Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

Mock Congress
Model United Nations

I'll write when I get a chance!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Education Carnival

Yep, Education Wonks is still managing the Midway. Check out the Education Carnival.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is a nice, mellow Thanksgiving here at the house, with smells of turkey and sounds of football and family. But let us not forget the real meaning of Thanksgiving.


We cannot break bread with you.

You have taken the land which is rightfully ours.

Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations.

Your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs.

We will sell our bracelets by the roadsides.

You will play golf and enjoy hot hors d'oeuvres.

My people will have pain and degradation.

Your people will have stick shifts.

The gods of my tribe have spoken.

They have said, "Do not trust the pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller."

And for all these reasons, I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

Pretty damn funny speech from Wednesday Adams from Adams Family Values. I also makes for an interesting question. Could Thanksgiving be going the way of Columbus Day, being very un-politically correct?

Monday, November 20, 2006

I got your Thanks right here.

Like most teachers, I will be doing no work on Thanksgiving. Since I'm naturally lazy (hey, I'm a teacher!), I figure that there should be no reason to stress myself when the whole holiday should be about me. For instance....

-I did not work in the classroom for an hour last Saturday. No way.

-Nor did I hold a basketball parent meeting on Saturday. That would be wrong. Nor will I practice three days this week.

-I also didn't attend a scrimmage on Saturday, will not be attending a game on Wednesday, or a game on the Saturday after. What? Do you get paid to work on your time off?

-Of course, updating my website, grading papers, updating grades, and communicating with students is totally out of the question.

I know, it does sound a tad bit sarcastic. In reality, I'll be doing all this of course. But this is a little frustration coming out from the idiot in Albertson's I ran into that said, "Week of on Thanksgiving? Must be nice not to work for a living." Sure, and when I get done with my 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. job teaching YOUR kids, I'll remember that.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stupid Bastard of the Month Award

Imagine a world were free thinking was strictly forbidden. Where politics was much more important than the needs of the children. Where the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. Where children are told that their life would be better without direction, a sense of purpose, or a place to be secure.

Where is this world you might ask?


Some fictional Orwellian world?

Nope. Try San Francisco.

Last night, the San Francisco Board of Education voted to eliminate the Junior ROTC, an institution that had active in San Francisco schools for nearly a century. 1,600 students in San Francisco are active in the program, and have been effectively told by the San Francisco School Board to buzz off. According to the Board, the military had no place in the schools and the action was also a stand against the military stance on gays.

Politics at work in the public school system, with no regard to the impact on kids. Instead of listening to them, they listen to this idiot,

"We don't want the military ruining our civilian institutions," said Sandra Schwartz of the American Friends Service Committee, an organization actively opposing JROTC nationwide. "In a healthy democracy ... you contain the military. You must contain the military."

Contain the military. As if the United States Army is invading San Francisco high schools and telling them to do drugs, join a gang, and kill the Navy. We are talking about over a thousand students that were told that 4 people's dumb ass political ideas are more important than giving them a sense of structure in their life. And no, don't come at me with the, "Wow, you love everything the military does?" bullshit. You watch the damn video of those hundreds of cadets that protested to keep the program and tell me that it wasn't doing some good.

Congrats to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for stepping up and calling the whole ordeal a disgrace, because it is.

Oh, want the ultimate kicker?

On other matters, the board introduced a resolution that makes race a factor in deciding what school a child will attend starting with the 2008-09 school year. No action was taken.

Jesus God.

Check out the San Francisco Chronicle for the full story.

Education Carnival

This week, Washington's own Science Goddess holds down the fort at the Education Carnival!

Take a peek!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh really?

How about a conversation starter. Blame Ms. Cornelius from A Shrewdness of Apes.

Here's what I've done (in boldface for this meme). What have you done?

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A teacher's worst enemy

In my five years of teaching, I've found the enemy, and the enemy is me. Well, sort off. Actually, the enemy of the teacher is lack of sleep. This week was one of the hardest to manage in a long time, and it wasn't because of kids or parents, it was the 4-5 hours a night of sleep. What's causing it? Prepping for Model United Nations Workshop, the beginning of basketball season, the usual lesson planning, and prepping Mock Congress for two government classes.
So what exactly does a lack of sleep do to a teacher?

First of all, it makes waking up every morning a nightmare. The first thought that went through my head at 5:15 a.m. was "Holy God, I just went to sleep". This is not the most positive way to start the day.

Then there is the massive amount of food that I eat (stress eating) and coffee that I drink. Peppermint frappachinos have became the overwhelming coffee of choice this week. Add to that the two fast food burgers I ate for dinner twice this week and it all equals 10 extra pounds and bad acid reflux.

Dumb mistakes are made in class when sleep is at a minimum. I would call correct answers wrong in a Jeopardy review. I'd have massive trouble spelling really easy words. Finally, I'd forget to do basic things in the classroom, like grading certain papers, filling out forms, and updating my attendance sheets. Of course, all this mistakes means even more work for me later on.

Finally, the classroom management issue becomes glaring when I'm tired. Every little thing that is usually a simple annoyance now became a severe irritant. Add to that my naturally sarcastic attitude and we had a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the one incident that occurred was minimal and cooler heads prevailed.

