Monday, December 12, 2016

A Taste of Syracuse

Remembrance from Childhood: Did you ever smell, listen, or taste something that brought you back to your childhood? It happened to me on Friday night while on the way to a winter solstice fundraiser. 

We stopped at the Liehs and Steigerwald's downtown location on our way to the event, and I grabbed an hors d'oeuvre size piece of their bologna. As soon as I bit into it I was immediately taken back to my childhood when my dad would take me "all the way" from Onondaga Hill to the Liehs and Steigerwald's store on the north side. I was probably six or seven. The butcher would give me a small piece of bologna and it made my day. If life was only still that simple.

I turned to the server, who turned out to be one of the owners and told him my story. He said that their bologna recipe is eighty years old, and has never been changed.

His statement got me thinking about how I always tell people that at the end of the day "kids are kids"; I stand by that. The realization I am having, however, is that while that piece of bologna has been handed over the same butcher counter for the past eighty years, the things that kids are exposed to, and especially how they choose to communicate (think texting and social media) makes us as adults have a different perception of them sometimes. Please do not have that perception of kids. Instead think about what you would have posted if you had cell phones, Snap Chat, Twitter, and Facebook "back in the day".

We did not, luckily for most of us, but what we CAN do as adults, instead of passing judgment, is help children to understand the impact of decisions. That is a much more worthwhile use of time in my opinion, and probably a little more helpful! All of those thoughts from a piece of bologna.

We Never Stop Learning: Last week, fifteen of our employees, including yours truly, completed the four-day Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Instructor training. It was weird being a student again and it renewed my appreciation for what students have to deal with every day in their own classes. 

While taking the course, I got interrupted several times for small and large blocks of time due to "job stuff" and was in absolute panic mode on Thursday night knowing that I had to take and pass a seven-page final exam the next day. My wife even commented that she had never seen me study as much as I did, and we have been together since undergraduate school!

Luckily it all came together. All of us passed, and now we can begin to train our employees and once I have a little time to collect my thoughts, I will share some of the things we learned with you. Good stuff!

Winter Sports are in Full Swing: Get to a hoops game, hockey game, swim meet, track meet, or wrestling match if you can. Our winter sports campaign has taken off like a rocket and our teams look GREAT!

Thanks and enjoy the week-