Tag Archives: school

August 2016—All in One Post!

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So, I did around 3,500 miles this month!….

In my car.

I haven’t been active here lately, partly due to my roadtrip!  On July 31st, I packed up my trusty 2009 Pontiac Vibe and hit the road.  Along with the essential clothing, toiletries and podcasts to entertain, I also packed my 9 year old beagle, Snoopy.  Where were we heading?  We were going across the border south east to my hometown of Franklin, Wisconsin.  We had stopovers planned in Longville, Minnesota (my aunt and uncle live there).  Snoopy is an excellent travel companion; I honestly cannot say that enough.  He just curls up and sleeps the whole time, does not fuss, and is excited to arrive to any destination.  So I kept myself occupied by listening to a variety of podcasts and when I really started losing it I would talk to Snoopy.

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All packed and ready to hit the road!

 

We made it to my mom’s on August 4th, and we stayed until August 22nd.  During that time, I was able to see all of my family that lives in the area, attend a closing day of Badgerette Pom Pon camp (I worked for Badgerette for 5 summers), watch the State Distinguished Young Woman show with my friend Maureen (I won 2nd alternate back in it’s Junior Miss hey day), go to two travelling beer gardens, see a bunch of my friends back home, eat and drink my way through both Wisconsin State Fair & Zoo Ala Carte, go to my favourite Mexican restaurant 3 times, play in a bag toss tournament, and so much more.

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“Swimming” with Snoopy in Lake Wabedo in Northern Minnesota

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When you are in Longville, MN, you go to the Meat Raffle at the bar….and win!

 

The main reason I drove was so I would be able to bring back the remains of my childhood that was still housed at my moms.  It wasn’t that she was forcing me to take it, but I have been gone since 2008, so I figured it was time.  Yearbooks, photos, games, puzzles, Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop, etc, etc, etc….It is now all back in Alberta.  I also packed up some New Glarus Beer, a ton of Wisconsin cheese, 32 bottles of Sprecher soda, and who knows what else.  Snoopy and I arrived back in Lethbridge on August 24th.  Wow, it felt good to get back!  We both missed his daddy Dan and his brothers Woodstock and Faron.

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That’s for DAMN sure!

 

During that trip, I also started running.  I had done my first 5km run prior to the trip in a numbing time of 33:43.  I had walked and jogged a bunch during it.  That was on July 28th.  Remember, my foot surgery was on June 10th.  I had been given the clear I could start running after my 6 week post op on July 21st.  I did my first humid (SO HUMID AND HOT) Wisconsin run on August 7th.  It was a little 20 minute jaunt that average 9:40 per mile.  Oww.  On August 11th, I went out to try and beat my July 28th 5km time.  I did so handedly, running a 30:02!  So close to that sub 30!  I did a couple other 1-2 mile runs during my time in Wisconsin, but I wanted to try and get under 30 minutes.  On August 16th, I set out to do that.  I ran that 5km in 28:20!  These gains I have made in less than a month since coming back into running are huge.  I was going nuts not running for over 6 weeks, and taking this time to get my newly fixed foot used to running (and running properly) has been great.

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5km well under 30 minutes!

 

Since returning to Lethbridge, I am happy that the humidity is gone.  I have ran on August 25th, 26th and 27th, and the weather has been glorious.  The biggest highlight was yesterday, the 27th.  I went out to run a sole mile with the goal of getting between 8:00-8:15, a pace I was always easily able to obtain on my runs, and my sweet spot for my Boston qualifying pace.  I finished that mile in 8:14!  Guess what world…LAMMERS IS BACK!

And guess what today is?  Today marks the start of WEEK 1 of my GOOFY CHALLENGE training plan.  I have put together a very non-aggressive 19 week training plan with the goal of “comfortable completion” of the 2017 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge, which is a half marathon on Saturday, January 7th followed by a full marathon on Sunday, January 8th.  The even more special thing about this race is that I will be running my 2nd WDW full marathon alongside my best friend Ali.  It will be her very first full marathon!  I will be there to support her through those dark moments (especially between miles 15-23!!!)  She has run half marathons before, and I have set her up with a training plan to coincides with her Spartan Race and Crossfit schedule.  It will be a weekend to remember!

