Lessons from a First-Year Teacher

Obviously I wouldn't consider myself an expert at teaching, or even close to one.  However, there are some lessons I've learned in my first month or two that I would like to pass on to any future teachers out there :)

  • Set a time for yourself that you will leave the school and STICK TO IT.  Teaching is one of those jobs that there is ALWAYS work to be done and it's so easy to stay at school into the late hours of the night.  It's important to have a life outside of your job, so set a time that you will leave for the day and stick to it!  My school lets out at 4 pm. so most of the time I tell myself I'll leave by 5:30.  That doesn't mean I don't go home and work a little more, but it's a nice change of scenery and gives me the time to go meet friends for dinner or catch a quick workout.
  • Don't grade papers at school.  Now, I've actually been told just the opposite from several teachers and I'm sure once I have a family my stance on this will change.  For now though, I like to grade papers while catching up on my favorite tv shows.  This just allows me to have my planning time to actually plan, or have conferences.
  • Coffee, Ibuprofen, and Dark Chocolate are your friends.  If you're having a really rough day, take all three :)
  • Get involved in school activities outside of the subject area you teach in.  Coaching Cheer, while very time consuming, has allowed me to meet people in the school that I would not have normally met.  It also allows my students to see me outside of the classroom, and gives me the chance to be involved in every pep rally and other fun school events.  Helping with Miss BHS allowed me to get to know some of the Senior girls, whom I normally don't see since I teach on the opposite side of campus.
  • Make your presence known.  Don't just assume your administrators will know you're doing your job well.  If you have a great lesson that day shoot them an email about it.  If you're on duty, make sure you find one of them and say good morning.  Stand in the hallway in between classes.  Make yourself stand out!
  • Make teacher friends!  I'm lucky and several of my best friends from the MAT actually teach at my school.  It's great to be able to talk with them and know they know exactly what I'm talking about.  It's nice to have buddies at staff-development and faculty meetings, and someone to let me back in the building every time I lock myself out :)


False Alarm

One of the things you should know about me is I'm a tad bit paranoid... Wait. Have you met my mom?? Haha. I come by it honestly.

When I decided to live by myself, the most important thing to my parents was for me to live in a very safe area. I live in one of the safest areas of my town in a gated subdivision.... But I still get freaked out from time to

So my dad, being the most amazing dad that he is, had a security system installed in my condo.

Plus, every single one of my doors looks like this...

Yes, that is four locks you see. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you ;)

One of my guy friends constantly makes fun of my paranoia, I can't help it!

So lately the only action my alarm has gotten is when I accidentally set it off. Until last night...

I went to church and had left my phone on silent in my purse. When I checked my phone I had several calls/texts/voicemails from my mom and a couple calls from ADT. Evidently someone/something had set my alarm off at church. Since no one could get a hold of me, they sent the police to my house. Yea... I'm definitely the most hated neighbor on the block now...
Anyway, I was a little freaked out and dragged my friend Tom over to my house to look in every nook and cranny of my house to make sure no one was waiting to snatch me! I'm sure I'll never live this one down!
So after getting no sleep because I was so freaked out, it turns out I just didn't shut my door all the way when I left for church. Wow. I probably shouldn't let too many people know that.

So moral of the story is.... Alarms are great, when you know how to use them!

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The Day the World Stopped Turning

Every time I think of September 11th, which actually does cross my mind pretty often, strange enough, I think of the Alan Jackson song...

"Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day"

I was in the hallway between classes in the 8th grade at Cabot Junior High North.  I remember a friend yelled it out at me as I was passing him..

"Hey Jen... did you hear what happened in New York?"

I was very young, and didn't understand the implications that surrounded that fateful day, but I do remember watching, stunned, in English class as the second plane ran into the tower.

I was young, but not naive enough to ignore what this meant for my family.  You see... my dad is a retired Colonel in the Air Force, a pilot to be exact.  At the time of September 11th, he was still active duty, leading a large squadron of men at the Little Rock Air Force Base.  As soon as the planes hit the towers, my dad was called in on High Alert.  My family, as well as the rest of the world, set on pins and needles that night waiting for what the next move would be.  Waiting to know whether or not my Dad would leave immediately to go fight in, another, yet highly necessary war.

