Saturday, March 05, 2011


I took a sabbatical from blogging on "Lost In Kids" from November, 2009 to June 2010. I needed some time to practice the piano and compose songs, do more Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Chi Gung, and take a break from writing a blog entry on a daily basis.

This is not another sabbatical. I am taking my leave of blogging and focusing my efforts on other endeavors. I will continue to teach for a few more years, but my experiences and cherished memories in the classroom with children of whatever age will be private and not shared on the Internet. My writing efforts on this blog site lasted five years, and it has been very rewarding for me personally.

I am aware that this "Lost In Kids" doesn't receive a lot "hits," but to those of you who were frequent or occasional readers, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to read my stories of childhood memories, classroom escapades, and my deliberations and feelings of foreboding, anxiety and revelling I have attempted to convey when I am around children.

I send you my thoughts and prayers in all matters, especially those involving kids.

Thank you very much for listening by reading.

"Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from you heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9

"Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children." Proverbs 17:6

".........Jesus said, 'I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Matthew 11:25

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?'

"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.' " Matthew 18: 1-6

How easy it is to forget we were once children and how hard it is to remain one.


Friday, March 04, 2011


I am getting older - there's no doubt about it. I had something happen to me today that is a little disturbing, and I will mention it to my wife because it may warrant a medical diagnosis if it reoccurs.

I was teaching a math class how to calculate the percent of increase from one number to another. Suddenly, without warning, I started having unusual, dissociative thoughts. I never became frightened or emotional in any way, but it was just peculiar to have the strange thoughts enter my head at such an unusual time when I was so focused. The students may have noticed, for I stopped for a moment, but it was not disruptive to the flow of the learning process. Here are some of those strange, dissociative thoughts:

My name is Chuck. Chuck Wagon.

There are people dying in the world right now and their souls are leaving their bodies.

I don't want to see when I cry.

Tears going up my cheeks.

The last thought, "tears going up my cheeks," was a recurring dream I had about a year ago. In my dream I would be crying and tears would be flowing up my cheeks and back into my eyes. I asked a lot of people about it and no one could explain the meaning of such an odd dream, and now I'm having a thought about it right in the middle of class? And why Chuck Waggon (sp)?

Odd. I wonder what happened to my brain? I look back on the incident and think it's cool, which is a strange reaction to a slightly unsettling "brain fart," which is what a friend of mine, Dave, would call it.

This is also an unsettling way to end the "Lost in Kids" blog, for I am about to go on more than just a sabbatical. But that's the way it is.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


I was talking to a mother of one of my piano students today, and she informed me that her son, Dylan, did something pretty stupid. Dylan was in PE class at a local middle school here in our town, and one of the boys in a group of guys that were gathered around in a huddle had a cell phone with Internet hook-up which was being put to high tech usage by surfing for pornography, and having successfully found a website with some great photos, the owner of this cell phone was proudly and generously sharing it with his buddies.

The cell phone finally made its rounds and was passed to Dylan, who took a good hard look at the image of a woman that I am sure was naked and quite tantalizing for a young boy in the sixth grade, but Dylan, being a well-raised, proper young man, screamed out, "My God in Heaven! This is porn! Johnny has porn on his cell phone!"

Then he started running around screaming, "My eyes! My eyes! They just saw porno! My God in Heaven! Johnny has porno on his phone!"

The other boys tried to shush Dylan, who being either low on testosterone, more moral than the other boys, or wired in the brain very differently than the others, saw this as an affront to the school rules. (I choose the latter.)

The owner of the cell phone with the offensive site was severely punished, as he should be. However, Dylan's mother believes she has as serious a problem as the mother of the boy who is in trouble, and she is now concerned not only for Dylan's reputation as a normal, healthy boy, but for his safety as well. There is nothing more frustrated than a curious boy deprived of his visual, carnal knowledge. As any elementary teacher worth their salt can tell you, many boys are visual learners.

I think it is a wonderful story and reveals the private stupidity of boys that is not the common, public perspective. Dylan's mistake was a double-edged sword. He said the truth. That's good. On the other hand, he is now the Porno Narc of his middle school and will never be shown any dirty pictures in secret again. His eyes will only gaze at math problems, social studies dilemmas, progress reports, and cafeteria food trays. He will pay for his stupidity for years. First as a geek. Then as a shunned butt of jokes. Last, and worst of all, the bottom dredges of society's outcast, a morally upright young man.

