June 14, 2012
We finally left yesterday at 9:00pm for Key West, which is approximately 150 miles from Miami. We navigated all night at a speed of 6 knots, taking turns at the helm. I was able to sleep about 4 hours total. I am a bit anxious but know God presented me with this opportunity!
We plan to spend the day at Key West stocking provisions before continuing the second leg of our journey to Cancun. The weather so far has been good, seas 2 feet or less with a slight wind out of the south.
Please continue to pray for us!
Sunrise from Key West, Florida
Next leg: Through the Gulf of Mexico to Cancun…..
June 9, 2012
My daughter celebrated her 13th birthday last weekend….even though it’s not until August! One of her closest friends is also a summer baby and is leaving for Spain for the summer…So of course they came up with an idea of celebrating their 13th first teenage b-day together. She promises she won’t ask for another bash on her real birthday in August… wish me luck on that one!
My wife and I are on the same page in not allowing our daughter to wear high heel shoes….So our daughter, the lawyer to be, came up with a compromise – wear platform shoes! Hey, they are actually not heels, but still 2-4 inches high; depending on the type of shoe… Since my wife and I are learning not to make every decision World War 3 and trying to choose what battles to fight, we let her buy a pair of platform shoes….talk about viral communication…. Every single girl at their party had huge platform shoes!
It was hilarious to see the girl’s tower over boys of the same age since the boys have not yet begun to develop their bodies….yes ladies, I know, even as adults we still haven’t developed our brains……. We parents had a ball watching these otherwise coordinated girls trying to maneuver their platforms! It was a miracle there were no broken ankles! My wife went to the girl’s bathroom at one point and saw about 10 girls on the floor exchanging shoes with each other because they were so uncomfortable! About mid way through the night most of the girls were shoeless…beautiful, fanciful outfits and no shoes! I have to give my daughter credit though, she actually took a second pair, these were flats, and at least wasn’t barefoot the rest of the evening.
It was your typical pre-teen party, with the boys goofing off and the girls dancing by themselves. At one point there were around 100 tweens partying. My wife and I couldn’t believe we made it through that night! We learned one important lesson though. We could have been stricter with the heels issue, but we already raised one girl – now 23 years of age. We know we have many, many rounds of battles in front of us. Many battles we had with our eldest daughter were great learning experiences for us.…
Hopefully we are wiser with our youngest…. we are definitely more tired! But we learned that by giving in a little, with something that didn’t involve a moral issue, she had fun and learned a big lesson about heels, platform or otherwise!
In fact, this evening they are off to another birthday party and guess what! They are all wearing flats!
June 3, 2012
On July 17, 2006, I was admitted to a doctoral program at Nova Southeastern University. At that point in my life I was winding down my lobbying business and was a finalist for a “C” level role at a prominent local health care facility. I remember telling my wife the shelf life for these type senior roles was 3 – 5 years and I wanted to be prepared to transition to life in academia as an exit strategy. I already had a MBA/MHA and was hoping a DBA would cement my future allowing me to teach or consult as I walked off into the sunset of my career.
During the 6 years while I was studying for the DBA:
- I wasn’t offered the “C” level job I thought was a slam dunk
- My finances went into a tailspin since most of my clients were affected by the sinking economy
- I lost my home of 15 years since the “equity” I thought I had disappeared like sand through my fingers
- Sent my daughter off to college to Los Angeles without the financial resources to support her
- Moved my wife and youngest daughter into a 1,000 square foot apartment – 3,500 feet smaller than what they were used to
- Spent 18 months underemployed – teaching college classes when available
- Was on unemployment – something I thought I would never have to do
- Started a new career – reinventing oneself is easier said than done
- My marriage survived. Thanks to the omnipresent Grace of my Lord and my God and the wonderful support of my brothers and sisters of our Emmaus Group
- And kept a 3.75 GPA throughout the entire DBA program leading up to the last course required
And that’s when the wheels fell off this armored truck I had been driving for the past 6 years…. The last course was offered by an instructor that exemplifies the frustrated academician – without a life outside of the ivory tower. I’ve tried not to sound like my 12 year old daughter whining about teachers she dislikes. The difference is I have a classmate that could not believe the obvious discrimination and badgering this instructor showed towards me. After all was said and done, she gave me a failing grade based on capricious and subjective grading. After 6 years of doctorate level statistics, operations theory, logistical planning and qualitative and quantitative analysis – she flunks me on the simplest course on organizational theories…
The Nova program has a 6 year window – concluding on July 17, 2012. The failing grade, my first since kindergarten – puts me in academic probation. Typically you have one year to retake the class and get out of probation. But since the program window ends this July 17th, I cannot retake, so….. I received a letter stating:
Your status will be changed to “Dismissed” on July 17, 2012……
I’ve blogged about God’s Perfect Plan. And how difficult it is to discern what he wants from us. But this is a really difficult pill to swallow. I’m trying not to let my ego show its ugly face – On one side I’m pissed and defiant, on anther I’m embarrassed, on another I’m depressed and yet on another side I am very, very confused.
I know God want us all to be successful and joyful and for our lives to be bountiful. I also know a Catholic life does not call for us to be patsies in the face of adversity or obstacles. I will pursue all administrative and legal options left to me. But what a body blow to my plans. I hate the fact that I will have to spend positive energy and very limited financial resources on litigation.
But what else to do……?