He didn't get called out that night... but later, so many young men did, and still continue.  To fight for our freedom, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

 Today as I was watching the News coverage of the 9-11 dedication ceremony, my heart broke for all the families whose lives were torn apart when those planes hit the towers.   10 years has passed, yet I know in their hearts not a day goes by that they don't remember their loved ones.  I'm so thankful for our military, emergency personnel, and government officials who put their lives on the line on a daily basis for our freedom.

I never take for granted the fact that I was born in a country where I feel safe every day.

Yesterday, as a perfect stranger thanked my dad for his service, I was reminded of all that is good and right in our country, and my heart swelled with pride for my dad's selfless act of service.

You tell me all the time how proud you are of me and all my accomplishments, yet I sometimes fail to tell you how proud I am of you and Mom and for sacrificing having the "typical" family life in order to serve our country.  I know that we will never truly understand the sacrifices you made to serve, nor will you ever earn your full reward on Earth, but I'm so thankful to have you for a Dad.  I TRULY have the best parents in the world.

I love yall...



You cannot learn to be happy with someone else, until you are at first happy being with yourself.

I guess my life lately could be summed up perfectly in a casual thought spoken by one of my friends that has stuck for a while...

"Who would have thought that here we would be, most of us married and you, Jennifer Bradley, single?"

She didn't mean any harm by it, just the honest truth.  I was always the girl who went from one long-term relationship to the next.  I had incredible meaningful relationships with some amazing guys from high school through college that helped shape me into the person I am today.  Alongside those relationships, I've always had a handful of guys who've I've always considered some of my closest friends.  

Being single, while the rest of my friends got married, honestly was a part of life I never thought I would experience.  It's not that the one thing I desired was to get married right away, I just honestly thought there would be no other option for me.  As a girl who was always in long-term relationships, it just seemed like the logical next step would be marriage when I graduated college.  

As I graduated college though, I knew that wouldn't be a possibility, and God had already planted seeds in my heart that would outgrow that teenage desire.  I won't act like it was easy, or still is, attending weddings alone, or being the third wheel at many dinners with my married friends.  Last year, was probably the hardest for that.  I began wondering what was wrong with me. Why wouldn't a guy choose me to marry, when all of my friends were clearly "chosen".  As I began to grow more and more frustrated, I slowly opened my heart and let my Savior speak.  As I listened I could hear Him saying, "I chose you."  I won't lie though, in those moments, He wasn't enough for me.  I wanted a relationship.  I wasn't happy being alone.

Somewhere along the way though, my heart slowly began to change.  I allowed God to work in me, and change my desires to His desires for my life.  He gave me a heavenly peace about where He has me in life.  He helped me to realize that while He chose marriage at this point in my friends lives, the plans He has for me require for me to remain single.  He also eased my worries and fears because He DID place in my heart a desire for marriage and at the perfect time He will bring into my life the one my heart was made for.  I can't explain the incredible relief I have in knowing my heavenly Father is taking care of everything, in not having to search.

I never thought I could ever be the girl who would say that I am perfectly content being single at this time in my life.  My fulfillment and contentedness comes from my job, my friends, my family, and God. At which the time comes that God does bring a man into my life, He will only add to it.... Not fill a hole.  Because I've let God fill that hole.


You Choose

People often assume or tell me that my life is so easy, therefore it's automatically easy for me to be optimistic.  It frustrates me so much. My lot in life hasn't been any easier than yours..  I've had struggles, said things I shouldn't have, fought with friends, lost friends, had my heart broken multiple times.... The list could go on.  It frustrates me that people assume my life is easy and therefore, it's naturally easy for me to be a happy person.  

Yes, I am incredibly blessed I will be the first to admit.  I'm also incredibly thankful for both my blessings and my trials, and that is what I believe is the key to my happiness.  Thankfulness breeds happiness because you realize that you do not deserve anything, but rather the Lord has chosen you to bless, to favor.  How can you NOT be happy about that?

Every single day, I CHOOSE to be happy.  I CHOOSE to see the good in others.  I CHOOSE to take the days stress, frustrations, and menial chores and turn them into something to be thankful about.  Some days I flat out do not want to be happy.  Some days I would rather go back to bed.  Some days I would like to flip off the person who cuts in front of me on the road, snap at my students as they ask me the same question for the thousandth time, or run my little cheerleaders ragged for making the same mistakes....  BUT then I am reminded how God must feel with me as I make the same mistakes over and over, ask the same questions of Him thousands of times, and cut His time with me short because I'm too busy or tired.  So it is with this in mind that I CHOOSE optimism and CHOOSE to see the best in people.  

