This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.
This is the third post from educator and author Pete Springer who began blogging in April this year. I am sure you will agree that he has made a fantastic start to his new project. Humour is one of the elements of my life that I would miss if it disappeared. Thank goodness that around here laughter is always a daily shared activity. Pete shares some incidents that could have been a lot worse if laughter had not been the outcome.. and there there is the mystery of the knocking in the pipes!
The Importance of a Good Sense of Humor by Pete Springer
You’ve probably heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” My experience has taught me that this is one of the wisest pieces of advice. A study done at the Mayo Clinic showed that laughter is one of the best ways to relieve stress and puts us in a better overall frame of mind.
The funniest things to me are the humor which I find in human nature rather than watching a stand-up comic perform—although some comedians base much of their act on this concept.
When I was still teaching elementary school, I found that laughing about some of the absurdities of the job was a healthy way to handle the ridiculousness of a situation. How could I ever forget the time when one of my students smuggled a garter snake on a field trip without my knowledge? The only reason I found out about it was that the snake decided to make an appearance at the museum and scared a poor lady half to death. Of course, I wasn’t exactly happy with my student, but I also found myself laughing when I retold the story to my colleagues.
Then there was the memorable time when a student’s parent showed up uninvited to my classroom during the middle of class to do a chemistry exhibition. Not only had the nervy adult bypassed the office, a requirement of any person on a school campus, but she expected me to drop everything for her demonstration. After recovering from the shock that anyone could be that brazen, I told her that she was not allowed to hijack my class. I suppose I could have responded with anger, but the whole situation was far too bizarre for that. Laughing about the entire thing later with a friend was a better solution.
Part of having a good sense of humor is being able to laugh at yourself. Aren’t we all guilty of doing things that humble us? Last month I had one of those moments that is too priceless not to share.
One of the challenges of being a homeowner is we must be able to deal with the unexpected expenses that inevitably occur. Six weeks ago, my wife and I began to hear what appeared to be the rattling of the water pipes under the house. In the beginning, the noises seemed to happen at intermittent times. Sometimes we didn’t hear it for several days.
When the sound resumed, and with greater frequency, I decided to do some research before calling a plumber. After searching on my computer, I learned that this occurrence is quite common. The articles I read indicated that most of the time, the problem was a minor fix, but it also could be a symptom of a more severe situation.
The next time it happened, I decided to play detective and see if I could figure out what was going on. I crawled under the house (something that is getting a little harder to do with age) to investigate. By the time I was scurrying around like a mole, the noise had stopped. There were no signs of a leak or other apparent problems.
After a few more days of silence, a new pattern developed. The metallic sound started up every morning around 6:30, while we were still in bed. The other curious thing was the noise now appeared to be coming from somewhere in the backyard rather than under the house.
By now, I was baffled but determined to discover what was going on. The following morning the noise came back right on time again. I got out of bed, went out the back door as quietly as possible, and tried to track the sound. Sure enough, my hearing was correct—the pipe rattling was no longer coming from under the house.
I tracked my prey the way a mountain lion pursues its next meal. I tried to be as silent as possible because I was concentrating on the location of the noise. The other problem was our two yellow labs. (They spend the night in our three-car garage which has a dog door to their pen). If they heard me lurking about, they would most likely start barking.
I followed the noise to our back gate at which point it stopped. Okay, what gives? Just then, one of our neighbors drove down the alleyway between our properties as he was going to work. I’m sure that I was quite the sight standing there in my pajamas with a mop of disheveled hair. He stopped his truck, and I explained that I wasn’t losing my marbles. He said that he was unaware of any noise, but he would keep his eyes and ears open. (By the way, how do you keep your ears open?)
By now, I was fully invested and determined to figure out what was happening. I went back into the house and reported my findings to the other detective (my wife) assigned to the case.
The following morning the noise started again at precisely 6:30. I shot out of bed like a cannon ready to get to the bottom of this mystery. I went out to the back gate again and heard the metal sound coming from the top of a nearby telephone pole.
As I looked up trying to identify the source of the sound, a bird swooped down from the pole and landed on the neighbor’s roof. I didn’t think the bird was the culprit, but then the little bugger gave himself away. He tapped his bill rapidly against the small metallic satellite dish atop the neighbor’s roof. As soon as it struck the object, I recognized the familiar sound. I had found the mischievous scoundrel.
What else could I do at that point but laugh at my stupidity? I got all worked up over nothing. That bird got the best of me, and I felt embarrassed for not figuring out what happened sooner.
In retrospect, there was no need to be too hard on myself. My previous experiences with woodpeckers involved watching them drill into trees in search of insects. That was a much different sound. I could only deduce that the noise, which appeared to be coming from under the house, was the vibration from the metal vents that run vertically from the roof.
I’m sure this won’t be the last time I am forced to laugh at my gullibility as life provides us with so many opportunities. Instead of being privately embarrassed about it, I’m hoping that you get a chuckle and can also laugh at yourself from time to time. Maybe we can bring a little more laughter and joy to a sometimes troubled world with a good sense of humor
©Pete Springer 2019
About They Call Me Mom
Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff. Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)
One of the reviews for the book
I personally love this book. Peter Springer was my second grade teacher in my elementary school days and I have to say he was one of my favorites no doubt. You could tell that he truly valued the significance of early education. I can’t think of a single one of my friends that were not excited about going to Mr. Springers class everyday!
When I was informed that Mr. Springer was finishing his lifelong dream of developing a book to pass down his experiences, I knew I had to get a copy of the book. It was no surprise that the book was absolutely inspiring. Reading his book brought back some of those wonderful memories of growing up and being excited to go to school everyday. Peter Springer really has a way with kids and the story of how he found his passion for helping kids reach there dreams is a story that everyone must hear!
It is crucial to provide a foundation for kids to dream, learn, and grow. In this book, Peter Springer emphasizes how important it is to give kids this type of environment to ensure that they reach their dreams and goals in the future.
Peter Springer inspired me as well as many other students throughout the years. If you read his book and learn his story, I’m sure you will be inspired as well!
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/They-Call-Mom-Difference-Elementary/dp/1977200052
Other buy links: https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/buy/
About Pete Springer
My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over two years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.
When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.
I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!
Connect to Pete
My thanks to Pete for allowing me to access his archives posts and share them with you.. Please head over and explore Pete’s blog further.. thanks Sally.