Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Four Perspectives - Education

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I forgot to mention that I posted today over at Four Perspectives…of course, if you already subscribe and knew that, then you are doubly awesome. If you read my blog a year ago, you will just find a reminder to my students - as well as myself.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Moments with Joey – Super Atomic Wedgies

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SCENE 1, INTERIOR. NOON, LUNCHROOM. The teacher is eating lunch with his fifth graders. He listens to several conversations about who did what over the weekend, who is who’s latest crush, and what the preferred after-school snack is amongst many other topics of conversation. The teacher is tapped on the shoulder by the ten year-old boy sitting next to him.

JOEY: Hey, Mr. Z?

TEACHER: What’s up?

JOEY: Have you ever gotten a wedgie before?

TEACHER: A wedgie?

JOEY: Yeah, it’s when somebody grabs your underwear and pulls it up so that –

TEACHER: [Cutting him off]. I know what a wedgie is, Joey.

JOEY: So, have you ever had one before?

TEACHER: Sorry to let you down…nope.

JOEY: My favorite is the yo-yo wedgie.

TEACHER: You have a favorite?

JOEY: Yeah, there’s the yo-yo wedgie, the chilly wedgie, the dangling wedgie…

TEACHER: And you know about all of these different types?

JOEY: [Nodding]. Yeah, but the yo-yo is my favorite; yo-yos are awesome.

TEACHER: I don’t know what to be more disturbed about…the fact that you know so many different types, or that you have a favorite one.

JOEY: I got one once where I could almost taste it in my mouth…

TEACHER: Sounds like a Super Atomic Wedgie.

JOEY: Yeah, that’s why I wear boxers now...

Fade to black.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 20-20-20-20 Challenge

Pin It I recently decided to do a challenge.

Twenty feet. By
Twenty feet.
Twenty minutes.
Twenty images.

After I arrived at the destination I selected tonight I questioned if it were really a good place to take photos. At first I saw nothing but the sun blinding through the overpass and the sunflowers. 

The rest came when I began to look a little bit deeper…

I took longer than 20 minutes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Media of the Week - Undeniable

Pin It Can I just tell you how much I love this song? It's true...we are all undeniably brilliant.

I love this song, too.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Original Twilight

Pin It Being on a first name basis with the school librarian does yield it’s rewards...

I couldn’t put it down.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Late Nights and Student Expectations

Pin It The onset of the school year has left me up late for the past several nights planning lessons, grading assignments, and finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with anything which is not school.

Reading blogs has now started to slip into the backseat, although I have been trying to keep up with the rising tide.

I came home at nearly 9 p.m. tonight after a set of late student assessments, a college class, and a handful of Wheat Thins for dinner. I headed downstairs and turned on What About Bob so that I could listen as I dealt with the tracking of files, recording of student testing scores, sorting and organizing parent helper surveys, and finally tackling the stack of 28 journal entries just waiting to be read. One hour stretched into three as I finished one project only to move on to the next - all sandwiched in the dreaded blue tote...

I was feeling the weight of the year already upon my shoulders when I came across one particular little journal entry set to the topic of his expectations of the upcoming year...

Welcome back, Joey; I'll try my hardest not to overdo it...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rites of Passage

Pin It So it's Tuesday, and I am posting over at Four Perspectives - nearly 12 hours late.

My apologies for keeping you waiting.

I am a jerk-face.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tonight is for Exhaustion and Backlinking Posts

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No vomiting. No migraines. Just sheer exhaustion.

It passed 11:00 a long time ago, and I should be asleep. After all, I've spent the past two weeks preparing for school. In a sense, I feel like I have been planning a wedding.

Well over a hundred hours for two days: Back to School Night and the first day of school. And no, I don't have a photo of the room after BTS Night…I was too tired to take one so you'll just need to content yourself with this panoramic shot right before the room was flooded with parents and students...

I have nothing funny to say tonight. I have no deep thoughts. I don't even have the strength to finish this sente

You get the point.

I would like to invite you to read THIS, THISTHIS, and finally THIS. Should you choose not to, I will not be offended. I will not dock you points. I will not look down upon you...


I know that going to bed tonight will not include sleeplessness - I am far too exhausted for that.

Yet excited, too. I think I'll vomit in my dreams…

The Blogger Barbecue

Pin It The streets twisted and turned through the suburban neighborhoods as I drove past the variety of houses, following the directions preprogrammed into my TomTom device – let’s call her Vicky.

On the seat next to me was the biggest cake wreck I could find. After all, my dad had made it a point to let me know that you never show up to a monumental event like this empty-handed; Faux pas to the infinite degree. So I scoured the bakery department at the local grocery down the street, and found this little beauty…German chocolate with buttercream frosting (and there just might have been some Wookie hair in it too, I can’t really be too sure). A better housewarming gift I could not have preplanned any better.

