Saturday, May 29, 2010

Music Non Stop: Mid-Albums of the year this week

Not a long post, but just a heads up that I will be releasing my picks for mid-albums of the year. In the past, some have been keepers (like Testament's Formation of Damnation & Mercenary's Architect of Lies or all of 2007, what a year!). While others have been less than memorable (all of last year, seriously none of the mid-year albums made the top 10).

So what does this year have in store? Well, I only have 5 or 6 strong contenders. I will talk about why Exodus' latest isn't on the list. And musically, it is probably the best album I have heard the whole year.

That's it. Back again later.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Inside Four Walls: class of 2010...out

Yesterday was the senior's last day of the year. And this is an interesting class. I really didn't know many of the students, but was able to get to know about 15-20 really well through their 4 years at the school.

Watching them leave is no different than any other year. You always wonder what is going to happen to them and if they will end up safe and ok. You see a few of them maybe once or twice over the next 2 years and then...nothing. It's rough, but I am starting to get used to it.

I will post more about my classes and year once it is all over next week, but I will talk about my TA's this year. They were all seniors and they were without a doubt the best group of TA's I have ever had. They were either parents of teachers, well respected athletes, or students with interests in law enforcement. Can't go wrong there. I had problems with my TA's last year and wanted to avoid that and I did. These kids were awesome. They were always there to help me and never complained.

As the year was coming to an end, my TA and I were talking about her high school years. It hit me that I was her first teacher in high school. We laughed about how I was her first impression of what high school would be like for four years. Well then it hit her that I would be her last teacher in high school because she was my TA for her last class of the day. I have never had that happen before and since I don't have a 1st period anymore I don't see it happening anytime soon. To think I was someone's first and last teacher in high school, which spans 4 years, is kind of amazing. By the way, our staff is about 100+ (before budget cuts) so it seems like a pretty improbable task.

Each one was a little different than the other, but that's what made them so memorable. I had a die hard Red Sox fan, great athlete (she won female athlete of the year) and a budding conservative Republican (she admitted she watched Hannity a few times to me), the jock who hadn't changed since his freshmen year when I had him (except he was a lot bigger now), the TA who would work hard and do everything and when she was done would go to sleep, and the liberal hippie TA who I suspect always knew I was right, but didn't want to admit it. It worked, it was like my own version of the Breakfast Club. I will miss these students and I know I can't replace them, but hopefully I can find some to do the job.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inside Four Walls: teacher gifts?

Ok so every now and then a student will give me a gift at Christmas or the end of the year (not like my wife who teacher's kindergarten). And every now and then a student will bring me some food, maybe a cookie or cupcake. No big deal.

Today, I found out that one of our teachers got the ultimate gift from a class/students (not sure how it broke down). Seems that this teacher is a big fan of the Final Fantasy game series. And apparently, the new one just came out on the Playstation 3. So he was telling his class that even though he would like to play the new one, he wasn't going to buy a PS3 just for the one game.

So what did his class (or some students) do? They went and bought him a new PS3! For those who don't know the price of one of these, it is about $250 - $300. Yeah, puts my cookies to shame.

I talked to him after school and you could tell he really wasn't sure about keeping it. I don't know what I would do if a gift like that came my way, especially if it wasn't from an entire class.

Music Non Stop: Bullet for My Valentine...they did it again

I have talked before about how I didn't want to like this band because I thought they were just another emo band. Their last release Scream, Aim, Fire was a solid album with tons of catchy songs and great musicianship.

Their latest, Fever, is really good. Is it as good as Scream, Aim, Fire? Probably not, but it is still a really good album. They cut back on the amount of screaming vocals in favor of the clean singing. But it's not as bad as Trivium's The Crusade .

I also mentioned their first single, The Last Fight, and how it definitely wasn't a rock song. It caught my attention in a big way. Here is the video;

So that isn't the best song for me. Right now it is Your Betrayal. This song is very catchy. The intro, the chorus, everything. I had a student who heard about 15 seconds of this song proclaim it was "a great song". Here is the video for this one;

So does that put this album #1? I don't think so, but I wouldn't be surprised if it made it into the top 5 again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Last Laugh: Baldwin Park pro-illegal immigration rally

Ahh illegal immigration. It pulls at the hearts of liberals everywhere. They want to open our country to everyone. They just want to make a living for themselves. It's not their fault Mexico is poor. Despite the fact that almost two-thirds (in some polls more) don't want amnesty for illegals and want them out, some cities are passing the "boycott Arizona" resolutions.

In Baldwin Park, they passed a similar resolution and wanted to have a pro-illegal immigration rally on Saturday. There was just one one showed up. In fact, within minutes of the 11 start time, they started to take down the stage and speakers.

The mayor said it was because their were other events going on in the city, but maybe it's that people don't think the Arizona law is that bad.

