"Creativity is contagious, pass it on." ~Albert Einstein

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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Back in 2013 I blogged about "My Adventure into Digital Detoxification."  It was on a whim and it turned out that it wasn't too bad being away from my phone for an extended period of time.  I managed to continue my mini Digital Detox routine the next couple of summers right at the end of each school year,  but then eventually quit doing them.  

Looking at a phone/screen has become second nature to us  What's going on on Twitter? Let's see what so and so posted on Instagram.  While I'm at it I may as well check my school email to see if I have any messages. Oh, and I had better go and see if there is anything funny on TikTok.  All while gobbling up that precious time. 

Stop! Enough already.  I was wasting my time on the screen in my hands. 

Let's be honest.  We've all had too much screen time over the last 14 months.  It started with leading classes remotely during the pandemic and snowballed.  Too much screen time. It makes you feel like crap. 

This year in my Digital Innovations class I wanted to focus on the topic of screen time and I had my eighth grade students watch the Netflix documentary-drama "The Social Dilemma."  If you haven't watched it, I would highly encourage it.  Each day after viewing, we had some really powerful conversations about what we watched and we all agreed that we are spending more and more time on our screens.

One particular quote from the documentary that really made me think...

"If you are not paying for the product, you are the product."

Think about that for a second.  Let it sink in.

Don't get me wrong.  I love being connected.  Especially as an educator.  I've learned so much from educators all over  the world the last 12 years on Twitter.  I loved sharing photos of my family and my cooking and gardening adventures on Instagram.  It's fun, but it's also time consuming.

I'm going to take my advice from my 2013 blog post. 

It's time to take another adventure into Digital Detoxification and to focus on the things that bring me JOY. 

I took all social media off of my phone last week and it has been amazing!  It wasn't easy right away, but after a couple of days you realize how great it is.  

I plan on blogging (again) to fill the time.  I haven't blogged in a year and a half and composing this feels great.  It's seems to give my brain a purpose. I love the creative energy that it gives me.

I've replaced my habit of picking up my phone and replaced it with picking up a book.  Easily knocking out Kristin Hannah's latest gem "The Four Winds" the last couple of days.   

I've focused on being PRESENT.  Enjoying the moment.  

Time to focus on what life was like BSM (before social media) and realizing it's okay to be bored.  I don't think we allow ourselves to be bored anymore.  Our phones have become digital pacifiers.  Bored?  Take out phone, scroll through social media, check your messages, look at your inbox, put it away.  Do it again a couple minutes later. 

I'm sure I'll miss out on a great tweet or two.  I won't be sharing any Cooking with Craig on my Instagram.  But I will be creating more creative content on my cooking newsletter and this blog.  

Writing and reading makes me feel good, so that's where I'm going to focus my time until school starts.  

Oh yea, I'll be out in my flower garden a lot more too, you just won't see any stories about it. :-)

Enjoy the rest of your summer and take a little time to unplug and recharge with a digital detox of your own.  



Sunday, March 8, 2020

If you tuned in to Cooking with Craig last week on Instagram, you noticed a twist.  

Golf season started!  Coaching a sport can throw a wrench into any family's normal routine. 

I love to cook so I like to cook all of our meals in the evening.  During golf season, that means that we are going to be eating later, which we don't like to do.  Good thing I have two awesome cooks at home.

My daughter and wife are amazing cooks and more importantly fabulous bakers!  For the rest of the school year Cooking with Craig will now be a mix of me cooking as well as my wife and daughter sharing some of their talents with you.  

Here's what we are cooking this week.

Sunday-Insalata Caprese Chicken via Eating Healthy

Monday-Turkey Burgers and Veggies via Delish

Tuesday-Baked Cauliflower Gnocchi with Italian Turkey Sausage via Cooking Classy

Wednesday-Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes via Hyvee

Thursday-Aunt Mary's Famous Meatloaf and Corn 

Friday-Homemade Supreme Flatbread Pizza

Here are some highlights from last week:


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Cooking with Craig.  If you've watched it, you know it's just me having a little fun sharing my passion for cooking. 

How did it all begin?  I really don't know.  I was posting various videos of meals I was cooking on my Instagram stories and eventually came up with the Cooking with Craig title.  

It's evolved into something that I wish I would have started doing years ago.  Especially when my children were younger.  

Cooking with Craig has led me to a level of cooking and meal prepping that I never imagined, and honestly, it's made my evenings cooking supper a lot less stressful. 

We've all been there.  You come home after a busy day at work and the last thing you want to do is figure out what to cook for supper.  You end up making something that you've always made.  You get stuck in a rut. 

