Get-To-Know You/Me Quiz Thing. Come on – For Fun’s Sake.

Quizzes are most fun! Yes, that poorly written and it’s great!  … My former boss posted this Get-to-know ya quiz on Facebook! I have to do it! Am compelled!
1. Are you named after someone?

Nope … found my name in a baby book they did.  From previously chosen Deborah Ruth to Dacia Lene’ I became.  💥

2. When is the last time you cried?

Yesterday.  Teared up over something undeserving of tears.  Such an emotional girl I am. 😅 A

3. Do you like your handwriting?

Only my signature!😉.  I’ve perfected those letters with aplomb! 💫

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?

IF I eat it … bologna.   But then I also need Hellman’s mayo and white bread.  Plus chicken noodle soup.  Yes! For the win! Something my babysitter made when I was 1-4 years old! Still to this day her bologna sandwiches were the best!🏆

5. Do you have kids?

6 of them.  Yes, 6.   Do I know what causes that? Why, yes, thank you.  I do.  6 of them and they’re each amazing.  Ranging in age from 20 to 8.  All start with K.  Keenan, Kennedy, Kadi, Koel, Klayton, and Koby.  Booyah.  👶🏻👶🏻👶🏻👶🏻👶🏻👶🏻

7. Do you use sarcasm?

I do.  Employ it often. My nature is passive aggressive and sarcasm suits that … so … yeah.  😏

8. Do you still have your tonsils?

Nope.  Had them removed in 8th grade. Long story there.  Nugget of truth … eat like you are told! Don’t hemorrhage and almost die like me.  ☠️

9. Would you bungee jump?

Depends on who goads me on. There are those to whom I will not be undone who could get me to accomplish the bungee jump! 😜

10. What is your favorite kind cereal?

Cracklin’ Oat Bran.  That’s top.  👏🏻.  Then perhaps Golden Grahams … though I’ve just discovered S’mores cereal.  Mmmmmmm.  👍🏻

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Nope.  I’m usually in 👠 and 👢.

12. Do you think you’re strong?

Here my stubborn nature kicks in and I want to know more about the question. 🙄. I know.  I know.  Emotionally? No. Opinion-wise? Yes.  Physically? Nope. 🍪

13. What is your favorite ice cream?

Chocolate with Almonds.  Braums specifically… but as St Louis has no Braums, which is a travesty, I will concede to Stone Ridge Creamery’s chocolate almond fudge or their Rocky Road. 🍦

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?

Eyes.  👀.   Will they look you in the eyes … what do their eyes say? 👀 🙋🏻

15. Football or Baseball?

🏈 … truly.  Childhood was wrapped in OU and the Dallas Cowboys.

But since I live in STL … ⚾️ Go Cards!

16. What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself?

My easy tears … 😓

17. What color pants are you wearing now?

Maroon skinny jeans 👊🏻

18. What was the last thing I ate?

A Wintergreen Lifesaver.  Which by the way is my favorite thing.  Ever wonder what to get me … and you’re thinking, thinking, thinking … stop.  Grab a bag of Wintergreen Lifesavers and I am overjoyed! 😇  Like for real … buy me Wintergreen Lifesavers.

19. What are you listening to right now?

Student’s fingers on keyboards.  :)  They’re busy writing Position Argument papers and I’m … well, I was editing the coursework and finishing up some grading, then I remembered this and had a squirrel event – not moment. 😎

20.If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Navy.  It’s my favorite color … so duh.  :)  It’s calm and deep.  Maybe I’m not so calm, but it’s what I desire to be. 🌌

21. Favorite smell?

My answer to this is always my husband’s skin.  Call me weird.  That’s okay.  But when I think about the smell that brings me comfort … I go there.  That and anything amber/jasmine/earthy/woodsy … favorite BNB scent is SENSUAL – Jasmine Vanilla.  :)  I also like that as a gift.  You know, just saying.💑

22. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

Kennedy, my beautiful 19 year old daughter.👸

23. Favorite sport to watch?

Um …. so … what had happened was … I don’t watch college sports.  I’m more into watching the news which of late has been a sport in and of itself.🏈⚽️⚾️🏉🏐🎱🏓🏹🏑🏒⛳️?????????

