Did Progressive Education do Too Good a Job?

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin photographed by Neil Arm...Image via Wikipedia

The theories abound around the Internet, especially within progressive educational circles that there are certain political and business organizations are attempting to ensure that public education as we knew it during the 60’s and 70’s is failing our students.
Is this a conspiracy theory or simply just a series of coincidences that appear to look as though this conspiracy theory is the fact?
Looking at the amount of negativity over the past 10-15 years, in the press, by politicians, venture benefactors and corporations, there seems to be severe problems within the current educational system, that need to be fixed and can only be corrected by the private sector.
Child of the 60’s & 70’s
I am a child of the 60’s and early 70’s school system that was started as a result of Russian launch of Sputnik.  There was real commitment to progressive education during this era and it resulted in that era winning the Cold War.  We were taught to be competitive, to think outside of the box, not accept that the answer in front of us was the actual answer, that there was more than one right answer to many questions, to look beyond the literal interpretation and not to accept that those in authority had all of the “right” answers or solutions to problems. But most of all to be self-reliant.
No other Country in the history of the world has had such a high standard of living, even for its poorest citizens and strangely enough much of it was built upon that progressive public education system model that incorporated those philosophies into its teaching.

America’s educational system during this time was the model that the world wanted to copy and has started to, but they are not copying the standardized testing, over-reliance on data and accountability systems, which many of them have tried and are now discarding as failures. It seems that many Countries outside the U.S. today are adopting many of the features of the U.S. progressive educational system from the 60’s and 70’s because it does work to create a workforce that can think for itself in today’s global economy.

Too Good
In education, perhaps the opposite of what is the prevailing wisdom, is the real problem. Perhaps the educational system of the 60’s and 70’s did too good a job of creating a generation of independent thinkers, who ask too many questions, don’t accept the standard answers, helped create more gender and racial equity when it wasn’t wanted by some.  I wonder did it allow the “wrong” people to climb up the ladder of success in this Country – am I one of those wrong people?  Could that be part of the problem with a progressive educational system that is properly funded – does it allows too much social movement?
Question Authority
I believe that I and others who were taught these critical thinking skills, see things differently than those who are not being taught those skills today.
In other words, we are more difficult to easily control because we do ask questions that those in authority do not always want us to ask.
 I have spoken up when it was not convenient for those in authority over me, asking for clarification or why are we doing it this way.  This way of thinking has caused me problems at times, but looking back I wouldn’t change my quests for more information or clarity on why we were doing something a certain way and in some instances have caused some small ripples on someone’s otherwise calm pond.
Is that where progressive education went wrong? Did it teach us to be too good at questioning those who are above us in the food chain, maybe that is part of the reason for all of this the push back? The attacks against an educational system that valued creative thinking, critical thinking, examining what is said in writing or spoken, and then attempting to hold those accountable for their words or deeds.

This level of critical or creative thinking is a good thing to many of us, but to others they do not want to be bothered with questions about what they are doing or how they are doing it. It is sometimes very inconvenient to have to explain actions or inactions to those below them in the natural order of things.

Regurgitation of Facts
Perhaps, that is why some of those in authority believe if they are able to reduce education for most, to a regurgitation of facts, which does depress the need for critical thinking skills and a willingness to question authority at very early ages, to one that creates an over-reliance on others for the “right answers”.  Are they doing this by mandating accountability of schools, teachers and students through standardized testing and a standards based curriculum of what will be taught.  Do these efforts create a population that will be more malleable to what those in authority want to achieve?  I hope not, but…
What Do They Want?
I do believe that those in power today do not want another generation like us, we ask too many damn questions.  We think for ourselves too much, we have been too socially mobile and we do tend to vote, which wasn’t an anticipated result of their great education experiment.  What those in power didn’t realize was that giving the G.I. Bill to the “Greatest Generation” also created a generation of children of that generation, who were raised to think and do for themselves, be very competitive and expected much more from life than 8-4, five days a week until age 65, then totter off to die.
I may be wrong and hope that I am, but there are just to many damn questions about why this education system was no longer good enough, after all the successes it did bring to our Country.
Instead of making tweaks to a successful system, glorifying our successes that were/are many and was considered the “envy” of the world.  The “powers that be” seem hell bent on tearing it down.
Most of what we get hear about today, is how bad our education system is and that it isn’t serving our students.  That the data from the test scores show that our system is failing and we have to ensure our present students pass someone’s standardized tests, that prove nothing and lack validity when interpreting student thinking skills or learning.
The standardized tests being used today as accountability tools were initially developed to be a diagnostic point in time evaluations of a student’s progress, but have now been bastardized into a data capture systems which determines whether a school is failing and if teachers are good teachers, based upon questionable (at best) validity. The mantra I hear and see today from politicians, education policy wonks, federal/state Department of Ed types and administrators is more data, more data and I say garbage in = garbage out.We need to be less data driven and ensure that we are student driven.

