How Much is a Job Worth?

This is a repost of a blog… enjoy!

My very first hourly job paid me $3 per hour. That’s a nickel every minute. When you are picking up rocks… you have time to wonder about those things. $3 / 60 = .05 per minute. I loved that job. I was getting paid to pick up rocks… and throw them into a wheelbarrow. Okay, they didn’t like us throwing them. But I didn’t complain. It was hot dirty work… but more importantly… I WAS MAKING A NICKEL A MINUTE.

The last hourly job I had was selling hardware. I was making $6 per hour. That’s a dime every minute. When you are selling hardware… you have time to wonder about those things. $6 / 60 = .10 per minute. I loved that job. I was getting paid to stand in the air conditioning. Okay, they didn’t like us standing. But I didn’t complain. It was messy work… but more importantly… I WAS MAKING A DIME A MINUTE.

I have three boys. The youngest is seven. Money, to him, is shiny stuff to buy gum with. He leaves it in his pockets or the floor. He can’t keep track of it. He has no idea of the value of it or how to get it other than the tooth fairy.

I have three boys. One of them is fifteen… okay two of them are but I’m not telling you which one I’m talking about. Money to him is green stuff that Mom and Dad have in their wallets. You ask for it and it magically appears. Close the wallet, open it again and more money appears. Magic wallet.

The other day the fifteen-year-old was asking for chores to do to earn money. His mother and I agree that we will pay for any and all activities that have to do with school. Anything extra is on him. We even pay for his lunch at school. We are good like that… helping our kids eat. So I gave him a task to do. It took him about 10 minutes. It really wasn’t that much. He asked for the money. I pulled three singles out of my wallet (yes… the magical wallet) and offered them to him. He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, “That’s IT?” I responded yes, it only took you ten minutes… fifteen at the most. I’m pretty quick with the math as you might remember from above. I told him that 15 minutes of work for $3 was about $12 per hour. If it was only 10 minutes it would have been $18 per hour. The job that he did was really only a minimum wage type job. He was INSULTED that I was paying him $12 to $18 dollars per hour to do jobs around the house that my parents would have made me do because they said. Why? Because they said. THAT’S 20 TO 30 CENTS PER MINUTE! He walked away not taking the money.

His Mom had a proposal for him. She would give him $25 dollars per week. $15 for lunch at school ($3 per day) and an additional $10 for the chores that he does at home. Basically, $25 dollars a week to take the trash cans out to the curb… and empty the trash cans in the rooms of our house. It’s about a five-minute job.

$10 for a five-minute job works out to $120 dollars per hour. $120 PER HOUR! Yes, ladies and gentlemen… that’s $2 per minute. He was offended that we offered that amount to him. OFFENDED and said “no thanks’.

I have a masters degree in secondary education. I am all but my dissertation away from having a doctorate in educational leadership. A DOCTORATE! I don’t make anywhere close to $120 per hour.

Our son is learning the power of money. He is snubbing his nose at what we offer. Yet… he is still doing the jobs… that’s $0 per hour… 0 cents per minute. Our child… doesn’t understand… the value of a dollar… or a minute.

I’ve Gone Back to the Dark Side!

My first cell phone weiged about 5 pounds and I left it in my car everyday. It wasn’t too big or bulky, it was just heavy. I could use it to make phone calls.

My latest cell phone is the most incredible communication/media device that I have ever owned. Yes folks, I have gone to the DARKSIDE! I now own an Apple iPhone!

I would write more… but I need to check out some apps. 

Learning 2.0 in Richland Hills with David Warlick

I had the pleasure of listening to the musings of David Warlick today. He also had the pleasure of entertaining a few of my questions. CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast. 

Today was information overload… digest the following before listening to his words…

“We are spending too much time in our classrooms teaching our children how to use paper.” We need to teach them how to use digital media.

“I’m not preparing children for my futrue… I’m preparing them for their future.”


I’m sure over the next few weeks I will have more to say as I take apart what I learned… until then…








Growing up I thought my Dad could do anything. Yes, my Dad could beat up your Dad. My Dad could run faster than your Dad. My Dad married my Mom… your Dad didn’t. My Dad was a winner. My Dad never cried. My Dad was good at everything.

I have no illusion that two of my kids think I am invincible. They don’t. They are teenagers and they get it… most of the time. They know that I can’t do everything. They know that there are people out there that can beat me up (John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin – I do get cool points for Steve as we went to college together). I can run faster than many Dads… just not all of them. I cry at sad movies and the national anthem. I am not good at everything.

My 5 year old still thinks I can do anything. That is tough to live up to. But I try.

