A Message from Mr. Vandemark 01-31-20

Greetings Morse Families!

            Have you been challenged like me with being patient the past week or so, eagerly anticipating watching the Chiefs win the Super Bowl this weekend?! I recently looked up the word patience and it is defined as “accepting and tolerating delays, troubles or sufferings.” I will admit it is tough for me to be patient on 151st Street each evening at around 5 or 5:30 pm. My wife would tell you it is my worst and yet often best quality. At times I am less patient with situations that would warrant more. I’m old enough to remember when TV commercials were 60-90 seconds, now they are 15-30 seconds; I used to have to get real time news the next day in the KC Star, now it’s at my thumb tips or scrolling at the bottom of a screen. I don’t even have to watch commercials anymore due to DVRs and Netflix.

            You may be familiar with the phrase, “Haste makes waste.” I was able to research consequences to the opposite, impatience: it complicates everything; it doesn’t allow you to enjoy the present; it clouds your vision; it reinforces negative emotions; it affects your emotional state; it can lead to health issues; and, it can onset premature aging. Yikes. Sometimes there are challenges that don’t seem to go away – at work, with friends, a family member – ones that linger. Today’s pace of life doesn’t help with those. I also found a nugget that said we as adults say on average a little over 10K words per day. Some of those, of course, mean more than others. However, we must remember that our kids are constantly researching us. It is how we say, what we say. My grandma used to tell me, “Trash in, trash out.” Is it OK to be frustrated, upset, impatient? Of course, it’s natural. The importance comes in how we deal with it. I often encourage people to write it out before saying or sending it. Implement the 24 hour rule: sleep on it. Research shows it gives you a different perspective. Sometimes negative situations even die their own death. As our own two children were growing up, when we discussed texting, emailing, and posting on social media, we taught them 3 questions to ponder before doing anything: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? We instilled in them that if you answer “no” to any of those, don’t do anything with it. Good things come to those who wait.

            Do you ever notice how our impatience is greatest at home with our own family?! Why? We are most relaxed with our family members. Our filter is down. We blurt things out that we may not to others. I encourage us to practice perfect impatience. Ask a spouse or trusting person to signal you if you are going off the rails. Be intentional about it. As a family, make it a project, especially as your kids age. It helps us deal with others in a more loving and compassionate manner. About 25 years ago my grandparents shared with me a longstanding argument about whether a friend’s house had a copper tin roof. Seems innocent enough. So, to this day, when Mrs. Vandemark and I get into a disagreement, we often cease it by smiling and one of us states, “No! It was definitely (not) a copper tin roof!”

            So what is patience? To me – as a parent, educator, spouse, son, or friend – it is love, kindness, merciful, grace, and forgiveness. No one desires “buyers remorse”, so to speak. Maybe you’ve been there after receiving an Amazon delivery. And finally, by the way, relax…be patient…chill…the Super Bowl is only about 48 hours away. Let us not forget the journey along the way with all of the ups and downs – just like life - this past football season...GO CHIEFS!


Now let me follow with the “Best Thing(s) Mr. V Saw At Morse This Week”: 

  • The following is an act that I actually see virtually every morning at Morse – there is a specific older student who has many peer friends whom he could walk into school with each morning after exiting the bus. However, he chooses to escort his young brother in each day, many days with his arm around the younger boy, as well as many times whispering things into his ear (which often brings a smile to the younger sibling’s face!). So why is this a big deal?! Two reasons…one, it is an older sibling doing the right thing for his younger brother thus being a terrific role model for others; two, the younger sibling has an extreme anxiety about coming into school each day and quite frankly, I am not sure many other people could convince the younger sibling to come in each day. I have repeatedly told the older sibling how heart-warming it is to see this each day and how proud I am of his efforts…not to mention thankful for helping us!


We are student centered and community strong – we are Morse!

Advocating for Students,

Steve Vandemark, principal


In addition, if you would like to keep up with upcoming events at Morse, simply click on the following link: https://district.bluevalleyk12.org/schools/elementary/mor/Pages/home.aspx


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