Midwesterners are a glum people. Garrison Keillor once said of Midwesterners: “We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle, and if you should feel really happy, be patient: this will pass.” Every Wisconsite I know has this embedded in them to some degree and so all of us had a hard time enjoying the fantastic weather we had the first half of March. Instead of 2–3 more feet of snow we were confronted by sunny days in the mid-70s. We don’t trust anything good that we don’t feel we have earned through strife and struggle.
Which is also why I am approaching an offer to present at regional meeting with the same sense of dread. I don’t really feel like an expert in anything. Sure, I have things in my classroom that I use, but being asked to sum them up and present in person to my peers makes me feel awkward. I am also forced to look at what tools are useful—and how exactly they’re useful.
Anything you feel I left out? If you have a tool you use often enough to be invaluable, or just a gadget that saves you time, let me know!