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Today I spent several hours on e-mails and/or phone calls requesting more information on the Virtual PE Administrator, help in writing PEP Grants, or both.

For example, one of my conference calls was with a school district in Louisiana (a recent 2009 PEP Grant winner) who was very interested in using VPE as a part of their grant (Of course, their PEP Grant Project Manager was in DC today, so we’ll need to schedule a follow-up call at a later date). While I was on the call, it just hit me that I may have one of the best jobs in the world!  I just love helping folks create stronger physical education programs for the students they serve.

Thinking about that quickly reminded me of a 2-day road trip that I took about 33 years ago with Johnny Clements.  Johnny was the Health/PE Athletics Director for Wake County Schools in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The two of us attended a two day “grantsmanship workshop” in Charlotte, NC – about a 3 hour drive from Raleigh.  We rode in Johnny’s old pick-up truck (Ford, I think).  On the way, we talked about life, PE, and family.  It was a great time for me – a newly minted PE teacher with just two years of experience.

On the way we stopped at UNC-Charlotte to visit an old friend of his who was the Athletic Director for the university.  I don’t remember his name, but I do remember that the two of them just had a great time telling and re-telling old “war stories,” dropping names of former colleagues/athletes, and generally just enjoying each other’s company.

Towards the end of their meeting, Johnny turned to me and said “Artie, this guy here (pointing to his old friend) has the second best job in the world!”  “Well, who has the #1 best job in the world?,” I turned and asked his friend.

“Johnny!” was his reply.

That just brought on another round of laughter from the two of them. They both knew how hard each of them worked (Johnny’s daily routine would be to arrive at the office at 6:00 AM – this was when “I get my best work done” he would say) and how rewarding this work was for them. After all, each of them had seen the effects of the “Great Depression” first hand.  As we left the AD’s office, Johnny confided in me that his friend actually had the best job in the world. Many years later, when Johnny had retired and was working part-time as an adjunct physical education professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, he stated – “I think this may actually be the best job… it’s great working with these young folks!”

I believed him. But after today, I think I may have the best job in the world!! (Or maybe at least the second best).

Dear Mr. Kamiya,

Thank you for coming to Oklahoma and sharing your ideas with us. I saw you in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area about 5 years ago, but always will come to see you! I’m writing to receive the handout for the activities we did and to get a copy of the Powerpoint presentation.I can’t wait to present the Powerpoint to my principal and PTA.

Thank you for never retiring!!

Jo Lynn Lunger
Wichita Falls, TX

Artie –

Thank you for two great days of presentations to the physical educators of Oklahoma.  The material and knowledge that you shared with them will be most beneficial as the new school year begins. Hope that your visit to the Oklahoma City area was everything that you had anticipated.  We look forward to hearing from you when you return to the state.

Good luck and take care.

Robert McPherson, Director for Physical Education/Health
Oklahoma State Department of Education

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