I would spend an average of a month at my Grandparent’ house in Drumheller throughout grade school. After retiring from Red Deer, my grandparents moved to where my grandpa was born in Drumheller Valley. They both spent most of their lives and careers in Red Deer, Alberta.
Those summers in Drum were spent exploring the hills, going camping and fishing, gardening, flowers, flowers and more flowers every step–backyard and front, picking saskatoons, raspberries, and strawberries my grandma her favourite flowers—Tiger Lilies. Countless hours playing cards, dice and other games with grandma, well, enjoying her cooking would impress the best of chefs. One of my favourite things was climbing too close to the top of Crystal Hill. Then digging and finding buckets of quartz crystals. Crystal Hill was founded by my grandpa and his siblings one day when they were exploring as children.
Once, I found a bone in the hills one day and asked their long-time neighbour what it was. He happened to be a paleontologist who worked for the Tyrell Museum. I gave him the fossilized bone, and he examined it and determined it was from a woolly mammoth that went extinct in this region during the last ice age. He said if I wanted to, I could donate it, and he would put it on display at the museum in my name. As a 10-year-old, to me, it was like finding gold or the covenant.
Those summers were also filled with looking after a campground, community centers, baseball diamonds, outdoor and indoor arenas, and many other things within The City of Drumheller. As a child, I viewed what we were doing as fun and a great bonding experience with my grandpa. Sometimes we would go to the post office and not leave for sometimes hours, as he listened and communicated humorously but effectively with people. He would introduce me to someone, and I figured that you have many friends when you get to be old. From the time I can remember, some mornings after breakfast, grandma and grandpa sang me the song “Teddy Bear Picnic,” my grandpa and I would then leave to run errands and such as he would tell me, “when you get up in the morning, after breakfast, go outside, stay busy until bed.”
Sometimes my grandma would iron a suit for my grandpa, and he would leave for a few hours.
Meanwhile, my grandma and I would watch him on channel 10 on television. They might as well have been talking Russian at those televised meetings. As I and probably most people would agree when I say I had no clue what they were talking about.
Some years later, I would grow to understand my grandpa was a long-time councillor and mayor. Those fun times I was bonding with my grandpa, I was helping him, help his community that he was born into and will most likely die. My grandpa taught me a strong work ethic and how to listen and communicate with people through a fun environment.
At the same time showed me the art of comedy and how to use it in all areas of life. My grandma was the foundation, the inspiration behind what made the family work. The engine to the car, if you will. Without an engine, you or the vehicle won’t go anywhere.
My grandpa donated over 25 years of service to his community and represented the Metis community well, and he did this after retiring from a 40-year career.
My grandma was and is a strong energy that, with her smile alone, used to light up even the darkest of rooms, the smile that makes you forget about all of your problems for a minute, like a yawn, it’s contagious, and you have no choice but to smile back.
I will be using this platform to promote some up-and-coming things this year.
To give a small sample of what I am working on, I will leave you with this:
I will show a way to add MMA as part of the curriculum in gym classes from grades 1-12 in every school in Red Deer. Without interrupting any other required learning in gym classes without increasing the budget, well-saving parents with kids a lot of time and money on the martial art.
The people I am working with who have already done the lessons and the planning have implemented it successfully in several schools in Alberta. Not only would they be willing to provide the necessary training for the Red Deer school division, but they have the resources to implement this province-wide.
The exercise aspect alone would decrease all mental illnesses across the board and dramatically reduce bullying. It would give the students confidence and would teach them proper respect, meaning gym rules respect. To be a member of any MMA gym, the first rule is always what you learn here in the gym—stays in the gym!
At a minimum, by the time I start teaching in grade schools, it will be my personal goal to see my students go into high school with a minimum of a blue belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, even if I must teach them myself on my own time. As soon as COVID restrictions allow us back in gyms, I will be learning how to teach kids MMA. Another promise for my students is you will never see a PowerPoint in my classroom as that was cool 21-years-ago, and Chromebooks can stay in a locker or hidden in a backpack. Those things will not exist in my classroom, either. If I have to, I will provide computers and or other technology for my classes.
I am just beginning to scratch the surface of what is to come this year. I will detail more about what I have been secretly working on since 2013.
Soon I will provide in full detail the people and organizations involved with getting MMA in the schools and how we will do it, with proper lesson plans for the semesters/ school years—referencing the appropriate science behind the still growing positive aspects of how a martial art discipline affects an individual in all aspects of their lives. One guy holds a black belt in Karate, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and Muay Thai. He has been trying to get MMA implemented here in Central Alberta for over a decade now. If all goes well, we will see his dream come true by the time I am a teacher.
If things keep going in the right direction, I hope to show my grandpa something in October of this year. He had a stroke two years ago, which took his speech and paralyzed most of his body. If he can hold on until the middle of October, I will show him his profound leadership and influence on me was worth my bullshit throughout the years.
If he doesn’t live to get to see the legacy he is responsible for–at least he’ll get to read this.
My stoic grandfather taught me to be my strongest when everyone else is at their weakest.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. Still, the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
— Steve Jobs, 1997
“I am not here to build a business; I am not here to build a corporation; I am not here to build Schools; I am not here to build churches—I am no Mother Theresa.
What I will do, is—lead a legacy.”
– Dean Mathers
Feel free to leave an email @ FreeDemocracy2021@gmail.com with any concerns you have for yourself or children about the education system. We will try and get back to you within two weeks. If we have already found some solutions and are working on them, we will send you the info. If you raise a new concern that we haven’t dealt with or thought of yet, It will be sure to find the eyes of the proper politician(s) and or person(s).