Happiness is a choice, not a feeling.  

Want more?  Go HERE.


Heavy Heart

It is with such a heavy heart that I type these words...

A precious senior at the school I teach was killed in a tragic car accident yesterday.  She was beautiful, smart, and very well-liked.  She had just been nominated for homecoming that day.  She had her whole life ahead of her.

She was an only child....   I cannot even begin to imagine the grief her parents are facing right now.

We heard the news while at a football game.  Students went in droves to the hospital and to Sara's parents' home to grieve together.  A faculty meeting was scheduled first thing in the morning to talk about how to help our students grieve.

I could never have been prepared for what I would see as I walked into the building that morning.  The entire student body wearing blue (Sara's favorite color), crying, hugging each other, looking for hope.  The most difficult thing being a teacher, or a parent is helping a child learn to grieve.

Our staff meeting was even more difficult as our principal could not contain her sorrow over losing such a joy to our student body.  One of our school police officers rushed to the scene of the accident upon hearing it was a BHS student.  He described to us the details of the accident.  Seeing a grown man, break down and cry is not something you see very often.  A testament to Sara's effect on others.

Soon after, Sara's parents came up to the school to be with the students.  I could not be more proud to teach the amazing students of BHS.  Seeing, each child suddenly grow beyond their years as they offered words of support and comfort to her parents, overcome with grief, is one memory I will carry with me forever.

The rest of the day was a haze for most of the students.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for every teacher, administrator and staff member of BHS as they granted every single student the opportunity to grieve in their own way.  They were allowed to sit with friends in the gym, meet with grief counselors, write letters, cards, or use other creative outlets.

It is without a doubt that I can say the students at BHS will use tragedy to create hope.  They already have so many ideas of how they would like to honor Sara's life and her parents.

Teaching can be difficult, and today most certainly was one of those days...  But today proved to me that the heart of life is good.


The New Thursday

Last year, it killed me that I couldn't really go out on Thursday nights like I used to or stay up late just socializing with friends "on a school night". Today, I was walking out of the gym around 630 after coaching for a couple of hours. Only once I checked my twitter did it hit me, it's Thursday night. The night that used to mean the start of the weekend. Now, Thursday's mean the last "B" day of the week, cheer practice, and football games. And I'm perfectly ok with that.

I guess this is what it feels like to become an adult.

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First Week and a Little Tiger Pride

Whew. I made it through my first week of teaching! Having interned all last year, I liked to think that I was prepared for the first week of school. However, nothing could have prepared me for the constant, nagging stress I would now feel each afternoon as I wrestle with the thought of going home, or staying for one more hour to tackle the never ending to do list.
I now understand how teachers easily work into the late evening hours each day and still find it necessary to venture down those halls on the weekends too. I limit myself though, I make myself go home by 5:30 at the latest, and will not allow myself to even step foot near BHS on a Saturday. Ha!
I love being a teacher though, and so the anxiety and stress are all worth it!
Combined with welcoming my students to their first year in high school, I've also been prepping my cheerleaders for a "little" thing called Tiger Pride. It's basically like a back to school BBQ on steroids complete with scrimmages, performances, fair food, and vendors from all around.

So naturally I spent a lot of time with this big blue mat and 18 energetic cheerleaders. Nothing makes you wanna work out more than being around these girls 24/7, haha!
All the hours of practice were worth it though as they made their first appearance as BHS cheerleaders!

Sorry for the total blurriness of the picture, I was taking a picture of the one on my camera.

So alls well that ends well.

I'm gearing up for another fun filled week at BHS, wish me luck!

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God is Good

I always underestimate the power of prayer. Recently I've been trying to write down my prayer requests and it's amazing all the ways God answers prayer.

2 Big Ones:

My friend Brittany and her husband both have been searching for teaching jobs. She began searching in May, but her husband has been searching for over a year! I've been praying for them for a while, but a couple of weeks ago I wrote it down in my journal and wholeheartedly prayed for their job situations. No lie the very next day Brittany called me saying she had been offered a job!

Today I got this text from her...

God is soooooooooooooo good :)

Also, my sister and her fiancé have been really searching for a house that would fit their growing family, and be in a great location.