I know I am using all the buzzwords, but my students are individuals and they each have a name, have separate identities and have many strengths, weaknesses and yes they have needs beyond being someone’s damn data point.

The reality is
I am not a conspiracy theorist, I strongly believe in our Country and its leadership – however flawed it has been at times.  I served in its military for over 20 years and I am very biased about the good things America should stand for.  I may be a bit naive or should I say, hopeful that the leadership does have what they think is best for all Americans at heart.  But as we head further and further down this path and others we seem to be on, I can no longer tell if this is true or not?It does seem that many of the present leadership in our Country are putting the interests of the few ahead of the needs of the many.

Thank You
Thank you Mr. Ken Smith, Mr. Donn MacDonald, Ms. Christy Hamilton, Mr. Paul Whitney and all the other public education system teachers that taught this often unwilling student (yeah I admit it I wasn’t a great student, when I was in school), who pushed, challenged and pulled me through a conservatively/progressive public education system, so that I could learn to think for myself and not simply parrot what someone else wants me to say or believe.
I remember very clearly Mr. Smith, my Freshman Biology teacher yelling at me back in 1971.

“Think damn it.   Harold, don’t just sit there and accept what I say is the truth, make me prove it to you or look it up and prove me wrong”.No I wouldn’t yell at my students, but what he said did make a big impression on that 14 year old sitting there scared as hell of that one-eyed, black eye-patch wearing maniac science teacher.  It made me realize that he was admitting he could be wrong and it was okay if I questioned what he was telling me – this incident has stuck with me all this time and while I may not have the exact words, it is pretty close. This way of thinking has also gotten me in trouble more than once – Thanks Mr. Smith, you were always a rabble rouser, who all too often questioned authority,  but you were a great teacher.

Hopefully, I have taught in the tradition of those teachers before me and that I teach my students that they need to think critically, nurtured their creativity and that they have learned how to question authority.  If I have then I have done something right.

Finally, follow the money trail, I bet that has a lot of the answers, but that is just a theory on my part.

Week in Review – May 29, 2011

Right knee-joint. Posterior view.Image via Wikipedia

I made it through the week!!!

It was the first week back after having knee surgery.  I had my regular schedule, plus three IEPT meetings ended up happening consecutively due to circumstances beyond my control.

Needless to say when I got home on Friday, I was burnt toast, I could only sit in my chair and “babble”. But really when I got home Friday night was exhausted, it had been a long week, but I had made it through.

The knee is feeling a lot better, but I still have a recovery period to go through (in other words – yes it still hurts and I can’t do everything I want yet), but the Doc said that I don’t have to use crutches or a cane and I start physical therapy next Thursday.  Looking forward to it, but knowing that it is going to be shall we say uncomfortable :-).

My top post according to page views for the week.

  1. Mobile Me Review
  2. Evernote Review
  4. Evernote as a Task Manager
  5. Where is the “OFF” Switch
  6. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
  7. Opus Domini – Electronic Organizer Review
  9. Apple Text-to-Speech – Review
  10. Memorial Day – Do You Remember

Next week should be a pretty good week, but the students are getting restless with just over 2 weeks left of school.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions we all make several hundred every day.  We decide what to eat, wear, go or do without putting too much thought into how we came to those choices – because that is what a decision actually is – a choice.

We might even call some informed choices, but sometimes I wonder about that.  Sometimes those choices are made spur of the moment or often they are made for you, it is not very often that you have a certain amount of control over the choices you can make, especially when it comes to your career.

I am lucky I will have had the opportunity to think about a life decision and the time enough to gather information to make what I will consider to be an informed decision.

