Life is like a camera

15940966_1306818986007086_9093406466643135688_nLife is like a camera!  What do you focus on – what’s important to you?  What are some of your shining moments that you would capture in a photo if you could?  What negative things have happened in your life that you have learned from?  What things have you tried multiple times, hoping for a better result?  Tell me all about it!

Your post is due TODAY at 12:20 p.m.

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Raising children differently

462How do you think you might raise your kids differently than the way your parents raised you?  How will technology affect the way you parent?  Will you have rules about the allowable age to begin dating? When will your kids get a cell phone?  Will it be a smart phone or the cheapest one you can find?  How do you feel about your daughter wearing make up?  Is there an age below which you won’t allow that?  How old will your children be when you allow them to drive?  What rules do your parents have for you that you think are pointless or that you won’t impose on your children?

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How would you rank these things?

We’ll be changing gears, finishing up Proficiency application work, and moving on to Spring CDE Preparation.

We submitted 16 proficiency applications yesterday.  Last year we submitted 36.  We won 7 areas and had 12 students place in the money. Judging is Thursday, February 16h.

The requirement for this class was for each of you to submit/complete one application.  Those of you who were in class last year, were required to submit/complete two applications unless you had won your area last year.  Did you meet the requirements? **Address this in your blog post.

There are several State FFA Scholarships that you may be eligible for.  I am attaching the applications to this post.  Deadline for submission is Monday, February 13, 2017.  This is a postmark deadline.

Bob Redder Scholarship APP 2017

AgEd Application 2016

B&G Application 2016

Each of these applications require a letter of recommendation from me.  Please don’t wait until 3:25 p.m. on Monday to let me know that you are applying!

I’m working my way through entering missing/late work.

For today:
469Respond to the image above on your blog.  Give me your ranking and why you rank them the way you do.  Are there other things that are important to you that you might rank ahead of one of these things?  If so, share that with me.

** Address the statement above regarding proficiency applications.  Also – give me some insight on why deadlines and due dates don’t matter. How should my grading reflect what you either did or didn’t do?

Your post is due Monday, February 13, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

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Personal Pages – Proficiency Apps

Personal Page and Resume

Each proficiency application has attachments that need to be included.  The two attachments required are an instructor’s statement – that one’s on me.  The second, is “your” personal page.

  • Attach one page of additional information, of your choice, supporting your application for this area. (i.e., Newspaper clippings, additional statements from employer, student work, etc.)
  • Write a personal story even with a little background on their family (especially if not a farm background) then talk about all phases of their SAE and how/what FFA activities they have enjoyed the most etc.
  • For some we will do ads, collages, certificates of attendance at marketing workshops, an additional letter from an employer, inventory pages for some breeding livestock, Newspaper articles scanned in to a page, etc.

For our purposes, we’ll do one page, single spaced, 12 pt font.  Talk about your SAE – all phases, not just the one in the proficiency app you’re working on (this way the personal page could be used for more than one area of proficiency apps.)  Talk about your FFA Experiences – things you’ve done, plan to do etc.  Talk about your future plans for education, SAE and FFA involvement.

We also need to spend some time working on your Resume for your proficiency app.  AET will build a lot of it, we just need to make sure you’ve got things entered.

I’m attaching two examples of personal pages and resume’s from former National Finalists.  Use them as a guide.

Personal page 1

Personal page 2

I also have quite a variety of personal pages from last years’ applicants.

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Late Work


This post retrieved from

This post may offend some readers. But only because it’s going to cut close to the bone for many.

And I don’t care if I sound old-fashioned, because actually it’s nothing to do with ‘fashion’ or ‘generation’. It’s got everything to do with basic good manners and respect for other people.

So here goes… How did it get to be “OK” for people to be late, or turn in all their homework late?

Because as far as I am concerned, it’s not OK.

In recent years it seems that a meeting set to start at 9 am, for some people means in the general vicinity of any time which starts with the numeral ‘9’. Like 9.30 for example.

People drift in at 9.10 or 9.20, or even later. And they smile warmly at the waiting group, as they unwrap their bacon sandwich, apparently totally unconcerned that others have been there since five to nine, prepared and ready to start.