24. Hair color?

WHITE w/ some pepper tossed into that salt.  Embracing it. 👵🏻

25. Eye color?

Blue like the sea on a cloudy day … gray circles surrounding the ocean’s pounding waves.🌊

27. Favorite food?

Enchiladas … and queso … and restaurant tortilla chips … and fish tacos … and shrimp tacos … and shrimp enchiladas … and MARGARITAS.  Yes, that’s a food.  Oh, and ice cream.  And … salsa.  Not with the ice cream, just in addition to the aforementioned list.🌮

28. Scary movies or happy endings?

Hmmm … well, I like suspense and action movies.  I like movies, too, that leave you hanging and wanting more.  The kind that end and you’re like “What?!?! OMG!  Noooooooo!”  Then you wait months and months for the next one!  That, I like. 😲

29. Last movie you watched?

River Wild.  I had never seen it.  I know.  What?  Right.  A Kevin Bacon movie and I hadn’t seen it.  What is wrong with me?  But, now I have … and a tear shed for Kevin as a bad guy … though, so good at being bad.  And … Meryl.  Ah, Meryl.  Last year a student kept telling me how much I reminded her of Meryl Streep, to which I say … hehe.  I’ll take that.  Especially since she was in a movie with Kevin Bacon … and was … um … teaching him to fly fish.  I’ll be Meryl for that scene.  Just sayin’.🤗

30. What color shirt are you wearing?

Black.  Not shocking.  I wear a lot of black.  Though, this is a  button down shirt/sweater combo, which I’m sure there’s a name for – I just have no idea what it is.  :)   The button down part is white.  Sweater is black with flecks of red and yellow and blue throughout.  Quite nice. 🕶

Come on….someone do this with me. 😄 Let’s have some fun, take a break from negativity and learn about each other! Just copy & paste!

NOW … here’s my question at the end of all this …


The Writing an Essay Worksheet

For several years, I’ve used a home-grown worksheet in teaching essay writing – as I could not find one online or in any textbook to my own liking.  Today as I taught Position Argument essay, without my worksheet in hand for my Comp II course as I’d neglected to bring it to class, I pulled it all from memory … and oh boy … adjustments needed!

For instance – in class I preach that the audience is to be kept in mind through the entire process. However, my previous worksheet, had that on page two of the worksheet.  Now, after this evening’s adjustments, it’s right near the top.  As I tell my students, so you must consider … anyone who writes a thing is selling an idea and in order to effectively sell, the writer must know the audience.  So … adjustments completed.

I’ve passed the completed worksheet along to all of my students this evening, and then had the thought to post it for all of you struggling English students who need a simple guide written in layman’s terms with blanks to fill in. Here it is.  Enjoy.

Determine your Controversial Topic: _________________________________________________________________

Then, ask yourself … WHO is my Audience?  _________________________________________________________________

Time to Word Vomit.  Write no less than 15 things you know about the topic – include opposing viewpoints that you know exist.  Keep your audience in mind.

Word Vomit:

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________
  4. _____________________________________________________________
  5. _____________________________________________________________
  6. _____________________________________________________________
  7. _____________________________________________________________
  8. _____________________________________________________________
  9. _____________________________________________________________
  10. _____________________________________________________________
  11. _____________________________________________________________
  12. _____________________________________________________________
  13. _____________________________________________________________
  14. _____________________________________________________________
  15. _____________________________________________________________ 


Determine from the Word Vomit, what is truly your Opinion of the Topic?  It may not be what you originally thought it was.  Read the Word Vomit carefully.





NOW … using your 15 “Things You Know About Your Topic,” determine your THREE MAIN POINTS – keeping the strongest point for LAST.  Let your argument build from weakest to strongest, though maintaining that all points must be influential to your audience.  Use audience based points.  What will influence the audience?

