Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Denver Hulsey: Who are you when I'm not lookin'?



A little bit of this and a little bit of that. (Denver Hulsey and Jarekus Singleton)

Monday, June 27, 2011

A dog named Ricochet

Here is a video of a service dog named Ricochet - who is a bit of a free spirit. I am proud to share the name.



OK I am doing something wrong. Until I figure it out, try this.

What life is really about

What Life is REALLY about. This was a very good column.

Reminds me a favorite quotation: "Most people don't know there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable & fall asleep & miss your life" Brian Andreas

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dragon Fruit



See the white and black cubes? (rectangular prisms, but who is being picky?) This is dragon fruit. The pink bowls are what the exterior of the fruit looks like.

Tastes good.

Charming Behavior **updated **

I read this and this. I am sure that this lovely behavior will hit Atlanta soon.

So far, we just get smash-and-grabs.

** update ** Ten invade boutigue in smash-and-grab.

Getting the Mind Prepared for the New Year

I know what I am teaching - and it is things I have taught before.

I have a completely new administration to work for (and it is all looking great).

I will have support in a way I have in the past.

Still no book and I buy most of the paper - but that is a doable.

I have kids coming out of the woodwork telling me I did a good job a year or two back. (It may take that long to see.)

Summer is looking good.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Evil Bush Tax Cuts

From Neal Boortz.

Now, the tax cuts. Brian Riedl, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, points out that if you take Kerry’s imaginary $5.6 trillion surplus and work your way to the predicted $6.1 trillion deficit for 2011, you have a 10-year swing of $11.7 trillion. Riedl crunches the CBO numbers from January 2001 until the present and finds that the Bush tax cuts for the evil rich amount to just 4 percent of that swing. So much for Becerra’s “blame the Bush tax cuts” angle. Sorry, Xavier.

Here’s something else you might not remember about the Bush tax cuts. Congress thought it would be a good idea to phase these tax cuts in over several years. Didn’t work. The economy continued to shed jobs, so the Congress decided to let the tax cuts take effect immediately, and threw in a cut in capital gains and dividends to boot. It worked. Eight million jobs were created and tax revenues increased.

Did you catch that? Tax revenues increased after a tax cut. Democrats just hate this, but increased revenues are the norm after tax cuts. Why? Because tax cuts spur economic growth. The CBO said that the Bush tax cuts would lower 2006 revenues by $75 billion. Oops! Wrong again! Revenues actually increased by $47 billion. What about jobs? In the 18 months before the Bush tax cuts our economy lost 267,000 jobs. In the 18 months following the cuts it added over 300,000 jobs. In the next 19 months another 5 million jobs were added.

This doesn’t just work for Republicans. Kennedy cut taxes with similar results, as did Bill Clinton. (Of course Clinton had a Republican congress pushing for the tax cuts.)

Six Word Saturday



** Sigh ** No good deed goes unpunished.



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Doncha hate it when you do the right thing (and you know it is the right thing) and you know it will set you up for much more work, probably unrewarded?

Next year will be a lot of work. I think it will not be as difficult as this year because the person who delighted in bullying me (and others) is gone. But - four preps and classes to take.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's email: Women over 50

Women over 50!

In case you missed it on 60 Minutes, this is what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 50.

60 Minutes Correspondent Andy Rooney (CBS) “As I grow in age, I value women over 50 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 50 will never wake you in the middle of the night & ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 50 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She goes and does something, she wants to do, & it's usually more interesting.

Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest.. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 50 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 50, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ Here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!”
(Love that last line!)

Andy Rooney is a really smart guy!

Send this to fine, fun, fabulous, fancy-free female friends over 50. Male friends can benefit from these words of wisdom as well! ;)

Even if you aren't over 50 yet, you have to admit, this is funny! Lord bless Andy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gotta Love the Dollar Store!!

Went to the Dollar Store with a teacher friend and spent too much money. One of the suggestions she had was to buy little card stock things (be back to that in a minute) for "currency" in motivating the students.

She bought little books, stars, tropheys - $1 for 25. I bought coupons that said Awesome Work!

She has done stickers and stamps in the past - and redeemed them for prizes. She is planning on swapping these coupons for things: bathroom passes, listening to your iPod, picking your partner in a group.