I was tired of this routine, so here is what I did.  I started sitting down each Friday or Saturday and writing down exactly what I would make for supper each night for the upcoming week. 
Plan it out!  I write down all of my meals on a magnetic pad that hangs on the fridge.  On another sheet of paper, I write down all of the ingredients that I will need.  I then take my ingredient list and go through it crossing off everything that I have in my pantry. Then, take this list to the grocery store and you'll be in and out in a jiff.  If you want to get extra organized, break down your ingredient list into the following categories. Meats, Produce, Grains/Legumes, Dairy, Spices, etc. See below for my example.  

Try it for one week.  See what you think.  I know it's made coming home and cooking supper so much more enjoyable knowing exactly what I am going to make and knowing that I have all of my ingredients!

I'm going to start sharing my weekly list and meals (with links) here, so be sure to check back each Sunday as I post my menu plan for the week. 

 Oh yeah, and be sure to follow me on Instagram (@mrbadura) so you can tune into Cooking with Craig!

March 1-6

Sunday-Cauliflower Nachos via Eating Well magazine.  I highly suggest subscribing to their magazine!

Tuesday-Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Bowls with Italian Turkey Sausage meatballs via Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Wednesday-Tortellini with Pesto and Roasted Veggies via Cooking Classy

Friday-Scrounge (we usually have some leftovers, so this is a good opportunity to gobble 'em up)

Written weekly plan and ingredient list.  Creating your ingredient list like this leads to a quick trip through the grocery store.  Special thanks to my daughter for creating some awesome weekly meals and for the genius idea of organizing my grocery list into categories. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

This is a blog post two years in the making.  I've always had a hard time trying to find the words to describe this experience.  It was one of the best days in my teaching/coaching career. I feel as though my vocabulary isn't strong enough to describe the events of that summer day in July of 2017.

Let's go back to December 1, 2016.  One of our social studies teachers does a tremendous job of utilizing community members in her American History class.  On this particular day, I tagged along with her class to the local retirement and assisted living center here in our town.   The teacher had arranged for six World War II veterans to speak to some of the students in her class.  I was giddy with excitement as this was my favorite topic to teach when I was teaching World History in my previous position. 

When we walked into the room reserved for us at the retirement center, I had a hard time holding back my emotions.  Right before me sat six of the best human beings I had ever met in my 45 years.  A couple of them were in wheelchairs, the rest sat patiently at the table, ready to chat with our students.  Over the next hour, these veterans engaged in a conversation that left me speechless.  Our students had the opportunity to ask questions, but a majority of our time was spent listening to these veterans share their stories of service.

As our time with these veterans neared an end, one veteran pulled me off to the side for a conversation.  "Bud" proceeded to tell me that he knew I was the high school golf coach and inquired as to if I knew that he had won a state championship with the 1943 golf team. Surprised, I admitted that I had no idea and Bud told me to check out their trophy that resided in the state championship trophy case in the high school cafeteria. 

As soon as our group departed the retirement center and got back to school, I headed over to the trophy case that Bud had mentioned.  Sure enough, there was a trophy from 1943.  "Aurora High School-Class B State Sand Greens Champions-Boys Golf." I smiled and gazed at the five, spry young men proudly wearing their lettermans sweaters. 


Over the next several months, I stayed in touch with Bud and learned more about his story.  Bud was a pilot and transported troops in his C-47. He flew missions during Operation Market Garden.  When we met again, he even broke out his aviator glasses, gloves and one of the neatest pieces of World War II memorabilia I'd have ever seen, Bud's flight log.  Every single mission, logged into that tiny book.  

Now, it's May 2017.  Time for the Nebraska Class B State Golf Tournament.  I had a feeling as a coach going in that we would finish in the top 3, but you never know with golf.  There was one team that had played really well all season and I knew that it would take a monumental effort by our team to upset them.  

It happened.  

We played our best golf of the season firing rounds of 300-305 to bring home Aurora's second Boys Golf state championship...74 years after Bud and his team had won theirs.   

On the drive home for our golf tournament, my mind wandered to Bud and his story.  I wanted to get a picture capturing him (the only survivor from the 1943 team) and our 2017 state champions.  I made some calls and we were finally able to get together in July.  I was able to acquire the state championship trophy from 1943 and the one we had won three months earlier.  None of our team members had met Bud yet, so it was a surreal moment as Bud walked across the street from his home to the golf course to meet our team members.  He proceeded to us about each of his teammates and what had become of them after they graduated.  Some served during the war, some stayed back in Aurora.  None of them were alive, except Bud.  

It was an extremely powerful moment as a coach and dad. I was so glad that our team was able to spend that magical 30 minutes with Bud as we chatted, laughed and finally took a team picture with Bud's state championship trophy from 1943 and the one we just won in 2017. 

