You go into school each day with lesson plans. You know how things should flow. The more teaching experience you have, the more you realize the unexpected can jump out at you any time.

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Photo by Olga Thelavert on Unsplash

This little unique sequence of events happened halfway through my first year of teaching in the Camden N.J. school system. I was about 22 or 23 years old, fresh out of college on my 1st teaching assignment; picking up the extra NJ required teaching credits in Temple night school.

The school year was about half over and the kids and I were just getting used to…


As kids, many of us have hopes and dreams about a lifelong chosen profession. Many of us are guided by a parent or a mentor that we admire in school. Most of us make up our minds on the fly after graduating from the University of Experience.

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Photo by Johnathan Borba on Unsplash

I used to commute to and from work on the Paoli Local into and out of the city of Philadelphia where I was employed as a financial planner for many, many years. My clients were mostly retired couples who were looking to maintain what they had accumulated throughout a lifetime of toil.

One…


What can you possibly do when your attractive new business associate sees your inner self, and you are rendered speechless and vulnerable?

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Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash. com

I’d like to establish two things.

The 1975 training class at the Philadelphia brokerage firm, Ronson & Co contained 10 aspiring brokers. It was when investment firms were just discovering women could be incredibly successful in the field. Therefore, Ronson & Co. had its first woman broker in training along with the 9 men that were in the class. Her name was Priscilla Palmer.*

I took Spanish for 7 semesters in junior high, high school, and college. You’d think I’d be fluent in the language.

I’m not.

Because of my difficulty with languages other than English, my studies included the…


A list of 25 professions that chronicles the divorce rate in each. Where do you work ? Which one employs your partner?

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Photo by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash

The divorce rate is dropping like a rock. Only 14.9 marriages out of every 1000 ended in divorce according to the newly released American Community survey Data from the Census Bureau.

Of course, there are many intervening variables in this figure; age, race and education level to name a few.

How about lowering that rate even more?

RED FLAGS:

At first neither men nor women want to see them. …


There is a belief in sales based on the word YES; the more you induce your prospect to verbally repeat that magic positive the more likely the deal.

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu

Before I could find the “Acres of diamonds;” before I could bring “Wall Street to Main Street;” before I could do any of those things; I was required to take the brokerage firm’s 13 week sales course.

You see, I was changing careers; from teaching 6th grade in the inner city to teaching finances to retirees in Center City. …


Sometimes all the thought and good intentions in the world miss the mark entirely. It would be nice to be able to predict when!

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Photo by Peter F. Wolf on Unsplash

What do you get a grandchild who pretty much has everything already? I don’t mean to say that my grandson, Nicholas has every little thing.

He’s by no means spoiled by — anyone else but me. l admitt to always being tempted as a grandfather to get him the Ultimate Gift!


Sometimes, when you least expect it, you have to venture into uncharted waters. You find yourself up to your neck and headed out to sea.

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Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

It was breakfast after going to church on Easter. A time when friends and family celebrate being sprung from an extra long service. Multi-generations of families vie for tables at IHOP, Denny’s, Friendlys, and especially the local diner.

The local diner was the best bet to get a table on this incredablly busy Sunday.

This was where my wife and I found ourselves with our three kids ages 5, 3 and 10 months. We had…


Sitting behind his desk was the doctor; he looked like someone very special.

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Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

Part of the benefits of being a grandfather is that you get a chance to have hemorrhoids and spend as much time in the bathroom as you need.

Your kids have graduated to their own homes with their own kids pounding on the door while they’re trying to relax; having their own elimination problems.

Because of a recurring problem, I called a proctologist that I had gone to many years ago. He was good on the bedside manner and I don’t know how any doctor could make the experience close to pleasant.

Besides, the time had dimmed the pain he…


Seems like almost everybody has heard of litmus paper. Have any of you ever heard of a litmus person?

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Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

Bobby’s dad had a weird disease called hyperventilation. His mom was a nurse who ,understandably, was concerned about her husband’s condition.

There were occasional times when Bobby’s dad would get dizzy, feel weak, and it was hard for him to breathe. Sometimes, his muscles twitched around.

Maybe not all of these thing at once but sometimes more than one at the same time.

That’s why when my cousin Kit and I went over to Bobby’s that day we found an oddly…


Unfortunately, finance is usually not high on the list of priorities when parents teach life’s lessons to their children.

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Photo by Damir Spanic

When I was 8 years old my cousin Kit was 9 years old.

There’s a big difference in brain development in those young years. Somehow he was always getting the better of me.

I pointed this out to my parents and they said when I was around 80 and Kit was 81, it would turn around and I ‘d be happy about being a year younger — it seemed a long time to wait back then.

Kit was my main homie and we hung out every day in spite of the difference in street smarts. …

Brian Dickens Barrabee

A lifetime of philosophical, psychological, physical and fiscal involvement. Above all, a storyteller. brianbarrabee@aol.com

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