Main Points:



  1. (STRONGEST)___________________________________________________


Create a Thesis from Your Opinion and your three main points.  It must be DEBATABLE and tell what your Essay/Presentation will be about. It must pass the “So what!” test. _________________________________________________________________





Create an Outline:

Thesis:  _________________________________________________________________



I. (Main Point #1) ________________________________________________

a. (Sub Point) _________________________________________

b. _________________________________________________

c. _________________________________________________

II. (Main Point #2) ________________________________________________

a. (Sub Point) _________________________________________

b. _________________________________________________

c. _________________________________________________

III. (Main Point #3) ________________________________________________

a. (Sub Point) _________________________________________

b. _________________________________________________

c. _________________________________________________

Restate Thesis (Conclusion): _____________________________________________________________



Time to research.  Using your Main Points and Sub-Points, research information to back up your opinion and support your Thesis.   Use this methodological means of keeping yourself organized through the entire process of writing your controversial topic paper.  Word Vomit.  Thesis.  Outline.  THEN, Research based on where you have predetermined you are headed with your paper.

Use note-cards/Index Cards when researching.  On each note-card, be sure to include not only Works Cited information per reference, but also where in the Outline, the note-card information belongs.  For instance:

Works Cited page – Label each entry with a letter of the alphabet …


Label each note-card with BOTH … which Works Cited source the information comes from AND where it belongs on your outline …


WOW!  You should feel great now!  The hard part is done.

With the Outline in hand and your note-cards in order of where they’re used in the Outline …  Get to work writing your draft … simply follow the outline.

Don’t forget an interesting opener to your first paragraph.  Draw in the reader and bring them to the Thesis statement, ensuring that they do not say, “So what” to your opinion.

Once the draft is written and a conclusion crafted that would draw tears from a child, it is time to revise.

Revise. Revise. Revise.

Why the repetition?

  1. Read it aloud. Your ears will catch things your eyes will never see.  FIX these things.
  2. Run the Spell Check and the Grammar Check features of your software. If you’re not sure where these are located … ask someone … or look up at the top of the screen for ‘review.’  They’re in there.  Let me see NO squiggly lines when I open your paper on my computer.  FIX these things.
  3. Have someone else read through your paper – NOT THE TEACHER who will be grading it. Choose someone you trust.  Have them look through it … you are too much in love with your own words to cut what needs killed off.  Have objective eyes review for you.  FIX the things they discover.

See?  Revise.  Revise.  Revise.

Breathe too … you will never craft the PERFECT paper.  Work to be as close to complete as you can.  Even Stephen King wants to go back and edit his books once they’re in print.  If he can find changes to be made in HIS work … they will also exist in yours.  BUT … work to do the very best you can.

Ensure your paper is in MLA format, following all guidelines of the school’s writing handbook MLA section.

Like this …..


25. WRITE LIKE THE END IS NIGH …. From Chuck Wendig’s 25 of my Personal Rules for Writing and Telling Stories.

Best advice I can give right now: write like you have no time left. Write like you’ve got a slow-mo bullet tumbling toward your head and you can’t get out of the way. Write like the end times are here, like the Mayans were right and in a few short months we’re all going to die in a tidal wave / earthquake / pyroclastic shit-fit / bird attack. Think about that: let’s say you had two years left on your clock. What book would you write? What story inside you struggles to get to the front of the line, screaming and yelping and waving its arms like a drowning man? Write that story. It doesn’t have to be the only thing you write. You can take paycheck jobs. But make time for that kind of writing. Writing isn’t just about giving the audience something. It isn’t just entertainment. It’s about giving to yourself, too. Because, bad news: maybe you have two years left, maybe you have twenty, or forty, or sixty, but we’re all gonna end up under the Grim Reaper’s riding mower. So get busy writing what you want to write, or get busy sucking exhaust.

Didn’t Realize the Color of My Skin Should Determine My Political Leanings …

Not surprised, but in a state of “shake my head” at the hateful and emotional rhetoric I’ve read across the internet today. So much based in ignorance [meaning without knowledge] and blindsightedness [often intentional because one side does never seek to understand the other], and I can only but choose to remain somewhat silent in response to the spewing of fear-laced words and hate that’s burgeoning forth from left-leaning citizens and celebrities of same leftedness because Donald Trump is President-Elect.

Quiet I stay for the most part, but I will say this … any argument worth its weight is sans emotion.