They found this house in the same area as my parents! I'm so happy for them and can't wait to go see it!

Never underestimate prayer!



I've been spending so many hours up at the school getting everything just right for my students that I am flat out exhausted! I can't wait for a day to sleep in! Haha. With cheer practice this weekend, that might be a long ways away :(. At least I LOVE what I do!

Since all my energy as gone into planning science lessons (and as interesting as that can be) I'll just leave yall with a few iPhone pics of my week so far.

My sweet friend Stephanie sent me an awesome surprise for my new classroom! I love anything scentsy, and so she sent me the teacher warmer with some incredible scents! I'm so excited to use it(not to mention it will really come in handy with those smelly teenage boys! Ha!)

Anyone else sick of summer and this horrible heat wave we've had lately? Me too. I'm ready for fall and Razorback football season!

There's a TCBY within walking distance from my condo and to say I'm obsessed would be an understatement! At least it has probiotics in it, right?

I went on a walk last night and saw a baby bunny! It was precious and I really wanted to catch it, but I resisted.

My sweet niece and her crazy morning hair! Haha. What would I do without my iPhone to receive pictures and videos of this precious thing everyday??


Back to the Classroom

It's that time of year again.... Back to school!

Since I'm a first year teacher (cue scary music) I've spent the last several days getting my classroom ready for my students!

It went from this....

To this!


To this!

Since I'm a high school teacher, not nearly as many decorations are required (thank goodness!). BUT even the most mature high schoolers still appreciate a little color and fun!

So now that my room is ready, I'm on to meetings and lesson planning. Wish me luck!


I'm no Superman

I often laugh/cringe at how invincible I thought I was while I was in my teen years. The thought of getting hurt or something bad happening never crossed my mind. I would drive recklessly (I hope my parents aren't reading this!), love without abandon, and try anything at least once. To be so nonathletic and clumsy, I was the most adventurous person. Hence why I've had so many injuries in my short life :)

As I grow older, I look at my generation and realize now how our invincibility have turned into naivety. Somewhere along the way we miss the point that we WILL have struggles in this lifetime. I used to think that once I got out of my teens years, my life would become a bliss of perfection. Perfect job, perfect marriage, perfect kids, etc. Yea... go ahead and laugh. I do.

It's not just that things won't be perfect. It's that things won't always be as we intended for them to be. No matter how hard we work for that job, the economy could change and we could loose it. A spouse could be injured, or killed in tragic accident or an everyday situation. Children could become sick. You might have difficulties becoming pregnant, or.... no problem at all, if you know what I mean (haha).

What I intend, is not to tell you how life can change in the blink of an eye, we all know that. My future looks so bright right now, but I understand that there are hills and there are valley's. I continually remind myself to thank the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon me, but to also ask Him to build in me a faith that will withstand the hills. We will all face our mountains.



In the midst of a new home, new classroom, and new job..... I feel the blog needs a new look too.  Maybe then I'll stop being a bad blogger and post some things :)

So please excuse my mess...


Cyn-Sational Cakes

I don't know about ya'll, but cakes seem to be all the rage here lately.  The traditional sheet cake doesn't cut it anymore, parties are all about how crazy or inventive the cake can be!  These gorgeous 2 or 3 layer cakes can be pretty costly, not to mention, sometimes they don't even taste that great!

Let me let you in on a little family secret that shouldn't be kept secret anymore....

Cyn-Sational Cakes (Click to go directly to the website)

Cyndee is an incredible cake decorator, based out of North Little Rock, Arkansas, and wonderful to work with!  She does completely custom designs and her prices are VERY reasonable.  Not to mention, her cakes taste incredible!  Twinkee filling, need I say more?

We've used her for showers, graduation parties, birthdays, and she's doing my sister's wedding cake in the Spring.  Now, if you know my sister, she wouldn't trust just anyone to design her perfect wedding cake.  That's how much we trust Cyndee and love her cakes!

So the next time you need a cake for a special event, or even just to satisfy a craving, hop on over to Cyn-Sational Cakes and give Cyndee a try!


Where I've been lately

  • I packed up my childhood bedroom (sort of) and moved into my new place in Rogers.  We've spent the last week unpacking and getting everything arranged and decorated.  Saturday, my parents left to head back home, and since then I've been trying to get adjusted to life in a new city on my own.  