The Choices

Back in October/November of this year I was having a pretty tough time, the start of school and personal issues had been fairly rough and I wasn’t able to focus on my work the way that I expect myself to. I had seriously thought about not putting up with the stressors that are involved with teaching anymore at that time.

However, after talking with many people that I respect and one that I love, I decided to wait until June 1st to make my decision to:

  • remain in teaching
  • find another education position outside of Special Education
  • find another position outside of education
  • go into semi retirement and work part-time when needed to or we want something special

The Why

Some of the things going on were:

  • I had been diagnosed with something fairly seriously wrong with my knee in September, but it wasn’t anything that needed to be taken care of immediately, so we had decided to wait until the next summer to take care of it. It became more of an issue in April and I had it operated on May 17th.  The issue was not what the Doc originally diagnosed (which was great news) and was a large piece of cartilage floating around that when it was out of place – it put me out of sorts.  That has been repaired and a couple of other minor things were fixed while he was in there.  I am well on my way to recovery and plan to be running again by the end of the summer.  So that issue has been resolved.
  • I was extremely frustrated with the number standardized tests that were being required over the course of the year for my students, enough that I went and discussed it privately with the Principal. See my I am not Don Quixote blog entry and my Frustration, Tired and Dr. Pepper post.
  • My wife was going through a serious health related issues and while some of the issues have been resolved, others have not.
  • The amount of time I was spending doing school work at home, instead of spending it with my wife or doing non-school things. Especially the amount of Special Education paperwork, the paperwork just seems to be growing and in order to appropriately measure and document  a special education student’s progress…well it was becoming too much.  SPECIAL EDUCATION DOES HAVE A POSITIVE SIDE  and I Don’t Have Anything More to Give post.
  • How much time I was devoting to education online, education was becoming my lifestyle to the neglect of other parts.
  • There were some other things also, but those were the major concerns that I was having.
  • I am a probationary teacher and I was invited to come back next year as a teacher in my present position as long as the budget allows it and there are no last minute changes.  That is always stressful, not knowing if you will have your position or not – no matter how good you are at your job.

The When

June 1st is next Wednesday, so this is my decision weekend.

I have gone back through and read my blogs from September 2011 onward (they contain a wealth of information about what was going on and what happened – many things that I had forgotten about) and my The Crossroads are In Sight post.  The data has been collected, collated, put in the appropriate columns – ah hell the research part is done – okay.  I am not going into data lock or paralysis by analysis – It is now time to make a decision.

The reality is

I am more than a bit nervous about which way I will finally decide – this is probably one of the toughest decisions that I have ever made.  I am in my dream job, the one that I choose as a result of my finding my Dream Job series back in 2009.  Whatever, my decision I do know that I have looked at it from multiple perspectives, ran budgets and numbers, talked with people I trust and will have the support of my wife.

However, it has to be done and the sooner I finally make this informed choice, the better I will feel and be ready to do what needs to be done to prepare myself for the next step. Whether that step is remaining in my present position, remaining in education but not Special Education, going out of education or becoming semi-retired.

Ah Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Now to just make this one.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”

Memorial Day – Do You Remember

Flags that were placed on gravesites at Fort L...Image via Wikipedia

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and it has become the unofficial start to the summer season.  It is the weekend where many will go to the beach, have barbecues, get drunk off their asses and not really know why they have the extra day off to sleep in and party.

Yes I know that I am only a teacher and to many out there, what I am going to say might not mean a whole hell of a lot.

But I am also a retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer, who proudly served and who has lost friends in service to this Country.

The United States is presently at war and while it does not affect many of you, because it is happening someplace else, these wars are affecting many families in our Country today.  Soldiers, Sailors and Marines continue to sacrifice their lives (they are being killed or maimed) in service to our Country, so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms, that most U.S. citizens take for granted as their right and don’t think about the sacrifices that are needed daily to defend those freedoms.

Being a free Country, does not mean that those freedoms come cheaply, sometimes too many forget the costs and only enjoy the freedoms.

Below is a video of why Memorial Day was created

If the below doesn’t make you stop for a moment and think and possibly shed a tear, I feel sorry for you.

I did shed a tear in front of my classes on Thursday when I showed these to teach them that Memorial was more than a day off from school.

Memorial Day has also become the day to remember and honor loved ones who have died and to go and clean up their grave sites.  Today that is our plan to go to our relatives grave sites to clean them up, plant flowers and honor their memories.