 

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The original “Pottage Pose” from the marathon portion of the 2014 Dopey Challenge in WDW

 

 

19 weeks is a LONG training plan.  When I ran the Vancouver Marathon in 2015 and Boston in 2016, I had an intense 16 week plan.  This plan does not include speedwork.  It just has two easy runs a week plus a long run on the Saturday.  Then, in late October, I add another mid distance run on Friday, which will help prepare me for the two day challenge that Goofy presents.  I am not going for any speed records at this race; I want to get my body back into running shape so I can begin to push myself again come the new year!

I have updated my 2016 race schedule, as I have a few local events in October and November.  I will be recapping those after they occur, and I will definitely be keeping you posted on how my Goofy training goes.  Until then, I need to get ready for my first day back at work tomorrow….Teachers start this week, with students coming in the day after Labour Day.  For teachers, this is our “New Year”.  Happy New Year to all the teachers, students and parents out there! 

Lethbridge Police Half 2015

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OHHHH, I had high hopes for this race personally. It isn’t my goal race of the summer (that’s next week at Disneyland 10km) but it was a local half that I have done the past two years and know the course quite well. The Lethbridge Police Half Marathon (and 5km/10km) was held Saturday, August 29th, 2015. Of the 126 half marathon finishers, I finished 9th overall and 3rd place female…so I even won $75.00! So why am I a little upset with myself? …




Race morning came and I was psyched. I felt positive and strong and ready to go. I did have an awful stomachache the night before and it had sort of gotten better, but I thought it was just nerves. I was hoping to try and run my personal best, so below a 1:35.40. I was aiming for 1:35. I started off quite strong…perhaps too ambitious. I went out way fast for mile 1, and slowed to where I should be in miles 2-4. I could see my friend Bob (the one who paced me in Vancouver) right ahead. I wanted to keep this nice distance between us as I wanted to be pushed.

   
 
I also was lucky to have my husband come help me out today. I had asked him a few weeks ago if he would not work today and bike along the course (he’s an arborist for his own business so it’s not like he called in sick!). I had picked key spots I wanted him to meet me at and then he could let me know how my placing was, and really, wanted his encouragement. By the time we got to Henderson Lake, at around mile 5, my legs were starting to feel a bit heavy and my stomach wasn’t feeling right. Ok, I just kept my eyes ahead and kept looping the lake and when I got to mile 6 I was still on pace for my goal. 


Then, it started to slowly get slower. 


Now that I look at the barely used Nuun water I prepared in my bottles, I don’t know if I didn’t hydrate enough or what. My legs got so heavy and I was not able to keep going in the 7:20s. After mile 7 I officially gave up my 1st place female spot. I could still catch up if I lit a fire up my rear, but the gap slowly grew. I knew I had to make up time when we crossed Scenic Drive down to Lynx Trail around mile 9. So going down that hill I got back on pace. But my insides did not appreciate the downhill descent. 
I have done this hill a ton of times, but my ever present stomachache got exponentially worse as I descended to the river bottom. I had to speed walk in two spots and I almost wanted to stop at the porta potty near Helen Schuler when we got to mile 11. At that point first place was long gone and Heather came up earlier on in the river bottom and passed me. I wanted to hold on to 3rd but I also wanted to stop!

Down in the river bottom was where Dan made all the difference. Up above on the streets and parks, he just biked to a spot, took a picture, and sped ahead. Since I was in pain down here and no one was around us, he stuck close by my side for the final 3 miles. I needed to keep having him tell me I had good distance on those behind me and that if I kept where I was at I could stay at 3rd. We ran under Whoop Up and two of my WCHS cross country kids snapped a great photo that showed how happy I was even though I was feeling the pain. Actually, how happy we both were because in the end, Dan would admit to me that he “...actually had a lot of fun doing that with you today! I’d do it again!”

