Pig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears

Pig PlayPig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears
Guest Post by Wade Orscheln

In the last few days I have been inspired not by a paid motivational speaker, not by my boss, not by a famous person or athlete, not even by an adult, but by the great youth we have in agriculture.  The last few days I have found myself running back and forth from home to Sedalia trying to watch my FFA students exhibit their livestock at the Missouri State Fair. Which reminds me that I must thank my principal for letting me out of those beginning of the year teacher meetings so I could attend these shows.  These kids give me hope in our future.  They showed me a passion and drive I thought that had been lost in our American youth.

Maybe I’m becoming soft with age, but several times during the youth swine show I found myself drying my eyes.  I got to witness a blind young man with the help of a friend who served as his eyes exhibit the 4-H reserve champion barrow.  I watched as his friend embraced him with a big hug.  The smile on his face and the tears in the eyes of the crowd was priceless.  I just wish for a moment he could visually see how great his duroc barrow really was.  I wish he knew how motivational he was.  He didn’t just show the 4-H reserve champion barrow but showed the world that a disability doesn’t have to disable.

I got the opportunity to listen to a judge speak before selecting the youth show overall champion barrow. He spoke about, that what was going on in the swine barn that day wasn’t about the livestock at all, that it was about the kids in the show ring.  After his speech I witnessed a young man get the slap that every livestock exhibitor dreams of.  That slap that the judge gives your animal when choosing the grand champion. Instantly the young man wrapped his arms around the judge and broke into tears. These tears were tears of joy and passion. Continue reading “Pig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears”

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A New Sheriff in Town – Defining What the Position Means

New Sheriff in Town

I have been doing a lot of thinking about lessons learned and it has been harder than I thought because I had done my homework on the issues and/or problems. I gathered data and information for a couple of years and set a course of direction to move the agency forward.

PastorSheriff_3_t_w600_h475.jpgLessons learned – “means an event or events that were not anticipated or a plan that failed for some reason unknown and you learn the hard way.” (Mike Bonham’s personal definition)

I think that, personally, I have a lot of goals for this agency and it seems to be taking too long, but in reality we are on track. I believe that this is in part because I really want the citizens of the county to be proud of their Sheriff’s Office, but the focus should not be ME, it should be the OFFICE as a whole.

png 1 Lesson one – People try to make it about the Sheriff. And I get it; I’m looked at as the leader. (Still hard) 

png 1 Lesson two—I push hard, the employees and myself to move to perfection and to hit the goals that have been established… (Slow down we will get there.)  

png 1 Lesson Three—With so many projects and initiatives, some can get lost in the push. My hope in is having a handle on prioritizing:

  1. Health and Welfare of the employees
  2. Biggest impact on safety and security for the citizens of the county.
  3. Keep spending within Sheriff’s Office Budget

 

Like I said, this has been a lot tougher assignment than I thought it would be. Thanks for the challenge.

The following I released after a 60 day review:  My hope is you can see the consistence and planning.

Bonham 1.jpgI took office in December, this week and we reviewed the first 60 days on the job.
We wanted a “no drama” transition from the leadership of Carl Fowler, who served as interim sheriff.
We Intensified communication — internally and externally — as we have marked the first 60 days.
We have used Facebook, and a soon an updated website, YouTube videos to push information. We credited the media blitz with leading to the arrest of a fugitives, as a direct results.
“We’re looking for ways to distribute information. It’s a work in progress.”
We have stepped up efforts to arrest dealers, save users who overdose and educate the community.
But, my office has yet to engage the medical community in an effort to reduce abuse of prescription narcotics.

What’s to come:

• Crisis Intervention Training:  to prepare all deputies and staff with intervention methods for dealing with citizens suffering from mental illness crisis. Three staffers will complete the 40-hour training, scheduled in May.

• Increased community outreach with a town hall meeting in Linn and other events. The restructured Community Services Unit , the chaplain program, and the Jr. Deputy program.

• Restarting the “Reserve deputy” program, which allows retired law enforcement officers to volunteer. They must have the same training as full-time officers and can work in a range of activities.

“I’m just pleased to report that we’ve hit the marks on our first 60-day plan. “This is not to say we’re done.”
It is the staff that have been working quickly and professionally to meet my expectation. Turnover has remained low, with only minimum changes — retirements and resignations — since I took office.

“The deputies and men and women of the sheriff’s office have been working hard and I’m proud of these accomplishments. We will continue to work hard to produce a professional, competent and compassionate law enforcement agency the citizens of Osage County can be proud of.”

