Monday, August 25, 2008

I Wish I was Cool

I have friends who are cool.

I've often wondered about exactly what constitutes "cool" and I've discussed it both with my cool friends and my un-cool friends. We all agree that the qualities that combine to make cool are difficult, even impossible to identify, but we all agree that we know it when we see it.

We also all agree unanimously that when we look at me, we do NOT see cool. While we can't identify all the elements of cool we did make a list a few of the things that keep me from it.
  • I don't have a cool cell phone, just one of the kinds that is used to make and receive phone calls.
  • It's not that I don't know how to text, IM, or tweet, I just choose not to...a sure sign of absence of cool.
  • Not only are my sunglasses not cool, they are so cheap that they've broken several times to the point that I've spent more money on glue to repair them than they originally cost at the gas station where I bought them. Cool people would never wear sunglasses with big globs of JB Weld on the arms and SuperGlue around the lenses.
  • I don't carry a wallet, instead holding all my ID, credit cards and cash in a bundle wrapped with a rubber band.
  • In that bundle I carry more library cards than credit cards.
  • I have the same hair style as my grandpa: bald. Gee, thanks, gramps. I used to have lots of thick, long hair, but I wasn't cool back then either. Come to think of it, there are lots of really cool bald guys. Okay, we can let the hair thing slide either way.
  • We don't have cable and I don't watch television so I'm so out of the loop when it comes to any of the hot new TV shows. It's hard to be cool if you don't know what's going on in the land of make-believe.
  • My truck is banged up because it is so old and has so many miles on it (almost 250,000 now) that when it gets dented or scratched no one will repair it because the repair costs more than the value of the truck. My friends drive way cooler cars.
  • This is how bad my car situation is. When I want to take the "nice" car, I'm talking about my wife's mini-van. You know you can pretty much sign off on ever being cool when you refer to the family mini-van as the "nice" car.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Professional Development

There are so many amazing advances in medicine now that things we once thought were incurable are now dealt with as outpatient surgery. Everything from new vaccines to laser technology to new discoveries in medicine.

For this reason doctors are required to spend a certain amount of time each year in continuing education and professional development.

So are real estate agents, school teachers, and a host of other respected professions.

But as a school show presenter there are no laws or requirements for me. Instead it is my duty to seek out my own professional development. The good news is that because I do, it gives me a bit of a competitive advantage over other performers who do not.

I just returned from one of my favorite conferences called KIDabra. It is an international organization with people attending from the UK, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Croatia, Canada, and all over the United States.

Every time I return from this annual event my head swims with ideas, inspiration, and renewed energy.

I spent a great deal of time with a core group of friends and we are in the process of developing something that I think will be incredibly fun to create and has already proven to be extremely marketable. Keep your eyes open for it to appear on my web site before the spring semester!