Sunday, September 11, 2022

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! I can't believe, and I'm sure you're with me on this one, how quickly summer went! I'm scratching my head here, still trying to figure it out. Perhaps even more perplexing for me is that we're in the year 2022, quickly headed into 2023. I'll be turning the big 4-0 later on this year. Time sure does fly. I remember the 1999-2000 school year like it was yesterday. I was a junior in high school, and I remember all the fear and anxiety across the globe about machines, ATMs, clocks, calendars, etc. possibly not working when we reached the year 2000. Now here we are, nearly 23 years later. Wow.

Oh, well. In any case, here we are. A new school year. A new start of sorts.

Aaron Robertson Wisconsin substitute teacher
First day of school of 2022-2023 for me, September 1. Celebrating with my very first Yeti for hot, industrial-strength coffee all day! Who’s ready to learn and grow?! Let’s do this! Cheers, all!

My summer went well. Back in late June, I took a stroll through my church's cemetery for the very first time, and I was genuinely amazed at the centuries-old history and the scenic beauty that is present there.

In early August, I went on a trip to Door County, Wisconsin with my parents for a few days. I can't even remember the last time I was up there, it had been so long. We stayed at the Open Hearth Lodge in Sister Bay. A very nice place. We really enjoyed our stay there. For those of you not very familiar with Door County, it's that "left thumb" of Wisconsin on the map. It runs along Lake Michigan. It's about 2.5 hours or so from the Milwaukee area. Door County's economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the manufacturing and marketing of specialty foods and beverages. Beautiful state parks, county parks, beaches, shops, restaurants, wineries, farms, and other tourist attractions dot the county. While Door County is home to a diverse variety of farming and agricultural goods, it is perhaps most famous for its cherries. Door County's famous cherries are put into anything and everything from pies and other baked goods, to jams, salsas, wines, even coffees and liquors. We came home with bags of gourmet munchies and coffees.

Alpacas at Wisconsin State Fair
Here's a picture of an alpaca I took at the Wisconsin State Fair, which takes place each year in early August. I love both alpacas and the Wisconsin State Fair. Usually, I'll go to the Fair multiple times per year. I'll usually buy advanced tickets at a discount, and I love to just walk the grounds, people watch, and check out some of the bands and vendor booths without any particular agenda. This year, however, I only made it to the Fair twice. You can check out more alpaca pictures at my Instagram page.

Also in August, I spent a good amount of time building out some new pages on this blog to offer even more personal finance resources for students and teachers. It was a fun project to work on, and it's a subject I'm particularly passionate about.

Near the end of August, I went up to Appleton with my mom for a cousin's wedding. We stayed at the Hilton Appleton Paper Valley hotel, located in the heart of downtown, for two nights. I can't remember the last time I was up to Appleton, either. What a happening college town. A lot to see and do at any given time. On Friday night, local car enthusiasts and car clubs cruised downtown in front of our hotel in their classic, muscle, hot rod, and modified cars. That was fun to see. On Saturday morning, we checked out a large farmers market taking place downtown in front of our hotel. It stretched for blocks, and they closed the streets for it. A lot of variety, anything from produce and baked goods to coffee and specialty foods. And then of course, there was the wedding, the very reason why we were up there! That was a lot of fun. I hadn't seen my cousins and other family in a number of years. It was a good time to reconnect and recommit, and we all vowed to keep in touch and see each other more often. On Sunday morning, I went to Mass at St. Joseph Parish, right next door to our hotel. A beautiful church, it was built in 1867. The church also has a prayer garden with a statue of Blessed Solanus Casey, and I appreciated the opportunity to pray there for a while, as well.

Throughout the summer, I spent a little time here and there building my baseball card collection. The sports card market is back on fire, and I'm feeling like a kid in a candy store after having visited some card shows and shops this summer. I'm having a blast reliving my days collecting as a kid!

Finally, I continued throughout the summer working on both my Ph.D. dissertation studies and my spiritual life since rediscovering my Roman Catholic faith back in December after nearly 20 years.

Before I forget, here are a couple silly breaking news headlines I created through a fun tool at over the summer.

Make your own silly breaking news headlines tool

Make your own silly breaking news headlines tool

Well, here's to another successful school year! Wishing you all the very best! Don't squander this precious opportunity, this precious time you have right now to truly learn, grow, and develop. Here's to you. Happy 2022-2023!

How was your summer? Did you go on any fun trips? Did you learn anything new? How is the new school year treating you so far? I'd love to hear all about it, so feel free to share in the comments section below!

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