Chevaliers de Sangreal

Whenever I need to get perspective, I find myself listening to this.  I just close my eyes, and let my thoughts drift to a peaceful place.

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It was 10 years ago today when we were introduced to LOST

I can’t believe it’s been ten years since my favorite show of all time first premiered. I remember it vividly, cause it was my wife’s birthday, and no husband can ever forget that day. Unless you want to get banished to an island for real! It all started with the Party of Five guy waking up in a field of bamboo. And a dog named Vincent. Almost six years later, it ended with the same thing. But the journey was amazing, and kept me glued to the TV every time it was on. As well as the internet, going to forums trying to figure out what the hell was going on with The Island, The Others and The Dharma Initiative.

LOST changed television as we know it. Once LOST premiered to amazing ratings, everyone and their mother was pitching new and different stuff to the networks. This has nothing to do with special education, but in a way it does. It was about a group of people trying to get along, and to make things work in a situation where there was very little hope. They became a family, and we laughed and cried as they went from one adventure to another. We all hated and loved Benjamin Linus at the same time. I still miss LOST, but it did have to end. Plus, there wouldn’t have been any characters left at the rate they were going. Who wants to watch a show about a dog on an island?

Exceptional Delaware’s New Look

Welcome to the new Exceptional Delaware!  I’ve been wanting to change things up for a while now, so here you have it.  I liked the old design, but I was limited with what I could do with it.  Special thanks to Kilroy for some advice on how to do some things!

The links are now at the top for easier access to parents.  My subtitle has changed because this has become the heart of this blog.  The problems in special education are mounting in this state, and across the country.  What was once unique is becoming dismantled on a national scale.  This is not a unique Delaware problem.

I’ve updated the blogs I follow into four sections: Delaware, Education, Disabilities, and Other Awesome Blogs.

Delaware will focus on happenings in education and government in these bizarre times.  All the Delaware favorites are here, and there is a lot going on in the 1st State!  From primaries, to education, and to a cultural change in the way many of us are thinking about what goes on here.  People are getting fed up with the way things are run here, and more and more of us aren’t drinking the kool-aid!

Education will cover all things education reform as well as special education.  If you want to find out the truths and hidden agendas behind Common Core, this is the place to go!  Educators all over the country are finding out what really lies behind the lies and innuendos that are being sold to our schools.  As well, links to special education will be included in this section.  There are some great special education teachers out there, and some of them have created awesome blogs to show what they do best!

Disabilities is for different types of special needs and how families cope with children (or adults) who have them.  To me, this is the true heart of special needs, and what happens at home and school can have a tremendous effect on the family.  You will find posts that will shock you, and others that give you that extra bit of hope when you don’t think it exists.

Other Awesome Blogs are off the beaten path of this blog, but I still like them and they are worth checking out!  I will be adding more to this section as time goes on.

I hope you like the new look and it is more user-friendly for you!  The best (or worst depending on your perspective) is yet to come…

A Tribute To Heroes, In Memory of Those Lost on 9/11

 

Walk On: In Remembrance of 9/11

9-11-never-forget-1

I wrote this many years ago on my older blog, Tales From Another Time, but I still believe in these words.  13 years later, when I really remember, I can still vividly recall every second of that horrible day.

Those four key strokes bring back so many memories for so many. For me, it reminds me of the darkest day I have ever known. Full of death, and fear, and tragedy. Any innocence I may have had, any idealistic hope I had for world peace, it died that day. I saw the face of hatred. I felt the fear the word terror brings. We all did. We cried. We prayed. We sat in front of our television sets and watched horror unfold before our eyes. We looked at an empty sky with a mind-numbing feeling of disbelief. We were in shock for weeks after. We knew there wouldn’t be many survivors. We wanted to close our eyes and pretend and didn’t happen, that people didn’t die that day, and yet, we couldn’t. We knew.

Every year, on that day, I try to remember it. I firmly believe it should be a national day of mourning. Not a holiday. A holiday is a day of celebration. This day should be a somber day. A day of remembrance. A day of solitude.

I honestly don’t think there has been a day since that I haven’t thought of it. It still makes me sad and angry. I think about my son, who will be five next week. And how he didn’t have to live on that day. He was born more than two and a half years later. For him, it will be a very important chapter in a history book. He will ask me what happened that day, and I will tell him. He will ask why, and whose fault it was. And I really don’t know what I will tell him. You can blame Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. You can blame the agencies that could have prevented it had they simply communicated with each other. But at the end of the day, what will that change? What happened, happened.

I think about the jumpers from time to time. And that painful choice they must have had. Die of fire and smoke or leap to certain death. For those who chose to look in pictures and on tv, those images will stay with us forever. I was raised Catholic. To me, suicide is not an option under any circumstances. But what do you call that choice? You know you are going to die. You won’t be saved. What do you do? I pray to God no one ever has to make that choice again.

Since that fateful day, the world has become a chaotic place. It has always been that way, but the mask was torn off that day. What we hoped and prayed wasn’t the case turned out to be very real. Wars have been fought, greed has elevated, and the world’s economy is the worst since the pre World War II years. I believe what we are looking at is evil run rampant. There is no black and white, or even gray areas. It is what it is and it is called chaos.