10 people kept waiting in a meeting for 20 minutes, while some selfish pratt who idles his way via the coffee shop, is actually 20 minutes times 10, which is 200 minutes wasted – while you keep us waiting because you did not catch the earlier bus. That is over 3 hours wasted. By you! How much has that cost the business? Shall I send you an invoice?

And an arrangement to meet someone for a business meeting at a coffee shop at 3 pm, more often than not means at 3.10 you get a text saying ‘I am five minutes away’ which inevitably means 10 minutes, and so you wait for 15 or 20 minutes, kicking your heels in frustration.

And often these ‘latecomers’ are people who have requested the meeting in the first place, are asking for your help, or are selling something. Fat chance mate!

And of course this has massive application to the recruitment industry, where lateness is both commonplace and hugely damaging to your personal and corporate brand.

And it’s not only business.

Why do people, invited for a dinner party at 7.30, think it’s cool to arrive at 8.30? It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s selfish, as I witnessed in a coffee shop near my home one weekend. Three “ladies who lunch” (a species not confined to, but heavily represented on, the lower North Shore of Sydney) were chatting loudly at the table next to me. One inquired what time the ‘drinks do’ was that night. The reply for all the world to hear was ‘Oh 7.30, but we won’t get there till 9 because by then it will have warmed up and all the interesting people will have arrived’. Nice. Imagine if everyone took that view. Cocktail parties would start at 3 am eventually.

Or a dinner at a restaurant where I was meeting two other couples. My wife was away, so I was flying solo. I arrived at two minutes to eight for an eight o’clock booking. At 8.20, I was into my second glass of Pinot and at half-past I got a text saying ‘on the way’. We finally were all seated at 8.45. There were not even attempted excuses from either of the two couples, who seemed oblivious to the fact I might actually have got there at the agreed time. Meanwhile I had put a huge dent in the bottle of Pinot, and was ready to go home.

And it is not that we lead ‘busy lives’. That’s a given, we all do, and it’s a cop out to use that as an excuse. It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or emailing that you are late somehow means you are no longer late.


You are rude. And inconsiderate.

And I act on it too. My dentist kept me waiting 50 minutes not long ago. For about the tenth time, I might add. I walked out, past a literally open-mouthed receptionist who had never seen a patient act on their frustration, only to get a frantic call from the dentist herself as I got into my car.

Sure she was “busy”, another patient took longer than she expected, blah blah.

But hold on, I am busy too! I would not keep her waiting 50 minutes if she came to see me as a candidate. And yet I am HER customer. I told her I have been coming to you for 15 years but don’t take me for granted. See fewer patients in a day if you have to, but see me on time or close to it. She has never kept me waiting again.

Me? Am I ever late? Sure, sometimes. That’s inevitable even with the best intentions. But I never plan to be late. I never ‘let time slide’ because my stuff is more important than yours.

I am not talking about the odd occasion of lateness. I am talking about people who are routinely late. In fact, never on time. You know who I am talking about!

And certainly I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when working out who to promote, who to hire and who to count amongst my real friends.

It’s that important.

If you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this post, here’s the deal!  I took the time to create due dates and chunk up the proficiency applications for YOU. We started a full month earlier than we did last year.  I’ve given you HOURS of class time to work on your applications with my help.  If you check your grades in campus you may discover that you need to get cracking!  At this point EVERYTHING from your Proficiency app is LATE with the exception of your personal story, checking the checklist and printing the application.  Don’t cry to me, ” but, Ms. P, I’m an A student, or is there any way I can get my grade up?”  It all comes down to time. You using your time to get your work done WHEN it is assigned so that you don’t wast my TIME in going back to re-grade the things you chose not to do when they were due.

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Positive Changes

Everyone should be working on their proficiency applications and SAE records in AET.

Seniors – The National FFA Scholarship app must be submitted by February 1, 2017.  If you need help logging in and accessing the application, let me know!