This is not my thought – it is what you’ll read in any good Composition II textbook based on the Art of Argument.  To participate in effective argument, it is not only necessary but imperative, that the arguer must understand and know inside and out the perspectives of the other ‘team.’ That concession to opposing perspectives is what calms a situation so that listening can even take place.  Without this … argument is impossible.

With emotion-laced rhetorical attempt at argument – so far too often what we experience on the political stage and in classrooms and on street corners and on Facebook and Twitter and all far reaching and up-close corners of the internet – we simply have folks spouting off and setting themselves up to be sound and fury signifying nothing.

There is no listening.  There is no communication. There is no truth seeking for Socrates. There is no persuasion for the Sophists.  There is no combination of the two which leads to effective conversations and debate …  Dialectic Thinking – Critical Thinking.

Emotion-laced rhetoric is simply hate speech – pushing a single agenda with no understanding that it is possible and rational for more than one perspective to exist and not only that for multiple veins to a perspective to exist inside one artery or two of this side or that.

Stating that if someone does not agree with their left-ish agenda, then that disagreeable, deplorable individual is somehow NOT an American … this is what we hear. In this … granted, it is acceptable and understandable for disappointment to exist, but hate-spewing? To what end?  Other than to incur a furtherance of preset ideas and prejudices of the ‘other’ side … there is nothing accomplished.

It was stated to me yesterday that anyone of Latino, Black, or LGBT orientation who voted for Trump fell for the schtick of the emperor wearing no clothes.

Basically meaning … if you are of Latino, Black, or LGBT-ness and your convictions led you to a conservative-leaning choice in the election, you are misguided and need to realize you don’t matter – I can only but think of Sheriff David Clarke here [who I respect and admire and would fan-girl over if given the opportunity to meet] and now first full term Black Senator from SC, Tim Scott – one incredible guy … and dear, dear, sweet Dr. Ben Carson.  Then, you will be in your right mind and can further the hate rhetoric aimed at you though you didn’t realize it was aimed at you in the first place because you live in another world altogether where folks see beyond ‘limitations’ or ‘colors’ or ‘choices’ and just work together.  How ‘foolish’ to not realize when you don’t matter and that those ideals you held were hate-filled in their own right – you know – thinking that people are people are people just because they’re human and therefore equal … fortunately [she says with ALL sarcasm, folks] there are plenty on the left-leaning side to remind you that you should not and cannot be a Republican and/or have conservative ideals because of your Latino-ness, your Black-ness, or your LGBT-ness.  Get yourself right and be to the left, then you’ll be right and not matter and can spew hate and engage in emotionalism and rhetoric as you should because of a label you hadn’t placed on yourself but apparently to be a good American, you should affix your label with gorilla glue – do this and continue to perpetuate a problem the left side sees as all Apocalyptic that others who must fill the label of conservative and therefore MUST be white and of no other denomination or attribution –  who choose to stay on the ‘calm’ side of things are working to lessen but continue to bump into the wall of hate. What a mess … Confused? I am. Here’s more … I’m not saying those who lean to the right don’t some have these same problems because they DO … there is HATE there too – I just don’t hear it as much, but apparently as I was told yesterday, I won’t see it because I’m white.   See, I have to know my place too, according to a white liberally leaning left-sider yesterday who spoke that to me – trying to make me aware I am incapable as an independent leaning conservative and white [though, let me state I find this offensive because I am far more than a color and ‘white’ at that – which is fallacious in and of itself … I am of multiple descents – with some Asian thrown in there] of being anything but deplorable and hate-filled and misled … somehow an apocalyptic on-bringer because of my values, beliefs, and convictions … which, to this person who spoke these things to me, I’ve never shared …. all just assumed on the speaker’s part and not necessarily about me but anyone who would dare to vote differently than the left-leaning agenda … and wow, with the assumptions and assuming.

My God.  That paragraph was difficult for me to follow and I wrote the thing.