I like it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Statistics - what do they really say?

I knew that the kids I teach are not like the ones my children grew up with. (If that sounds snotty, oh well. I chose to live where I do and to teach where I do.)

I knew that about 5% of the kids that I have taught in this school have been arrested. Probably more, but I can only see arrests after they turn 17.

Well, today, I found another way to look and, just being able to see half the days going back to 1/1/11, I found it is closer to 8%. Which means - if I could see all the days going back to August 2007, it would be much higher. What would it be if I could see their juvey arrests?

Holy Moley. The arrests are for drugs, burglary, stolen property, assault of all different kinds, lying to a police officer (always stupid), burglary - impulse control issues.

And I want them to sit an behave . . .

I have reflections to do.

Happy father's day! Does it surprise you that most of the ones I know of have no father or a step father?

Thank you

Today I received an unexpected thank you from a student I taught a few years back. He is not sure I remember him (I do) and apologized (sort of) for never coming to class (Senioritis) but said I had really helped him.

Ok, ready to work now that I have been "fed"!

I need to remember to do that for the kids as well.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Interpretations



We all saw this picture with the various headlines about some people not having the good sense to know when to make out.

Then today the news came out that she was hurt and he was trying to help her.

How many times do we KNOW what we are seeing but we are 100% wrong?

Or how many times do we have the perfect sqwelch and not be able to use it because we weren't there?

"Do you know what schools I've been to and how well educated I am?" The obvious answer is "No, because of the vocabulary you have chosen to use, you are doing a wonderful job of masking it."

Paralyzed by Perfection

I know what I say to my students - let's examine the concept of good enough.

I have said it to my friends - as recently as yesterday.

And I find myself procrastinating because I am afraid to cut something because it won't be perfect.

I am trying to create dividers to work with page protectors. You cannot see store bought dividers in a book full of page protectors - and if you create your own, you will have to cut them to size.

They are dividers, for crying out loud!!

Why is this so hard?

Six Word Saturday



Overwhelmed. Trying to stay on task.



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Confession: I have a LOT of housework I am behind on. And I really need to prepare better for next year. And I am taking a class requiring writing - which is not my forte. (WHAT was I thinking?)

And there are 6 weeks left this summer.

Sigh.

It will get done. It will get done as well as I can do it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Friends come and go - enemies accumulate

I was mentioning someone I am not fond of and was asked the name - I didn't think the person I was talking to would know. They did. A slow smile slid across their face and they said "Wow. We could talk for a long time."

A new principal meets his staff for the first time. His encouraging words to the people who will work for him are to snarl "I hate coffee. I hate the smell of coffee. And I don't want to smell it in my school."

Can you feel the warmth?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What a difference a day makes

Met with the new principal for about an hour today, talking about what I wanted to see in the school and getting to know him. 1) He cared what I said. 2) He really listened. 3) He didn't chew me out. 4) He shared information about what is going on at the other schools.

There are only 3 other high schools in this county. We should share information so we can lift each other up. This is the first time I remember an administrator sharing information about what goes on elsewhere. And it could really make a difference to us.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I can't make it easier

Mr. Teachbad was musing about the sleeze of being easy (as far as grading) which fit what I woke up thinking about: the "arithmetic" course I thought for seniors this year.

Well, they are supposed to be seniors and are old enough for that title, but only a little more than 60% were actually 12th graders. I wondered about my pass rate, since there were several who just quit coming to school (mentally or physically) and I couldn't get the work out of them to justify passing them.

Of the seniors, a little more than half graduated. In total (all students, not just the ones classified as 12th graders), a third dropped out or moved away. Several spent time in the hoosegow for various offenses.

Only 70% completed the course and of those, my failure rate was 10%.

Since it was a ridiculously easy class - even if I weren't easy - but a necessary one (consumer math), these stats are ridiculous.

(PS a couple of the kids were honor graduates, in calculus as well as this class [which they didn't need to graduate] so there was a challenge teaching it. That is, a challenge dealing with something other than homelessness, court, drugs, etc.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Where do you find that poster?

There is a poster I have seen that shows what math you need for which job. Does anyone know where to buy one?

