Nick Nelson

"Busy Would be an Understatement"

Blog Post created by Nick Nelson on Jun 6, 2016

Cowboy Logic: "If everything seems to be going

well, you have obviously overlooked something."


I don't know about you, but I have been looking forward to summer break since February. Every spring seems to get busier for my program and my family. For the past two months there has been something going on every weekend. I know that everyone thinks they are busy, so I made a simple survey to sort out the pretenders:

  1.   The yard will yield two tons to the acre.
  2.   The kids use the couch in the living room as a community clothes dresser.
  3.   You haven't seen the bottom of the sink in a lustrum (Lustrum--Refer to John Wayne in Rooster Cogburn).
  4.   The kitchen table has orderly stacks of unopened mail sorted into weeks (thank you autopay).
  5.   The stock trailer has been hooked to the pickup since the middle of March and you still have part of the groceries in the boot, along with a half bag of shavings from the last show.
  6.   Oscar Meyer is the food staple, whether at the ball field, stock show, junior rodeo, and/or when you finally make it home at 10:00pm  (My family refers to them as tube steaks).
  7.   Your prep period is now called "nap time."
  8.   You are about out of FFA banquet paper plates and plastic ware (refer to #3).
  9.   All of your finals this term are now take-home exams or are online so they can be auto graded.
  10.   Your calendar has so much ink on it, it has become toxic to the touch.


As I was grading my lab exams the other day, a social science teacher stopped by my office to talk about some union news.  As she talked, I was entering grades and half-hearted listening to her. Then there was a sudden long pause, I looked up to see an interesting expression on her face. "What is that green stuff on those papers?" she asked.


It got me thinking, would other teachers in your school grade papers with cow manure on them? Would their students wait patiently while they drove the tractor around and hooked up to implements prior to lab?  Would they be willing to come to the school farm at 11:45pm because a calf snuck through the fence and the police department can't put it back in? I know you are all busy and only ag teachers would do these things. That is what makes them such special teachers. As the school year comes to an end, an ag teacher's job doesn't. It is important to reflect on the year -- that is when we truly learn, and it is important to get re-energized. Take the opportunity to go to your state ag teachers' conference -- this is a perfect time to reflect and talk to other ag teachers about what worked and what will be round-filed. I have always found our state conference to be full of good information, good humor, and rejuvenating to the soul.


April was when the Region I Conference was held in Coeu"r d'Alene. The Idaho Association did a tremendous job organizing and putting this conference on. It was a huge success in my mind and had 135 teachers in attendance, the largest Region I Conference I have seen. There are several resources on the Region I page of CoP for you to review if you were not able to make it. I would like to thank the Idaho Association again for a job well done, and continuing to step up and make each conference as good or better than the year before.

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