Archive for Introduction

Jan 10

As I spend time and strengthen my “friends” via the online professional (personal) learning community Plurk I was tagged by Wendy Sigele (@wsigele) to participate in the “7 Things” sharing. Wendy, I appreciate the honor of being tagged by you! Therefore, here is a my “7 Things” list for all of you to read and now learn about Dean Mantz.

7. My sister is the head of the Education Department at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, KS. She has serviced as an assistant at the Hogel Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah as well as serving as an intern in Kansas City, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

6. I met my wife while I was teaching middle school and she was student teaching.

5. Believe it or not during high school I had a lot of hair, enough to even perm it during my senior year… I look like a cue ball.

4. My favorite song is “Eye of the Tiger” and two favorite tv shows are “M.A.S.H” and CSI ( the original series).

3. I learned a lot about pitching in college from John Denny, 1983 CY Young award winner with St. Louis Cardinals while he served as an assistant coach. I went on to be a high school assistant coach for five years followed by being a head coach for another five years. During my five years as a head coach the program won 1 Kansas state title (2004), 2 league titles (2 more 2nd place finishes), 3 regional titles with an overall record of 96-20. But the best part of those 10 years was the connections I made with those gentlemen and seeing them mature and become fine young men. To this day I can not say their is not one of them I would not coach again. I find myself reflecting back to many of our conversations about what lies ahead for them as college students and adults. It was those conversations that I used to relate with them and provide them a venue to see there was more to life than just baseball.

2. I was born in Smith Center, KS and attended 5 different schools while growing up and graduating highschool in Enid, OK. When attending junior high in Spring Hilll, Kansas, I came out of the PE locker room with my gym shirt on….only problem was I forgot to put on my gym shorts…can you say “whitey tighties”?

1. During my senior year my grandfather (mom’s dad) passed away due to cancer. I remember the days of coming home from morning kindergarten and papa was there to pick me up at the farm. We would do chores including feeding the cattle or watering the horses. Then we would go into town for his afternoon “tea” break. He was a fairly quiet man that worked from dawn to dusk to provide for his family. I would say I have inherited that trait from my grandfather and father. Anyhow, when grandpa was diagnosed with cancer he was given 6 months to live. Well, this hard headed, workaholic, farmer was not going to give into cancer because he wanted to reach his 70th birthday. Well, that was about 9 months away. Amazingly and defiantly, grandpa made reached his goal regardless of having a cancer count that doctors were amazed had not already taken his life. It was not until two days after his birthday that he accepted his rightful place in heaven. When I was told grandpa passed away their in his bedroom at the farm I did not shed a tear. I could not accept that grandpa had passed away for he was the strong determined model that has assisted in shaping the person I am today. I did not attend his funeral and that bothers me secretively to this day. So, I am taking advantage of this post and expressing my appreciation and love from “Grandpa Mathes”.

P.S. For those of you not getting to say “Good bye” to the ones you love take the time and do it. Do not let it go unresolved! May God bless each and everyone that reads this, knows of someone suffering from a terminal disease and needs prayers, or those that have lost loved ones and not been able to close that chapter.

Here are two people and their videos I fully respect for it was terminal illnesses that took their lives too. Jimmy Valvano and Randy Pausch

Now I “tag”

Apr 10

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