Over there, Over there….


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“well we won’t be back until its over over there.

Over there

Over there

The yanks are coming.

The yanks are coming”

Rinse and repeat.

How many times can you sing that song? Driving from Bloomington Indiana to Cambridge Wisconsin in the winter (freezing) my father’s record was 20 times in a row. Seriously. No radio. Cold as all get out so no opening the window. Everyone in our family gets car sick when they read so dad had a captive audience and sang that song over and over. Its burned into my memory.

I would give almost anything to hear it, one more time.

My father had a very senior position when he was in Thailand. The Thai culture is very driven by age and respect for this new job was critical. So dad being the kind of person he was began telling people he was 27 when they asked his age. He stuck with that age (27) until his grand children started graduating from high school and college at which point he switched to 35 years old.

My father believed that education could solve many of the problems in our society. Not simply reforming education but making it a priority. He read “A Nation at Risk” and then had me read it. We spent hours talking about that book. He was very worried about the state of education. It was one of the driving factors in my starting “The Society of Dead Teachers.” Dad worked very hard his entire career to influence people around education. He was the president of the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) and HASTI which was the Indiana Hoosier Science teachers association. He was the chairman of the NASA Region 6 team for many years (they picked the experiments NASA would fly into space in the space shuttle) and he won the Prestigious William Carleton award.

He worked his whole life to help others see the value of education. But he wasn’t just that educator person. During parades on the 4th of July in Bloomington Indiana my father would stand by the side of the road and yell at conservative candidates that he felt were heading the wrong direction. He believed in the inquiry method with his heart.

By the way the string of 20 consecutive songs mentioned above was ended by mom simply saying “please not again.”

Update from my mother: we did use the Christmas trees planted (a couple of years). Dad picked the trees that needed to be culled. I had forgotten affixing the tree to the window so that it wouldn’t fall over. We celebrated a few Charlie Brown Christmas’s the the trees we planted.

.your loving son

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