Computer keyboard artwork

Interviewing three teachers yesterday and a principal today about the AVID program that has been implemented in the fifth and sixth grades here in Philomath, I began to draw parallels to my own experiences that impact my life even today.

I'm talking about organizational skills and in my opinion, they go a long way toward the effort to find success on the job and in life. In fact, my wife laughs at the extremes that I go to when organizing my day-to-day schedule.

An example:

Thursday, Dec. 14

9 a.m.: Check email; return any needed messages.

9:30 a.m.: Update daily planner and story budget (the term we use for the list of stories to appear in the next edition).

9:45 a.m.: Update the website and schedule/post story links to social media.

11:05 a.m.: Shoot photo at middle school to accompany AVID feature; interview principal Steve Bell.

11:40 a.m.: Lunch at Vinwood.

12:15 p.m.: Edit G-T stories on Mr. Starker and Beavers Beyond the Classroom features for the Express; work on other miscellaneous.

1:35 p.m.: Head to the high school.

1:50 p.m.: Cover Subaru of Corvallis check presentation to PHS performing arts.

2:30 p.m.: Write AVID feature and accompanying blog to post immediately.

4:30 p.m.: Write PHS wrestling story.

5:30 p.m.: Post extra photo that won't appear online to Instagram.

5:50 p.m.: Dinner at place to be determined.

6:30 p.m.: Head to high school.

7 p.m.: Cover Philomath School Board meeting.

10 p.m.: Estimated time to arrive home.

I also do the same type of to-do list for everyday life, including vacations. Of course, vacations are supposed to be fun and have some flexibility, but it comes in handy to know ahead of time what your options are for dinner, for example, in a particular city, or what the tickets might cost for a certain attraction. I don't like surprises.

As many of you know, I became a father again last month. My schedule on the day of his birth didn't exactly go as planned. As a matter of fact, it's been rough to stay on task ever since (newborns don't exactly care about your daily planner).

These organizational skills are something I've done since childhood. It just seemed like the thing to do with so many things that were going on in my life. If I didn't keep track of everything and stay organized, there was a good chance I would overlook something.

So to me, AVID sounds like a great addition to the learning environment in Philomath schools.

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