Thirty Days

The last thirty days
Took a toll on me.
Running, push-ups, sit-ups
Over and over again,
Rep after rep
Until the pounds started sliding off,
The shoulders started knotting up,
And the sleep started crusting to my eyes.

It was great!

There is something about testing limits,
Not the kind my students do,
But finding out if I can still rise to a challenge,
To conquer doubt, gravity, or naysayers,
Not so much in a single bound, but
With grit, resilience, and persistence.
Throw in some stupidity, competitive fire, and stubbornness
And a great thirty days are made.


The law is the law,
For most of us, anyway,
And given I’m a one of most of us,
You’re actions put me in
A precarious place.

Your rage at losing a nothing game
Was shocking.
Your body posture when I tried to talk with you
Was scary.
So, I followed the law.

I reported you to the proper people
Because you seemed out of control,
In distress, and
Referencing a struggle to stay
Out of harm’s way.

Perhaps that will end our relationship,
But I followed my duty.
More than that, though,
I followed my conscience
Out of true concern for your safety.

A Morning Run

They run in the morning darkness
Just bouncing flashes of light
Too far ahead for me to hear
What they are talking about.

I feel like I’m climbing Everest
On that final push in the dark
Where I’m locked into every step and
Imprisoned within my thoughts of finishing.

I’m running without a light,
Counting on my night vision and
The contours of the road to guide me safely.
Both adding to the thrill.

For I’m chasing the pack,
And running with fear about those behind catching me,
The oxygen feels thinner, my lungs and legs ache,
My hands are getting cold, and I’m alive

Because I am testing myself,
Four weeks into this level of running and
The changes are beginning to happen,
I’m starting to believe again.

The believing
Is charging the batteries of my competitive self
That have truly lit my way in life,
Maybe covering for a lack of talent or smarts,

But always keeping me in the game and
Feeling like I might have a chance.
As the lights pass beyond where the darkness lets them be seen,
They disappear. I know that someday I will catch them.

Perspectives: 312/365

Thomson Family

Our daughter loves her coach
Our businesses are doing well
We are having second thoughts.

Dean Family

We don’t think it’s worth it
The trouble has not been worth it.
Are our friendships worth it?

Thomson Family

We’re with you,
We want to end this protest.

Dean Family

How do we do it?
How do we get the school to cave?

Perspectives: 311/365

Watts Family

Traitors are not liked around here,
You’re not being a good teammate, you know

Dawson Family

Don’t forget, our kids lost out too
We just aren’t sure this was worth it.

Watts Family

You are weak.
Why are you still here?

Dawson Family

You sound like
What you are protesting against.

Perspectives: 310/365

Dawson Family

We go to work
We get paid
They aren’t working
Why are they getting paid?

Dean Family

We’re more about relaxing
Hitting balls on the golf course
Chilling by the house.
It would be nice if sports were back.

Dawson Family

How dare you say that.
We have put everything into changing
The way sports are over there.
It’s just not right.

Dean Family

Maybe, but we actually like the basketball coach
He’s been nice to our son
And the track coach has been pretty cool to Rhonda.
It’s not that bad.

Dawson Family

Why are you here?

Dean Family

We don’t know.

After the Mad Dog Seven

Intermittent fasting,
Taking leave of gluttony, but
This morning’s run
Sucked all my commitment away.
The doldrums set in,
The malaise took effect,
Finally, I could stand it no more.
Two donuts broke my fast,
Momentarily, I felt better.
Now I’m wanting more.

Perspectives: 309/365

Watts Family

We have to solve this problem
Time is running out.

Thomson Family

Time? We lost our season.
Maya did not get to play at all.

Watts Family

That’s just the way it goes.
We still have time.

Thomson Family

Time? Is this just about you?
You started all of this.

Watts Family

And it’s time that we shut it down.
Cole needs to showcase his talents.

Thomson Family

These guys are priceless.

Perspectives: 308/365

When rats get hungry
They eat.
When the rats have nothing else to eat,
They eat each other.

Those who collude and conspire
Cannot stay loyal to a cause
For they only look to themselves
To feed their egos.

So it is in Taylorville,
Where the rats posing as promoters of good
Have run out of they one thing they seek,

Perspectives: 307/365

Alannah Alvarado (Taylorville High School Principal)

We have spent so much time planning,
Planning to keep people out of the building
That we never thought we would have to plan,
Plan to keep people in the building.

I honestly don’t know what is going on here.
Why have we neglected to find an appropriate solution?
Why are we letting the outside run our school?
Aren’t we the experts?

Everyone went to school,
So everyone knows how to do it, right?
Teachers were stupid when we were kids,
So as adults we must still see them as stupid, right?

I mean this whole thing is haywire,
Kids walking out,
Parents protesting coaches,
An administration unable to lead.

Next thing you know,
The parents will be fighting each other.
Mark my words,
This is going to get worse.