  
I held onto 3rd somehow but boy, I was glad to be done. 1:40.13…well off what I am capable of. I know I haven’t been running the farther mileage on weekends this summer like I was in Spring training for Vancouver, so that’s a huge issue. Summer heat training has been tough and I’ve been doing lots of short speed work. I’ll be set for my 10km next week as long as I take it easy the next couple days. The smoke-filled air from the wildfires I don’t THINK bothered me…no coughing at all. But who knows? And I really can’t peg what caused my stomachache….other than perhaps still having some of the craziness of Kelowna in my system from last week. 

So all in all, while I wish my time was faster, I am happy about the day. I got to spend the day doing my favourite sport (Running!) while my favourite guy (my husband Dan!) was by my side and I got to celebrate it all in the end with lots of great friends from the running community who also participated. I also got to spread the running love to four of my WCHS Cross Country athletes, as they did the 5km. The other coach was there at the start and finish to see them, but I got to see them all before leaving. They placed 5th, 13th, 14th and 18th overall in their event out of 188 people! So now, I’m going to just try to enjoy my weekend before we are all back to school with kids in our class next week! Final weekend of no exams or papers to mark!  

   
   

A Failed Training Run….and How it Actually Ties to Teacher’s Convention!

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I have had off of work since last Friday. Had our regular weekend, however, ours was busy with my in-laws coming down to visit. It was Family Day on Monday (same day as US Presidents Day) so no work for everyone. Then, our district had the Tuesday and Wednesday off. South Western Alberta Teachers Convention was held at U of L today and will continue tomorrow. And then another nice weekend before back to the grind next Monday.

This is all fine and dandy. But….my sleep schedule has been out of whack since the start of this break. I find it necessary to stay up till some ungodly hours watching shitty television. This morning, I had to get up at a somewhat respectful time of 7:15 am so I could get ready for convention. Fast forward to coming home, I laid in bed with Snoopy at 3:15. In my head, I was going to take an hour nap and then go on my run….

5:59 pm. Snoopy decides it time to finally wake up, which in turn, gets my ass out of bed. The plan of no alarm and relying on Snoopy’s internal food clock failed me. I quickly got up, fed the dog, and headed outside. I was supposed to do 6-8 800 meter repeats with a 400 meter jog in between. The 800 meters were supposed to be at a sprint in good form. I was planning on doing the first 800 as I ran to the Civic track by the curling club, then I would do the 400 m jog, do 4-6 repeats in the track, and head back with my 800.

I went out strong on my first 800. This was on sidewalks and slightly uphill, but I powered through. I felt good, not great, when done, and then went into the 400 m jog. I had gotten to the track just before my second 800 was about to begin. The shale track, which I have successfully ran Yasso 800s on before, was wet and squishy. Footprints were all over and footing was not great. I started the second 800 on the back stretch of the track, but I only made it 3/4 around at full speed when I had to slow down.

My footing was off. It was getting darker as it was 6:30 pm. My hip, which I had loads icy hot on, was in a lot of pain. I was tired, my legs were heavy….I went into a slow jog, and then headed back home. I completed a measly 1.65 miles and had only done 1 of the 6-8 sets.

I’m pretty let down right now with how this went. I have had a tough week and a half coming off of my 1:35 Hypothermic Half. My recovery hasn’t been going to best and I haven’t been able to do all my workouts to the best of my ability. While my longer runs have been successful, these speed workouts since the half marathon have been a mess. The varied sleep schedule and the “vacation” time have seemingly thrown me off. I am hoping this is just a phase and that this Saturday’s 16-20 miler going off without a hitch. My goal Saturday is to get in 18 miles, all within that 8:06-9:23 sweet spot. Then, hopefully getting back into my normal routine next week will sort things out naturally.