The reality is that
far too many have forgotten what has been sacrificed so that we can enjoy the peace and prosperity that American has today.  People have been killed, are being killed and will be killed to protect this Country from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Taking the time to remember and honor those who have died for our freedoms is the right thing to do.

On Monday take time out of your partying and living your life, to pay tribute to those who have fallen and will fall in service to our Country, so that you can live your life the way that you choose.

If you cannot do that, at least take a moment to remember your own dead and honor their memory.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason?”

Where is the off switch

Have you ever just felt “tired” – I am.

This is a bit of a rant, but also request for some help, if you don’t want to read anymore stop here.

It has been a long school year, of that there is no doubt!  Students and teachers can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is still a ways to go.  In our case until June 16th for the students and shortly thereafter for the teachers.

I know “cry me a river”and all the other comments that those outside of teaching say to teachers, when we complain of being “tired”.  “Just “suck it up” until school is out, then you have the summer off and you can rest all summer long while we are still working” and other similar or worse comments. I hear it every year and read some of the less than complimentary comments on posts or Twitter in response to other teachers saying “I’m tired”.

You know something, I really don’t care what those others say or think anymore, because right now I am tired – bone tired.  So if you have a negative comment for me, just keep it to yourself, it won’t get published or completely read before I trash it and you will just be wasting any time or effort you put into your response.

If that is your thing, go find someone else to berate, beleaguer or insult I don’t have the energy or inclination to put up with it right now.

I can’t blame how I feel today completely to last week’s surgery or having three IEPT meetings (along with the associated paperwork) already this week, in addition to a regular teaching schedule. Those are just part of life and what I am hired to do as a Special Education Teacher.  So in my opinion they are not the reason for my  tiredness, I think it goes much deeper than that.

I believe a lot of what I am feeling is because there is no “OFF” switch anymore, we seem to be always “ON”!

From all the #***chats,  EdCamps, WEBINARS, online courses, seminars, and other formal and informal professional development opportunities that are available most every night of the week and weekends (in other words developing a PLN), Twitter running in the sidebar, Facebook in the background and probably a couple of chats on the side. In addition to the normal workload of correcting student work, school related paperwork, participating in the multitude of committees, lesson planning, then re-planning or adjusting your lesson plans to the reality of the day and its multitude of interruptions. Then trying to figure out how to reach those students who are not interested in what you are attempting to teach no matter what you try.

It is easy to say JUST SHUT IT OFF — Unfortunately, that is not the answer.

To be a good teacher today, you need to do many of these things just to stay current, but at the same time how do we keep up this pace without burning out?  I know that this being “on” all the time is not only affecting teachers, but also many other professions as well, been there and seen it up close and personal. So please do not go off on that tangent, this one is for teachers.

What can we do to lessen the impact of having to be “ON” seemingly 24/7 in today’s world or at least a lot more than we were in the past?

I guess that is the question.

So what do you think are some of the solutions that will help teachers like me feel less “tired”?

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason?”

The Rapture and My Week In Review May 22, 2011

I am still here, so like many others I guess the predicted rapture didn’t apply to me either. I did have to chuckle about how much press and publicity this whole thing generated. Unfortunately, the end of the world has probably been predicted since “man” has been able to communicate by a charismatic leader and everytime it seems a certain segment of the population falls for it.

Eventually one of these predictions will be close to the actual date and our world will end, not because of the prediction, but because something has happened close to the date that was predicted. Until then, we just need to live each day the best we can, without stressing too much over events that we can’t control.

The only thing that this rapture scare might do is make you think more about how you have lived your life to this point and whether you are satisfied with where you have been and the direction you are going. If this rapture scare/hoax does that than something positive will come out of it. Otherwise it just created unnecessary stress and press for many people.

My week in review – one topic really dominated my week, having Arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday. Luckily that was all the Doc had to do. I will find out what he actually did next Thursday during my check-up visit, I was in too much of a medication induced haze to figure out what he was saying to me that day other than he thought it was successful. My work did send flowers and a get well card, which was kind of cool – never got flowers before.

The bad part of the recovery process was that I had an adverse reaction to the medication I was taking and felt really sick for a couple of days until we figured out what the problem was. So I was a hurting puppy for a few days, but I am happy to note that I now have my brains back (off the medication), I am able to move around fairly well on my crutches (just don’t have a lot of stamina yet) and I head back to school tomorrow.