However, the mother of my piano student has no idea what stupid is. Stupid is as stupid does, and your truly, namely me, can top that easily.

My first piece of evidence in the case of Me vs. Common Sense is as follows:

I was in the eighth grade, and one of the boys had a photograph and a real snapshot of a woman's vagina. I knew it was a vagina because everyone said so, and the boys in the huddle made racy comments as it was passed from eager face to eager face.

"Yep. There she is. Wow!"

"I'm roundin' third and headin' fer home plate, and there it is!"

"You got dat right! It's a beautiful sight."

"Wow! Who is this? I'm in love."

"Who cares? Look at that. Whoa baby."

"Bada bing. Bada boom!"

"Ooh-eee. Ooh la la. Bing bang, walla walla bing bang!"


I was then handed the warm, wet photo and took a look at it. To tell you the honest truth, I hadn't envisioned the vagina in its explicit state of reality. To me it was more of an unspoken, secret treasure of pleasure that I would eventually wait impatiently for for many, many, many more years. Then, when suddenly presented to me, I took a look at it and thought, "What in the hell is this? I can't tell what this is. Which end is up?"

That is when I made the terrible mistake of turning the photo upside down and taking a different view, a perspective if you will. That didn't make sense either, and I wondered if perhaps the cameraman had made a terrible mistake. "Was this a close-up? Yes, that's what it was. Wait a minute. This is a real, real close-up. Maybe it's upside down."

I turned the photo over again to take a different peek, and I was still confused. That's when the laughter and the hooting and hollering began. I realized that by turning the photo over and over again, I had exposed myself as the only one in the group who did not recognize the view.

To this day I blame the cameraman and his awful lens and his out of focus, close-up distortion of beauty. I learned that when I'm not sure about anything, it's best to just exclaim, "Sweet mother of pearl!" You''ll hear me say it a lot.


Many teachers copied a comedy skit I wrote based on lots of dumb jokes with all the humor and punch lines aimed at the teacher. My fourth grade class performed it at an all school event, the "Celebration of Children" assembly. It got a great reception.

Here it is again for all teachers to plagiarize. Plagiarism welcome.

Click on the link below:

Comedy Skit

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Yesterday my wife commented that her one of her clients was a hen-pecked husband. The wife was a formidable, overly-demanding woman, and she added, "I am a rank amateur compared to Delores."

I said, "No way. That's impossible."

"Way," Peggy replied. "Frank is so hen-pecked he has to call Delores on her cell phone to get permission to pass gas.


I was conferencing with one of my students and told them they could raise their grade and pass the course if they chose to do so. She asked, "How do I do that?"

"Do everything I have told you. Complete all homework and do it all as carefully as possible. Pay attention in class. Ask questions."

There was a pause. "What if I don't want to do those things? Is there another way?"

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Pants that are hanging down far below the normally accepted level of belt height are referred to at our middle school as "saggies." I have written about saggies before and find it an amazing phenomenon. I always wondered what young people would do to be different in their attire and fashion when I became older. Who would have known the longest running fashion statement was britches pulled down so low that it appeared you had dumped in your pants? There are a lot of things I would do if I was a teenager today and wearing saggies would never be one of them. Weird hair? You bet! Saggies? No way.

Yesterday as I was leaving school I witnessed the worst case of saggies I have ever witnessed, except for that time that my good friend Karl's son and I had a saggie contest in front of his house and we both wound up waddling around in the street with our pants at our ankles. I was willing to "cooperate" in such a foolish endeavor because at the time I was slightly inebriated, was in excellent shape, and was wearing some brand new underwear that my sweet wife, Peggy, referred to as "sexy and hot." It was a tie with both of us shuffling around with our pants gathered at the shoes. No arrests were made and Karl thought it was funny as hell, and that's one of the reasons he is my friend. I also think it is quite peculiar that I use the expression, "funny as hell." Surely there is no other expression that is inaccurate as that.

