Skip to main content

Dedication and One Goal

Family and financial commitments keep me from being able to get out very often. Tonight, me and my friend, Keith Sorensen were treated to a 7 - 2 Blackhawks victory over the Flyers at the United Center in Chicago. The game became exciting and entertaining after a slow start. For me, the real highlight was seated beside me in section 333, row 1, seat 18. Bob Gertenrich, a long-time Hawks season ticket holder, has been to each and every Blackhawks home game since 1966. Don't bother with the math, that's 2,175 games without a miss. It took just a few minutes into the first period for me to realize that I was sitting next to a shining example of living history.

Now 67, and stricken with serious arthritis, Bob stands proudly for the raucous United Center version of the Star-Spangled Banner, and he stands and cheers each Blackhawks goal. He is the picture of commitment and resiliency. He requires some assistance negotiating the stadium stairs, but his spirit is strong, as he stops to greet many of his friends along the way to the 3rd floor concourse.


During the game, Bob shared numerous accounts about the players that he has met over the years. His stories included Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Steve Larmer, Dennis Savard, and his current favorite player, captain, Jonathan Toews. Talk about having a sharp mind, Bob recited scores, described opposing players, and snapped off statistics from games I remember attending as a teenager in the mid 1980s.






I asked Bob where he was when the Hawks turned the tide against the Boston Bruins in 17 seconds during last season's game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. "I was watching from a friend's house. I had tickets to game 7, which was on my birthday. I was feeling superstitious, and I didn't want to feel responsible for a game seven loss. I was relieved after that amazing turnaround, I went out to celebrate. I still have those game 7 tickets. I have all of the tickets!"

It was a pleasure listening to Bob talk about the rules of the game, how ticket prices have increased over the years, and some of the more memorable games that he has seen. He patiently answered all of my hockey questions. Before heading to the exits, I told Bob that I would be back later this season. I promised him a bucket of popcorn, and he promised more stories. I can't wait! Next time I am feeling too tired, too sore, or too sorry for myself, I will think about Bob Gertenrich's grit, and his undying dedication to the team that he loves. Go Hawks!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tech Time Saver #3 - URL Shorteners

Richard Byrne reminded me earlier this week that URL ( uniform resource locator ) shorteners are very simple ways to make web navigation more effective and time efficient for you and your students. Here is a comparison of three popular URL shorteners;  Google URL Shortener ,  Bitly URL Shortener , and  TinyURL.com . Google URL Shortener - is my personal favorite. Simply copy the original, lengthy URL and paste it into the space provided at goo.gl . Google then creates the short URL that can be copied and pasted as a link into blogs, tweets, or presentations. Google URL Shortener becomes even better when the Chrome browser is partnered with the Google URL Shortener Extension . One click condenses the URL from dozens, to possibly hundreds, of characters down to a randomized assortment of five letters and numbers. In addition, this click provides an option of creating a QR code from the URL. Usage statistics for the shortened URL can be tracked through Google Analytics.

Self-Directed vs. Self-Determined Learning; What's the Difference?

"We need to move beyond the idea that an education is something that is provided for us, and toward the idea that an education is something that we create for ourselves." - Stephen Downes In this age of abundance of information, shifting classroom pedagogy isn't nearly enough to make learning in school more relevant and authentic for the learner. Self-directed learning ( andragogy ), and self-determined learning ( heutagogy ) are the ideals necessary in making students " future ready " to live and learn in a web-connected world. While original research applied these concepts to mature learners, it has become apparent that even young children have an abundant capacity for recognizing and directing their learning. Anyone who has observed toddlers learning how to walk and talk understand the motivation and skill development that quickly develops during these processes. Considered by some to be on a learning continuum, self-directed learning, and self-determined

Digital Badges for Teacher Professional Development

Increasingly, digital badges are becoming a topic of discussion for educators. A digital badge is a digitized token of recognition for acquiring a skill, demonstrating a competency, or for sharing knowledge gained from the completion of an activity or project. As more of our learning comes by way of digital connections and contributions, badges are becoming a more prominent method of acknowledging skills and accomplishments. Many teachers readily acknowledge the importance of personalization of learning for students. Shouldn't professional development experiences offer the same promise? Ask a typical teacher to describe their PD experiences in a single word and you will likely get responses such as irrelevant or  boring . Besides personalization and relevance, digital badges provide opportunities for teachers to discuss the skills and knowledge that support educational best practice, and professional growth. These conversations support the form and function of profession