In the coming years, we will negotiate with fundementalists who destroy lives. We will see the seeds of greed in our own homes, as the economic meltdown gets worse and every single household is affected. We will see uglier terroristic attacks and somewhere someone will die because of it. We will see the world reject us more and more as our environment is changed in ways we never imagined or in ways we didn’t want to see. We will see areas of the world once vibrant with life turned into desserts.

And yet, we will survive. We will do what we did in those days and weeks after 9/11. We will pick up the pieces of our shattered lives, and look for hope. I pray we will unite and conquer these problems together. Not by electing someone to lead us, but by truly coming together and defeating the evils that plague us. We need to stop blaming others for the shape of the world and form new shapes. We need to recognize that what someone believes in isn’t always wrong, but their own point of view. We need to walk on.

This Isn’t My First Blog! #netde

Back in the latter days of 2008, I created my first blog.  It was called “Tales From Another Time”.  Telling stories about my past, it was a introspective and fun little experiment.  My goal was to write everyday, which failed miserably after a couple weeks.  This blog has almost accomplished that.  Something new has been posted almost every day in the past 78 days.  I think I have missed two days, but to be honest, some other days have been reblogs of other bloggers.  I think anyone with what I call “writers blood” in them feels the need to write as much as possible.

The stories written on Tales From Another Time were my perspective on the past from a present reality.  Many key events in my life have occurred since, including my journey into special education, becoming a special needs father, and the death of my mother.  All three of those events have shaped me into the person I am today.  But I do miss free writing like I did on my earlier blog, so you may see me venture into those areas on Exceptional Delaware at times!

If you would like to see my early ramblings, check them out at: http://talesfromanothertime.blogspot.com/

Top 25 Countries Reading Exceptional Delaware #netde #edchat

I find it fascinating that other countries would read such an America-specific blog.  But special education is not something that is just in America.  And there are special needs children all over the world.  I have found great advice in doing research on Jacob’s disabilities from other countries.

Top 25 Countries Reading Exceptional Delaware

1) USA
2) Canada
3) United Kingdom
4) Sweden
5) Thailand
6) Romania
7) Paraguay
8) Germany
9) Russia
10) Puerto Rico
11) New Zealand
12) Ireland
13) India
14) Malta
15) Denmark
16) Turkey
17) France
18) Mexico
19) Phillippines
20) Italy
21) Norway
22) Czech Republic
23) Australia
24) United Arab Emirates
25) Hungary

I expect Finland to be high on this list very soon!  What upset me was in my statistics, it colors in the countries that have read this blog and it didn’t color in Greenland.  Isn’t that part of Denmark?

Questions, Questions, Questions: The WordPress Community Experiment Thanks to Suzie81 Speaks

Suzie81 Speaks wrote a blog about this last December and received a huge response.  She wants everyone to do this.  She has an awesome blog, and you should check it out.

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

Special Needs children are referred to as Exceptional, and I live in Delaware, so my blog is for all the Exceptional people in Delaware, children, teens and adults!

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

Social Media is key to increasing your audience.  Utilize Facebook and Twitter whenever you get the chance.

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

There have been so many!  Probably the time I slept with a Nicoderm patch on and had a dream about a mountain where survivors of the end of the world were staying.  A couple weeks later I read about a mountain in France called Bugarach that people were going to visit on 12/12/12, which was supposed to be the end of the world.  The mountain in my dream looked exactly like Bugarach.

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

Any time my son says “I love you Daddy”

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

The weeks before 9/11 so I could stop the terrorists who flew the planes.

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Hmm, how about Tyrion?

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

The Exceptional Blogger!

To see other responses and to view Suzie’s great blog, check it out here: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/08/13/questions-questions-questions-the-wordpress-community-experiment/

My Favorite Robin Williams Scene, from Good Will Hunting

To me, this was the high point of Robin Williams career.  Most people remember him as the funny man, but his role as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting was the role of his life.  He was the only person who could truly connect with and help Will. 

The following scene does have strong language, so please do not watch it in front of children!

Grandma’s Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

A friend’s son created this blog! Please check it out, but not on an empty stomach.

Wilson's Food Blog

Hello! This blog post is about my grandma’s spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

First off, they are delicious. What I love about the meatballs is that they pull apart very easily. They taste phenomenal with my Grandma’s homemade tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is the perfect mixture of the tiny bit of sweetness of the tomato with garlic and cheese, with the smoothness that makes it perfect.

When I go to grandma’s house, and I hear we are having spaghetti and meatballs, I get really exited! Three words on those days are my favorite words of the day. Do you know what those words are? “Time For Lunch.”

If you like what you hear, then the recipes may come in my next blog. Well, that’s it for this blog post. Till next time!

 

 

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Back In The World

This blog has been very heavy lately, and today I need to take a break. One of my favorite singers, David Gray, released a new album last month. His first single, “Back In The World”, has become my theme song for the summer. In an interview with USA Today earlier this year, Gray said the song is about dying and becoming reborn. This is how I have felt with life in the past year. So much happened in my world between 2013 and the earlier part of 2014. When I started writing for Kilroy’s, I was in a place where I knew I needed to write. Writing for me has been cathartic and healing. But sometimes you do need a break to recharge and refocus.

Head in the clouds

I don’t know why, but this poem really struck me today.