Remember the Time: Eveready Energizer - Mark "Jacko" Jackson

So I saw another one of the Energizer Bunny commercials a few minutes ago and I realized how long that bunny has been going, since 1989. That's a pretty long time for a company to be using the same ad campaign.

But what was it before the bunny you ask? How about Mark "Jacko" Jackson Eveready Energizer? Don't remember the name? He was the Australian Football player that ran around screaming knocking over batteries. If you weren't around when they aired, they were really popular. As a kid we would pretend to be him running around saying "Oi!" all the time. Fun for us, probably annoying to our parents. Here is one of his many commercials from the 80's;

The guy just looked crazy and he had an accent. What more could kids want in a spokesperson? How about muscles? Yeah, he's got those too. He was a winner in my book and I was sad to see him gone. Replaced by a bunny. I was surprised that he was gone, but I think that I am even more surprised that the bunny is still going. For those that don't remember, here is the first Energizer Bunny commercial;

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Sun Always Shines of T.V.: Grey's Anatomy & Private Practice

Ok, I think everyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows that my favorite doctor show was Scrubs. Well I might have to make room for at least one more maybe two. I like my shows to be on the more light-hearted side of things and these two aren't most of the time.

I won't go into a deep description of either of these shows because they are pretty well known, Grey's Anatomy wrapping up their 6 season and Private Practice their 3rd. In fact, I don't even know some of the characters names still. I got into these shows through my wife. She was/is a big fan of G.A. Then P.P. spun off of that show.

I will say that these shows have some top notch writing. I can't tell you the number of times I have been passing through the room and catch about a minute of the show and I am hooked for the next hour.

The season finale for G.A. is a perfect example of this. I just came in from working out and was heading for the shower. It was 9:10 and I was tired and had to get up early for work. I asked my wife how her show was going and she said great. I turned and within a minute I was in. It was a 2 hour finale and I didn't even make it to the shower until 11:00...and we have Tivo! A couple of the minor characters get annoying, but out of a cast of 10+, I can put up with a few duds.

On a side note, the finale I saw last night was probably the best episode I have seen from this show, and I saw last years finale as well.

Private Practice is the same way. Watch a second...hooked. Both shows do something that more shows should do. They have the teaser 2-3 minute intro then the opening credits (which is nothing more than the titles you see above) and then the show is back on for the next 10 minutes. This is huge. In a world of Tivo and channel surfing, if a show can get you to watch 10 consectutive minutes, they have won.

Finally, the season finale of P.P. was a shocker as well, who saw Del dying after his wife blew up this season. Don't feel too bad for her though, she was a meth addict and the explosion almost killed thier daughter.

That's it of this one. I have been watching these shows for awhile now and can't believe that whenever I watch just a few moments of the show I can't stop watching until it is over.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Last Laugh: Phil Jackson agrees with Arizona law...and the people protest

Phil Jackson. Now if you don't live in L.A., Chicago, New York, or follow basketball you might not know who this guy is. Let's just say he has coached a team to 10 NBA titles...that's pretty good. He has won 4 in L.A., including last year. They are looking pretty strong right now.

The people love him here in L.A., that is until he talked about the Arizona law. Jackson was quoted as saying;

“Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the legislature] say ‘we just took the United States immigration law and adapted it to our state,’” Jackson said.

I told him they usurped the federal law.

“It’s not usurping, it’s just copying it is what they said they did, and then they gave it some teeth to be able to enforce it,” Jackson said.

Then he mildly scolded the Suns.

“I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff. And I think this one’s still kind of coming out to balance as to how it’s going to be favorably looked upon by our public. If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws, if I’m not mistaken. Where we stand as basketball teams, we should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”

Sounds pretty reasonable right? Just enforcing federal law at the state level and then telling sports teams they shouldn't get involved in politics.

Well here's where it gets funny. L.A. goes nuts over this. They protested outside Staples Center before a practice and a game. And their reason?

Several dozen people waving signs and American flags gathered outside Staples Center before the Lakers-Phoenix Suns game in a protest over Lakers coach Phil Jackson 's refusal to criticize Arizona's new anti-immigration law, Los Angeles police said Monday.

That's right they were protesting because he didn't come out and criticize the law. How dare he. How dare an American citizen have an opinion.

It shouldn't shock me, by the way, this is the way the left operates. If you disagree with their are done for.

One more thing, Phil Jackson is a democrat.

Thoughts Without Words: We apologized to China?

Someone try to explain to me why we are apologizing to China for a law that hasn't even started yet? Why are we apologizing for a law that is almost identical to the federal law? Why are we apologizing to China for "possible discrimination" when the law clearly says you can't do that?

And why are we apologizing to China who has probably the longest list of human rights violations today?

Inside Four Walls: Who says chivalry is dead.

Great moments in male chivalry.