Thankfully, this weekend was a three day weekend, which isn't much of one with 4 hours of basketball a day. However, I'm all caught up with grading and prepping for the week, making the week of sleep deprivation a thing of the past.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Passion for Election Results

Governor: My pick- Phil Angelides. Result- The Governator. I know, how can I vote for such a horrid candidate? Anyone with a pulse knew that Phil had no chance at winning, but that didn't prevent me from throwing my vote the way of the lame Democrat. Schwarzenegger tried to solve California's economic problems by taking the idiotic step towards robbing public employees of their pension and pay. You know, those employees that are some of the lowest paid professionals in California. I don't trust him, at all. In the meantime, both parties need to find a true California candidate. Both currently suck. And Schwarzenegger going after Boxer down the road? Ew.

Prop 1A: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. This was pretty much a useless law. Taxes are taxes, and shouldn't simply be earmarked for specific projects. Plus, it can be revoked in an "emergency".

Prop 1B: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. I'm done voting debt to future generations because legislators and the idiot Governor don't have the balls to raise taxes to fix things. "Proposition Governing" is not an effective way to run the legislature. We voted you in, you do what you were elected to do.

Prop 1C: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. Call me anti-homeless. Actually, call me more concerned about getting workers off welfare, including going into debt over it.

Prop 1D: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. Yes, I voted no on school bond money too. It basically shrugs off responsibility for education on this generation of voters. Make education a priority, stop talking about it.

Prop 1E: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. A vast chuck of the money goes to the Delta. I don't live in the Delta, and my flood would not be prevented by this money.

Prop 83: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Passed. I think we should be even harder on sex offenders. I have no problem tracking them, and no problem with forcing them away from schools and parks. If they move into a certain neighborhood, build another park.

Prop 84: My pick- Vote No. Result- Failed. Prop 1E, part 2. Why would I even consider it?

Prop 85: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Failed. Abortion is outpatient surgery. Minors need a parent there for them. As for the arguement that their home situation could create a bad problem, check the statistics. The idea that Mom and Dad are abusive to every minor having an abortion is massively warped by the media. A vast majority of abortions are from girls using the procedure as birth control. I'm not saying that we should ban abortion, but controls are needed.

Prop 86: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Failed. Sin tax failed? Californians are so damn freaked by the word "tax" that they won't even tax tobacco. Hypocritical environmentalist that won't vote against helping to prevent second hand smoke. Worst defeat of the evening.

Prop 87: My pick- Vote No. Result- Failed. No kidding. Anyone with a brain should see that there would be no way to enforce the "can't push costs onto consumers". Supply and Demand will make the costs go up anyway. Might as well directly tax the consumer.

Prop 88: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Failed. People hate parcel taxes. People love stupid commercials. Mix the two together and you get this amendment defeated. I wonder if people realized that you were exempt from the tax if you lived on the property.

Prop 89: My pick- Vote No. Result- Failed. What the hell was the Nurses Association thinking??? Down in flames you go!!

Prop 90: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Failed. I don't get this one. So voters actually voted for the government being more free to grab private property, and even allowing the government to sell that property to developers. I guess the Supreme Court say the writing on the wall.

Measure W: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. A bond for Mendocino College. This institution doesn't have the student base to need to be renovated. Cut the bond in half (to $30 billion), focus on something other than the parking lot, and you might have my vote. Instead, I'm going to be charged an extra $100 a year in property taxes for a parking lot and roof tiles.

Measure X: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Passed. 10% is the standard rate for a transiant tax. I don't quite understand why this only passed by about 60 votes. Tourism is up, let them help pay for services.

Measure Y: My pick- Vote No. Result- Passed. "Should the U.S. leave Iraq immediately?" This is Mendocino County, what did you expect? A totally unimportant advisory measure on a ballot of important items. Plus, the idiot who came to the school to hump the measure knew next to nothing about Iraq, she just came off like a your typical peacenik.

Sonoma/Marin Measure R: My pick- Vote Yes. Result- Failed. This actually passed in Sonoma County, but not in Marin. So, no train from Cloverdale to Larkspur. Voters in Marin complained that the cost was too much for a train that would not do enough. I agree........BUT, I don't think that Marin will vote for ANY train project EVER! They are way too "NIMBY" and are satisfied with the congestion on HWY 101. I'm ready for the state to come in and just build the damn thing, and tell the Marin "yuppie hippies" to deal with it.

Sacramento Measures Q & R: My pick- Vote No. Result- Failed. Funding an arena for a bunch of rich people? Please. If the public is going to pay for the arena, they should get the revenue from the arena. The NBA is not leaving Sacramento. The league knows the town loves the team, and they won't bail on them.

I knew the House was going to fall, but I thought that the Senate was going 50-50.

Sorry for the absence

I've been slammed.

Basketball started, Model United Nations was swinging, and I've been real involved in describing the elections with the kids. It equals late nights and no time to blog.

-My father had a small heart attack last weekend. I freaks me out to think about the having a heart attack, but my father was real good through it and is fine now. All he has is a hole in his leg where they inserted the stent. Of course, the primary reason he had the heart attack was his diet, which was not good. Bad news, I'm built like my father. Worse news, I don't eat much different.

-The Berkeley Model United Nations Workshop was a big success on Saturday. The kids were engaged and very interested in continuing the entire process. The only complaint was that some kids felt overly prepared, as I was one of the few teachers that has an actual class, not a Model U.N. club. One neat thing was that the Cal-UCLA football game was that evening, and the band was in full throes during Saturday afternoon. The kids got a nice view of Berkeley life and the Cal Bear Band. Although they enjoyed it, some looked a little intimitated.

-I'll blog more later. Plenty of stuff has happened at school, but I'm just too worn out to discuss it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Education Carnival

Check out The Median Sib for all your midway needs.