Becoming an engineer, doctor, or lawyer can sound like a boring, and in the case of a doctor, disgusting job. Throughout my childhood, I have changed my mind a lot on the famous question asked to kids…what do you want to be when you grow up? The first thing I remember I wanted to be was a fireman. Because when I was little my mom took me and my siblings to the fire station on a field trip. After that, I wanted to be a doctor, but I grew out of that quickly because I can’t handle seeing people throw up.
The last thing I wanted to be for a couple of years was a veterinarian because I love animals. But after thinking about it for a while I realized that becoming a veterinarian can be just as disgusting as a doctor. Now that I’m 16, in college, and people are starting to ask me what career I want to go into in just a few years. So I ‘m on a quest to find I job that will fit my personality or talent (which is another thing I need to figure out), so I looked up the top five dream jobs that pay a good amount of money.
5. Hollywood Stunt Person
This job has fun written all over it if you like to get hurt. A Hollywood stuntman takes all of the explosions, punches, and risks while pretending to be a famous actor/actress. Stuntman work is not steady work because you need to find movie after movie to work in.
A stuntman gets paid as much as $100k for doing their stunts
Must attend a stunt training school.
4. Power Line Helicopter Pilot
If you like heights and technology then this job is perfect for you. They fly next to power lines to inspect them by cameras attached to the helicopter.
They get paid around $101k
Must get a helicopter pilot license with 2000 hours of flying.
3. Race Engineer
Race Engineers talk to the driver and tells him or her what they can do to achieve maximum performance in a race.
They can get paid around $134k
They need A-levels in math and Physics with a university degree and proven experience.
2. Ethical Hacker (a.k.a Computer Hacker)
They are hired by governments and security firms to help design ways to keep hackers out of their systems.
They can get paid around $140k
Hold a relevant qualification and meet the additional requirements of The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) check scheme.
1. Unexploded Ordnance Technician
Mitigate the threat of an unexploded object
They get paid around $150k
Professional Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) qualifications are needed to increase in rank
None of these jobs interest me so I will have to keep looking, but I learned some pretty interesting things when I did research for this blog post. I learned that ice cream tasters can get paid as much as $60k to taste ice cream and that you can get paid $32k to dress up as a Disney character. So there are a lot of fun and crazy jobs that sound really easy and you can get paid pretty well “working”.
Today it has been one year since my father-in-law (FIL) made his transition to eternity. My wife wanted to spend the day at the city zoo because that was one of the places he would meet her and the kids during the day for outings. I took the day off of work, gave the kids the day off of school (reason, 32,499 to homeschool), and dedicated this as a memorial day for his life, especially because it has been a year after his passing.
Make Your Own Family Holidays and Memorial Days
Monday, my main hustle gave us the day off to honor President’s Day. I decided to work and take today off instead. First, History.com describes Presidents day as, “Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.” Personally, I’ve never been a fan of celebrating someone who would have me working on the plantation as a slave if they were alive today, and my family does not celebrate many of this nation’s holidays because they really are not for us. It is said that Mr. Washington “owned” over 300 “slaves” at the time of his death. After he died, I’m sure he had a good reason before the Creator of Man how he could own something that he did not create, and whether or not he treated them justly as human beings. Therefore, we ignored this day (notice that as with most “holidays” as well, honoring the person isn’t the primary reason, but monetary gain to the nation), and decided to give a day to someone who really meant something in our lives.
I would like to encourage all of the Furious Fathers to consider doing the same. First, consider some significant days in your life or the anniversary dates of impactful moments and people in your life. Maybe it’s the birth/death of your parents or friends that are no longer with us. Maybe it’s the anniversary of a significant family event or for some men, just taking their kid’s birthdays off would be a great start. Whatever you can find, I encourage you to give it a try. This is a great time for the family to come together in the evening for a meal, and reflect on why the day is special, handing down memories and lessons from the one honored or from an event, all with the intention of helping shape your family’s present and future.
Seven Lessons from My Father-In-Law
On that note, allow me to share with you seven lessons that I learned from my father-in-law, as I reflected on our relationship today.
If the Good Lord woke you up, it’s a good day – In the final years of his life, as I think he began to see that he did not have the energy and ability to do what he once did, I would ask my FIL how he was doing and his response was always, “The Good Lord woke me up this morning, so that makes it a good day.” How we love to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” or immediately allow ourselves to get swept up in the cares of a day and thinking life is so miserable, never just being thankful that if our eyes opened, the day is good. That certainly doesn’t mean that we smile with joy when bad things happen or life does not seem to be waiting like a towel when we get out the morning shower to not dry us off, but add more water, the last thing we need. That just means that if you have the mental ability to know that it is another day (and not all people have this ability), it is off to a good start. This is truly a glass-half-full mindset. My FIL had an apartment in one of the more swanky cities in the area, known for being liberal, having a small downtown to party in, and trendy restaurants, but he lived on the 11th floor and could see above the city’s tree line and would not move from that location. He had his view to see the sun come up in the east, and the ability to go sit on the corner and people watch, and he had seen that town change so much in all the years he lived and worked in the same area. He found contentment in the “little” things we often take for granted, the real treasures that make each day a good day.
