Don’t Let the Old Man In

Last week I had the pleasure of watching Englebert Humperdinck in concert in Detroit. This is the point where most readers are probably saying, “Englebert who?” and the rest are saying, “Is he still alive?” The answer to the first question is that he is a recording artist who has sold over 140 million records and has had decades of hits. The answer to the second question is that he is just shy of his 84th birthday. Being a music lover of all genres, I wanted a chance to see him perform while I could. Walking into the concert, I enjoyed being one of the youngest members in the audience. I was expecting him to come on the stage and sing his songs, tell some stories, and call it an early evening. I did not get what I was expecting.

The concert started with Englebert singing his songs while being projected on the jumbotrons on either side of the stage. After a few songs he took off his tuxedo jacket and unbuttoned his shirt to the excitement of the female members of the crowd. Throughout the performance, he was running across the stage giving high fives to the audience members, jumping up on the piano, and at the end of the show put on a boxing robe and strutted across the stage. Right about the time I was thinking, this guy does NOT act his age he told a story about that very subject. One day, Clint Eastwood and Toby Keith were golfing. While on the course, Toby asked, “Clint how do you keep it up? You jog everyday, you direct movies, and you star in movies. What’s your secret?“. Clint’s simple reply was, “I don’t let the old man in“. Toby immediately turned that phrase into a song (which was later used in Clint’s movie The Mule) and when Englebert heard the song he said that the words could have been written for him. He said he had lived his life by that philosophy and began singing it at every one of his performances.

Twenty-five years into my educational journey, I sometimes feel pretty old and run down. However, I have many mentors and people that I look up to that are older than I am, but still have the fire in their eyes and an energy that is contagious. I’ve learned from my educational heroes to draw on my passion as an educator and keep a positive and energized spirit. Now, I’ve also learned another lesson from Englebert Humperdinck’s example and will follow the advice not to let the old man in!


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“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.” – Oscar Wilde

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” – Kurt Vonnegut


  • Monday, March 2: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (with special guest Dina Rocheleau – Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction in Ferndale)
  • Tuesday, March 3: Achievement Team (Kaufman) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, March 5: (No Staff Meeting), 2nd Grade Debrief at Central Office 8:30-11:30 AM, Kindergarten Parent Orientation 6:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 6: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting


  • Monday, March 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 10: No School for Students, District PD 8:00-11:00 AM, Building PD 12:30-3:30 PM, PTA Skate Night 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 11: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, March 12: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Tornado Drill 1:30 PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 13: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM, Records day in the PM


  • Tuesday, March 17: Grade due by midnight

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