Bud continues to be a "member" of our team.  I like to have him out each spring to chat with our golf team.  He is an avid supporter and attends all of our home competitions.  

I am so grateful for the game of golf and the special friendship it has created with this amazing human being. 



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Monday, October 8th, 2018.

Round 1 of the Nebraska High School Class B Girls State High School Golf Tournament.

Hole 12 at Quail Run Golf Course, Columbus, Nebraska.

A short Par 5 at 402 yards.  It's the ultimate risk-reward hole.  Hit great drive and you leave yourself a decision to make in going for the green in two over a massive lake OR taking the easiest route to par by laying up to 145 yards, and hitting your approach from a much more comfortable distance.

I stood next to my daughter Danica on the tee box as the assistant golf coach inquiring about what she wanted to do with her tee shot.   She chose to hit a strong hybrid and hit it better than she expected, leaving herself with a decision to make.   Take on the lake and go for the green in two or lay up, ensuring a relatively easy third shot.

After the other girls in her group hit their second shots to the lay-up area we walked up to Danica's ball to get yardages to the green.  "What do you get?" I asked as she pulled out her rangefinder to get the distance to the green.  "225 back, 215 middle, 198 front." she replied.   I haven't mentioned the weather yet.  It's a steady rain and the temperature is around 43 degrees.  Less than ideal conditions to hit a decent golf shot in this situation considering the lie is thin, tight and wet.

"What are you thinking here? I asked. "I'm going for it," my daughter exclaimed.  As a golf coach, I always encourage players to hit the shots they know they can execute successfully.  As a Dad, did I doubt my daughter in this pressure-packed moment?  No way. Was I nervous? Yes. But I knew that this was one of the biggest shots she was going to hit in her life.

I couldn't wait to watch.

 It's exactly why I introduced both of my children to the game of golf.

Let's flash-back to the year before at the state golf tournament.   Same hole, the same location in the fairway. Similar weather, minus the rain. Shot struck. Water. Wet.  Ball was hit well, just a pull draw and a splash leading to a big number.

 Life lesson.

Another reminder that golf owes us nothing regardless of the time that we spend trying to perfect the game.

Back to the shot at hand.  As my daughter was going through her pre-shot routine I walked ahead in the rough as I usually do.  I took a deep breath and embraced the moment.  I pulled out my binoculars and watched as my daughter struck the ball.  I didn't pick it up in the air right away but was able to track it as it reached its apex.   Land.  Dry. Safe. Front of the green.  Easy birdie.

Transitioning from golf coach to golf dad...

These are the moments that define you not only as a golfer but as a person.

The game of golf teaches one so much about life.  A round of golf is like life condensed into four hours.

Introduce your kids to the game of golf and enjoy every moment.


Monday, October 22, 2018

1. You need to work to change the perception of golf at your school. This is a hard task, but too often golf is viewed as that “other” activity to participate in during the spring or fall if you aren’t out for track, soccer, volleyball, softball or cross country. As a boys golf coach, I often run into the perception that student-athletes have to run track to become even better athletes. As a golf coach and avid golfer, I don’t buy that. My thoughts are that if you want to make your athlete even better, have him/her golf. It’s hard for some to relate to that statement if they aren’t a competitive golfer, but it’s so true. During a round of golf it is all you. Nobody else. There are no time-outs, no referees. You are responsible for every decision and reaction. When you have a bad shot, you must have a short memory and move on to the next shot. Easier said than done. As a golf coach, I can’t substitute a player out if he is having a bad day. The game of golf can be extremely frustrating. And learning how to manage the mental aspect of golf is a challenge that every golfer will struggle with, but when a golfer finds a balance in their game, it’s a wonderful thing. And this is why I think we need to do a better job of recruiting kids to our sport at a young age. I’ve had too many players go out for golf for the first time during their senior year telling me how they wished they would have participated in golf all four years of high school. While the game of golf may not be as popular as it was in the Tiger era of the ‘90s, it’s still relative and with the current younger players we see on the PGA tour, it is a great time to pick up the game. High school golf is as competitive as ever! 

2. Golf is hard. Be patient with your younger players. The game of golf can be extremely frustrating for your younger players that may have excelled at other sports. Golf is entirely different. Golf isn’t flashy and it demands a mental aspect that not a lot of student-athletes are prepared for. We discuss the mental game piece quite often at our practices to try and help our players through this process. The parallels between golf and life are amazing. I heard someone once say that a round of golf is like life condensed into four hours. You get frustrated, excited, disappointed. You most certainly will face adversity. And you have to keep your composure. Yes, this is hard for teenagers first learning the game. Playing a round of golf is an amazingly rewarding journey. One way that I have had success in relieving any frustration with the game of golf is to teach the game of golf from the green backward. Sixty-five percent of our shots come from 125 yards and in when playing a round of golf. Focus on the short game and make it fun and competitive during practice. Enable your players with little successes around the green before heading out to the course. Don’t push your younger players out to score too early. Let your veteran players play, while you work with your younger players around the green.