You are never too old to change – When my FIL first heard about this so-called Black guy dating his daughter, he put down an edict that still has ramifications to this day. He said I was not allowed to come over to his house. I guess he felt superior as a hard-working so-called White man that the thought of his daughter being interested in someone Black after having her born and raised away from Black people, and the fact that this guy was working a dead-end job and already had a child, didn’t help as well. Needless-to-say, the latter two I’d have a problem with if my daughters were dating someone in the demographic. But over the years, I guess as he saw I was still in his daughter’s life after many years and was not afraid of him in any way, he seemed to change. Now this change wasn’t (at least outwardly) the usual go-along-to-get-along because my FIL never seemed much like that, but one that seemed genuine after his ideology was challenged and what seemed like some introspection on his part. Obviously, the fact that I am blogging about him right now says much, and after a few meetings, we quickly become quite close. I think he respected me and knew I respected him, even if we disagree with each other’s position on a topic, more we also discovered that we had so much in common and, as most father’s learned, his daughter may have married a man just like him despite being completely opposite in skin color. In the last decade of his life, my FIL and I grew pretty close, and at family events, we talked constantly. When he stopped attending those, I pretty much did as well! Our relationship was then built outside his immediate family, and sometimes he would call and we would talk for minutes (cause y’all know ole dudes don’t stay on the phone for hours) and when he came the kid’s games and over for holidays, we would talk more than he would talk to my wife…even about race! Perhaps it was having grandchildren. Perhaps it was God. I’m not sure what is was, but this guy seemed to do a complete 180 and it has taught me that some leopards do change their spots, even at an old age.
Attend EveryGame – One reason our relationship strengthened so much was because of the amount of time we spent together. This was not a planned meet-up, but because he always wanted to be at my kids’ ball games to support them. He was at the baseball games and basketball games, even the dance recitals which no man wants to sit through! I can’t recall a time he left early or arrived late, he was just always there. During that time, I heard many stories, and I loved the sports stories the most, as he was alive to see Willie Mays (and my FIL was a serious baseball fan) and Ted Williams. When he said Ted Williams was his favorite player, but Willie Mays was the best player to play the game, that statement had weight to me. When he criticized today’s players and spoke of problems in the game, I knew it was with the knowledge that would match any ESPN analyst with Google right at their fingertips to do research. He would often tell me that he knew the starting line-up of the 1957 Detroit Tigers, but not what he did last week. A feeling I now know very well, as I can name the starting line-up of the 1983 California Angels but struggle to nearly everything else in my life as well. When he attended, he just wanted them to know he was there and he never criticized their game, just that they were playing hard. After every game, regardless of the outcome, they came over for their high-five and “good game!” I don’t think they will realize the effort it takes to have that kind of attendance record until they have to make the effort to go watch their kids and grandkids play, no matter you feel or “meaningless” the game.
Always Be Teaching and Learning – Whether it be a game, family gathering or phone conversation, my FIL was always learning something and teaching. Looking back, like many men of his generation that did not complete his high school education, he never made it to high school. So I think he made it a priority to always be learning something new to cover up any lack of knowledge people might perceive that he had when speaking to him. He seemed to know quite a bit about nearly anything and if he knew I was into a particular topic, we would see each other the next time and he had some info for me. He was always teaching some lesson or sharing how some event from the past will visit us again in the future. But he could be in this position because he was always learning. For his birthday, he loved to get a gift certificate to the bookstore. He gave me boxes and boxes of books that he picked up from the Salvation Army for $1.00 or less, and the topics consisted of sports, philosophy, religion, reference material and on and on. He seemed so proud that we were homeschooling the children and even more proud of what we were teaching them and the people they were becoming. No one on either side of my family was as much of a champion for my kid’s education than he was, and he was so optimistic at their future because they were out of the system.
“Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later” – Dave Ramsey said it, but my FIL truly lived it. If you would have met my FIL and heard of his shopping habits, you’d think he was an elder man that was barely getting by. Quite the contrary. Where did he shop? The Salvation Army or any second-hand store that had deals. He’d bring bags over all the time with nothing but the free stuff he received from the drugstore with coupons. Some items had expired, some we still have, and some we gave away, but he viewed it as, “Hey, it’s free, so I figured someone could use it.” He drove around so long in a plain white rental-car-looking Ford Focus. He put approximately 2,000 miles a year on the odometer. Now, it wasn’t that he didn’t like or couldn’t afford a more flashy car, as he always wanted to have an Audi R8 and lamented often how he had to get rid of that ’67 Camaro with a stick because my wife’s baby seat was on the floor next to my MIL and he couldn’t drive it without hitting her seat. But he kept saying, “I cannot see paying that much money for a car I’d never drive. I can take the bus if I really need to go downtown, and the car I have takes me anywhere else I need to go just fine.” He loved to chat about the press cars I’d bring home and would give me car mags he bought from the store with good articles. But if it did not make fiscal AND practical sense, there was no purpose in him parting with his cash. So he kept that flip-phone till the end.
Being alone for a man is not something to fear but embrace – My in-laws divorced shortly after my FIL retired. Many men I know at my age cannot stand to be alone, let alone a man that had been married for three decades. But he seemed to take pride in being a bachelor, with his “pad”, frugal life, and discovering new dishes that he could make and eat in his crock pot. Sometimes as men, I think that we avoid and fear of being alone after many years of marriage, so we jump right back into another relationship for more security. However, I think he was an excellent example of how to be content with one’s own thoughts, failures, and dreams. Dr. Robert Glover of No More Mr. Nice Guy says that we as men need to know that no matter what, we will be okay and we can handle it. It is a lesson I’m still learning.
We all have to die someday – In a few weeks, it will also be one year marking the time my FIL and I were to meet again. I saw him in January of 2016 when visiting the old neighborhood and I honestly thought that due to the short notice, he would not meet with me. My FIL took each day as it came, so if he wasn’t in the mood to chat and chill, it’s a no go. Surprise visits were even worse, as he has always been an early to bed and early to rise guy. But turned out, not only did my short notice not matter, he really wanted to see me. It was like he knew it was the last time we would see each other. When kicked it in his place for quite a while and even though I knew the doctor’s opinion was that his months may be numbered, his spirit and zest said otherwise. When I asked him how he was doing, he said that, “You know, this is tough, but hey, we all have to die someday.” I then asked about his relationship with God and he said he was at peace with his Maker, knew where he was going and was ready to go. During his battle with cancer, knowing that we had to die someday seemed to make him appreciate just one more day so much more. He said, “That Good Lord has given me a lot of years and a great life, great kids, great grandkids, a job I enjoyed, you know, what do I have to complain about?” I left his place saying that I would be back in March when I had to return to speak at an event. He said to definitely come back by and see him, but I didn’t know if he would make that meeting myself. I left his presence with tears in my eyes and basically saying to him how much I appreciated all of the things you get to read about right now. As a man who admitted to making many mistakes in his life, and some that he paid the price for till the end, I wanted him to know that our finish after a horrendous start is something I will never forget and truly shows God’s grace to the two of us. Ever humbly accepted and agreed, and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing, because it’s my kids show that it is working. But I told him that he played a huge part of that as well, and it was one of the few times the old guy got speechless. I think we both parted ways unsure if that meeting, just less than two months away, would ever take place. I left having nothing unsaid to him, as who knows, I could have died instead. He at least seemed to be relieved at our honest exchange. All hearts were clear because we all have to die someday.
I don’t know.
Now I wonder, what DO I have to complain about?
That’s why we honor my FIL today and it’s good to think about the wisdom he passed down to me.
Other meaningless holidays come and go, but tomorrow, I’ll wake up thinking, “Thank you Good Lord for waking me up, and giving me a good day.”
Kiarre Harris was arrested not for a violent crime, embezzlement, or drinking and driving. No, she was arrested for homeschooling her children.
Now, homeschooling parents are aware that educating your kids is always a risk, and that is why many join the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, even if their state is considered “homeschool friendly”. It seems that if you are a member, the association will even publicize your case on their website and a check in the news area shows at least two other recent stories of families under fire in New York. I’m not sure what is going on, but it certainly seems like NY’s Child Protective Services is putting extra pressure on homeschooling families in 2017. That decision is probably made from a higher agency, but more on that in a moment.
If you watch the video below, you will have the opportunity to hear Kiarre Harris tell her own story. But allow me to expound on a few other points:
At first blush, this seems like the typical media trick (or should I say dog-whistle) being played when describing Harris in many news outlets. However, there is some relevance, as NY is said to be contesting her right to homeschool because she does not have full custody of the children.
If having full custody appointed by the court vital for homeschooling, why is it not a requirement for sending the child to public or private school? After all, a common area of contention with parents that do not live together is where the child should go to school. So, if there is fear that the parent does not have complete authorization to homeschool the child, shouldn’t the same standard apply for enrolling the child in any school, as there is no guarantee that the other parent agrees with that decision?