It’s all sound and fury and insanity and it breaks my heart and baffles my mind … and it is ironic to me that those who want to point out hate seem to scream with the most hate.   This shouldn’t come as a shock though, Jesus pointed this out.  Matthew 7:3-5 states …

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

A rational discussion, that is good and pleasing and yes, something I will be pleased to sit down and have.  However, the spewing of hate speaks of planks and sawdust and non-listening and emotionalism and that blindness to the faults of self and the human anger need for self-justification somehow to come vehemently at the usage of vile language and hateful rhetoric. IN THIS … Conversation cannot be had.  A rational discourse of ideas and policy, I am pleased to consider and discuss with another of any background regardless of tone or choice or pleasure or good gracious any difference from my own flawed self.  Again, though, if it were Sheriff David Clarke, I would fumble all over my words and be unable to speak … the man is strong, convicted, intelligent, and down right … um, handsome.  I’ll go with the word handsome as opposed to a word that means really, really warm.  Perhaps, I’d just listen to him talk and enjoy the way his cowboy hat fits just right ….… though … I know our conversation would be seasoned with salt and peppered with grace because beyond a shadow of doubt, he would be in agreement with what follows here ….

Let’s begin with Matthew 22:37-40 wherein we are told what the greatest commandments are.  Love God.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Okay.  There’s the beginning – whether you believe Christ crucified and raised or not – Love your neighbor as yourself is a good policy.

Spewing hate and hateful rhetoric is in no way showing this kind of love – the Golden Rule kind of Love. Treat Others The Way You Want to Be Treated.

That for better AND for worse kind of love.

Tough love – like causing folks to stand on their own two feet.

Tough love – pushing folks to stop taking everything personally and on to learning how to reach for the stars and their dreams and win in their relationships.

Tough love – loving folks when it’s ugly and when it hurts, when it’s uncomfortable, when it’s not pretty, when it seems unfair, when folks are … gasp, different from oneself.

Tough love says … People if you claim to be a follower of Jesus, then realize it is not who is in the Government of this nation that matters, but it is God working through YOU as you interact with those he places in your life.  This applies across the spectrum from Democrat to Republican to Independent.  Stop thinking this election is the end all be all … whether it is Trump [mistakenly] seen as Savior somehow or Trump seen as the devil incarnate, or as some I’ve spoken to believe, Hitler on the rise.

The true issue is YOU.  It is ME.

We have a mission.  Micah 6:8 says to Act Justly.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly with God.

There is no room for hateful rhetoric.  No finger pointing.  No more ignorance.

See people as children of God Most High – all Beloved – all those who I and You have NO business spewing unkindness toward.  Folks are folks are folks are folks.

My response yesterday evening as I ‘listened’ to some left-leaning fearful, hate-filled speech relational to the conservative candidate’s winning in the poles was simply, “Well, I guess we will watch the Apocalypse unfold then and in that, Maranatha, come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

So be it.

The task is to love and to speak with kindness – to follow James 1:19-20 … Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Romans 13: 1 – 10 sums all of this up …

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.


“If you wouldn’t be on your phone so much, these kinds of things wouldn’t happen.” – What the Tow Truck Driver Said to my 17 Year Old Daughter.

The phone call from my daughter wasn’t for me, though she called my phone.  It was her father whom she wanted to inform that her tire went pop while she was driving, and that she was stuck on the Rock Road, that she’d gotten the car as far as she could.

Thinking it merely a popped tire, he sent me to get her and take her on to school, leaving the car there in the parking lot of the Cig-Liq while he went on to the dentist.  As I approached and saw the car from across the street – I wondered that the child had the car sticking half into the road. Why had she not had someone help her push it into the actual lot? Half of it sat 4-5′ into the Rock Road.

I’m not sure the light there has ever quite taken as long as it did as I sat in horror watching vehicle after vehicle move to go around it, honking as they went, and my daughter standing off to the side waiting for me.

Once I parked and got out, I said, “We can’t leave it like that!” and to this she pointed out it was not a popped tire after all … I looked.  No, not a popped tire – something worse. Something I did not have the vocabulary to describe while calling her father. In a panic because the car stuck so far out into the road and was unmovable, I tried to explain to my husband the situation – he was already in the dentist’s chair.

Call a tow truck.  Okay.  Call a tow truck.

Around these parts, that means call Doc’s Towing.  Located at  2810 Walton Rd, St. Louis, MO 63114.  I called.

