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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Million Dollar Ideas

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Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.

-- Albert Einstein

I’ve had an argument with Teachinfourth over the last couple of years about blogging. Now I’m perfectly willing to allow room for my opinion to change and morph, but my underlying feeling is that blogging can be ever so slightly, somewhat possibly, kind of leaning towards the tendency to be self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing and well…pretentious. I actually have a friend that has turned into kind of a celebrity blogger over the past few years and she describes herself as a “professional narcissist” which makes me laugh and makes my point at the same time. As I said, Teachinfourth and I have argued about this from time to time. Teachin’ likes to write and he likes to practice his writing through the medium of the blog – send his thoughts out into the void and enjoy the feedback. I like to write too, but I just find it a little uncomfortable to assume that other people would be interested in my mental musings. Who am I to think that I have anything to teach anyone else or that they would be interested in anything I have to say? My Mother is British – and she’s good at it, so that is no doubt why I have the predisposition to assume that EVERYTHING is bad manners.

Having said that I need to warn you that I’m going to be a little self-aggrandizing today. One of the things that I do as part of my quest to be a good mother is to help my son’s high school team sell concessions at BYU Football games. This is a fundraiser and it is something that I’ve actually done for the past 7 seasons (my older son was on the team too so his 4 years overlapped with Number 2 son’s years to make 7 high school years). I have sort of taken over the organization of this fundraising endeavor because I’m…pretty good at organizing stuff. While I’m bragging about myself, I guess I’ll add that from time to time I have what we call in our house a “flash of genius.” Basically this is something that you figure out how to do to make things faster, easier or just basically better. Number 2 son is particularly clever this way too, so it’s a little joke that we have between us. “Genius” we exclaim to each other when we come up with one of our little ideas. And as much as I am grateful that my mind works this way – it has been a useful talent over the years. I’m not kidding when I say “little ideas.”

For example we had a football game this last Saturday. As part of the set up we have these big water coolers that we fill with ice and water to put water bottles in so that they stay cold before we sell them. Usually I have the kids fill these up and I guess they have over the last 7 years….I don’t think I’ve ever been the one to fill them. But, for whatever reason I decided to fill them this time (there are 6 of them). So I rolled the coolers over by the big sink, took my little bucket and started filling the bucket with water and dumping it into the cooler. I got about two buckets dumped when I realized that this was going to take forever. Basically I thought, “well screw this -there’s got to be a better way” (I know…. language! What would by British Mother say?). So, I thought for a minute, then went and grabbed a big garbage bag. I wrapped the top of the bag around the faucet, cut a small hole in the bottom of the garbage bag which hung down into the cooler. I turned the water on and “Genius”- it worked like a charm and we filled the coolers in no time (I actually didn’t stand there and do it - I bossed some teenagers around to finish the job).

Now, I’m really glad that I was able to come up with this idea – it saved us lots of time and was great. But, I have to say before I get too full of myself, it’s not like I really came up with anything new here. Essentially I invented the hose...which someone already came up with along time ago right? So as grateful as I am for my little talent, I'd like to someday actually think of something to make things faster, easier or just better that hasn't already been invented - the million dollar idea....but nothings coming to me right now....nope, I got nothing. But at least I’m great with garbage bags.


Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading the different stories from the Four Perspectives blog. I usually don't comment but I have to say that Mel also has a great talent with kids when it comes to directing plays.
Thanks for the memories.
Marci Carlson

Gerb said...

Very clever, Melanie. In fact, genius!

annette said...

What an ingenius idea! I love it when ideas come to mind like that! "Genius"- Love it! I'm going to start using that one!

Corine said...

Genious! :D Except, I do have to say... I do think that EVERYONE has something to offer; if a parent can learn from their little ones, they sure ought to be able to learn from readng the perspective thoughts of an adult - any adult (especially if they disagree)! In fact, I think we would all be surprised at what we would learn if we read from the personal thoughts of kids!
....just another perspective. :)

Thanks for the great post!

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