Often I think people look at life as something bounded by limitations rather than ripe with possibilities. I want to live my life in the latter condition, but sometimes I still think…

If I had the money:

  1. I would pay off all our debts.
  2. I would take my wife to Jamaica.
  3. I would buy all our children iBooks.
  4. I would buy a Prius and hybrid Highlander.
  5. I would buy my wife a new wardrobe.
  6. I would take the family on a vacation to Alaska.
  7. I would move to the Pacific northwest and teach elementary school.
  8. I would buy a mountain cabin in the woods, overlooking a lake and peaks above treeline.
  9. I would take the family on a month long vacation to New Zealand.

If I had the time:

  1. I would learn to play the piano and keyboard.
  2. I would learn to play the guitar.
  3. I would write nonfiction and fiction books.
  4. I would call my best friends from high school and college to check up on them.
  5. I would make Star Wars movies with my kids, and do real light saber special effects using “Shake.”
  6. I would throw a frisbee or play kick ball every day with other children at recess.
  7. I would split wood in the winter in my backyard for fires in our fireplace.
  8. I would spend more time outside at night and learn many more constellations, and how to really use our telescope.
  9. I would learn how to draw better than the average first grader.
  10. I would learn to throw pottery.
  11. I would learn how to weld.
  12. I would play more golf with my dad.
  13. I would learn how to home brew.

If I had more self-discipline and/or motivation:

  1. I’d be sure to spend more time alone with God each day.
  2. I’d excercise regularly.
  3. I’d eat more vegetables and drink more water.
  4. I’d go on more walks with my wife and enjoy more sunsets.
  5. I’d read more to my kids.
  6. I’d rock my children more at night, and sing to them more till they fell asleep.
  7. I’d go have coffee at Starbucks alone with my wife more.

If I didn’t have a real job:

  1. I would grow my hair long, pierce my ear, and get a tattoo.
  2. I would propose we homeschool our kids for a year and travel around the country, shooting home-grown video documentaries with our kids and blogging.
  3. I would sleep in more often.

If I had more power:

  1. I’d buy every student in the USA an OLPC $100 laptop, and provide a fulltime teacher-technologist at every school to provide just-in-time professional development for teachers who wanted and needed it.
  2. I’d provide funds so every child at every school could take at least three field trips (REAL, not virtual) in their local area every semester.
  3. I’d repeal all the curricular mandates passed by state legislatures, redirect all funds currently used for testing and put them toward higher teacher salaries, and ask all the teachers to be as innovative, creative, fun and engaging as they could be as they designed project-based learning experiences for the students in their care all year.
  4. I’d make the US legislators who have passed all these ridiculous laws about standardized testing put their own children and grandchildren in the lowest SES schools where teachers are drilling and killing kids to utter boredom, and make those kids stay in those schools all year until their legislative parents and grandparents repented of their sins.
  5. I’d ask all schools to do away with their bell schedules, divide up the students among the teachers in multi-age groups (this is in secondary settings too) and have teachers teach kids with content instead of teaching content to kids.
  6. I’d setup incentive grant programs so more teachers could work in internships for a month of the year with local businesses, seeing the job force skills firsthand that graduates and new employees are expected to have and readily learn.
  7. I’d change the predominant form of school financing in the United States from the inherently inequitable property tax model to a flat tax model which would put most tax accountants and tax lawyers out of business and make them get more productive jobs.
  8. I’d setup a volunteer task force to redesign the US school governance model, so innovation, creativity, and reasoned-risk taking among teachers and administrators would be naturally encouraged within the system rather than quashed and silenced.

But that’s just if…..

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6 Responses to If I had…

  1. Robert says:

    Re: having money for cars — My wife and I just bought a Toyota Corolla and Matrix (respectively) a couple of days ago, trading in our clunky Pontiac minivan and deathtrap Chevy Aveo. We love both the Toyotas — fun to drive, good gas mileage, will last for 20 years. We looked at the Prius and Highlander — $47K for the Highlander, so no way that was going to happen for us! But the Prius actually seems doable on a normal budget, priced at $23K, and you would save a lot of money on gas. And the technology in that car is really impressive.

    Re: having the power — Have you ever considered running for Congress or Senate, Wes? 🙂

  2. […] Amen to all that. Whole thing here. I suggested to Wes that he run for Congress or Senate sometime. […]

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Yes I’ve given Congress and the Presidency some thought– and even the local school board when I was still living in Texas, but I would need to make a lot more money first– and I have started to think that positional authority is not necessary the most powerful type. It is the most visible and what we think of powerful, but I think many of the solutions we need require grass-roots organization and advocacy, and helping promote those types of changes doesn’t necessarily require an elected or appointed position.

    Enjoy your Toyotas! 🙂

  4. so… you’d buy your own kids iBooks, but everyone else would have to settle for OLPC rigs? 😉

  5. Mark Ahlness says:

    Wesley, thanks for temporarily lifting me out of the dopa doldrums! Hey, come on out here and teach in Seattle – that way there would be TWO teachers blogging with their kids! Gosh, it’s so easy to sink back into being cynical, sorry…

    But to send back a little lifting of spirits your way perhaps… have you seen this?

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