This eighth grade student was outside the building in the grassy area under some beautiful pine trees. They are Ponderosa pines, and they grow immense and beautiful here in New Mexico. The Ponderosa pine holds a secret. It smells like vanilla and if you sniff the bark, that's the fragrance that will come to mind. The sky was a deep blue, there was a gentle breeze, the temperature a wonderful 62 degrees, one of those days that makes the climate here what many consider perfect, and there, right in the middle of nature's splendor, was a boy's ass covered in very sheer underwear with the crack on display for all to see, and it was the entire crack, all the way from the top of the refrigerator repair man's peek-a-boo spot to the sea bottom cavity, and the owner of this unpleasant sight was teasing some girls who were giggling far more than normal due to the fact that this boy was bent over to accentuate this disgusting sight. I never thought I'd transfer to middle school and see a boy's sheer underwear and his bare ass underneath it, and as I look back on it, I can honestly say that if I had thought about it, I would have hoped I never would.

I was giving him a stern talking to and saying things like, "I don't want to come to school and see your butt!" and every kid in the school wanted to come by and say hello to this fellow. That was quite a distraction, and an irritating one too. No one came over to talk to me! Of course, I don't wear saggies.

When I asked him if he had noticed that I had warned him about his saggies twice that day in the hall, he amateurishly said too much and confessed, "Oh sure I know about the saggie rule. The assistant principal was talking about it to me just this morning."

That was all I needed to know. I have not written a referral before, but when I mentioned the incident to the assistant principal, he asked me to please write a referral for the boy. I'll have to find out what a referral means. It's all paperwork to me at this time.

Saggies. I can't wait until that fashion statement comes to an end and is replaced with something new. With just a little more effort and the right clown shoes, kids could dress like Emmett Kelly.

Or how about bras for boys? Manssiers or Bros.........take your choice of brands. How about ear flares? Ear flares would make your ears stick out like Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Newman.

From the back you'd look like a taxicab with the back doors open.

I can only hope for such change. It's got to be better than knowing first hand that a boy's underwear is gray in color.


I have two students in my math classes that are brilliant boys, but both have serious issues and are infamous around the school with poor reputations that precede them.

One of them had been recently suspended for quite some time. Prior to his recent "conviction," he had brought a knife to school. Because of his horrendously disrespectful attitude towards authority and even his fellow classmates, a serious suspension followed. His most recent offense included "tagging" the school buildings and football goalposts. He was caught, "convicted," and the hearing/sentencing was held today at the main office in the Chief Muckity-Muck's palatial palace, and it was there that this hooligan was expelled and ordered to attend an "alternative" school.

I spoke to the boy's father prior to the hearing and told him that lawyers, rules, regulations, and fear of reprisals if no punitive measures were taken were going to make it very difficult for his son to get out of the situation.

I also added that we are more frightened of children than we used to be, and I believe it is because of our fear. What would happen to ME if this student repeats the assault on Columbine High School? What would happen to ME if someone was actually hurt because I failed to do anything? What would happen to ME if I didn't take precautions? What would happen to ME if I didn't do this or that?

We take care of ourselves, don't we. But do we take care of others? I didn't speak up for that boy, and I am condemning myself for failing to do so. I didn't call in sick and show up at the hearing to beg clemency and mercy for that boy. I didn't prevent his being expelled and his parents forced to drive him across town to an alternative school.

I am also being overly harsh on myself, because this boy and I once had this conversation:

"Elliot, you treat me very disrespectfully. You talk to me as if I am nothing, a worthless human being. Am I ever going to earn your respect and will you ever treat me respectfully?"

"Nah. I don't see any reason that I should." I will never forget the look on his face. I excel at poker; I would never call his bluff.

I didn't go to the hearing. I didn't help plead his case, but I don't think I would have made a difference. Did I do wrong?

There were two boys mentioned earlier. The other boy is also getting himself into trouble, but his offenses aren't as severe. He treats me with respect and listens to me. If he gets in over his head, I will call in sick and be there for his hearing/sentencing. I will fight the good fight for this boy. I will do anything to help this young man. He has recently been suspended. I must get ready for battle, and begin putting on my armor. I don't even want to go to battle in the Muckity-Muck's palatial palace. I want to win the war. I want this boy to turn around. He is in my sights and I am focused. He and I will win this battle.