  • My mom took me to NYC to celebrate graduating with my masters degree (pictures to come soon).

  • I signed my first teaching contract, as well as became the new cheerleading coach for the JV team at BHS!  I'm beyond excited!  Now I'm working on getting my coaching endorsement, and getting my girls ready for football and competition season!

  • I'm trying to get back into the routine of working out since I've taken a long hiatus while I was at my parents house.  Nothing is worse than having to slowly build back up!

  • Started a new Bible study at Crosschurch with Tressa last night, and love it so far!


10 Rules I Always Break

Let me preface this by saying I am very much a rules girl.  I believe there are rules for a reason and they are not meant to be broken.  Boring, right.  Let's just say I was always the child who NEVER got into trouble.

BUT.... there are some that are either stupid, annoying, or way more fun to break.

1.  Take your contacts out a night.  Ever since getting contacts in the 6th grade (and WOW how much better I could see!) my mother, Optometrist, and practically everyone else I know stressed to me the importance of taking your contacts out at night time.  Don't get me wrong, I see the value in A. Saving your eye sight, and B. Letting your eyes "breath"  but who on earth has the time or patience to take them out every night and spend precious minutes putting them in each morning.  Not to mention, I am BLIND without them, blind I tell ya!  I prefer to be able to see the face of my attacker when he sneaks up beside my bed.

2.  Don't mix black and brown.  Sometimes, black and brown look pretty good together.  In fact, sometimes black complements brown, or the other way around.  So black and brown together?  Sometimes this is a DO.

3.  Don't eat raw cookie dough, batter, etc.  Who the crap invented this rule!  They just plain don't know what the simple pleasures in life are.  I keep the big economy size tubs of cookie dough from Sam's in my fridge, and lets just say I NEVER bake cookies.  I've never gotten food poisening, or salmenella, or any other diesease that I think our parents make up from it either.  Now I'm going to go knock on some wood....

4.  Don't ever picture your first name with the last name of whomever you're dating.  This is stupid.  I don't want to end up with a stupid name for the rest of my life, so I think it's very smart to think about what your name would sound like with his last name.  It's not like I'm picking out wedding venues here.

5.  Don't get back in your car while filling up your gas tank.  Umm... hello?  Do YOU live in the freaking artic otherwise know as Northwest Arkansas during the months of November-March?  Obviously whoever follows this rule lives in sunny Flordia or some island in the Pacific.  I know, I know I could shock myself and cause an explosion.  I "ground" myself before I touch the gas pump, I think thats plenty.

6.  Don't stay friends with your exes.  I think this is so stupid.  Yes, sometimes you have to have a clean break, and obviously when the relationship ends badly it's not really possible to stay friends.  But if a relationship ends because you just don't fit together, why end a great friendship?  My future husband, however, I'm sure will probably think differently on this one :)

7.  Don't have sex on the first date.  Who invented this one???   Whoa... kidding.  Just checking to make sure you're still with me here.

8.  Always eat breakfast.  They always say breakfast is the "most important meal of the day"... what I say is... who is THEY?  Sometimes I'm not hungry in the morning, sometimes I don't wake up until lunch time, and sometimes (ok, most of the time) I'm flying out the door in the morning.  So I say, eat when you're hungry.

9.  Don't walk when the sign says "Don't Walk".  J walking...what's that?  If there's no cars coming, I'm crossing the street!

10.  Dont eat after 7 p.m.  I understand that your body can't metabolize your food when you're sleeping.  But if you're not going to bed until 2 a.m then I think it's perfectly acceptable to not eat until 10.


10 Reasons Why I'm a Crappy Blogger

10.  I don't blog regularly.  I don't even blog semi-regularly.  My creativeness comes and goes in spurts.  Sorry.  Wait, I'm not sorry.

9.  I DO NOT like taking pictures of random every day occurrences i.e my cup of coffee, my outfit, what I ate for lunch....   I know pictures make blogs more interesting to read.  Pictures like that make me nuts.

8.  I don't have a kid.  Enough said.

7.  I don't like writing about the everyday humdum of my life, nor do I think you would be interested in the everyday humdum of my life.

