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Thoughts From Dr. Joe: A campus recon at back-to-school night

October 21, 2010|By Joe Puglia

Sabine seemed concerned as I left for back-to-school night at LCHS.

She said, "Daddy! Whatever you do, don't embarrass me!"

After 13 years of being a dad, I'm now considered an embarrassment. Actually, it's a reputation that is most deserved; I can tell you stories that would make your hair curl.

Since Simone and Sabine are in the seventh and eighth grades respectively, Kaitzer and I decided to split our forces at back-to-school night. She would cover the seventh grade, I would take the eighth, and at some predetermined time, we would switch. Kaitzer laid out a detailed plan of attack. I had no clue what she was talking about, but I pretended I did.

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I moved out and began to recon the brave new world of the 7/8 small schools, but was unsure of my mission. "Am I covering 7, or am I covering 8?" I thought. I should have written it down, but I didn't have a pen. "Hmm! I think she said 7…no, 8. But, is it school one, two, three or four?"

Carrying a list of teachers and their respective classrooms, I followed an azimuth toward what I thought was the eighth-grade area.

Everything went south after that. How was I supposed to know that the number in the middle of the three-digit room designation denotes what floor the classroom is on? So I'm looking for room 724 on the 7th floor. But…there is no 7th floor.

I thought of Sun Tzu's thoughts from his military treatise, "The Art of War:" "The plan is useless; but planning is essential."

Thinking that I was in the 8th-grade area of the campus, I haphazardly meandered into the 7th-grade area. You can image the puzzled query I received from Mr. Savage, Simone's 7th-grade math teacher, when I introduced myself as Sabine's dad.

There is wisdom in Robert Burns' recognition that, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry!" Thus, I followed an old mantra learned years ago: "Adapt and overcome."

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