By: Sheriff Mike Bonham

Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

mike bonham 2

Osage County Fair 2016

 

P.S. Last July my children met Sheriff Bonham at the county fair, when he was still running for office. After he shook my five year old’s hand, my son asked, “Why does he want to be the sheriff?” I told him, “Mr. Bonham wants to keep us safe.” My son’s reply, “Okay, I guess we can vote for him.” 🙂  Sheriff Bonham has worked hard to keep lines of communication open with people of our county and safety in the forefront of his tenure. Thank you, Sheriff Bonham, for your willingness to share your personal lessons learned this year. Best of luck to you as you continue to meet these goals and protect our community.

Student or Teacher???

Student or Teacher

As the regular school year has come to a close I find myself sitting here reflecting on the school year and my career as an agricultural educator.  Throughout my 11 years as an educator, there have been many of lessons learned.  Some have been more easily learned than others and some have hit me like a eighteen wheeler running down the interstate.

Though not a new lesson to many of us, but probably one of the most important lessons, is the importance of building relationships.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to not only build positive relationships with myWade 1 students in the classroom but also through the FFA organization. I find many of my week nights, if not working with FFA career development events, following my students and their athletic teams.  Through my attendance at these activities I don’t only develop positive student relationships but develop relationships with their families also.What some overlook is that those relationships can often make or break many of our students and us as educators too.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest kids in the world.  Though there is a couple of experiences that stick out the most. One of those this spring a group of student and I traveled the state every weekend from mid February through the end of March traveling from one FFA contest to another.  Over 1,000 miles spent in a van, you get to know each other pretty well. They definitely expanded my knowledge of popular teen music, as the first stop we ever made was to buy an aux cord. During one of our practices one student’s statement really made me realize the importance of positive relationship building.  This student told me I was the closest thing to a dad she had ever had. She appreciated that I cared about every aspect of her life, just not the academics.  The role we take as teachers is continually evolving.  To some students we do become that parental role for others it may be a different. Continue reading “Student or Teacher???”

On Quitting – Thoughtful Thursday

 

Kelly Smith 2

Kelly’s portable “office” 

At my old office, I surrounded myself with framed quotes.  They helped motivate me and, I hope, inspired some of the people who came and went in the little non-profit I managed.

One of my favorite quotes was this, by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.”

I had to come to terms with my own “shipness” (it’s not a word, but I’m making it so) after the birth of my third child threw my work-life balance into an overwhelming tailspin.  After weeks of crying in the daycare parking lot and crunching household budget numbers, it was made clear that something would have to give.  That something?  The job I’d loved for a decade, the one I never imagined leaving,

I saw a job ad for an adjunct communications instructor at the area technical college.  I hadn’t applied for a job in more than ten years, but I enthusiastically submitted my name for the position. A part-time job would allow me to keep my professional life active and free up much-needed time for my three kids, including one with cerebral palsy who logs multiple doctor’s appointments each month.

While I waited, I continued to struggle in my full-time career.  Even though I was stressed to the breaking point, I still didn’t know if I was ready to leave.

The day I finally hit a wall at work and came home devastated was the day I received a phone call about interviewing for the part-time teaching position.  The relief and excitement I felt was the answer I’d been waiting for.

As soon as the interview was scheduled, I gave my notice at work.  I didn’t even wait until I had the job, because I was that secure in the decision.  I knew I could no longer “make it work” (said in my most exaggerated Tim Gunn voice). Continue reading “On Quitting – Thoughtful Thursday”

The Beauty of Acceptance – Wise Words Wednesday

Accepting Beauty

Have you ever been to a point in your life that you only see the negatives? Were all you thought about was what you didn’t have, but wanted to have? Where you picked out everyone else’s flaws because you weren’t satisfied with yourself?

Well I have, and let me tell you what I was doing. I was wasting my life. I was missing all the beauty in my life and losing out on my precious time. You see, I never saw the beauty in what I had. I missed out on some amazing talents, time with my family and memories with my kid. I saw what others were achieving and hated it because I wasn’t doing something exciting with my life.

It wasn’t their fault. They were ACTUALLY DOING something with their life, and I was just crying about mine.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the back-church pew on Saturday night telling God how much I disliked Him for putting my family though hell that I realized it wasn’t Him. He wasn’t the one making my life seem awful. Negativity was something that I felt I needed to survive. In all honestly what I needed was hope, faith, and courage. Seeing the beauty in life is something many miss. Getting up early just to watch the sunrise and listen to the first sound of the birds can be relaxing and an amazing time to meditate on the day’s happenings. Watching the wind blow through the tress doesn’t have to be a sign of rage and anger anymore. It is the voices of all my loved ones gone from this earth talking to me.