This has happened to me before in the past…And I felt like a failure. While I am upset at how tonight’s attempted speed workout went, I am not calling myself a failure. A lot of my optimistic view comes from growth and maturity over the years, but most of it today was in part from a presentation I was at this morning. Our keynote speaker, Debbie Silver, at teacher’s convention today talked about how kids need to experience failure in order to find success. She has a book entitled “Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8”. She explained her points with personal stories and experiences. It all resonated well with my experiences as a high school teacher, and many of the children and students she brought up in her presentation reminded me of students I have taught. It also reminded me of me and this training. It reminded me of how far I have come with my running, how many successes I have had, and how these do in fact outweigh the failures. But the failures are just as important. I fell down tonight, but I got up. And it’s going to be ok.

Run for the Pumpkin 4km-Recap

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Saturday, October 4, 2014, marked my shortest race since I was 18 years old—a 4km. The local 4km was in its 27th year, and was put on by Lethbridge Track & Field Club. The thing that made this race extra special was that 7 of our WCHS Cross Country athletes would be running in it too. This would be a great pre-zone race for our kids, as two of them had NEVER done a race yet in their life!

The day was gorgeous and perfect for running, We met as a team at 11:00am, which was the start of the 2km race for the younger kids. Our race packages were all nicely grouped together in a WCHS bag, which made it easy to sort and hand out bibs/shirts to my athletes. We had a few age corrections to make and that was quickly changed by Matt K. in the registration tent. The kids were either in the 15& Under or 16-18 age groups. I was in 19 & older.

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Glenn, a local runner whose daughter I have taught (he was volunteering that day) kind of laughed at me running this 4km because he knew it wasn’t “my distance”. He told me to go out comfortably the first lap, and take the second lap like the last stretch of the biggest race of my life. Those words were very wise, but I did the reverse. I ran out of the starting area in a sub 6 minute pace. The up and downs over the rolling inclines were a challenge for myself, as I am used to running on asphalt, and the grass just drains your legs! Cross country is tough! By the time I reached mile 1 on my watch, I had hit 7:04. Holy shit, I wonder if I could keep that for the next 1.36 miles?

The nice thing about this course and how it looped was that I could see my athletes running as I ran. I yelled at a few of them a couple times and it kept me pushing. My chest was hurting and my throat was feeling dry. Holy crap, I am not cut out for a 4km! I kept my eye on a younger girl ahead of me, who I couldn’t tell if she was over 18 or younger, and it made it my goal to pass her before the finish. This kept me pushing and I finished in a time of 17:23. My second mile had been a 7:47, and my average pace was back to my old faithful of 7:30. Go figure!

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After I finished I caught my breath and turned around to watch the kids come in. One of our boys had finished well before me, placing 2nd in his 16-18 age group with a 15:12! The other six did awesome too! Two of the girls earned ribbons in their 15& under group with a 1st and a 3rd. And another boy earned a 3rd in his 16-18 group! Our one girl who had done junior high cities on September 25, which was a 3km, ran her 4km at a faster pace per kilometer than she did at the city race! And our other two girls completed their FIRST EVER race! It was an excellent day all around.

I have fallen more and more in love with this sport. Yes, I myself am now a “long-distance runner.” But, I never got to be a high school cross country runner. Back when I was in high school, I was on the Pom Pon Team (which I would not change for a second) but this took up three sports’ seasons-Summer, Fall and Winter. One could not do two sports in a season, so cross country (fall) was out. And Cross Country was (and still is) huge back home in southern Wisconsin. I love being part of this sport and this community, and I love even more being able to get kids being excited to run. Our Cross Country South Zone Meet was yesterday, and we brought 15 athletes. 8 qualified for Provincials, which is hosted by Strathcona-Tweeds unit on October 18th. I am so excited to take these kids up there and run in the big show! And even though our regular season is done, I spoke with a bunch of the kids today after school and we are going to do a “Run Club” every Tuesday and Thursday to keep the momentum going. The kids are even asking about what local 5km races there are and which ones I do. I love where this is going and I can’t wait to see what happens.

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A Mash-Up of Thoughts on my Slump…and Climb Back!

