June has been pretty challenging for me. Most teachers drop the mic and the grade book on the last day of school and run away fast enough to kick up dust in the parking lot. Ag teachers, however, don't share the same luxury and spend most of the summer working and attending conferences and conventions. Until this past year, I had no problem with any of that, relishing the trips and hectic schedule. However, as the fish are biting and the Illinois weather is at its most beautiful, I'm foaming at the mouth to get outside, only to find myself stuffed into a suit in windowless rooms where I actually have to be professional and make decisions. Don't get me wrong, I love my job...but it's hard to take a #TrophyTuesday photo with a stack of financial reports.
I was on week three of the travel circuit at our annual agriculture teacher conference. As a member of the board of directors, I had a little more responsibility than usual, and was more concerned that everything flowed smoothly than taking time to relax and reconnect with my Ag Ed family. On a whim, I tossed my name in for a door prize drawing of a Go Pro camera, knowing in my heart that it wouldn't come to anything, but the booth was on my way to my next meeting, so I may as well give it a shot. Folks...I won. I WON! Immediately, my thoughts turned to experimenting with filming my hunting and fishing (miss)adventures, so look for that on the horizon. I can't promise you will see anything good, but I can guarantee a laugh or two as you get to witness my flailings firsthand. As my friend so kindly pointed out, "now we can see all the deer you miss with your bow in real time!" Who needs enemies when you have friends, right?
Winning the Go Pro turned my conference around. As I walked out the door after the last session with my suit coat over one shoulder and the camera under the other, I took a deep breath, knowing the only thing that stood between me and a long-overdue evening of fishing was a three-hour drive and a stop at Bass Pro. Maybe this is a sign that the 2016 hunting season will be a success, but for now, I'll kick off my heels and speed home, because I hear the bass are biting hard and I'm headed for the pond.