Amy K 1I now sit in the back pew at church and thank God for what He has faced me with. I know that He will never hand me more than I can handle. Having faith in Him took the weight of the world off my shoulders. Seeing the beauty in these gave me the hope I needed to become a stronger woman, wife, mother, and friend.

Now I know that to some they are like, “Duh! Get your head out of your butt and look at what you have.”

In all honestly, after having that dark cloth blinding you for so long, it takes some time to see the real color of the life you live. Not everything has to be black. Why not have your world colored by the joy, the beauty, the success of others? Surrounding myself with others who are positive gives me more courage than I could ever have dreamed of. You see for me, I was heading down a dark and lonely path. Shutting out all those that cared about me. It has taken a lot of work and I’m still not perfect, but I am making progress.

By: Amy Kemna

Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

P.S. I have seen so many amazing transformations in Amy the past year that I just had to have her tell her story. Amy, you are beautiful, and I am thankful for your friendship and willingness to share your thoughts on how wonderful life can be when we gracefully accept God, our imperfect lives, and ourselves. 🙂
– Melanie A. Peters

Respect, Service, Honor, and Questionable Cocktails – After a year of answering the call to serve

Respect Service Honor and Questionable Cocktails

Over the course of this last year, I learned a lot.  It was my first year out of high school and I didn’t know what to expect.  I shipped out to One Station Unit Training in August of 2016, to become a Military Police Officer for the Missouri National Guard.  Those twenty weeks were the longest, and most educational, weeks of my life so far.

The first nine weeks I learned to be a soldier.  I learned how to work as a team, how to properly maintain a weapon system, and how to be as efficient as I can be.  Red Phase, the initial three weeks of training, where you learn how to operate on minimal sleep and to look out for each other.  Red Phase is about tearing down the individual, removing that “it’s all about me” attitude.  Clayton 2I didn’t learn a lot in Red Phase, however, White Phase is where I learned that working together and having others’ backs is the best and most efficient way to get a task done.  While the training portion of White Phase is all about marksmanship, it’s where the whole idea of being a team player set in, for me at least.

When someone screws up, everyone is punished.  We would ask why we would have to do push-ups, or more commonly flutter kicks, when Private Joe was the one who fell asleep.  It was because we didn’t keep him in check, we didn’t wake him up.

Continue reading “Respect, Service, Honor, and Questionable Cocktails – After a year of answering the call to serve”

Retirement Reinvention – Ahhh!! Retirement!

Retirement Reinvention

Ahhh!! Retirement!!!  I’m the kind of person that makes plans and likes to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So, last year when I was trying to wrap my head around the idea that I would be retiring that July, I was casually talking to another teacher and expressing my concern of not having anything of importance to do.  She said, “Reinvent yourself!”  What the heck did that mean?  How do you do that?

At first, I found myself kind of lost.  Before when someone asked, “What do you do?”  I would say, “I’m a first grade teacher.”  The conversation would continue about kids, teaching, the times, and more.  Now when they ask, “What do you do?”  I say, “I’m retired.”  They smile and give me a look that says, “isn’t that nice?”

Teacher was my identity for 40 years.  Now there are no students, co-workers, papers, tests, grades, meetings, lesson plans, schedules, or conferences.  What do I do?  Well, without planning, I find myself back to my roots as a Catholic School teacher and am able to work with children by teaching religion through the parish religion education program.   I was asked to substitute in a few different schools which pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and experience new schools, classrooms, and students while still getting to see some of my former students and teachers.

So, without even trying, I see that I have reinvented myself.  I now have an alphabetized spice cabinet and an organized utility room.  There is something to be said for peace of mind!  I am able to see what life is like between 8 and 3 outside of school.  I stay up late during the week – on purpose!  Now I relate to wife, mother-in-law, grandma, aunt, sister, friend, and retired teacher.  Retirement has given me the gift of time.  Now it’s Ahhhhhh, retirement!

By: Carol Haslag

Guest Post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

P.S. Carol and I served together on the Community Teachers’ Association. She appreciated my crazy ideas and I appreciated her kindness. Thank you, Carol, for all you do for our church and community. There are so many whose lives are enriched because of your work.
– Melanie A. Peters