I am sitting at my computer at 10PM Eastern Daylight Time and pondering about the upcoming school year, which begins in 10 hours. Entering my 13th year in education has brought some new challenges. One of the biggest has been overcoming the mid life crisis I seem to have found myself in. Second is a change in the focus of schools. Testing, testing, and testing really seems to be all we are concerned with anymore. It has its place but should not hold the level of prominence that is now claims. Third, at 38 years old and having my entire teaching career at the same school, in the same room, but with many different people in the building; I am now becoming comfortable with the realization that many teachers look at me as a leader in the building. They come for advice, they come for information, and they come for the occasional gripe session about the latest “non” educational task we have been asked to do. All of these things are part of the process. However, with all of those thoughts in my mind tonight, I am really excited to get this year running. I am excited about using The Sims. I am excited about using Making History for the third year(they have a new version on the way shortly). I am looking for more ways to bring gaming to my class. I am prepared to fight the good fight. To convince the nay sayers that kids that game are not in a mind numbing activity. (If you want mind numbing you should come and listen to my lecture about Ancient China). It is not an activity for hermits or the unsocialized. Gaming is a way to excite the unexcited, to engage the disengaged, and to educate those who fight education. Some of my activities this year will fail. They always do. But one thing a student should never say about a teacher is that they didn’t try. So for the 13th year in a row…..I am going to try. Check back in twenty years and see how I did.