March 24

I dont know what has taken longer, for me to think of something to write about or my partner to pick a new office color for us.  I have not been one for making my office the Las Vegas strip of offices.  I enjoy the simple nature but have welcomed the addition of the 8 keys and how to solve problems poster to add something to the walls.  I put up some work from students but my brink white walls have stayed that way for four years.  I think some of this was due to my first year teaching where I felt like everything needed a poster or a work of art.  What I found was every Monday hundreds of articles had fallen to the floor from my tape job and Chicago winds would send things flying at the end of the day.  I spent more time cleaning up and starting despising the work.  Now I find that less is more, and the power of other one key example.  I have no idea what color my partner will pick (I already told her “whatever she wants” so if she goes with hot pink, then I may be requiring sun-glasses for work).  No matter the color I can always look at the screen saver of the kids!

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and a great couple days with family and friends.



March 23

Thank you Eli..

Daddy got home, we all ate, played, and then went for a walk.  We had our bath and then said our goodnight to mom and Peyton.  Mom was extremely tired so she needed to go to bed and have her quality time with you another time.  I too was tired but too proud to say anything.  So we went to the couch and put in Lilo and Stitch.. boy do you love when he acts crazy and my stomach was feeling the pain after the 3rd jump.  But you settled down and cuddled up next to me.  I was at peace…

Next thing I know you are hitting me because the movie was over.. It was 40 minutes after your bedtime, and I was just waking up.  I looked around and there was no crayon on the wall, no food on the floor and no refrigerator open.. which makes me wonder why that happens when dad is awake.

Thank you for allowing dad some rest and not telling mom.  I will try not to make this happen again, but if it does, it will be our secret again.

March 22

I had a 4th grade visitor yesterday who was working on a persuasive paper- his topic students should be allowed to use cell phones during the day.  He showed me his work with his main paragraphs about using the phone to help with math, to use the internet to look up words he does not know, and to use as a phone in case of an emergency.  Now I was not getting into the fact that we have a 4th grader with a better phone than me, but I did appreciate the fact that he was looking at all points of the situation.

He worked in my office or the conference room when calls where made, but one time he came back in and said “Mr. Applegate what would you write about”.  Great question but without going into my recent political views, thoughts on U.S. in Cuba, or gambling legalization… I said well in terms of school I think we should all wear gym shoes.  I think too many people wear scandals, it stresses a healthy view and Mr. Applegate likes to wear them.  He laughed and went back to finishing his more important piece.

I do love to wear my gym shoes.  I wore my dress shirt, dress pants and gym shoes.  I already walked over a mile in the gym (gets my mind ready for the day) and I know that much more walking is ahead of me (those kindergarten classes are far!).  I do understand my position and the need for dress shoes, but I just wish they were darn more comfortable.

So the case for gym shoes is on hopefully you get swept in also.  And if you see me today, tell me to get a moving…

March 21

I am in desperate need of a good clothing maker/ fixer of clothes

I have this nice Nike New York Giants jacket, however the zipper has not been broken off of it.  How do you expect my good luck jacket- even though it has not been good luck for the last 3 seasons- to help the team to victory when I cant even zip it up.  Yes I am one of those that screams at the t.v., has my special food for the day, and has to have a good luck outfit.  My friends are still upset that I refused to come to the super bowl party in 2007 with everyone and the big screen because my Giants had been winning when I was at home watching on my 32 in screen.

I know that I really have no impact on the game if I am there or watch in a certain outfit, but it does make me feel apart of it.

So please help with finding a CHEAP alternative to going to the cleaners and they may charge 20 or 30 bucks. I am looking for someone in the know..

March 18

Walk into house and bday wife standing there, not looking good.. I know that look.. No Bulls game.

up at 3 am so good think we didn’t. Now one sleeping and one watching talking mice with a running nose( you know the type that never stops and you forget for second and its in her hair) on my right side as I type on my phone- which is hard!

not at work, but can’t get it out of mind. Just like when I think of my own kids when away from them. Hoping things are calm and tests going smoothly.

dealing with these surprises or change of plans is nothing new for us teachers. A speaker once said to see everything as good- for example a student athlete failing and can’t plan in big game. He said Johnny I’m sorry you choose not to study for your test and will miss the game. Hopefully you will learn from this. WOW I thought a situation like that eats at me for a Johnny , but the lesson that student will learn is most important.

So it was a surprise not to go to the Bulls game and stay home with my sick kids, but the good news I am not worrying about them all day, I will get some rest, and there will always be another chance for a Bulls game.  Hope things are going well with everyone and you enjoy the good surprises coming your way


March 16

Why do athletes feel entitled?  When I drive into work (all of ten minutes) I listen to my sports radio and they were talking about athletes- in this case major college- sense of worth.  The commentators said “well we have these college kids that at age 8 if they are great are on a magazine or a top 10 for 2030 list, and then when they commit to college they are cameras and put on a hat in front of others that start screaming.”

