Coffee Talk #OldSchoolBlogging Vol. 2

coffee talk

You’d think by the age of 42, I’d know better than to get myself sunburned, but I’m sitting here tonight (Friday) and I look like a lobster and I feel like a stupid teenager who slathered herself in baby oil and sat on the beach all day.

This morning was gorgeous, sunny and about 75 degrees — perfection. So I decided to sit out on my deck after my workout and ice my foot and soak up some rays. The weather was so amazing and Facebook was so captivating that I ended up staying outside for an hour. It was okay, though. I have been getting a small amount of sun almost every day and an hour wasn’t going to be a problem.

After that, I got myself gussied up and headed over to the elementary school to help out in my daughter’s classroom for her end of the year party. I thought I’d be spending 30 minutes in the classroom, overseeing 21 2nd graders as they snacked on junk food and played a few games.

When I arrived, I was directed to the playground, where all four of the 2nd grade classes were about to converge for a 90-minute rotation through a slew of carnival games some of the room moms had organized. Awesome. Sounds like fun, right? Yeah, maybe. For the kids.

I soon realized, while standing in the blazing sun directing a game where the kids tried to throw ping pong balls into small fishbowls, that I was doomed. I was completely unprepared to be outside and I had no sunscreen with me.

I got home afterwards with an aching foot (I had worn my Dansko sandals, which were not exactly conducive to chasing ping pong balls all over a windy playground) and arms and shoulders that look like a lobster.

Did you do the math? That is 2-1/2 hours in the midday sun at the beginning of the summer. #passthealoe

I also had an interesting experience as I led some of the games. The kids kept asking if there would be prizes, or what they would get if they win. To which I had to say, “Everyone gets a prize at the end.”

They were baffled. One kid even articulated that having no winners took the fun out of it. I had to agree.

What kind of generation are we raising if our kids don’t get rewarded for winning or learn how to control their disappointment over losing? I truly fear for the next generation, and I’m not trying to be dramatic. I really wonder what the next 50 years will look like in this country. The funny thing is, every parent I know says the same thing. So WHO is making this new set of rules if we all seem to agree that our kids need to learn that it’s okay to win and sometimes we lose???

One of the parents and I were discussing this, and she pointed out that at Field Day, they no longer hand out ribbons for winning the various games. WHEN did that happen!? My son used to come home with 1st and 2nd place ribbons, and that was just a few years ago.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain if I’m not volunteering to help run these events, but I’m really fed up with this “everybody wins” crap. Cuz that’s what it is. Pure crap.

You know what they call the Tug of War now? Tug of Fun. I’m not joking. I wish I were.

But back to my foot. I thought it was doing better this week but today has been bad. I think I will have to ante up and get that PRP injection. I don’t think it’s really going to fix it though. I just have a really bad feeling that I’m going to fight with this plantar fasciitis for…. well, ever, maybe. I wish I knew the right thing to do. It seems crazy to get put out for a 50% chance of success. Then there’s the whole stem cell thing that they think I should try instead, but it’s so new. I just don’t know. What would you do???

In other news, the Target Inner Circle is no more. I’m sad. They didn’t say it, but my guess is they haven’t recovered from the big credit card fiasco during the holidays and so this program was put on the chopping block. That’s about the time that I stopped hearing from them, and then this week we got word that the entire group is being dismantled. It was really a fun gig, and I’m bummed. I enjoyed being associated with such an iconic brand. It wasn’t a paid partnership, although I did receive gift cards to facilitate some of my projects with them. But the best part of the program was the experiences they provided us. It really was an honor to be a part of it, even though it was short lived.

Last night my husband and I hired a babysitter and went out to eat at our favorite restaurant where we had the tasting menu and tried all kinds of interesting delicacies. I chronicled our courses on Instagram. Here’s a photo of us all gussied up to go out.


Tomorrow we are planning to attend a local Blues Festival. I’m looking forward to a lazy day (with a big tent, I HOPE!!) listening to music and hanging out with the family. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous again, and I could use a day to just chill. Then on Sunday after church, my daughter has a violin recital.

What are you up to this weekend?

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24 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #OldSchoolBlogging Vol. 2

  1. This weekend is my nephew’s high school graduation and his party, and a visit from my brother who lives in Las Vegas! I can’t wait, and the weather here is suppose to be beautiful!

  2. Too bad about the sunburn! I guess we have to start slathering the sunscreen on right after the shower to be prepared for the day ahead. The sun just feels so good after this rainy, wet spring. My kids are ages 20, 22 and 24, but I totally agree with you about the “everyone wins” policy that seems to be everywhere these days. Two years ago, when my youngest was a senior in high school they took away the competition involved during Spirit Week, which was all about each grade competing for best hallway decoration, most cell phones collected for charity, outdoor games, and various other challenges. Now they are still expected to participate, but there is no judging, and no one “wins”. Not sure why our society is so afraid of experiencing loss and life’s disappointments. Isn’t that how we learn?