6.  I make up words like "humdum".

5.  I don't like knowing people read my blog.  It makes me incredibly nervous.

4.  I don't shamelessly promote myself on top blog websites, facebook (ok, occasionally) or any of those other social devices.  (Wait... I probably WILL promote this one because I think it's genius... ha ha)

3.  I'm not incredibly in to myself.  Sometimes you have to be that way to be a good blogger.  I don't consider myself a celebrity, nor do I need "followers".  Which is probably good because I have umm... like 10.

2.  I'm not planning a wedding so you won't find weekly "wedding planning" posts on here.  Sorry.  Go check out theknot.com.  Or wait... just get on facebook people seem to think we love reading statuses about the florist they chose, the rings they picked out, or where they're honeymooning.

1.  I'm not vintage, nor do I like vintage.  I like the feeling of ripping a tag off of a shirt and can't stand the way old things smell.  My condo is very modern.  I will never understand the thrill of searching a vintage store for hours.  Do I appreciate the past and it's culture?  Yes.  Am I vintage?  No.  Nor do I understand it's growing popularity among bloggers, but for those of you who do/are.... good for you!


Crazy Girl

I don't care who you are, if you're a girl you have the ability to act....well... a little crazy sometimes.

Blame it on the weather, blame it on hormones, blame it on stress.  We ALL have our crazy moments.

Now what distinguishes us from those girls who truly are CRAZY are how often we let those moments overtake our lives, make our decisions, and flat out ruin our relationships.

Are you with me here girls?

The problem is, we know we are acting crazy and yet we still cannot reason with ourselves in our minds.

Let's take exhibit A:
You have had a particularly bad/boring/etc. kind of day.  You're looking forward to hearing from your crush/boyfriend/husband, only he doesn't call... or text... or do whatever you have planned in your mind on him doing.  Probably because he's busy you know.... WORKING.  Or doing whatever else he does.  Or maybe he's not busy, instead he's watching t.v, or surfing the internet, or doing whatever it is that he does when he's not with you.  The truth is, at this particular moment in time, he is NOT thinking about you.

That drives you crazy doesn't it?  How could he not be thinking about you?  How could he really not be thinking about anything?

We don't understand this, because quite frankly we don't understand the opposite sex at all.  We on one hand can think about a million things, juggle everything, and still manage to send sweet, thoughtful (ok, sometimes angry, irritated) text messages.  Guys on the other hand, cannot.  Easy enough.

Ok, so he doesn't text or call, or whatever and you start to get a little paranoid/insecure/whatever.  Don't you HATE that.  Ugh.  So.  Annoying.

What you can control is how you react to it.  So don't freak out, don't ask him a million questions of "what's wrong" or why is he being "standoffish" or whatever.

Just stop, breath, and DO SOMETHING you crazy girl.  Stop being bored enough to act like a crazy.

So this may or may not be directed at myself.

I digress.

So I guess what I'm saying is, we girls all have our crazy moments.   Keyword: MOMENTS here, not all the time.  I have yet to meet one who hasn't, and if there is one out there, more than likely she's not a true girl at all.

I guess my hope for our "genre" is that we will all find the guy for us who will love our crazy side, tell us we are acting crazy, and move on.

No one's perfect.

And all you married women don't even try and act like you don't have your crazy moments too!  We all know you do...