According to theblaze, “In addition, the district told WKBW that children are not to be taken out of school until individual education plans are approved.” Isn’t it amazing, that New York is considered a state that consistently votes Democrat over Republican, a party that prides itself on fighting for civil rights? This is why I do not get caught up in the politics game. Why does a “liberal” state that many flock to for the opportunity to express themselves, need to approve what you can teach your children? Many of us homeschool to teach our children true history, biblical values and to have a more focused overall education free of violence and the surrounding culture, so do you think they would approve of When We Ruled as a textbook in the curriculum? Do you think the POTUS will “tweet” about her case as an example of democratic hypocrisy and over-regulation?
Now that leads me to my final two points:
Kiarre Harris’s children were put into foster care. Unbelievable, and extremely sad for such an “infraction”. Much is said about the foster care system and whatever your view is, I am sure we all agree it is nowhere near the same as being with your parents in a loving home. A home so loving, she is choosing to stay at home with the kids 24/7! Is her “crime” worse than the possibility of her kids being harmed in a stranger’s home or even her in jail? And even if they are not harmed, how do you account for the confusion, fear, sadness, and anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen to them and why it is happening? Yet now, despite doing the “right thing”, the children are in the system. There is a file that has been created that will follow them at least until they are 18, and in the 21st century, likely much longer.
Kiarre Harris is officially “in the system”. While I do not know anything about her past, below she says that she has never been arrested and is not a criminal. Sadly, most so-called Black folks need to always give this disclaimer because if they have had police contact of any kind (this is why “stop and frisk” laws are so dangerous in case you don’t know), any injustice against them is now warranted as acceptable by the dominant society. But now, she has something that all law-abiding so-called Black people fear, a record. Again, it will follow her for the rest of her life as well, because she had the audacity to homeschool her children. On that note…
Kiarre Harris represents the quandary that proves why and the risk of so-called Black folks homeschooling their children, you BETTER have all yours t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Listen to me. If you are homeschooling in New York and have the finances to join the HSLDA, please do so! Forget that lawyer that our cousin used that we could call or just thinking nothing is going to happen, there are stories in your area showing that they are cracking down big time. When some groups catch a cold, we catch pneumonia, so a word to the wise is sufficient. That said, most so-called Black folks grow up in areas with subpar school systems and we cannot afford to send them to private schools, which are often subpar as well! Trust me, I went to one in the suburbs and there were numerous Detroit public schools that would have given me a better education and more advantages. But this generation, we no longer have to settle, we can bring them home, or at least do the main teaching at home! Just remember if you do, make sure you have extra layers of covering. It certainly appears Kiarre Harris had everything checked, but like we all know when that police car is in your rearview mirror, they can always get you on something.
Hear Kiarre tell her story below. Warning, language alert if your kids are around. While I’m not a fan of swearing, I ask that you do not be hypocritical in your assessment of her because of some of her foul language (I made the mistake of reading the comments section on some of the stories about her case…I normally know better and yes, they were as ugly as expected). After years of working in the corporate sector, I cannot hold her to a standard that those in the boardroom and on the golf course are not required to follow, not to mention, I’ve heard the bombs many drop in front of their children…
A new contribution by another “student”. Big Homie (my 12-year-old son) contributes the following post looking at Labor in the state of Arizona.*
I’d like to show a chart of the top five industries in 2014.
Yes, the government was on Arizona’s top five employers in Arizona. We will later see if other states are similar. This chart shows how many employees are paid by:
1: Trade, transportation, and utilities: 494,000
2: Government: 411,300
3: Professional and business services: 390,700
4: Leisure and hospitality: 290,800
5: Financial activity: 195,300
However, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is still Arizona’s biggest employer, followed by Banner Health, a healthcare company, and grocery chains Kroger Company. I know what you’re thinking “so why is not Wal-Mart on this list”? This is because Wal-Mart is technically a business, not an industry.
By: Big Homie
* Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you were not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe.
Now in full disclosure, Lil Pappa (my dad) would take the fam across the country to California and one of my favorite activities (besides counting BJ Trucks…but more on that another day) was following along in the atlas, and observing the topography and demographics in each state.
1. Economics 2. Education 3. Entertainment 4. Labor 5. Law 6. Politics 7. Religion 8. Sex 9. War/Counter-War
Over the last 12+ years that my wife and I have homeschooled, we’ve heard quite a few reasons why people do not homeschool that say they would like to do so. I have found that after asking questions and working through solutions to their barriers of entry, affordability is hardly ever the real issue. Let us look at the commonly held belief that you have to make “good money”, in order to be able to homeschool your children.