  3. We’re going to a wedding tomorrow. It’s at 10 a.m. so we’ll probably collect the kids and head down the shore for the rest of the weekend. And you’re right. Today was gorgeous!

  4. I couldn’t agree more with the winning/prizes commentary! My daughter just had X-tra special awards and she was upset because she didn’t get an award. Honestly, I was THRILLED because as I explained to her, when EVERYONE wins, NO ONE actually wins. This helps you realize how to strive for earning that award. She quickly moved on! They will survive and thrive when they are awarded for their achievements, not just simply being there.

  5. We just found out about an awesome-looking WWII air show in Reading, which we’ll be checking out this weekend. It’s not inexpensive ($25 for adults, $12 for kids 6-12) but apparently it’s one of the largest events of its kind in the country.


    1. Oh, and I teach 1st grade at a Christian school, where we happily hand out 1st and 2nd place ribbons on Field Day. Just this week, I heard that some schools have replaced Field Day with “Cooperation Day.” Where does it end????

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your sunburn! I’d like to insert my opinion on the everyone wins crap. It’s exactly that… crap. I have a nine-year-old daughter who has participated in various sports, as well as field day and other activities, and they get “participation trophies” for the sports and a “Field Day 2014” ribbon {as long as they participate in a certain number of activities}. What lesson is this supposed to teach them? These kids have this idea that as long as they show up, they’ll be rewarded. That they don’t have to put forth any effort and they get the same recognition as the kid who worked his or her tail off. Not acceptable.

    Did you see the article floating around about kids and sharing? {You can find it here: http://moms.popsugar.com/Should-You-Teach-Kids-Share-27333250.} This is right up there with the everyone wins ridiculousness. All we’re doing is hindering our kids in preparing them for the real world. When they grow up and get a job, all of the employees aren’t going to get raises or promotions at the same time, and they certainly aren’t going to be rewarded just for showing up!

    I’m so happy to see someone putting this out there, because I rarely see anyone putting it out on a public forum. Sure, we all gripe about it among ourselves, but you’re right… what are we doing about it?

  7. I did the surgery on my foot about fifteen years ago.I was tired of all the shots in my foot all the dollars spent on shoes ect ect and most of all the pain!! It was somewhat hard to recover from but was the best thing I did and have had no more trouble.To me in the long run this was just the best thing to do and get on with life!!!

    1. Interesting. I’ll tuck that info away. My doc is reticent to do surgery because he says it can cause a bigger issue with the outside of the sole of the foot, and he said that is even HARDER to treat. I guess he’s reserving that for the last resort.

  8. Oh, Jo -Lynne I so agree with you about the everybody wins crap! I shared the “tug of fun” with my husband and we were cracking up! Sheesh. And it never occurred to me to wonder who was deciding this, ha! Must be the education “experts” In the meantime, maybe we’ll have to start giving ribbons to whoever wins our games we play at home, just so the kids know the feeling. 🙂

  9. Oh my goodness, Tug of Fun?! lol I totally agree with you – if kids don’t understand that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and they think everyone always wins, how do they handle disappointments in life that will come? What I’m doing this weekend? Perhaps a bit of yardsaling today and a picnic with some friends tomorrow after church. Oh, and you’ve reminded me to put a small bottle of sunscreen in my purse! 🙂

  10. The intermediate school I teach in has a huge field day, it’s like a real track meet with heats and finals, timers, and points for winning. First-third place get a ribbon or trophy. The whole day ends with a Tug O’ War class tournament, winning class gets a trophy, none of that “everyone’s a winner” mess! And all the teachers leave with a sunburn, too!

  11. First off, let me say I love the old school blogging. I pretty much gave up blogging because I was tired of all the commercialized stuff. I miss the open dialog and just reading about what everyone is doing in their life. I wasn’t into the branding and having ads on my blog. But that’s just me. Secondly, the sunburn and the foot issues stink. I hope your foot heals without the surgery. Lastly, I apologize if what I say is a repeat since I didn’t read through all the comments. I am a home room mom and very active in our school’s home and school association. Although I agree there should be winners and losers because kids need to learn that when they become adults no one hands you a prize for just showing up, I know why schools have stopped having winners (which also means there are losers). No matter how fair the competition or how well run there is always some parent who whines and complains because their child didn’t get a prize and so and so’ kid did. I chair a month long pledge a penny a minute readathon at our school. We have 600 students and about 450 compete. At the end prizes are given to the top reader in each grade. We also have a raffle of prizes at the end in which students who participated are given a raffle ticket for every 100 minutes read. Due to parent complaints we instituted a rule where every child gets a Free raffle ticket when they turn in their first 100 minutes. We had 26 raffle prizes. You guessed it, at the end of the event and raffle I received a nasty letter from some mom who was mad because her kid didn’t get a prize. He wasn’t a top reader but he had more than one ticket go into the raffle drawing. Unfortunately, anyone can win a raffle whether they had one ticket or 30 tickets. My kid didn’t win anything either and he just missed being the top reader in his grade. He was disappointed but shook the hand of the winner and said congratulations. We can’t afford 450 prizes. The point of the event is to get the kids reading not give our kids prizes for doing something they should be encouraged to do anyway, but the teacher who heads it knows the kids read more if a carrot is dangled in front of them. But there is always a complainer and it’s usually not the kids so schools have solved that by saying there are no winners or losers. Sorry for the novella.

