Tag Archives: success


I am no longer, officially, in the education system.  I do not get up in front of a class and talk to students and try to help them improve themselves.  Here is a student who had something to say and decided to say it.

Student Speaks Up!

You know one of the big differences between high school students and adults?  Adults usually know when to keep quiet.  We don’t stand up and speak our minds if it means being impolite.  Society has taught that to us.  Does that make us always right?


Through the course of history, it has not, normally, been the quiet, polite, soft-spoken people who made the differences in our lives.  It was the Martin Luther King Jrs, and the John F Kennedys, and the Pattons who have gone to bat for the rest of us and marked out a line that leads to a better place for all of us to be.

I am so tired of hearing the word “standardization” used in education.  Is it important to have a set of standards to teach to?


Does that mean we need to teach every student the same way and have them pass the exact same test and do things the exact same way for them to learn.


This country’s educational system is on its way down.  You mark my words.  If we, as the citizens of a nation, do not take it upon ourselves to speak loudly and with great intent to the “experts” who are saying that teaching so that students can pass a set of tests that “prove” they are learning is the way to go, it will be the way to be gone.

I was in a classroom full of students who were “failures” by the standards of our educational system.  These kids had great difficulty taking tests; they couldn’t pace themselves to do their homework; they acted up in class.  In short, they fell short of what the educational system stated they needed to know and do to succeed.

The worst part is that, most of the educational system, had already given up on them.  “Babysitters” was what many (not all) thought our job was to be.  Do you know what I found?  I found that when a teacher honestly took a decent period of time with each student and let them know that:

1)  I know it’s hard for you

2)  I care a lot about you

3)  You can succeed

4)  You are special

When I did that, I got results.  Did I have problems?  Yep,  Did I have days and weeks when I wanted to scream? Give that an amen.  But, I also had times when a student would push through and succeed in something.  I had kids who could smile because they did something good.

I had one student who worked for me.  He did well enough that, by the standards I set for students, he received an A+ in that class.  He thanked me after report cards came out.  Why?  Because he had never received an A+ before.  I told him he didn’t need to thank me, he earned it.  He left my class and went back to regular school the next semester and I never heard from him again.  He went on.  He didn’t come back.

I “trusted” my students to behave and I trusted them with things that a lot of other teachers said, “You are setting yourself up for bad news.”  You know what?  So many more times than not, they lived up to my expectations and succeeded.  They made me proud.  Not all, not every time, but it was certainly worth the time and effort to do it.

What was the best was that I dealt with each student as an individual.  I didn’t do the cookie-cutter thing.  That just didn’t work.  I believe I made a difference (I know I did) in a lot of those students’ lives.

We are failing right now.  I am not going to blame the government, the school system, or the teachers.  I am simply going to state that we are failing right now.  That means that someone, anyone, us needs to begin setting a change in order.  We need to succeed for them to succeed.

There is no one simple thing that will “fix it all”.  We have to learn to work together and to give a Damn about it.  Okay, I am swearing; I am done.

Note:  I said, I was done, but then I read Bert’s post on this same subject and saw this video.  Please visit Bert and watch this very important 20 min TED  Talk.

TED Talk on Education – Very Important!!! 20 min




Well, it’s time for me to celebrate just a bit.  Today (Tuesday), at some point (apparently between 10am and 11am), I hit 10,000 views!  This is made more important to me because, I figured averages last May and it was going to take until May 2013 to reach that then.

I checked late in the summer and it was still going to be after the 1st of the year.  So, thanks to you all, I have hit my goal way early and am so proud.

I am proud because it means I am doing something meaningful here.  According to the stats I am reaching 97 countries.  That almost freaks me out entirely!  I love it!

In celebration of this moment, I couldn’t decide whether to write a poem or to create a post so long that it would take hours to finish…I decided on the poem.  So, finishing up the happy moment:


By Scott L Vannatter

November 24, 2012

All is fine,

A peace of mind

I am a writer still.


Makes it so all true

And fills my heart with thrill.

I do a post

About a ghost

They watch and say it’s good.

I do another

About my mother

I’m told I feel, as I should.

I write a story

No need for glory

I am happy as can be.

I sell not one

But three, what fun!

Perhaps, success’s for me.

So, I say to you

And swear it’s true

If an author you would be,

Then write and write

Don’t give up the fight

You will go far; you’ll see.




This is a pic of the 61 year old man who won the Melbourne Marathon.

I just finished Mollie Player’s post for today. It was about a farmer who set the world record for a marathon by running slowly for over five and a half days without sleep. It is here –> post <–.

Thing is the post is about belief and what you can do with it. This guy believed he should be able to win and did, but it is also about how he didn’t know he was supposed to sleep, so he didn’t.

I am going to tell a story on myself.

Article about writing your Thesis. Some good ideas. One is don’t complain and get depressed about it. Good one. I didn’t!
(Click pic to read)

When I was working on my Masters in English, we were told we had to either write a Master’s Thesis or take 36 hours of coursework instead of 28 and the Thesis.

Now, at the time, I was married, working full-time, and strapped for cash. While I enjoyed the classwork, I knew that the price of the classes (the 4 hours I wouldn’t have to pay for) was worth the effort to write the thesis.

Now, I also had never written a thesis before. I was told it had to be either a well-researched new idea on an old topic or something brand-new.

I knew I didn’t have time to do all the research so I chose to write about the poetry of one of my professors. She had published two books of poetry at the time. I sat down at work in September and began reading her works and taking notes. I did this, fairly painstakingly, through to early December.

I knew I had until about Mid-March to finish so I was pretty happy with myself.

Just about the time I was finishing my reading and notes, my overseer for the thesis called me and said she needed a written first draft by about the first of the year! Hmm, surprise to me!

Not quite, but almost what I worked on.

So, for the next two and a half weeks, I poured myself into typing (by the way, there were no PCs then. I had to type it out on the bigger computer at work – after hours – and then reformat and go through all kinds of loopholes to get it to look typed.). I turned in the first draft (this is why it is called “rough” and the three professors / readers tore it to shreds. I wondered just how many red pens were wasted on the correcting of my draft.

I do remember one of the readers hated the word “that”. I have a tendency to say “that” quite a bit (I try to not say it much anymore, at least, in writing), so the bloodied manuscript was redone without the word “that” in it more than once or twice. (Now, for another funny one.  I was tired when writing this post.  When I proofread it, I had to remove the word “that” about 6-8 times where I used it unnecessarily!)

My adviser asked me if I would even be able to finish it on time. I think she felt I should give it up. I set to work and, for the next almost three months, I typed and corrected my little heart out. The finished paper was between 85-95 pages long and was a study on her poetry from the aspect of her use of light and dark.

I did get it done and it was accepted (hmm, I suppose that would truly be the first time I was “published” as it was made into two copies – one for me and one for the school library where it resides even now).

I had not given my Thesis a lot of thought in years, but I now realized I might not have tried to do a thesis on something new (and so long) if I had truly known about it. My belief was in myself and my ability to do whatever I set my mind to (though, I am not sure I even knew this consciously).

I have written more in a month, in the last few years, than I did for the entire Thesis paper. I have even written a book (bad book, you will not ever see it), but I am still pretty proud of my Thesis achievement during college. I believed in myself and was determined to do something which felt right to do. I didn’t need all the details in the beginning; I simply needed to believe I could do it.

Just like the farmer who won the race, I won my own race with time.
How about you?

Do you have any accomplishments you are amazed you managed to do them?


Beauty lies within yourself

The only impossible journey in life is you never begin!! ~Tanvir Kaur


Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

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