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I was in a weird slump—As you are aware, Dan and I did the two weeks of the Clean Eating Challenge. We were suppose to feel fantastic! Well, really, I started feeling empty. I was losing too much weight and didn’t have enough carbs in my system. My body has ran on carbs, literally, since my first years’ in middle school track. I am not gluten intolerant, so in moderation I really don’t see this as an issue. My normal eating habits already consisted of whole wheat pasta, and as much as possible scratch-made sauce, so the lacking of that staple, especially during training, hit me. (Wow, that was a lot of commas in a sentence.)

Then the challenge ended. Horray! Eat what I want! Sorta. There were things I wanted to keep with me, like the healthier breakfasts and snacks, and I even realized I should limit my cheese intake (total Wisconsin girl horror!). I also was pumped to get my training back in gear. Thing is, I was headed out to Albuquerque for an International Baccalaureate training. Let me say this-I am SO GLAD I don’t travel regularly for work. Holy crap, it takes a lot out of you. You eat even more different than at home (opposite end of the clean eating challenge) and your normal workout schedule could go haywire.

When I crafted my Edmonton Marathon training plan, I kept in mind my summer vacations. I kept in mind this very week of “school” training in the States. I made sure the runs planned during those times were feasible. Coming off my two challenging weeks of training all while feeling empty, it was harder than I planned getting back into the game…especially while in dry, hot, arid, desert filled New Mexico.

I ended up moving my training days around, struggling to get the miles in. With training going from 8-4 each day, and me not being a morning runner unless it’s a race, getting my ass out training in the afternoon was next to impossible. I went on a ten-miler one day at 4:15 PM…but it was 95 degrees…and I’m a northerner…so I made it 2.5 out and turned around laughing at my rookie mistake. I had to do just 2.5 back, which was a struggle, but I did it. This 5 miler counted for a run later that week. But I needed to do that damn ten-miler sometime.

I got the ten-miler in on Wednesday evening, two days after it was originally planned. And it got done in the Marriott treadmill. Erin, my cousin and motivator for this training, yelled at me via text to get with it and get at it. Well, that I did. I had the luxury of watching my own personal tv during the run, focusing on HGTV, but that wouldn’t be enough. I had to push it to make it worth it.

For each mile, I increased my speed 0.1 mph. I started at 6.0 mph, all the way to 6.8 mph. Then, for the last mile, I increased my speed 0.1 mph for every tenth of a mile. It was the best run I had done in two and a half weeksand it was done on a treadmill. Go figure.

I got back home from the trip, ready to get back into the swing of things. It didn’t come immediately, because then all the traveling back took something out of me. Plus the end-of-school-year party may have too. But the past two days I made huge gains in the right direction. Yesterday, I did a solid 6 miles with a 9:01 average pace, and my fastest mile being the final mile in 8:36. Today, I rocked a speed workout of Yasso 800s. I did not do it on the shale track, but over on the bike path at Nicholas Sheran Park near my house. I ran a mile warmup in 8:46. Then, I did my 800 meter repeats…8 of them to be exact. I wrote about my first experience with Yasso 800s here: YASSO 800s For the WIN!

I was faster than my goal 3:30 pace for every 800 except the 7th one. And I’m not making excuses, but this had a lot to do with the inconsiderate woman taking up the bike path with her three dogs, two of them off-leash…(one of my pet peeves! This is not an off leash park!). I ran 3:27, 3:13, 3:19, 3:17, 3:24, 3:19, 3:43 (ouch! See!?) and 3:12. Each had a 2:45-3:00 minute power walk break. I rounded the workout out with an easy mile home in 9:27.

Tomorrow I have my alarm set for 7 am. After my morning rituals and preparations, I plan on heading out of the house by 9:00 am for my 16 miler. This is a mentally tough distance for me, because during Calgary I hit my decline at 13 miles, and had completely fallen apart at 17. I have a route on the west side mapped out in my head. Then, a decline down Bridge Drive into the river bottom, up the steep Lynx trail, where I’ll prowl through the south side neighborhoods. I’ll head back over the river valley on Whoop Up and hit home. And trust meTomorrow is Canada Day. I am done with the Clean Eating a Challenge, and I will have just run 16 miles. I’m having a carb-filled beer! Cheers!