  12. I got a sunburn at Field day as well! I just missed a spot on my neck and shoulder. Ow!

    I am ok with handing out no ribbons or prizes for things like field day. I am really against “participation” prizes/trophies, though. My kids are near your kids ages and they don’t really value the participation awards. They don’t mean anything. One exception, my middle school daughter treasures the participation ribbon that she gets at one of the cross country meets. She shows up to every practice, ices after every run. Runs her heart out but like me, she is slow. She has not even finished in the top 10 of our team, so she appreciates that ribbon and views it as a reward for working just as hard, EVEN though it does not result in a win. I am not saying that it always has to be that way but sometimes it helps to be recognized for doing something difficult even when they are not THE BEST.

    1. I agree, there are times when it’s appropriate (although this is why there are often medals for things like “most improved” and “exceptional effort” – to award those who will never be first but who accomplish a lot because of their hard work).

      ANYWHO. I think it depends on the program. Girls on the Run gives every girl a medal for completing the race. The program is all about building confidence and trying something new – it’s never about competing, and in that case, I think the medal was appropriate. The medal was for the achievement (completing the 5K) which was in and of itself an accomplishment. And it meant THE WORLD to my daughter. Same with my half marathon. A medal just for completing (not showing up, but actually doing the hard work training for months and completing the race) was appropriate (I think, lol!) But then the first, second and third place finishers got all the pomp and circumstance.

      And the thing about field day and this little class party – I’m not saying they need ribbons. But there should be some incentive to winning or a reason to actually play. So my post was already too long so I left this out. But here is the rest of the story…..

      I was leading that game where there were two teams, and they had to dribble around a line of cones. I showed them what to do, and they started going. They were bored, they weren’t trying hard, they were being silly. It was dumb. They even said they were bored and didn’t want to do this. I knew something had to change.

      So then I told them it was a race. They all started cheering for each other and trying to actually PLAY. Suddenly they were having fun. They loved it.

      They didn’t need to win a ribbon or prize, but there was no fun in it until it was a healthy competition. It’s human nature, and it shouldn’t be squelched (I THINK.)

      For the other game I was leading, the one I was referring to in my blog post, they had to throw those ping pong balls into the fish bowls. It was HARD. They kept saying, “What do we get if we get it in?” There were SUPPOSED to be prizes, and then whoever was running the thing decided not to give them out and to just give everyone a goody bag at the end of the day. If there HAD been a prize, it would have been more fun. Just a silly dollar store prize. Something. Although I have to say, they really enjoyed that game, because it was challenging, and some stuck around and kept playing after everyone had a turn, even though there was really no incentive to winning besides actually accomplishing the goal. (It was harder than it sounds! LOL)

      Anyway. That’s my book. The end. 🙂

      1. Thanks for more book! I had to cut my response short too! I agree with you completely. I at field day I ran a water relay. It was a race, the kids ran, it was hot and they cheered for themselves (and then the teams with kids with challenges). It was a good thing. They got Popsicle at the end of the day, but no other prizes. I think it was great. I think competition is good. Both of my daughters (3rd and 7th grades) are very good at certain things but not always the best. The competition teaches them to refine their skills and pay attention to the target.

        I think the Girls on the Run situation is great as well. Its whole point is about doing something hard and those girls do. I am proud of my race shirts even though I have never placed.

        It is so hard being a teacher. There is value in a job well done and rewarding the top has it value, as well. I think all of our point is “Don’t reward just showing up”. Thanks for the additional comments!

  13. I could not agree more about this ridiculous “everyone wins” situation we’ve gotten ourselves into. Human beings actually thrive on competition – that’s how we keep moving forward and make ourselves better! Among my friends, we all agree that things have gotten out of hand. But my teacher friends tell me that there are tons of parents who get mad if their child doesn’t get a participation award. Sigh. I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m with you – I fear for this generation when they grow up and find out that things aren’t always equal, and you have to work hard to get ahead in life. On the positive side, I hope you’ve had a great weekend! I enjoy your blog so much!

    1. I think it’s time to stand up to whiny parents. (Easier said than done, I’m sure, but really. We need to end this.)

      And thanks for the kind words about my blog! That means so much. 🙂

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