3. Offseason practice and competition is key. We don’t have a certain expectation when it comes to golfing in the offseason, but we highly encourage practice and competition when they can fit it into their busy summer schedules. I have a lot of student-athletes that are involved with other activities and sports and personally, I don’t like to make a student choose which activity they will participate in the most during the offseason. We have been fortunate to have a handful of student-athletes over the last several years that were willing to put the time and effort into practicing and competing in the offseason. These players embraced the opportunity to compete in the Nebraska Golf Associations junior and men’s events during the summer. For those that don’t want the higher level of competition, we encourage them to compete on the Nebraska Junior Golf Tour and purchase the FORE! Card offered by the Nebraska Golf Association. I can’t say enough good things about what NGA Executive Director Craig Ames, Assistant Director Justin Ahrens, and Manager Ben Vigil do for the game of golf in Nebraska. We as golf coaches can rest assured that these leaders will continue to provide great competition opportunities for our junior golfers during the offseason.

4. Make your practices competitive (and FUN). One of the first changes I made when taking over as the head golf coach at Aurora was to make certain parts of our practices ultracompetitive. When we are competing in drills or playing we always have something riding on the outcome. It can be a  simple “get out of practice early” reward or I will end up jumping in a drill myself. When the coach enters the game, the intensity seems to ratchet up to a whole new level. Players always want to beat the coach. If I lose, I buy the team ice cream! I’m always trying to simulate the pressure that our golfers will experience while on the golf course during a meet. It’s hard to simulate the pressure situations players will experience on a golf course, but with a little bit of creativity, you can get pretty close. One of our favorite drills is called the “Last Man Standing Drill.” We will compete in this drill a couple of times a week. It’s up to you how hard you want to make it. I will make it more challenging later in the season for my top 6-7 golfers, but at the start of the season, everyone competes in the drill. Pick a putt on the putting green. Seven to ten feet is a great distance. Have your team line up and have the player at the front of the line putt. If he makes the putt, he is “out” of the game. This is a good thing. Once you are out of the game you are free to leave practice, but a majority of our players stick around to watch the drill to the finish. Play continues as one by one, players give the putt a try. If they miss, they have to go to the back of the line and wait until it is their turn again. Keep doing this until you are down to the final two. First to make the putt in the final two forces the other guy to “win” the drill. Talk about pressure! It’s the game you don’t want to win! It’s a great drill with a lot of tradition on our team. Our golfers are always wanting to do this drill. If you “win” the drill, you have to accept the prize and have it in/on your bag at the next meet you compete in. Last year it was a pair of Elsa ear mufflers. This year it will be a shirt that I had custom made with “I 3 Putt” screen printed across the front. The winner will have to wear the shirt to school. Be creative and have fun. Your players will love it! Here is a link to some of our other favorite competitive drills that we use during our practices: http://bit.ly/huskiesgolf

 5. Brand your program. Why not tap into the power of social media to brand your program? What a way to give others a glimpse into what happens within your program! A majority of people at your school have never been to a high school golf meet. Use social media to tell your story and bring the action to them. Personally, I like to use Twitter and Instagram to share the happenings within our program. I have created a Twitter account for our golf team (@Husky_Golf) and share information that relates to our program. You may see a tweet with information about an upcoming meet or a video of a drill that we do in practice. I’m constantly creating and sharing content about our golf program. I even live stream live action from time to time at golf meets using Periscope. Last season I approached Taylor Siebert and Eric Allgood from Striv.TV about live streaming one of our golf duals. They came out, set up three cameras and did video commentary. Share your story! It’s a great way to brand your program and model digital citizenship to your student-athletes. Be sure to create a hashtag for your team as well and use it each time you post to social media. Go to your Twitter account and search #huskiesgolf to see some of the things that happen within our program. 

As a coach and parent, I truly believe that golf is a sport that should be learned and played at an early age. It is our obligation as golf coaches to make this happen. As our team mission statement states, “We want to provide experiences that will encourage our student-athletes to play the game of golf forever.”


authorHusband, Dad, Son, Brother, Teacher, Coach, Learner, Catalyst, Collaborator, Creator, Contributor, EdTecher, DIYer, Tinkerer, Golfer, Exerciser, Gardener.