Accordion Bay report #4: Erika, area school says it’s okay to fail (and that’s good), man behind “Poonami” retires

by Joey deVilla on August 31, 2015

Erika downgraded, but still may cause flooding

accordion bay flood watches

Erika, which has caused death and destruction in Dominica, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, has weakened from a tropical storm to a “low pressure trough” over the weekend, but it still means heavy rain in the area. Once again, Accordion Bay avoids another hurricane thanks to its fortunate locationA flood watch for central Florida is in effect today, and you should expect that traffic will be worse than usual today. With this summer’s wet weather, we’re poised to break some records.

It’s okay to fail

okay to fail

Sanders Memorial Elementary is a new magnet school in Land O’Lakes (where Edward Scissorhands was filmed!), and it has four core principles:

  1. Students first
  2. Learners have voice and choice
  3. Positive relationships lead to positive outcomes
  4. Failing forward

That last one may have jumped out at you, and not just because I put it in bold text. It also jumped out at district communication director Linda Cobbe when Sanders Memorial Elemntary’s principal Jason Petry announced them, but to his credit, he stuck to his guns.

embrace failure

Click the image to see it at full size.

The idea of embracing failure is a popular one the world of tech startups that I come from, where the risk of failure is high. While failure is unpleasant, we also know that it’s a good teacher. That’s why the startup world has slogans like “Fail fast!” and events like FailCamp. The idea is to deal with failure, take whatever lessons you can from the experience and try again, armed with that new knowledge.

If you take the opposite task and teach outright fear of failure, you get lessons like this classic one from Homer Simpson:

“Kids, you tried your best…and you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.

Public works admin behind the St. Pete “Poonami” retires to “spend more time with the wife and family”

mike connors - st petersburg pwa

When someone decides to suddenly leave or retire from a job to “spend more time with the family,” you know that they’ve been “voluntold” to vamoose in the wake of a royal screw-up. This is most likely the case with suddenly-retiring Mike Connors, now former public works admin for St. Pete. A series of literally shitty decisions to discharge untreated sewage into places where it should not go, including Clam Bayou and Frenchman’s Creek, places where people boat and swim, is the most probably cause of Connors’ sudden surplus of free time.

As the folks at local paper Creative Loafing put it: “We’d also like to wish Connors well in whatever he does next, just as long as he doesn’t have any control over human waste or its final destination.”

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