if i have to….

if i have to travel for work i am sooooo thankful that we travel well. we had company meetings all week in the new england states and our corporate headquarters just happens to be in one of the prettiest restored buildings. not to mention the hotel is simply stunning. gorgeous area and the leaves are beautiful right now. traveling for work is also so much more enjoyable when you have company get togethers and you genuinely like all of your coworkers! add in some fun activities, training sessions, and community service opportunities all in a gorgeous location….well i can’t exactly complain that my company wants me to travel! the only bad part is being away from my husband and little one.

but all in all i am so extremely blessed to work for such an amazing company. who has such a focus on their employees and the community. everyone lends a hand not just to each other but in efforts to help improve the community. this last week was really great getting to meet so many of my coworkers face-to-face and spend time getting to know them. the community service day was very cold and since i am not a new englander i was bundled up in tons of layers but enjoyed being outside walking trails and cleaning up the areas. and then of course follow that with beer and billiards and who could go wrong?!!!

a great day with great co-workers/friends and a great week of “work” if i have to…….!

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unbelievable…

seriously? we are now tracking students in school? to help with truancy? really? wow. that’s ridiculous. i saw an article about kids having tracking devices in their school IDs and then started trying to research more of the why’s….like- why on earth would we do this?!! apparently there are reasons…

among those are:

-higher attendance “could” lead to more funding

and

-savings with resource allocation- due to low attendance

and

-security

ummm ok, yeah this is ridiculous in my humble opinion. first of all- most kids, if they are going to skip school….well, they are going to skip school tracking chip or not. secondly, ummm big brother much? when my son is old enough to attend school i really don’t want someone following his every move. i want (and hope and pray and say my hail marys and so on) that i’ve done my job well enough that he goes to class. worst case he doesn’t- still not sure why on earth it would be the school’s responsibility to track my child. if anyone is going to track my child you can bet it will be me. not some school. ugh. bugs me on soooo many levels.

where in the world and when in the world did the responsibility for your children get shifted to the schools? and why are we spending extra money to track kids in an effort to possibly have an increase in funding if truancy is reduced…..anyone else notice the very non-commital words in my previous sentence? wow. i’d be furious if j attended a school that wanted to start tracking him. i’m very sorry but the kids who skip school- those are the ones who probably if forced to attend through some tracking device aren’t going to pay attention in class or apply themselves anyways. i mean really- is there a kid on the planet that you know of that (no matter the age) if forced to do something they don’t want to do is going to really put a lot of effort into it? seriously? i agree that children deciding to skip school and their security, and as a result, illiteracy or a poor education is a huge problem. don’t get me wrong.  but who is going to end up being responsible for tracking the children? and who will be responsible if the children still skip school? ok, so they have a student id…if i was a kid and i knew i was going to skip school do you really think i would take my student id with the locater device in it with me to wherever it was that i decided to spend my time? so again, who is going to ‘attempt’ to track down those kids? that is a lot of power to give to one person. not to mention now you have an added salary per each school to track the children. a salary that could be spent on classroom things so teachers are not responsible for buying so much for their classrooms or increasing technology or the library or sports or anything. maybe i’m more old fashioned in my thinking but i think that parents should police their kids (and yes this goes hand in hand with no it is not the teachers responsibility to teach your child to fully read, write, learn, or how to be well behaved- that responsibility should still belong to those who had the kids) and schools should build children’s education/knowledge. i must admit, it scares me how much responsibility is being offloaded from parents. and yes, i fully admit i say this in my insulated little bubble of having a 4-year old who can’t really get into too much trouble at his age. however, i have worked with him to write, to learn to read, to know wrong from right, good from bad (on a 4-year old’s level), and how it is appropriate to act. but to be honest, it is not about whether a parent has done their job or not, that’s definitely not something for me to judge, but more so whether or not we should be tracking our children and how effective it really is. i just have so many issues with this idea, here’s hoping it is short lived.

and now for more painful news….the vice president debate….

Oktoberfest…oh my….

oh oktoberfest. what an event. it was like the best mix of state fair and beer fest and lawn party and costume ball and and and….we took the dog and even she had a good time! well, once she realized we were not leaving her for good in the hotel room and that we were coming back… and that she could watch the world go by, vigilante style, through the window while waiting for us!

it is true what they say- nearly everyone dresses up. we were not the first day but we got into it a little on the second. no lederhosen or dirndls for us but we got festive. The beer ‘tents’ are not what one would think of as beer tents. in the states beer tents are pop-up tents like one would have for tailgates- and small ones at that. for oktoberfest the beer tents were the size of football fields. And there were multiple tents, about 10 actually. the lines to get in were ridiculous the later in the day and we learned that for some extra euro you can make reservations for a table for the evenings. there were nonstop bands, activities, dancing, and songs. people ready to dance on the tables while belting out some tune. the food was amazing. whole pigs roasting over fire, rows and rows of chickens dressed and slowly cooking in the rotisserie, sausages and ham hocks….yum! It is not just general fair food. hardly anything fried (save the pomme frittes). food is very well done at the celebration. then again, the better the food is, the more inclined you are to eat, the more you eat, the more you can drink so obviously the germans have flawless logic! and that is just inside the beer tents.

outside you find ferris wheels (yes, plural) and merry-go-rounds and arcade games of every imaginable type. j not only drove a bumper car solo but he also went on his very first roller coaster ride and his very first water roller coaster (marv and I accompanied him for the roller coasters). and i am pleased to report that j did not like them…..he LOVED them! definitely my kid! we did some shopping (for our ‘costumes on day 2) and played a ton of games. it was an unfiltered event for us all. the first night we stayed until about 9, walked a block back to our hotel, grabbed the dog and took her to a restaurant outside our hotel to enjoy a final drink for the evening. I love, love, love having bareak in restaurants. and of course she is so good and happy just to settle between marv and i. such a great thing about europe/germany. our pup can go everywhere with us. and for those of us who adore our 4-legged kids (nearly as much as our 2) it makes things a little more complete. bareak is definitely a member of our family so it is nice to include the pretty puppy!

day 2 we did all the things j had loved on day 1 and the ones we had missed. had more roasted meat (lol) and chocolate covered strawberries….which by the way- seeing as how they have chocolate down to the most precise and yummy science was amazing! it was definitely a great note to leave germany on as now I am writing this and trying to catch up from stateside, new hampshire actually. i miss my husband and can’t wait to get back to continue to explore germany and the rest of europe.

below are some pictures of the tents, the enormous beer mugs and other random images (again hover mouse over picture for descriptions)!