With limited vehicular vocabulary and already upset as I did not know how to explain, and irritated at the continued non-good Samaritans who continued to honk at the vehicle, whose blinkers were flashing, instead of stopping perhaps to assist. The man who answered spoke to me as if I were a child once my words began.  Yes, I had a limited vocabulary.  I was ineffective at describing the why of the situation, just that it could not be moved and was sticking out onto St. Charles Rock Road.  Could they please send someone to have it towed to our house.  With disdain, because I know how to recognize disdain, the man said, “It will cost you $75” as if I would not have means to pay. I said, “That’s fine.”

I even looked at the phone funny after hanging up, like what was that about … And then, we waited.

Within 15 minutes, the truck arrived.  At this point, my daughter was texting her instructors, letting them be aware of the situation and that she might not be in class.  She sat on the front bumper of my vehicle while I stood, trying to keep warm, pacing in the parking lot.  When the truck driver stepped down from his cab and walked back towards my daughter’s vehicle, I walked toward him. No greeting or smile did he extend, only the word “Keys.”

Taken aback by his abruptness, I said, “He needs your keys,” to my daughter.  She stood, still with phone in hand and reached her keys toward him.  He went to take them from her as I stood there between them.  Still no other words exchanged by this man or us.  The keys fell to the ground.  With a huff, he bent to pick them up, then straightened and moved to go to the front of her car.  With a look back toward us, he said, in a nasty tone to my daughter ….

“If you wouldn’t be on your phone so much, these kinds of things wouldn’t happen.”

What the what? I felt the words spread with rapidity through my brain and then roll toward and out of my mouth in the form of these loud and enraged words ….

“First of all, she was not on her phone, and second of all, the damn car is broken – there’s something dragging the ground!” 

With that, the man now standing with the driver’s door of my daughter’s car open, closed her car door and without another word at us, walked back to his truck in a huff, leaving us.  He climbed inside his truck and, we assumed, with her keys.  Where was he going? Maybe he was going to turn around? I had nothing to go on.  Then he got onto St. Charles Rock Road.  I raised my hands at him, saying, “Where are her keys?”

To which he responded by looking like a child throwing a hissy fit – cursing back at me with arms raised in the air … WHILE HE WAS DRIVING away.

I had no idea what had just taken place and where were her keys. Dumbfounded.  Shaking. What had just happened? Just barked at my child like that was even a thing? What the hell! I mean … are you kidding me? No other words at all.  No, “Hi, how’re you doing? Rough morning? Ah, this sucks, let’s see what we can do for you?” Nothing.  Just CRAZY odd and rude.  Stunned.  That was me.  Stunned.  My daughter went to look in her car and found he had thrown the keys across the seat to the other side.

My next move was to call the shop.  I called Doc’s and spoke to a man … yes, I was angry when I called.  The tow truck driver was rude to us and had barked at my child.  Not once did he say anything other than “Keys” and “If you wouldn’t be on your phone so much, these kinds of things wouldn’t happen!”  That’s all he said to me.  I tried to explain this to the man on the other end and neglected to mention the throwing of her keys across the inside of her car … and that we still needed a tow.

His response?  “Ma’am there are two sides to every story. I’m trying to help you here … but you’re just yelling and I will not be spoken to like this on a Monday morning.  There are two sides to every story.  It is a service we offer and I do not have to offer it to you.” And without listening to me … he stated that he would not be sending another tow truck to me, that I should call someone else and have a nice day, and he hung up.

What the what? Again.

I tried to call back as I could not comprehend what was happening.  The same conversation played.  No amount of “customer is always right” and not that I was even looking for that … I just needed the car towed out of St. Charles Rock Road.  We’re talking just feet.  Can you move it a few feet?   No.  Call someone else.  We will not send another truck to you.

Doc’s Towing.  2810 Walton Rd, St. Louis, MO 63114.

We’ve lived in our small-big town for 19 years and in that time, we’ve made many friends and connections.  One connection is within the St. Ann police department.  Long story short here …. phone calls made.  Police arrived on the scene.  A phone call made to Doc’s by someone of influence (he was told I cursed the man out – I can assure you I said the “D” word to the driver and dropped the “F” bomb about the driver to the person on the phone.  That was the extent of my foul and apparently “abusive” nature).