It was to be a red-letter (not to be confused for a scarlet letter) day for sure; this was the day I finally met Em-Cat, the family of Utah Tib, and the notorious Cheeseboy. What can I say about these three bloggers that you don’t already know? Maybe that they’re amazing? No, I suppose that you already know that.


You know, I do find myself in awe at some of the amazing people that are out there, just waiting to be met and work their way into the realm of friendship. I experienced Em-Cat’s sassy mannerisms, Cheeseboy’s awesomeness, and Tib’s views on tapeworms and Rob Thomas (not together, of course). I was even challenged by Ethan to a game of basketball in the front cul-de-sac.

The food was great, and the company was even better. I just wish that I’d have taken more pictures than I did.

I have the world of blogging to thank for it all.

Thank you, Blogger.

L to R: Em-Cat of That's What She Said, Teachinfourth of Adventures and Misadventures of Daily Living, Tib of Shark Bait, and Cheeseboy of The Blog O' Cheese.

We be awesome like that...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Keys to the Kingdom

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I left my classroom to pick up a few copies from the printer in the faculty workroom. I meandered down the hallway, reaching into my pocket for my keys to unlock the door. That’s when the ominous sound of my classroom door shutting behind me paralleled a sudden realization.

My keys were in the room.

I sprinted back, seized the door handle, and turned.

It was locked.

I looked through the small mesh window and saw my school keys, car keys, and cell phone all sitting on an empty student desk. I groaned inwardly and nearly started to laugh at my own stupidity – it was either that or to start crying.

I could still plainly hear the music – playing via my laptop through the wireless speaker system – blaring through the metal fry-sauce colored door. And play it would so continue doing…that is, until the laptop battery died.

Like most schools, each teacher’s room is keyed differently, and there are certain doors educators cannot unlock even if they did have their keys with them. I now had to be careful choosing which doors I went through, for certain pathways would limit my maneuverability. For starters, if I went down to the east end of the school, I’d have to pass through what I call the blast doors (which actually are fire doors). If I were to pass through them, my pathway would be limited to a single hallway with a set of bathrooms and two drinking fountains.

I carefully made my way around the school, checking doors – hoping to find a room with a phone. Not that a phone would have helped tremendously, as I only have three phone numbers memorized; one is my parents’ old landline that they had disconnected years ago, another is my own cell phone number (not much help in this particular situation), and the lastly is 911.

Now, no matter how trying it is being locked out of one’s classroom, I don’t think it warrants a call to the emergency services unless it includes being held at gunpoint, having a bomb strapped to your body, or being in the midst of a heart attack.

Unfortunately, I was not privy to any of those options. So in other words, I was doomed.

After the initial feeling of helplessness, I decided to carefully check the doors of the school to find one with a phone…the office, faculty room, other teachers’ classrooms; all were locked. However, I did have a bit of hope in the realization that I still had access to a drinking fountain and a bathroom if either need arose. And if I were to get too hungry, there was always the two trashcans in the hallway – one might even have some leftover Panda Express from the faculty luncheon after our meetings on Friday.

I was covered for survival.

I was just about to give up hope finding a phone, head outside, and walk the ¾ mile or so to one teacher’s house – after all, I was pretty sure I knew where she lived, and I could only hope that she’d be home, and have the necessary numbers I needed for the after-school coordinator, principal, or custodian. I put my hand on the library door, fully expecting nothing. After all, this door always seemed to be locked, sometimes even during school hours.

As the handle turned in my hand I felt a surge of relief wash through me as I made my way to the librarian’s desk and her two-line phone.

Now, I had nobody to call.

I sat for a forlorn minute or two, trying to formulate whom best to try to get a phone number for, and how to get it (there was no phone book). I finally decided to turn on one of the archaic computers and do an online search in the vain hope that I would be able to gain access to a phone number or two that would be of aid.

That’s when I saw the emergency information forms.

Someone had inadvertently left a handful of these forms on the library counter. I snatched them up – after all, this was most certainly an emergency.

I was in luck. The emergency contact of one of the student janitors was our librarian.

I dialed her number with a feeling of glee, only to learn that she and her family were up in Park City.


To make a long story short, she did have a few phone numbers at her disposal that I eagerly wrote down, and it was from there that I commenced on the great phone tag epic adventure which lasted much longer than I’d have liked. However, one teacher had another teacher’s number who most assuredly had a key that would open any other teacher’s classroom in the school; she made the call for me, and I called her back a few minutes later to learn of the possibility of said educator coming to my aid.

Eventual success.

About ten minutes later I found myself rescued by this teacher, and was once-again in the sanctuary of my own classroom; music blaring around me via my laptop and wireless speakers.

I snatched up my cell phone and keys, putting them in my pockets.

Lesson learned.

I headed down to pick up the copies from the printer.

It was out of paper.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photo Shoot - The Boys

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There’s still a little over one week left to take advantage of this year’s photography session special. Details may be found either here or here

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