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Braden Bin - 2/9/18

Back by popular demand (not really), I introduce to you...

THE BRADEN BIN!!!! My name is Ben Braden.  Get it?  
Ok, so I'm going to start with a blog that came up on my Twitter (@Mr_Braden) timeline recently.  I'm going to do this knowing full well that in doing so, I might rip a hole right through the space time continuum (I never knew that word was spelled like that).  It's a blog, similar to this one here, in which an Assistant Principal, similar to this one here, writes about things that have piqued his interest, similar to this one here.  
So, without further ado, here are the things that I'm interested in right now.  
Blog I'm Enjoying: The 1-5-15 Bulletin Love the format of this blog.  It's quick, it's easy and it's educational.  

Book I'm Reading: One of my New Year Resolutions, the only one I have actually stuck with, is to read more in 2018.  In an attempt to help me accomplish the resolution, I decided to take part in the #SixtyBooks challen…
Recent posts

When Breath Becomes Air - Review

A poetic piece of literature about a young man who is also a doctor who probably would have found the cure to something or at least saved thousands of lives but finds out when he is 36 he has terminal cancer and only lives to 37.

It's sad.

Like, really sad.

But it's also incredibly enlightening.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi's memoir changed my life.

Although the other day I got a little lightheaded and spiraled into a panic attack thinking this could be my last day on Earth and questioning whether or not I did it right.  Life, that is.

That's what this book will do to you.  Not the panic attack thing, that part is on me, but this book will make you take a long, hard look at how you are livin'.  Will make you question your relationships and whether or not you are giving them the attention they deserve.  It will actually make you NOT roll your eyes the next time you hear live each day like it's your last or see a Carpe Diem tattoo next to that tribal on that tanned bicep.

Slow Down

This post is going to seem a little life coachie.  Don't get me wrong here, I'm not a life coach, never claimed to be, never want to be, never will be.  But, I have learned some things along my journey that I feel obligated to share. 

I've got plenty of things that I am personally working on...

-  Read more
-  Eat less

You know, those types of things. 

Well, I got to thinking this morning because during a community circle I was participating in, the question that was proposed to the group was -

If you could make everybody in society follow ONE rule, what rule would it be?  
My buddy standing next to me whispered, "How many times do you think the GOLDEN RULE will be said before it gets to us?"  I said, "four". 

The right answer was 8. 

My answer - slow down

Life is SO fast, I feel it is extremely important to "carpe diem" to "live for the day" to...
Verb[edit]stopandsmelltheroses (idiomatic) To relax; to take time out of one's busy…

The Other Parents

The other parents at gymnastics might have looked at me a bit strange when right at this moment, I got a little teary eyed. 

Ok, I cried.

The song from Moana came on. Don’t judge me.

The other parents don’t know we watched her go through 19 cycles of chemotherapy and that mop on her head is something she is incredibly proud of .

The other parents don’t know that we’ve calmed her countless times as she woke up startled from anesthesia.

The other parents don’t know that we’ve seen tubes and wires sticking from her little body.

The other parents don’t know that we didn’t think she was going to make it through that first night after her first surgery to remove the tumor from her liver.

The other parents don’t know that our little fighter is in remission.

The other parents don’t know and not knowing isn’t a bad thing.

The other parents know she’s just a normal girl.

Attention Seeker

As an educational leader, there are times throughout the day that I feel like if there were two or three of me, we could actually be getting some things done.  Whether it is responding to emails, attending meetings on and off campus, meeting with teachers or students and doing whatever else comes up throughout the day (I had to remove a dead cockroach from the staff bathroom last Tuesday), it becomes increasingly hard to attend to the task at hand.

Maybe it's just me as I've struggled with attention issues my whole life but I have to think there must be other educators out there who feel the same way.

You are in an ARD meeting, it's 2:00 pm and you know there's a parent phone call you HAVE to make before the bell rings and there's a teacher who needs your support with a student and the last time you checked your email, right before going to the ARD, you noticed Inbox 64, and you just got a call on your radio that there's ANOTHER cockroach in the staff restroo…

Chop Wood, Carry Water

There's a Zen proverb that's been resonating with me lately...

Essentially, what it means to me is similar to the "keep on keepin' on" mantra.  No matter where you are at in life, obstacles you may face, successes you may have, "chop wood, carry water" or "keep on keepin' on".  
You see, a lot of people believe that the end result is what we are working toward, but is it?  Isn't it the work that leads you there the most rewarding and important part of your journey towards the end result or your, dare I say, enlightenment?  
Are we ever in a place in life where we don't ask ourselves whether or not we will be there next year, or the year after?  Sometimes we have a choice in those matters and sometimes we are just along for the ride.

Point is, be in the moment.  If you are chopping wood (so to speak) pay attention to the way the handle of the axe feels in your hand, the smell of freshly cut wood, the sound of the fibers of the wood…

Identity First, Then Culture

First, allow me to get this outta the way, real quick like.  

I am, unabashedly, an Indiana University basketball fan to the core of my being.  I grew up in Indiana and in Indiana, if you were raised right, you were raised to be an IU fan.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of my lifetime, they haven't been that great.  I don't remember the national championship in 1987, I was only 4.  

Recently they hired Archie Miller from Dayton University who is known for defense and toughness.  A "grind it out" culture if you will.  He gave an interview  (here) and in the interview, he mentioned something about culture that struck a chord with me this morning.  

“The big thing is to create the first identity opportunity,” Miller said. “Not culture.” I stopped Miller there. Coaches love talking about culture – it might be the most popular buzzword in the profession today. What’s with the avoidance? “I think culture is earned,” he said. “You don’t start talking about culture four weeks …