My top 5 in review:

  1. Mobile Me Review
  2. What do I Want as a Teacher?
  4. Evernote Review
  5. Evernote as a Task Manager

No real surprises except for number 2, the others are all long term members of my top 5.

Now to get back into school mode, I have to get ready for 3 IEPTs, a Common District Assessment, whatever else comes up this week and cleanup after the 4 days of substitutes while I was out.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”

Twitter Experiment Update and the Results

Well my Twitter experiment is now officially over, with everything going on in my life the past couple of weeks, I decided to extend the experiment to more than just a week. So how did it go?Since May 1st  – I am now following:

This was a significant increase from the previous number of about 110.

While I found I could keep up with the number of updates there taking place, but only as long as I wasn’t doing anything else. It became quite a chore for me to follow all the different conversations in my “all friends” column.  I did find that I couldn’t multi-task and just glance over to see how conversation were progressing.

I really missed not knowing who I was following enough to feel comfortable jumping into the conversations that were going on around me.

Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

During this experiment I learned that while you can make lists, they are a pain to setup and maintain.  Even though I use TweetDeck for most of my Twitter interactions, having 22 columns to keep track of my different interests is a just a bit much.  Especially since I am expanding my interests to include the effects of aging and improving my, blog in anticipation of some further experimentation during summer break.

I guess the big question is if I will continue to follow over 1,100 people on Twitter or do I plan to pare the list down to what I consider a more reasonable number (between 200 – 300 for me).

There are many positives to following so a larger number of people:

  • more diverse conversations
  • different points of view
  • talking about ideas that you may not have otherwise
  • meeting more people

The issues with following so many are:

  • keeping up with the different conversations
  • missing out on conversations with people you have made online/offline friendships with
  • feeling overwhelmed by the number conversations and just turning off Twitter (I find myself doing it more than I did in the past).

To be honest based on the experience of the past 3 weeks, I am planning on moving back to following a much smaller number of people on Twitter and will start the process in the near future.  But to keep track of those that I have been following, and not loose the benefit of their Twitter comments, I will be selectively be using the #hashtags and lists to keep up with specific topics and people who frequent those topics/#hashtags on Twitter.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseSo while it may look as though I am ignoring Twitter karma by not following everyone who follows me, it really is not the case, I just cannot keep up the “all friends” Twitter stream with that number of people in it. I am now going to follow more than three times the number I was in the past, but I just can’t do a 1:1 follow number, due to how overwhelming it gets.  It certainly is not because I am stuck up or anything like that, I just want to have more personal conversations and be able to keep up with those in my “all friends” Twitter stream.

It looks as if I am pretty comfortable with my life in the slow lane – it is not nearly as stressful as the fast lane.

What are you doing to make a difference?

What do I Want as a Teacher?

GDR "village teacher" (a teacher tea...Image via Wikipedia

What do I want as a Teacher?

That is a good question, but there are not any easy or simple answers:

  • I could talk about wanting to be more respected and trusted for being the professional that I have become.
  • I could whine about the amount of standardized testing my students are subjected to and I have to prepare them for.
  • I could discuss the different ways of grading and how none of them really work when it comes down to addressing how a student is performing in multiple classrooms
  • I could discuss how those who are not teachers are making policy for the classrooms, that have questionable worth.
  • I could complain about how technology is being implemented at the classroom level.
  • I could get on my soapbox and scream about using student test scores to measure teacher and school effectiveness (especially in Special Education)
  • I could tell about how difficult this generation of students is more difficult to teach than any other in the past.
  • I could theorize how bad or good teacher’s unions are.
  • I could discuss teacher pay and whether it is equitable or not.
  • I could think out loud about the attempts by some to privatize school and end the public education system as we know it.
  • I could talk about how much a misnomer school vacations are for teachers
But in the long run none of those will really matter to me.

My students are all individuals, each with their own story to live out and what will happen to them when the institution of school, no longer allows or actively promotes positive relationships between students and teachers? When instead schools focus on ensuring that students meet certain standards at certain points, based upon standardized test scores? What happens when a student simply becomes a data point.

