30 Days of Thanks

In reflecting on the fortunate circumstances in which I find myself, I am thankful for many things. This list is neither comprehensive nor (except for the first two) presented in any particular order.

  1. First and foremost, I am extremely thankful for my wife. Any accomplishments I may have experienced truly pale in comparison to what she has done for our family.
  2. Along with my wife, I would be amiss if I also didn't express gratitude for my healthy children. While life seemed much simpler before having children, I never would have guessed that so much could be learned from people so small.
  3. Lest I'm accused of ignoring the scope of this blog, I will continue my list of thanks confessing gratitude for my job. As a Curriculum Technology Specialist, I really couldn't ask for a better job at this point in my life. What's not to like about education, technology, and the flexibility to get the job done?
  4. I am very thankful for the following 45 words of freedom and what they mean for me, my family, and my students:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Because of these words, I can truly express thanks for the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience. Thankfully, I can also allow all people the same privilege: Let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    To continue, if it weren't for these words then we, as a blogging community would be forced to unduly restrain ourselves in the expression of our opinions. Unfortunately I don't think that we, as a nation, truly appreciate the freedoms of speech and press of which (1) so few in our world candidly benefit, and (2) for which so many of our ancestors have given their lives. May we all take time to be grateful for what we have. If you are among those that can claim the freedom of speech, then you too should be grateful - for censorship is sadly commonplace in many countries throughout our world.
  5. Next, I'm thankful to be alive during this, the most exciting period in the history of the world. I wouldn't want it any other way.
  6. You know, I'm thankful for a warm house, a comfortable bed, a microwave oven, indoor plumbing, a refrigerator, and my 21" television: all comforts of life that are now deemed necessities, but that just four generations ago were largely unheard of.
  7. I am extremely grateful for the many opportunities I have had to obtain an education. I have truly been fortunate in my quest to take the road less traveled. I owe my wife and her parents immeasurably for their support along the way.
  8. Speaking of parents, I'm very thankful for my own. I wouldn't be here without them, you know. Honestly, though, the selflessness they have demonstrated to me and my siblings has been and will continue to be an inspiration to me for my entire life.
  9. Speaking of education, I'm thankful for my statistics class (Utah State University, graduate class). I never realized how similar I am to the students that I once taught as a math teacher. "When am I ever going to use this?" and "Who in the world took the time to come up with this?" are common thoughts that enter my mind.
  10. I am thankful to be able to enjoy good health myself. For example, I recently learned that I have my first cavity in 16 years. Not a bad run, if I do say so myself.
  11. On to ed-tech. I'm thankful that there exists such a field in the first place (thirty years ago, there was nary the concept).
  12. Even though I'm comfortable working in the Windows and Ubuntu environments, I'm very grateful for Mac OS X. Tiger and Leopard have made it so I'm able to focus entirely on getting work done using the computer - rather than spending so much time in getting the computer to function, so that I can begin to get work done. In fairness, I've had also had a great experience in using Ubuntu - for which I am equally thankful.
  13. I'm thankful for the experiences I've had in working with the EduBloggerWorld community. Even though the social network itself might be considered less than a success, I cherish the relationships that have been established through initial connections to EduBloggerWorld.
  14. Speaking of networks, as weird as this sounds, I'm also thankful for my Twitter network. This network has become an indispensable personal learning network for me and several of my colleagues.
  15. As I think of my personal learning network, I find it hard to not think about some of the many experiences I have had as a result of such connections. Thus, I'm thankful for Robin, Sue, Durff, Patrick, Kristen, Stephanie, John, Simon, Craig, Emily, Lisa, Ken, Gabriella, Dave, Charlene, Cathy, and all of the other Social Software '07 participants in my first attempt at "Open Professional Development."
  16. I'm thankful for Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano. Their television shows, as shallow as they may be, have been the source of much laughter in my life. It has been said that I possess the qualities of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Raymond - all wrapped up in one.
  17. This may sound strange, but I'm thankful for Skitch. The combination of screen-shots + easy posting to the web have made this application (still in beta) one of my must-haves.
  18. I'm thankful for a car that's reliable and a mini-van that's roomy to drive around the troops - without either of these vehicles, my life would be much more noisy, my commute would be much less enjoyable, and my family would probably experience much more friction. To travel in comfort is a definite blessing.
  19. Wow, I can't believe this one didn't come earlier. I'm thankful for three square meals a day - or a comfortable equivalent. To be honest, I generally only eat two real "meals" per day (I usually skip breakfast. I know, so sue me) - but have never had to go hungry for an extended period of time. As I think of the large percentage of our world's population that can't claim this benefit, I am truly humbled and feel extremely grateful.
  20. I'm thankful to live on such an amazing planet. It's beautiful, big, and small at the same time.

  21. I'm thankful that Google has made IMAP available to its Gmail users. This feature alone should add three years to my life - time added because it was never lost in deleting multiple copies of email messages.
  22. I'm thankful for symmetry in nature. There are very few things more beautiful than a brightly colored, fully symmetrical flower.
  23. I am truly grateful the Creative Commons. Sharing has never been easier.
  24. Speaking of sharing, I'm thankful for the many websites that make sharing possible: Flickr, Google, YouTube, TeacherTube, and Del.icio.us are just the beginning.
  25. Speaking of websites, I'm extremely thankful for the Internet. What would life be like without such simple connectivity? Oh yeah: All life B.G. and huge portions of our planet today.
  26. I will always be thankful for Bob Sproul: the first boss I ever had that truly believed in me. I was hired before I even interviewed and given complete trust in achieving all that I wanted to accomplish.
  27. Speaking of trust, I'm also grateful for the trust afforded me by my current supervisors. Without such trust, I would never be able to do what I do best (and no, I'm still not sure what that is yet).
  28. I'm thankful to be the oldest of seven children. I hated having a large family while growing up, but have loved it ever since.
  29. I am very thankful for three simple words that, when combined, provide a refreshing formula for prioritizing: good, better, best. Let's face it: When good things take precedence over things which are better, that which is good becomes evil.
  30. Finally, I'm thankful to have been able to take a little time to be thankful. Little puts life back into perspective better than creating a list of thanks.
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