I have a friend that meets many of those criteria. Many of the same ones that I would have liked to have been. He’s big. Bigger than life itself sometimes. He takes over when he enters the room. He is hard to miss. He played football at two different colleges. He plays basketball the same way that I do. Find someone and lean on them… call for the ball… take it to the hole. Like me he has a wife and kids. He has a good job. And he loves basketball.

He calls me at least once per month to check in and to let me help him cover some miles. He travels quite often. Texas has many wide open spaces. Spaces that can get monotonous. I try to help whenever I can. Giving him anywhere from 5 to 30 miles of conversation. Helping him get home safely. Helping the time pass just a little faster.

He called me the other day. He needed a phone number of another friend. I didn’t have it but I tracked it down for him. No questions asked. He said he would call me. We needed to talk. Not unusual. He said he would call me back.

Several days passed and he called. He told me that he had some news for me. None of this was unusual as he always has a story to tell. I was not ready for this one. I was not prepared. I was floored.

He has cancer.

He is only two years older than me… and he has cancer.

It was a punch to the stomach for me. I was sick. We have been friends for 20 years. 20 years of having another brother. 20 years of life spent helping each other. 20 years of laughs. 20 years of competing with each other. 20 years… half of my life.

Like usual for him he has consulted the best. He has several options and he has a plan. A plan to live.

My friend is mortal… but he is a fighter… here’s to 20 more years of laughs… and playing on the low block.

I Miss My Dad…

Monday, Janurary 12 my Dad would have been 78. I miss him. 

My youngest will be six in June. He never knew his grandfather… he was born after my Dad died. 

My Dad was a hat guy… looked good in them… wore them often… this is for you Dad…



January 5, 2009

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my third year at Smithfield Elementary. I can’t believe I have been there this long. My how time flies.

Let’s see… in the past two years…

I have hired 2.5 people. Great hires I would have to say. Two office workers and .5 of a teacher. I think stability is a word that is synonymous with Smithfield. Makes the summers sort of boring… but I embrace that.

I started on a doctorate in education. One year down… two more to go. Five of us (four from BISD and one from EMSISD) are in this together. 

My two seventh graders started school sports this year… football season had us out of the house two nights per week. I felt like I was coaching again.


Where Are They Now?

This is my twentieth year in education. I have worked with many great people. Many of them coaches. As many of you know, I used to be a coach.  I’m dedicating this “Where Are They Now?” to all the former coaches that I worked with. I thought I would write about where some of them are now.  Here we go…

First Stop… Watauga Middle School

Jack Williams – Then – Head Coach / History Teacher                        

                            Now – Retired – was principal of Boyd H.S.

Curtis Clinesmith – Then – Coach / History Teacher                          

                                   Now – Attorney at Law – Denton, TX                                                                          

John David McPherson – Then – Coach / Math Teacher                      

                                            Now – Securities  (was an AP)

Kyle Scruggs – Then – Coach / PE Teacher  

                           Now – Executive with Cord Bank

Joe Ward – Then – Coach / Spanish Teacher                                      

                    Now –  Head Coach Watauga M.S. (working on Admin)

Brad Koskelin – Then – Coach / PE Teacher                                        

                            Now – Principal – Mabank H.S.

Gina Spurlock – Then – Coach / PE & Health Teacher                        

                             Now – Assistant Principal Extraordinaire – Smithfield

Diana Reynolds – Then – Coach / PE Teacher                                      

                               Now – Head Basketball Coach Colleyville Heritage. H.S.

Joanna Crow – Then – Coach / PE Teacher                                          

                          Now – Teacher

Cynthia Rinehart – Then – Coach / PE Teacher                                    

                                  Now – Teacher of the Year – Birdville H.S. – World Geography

                                             Teacher / Coach          

Renee Lavergne – Then – PE Teacher / Coach

                                Now – ?

Laura Jordan – Then – Coach / PE Teacher                                          

                           Now – teacher

Marci Waggoner – Then – Math Teacher / Coach

                                 Now – ?


Haltom High School

Larry Wayne Haynes –  Then – Head Football Coach / Athletic Coordinator

                                         Now – Head Football Coach – Athletic Director- Hardin H.S.

Mike Carraway – Then – Assistant Head Coach / PE                    

                              Now – Assistant Head Coach – Hardin H.S.

Tal Sanders – Then – Offensive Coordinator / Health                

                         Now – Head Football Coach – Tom Bean H.S.

Nick Labus – Then – Head Track Coach / PE                                                  

                        Now – Retired

Mike Hamilton – Then – Coach / Math Teacher                          

                              Now – ?

