our Mayor (Principal), our City Council (Assistant Principals), the other city employees (teachers, et al), and the citizens (students, duh), and they all make up a little community that functions day in and day out for about 9-ish months out of the year.  And if you ever wanted a phrase to live by when working at a school, it should be this one.  Loose. Lips. Sink. Ships.  Many people especially those in a position of power and/or advisement/support would benefit from letting that sink in (no pun intended) because nothing will sink your ship faster than finding out that a person who was supposed to be a member of your team has turned outside the team to complain about them.  Like a small town, the complaining session was doused in gasoline and set on fire to spread magnificently throughout the school.  And it happens. every. time.  I know more things about people I don’t even really know than I do some of my own friends, and I work with like 150 people.  Is it all true?  Probably not.  But, the point is, it’s out there, and people know, or have heard, and they know have opinions of you which affects your ability to do your job.

A lot of times, I find myself on the receiving end of the complaining and gossip because I don’t say much or really talk about my comings and goings in general (Nacogdoches taught me well)- but, I am a REALLY GOOD listener.  I have co-worker friends, and I love them to death, but even they don’t know much about my life outside of school; I keep myself guarded which some might argue is not healthy, but I’m pretty okay with my introverted self (which I’m more of an introverted extrovert, but more on that later).  Moving right along…. If it’s someone new to sharing with me, they’ll always ask me, “How do you feel about _____?”, and I tell them my honest opinion, and let them decide whether they want to tell me whatever it is they have to say or not.  Most of the time, they WILL tell me because humans are just DYING to know and dish the latest ‘hot story’… they seriously can’t help it.  I’m no sociologist, but I do engage in some pretty intense people-watching, and after about 2 decades of study, it’s pretty easy to pick up on human cues, and I can certainly say that they LOVE interacting and sharing and having connections. They crave it.  I do too, but I keep that for my friends outside of work and the select few at work who I’ve known for quite a long time.  Even then, that’s playing with fire because at any moment, someone can get gossipy and BOOM, suddenly everyone knows that you don’t like a certain person because of x-y-and-z reason who happens to be friends with a higher up and then you’re wondering if they know, then does your boss know, and is life going to start to get difficult for you because now they don’t want you here (and they most definitely can find a way to get you to leave), and how do you sit in a meeting with them knowing that they are the ones who might cost you your job when they don’t even do theirs.  And this is the nature of behind the scenes at a school.  You tread so dang carefully that the ‘city employees’ are afraid to take a stand for themselves to be respected because they constantly fear being pushed out of the classroom and away from kids that need them. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told to file a complaint (myself included), and we all don’t because of fear of losing our jobs.  And sure, the employee handbook says you can’t face retribution or retaliation for filing a complaint, but we all know that there are other ways to get you to leave- constant walkthroughs, nitpicking, focus on test scores and not student growth, etc…  I’ll never forget what a principal I interviewed when I got my Master’s said when I asked him, “How do you handle employees who refuse to get on board with your mission for the school?”  He said, “You find creative ways to push them out- more preps (classes), more duties, extra meetings.  They get tired and start looking for somewhere else to go.”  And that, my friends, is why I come to work, keep my head down, do my job, go home, and continue to not complain against the people who definitely don’t deserve the jobs they have.  Because I can’t afford to not have my job, just like every other teacher out there.  So we take the disrespect and belittling from our superiors and people who claim to ‘support’ us in whatever we need even though we’re ‘ungrateful’ and ‘ask for too much’.  I learned my lesson long before I started my real big-girl job, but it’s a pity that some people have to learn their lesson at the expense of their job…

so, I’m helping everyone out right now-

always, always, always remember:

Loose lips sink ships.


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton



Something about this little default post made me think, ‘well, if that’s not true, then I’m not sure what is’, so I decided to keep it right up there just to remember that this whole thing has started.  Plus, it’s kind of a pretty picture… anyways…

It’s funny how when you FINALLY decide to put yourself out there, it’s after meticulous research and a boat-load of doubt… gahhh the doubt…. and then you don’t even really listen to it in the end.  When I finally, almost, decided to start writing seriously, I read countless posts on ‘where to begin’ and ‘finding your niche’ and none of it seemed to speak to me. So, naturally, I just kept on reading more posts about ‘where to begin’ and ‘finding your niche’, and the only thing that I could really pick out of there was that I just needed to write, and that’s really what this all comes down to- just writing… which happens to be the one thing I didn’t really have the cojones to actually do despite my brain always bursting with things to say.  Because if I’m being honest, and I feel like that is one of my finer qualities, I was just putting off the inevitable as I had been doing for the better part of a decade, and while I had always been willing to accept that, I had also never been willing to do something about it…

until now…

I’ve set out to challenge myself to write and get good at it.  I want to tell stories, and I want to leave that impact on readers like I have found for myself at the end of countless texts.  My goal is to write every day for at least 10 minutes.  That’s it.  Just write for 10 minutes.  It is not my intention to bore you with my day to day activities, but rather share experiences that hopefully you can relate to.  If anything, I have 7 years of teaching and motherhood experience that have given me countless ammo with which to entertain you.

It’s funny how when you stop overthinking things like ‘where do I begin’ and ‘what is my niche’, you figure it all out.

I begin right here, and my niche is to entertain.

Maybe in the future that will shift and change, but for now,

 here it goes.




PS- That was almost 20 minutes.  Good start!