Take a good look around us, isn’t that is what is actually happening once you get beyond the local level, no matter the feel good rhetoric that is being said at the state, federal or corporate levels. Do they care about the individual student or do they care more about where that student ends up on their graphs and data analysis.

Personally, I want to be remembered as a teacher who cared deeply for the growth of the student both academically and as a person beyond the classroom. Those are important things to be remembered for.

I now know what I want to talk about

when I say
“What do I want as a teacher?”

It is actually quite simple, 5-10-20 years from now, I want for my present students to come up to me when they see me in the grocery store, mall, McDonalds or where ever they may see me in public and say

“Thank you Mr. Shaw, you made a difference in my life and do you remember when we…” or  “I am so glad that you never gave up on me, even when I was acting like a jerk.” or words similar to that.

I know that when my former students have done this, it makes all of the extra hours and time spent attempting to reach that student worth every second that I spent being their teacher.  Yes this does happen (and has happened to me), and many teachers have stories of former students coming up to them and spontaneously telling them how much of a difference that teacher made in their life.

Do you have a story of a former student who has come up to you and told you that you made a positive difference in their life?  Please write about it on your blog and link back to here, I think that right now many of us need to hear some of those stories.

So what do you want as a teacher?


“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”

Recovery Mode

Typical locations of arthroscopic surgery inci...Image via Wikipedia

The knee surgery went really well. No the picture is not of my knee, but it sure does look the same (except mine is about twice as big – a lot more swelling).

I got to the hospital at 7:30 on Tuesday and was out of there by 12:30.  The Doc went in, cleaned out some stuff, without leaving anything more than 2 small incisions. I was worried that I was going to have that long scar to remind me of this operation.

We had to change the dressing today and everything looked really good, no extra seepage and no weird smells. The only problem that I have had, was feeling really nauseous ever since I got home.  So I stopped taking the heavy duty pain medication after this morning’s dose.  Around 4:30 this afternoon I got extremely sick. After that I started feeling better and have actually been able to focus – enough so that I can write this post.

I think that I will handle the pain and be fine with just Tylenol.

Now to get start getting ready for school next week and my first follow-up appointment with the doc.  I want to be able to simply walk in to his office, but I have a feeling that I will still be on my arch-enemy…crutches.  I do hate them, but if they help me heal faster, I guess I have to use them – besides my better half is insisting on my using them :-), I have learned not to argue too much with her.

Now in my medication induced haze on Tuesday, I seem to remember before he left that the Doc said I might be able to run on flat surfaces if I go through rehab diligently.  Only one small problem, I live in Maine and most everywhere that I run, there are hills.  Oh well, I will cross that bridge when I get to it and I will get to it, it is something to shoot for.

So here is being able to walk soon without crutches or a cane.

“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”

I am Not Writing Tonight

Différents bistouris à lame fixe ou non.

Image via Wikipedia

I have all of these great blog ideas and a new blog that is about 85% where I want it, yet tonight I don’t have the focus to write much of anything. My thoughts are somewhere else.

Tomorrow I will be doing something that almost everyone who is over 50 has faced or will face – surgery.  It seems as thought aging provides us many more opportunities to get to know those specialists who are good with scalpels, whatever their specialty.

No this surgery isn’t anything life threatening – the Doc is going in and seeing how bad the damage is in my knee and repair whatever he is able to. It seems whether it is from playing sports, working around the house or while on a hike, it happens – you will more than likely do something to your body, so that a “doc” gets to have fun with it.  I have been very lucky throughout my life, most of the injuries I have had in the past were the type that only needed time to get better.

This time, time wasn’t enough.  The doc wanted to do this last September and I chose to wait hoping that it would get better. When I had to back to see him earlier this month, when he told me that I still needed surgery and he recommended doing it now, instead of arguing or trying to find a different way, I agreed with him this time. I knew it wasn’t getting better and felt a lot worse than it did in September.

I know intellectually that having knee surgery and many other types surgery are now almost routine. However, this is my first surgery (I don’t count the big “v”), where I am being put under and yes I am a little scared. There I admitted it, I am a bit scared.

Am I being wimpy?  I don’t want to think so, but this is something I have never personally done before. I want to think it is more a fear of the unknown more than anything else.

What do you think?

How did you handle your first surgery?

I know that I just want to get tomorrow over with and get on with the recovery and rehabilitation phase of this part of my life.