A tow truck from Doc’s came back to the scene.  And our car was taken to a local shop.

By the way … ‘what had happened was’ the lower ball joint broke.  She could drive no farther. Not an inch. Not a scrape.  Not in anyway caused by a teenager on a cell phone … but a faulty ball joint or bracket or whatever the terminologies are!  Part of the undercarriage was straight on the GROUND and against the tire.

The younger tow truck driver apologized to me for what had taken place.  And to him, Daniel, … I say, THANK YOU.

You, sir, are a gentleman.  You worked with efficiency on a difficult problem.  You spoke to me with kindness.  You spoke to us both with kindness and explanation.  You helped me made a decision about where to have the car towed.  Thank you.

Kindness is a balm.  It is soothing.  It is necessary.  You, Daniel, obviously get that gem about work ethic!  And I’m glad for you.  It will serve you well, Daniel at Doc’s Towing!

You are a diamond in that workplace.  Others today, in my conversations out and about the great little city of St. Ann, have affirmed my thoughts on this matter and have stated to me that Daniel is the employee there who provides kind and efficient customer service.

Daniel … thank you.

Also … at Village Auto came another moment of exceptional customer service.  The owner Tim did not speak to me first.  No, as Daniel had given him a head’s up on the situation, Tim spoke to my daughter.  

He said, “I bet that was scary, huh?”

There was a physical change in her. Her shoulders relaxed – I saw the sigh escape her.

She said, “Yeah, it really was.”

Validated instead of barked at … belittled with ignorance. 

The first man assumed and barked.  This man … validated and offered kindness.  Village Auto on Ashby Road at the corner of St. Matthew in St. Ann, Missouri.  Thumbs up.

Mom and daughter both soothed with just a few words of kindness.

I do not know what the preceding story was today with the initial driver from Doc’s Towing, nor with the person(s) I spoke to on the phone … but wowza – I have to believe and know they aren’t just like that – that there must have been some AWFUL circumstance before my jumbled, lacking in vocabulary phone call for help. I try to teach my children and my students to always consider the circumstances surrounding another person’s behavior.

Customer service is king … and today, it was not displayed.  Today is was smattered. Splattered into smithereens.  Crushed.  Placed underfoot and squished with a turn of a heel.  My 17 year old daughter accused of somehow causing the situation to happen because at the moment of key exchange she had her cell phone in her hand … WHILE SHE WAS CONTACTING HER INSTRUCTOR.   Did I react to that?  Yes I did.  What that man said was inappropriate. In no way professional.  It was harsh. Rude.  AND wrong.  And I know his name, but am choosing not to use it.  I’m not setting out to smear him … but to state that customer service is crucial.  “The Customer is always right” is at least a motto leg to stand on … do not presume to know what is happening with the consumer you are there to serve.  When a consumer is paying you for a service … be kind.  That is your job.

Would I recommend Doc’s Towing’s services? Only if you get Daniel.  Otherwise, no. This was a horrifying experience  and it’s been with me all day. It was a talking point in my classes – customer service is key.  Work Ethic is everything. If a business is to survive – it is on its Work Ethic.  Word of Mouth.   Word of Mouth in the digital age.  That’s what I have to say.

Just wow.

AND … amazing note at the end … Village Auto fixed the car by day’s end.  We have it back and she will not miss school tomorrow.  WOW, Village Auto.  THANK YOU.  :)

370 Employers in Attendance at the Fall 2016 Ranken Job Fair! Incredible!

The days leading up to the Job Fair flew past.  In those days, I scrapped lesson plans in favor of preparing my students to have top-notch resumes and job fair skills ready and set to go. Two and a half hours per group of students.  Spent writing and re-writing resumes. Going of all do’s and don’t.  Discussing how to use the Job Fair as a networking ground whether looking for a job or not.  All of this made the days zip past.

Today arrived … and with it nerves. I felt myself turn from English teacher to Momma Bear calming nerves, rehearsing lines, double-checking resumes, assuring the six classes of trade school students I’ve been entrusted with that they each one stand prepared to walk the gauntlet of employers come to Ranken, some 370 strong in attendance.

