I love that joke. If you live in an area that has harsh weather, you likely know what I'm talking about. The snow plows and salt tear up the road so badly, then if it's not snowing or icing, the hard working construction crews are out in full force trying to repair the pothole-ridden roads.
Yesterday I was riding with my sister and as we approached the highway we planned on taking, we saw taillights as far as the eye could see. Being impatient (or smart) we decided to go another direction. However, I remembered reading on Twitter that the major highway we were headed to was going to be closed for 6 hours due to pothole repair. I hopped on Twitter to double check ODOT's account and look at one of my favorite apps, WAZE, to see the real time traffic and reports from other drivers.
With information on what was ahead of us and as the orange construction signs approached, we decided to veer off the interstate and create our own little detour. We took side roads and back streets and finally found our way to a road paralleling the interstate. All we had to do was go one more mile and we would miss all the construction. However, what stood in our way again? More orange construction cones and signs. The street right ahead of us was totally blocked off with orange cones and large "Road Closed" signs.
This time, we only had to go around the block and we were back on track. As we could see the on-ramp up ahead, I looked at my sister, put my index finger in the air and declared "We will not be deterred!" Still, surrounded by orange nearly in all directions, we both looked at one another and said nearly simultaneously, "But we may be DETOURED!"
We had a good laugh and finally continued on our way....
Think about it though. In life and especially education, how many roadblocks stand in our way? How many times do we plan and plan and plan and then the unexpected happens and, on the fly, we have to adjust.
Sometimes the detours are short - "just around the block" type of detours
Other times the detours are long - "use another highway" type of detours.
Typically, when I see a detour sign, I'm frustrated because it means I can't go in the direction that I wanted. But really, I should be thankful, because at least it's helping me get to where I want to go. Without detours we would be totally lost and may not even reach our destination.
But life, as opposed to driving, doesn't have large orange 'detour' signs pointing us to our desired destination. We must forge new paths in sometimes untraveled territory. We must be creative to figure out how to still achieve our goals even when faced with adversity. We must realize that sometimes we need to seek out help through a variety of means along the way...
So, what destinations are you trying to reach right now as an educator?
What roadblocks are in your way?
What detours are you going to use to get there?
In the end, when something stands in our way we need the DETOURS to lead us to our final destination. We must have the attitude that we can not let anything stop us from achieving our goal. Some days the ride is smooth, and some days potholes and 'road closed' signs stand in our way. But even if we have to use the detours, we must try our best to do all we can to reach our destination - so we can raise our index fingers in the air and successfully declare, "I will not be DETERRED!"