Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.39.21 PMTeacher appreciation day is coming up soon and all I have to say is to anyone that has ever stepped foot in a classroom thank you for your service to our country. I can’t imagine a harder job because besides the usual daily, daunting, challenges I think it would be almost impossible to ever turn off your teacher brain. I expect it must be like a dermatologist at a Waterpark trying to not tell three out of five people in line for the “Roarin Rapids” slide  that they might want to get that mole on their back biopsied.

Everywhere they go teachers must always be thinking of how things could be improved with just a little bit of their educator input. For example, last month when I was at the Kansas caucus at my local high school it was a crowd control nightmare. All I wanted to do was shout if any teachers were in the building because they could have gotten that situation under control in about ten seconds flat. I’m sure all it would have taken was four seasoned teachers to flank each side of the auditorium and with authoritative voices herd people to their proper seats, shush the crowd into a respectable silence and run a very efficient raise your hand to vote caucus. We would have been out of there in less than fifteen minutes and exited the building in a calm and courteous manner according to our row assignments.

In fact, I think each presidential candidate needs a “Teacher in Chief” on their campaign staff to monitor behavior, oversee homework assignments, guide personal expectations and grade the candidates overall demeanor. The teacher could even hand out a weekly progress report to help each contender strive for his or her personal best. Think about how much this would greatly assist everyone running for President to raise their standards and in turn help the election focus more on the issues.

Going in alphabetical order, because it’s education we’re talking about, I’ll begin with the democrats. Let’s face it Hillary Clinton was probably the teacher’s pet. She’s every Type A student that drove us crazy in high school. But, a good teacher in chief would assist Hillary with learning to become more proficient in her computation skills including data management, email servers and using the save and delete commands more judiciously. Hillary would also be encouraged to let other people finish their sentences and to make some new friends.

I can see Bernie Sanders progress report stating that he needs to work on his inside voice including not shouting and modulating his vocal tone while talking with others. In terms of homework Bernie needs to spend more time in the library doing in-depth research so he can provide hard evidence with a bibliography and footnotes on how he’s going to fund all the “projects” he’s promising.

Two out of three republican candidates probably would be headed towards a “time out” corner. Ted Cruz’s teacher in chief would work with him to resist engaging in verbal skirmishes and focus on his own goals while working cooperatively in a group setting. He also needs to be diligent about doing his homework that’s concentrated on improving fact retention.

John Kasich while not getting engaging in any kind of playground throw down would still need to heed the wisdom of his teacher in chief who most likely would suggest that he broaden his reading list to include more than the “I think I can, I think I can” wisdom of The Little Engine that Could and that he needs to not be afraid to engage with the other boys at “recess.”

Donald Trump’s teacher in chief would mandate that he partake in some sort of remedial social interaction curriculum that focuses on bullying and learning to play well with others. He would also have in-depth homework to help him with his memory and staying on task. An emphasis would be placed on learning his colors because orange is not a skin tone.

If learning never ends then it’s got to be a great idea to attach a teacher to each candidate. Even better if their progress reports are made public. How great would it be to see that Donald Trump, did indeed, pass his bully test or that Bernie had been in the library? That’s democracy and education in action.

And bonus, if the candidates are kept busy doing homework and working on being the best they can be it’s less time we have to be bombarded by them and maybe, just maybe, this presidential election might take a turn for the better.



Cankle Nation

I have cankles and I’m not ashamed.  I’m a woman who has proudly embraced her lower leg issues.  I have even started a support group, a sorority of sorts, a Sisterhood of Cankles.   Our current club president is Hillary Clinton.  She’s the highest profile cankle sufferer in the world and look what she’s done.  Did cankles ever slow her down or stop her in her professional quest?  No.  She hasn’t let her cankles define her and neither should you.  Sure, she wears a lot of pantsuits to detract, hide and disguise her cankles,and that’s okay.  The sisterhood of cankles is all about embracing your ankle calf hypertrophy, not flaunting it.

Cankles strike females at an age when they are most vulnerable – their early teen years.   It’s as if as soon as your old enough to shave your legs your calves and ankles begin to change right before your eyes.  They morph from two separate body parts – calf and ankle and enter into a God forsaken marriage where they beget their offspring the horrific – cankle.  Think of it as the devil’s love child.  When a young teen is first diagnosed with cankle she’ll need the unconditional love of her family and reassurance that she is not a freak.  This is also the point where she will need to be steered away from short skirts, mini dresses, and cropped pants.  Cankle suffers learn early on to embrace a wardrobe of cankle “camo” –  pants, black tights, and more pants.  When considering colleges think of universities in the upper 48 states and Alaska. Studies have shown that the happiest cankle sufferers live in cold climates requiring them to rarely have to peel off their black slouch socks and jeans to expose their lower leg.

I was alone in teen cankle suffering.  Both my parents and siblings have shapely calves that taper to a petite ankle.  My malformation, although genetic, also did not show up in any of our extended family’s calves.  It was a shame I was forced to endure solo.  The beloved female ritual of shoe shopping was especially hard.  As a cankle sufferer I had to steer clear of flats.  Also known as “cankle extenders” for the unflattering, stumpy leg line they create.  And forget about buying boots.  Since it is impossible to suck in a cankle no zipper boot, without four-wheel drive, can make that journey up a cankle calf.  Ditto for ski boots. In some cases they have to be special ordered to fit around the girth that is your cankle.  Especially, if your like me and wear a size 11 shoe and have to contend with cankles. I know right about now you’re thinking, “Wow, size 11 shoe and cankles she sure sounds sexy -not.”  Cankles also interfere with jean shopping.  Wide leg pants good, skinny jeans bad.  Most woman can get their jeans half way up their butt.  It’s after that one might contend with a size issue.  Canklers have a problem pulling those skinny jeans up past their ankle bone. Depressing doesn’t even begin to describe it. Imagine the shame as your grasping the denim pant, yanking and yanking for it to slide past your ankle and it won’t budge.

As a mother, I was frightened about passing on my mutant cankle DNA to my off spring.  As other mothers watch their children to make sure they’re hitting all their developmental milestones I was watching for cankle.  It is all about leg proportion for me.  Alas, it is still too soon to tell if the cankles were passed on, but so far their ankle to calf to thigh ratio looks good.  Whew.  A cankle can not even be eradicated by plastic surgery.  It’s a trio of bone, muscle and fat that defy the surgeons knife and lipo.  There are a few instances where canklers have tried surgery and the results were what look like zip lines scars of the back calves and they were still, sigh, canklely.

As a middle-aged cankle suffer I’ve learned to be thankful that I have legs that work, who cares what they look like.  But deep down I coveted slim ankles, and well shaped calves.  I dream of being told I have “incredible lower leg beauty.”  I imagine myself slathering moisturizer on my slim ankle and shapely calf.  In my dream I’m transfixed by the beauty that is my ankle bone. But, then I buck up and remember that I’m part of something that is bigger than my cankles.  I’m a member of a sisterhood, millions strong, and someday, God willing, we will make cankles not something to be feared, but something to be admired.  It will be the sign of a strong woman.  A woman who has not let her below knee genetic obesity stop her from enjoying life.  We will cast off our pants, grab those short skirts, put on cute flats and expose our cankles to the world!  Watch out all you skinny ankles because someday soon we will be a Cankle Nation.  Fat ankles rule!

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