Tag Archives: college

Mid Term Grades

You may see here the beginnings of me becoming an English teacher, and not getting sitcom from my acting professor, unlike some people I could mention.  I do remember most of these classes though, not library though.

March 1987

Dear Family

Hi, How’s it going?

I had some stuff I wanted to tell you, but now I can’t remember what they were. Oh yeah.

I enclosed an article about some K-State Department of Journalism Stuff that I was talking to Mike (Sears) about the other day. It explains exactly what I was talking about. [There’s not article in the envelope, so I don’t know what I was talking about.]

I haven’t written that letter to G. yet, but I will. L. (S.), it turns out also got some money on the same kind of deal from the Citizen’s Bank. [More mystery. I don’t know what’s going on here either.]

The Formal was a lot of fun, by the way. M.W. was there–which was kind of neat.  So was A.M.

I plan on coming up to the game on Friday. I read where it started at 7:30. If that’s way off, you might let me know.

We got our first test back in American Novel the other day. When I handed it in, I really had no idea what he wanted exactly, so I had no idea how I would do. Keep in mind that this is a 700-level class and good for grad credit. Anyhow, we got them back and I hand the highest grade in the class– an A-. Hope I didn’t luck out and can keep it up.

On the downer side, in my “three-hours-of-easy-A” music class, I got an 96 & 92 on the first two quizzes, but a 78 on the first test. Have to study a little harder there, huh?

While on the subject– other mid term grades: P. World A, lab B, acting B?, library A?

But enough of that.

This spring break I might take a couple days to buzz down to Tulsa and see the S’s.

Guess I’ll see you all this weekend.

Have a good week.

Mike, play good Friday.

Mom, remain calm.

Hi Dad, how’s it goin’.




Good old Olds

January 1987

Family Dear

Finally got a little time to write you a letter–let you know what’s going on. The Big “I” was this week so I’ve got a little studying to catch up on–not much.  I can’t believe Man’s P. [physical?] World. We’ve been in there for 5 days–more than a week and a half–and we’re already tp ot acceleration (“Now that’s the rate that uh, that something speeds up, or slows down–whoa, heavy!”) but I am spending a lot of time reading for Am. Novel–three hours a day this week.  I’ve got Rick S. in my Intro Music class.  He said he may go home this weekend and watch the Pokes at the Salina tourney. Haven’t heard ho we did.  When is the Wamego game going to be played? K-State took a crushing defeat yesterday afternoon to OU. Ouch. If we could have made our free throws and lay-up.  (If ifs and buts were candy and nuts . . . ) Tell Doc D. that if he wants to make any KSU- KU basketball bets, I’m more than willing to get some more free Coke.  We finally figured out what rooms we’re going to have and I’m all moved in.  I’m upstairs, down the hall, first right after the bathroom. Saw a good movie last week–“The Atomic Cafe.” It was a bunch of old 40’s and 50’s film footage about he New Nuclear Age–army training films, news clips, ads for nuclear proof neighborhoods, duck & cover, etc. It was pretty funny.  I’ve got some questions from it.  Mike, do good against the Salina teams. See ya.

Love, Matt

P.S. “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t tell Stalin.”


I had one criteria when Linda asked

This poem was inspired and modeled after this poem by my friend Angie.  Sometimes we hear directly from God, and sometimes God speaks through the people we know, like our sorority sisters, for example.


I had one criteria when Linda asked.

“Which one do you want, Elaine, for the blind date?”

“I want the tall one. I’m tired of these short guys,” I said.

He was 6-foot-4 and his name was Bill, which for some reason I couldn’t remember. He says every time I asked him his name he gave a different one.

I don’t remember that. But I do remember he called me for a second.


I R Fur Skolurship


I was a horrible child. Mom pestered me all time to work on scholarship applications, but I don’t remember ever doing it. I may have filled out a couple, but I have no memory. The folks and I talked about this the other day. In college, even my senior year of college, I had no concept of why I was there. I did no, zero, interviews my senior year. And I was surrounded by friends who were doing them, who were actively looking for work. But still, it never occurred to me. I somehow didn’t get that college was to prepare me for a job, a career even. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that in high school I wasn’t looking past graduation, not to college, and so of course why would I be interested in free money for school.

I think I would have been well served with some time between high school and college to work or travel or whatever to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It’s interesting that during the conversation with my folks the other day, they agreed, not just for me, but for them too. Interesting because I remember them (mom) being concerned that if I didn’t get college taken care of, I might never make it back. But that’s just how I remember it.



Several years ago I assigned my students the task of telling a story from their life on a website called VoiceThread.  VoiceThread combines pictures and voice and allows people to comment on your story, leaving written or spoken comments or even drawing on the photos; more about that later.  I wanted their story to have a theme and say something about life, you know, all those things English teachers get excited about.  I created my own VoiceThread to show the kids as an example of what I was looking for.  I recently came across the script for that example.  Here is the link to the original with pictures and everything.  Years ago I quit checking the comments for something intelligent as the rare compliment or insight wasn’t worth wading through all the drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees.  My students’ stories are still there.  I haven’t checked them out. Here is my original.  It’s called Freedom.

As a kid, like all kids, I longed for freedom.  Freedom from my parents, freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  To be honest, I didn’t have that much to rebel against.  I was expected to make decent grades and stay out of trouble.  But I had a pretty liberal curfew, and got my driver’s license when I was in the 8th grade.

And I didn’t give my parents much to worry about.  Yeah, I was one of those kids.  Didn’t drink, smoke or fool around.  My friends and I had mostly good clean fun and mostly stayed out of trouble.  After high school I went to college.

This was a bit of a change.  My good-clean-fun friends and I all went different directions.  At K-State I lived in a house with 20 or so other guys.  Suddenly it was up to me to get to class, get to church and mostly stay out of trouble.  Two out of three, as they say, ain’t bad.  The biggest change for me at college was how much more freedom I had.  How much freedom did I have?  More than I needed.

When I found myself graduated, I wasn’t quite ready to give up that freedom.  While my friends were interviewing for jobs, I was making arrangements to travel overseas.  I found work at a pub, which I loved; the pub, not the work.  I worked six days a week and was paid pretty well.  Not the free-est time of my life, except that I could leave anytime I wanted.

Which I did after a few months.  With money and a train pass in my pocket, I caught any train I wanted to any destination I could afford.   After a few months I came back to the states, traveled some more, worked some more, when to school some more.  I was pretty much doing whatever I wanted.  It was pretty sweet.

It was during this period that I met my wife.  Well, she wasn’t my wife yet.  But she would be soon.  Less than a year after our first date, we were hitched.  After a semester of student teaching were packed our bags and moved to Virginia.

We found jobs, friends, and adventure.  Eventually we bought our first house.  In the meantime we continued to play.  When school wasn’t in session we could pretty much do whatever we wanted.  We went to the beach, movies, restaurants, concerts, and parties.

Eventually we found our way back to the Midwest, decided to settle down, raise a family.  That’s what I’ve been up to for the last seven years or so.  Being dad.  Playing ball, teaching manners, tickling, snuggling, sometimes lecturing.  Spending time.

Makes it tricky to run off to Europe or the beach or the bars any time I want.  And there are times when I do have that urge.  When that happens I might put on some music, maybe look at some old pictures.  It’s never long before somebody says, “Dad, let’s play?”  And I’m off to bigger and better things.  How much freedom do I have?  All I need.