Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teacher of the Year

It's the end of May and I can hardly believe it because the weather here in Sheboygan is just NOT cooperating.  In a matter of weeks the kids will be gone from the classrooms and hallways.  Leaving behind the warriors of education to dismantle another year of excitement alone.  In the quiet of the rooms the chalkboards will be wiped down one last time before summer, the floors swept or vacuumed, desks rearranged and books stacked.  In some schools the world will be even more hectic.  As we wish a sad and solemn "Goodbye"  to Washington school forever, and we wish ESAA "Good Luck" as those Teachers pack.  Then move across town to their new home at Pigeon River.  While some of our Teachers will be moved from Washington to other schools, we wish them all well in this process.

Teachers are the backbone of our students energy and excitement.  They not only educate but engage and encourage the 3 E's the GameBoard lives by.  This year as we round that corner to summer we ask all our students to think back fondly on that Teacher that really touched their heart.  You know the one who carried you through.  Who asked you all the right questions and kept you enthralled.  WE all have them...sometimes we forget to say "Thanks" but they are still there anyways.  They LOVE to Teach, they ask little in return but for you to try your best.

I had such a Teacher her name is Marjorie Sterrett. She was my 2nd grade Teacher and for those of you doing the math, she had her 92nd Birthday last week.  YES you read that right and I could write it because she helped me to learn how. 92.....and ladies and gentlemen still sharp as a tack!  I was a lucky kid I had many more awesome Teachers along my journey many I have kept as a mentor and friend.  One even married into my family, giving my sister a wonderful husband, that's how lucky I am.

I know that all my customers have stories like these of Teachers that they LOVE!  so now it's your turn...don't put away your pencils yet.  Send us an email, or drop us a note and tell me the name of your favorite Teacher and a sentence of why.  Send them to  subject: Teacher of the Year.  Send it before June 7th and make sure your friends and family speak up too!

We want the Teachers to know how much they are loved and on my future blog we will list all the nominees and who nominated them.

I'm going to start this off:  I, Lynn Potyen, do nominate Marjorie Sterrett, as my Teacher of the Year.  Teacher of my Lifetime, because she didn't stop teaching me 39 years ago....Thanks Mrs Sterrett, I love you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The past isn't broken...we are.

On my walk the other day I saw a perfectly good, beautiful, clean, comfy looking arm chair on the curb.  I was shocked that someone would put out this piece of furniture.  It was a waste...then I got closer and I could see the back of the chair.  The seam at the top was undone, not ripped, not dirty....just unattached.  Some stuffing was coming out and the metal that was part of the seam was showing.  All in all, the chair was fixable.  But why was it out on the curb.....then it hit me.

We, as a society, don't have the knowledge to fix broken things.  Now if this angers you because you are a person who can fix things.  Then.....GOOD, it should.

If we go back a very short time like say 50-70 years ago...people could preserve and can food, plant a garden, sew clothing, work with leather to repair shoes, create things with wood...shelves, bookcases, bed frames, dressers, chairs, toys, wagons, tables, window frames....the list goes on. They also had friends and neighbors who would teach the children the skills that the folks didn't have.  We as a society were pretty self sufficient.

What did it take but time.  Today we have time and we fill it with things like the I-pad, cell phones, Blue Ray players....we throw away the things that are used, torn, slightly damaged and hurry to get the latest and greatest.  We have lost the knowledge to fix things.  Then we watch shows that talk about apocalyptic ends to the world or reality shows and pretend we could "survive".

It's funny....because the fixers out there know the truth.  Those who can garden, sew, build things with wood and leather.  Those who have taught their kids the knowledge and passed on the torch.  Those who scour the curbs for a treasure to recreate.  They will survive.  So fixers next time you have a project, grab a kid you love and pass on the knowledge and skills, we used to call this an apprentice.   Kids if you are too busy with your cell phones, and I pads....then maybe it's time to "break" a habit and "fix" something together, grab a fixer!  

As for me, I think I will drive over and get that chair....

Friday, May 3, 2013

Future Self

Every now and then my family members refer to themselves as "Future Self".  This is a term of endearment to the person they some day will be.  As for me, I wonder if the kids who come to the store, believe me to be my "Future Self".  Do they think this is my "end", is this the most adult I will be.  Little do they know that I have years to go before I stop playing in the game of life.

When you are young you can't quite envision where you will land, what you will look like, how you will end up.  We all want to skip to the end and revel in that final chapter and see if we succeed.  But to what detriment?  To what sorrow? Or better yet to what happiness!  Don't rush it!

I like to enjoy these 'Future Self' moments.  They remind me that day by day and moment to moment we change and redevelop.  We always have that chance to redefine ourselves....create a new you.....embrace an  old you....and forgive ourselves for those little side trips we make, before we are finally comfortable and secure.  

So 'Past Self', love the new black sweater and pleased that you went to get that mammogram that you put off for 3 years.  Don't do that again!  'Future Self' keep going, you are building a community of people who love one another and I am proud to be you!!!  

To all my "Future Friends" out there-- believe in YOU, I do. Keep working hard, it's worth it. Try new things and don't believe anyone who says gaming is just "For Kids". Fun and Games are for everyone and "Play" is important for your good health!

~ Love, Lynn