For today:


At the beginning of the year many Americans make New Year’s Resolutions to bring about some change in their lives.  Ironically, last week one day, January 17th, is “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day”.  By this time each year all but about 12% of us have given up already on our resolutions. It doesn’t take a new year to make changes in our lives.  What positive changes have you made in your life lately?  What are the most common resolutions made by American’s?  Have you made a resolution for yourself this year?  If so, what is it?  Are you still on track to achieve it?  New semesters give us a chance to make changes in our academic lives.  We get to start out with a clean slate.  What things do you want to improve on or accomplish during this semester?  How will you go about reaching those goals?

Your post is due Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

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When I’m not sleeping……

My life goes in cycles.  Sometimes I’m sleeping great, and then other times, I don’t sleep much at all.  A lot of it has to do with deadlines and worrying if we will meet them!

All seniors who qualify for the State FFA Degree – everyone but Kyle and Paige I think – I need your completed application and signed front page on or before Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  Those of you applying for one of the Star awards will have to have your Star Battery completed at that time as well.

How are you doing in meeting the deadlines for the State Degree and Proficiency apps? I’ll be frantically grading here before the semester ends – how many Zeros will you have?

Here are reminders of those due dates:


Proficiency Due Dates:


Along with continued work on Proficiency apps, State Degrees and general SAE work in AET, today we’ll explore this:
15337610_1545374855478691_6652020628445396319_nSo – what do you think about when you’re lying there, not sleeping?  Are there things that seem to keep you awake – what are they?  Do deadlines keep you awake, semester due dates, tests, projects etc.?

Your post is due Monday , January 9, 2016 at 8:15 a.m.

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Advice to a Younger Me

Continue working in AET on your  records, State Degrees, and Proficiencies.  Time will fly by pretty quickly once we get back from Christmas Break.  All State Degrees have to be done, printed, signature pages signed and returned to me before Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  Any Star candidates must also complete the Star Battery and be ready for their Star interview on Wednesday night January 11th.

Our last blog post of 2016 will give you a chance to look back on your life and think about what advice you might now like to give your younger self.
14322649_1454396564576521_4309996683620162842_nIf you could go back in time and tell the younger version of yourself one thing, what would it be?

Your post is due Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

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Proficiency, State Degree, and Scholarship Due Dates


State Degree Due Dates


Proficiency due dates

National FFA Scholarships – ALL SENIORS WILL COMPLETE THIS APPLICATION!  are completed online and must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. local time February 1, 2017.  This is the 5th largest scholarship program in the nation! This application will be filled out online at  You may or may not need an activation key from me to get started.

State Scholarship Applications are located here and must be postmarked February 13th.

There is no blog post for today.

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SAE, State Degree, Stars, Proficiencies, etc!

We’re going to use part of today to work in AET on our SAE records.


Seniors in their 3rd or 4th year of membership will be completing the State FFA Degree application.  There are several of you that should also complete the Star Battery for Star Farmer, Star Placement, or Star in Agribusiness.  There may even be a long shot Star in Agriscience??

The Star Battery is very similar to the proficiency apps we completed last year.

All Ag Leadership students will be completing a Proficiency app – or two!  We may not submit all of them for state judging, but, everyone will complete at least one.  Those of you who did proficiencies last year – you’ll need to update the one you did last year AND do another one – so start thinking about what area or areas you can fit yourself into!  Here are the 2017 descriptions

All of these applications will be completed in AET.  We will break things down into chunks, each with a corresponding due date.  More on that in another post.

Please refer to this sae-idea-sheet if you need to get some ideas for where what you are already doing fits into an SAE.

Before we do anything, we need to get our records in order.  See the Student Help section of AET here.

For accountability purposes, today’s blog post will be answering the following questions on your blog.

1. Your SAE – describe it, give an idea of its scope (size) how many acres, animals, square foot, hours etc.

2. What career cluster your SAE fits best into – use the SAE Idea Sheet linked above.  You may fit in several Clusters.

3. What Proficiency Area or areas will you apply in?  What area did you apply in last year?

4.  How far are you on completing your records?  You’ll need to have your records complete for each year you have been in FFA?  Let me know – done with sophomore year and half way with junior year etc.

Your post is due Monday, December 12, 2016 at 8:15 a.m.

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