Wow, you can see an athlete like Johnny Manziel who played major college football and won a Heisman trophy for it, just acting like he can do whatever he wants.  He probably had people around him telling him how great he was, just to be apart of his glory.  Now after an incident hitting his then girlfriend he is out of the NFL after 2 years with such promise.

Now there are many great stories of athletes or people that this is not accurate of. I was no-where close to that type of talent but I had great family values.  I was grounded and understand whats most important (my education, my integrity, my own progress not comparing to others my age- which was hard when you are 6 feet tall in 6th grade).

I do sense a generational change where it is tough to tell kids that they need to change, or they need to work more, because we are afraid of them turning into the next LeBron and missing out on that worth.  However if we want our athletes or kids to be good people that’s what we must do.


March 17

Happy Bday to my Irish girl Kerry Lynn.  Her maiden name was Walsh so a girl born on St. Patrick’s with the last name Walsh, I’ve had to learn to love this holiday.

So two weeks ago I had no idea how we were going to celebrate when my friend texted “Would you guys want to go to Bulls game on Kerry’s bday together?  I got free seats from work 8 rows behind bench.”  I read the text to Kerry, who immediately said yes that would be fun and different.  The last Bulls game we went to was 3 years ago in Milwaukee with the same friends.  My buddy and me sat together and talked basketball and strategy of game, the two women sat together and couldn’t even tell you who won.

We arranged the babysitters and started making plans.  However last night was concern over how late the game would be, how bad traffic is, where we would eat… this fun event without kids, turned into conflict and surviving.  Now the day is here and I hope we do enjoy time to ourselves and with our friends.  It might not be the bday she wanted, so a pedicure and naps this weekend with hopefully make up for some of it.

For those that are wondering what i got her… nothing like yours truly!!!

March 15

only 12 days until Easter!  I cannot believe it has come up on us so quickly.  Usually we have our Easter baskets out and decorations ready, but with St. Patricks day this Thursday it hasn’t felt like Easter season.  My wife and I had some time to talk when the kids went down for bed… ANY IDEAS ON WHAT ARE WE GETTING THEM FOR EASTER?… (My first thought is these kids have everything in the world, so what else possibly do they need).  I dont know was my response knowing that she had something in mind.  Well I was thinking that we get Peyton something Disney related, since all she wants is Beauty and the Beast… (My thought is do they still make Beauty and the Beast stuff, that movie was 20 years ago). My answer was OK- but keep it under 20 bucks. Then it was her idea for Eli’s gift that got me thinking.  SO for Eli lets get him a nerf gun or water gun, you know how he pretends everything is a gun…. I have noticed that Eli has made his blocks into a gun or during bath time grabbed the water bottle to spray others, but a gun.  DO YOU THINK THATS A GREAT IDEA WITH PEYTON AROUND? Imagining a nerf ball impression on her forehead…

Boys at age 2 already loving guns.  Is it just human nature or is it something I’m doing?  Its not like he is watching braveheart or scarface, but the need to destroy, use power, and action is just there.  I loved playing with my G.I Joes when I was a kid, and it didnt make me want to use that play time into real time.

So that gift is under consideration but again the entire basket is under 20 bucks–since I need to save money!

March 14

The one thing I do better than my wife (well besides basketball) is accompanying the kids to the various necessities.  For instance Peyton needs to go to the doctor- she wont cry if dad takes her, so there I go.  On Saturday I was in charge of taking Eli to get his haircut.  There have been many unpleasant experiences.  If this is 5th haircut 3 have gone super bad.  And I do consider my wife holding him so he wont move as really bad.  (But also funny as she had to switch sides with the stylist over and over)  So I packed my dad bag (I will never been seen taking a diaper bag) filled it with snacks and play items, and went with him.  We got right in, took a half hour, a couple head bobs and hesitations, but however very good.  We got home and mom was shocked.  I know its because MOM nature kicks in when the kids are uncomfortable or cry.  I love my kids, but I choose to ignore some things.  Its amazing that already at 2 and 1 these kids are so smart and know what they can do for each adult. So I cant do all the cooking and cleaning, and fun kid activities like my wife excels at but I do get the doctor and haircuts like the best of them!

March 11

I cannot believe it is 11:55 as I start typing this.  Where did the time go today?  Between phone calls, parent meetings, student issues, this is the first time at my desk.  I know this is better than when the days seem to drag on, so I wont complain.

This weekend with an extra hour lost of sleep, I will be asking myself the same question about the weekend.

So I hope to enjoy the weekend with the family and not be in a rush to accomplish everything- just enjoy the time.