50 Things You Should Know How to Do

I love reading "Mark and Angel Hack Life".  The following list came from their blog:
50 Things You Should Know How To Do:
1.  Build a Fire – Fire produces heat and light, two basic necessities for living.  At some point in your life this knowledge may be vital.
2.  Operate a Computer – Fundamental computer knowledge is essential these days.  Please, help those in need.
3.  Use Google Effectively – Google knows everything.  If you’re having trouble finding something with Google, it’s you that needs help.
4.  Perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver – Someday it may be your wife, husband, son or daughter that needs help.
5.  Drive a Manual Transmission Vehicle – There will come a time when you’ll be stuck without this knowledge.
6.  Do Basic Cooking – If you can’t cook your own steak and eggs, you probably aren’t going to make it.
7.  Tell a Story that Captivates People’s Attention – If you can’t captivate their attention, you should probably just save your breath.
8.  Win or Avoid a Fistfight – Either way, you win.
9.  Deliver Bad News – Somebody has got to do it.  Unfortunately, someday that person will be you.
10.  Change a Tire – Because tires have air in them, and things with air in them eventually pop.
11.  Handle a Job Interview – I promise, sweating yourself into a nervous panic won’t land you the job.
12.  Manage Time – Not doing so is called wasting time, which is okay sometimes, but not all the time.
13.  Speed Read – Sometimes you just need the basic gist, and you needed it 5 minutes ago. 
14.  Remember Names – Do you like when someone tries to get your attention by screaming “hey you”?
15.  Relocate Living Spaces – Relocating is always a little tougher than you originally imagined.
16.  Travel Light – Bring only the necessities.  It’s the cheaper, easier, smarter thing to do.
17.  Handle the Police – Because jail isn’t fun… and neither is Bubba
18.  Give Driving Directions – Nobody likes driving around in circles.  Get this one right the first time.
19.  Perform Basic First Aid – You don’t have to be a doctor, or genius, to properly dress a wound.
20.  Swim – 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.  Learning to swim might be a good idea. 
21.  Parallel Park – Parallel parking is a requirement on most standard driver’s license driving tests, yet so many people have no clue how to do it.  How could this be?
22.  Recognize Personal Alcohol Limits – Otherwise you may wind up like this charming fellow.
23.  Select Good Produce – Rotten fruits and vegetables can be an evil tease and an awful surprise.
24.  Handle a Hammer, Axe or Handsaw – Carpenters are not the only ones who need tools.  Everyone should have a basic understanding of basic hand tools
25.  Make a Simple Budget – Being in debt is not fun.  A simple budget is the key.
26.  Speak at Least Two Common Languages – Only about 25% of the world’s population speaks English.  It would be nice if you could communicate with at least some of the remaining 75%.
27.  Do Push-Ups and Sit-Ups Properly – Improper push-ups and sit-ups do nothing but hurt your body and waste your time.
28.  Give a Compliment – It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, and it’s free.
29.  Negotiate – The better deal is only a question or two away.
30.  Listen Carefully to Others – The more you listen and the less you talk, the more you will learn and the less you will miss.
31.  Recite Basic Geography – If you don’t know where anything is outside of your own little bubble, most people will assume (and they are probably correct) that you don’t know too much at all.
32.  Paint a Room – The true cost of painting is 90% labor.  For simple painting jobs it makes no sense to pay someone 9 times what it would cost you to do it yourself.
33.  Make a Short, Informative Public Speech – At the next company meeting if your boss asks you to explain what you’ve been working on over the last month, a short, clear, informative response is surely your best bet.  “Duhhh…” will not cut it.
34.  Smile for the Camera – People that absolutely refuse to smile for the camera suck
35.  Flirt Without Looking Ridiculous – There is a fine line between successful flirting and utter disaster.  If you try too hard, you lose.  If you don’t try hard enough, you lose.
36. Take Useful Notes – Because useless notes are useless, and not taking notes is a recipe for failure.
37.  Be a Respectful House Guest – Otherwise you will be staying in a lot of hotels over the years.
38.  Make a Good First Impression – Aristotle once said, “well begun is half done.
39.  Navigate with a Map and Compass – What happens when the GPS craps out and you’re in the middle of nowhere?
40.  Sew a Button onto Clothing – It sure is cheaper than buying a new shirt.
41.  Hook Up a Basic Home Theater System – This isn’t rocket science.  Paying someone to do this shows sheer laziness.
42.  Type – Learning to type could save you days worth of time over the course of your lifetime.
43.  Protect Personal Identity Information – Personal identity theft is not fun unless you are the thief.  Don’t be careless.
44.  Implement Basic Computer Security Best Practices – You don’t have to be a computer science major to understand the fundamentals of creating complex passwords and using firewalls.  Doing so will surely save you a lot of grief someday.
45.  Detect a Lie – People will lie to you.  It’s a sad fact of life.
46.  End a Date Politely Without Making Promises – There is no excuse for making promises you do not intend to keep.  There is also no reason why you should have to make a decision on the spot about someone you hardly know.
47.  Remove a Stain – Once again, it’s far cheaper than buying a new one.
48.  Keep a Clean House – A clean house is the foundation for a clean, organized lifestyle.
49.  Hold a Baby – Trust me, injuring a baby is not what you want to do.
50.  Jump Start a Car – It sure beats walking or paying for a tow truck.


The Reading List

I know, I know.  I probably read to much.  Give me a break, it's summer and I'm a teacher which means no work for me!

Here's what's next on the list...