Saturday, April 23, 2011


It was Friday and I was sitting in class talking to my aid that comes and helps me an hour a day.  The kids were all in specialty so it was just the two of us.  A parent walked in with a box of cookies that were for grandparents day that afternoon.

The parent addressed the aid and asked if she was subbing today,  she replied no. Then the parent said, OK can you give these to the sub then?  My aid looked over at me and said, this is Mr. Horan right here...

The story isn't over, as the parent quickly started to walk out feeling a little embarrassed she stopped and turned around.  She informed me that on Hero Day her son told her that he wanted to dress up like Mr. Horan.  She told him that may not be a good idea, since I wasn't his teacher and it might make her feel bad, especially since they hadn't had the greatest relationship this year.  So she wanted me to know that I was her son's hero.

So do I feel like an honored hero, or someone who just got called out for looking like a student in their own 4th grade classroom?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another Journal

I started a journal online today.  I decided that I would also post what I wrote on here, most of the time it's going to be just for me.  So here is a glimpse into what my journal(s) look like:

I have so many journals, some have been lost forever.  I kept one on my computer for a while and my hard drive crashed and I lost it all.  I thought maybe it's time to keep a journal on line instead.

I don't really have that much to say.  It seems like the days I decide it is time to journal are when I feel a desire to better myself.  For some reason writing in a journal signifies to me that I am trying to improve.  It could be because the best period of my life, at keeping a journal, was when I was serving a mission.  As a missionary I was easily my best self, completely humble, full of service, feasting on Christ's words, and trying to share the joy that is has brought me with everyone I came in contact with.

Or possibly writing in a journal is due to reflection getting ingrained in me through the education program.  It seemed like everything we did we had to write a reflection paper on it.  I lay in bed at night and think about how things went, I get in the shower in the morning and run through my day.  Reflection is a part of who I am, and I feel that you get the most out of it when you write it down.

Sometimes I am quiet, I don't usually talk just to talk, unless I feel I have something beneficial to say I don't say much.  Some of my friends may disagree, but that is when something is going on that I am really passionate about, then maybe I talk too much.  Most of the time I prefer to keep my comments to myself and to keep my ideas in my head. 

During college I worked at the testing center and 1/4th of my shift I had to sit or walk around the testing rooms.  It gave me time to get away from the noise and hustle of the world and to really be introspective.  Sometimes I need those moments, now I usually get them from going running or on walks.  Lately my legs have been hurting me and I haven't had that outlet either.

So here we are, another journal.  This one won't be lost, that is unless something happens to the world wide web.  Here's to hoping the introspection and reflection leads me to be my best self.

This part isn't in my journal, but what are some things that help you get the most out of a journal?  Do you have any success stories?  How has keeping a journal blessed you in your life?  Maybe it's time you get back to your journal as well, find something that works for you, you won't regret it!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jazz Season Review

This was a crazy season, it is the first in my memory that we have not made the playoffs.  (I was on my mission during the 2003-2005 seasons.) Along with not making the playoffs, we had a mid-season trade, and had a coaching change. Normal teams go through stuff like this, but the Jazz have never been a normal team.

One thing I always loved about the Jazz was that they played as a team.  Players would come here and have the best years of their career. Most players, after leaving, never did as well.  Even with two hall-of-fame players, it was never about them, but the team, the system, the organization.

When the year began everyone knew this was Deron Williams team, and we were OK with that.  He was the best PG in the NBA and was going to lead us to victory.  We had some amazing comeback victories, all was well.

Unfortunately, for the first time it didn't seem like a team anymore.  In a close game we would give the ball to Williams and look at him and say, OK, win this game for us.  Several times he did, sometimes he didn't.  We began to play more 1 on 1, plays got broken, there was not as much passing or movement.  The potential and talent seemed like it was still there, but something wasn't right.  It was frustrating to watch the players look so disinterested when I had seen so much more from them this season.

I could tell Sloan was frustrated, when you have seen something work for 20+ years, and your team is refusing to listen to you, who wouldn't?  I have watched the Jazz system in action my whole life, and this wasn't it.

Williams was frustrated as well, instead of leading by example or explaining/coaching the new players, he always seemed angry and demanding.  Hayward got out of position once and ended up scoring, but was yelled at the entire way down the floor and into the timeout.  This was not the Jazz I grew up watching, it was no longer fun.

Sloan had always said when it stopped being fun he may just wake up one morning and call it good.  Well it happened, and like always, he was true to his word.  You can point fingers, but what's the point?  I will always remember Jerry as someone who expected 100% from himself and his players, nothing less.  If you were willing to work hard, you were rewarded.  He got more out of his players than anyone else I have ever seen.  He was always willing to accept the blame when the team was losing, and willing to give the accolades to his players when they were winning.  He was humble, hard working, and a great example of a leader.  He was not perfect, but he never claimed to be.  It was a big loss when he retired, to the team, and the NBA as a whole.

Now, even more, this was Williams team.  If there had been pressure on him before, there was even more now. He was playing injured, being accused as a coach killer, and the team continued to spiral downward.

Then word came, Williams was traded.  I thought losing my favorite player since Stockton and Malone would be heartbreaking, but it was a relief.  I would liken it to a breakup where you thought things were great, but once it's over you feel such a burden lifted.  We would most likely have lost him for nothing, and now I don't have to hate him for leaving us as a free agent.  I hope the best for him and that it can work out better for both of us.  This is a mutual breakup.

In return for Williams the Jazz received a one time all-star PG in Harris, and Favors who had been taken third in the draft.  Favors was a player the Jazz tried hard to move up to be able to get.  The Jazz also received two draft picks and $3 million dollars.  I was excited for the future, but the future was all that there was to be excited for.  With all the new players, new coaches, we had to come up with a lot on the fly.  When most teams were coming into their own, we were trying to establish any kind of identity.

The final few weeks of the season showed us what can be.  We had wins over three playoff teams the last week of the season.  We beat the Lakers in LA, the Hornets, and the Nuggets.  The first two of those games were ones that those teams needed to try and move up in the playoff standings.  Favors and Hayward showed that they will be important pieces of this team for years to come.  It's a weird feeling to have the playoffs start, and not have the Jazz be a part of it.  But, I find myself more excited than I have all year for what is to come.

Soon the NBA draft will be here and we will add another two lottery picks to our team.  If we can stay healthy (I feel like I say this every year), we should be a very competitive team as soon as next year.  How many teams have rebuilt as quickly and well as the Utah Jazz?  We are still a piece or two away, but I feel privileged to be a fan of this team.  Once a Jazz fan, always a Jazz fan.  Because that's the great thing about this team, it's more than a player, or coach, it's a team.  And I'm proud to call it my team.  Go Jazz!