School has Begun, Motivation is High…How is Dopey Going to Fit in….?

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People who are on here who have not met me in real life may not know I am a high school math teacher. School officially started for students today in most places across Alberta, and many spots in North America. We all know that the start of school brings new beginnings. It brings excitement….motivation….spirit….and for me, it also got me wondering how I am going to manage to do all I strive to do in the classroom & my school, manage my Dopey Challenge Training along with other scheduled races, keep somewhat sane, and not drive my husband completely nuts in the process.

I am a teacher who puts her time in during the summer. I do this so come fall, I can start off with at least some sanity and peacefulness of what is going on. Or at least what I want to go on. A false security that I am prepared maybe! But, even if I plan a whole new unit ahead of time, three units ahead, a whole course…things come up and changes have to be made. Work and lessons often need to be adjusted. I keep telling myself the importance of time management this semester is going to be key, as after my day at school, I need to make sure I am prepared for the following days of class….thing is, I can’t work solely on school work non-stop 24/7. It doesn’t work like that. If anyone did tha, you would turn all types of crazy.I need to head off on my run.

But, here is the thing: I am afraid that at first I will be feeling guilt about these runs. Even though I set myself a 5 pm limit to staying at the school doing school work each night and an 8 pm limit marking papers at home, if I feel like there is something to work on, I may feel guilt about going on that run. But I know eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, once on the run I will realize how much of a release it is. Running has kept me calm and sane through so many tough times. It is the best therapy, even after your hardest day. This Dopey Challenge training may actually help me keep a sane mind during my heavy-loaded semester…

I spent this whole last weekend following everyone and everything in regards to the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. Watching the videos online, looking at the photos of the race itself and all of the sweet bling handed out, reading the blogs, getting in on the discussion via social media… I got excited, pumped up, motivated, spirited….all the same feelings I get for the start of school. Now I just have to make those feelings and emotions in running work with the feelings and emotions of the school year, and most importantly, keep them in balance. So here’s to being motivated for the school year and being motivated to earning some major RunDisney bling!

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Andrew A. Lammers-The Teacher

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I feel it is important I have a post about my dad’s line of work. No, he did not go to a university receiving a Bachelor Degree in education. He actually went to Cardinal Stritch University for about 3.5 years for social work before leaving. But, he still became a teacher. No, he didn’t get hired without proper credentials. But, he taught at the same alternative school for 27.5 years. Where did he work? The Milwaukee County House of Corrections.

Let me explain…..

After graduating high school in 1971, my dad enlisted in the US Marines, where he served for 2 years and was also in inactive reserves for 2 years after. He was usually stationed on a boat near the Philippines. My Uncle Ed has told me that my Grandpa (a pilot in the Marines during WWII) tried to buy my dad out of joining the Marines by offering to purchase him a convertible. My dad declined. After his bout in the US Marines, he enrolled part-time at Cardinal Stritch University, a private school on the north end of Milwaukee County. His plans were to go for social work. He needed a job during this time. So, in January 1976 he was hired as a correctional officer at the Milwaukee County House of Corrections, in Franklin, Wisconsin.

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During his years at Cardinal Stritch, he realized he didn’t want to stick with social work. Going to school really wasn’t his thing. After his military benefits ran out, he left the university and stayed with working at the HOC. He held various positions while there-correctional officer from the rank of sergeant to lieutenant, recreation specialist and program facilitator. When he started as a correctional officer, he even worked on the farm for a bit when they still had livestock that they slaughtered. But, his favorite position had to be when he was Recreation’s Officer. Basically, he was the Physical Education teacher for the inmates. And he loved it. He had “Rec. Porters”-an inmate or two who earned the privilege of extra gym time because of behavior. Dad would have them do cleaning jobs around the gym and weight room, and they got to work out with my dad for extra time than regularly allowed. My dad had a special bond with the inmates. Keep in mind, this was a correctional facility where most inmates my dad dealt with on a daily basis were in for shorter periods of time, either for drug issues, theft, petty crimes, etc. He was not working out with people suspected of murders. He taught them proper weight training and that they should not use the weights as a tool for “bulking up” so they could then go out and commit more crimes.