Six Word Saturday



I am too much an accountant.



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Confession. I spend too much time thinking "I gave that, she gave this, she owes me blah blah." It is not a pretty part of my personality.

I keep it under wraps a lot, but it is there, festering.

And yet, my really good friendships are out of balance all the time.

I am coming to the place where I can let that happen because I know it will balance out in the end.

The ones that still eat at me are the ones where I give and give and get nothing back. The teacher who always wanted this resource or that resource that I had spent my time creating or finding (all the while complaining that she was too tired, too overworked, too broke) - but couldn't help me when I asked. She has tried getting stuff again ("I have misplaced the cd you gave me - can you give me another?" when I know I never gave her the cd because I had written her off by then.) She got pissy when my response was to send her the list of URLs I used to compile the information.

She wasn't a friend. She was someone I worked with. We have very different goals and values. I need to let it go. (This is not saying I am giving her stuff - I am done with that.)

But I have others where I actually spend a lot more time and money. And at any given point the relationship is out of whack. But the out-of-whackness shifts from one side to the other. As a friend used to say, "In a good relationship, everyone is giving 200%." Just not everyday. And I need to put the bookkeeping away and just enjoy.

I know who these friends are.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The line between teachers and students

There has to be a line.

I am the teacher. You are the student. We are not friends even though we are friendly.

Our paper is full of articles - as I am sure yours are - of teachers crossing the line. Having sex with their students, sexting their students (do not understand that one), basically behaving inappropriately. Crossing the line.

The teachers were abuzz at the school about one teacher who discussed her underwear with the students. (HOW would that EVER be appropriate?) Students have told me she would sit in a way they could check out her underwear. Did I mention that she has grown children and has taught longer than anyone else in the department? In other words, more than old enough to know better.

When she was finally called on it and fired, it was all some could talk about.

What I find incredible is one of her biggest attackers has the same kind of inappropriate relationships. Kids are in her room every morning. I like kids. But I don't want to hang out with them.

It came out at the end of the year that several couples in her room were behaving in a manner better suited to dark places, a car, and a Saturday night that a school classroom. And that she knew it and turned a blind eye until she couldn't anymore. At which point she kept saying that she just discovered it.

The kids will always tell.

And teachers need to remember that there is a line.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And we teach them - how?

2 boys spend 1 year and 2 years in juvenile detention rather than tell the police who the killer was. Their mother think it is ok because it wasn't THEIR responsibility to help the police.

I loved this "Michael White spent about 11 months out of jail on bond, but his bond was revoked in June 2010 when he pushed a police officer and threatened administrators at his school, according to court records. Ennis was denied bond from the start because he had a juvenile record in California." In other words, they both acted up in school in addition to being upstanding citizens.

I currently have 9 ex students from the previous 3 years in jail: 4 for taking other people's property and 5 for selling drugs. All are repeat offenders. Two have graduated from high school. The rest should have but didn't. We don't talk about those statistics.

Edited * *
Remember Central Falls HS where all the teachers were fired to "rebuild" the school? A science teacher talks about her decision to teach there. And to leave. She references the "Restoration Project." You can find additional information here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Six Word Saturday



Time to work on the (to do) list!



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I have spent a couple of days reading for fun - now it is time to cull through the stuff I brought home and work on my summer school class.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Floating around Facebook

If you're not being treated with love and respect, check your PRICE TAG - perhaps you have marked yourself down! It's YOU who tell people what you're worth by what you accept! Get off the CLEARANCE RACK and get behind the glass where they keep all the VALUABLES! Bottom line - VALUE yourself more!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I am not sure but I think Mozilla is letting me post to Blogger

Or vice versa.

On taoday's to do list:things to do today. Or this month.

Really needing a break

I feel beat up in a way I haven't before. I woke up the other morning and realized normally I would be emailing students advice about the next step - and I am not going to.

I know who a lot of them will have next year - and, good luck with that. One is a teacher who talks to the board. The (fill in a descriptor here) class that I had will not be pleased or learn much. They deserve each other.

Some of the biggest thorns will be gone. I am not looking forward to the amount of paperwork justifying what we are doing. Add that the department I am in doesn't pull together on a good day.

Oh, well, play it by ear.