Make Yourself Proud!


It’s Hump Day …  another opportunity to “fly”!

As for me, I’ll take the “high road”.  This world is full of “counterfeit” and “two(or more!)-faced people”.  In some places … it is kind of the norm.  You know that whatever you’re getting is NOT quality.  At most, it’s a “show”.  And some people don’t get tired of playing that same old “part” and try to blame everyone else for their challenges.

My trip back to Florida last week was quite interesting.  I got a chance to pick up my mail for three months at the post office box in Ft. Lauderdale.  My unofficial “adopted daughter” whom I’ve always called “Tashi” helped me out getting some information and materials for my background check.  It was almost perfect timing for me to visit different places in Ft. Lauderdale and I even had time to go to the Social Security Administration office in Coconut Creek … and spend the day.  I witnessed the youth from the local high schools in their support of the students at Marjorie Langman Stoneham High School where a lone crazed ex-student shooter took the lives of 14 students and 3 teachers  …  peace be still …  On my way to the SSA my first time, since I used to work near there, there were students walking peacefully around the shopping center and on the sidewalks of Coconut Creek Parkway holding signs stating “No More Guns” or “We Support MLS”.  The police from Coconut Creek were on both sides of the road, directing traffic and allowing (and protecting the kids) to demonstrate peacefully.  There were no incidents that I witnessed from the protesters.   For me, being an educator for life, it was hard to see students who were genuinely afraid to go to school, as if they don’t have enough challenges in their young lives.  Part of my allure as an educator was (is) to make the classroom environment attractive enough that the students wanted to come and participate.  Sometimes, we would even “act out” a scene from “history” to bring it alive … right into the classroom!

I got to a few stores and picked up some needed supplies from Q-tips to Neosporine Cream … and a packet of my trusty Prilosec tablets for stomach acid reduction.  I picked up some flip flops from Walmart and a bathing suit for Spring here in Puerto Viejo.  One of my friends who also takes English class with me from time to time had a lovely tank top shirt with two “geckos” on it finely decorated in hues of blue that I picked up here once I returned and had unpacked.  Later today, I will go to the beach again as I did yesterday, and sport my new gear!  At this stage of life, as I had always tried before, I enjoy simplicity.  Some folks like to complicate the simplest of things and make some big frigging drama from nothing … and then blame someone ELSE for their state of affairs.  It is more difficult to handle  those types the closer one may be with them in a relationship of ANY sort.  So be it.  Keep it moving!

At one point on my return flight, I felt an aura of love emanating from the clouds as we passed by … it felt like the love from my mother, Marietta.  It assured me that I am doing the right thing and handling myself in a way that would make her proud.  I am seeking the legal way to retire because I am too “mature” to be running somewhere.  I also thought of “Big Ike” a few times … the patient “gentle giant” that he had learned to be … who seldom shared compliments with anyone other than my mother, his wife.  The two of them were there in pinnacle moments of my life as I matured through experiences on my journeys through both St. Paul’s School and Princeton University.  Isaac Henry Cook was the kind of dad who would not say that he was proud of me but would suggest that I “make my damn self proud”!  What thinketh you?!?


John I. Cook, Director

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