In about 1994, there was a major issue about allowing inmates in these type of facilities to use free-weights. My dad was in support of keeping the free-weights and not moving to just machines. It caused quite the stir in the news and the papers. 20/20 did a segment at the House of Corrections with John Stossel, and my dad was interviewed. I remember us watching the segment at home. There he was, in his red HOC rec. officer polo! That was his 15 minutes of fame, even if it was only an 8 second clip that got included. Online you can still find a few websites with some articles relating to this issue that include quotes from my dad. The quotes are ever-so-thoughtful, in only a way my dad could convey. But he stood by his beliefs. If there was a properly certified employee who was passionate about weight-training and athletics, who would supervise the inmates with an iron-fist and put the smack-down on misbehavior or mistreatment of the weight room, there was no reason why inmates should not be allowed time in a weight room. The exercise was a healthy outlet for them.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-03-24/news/9403240266_1_prison-riot-lifting-inmates

Sadly, they dissolved the rec. officer position. My dad still held a place in the weight room at the HOC. When my dad got promoted to a lieutenant, the inmates drew and signed two pictures to congratulate him. He had a bond with them. It was a common occurrence for us to run into former inmates while at county and state fairs, as they were working as carnies. They would always, always yell things like “Sergeant Lammers! Hey! How are you! Look! I have a job! I haven’t been in trouble since being let out!”. My dad would remember every single guy. He would take the time to talk about them and how they got their life together. Some of the stranger places my dad ran into inmates was at the zoo and even at a wedding. Please note, that this wedding was not for someone in our immediate family!

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My dad’s final position at the HOC was Program Facilitator. He arranged programs for the inmates and coordinated volunteer programs. He also organized the pastors who travelled from Indiana to come in and work with the inmates. I never heard it, but apparently on a late-night radio feed at around midnight on Sundays, these pastors did blessings for my dad and the inmates at the HOC. My dad use to make my mom get it tuned in so he could hear it.

Including my dad’s years in the military, my dad had 29.5 years of service with Milwaukee County when he retired in August 2003 at the age of 51. There was a small gathering at Jim Dandy’s in Franklin where they had a retirement party. He was one of the longest serving employees at the HOC at that time. The retirement came 10 months earlier than originally planned, all due to county-wide budget cuts. It turned out to be the right decision, as my dad passed away 8 months later.

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No, my dad did not teach at an elementary, middle or high school. He did not even teach at a “traditional-alternative school”. But he taught. He worked hands-on with those inmates who had run into tough times. He could have treated them like the criminals everyone thought they were. But he made connections with them and got them prepared for life after being released. People may feel uncomfortable with this idea of a teacher, but I know my dad made a lasting impact in hundreds of men’s lives. I am forever proud of him.

So I just joined #Twitter…let the hashtags begin

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I joined Twitter this morning during my prep period with the help of a fellow co-worker. I had a Twitter account once before-but it was only used to Re-tweet that I was at La Cava del Tequilla at EPCOT so I could get free chips and salsa.

This will be a ‘modified’ account, in the sense that our school has started an ‘initiative’ of sorts—#WClove. (Not W CLOVE, but it stands for Winston Churchill LOVE). It’s a hashtag for staff and students to tweet out acts of kindness and things that are great about the school. It’s in the test mode and the student council found out about another school that had done it.

So I use the term ‘modified’ in that I will be following teachers, disney-related items, running-related sources, heart disease research information, and educational items. I’ll leave all my craziness to my Facebook. But I figure this will be a great tool for me to learn and utilize within this web page to get the word out more for what I am doing.

Follow me @Wisc07

That’s Wisc ZERO 7, not OOOOOHHHHH 7.