Today in my Geometry class they were doing homework with about 15 minutes left in class (it was a block day). As I was walking around I saw Student F (female freshman) next to Student S (male sophomore), I somewhat snuck up and saw Student S with a cell phone out. Bingo! referral time. Student S says it's not his, it is Student F's and she was showing him something.

So I pull them to the back and find out Student F walked over to show him something on her phone. But technically, I could send up Student S for it because it was in his possession. I tell him that if he takes the phone he would get a detention and since he has never been caught with a cell phone he would get it back right away to give to Student F.

I tell them that if Student F gets the referral then she would get an all day in school suspension because it was her 5th time getting caught with her cell phone. She is looking scared. I told them to decide or I would send them both up. Student F tells Student S to just take the referral because she can't have the suspension. Student S isn't sure so I start to fill out another referral.

Student S stops and says "wait, wait I know what I am going to do." What came next was probably to biggest swerve I have ever witnessed (and I watch pro-wrestling growing up). He tells me "Send Student F up, it was her phone."

Her facial expression was priceless. She thought he would take the fall for her and he threw her under the bus.

Who says chivalry is dead.

By the way, for those that might think Student S got away, he wouldn't have gotten in trouble since he wasn't texting or anything else and it wasn't his phone. I have dealt with his counselor before and let's say that one is a little soft on punishment. I think he will have more trouble trying to get back on Student F's good side, since he was "courting" her.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: United Nations = United Abomination

This past week some UN human rights "experts" came out and said the new law in Arizona might violate international laws. According to the "experts";

The law could result in potential discrimination against Mexicans, indigenous peoples and other minorities in Arizona, the U.N. officials said.

So according to the UN, then the US federal law is also in violation of international law. In fact, using this thought process illegal immigration doesn't exist anywhere. Better tell that to Mexico then.

This comes off the heels of the UN electing Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women. What is that you ask? Well according to the website, the commission is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women."

That could be a problem for Iran. They really aren't know for their gender equality. According to a group of female activists in Iran;

"women lack the ability to choose their husbands, have no independent right to education after marriage, no right to divorce, no right to child custody, have no protection from violent treatment in public spaces, are restricted by quotas for women's admission at universities, and are arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for peacefully seeking change of such laws."

And to top it all off, they feel that the recent earthquakes were caused by the way women dress.

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader.

Yeah that makes sense. I think Dave Mustaine had it right when he called the UN a joke in his song United Abominations. Just look at these lyrics...hard to disagree with facts.
Within striking distance from Ground Zero sits a smoldering international cauldron, the United "Abominations" as it were. Born to prevent wars, it froze in the face of disaster and stood silent while terrorization to hostage of the world
In a mire of hypocrisy, the U.N. ignores sex crimes by its "blue helmets", and enables terrorism; so in the end it's failed and the U.N. is where our
so-called friends get to stab us in the back and we pay 22% of their tab to host our
enemies here at home.
NATO invaded Yugoslavia to end ethnic cleansing, there was no U.N.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after 9/11, there was no U.N.
Saddam Hussein violated 17 U.N. resolutions; The U.N. was asked to join the
war in Iraq. The U.S. invaded, Ha! there was no U.N.
Libya bombed a discotheque in Berlin killing Americans, there was no U.N.
Iran funds Hamas, and attacked the U.S. in the
seventies, there was no stinking U.N.
Facing War without end, looking into the future, there was no more U.N.
Love him or hate him, Dave nailed it on this one.

Now playing: Megadeth - United Abominations
via FoxyTunes

Tirades of Truth: Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut

I reviewed Superman Returns awhile ago and called it a sequel to Superman 2, which I loved. I heard about the Richard Donner Cut, but never saw it...until now. For those that never heard about what happened, basically in a nutshell Donner was making Superman 1 and 2 at the same time. They stopped filming on 2 to see how the first one did. It was a success, so of course they decided to mess with it and dumped Donner.

Well not only did they dump him, but they wanted him gone from the credits as well. So they needed to shoot 51% of the movie with another director. They did, but Donner had shot about 80% of his version already. That material was finally put together and released. Going into this movie I knew it would be choppy because of how it was made. It was basically taking bits and pieces of 2 films and pasting them together.

The end result? A movie better than before. I loved Superman 2. I considered it to be one of my favorite comic book movies of all time. There were a few things though that I never liked though. The first was the campy street people during the main fight in Metropolis. I don't want to see a guy on roller skates getting blown away or a man on the phone getting knocked over. It really took away from the overall tone of the film. Well my friends...that's all gone! It makes the scene much more powerful and entertaining...the distractions are gone.