Dan Kelcourse – Then – Offensive Coordinator / Math Teacher                    

                             Now – Retired

David Wood – Then – Coach / History

                          Now – Retired – coaching at Pantego Christian

     * David actually coached me when I was in high school. I had the pleasure of

        coaching his son at HHS

Larry Hefley – Then – Defensive Coordinator / History                                

                          Now – Retired – coaching at Pantego Christian

Bill Coward – Then – Coach / History                                          

                        Now – Retired – coaching at Glenrose M.S.

John Leseman – Then – Coach / History                                      

                            Now – Retired – Security Guard Birdville H.S.

Greg Watson – Then – Coach / History                                        

                          Now – Principal – Gilmer H.S.

Charlie Llewellyn – Then – Coach / History                                  

                                  Now – Assistant Principal Hillwood M.S.

Darron Williams – Then – Coach / Science                                  

                                Now – Selling Yachts

Jerry Caruthers – Then – Coach / Math                                        

                              Now – Coaching @ Haltom High School

Glen Serviente – Then – Baseball/Football Coach / History Teacher

                             Now – Assistant Principal at Birdville High School

James Johnson – Then – History Teacher/Coach

                             Now – Assistant Principal at Fossil Ridge High School

Lonnie Jordan – Then – Coach / Science                                      

                            Now – Offensive Coordinator at Lake Highlands High School

Jason Tucker – Then – Coach / Math                                            

                           Now – Defensive Coordinator at  Burleson H.S.

Joey Simms – Then – Coach

                        Now – Basketball/Football Coach at Arlington Bowie H.S.

Mike Moore – Then – Head Girls Soccer Coach / Math                                              

                         Now – Math & Coaching basketball and volleyball

     * – Mike and I spent some long cold rainy nights on the bench of some girls

          soccer games at HHS. Those were some long nights. Mike Moore is one

          of the greatest coaches I know because he worked at it everyday… never

          giving up… never giving in.

Earning My Man Card Back… One Day at a Time!

I had to leave work for about two hours yesterday. I had to go home to meet the delivery people. I didn’t realize that this trip would lead to me earning back part of my man card. That stems from a post that I wrote a while back. One of my Kinder teachers said it should be revoked. Back to my story…

My lovely wife and I bought a new washer and dryer on Saturday. Money off and 18 months no interest. We opted for the new and modern front loading washing machine and the paired dryer.

The machines are a little larger than our old ones. I was afraid they wouldn’t fit and we would have major issues. But, alas, the fit was perfect. The guys ran them through a short test to make sure they worked. One of the installers gave me the review of how to use them. Not quite the same as the slick sales guy at the store. I smiled and nodded… knowing I would have to read the manual… which I have done… kind of.

You are reading this and wondering when am I going to get my man card back… isn’t laundry a woman’s job? Not in my house… I do the majority of the laundry… except for Tyler’s… he is on his own… that is a blog in itself. Back to the man card.

When Riley and I got home we had to tryout the new machines. I asked him if he wanted to play a game or put laundry in the washer. The washer won. The new toy. We loaded the washer with towels. We read the directions together. Put soap, yes High Efficiency (HE) soap in the dispenser. Riley dialed up towels on the display and pushed start. It was on.

I got a stool and we sat and watched the washer run… for 54 minutes. 

Yes… the two of us on a stool… for 54 minutes… watching clothes tumble and spin. What a spectacular show it was.

When the last spin cycle finished the washer played a song to let us know it was done. The door unlocked. Riley opened and removed the towels placing them in the dryer. He spun the dial to towels and pushed play.

He wanted to watch the towels dry. The estimated time was 54 minutes. I don’t think either of us could have sat and watched 54 minutes of towels tumbling.

Riley went to bed with the visions of precision machinery cleaning our clothes. I’m such a proud father.

The towels dried in twenty minutes. In the words of Mike Rowe, “Let’s get dirty” I have a new washer and dryer to use.


I was driving home from work the other day with two of my boys. As we drive into my neighborhood, my twelve year old cries foul. I ask him what he is talking about and he says, “It’s still September and people are putting up Halloween decorations.”

Now I’m not one to run from Halloween. I think it is a great day. One of the best of the year. It’s not great because of the candy or the costumes (wait… maybe that part is good). It is great because it is my birthday… I digress.

What gives people the right to put up the Halloween stuff before October? Most of what I have seen was put up before the official beginning of fall (that was Tuesday). So… tomorrow… I’m going to take some pictures of the offenders work and post it here… you be the judge.

Wait… what is that noise… is Walmart putting up Christmas decorations already?