GONE FISHIN’: Fortunate Son Edition

The weekend started on kind of an auspicious note, when Amy asked for Chinese food. Apparently, our local restaurant got its fortunes sponsored by the crypto-currency exchange, FTX, which collapsed in November amid allegations of financial malfeasance and fraud. Clearly, it’s hard to take advice from a company that has been compared to both Enron and Bernie Madoff, so that was a bit unsettling.

Even with that somewhat odd start and weather that could be described as “mid-November Seattle,” the weekend was a welcome end to my 15th year at UW-Oshkosh. We headed down to Milwaukee to celebrate Mother’s Day with my folks and had a wonderful time filled with food, laughter and fun.

As I sit here reflecting on the last three days and those 15 years, I realized that I really am extremely fortunate.

I get to see my parents on a regular basis and they are both still so vibrant and amazing. Whether it’s holidays or baseball card shows or rummage sale, we just enjoy each others’ company so much, it almost seems magical. When we chose to come home to Wisconsin all that time ago, Amy and I made the decision to give our daughter something we both treasured in our lives: The opportunity to spend more time with grandparents. Zoe has treasured that time and I know my parents have too. It was probably the best decision we’ve ever made.

I’m so lucky to have a wife who knows me like the back of her hand and a kid who still cares what I think, even as she climbs toward adulthood. I’m lucky to have a job I love, students with whom I have bonded and an office that serves as a shrine to way too many bobbleheads. I’m lucky I can enjoy my hobbies and help my wife enjoy hers.

I also know how lucky I am to have educators who trust me and use the books I’ve written. It’s a little weird when I run into people who tell me, “Hey, I’m using your book!” I’m grateful and embarrassed a bit at the same time, and it feels extremely weird to have my last name used as descriptor, as in “Don’t forget to read Filak Chapter 3 for the quiz…”

Without you all, my work is basically a coffee coaster or a shelf filler. I can’t thank you enough for that.

As is the tradition this time of year, the blog is going into hibernation for a bit. If anything crucial happens, I’ll hop back on for a day or two. Otherwise, we resume a weekly summer schedule somewhere around mid-June.

Have a great summer and thanks again.

Vince (a.k.a. The Doctor of Paper)

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