My dad had this way of having just enough knowledge and information to get by in any situation. Case in point. We were at Hy-Vee grocery store in Iowa in the late 80’s when we walked past this lady and her crying child. She spoke nothing but Spanish and the manager of the Iowa grocery store spoke nothing but English. She was obviously trying to find something to help her child. As we walked by my dad obviously picked up on a word that he knew and proceeded to take her to the section of the store that carried thermometers and Tylenol. He didn’t speak Spanish he just happened, for some odd reason, know the word for fever.
Well yesterday was one of those days that I wished either he was with me or that I had a little of his dumb luck when it came to helping people.
I was standing in line waiting to get fingerprinted at this little photo shop run by this adorable man with, I think, a German accent near my new school.
Don’t even get me started on why the bureaucracy needs me to get fingerprinted AGAIN. Everyone who works at a school needs to be fingerprinted. I get that. What I don’t get is the need for me to be fingerprinted numerous times. I have a teaching credential which I needed to get fingerprinted in order to obtain and now I have to get fingerprinted again because I changed schools. It is a national database people.
Anyhoo…the man in front of me didn’t speak English and was having trouble filling out a form and the nice German man was asking me to help him as he was very busy helping another lady. I wanted to help this man so badly. He was struggling and it was very obvious at that moment that my 4 years of French in high school was an utter waste of time.
If there was something that I could send back in time to that permed, Coca-Cola jean jacket wearing, geeky high school girl it would be…DON’T TAKE FRENCH.
I mean I was no help at all…even my Sesame Street Spanish wasn’t coming back to me.
I should have called Bella on the spot and put her on speaker phone. She would have saved the day. When I came home and relayed my morning she whipped off all of the Spanish that I would have needed.
The nice man and I managed to get his formed filled out…phew
The nice German man asked me what I taught and I told him. Come to find out he has always wanted to be able to sing so he told me the next time I needed fingerprinting he would trade his services for a singing lesson.
I better brush up on my German.
My REAL topic of conversation today has nothing to do with my lack of language skills it is about a man I love…Mike Rowe.
You know Mike Rowe former host of “Dirty Jobs” and the voice of “The Deadliest Catch” among other things. What you might not know about Mike Rowe is that he was a former opera singer…cool huh? He right now runs the Mike Rowe Works Foundation and his website profoundly disconnected is dedicated to reinvigorating skilled trades which challenges the belief that a 4 year college education is for everyone. I follow him on Facebook and his posts really get me laughing out loud. I love this guy. I highly recommend nosing around on his Facebook page and his website.
Every kid who gets help and scholarship money from his foundation has to sign this pledge called the S.W.E.A.T. pledge. It is a 12 point pledge that is absolutely wonderful. Click the link and you can find all 12 points, and you can buy a poster with them listed. I think every classroom in America should have this pledge posted. I have ordered mine. I am going to highlight a few of my favorite for you all today.
1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful. – Preach it Mike Rowe.
4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm. – The young man who helped me at the Taco Bell drive through window the other day embodies this one. I am not a particular fan of Taco Bell but my girls wanted it for lunch. Neither of them want enough of one thing to warrant a value meal, or so I thought. This nice young man helped me, with great patience, put all of my a la carte items into value meals and saved me a couple of bucks. When I pulled around to pick up their food he was clean cut and professional and smiled at me and really seemed interested in my happiness. Thank you nice Taco Bell young man for doing your job with enthusiasm.
7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is. This is an awesome thing to preach. I know from experience that volunteering for every crappy task there is garners you some valuable skills and attitudes.
8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy. Amen Bruth-a
10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do This might be my favorite one. Choose happiness. Choose to work hard. Choose to make yourself better each day. Yeah love this one.
12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off. I guarantee that choosing to work your butt off will never be a bad choice. Don’t get me wrong I am not advocating being a work-a-holic…ahem…but when you are working do it with purpose, but also play hard too.
I hope that I can instill some of these traits in my kids both biological or otherwise.
But first I am going to the app store on my iPhone and find a learn Spanish app.
I am dead serious about that one.