This is unheard of – a college Job Fair to have in the neighborhood of 370 potential employers show up to hire from a particular student pool of around 2300 students. Incredible!

Surprising? Not at all! … It is Ranken Technical College after all. Founded in 1907 by David Ranken, Jr. as a non-profit, private educational facility to train students in the dignity of labor, technical training, and job skills of a variety of natures all with a leaning toward machnining, mechanics, and construction. It is a 2-4 year college boasting both associate and bachelor degrees, serving some 2300 plus students in the St. Louis area, now in two locations.  St. Louis City and Wentzville, Missouri.  Statistics state that close to 98% of Ranken’s graduates find gainful employment upon graduation.  Just two weeks ago, our Automotive Department received the rank of Top Automotive Department in the Nation. #1. Out of 140.  Fantastic! It was inside the top awareded Automotive’s massive facilities where the Job Fair took place.

Our Associate Degree Programs:

The Bachelor Degree Programs:

Certificate Programs … I mean, do you need to take a breath?  This is fantastic stuff!

This is what Ranken offers – and even BEYOND the education programs – is this fact … that Ranken trains upon SOLID, POSITIVE WORK ETHIC.  Work Ethic is the basis of all programs and a requirement for Graduation.  Question – Why did 370 employers sign on to be a part of the Job Fair? … Because the Work Ethic of the Ranken student nation – alumni, current, faculty, and staff is unequaled.

So, the day began.

Table next to table in six rows, in a maze much like a cornfield in the Fall – the west end of the Automotive Department held on it’s own some 200 employer/vendor stations. Four other sections of the Automotive Department held the remaining 200 employers with their handouts and eager expectations of the Ranken student body.

The morning did not disappoint. In fact, it amazed! It exceeded expectation!

Students, employers, faculty, staff, management – all mingled and networked for two and a half hours.  I walked the length and back of the Job Fair four times in my Harley Davidson 3″ heel boots – unaware of the pain growing in my feet. This was most exciting! My students putting into action what we’d discussed and prepped in class.  At varying points, I’d snap a picture of one doing exactly as he should – in the conversation, using effective body language such as ensuring his feet face the person he’s talking with.  I stopped each one I saw – asked questions, encouraged, pushed them forward, introduced them to certain employers.  What a morning!

Did I mention 370 employers?

I mean.  WOW.

In the classroom following the Job Fair, my students and I did recap.  Each shared his expectations prior to and the lessons he learned during.  We discovered that employers LIKED the resumes I’d taught the students to create and made them continue to edit leading up to the Job Fair even to the point of some of them sending eye daggers across the room at me and my insistence on perfection … to which I must say I feel explosively PROUD.  And pushes me further to consider adding “Resume Writer” to my ever expanding shelf of hats that I like to wear.  Win.  My students win! (Which means I win! and that makes me HAPPY!)  Multiple students left today with set interviews.  Some with jobs.  Some with internships.  All with networking know-how and names in their pockets for future contact.  Some had employers take their information and say, please call me when you’re closer to the end of your degree.

Employers and I had conversations about what students need to know before the next Job Fair, which will be in the Spring.  Eye contact.  Genuine smiles. Projecting voices.  ALL non-verbals.  The written … we had that part down. Non-verbals.  That which gets you a conversation in the first place!  I mean … today was good.

The information regarding Job Fair readiness and resume writing I shared with my students is something I am pleased to share – contact me via the comment section – I’m most pleased to be of assistance as I can be.

What follows are photographs of the morning … the excitement and the success of the Fall 2016 Ranken Technical College Job Fair.


NaNoWriMo word update Day 1 …

So … the decision made, the 2016 NaNoWriMo text is the Three-Quel to The American Queen.

Ran all my ideas past a favorite reader and she hands down chose to know MORE about Alice.  So …. at the end of day one, I am pleased to announce my NaNoWriMo word count sits at …



Now … it’s Day 2.  What will Day 2 bring?

And no … I will not share the text here … as it is the third book in a series and you need to read books 1 and 2 first.

The American Queen:  Escaped is on AMAZON.

Book 2 – The American Queen – Redeemed is written, but as of yet unpublished. It is currently under review.

Book 3 … NaNo in process.  :)