For a list of all of the differences head over to Wikipedia, there is a nice list there (go down to The Mankiewicz script/original Donner shoot)

The Good
The Eiffel Tower scene that opened the movie is also gone. That scene was used to set up how Zod and his buddies were released from the Phantom Zone. Well in Donner's version, it is one of Luthor's missiles from the first movie that does it. I think that works better because it really ties the two movies together. The original was supposed to end with Zod and friends being freed from the Phantom Zone, setting up a cliff hanger for number 2.

Instead, this one opens with Lois figuring out Clark is Superman by drawing Clark over a Superman picture. Corny, but kind of like Superman Returns when the kid realizes Clark is Superman too. So what does Lois do to prove it? She jumps out of a window of the Daily Planet. It's great to see how Donner shows off his super speed to get down there and stop Lois from hurting herself and then back up in a flash. Great...better than firing a white laser from his finger (more on that later). It's a scene like this that really sets the pace that this version was going to be a bit more serious than it turned out to be.

Did I say more serious? How about how Lois finally discovers Clark's secret is done better here too. In the original version, Clark trips over a bear rug and drops his glasses into a fire and he gets them out. There is no burn, so Lois knows he is Superman. Cute. But in the Donner version, she shoots Clark with a gun! Really?!? Yep. This is probably the scene most people complain about because it was used with test footage. You see Christopher Reeve's hair change style a couple of times and the set is pretty...empty (look at the photo). It would have been great to see this done, but to be honest it really didn't bother me that much. Like I said though, most people complain about this one scene the most. Take it for what it is, a major plot element that never made it to the final shoot, but was necessary in the Donner version.

Marlon Brando's scenes are all back in place. They dumped him as well to save money and boy was that a mistake. I can't describe how much better he does of conveying the messages to Superman than his mom did in the original. Also what makes these scenes better is Lois is wearing Superman's shirt and Superman flies in his clothes...awesome!

The final confrontation in the Fortress of Solitude is shorter, but better. Gone is the stupid finger lasers, giant S getting thrown, and everyone having the ability to make a clone of themselves. I was/am a huge comic fan and this never sat well with me. Nowhere in the comics did these powers exist and yet there they were. It's a short sweet version that wraps up the film nicely.

One final note on the good, Gene Hackman and Terrance Stamp were much better in this version. The banter back and forth was better than the original. This is probably because Hackman wasn't brought in for the new director after Donner was dropped. So they had to paste a story with old footage.

The Bad
The ending isn't as good. The whole turning back time doesn't work for me. And it wasn't supposed to be used here either. When they went with the turn back time in number one, they were going to make a different ending for number 2, but it was never shot. I never was a huge fan of the "super-kiss", but it worked better than the turning time thing. In addition, by turning back time a few things were messed up.

Superman bringing the flag back to the White House is one of the best scenes in all of comic book cinema, now it is gone. He gives a great quote too;

Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sorry I've been away so long. I won't let you down again.

Sends chills down the spine as he is saying this over the White House with the American flag. This is probably the scene I missed the most.

It also messed up the continuity of the film. Clark still gets beat up by the diner bully. And he goes back and kicks his butt in the end, but if he turned back time then no one would remember Clark coming into the diner before because it never happened. Now I believe Donner would have done something to explain it (maybe having a different ending than the time thing again) because he shot these scenes and is actually an extra in the diner! It just doesn't work. Plus that's the last scene! Huh?!?!? that's how it ends? Yep.

I also missed some of the quotes. I mentioned the ending quote, but also the quote right before the big fight is changed. In the original version, Superman asks Zod; "General? Would you care to step outside?" Classic. He comes off as being confident and knows it annoys Zod. You know that this is going to be on big fight too. Has the throwback to the old westerns when they would ask this.

In the Donner version we get; "Haven't you heard of freedom of the press?" Really? That's just bad.

Final Thoughts
The Donner Cut is the better version overall. The story might have more bumps in the road, due to the lack of finishing the movie, but taking out all of the "campy-ness" and stupid powers makes this the definitive version of Superman 2. I really wish they could have finished this movie the way it was supposed to, I would have loved to see how it was going to end.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Free Speech for the Dumb: Woody Allen

Woody Allen, he is supposed to be this great director/actor, but I never saw it. He's a weird one though, having a relationship with his wife's adopted teenage daughter. Then he ended up marrying her. Not weird enough? He is defending Roman Polanski for having sex with a 13 by saying;

“He’s an artist, he’s a nice person, he did something wrong and he paid for it,” Allen continued. “They (his critics) are not happy unless he pays the rest of his life. They would be happy if they could execute him in a firing squad.”

Really? He paid for it? How? He hasn't spent a day in jail for the crime...yet somehow he has paid for it.

But believe it or not, that's not the quote that is getting Mr. Allen here today. It is his view on the president and how he should run things;

In an interview published by Spanish language newspaper La Vanguardia (that we translated), Allen says “I am pleased with Obama. I think he’s brilliant. The Republican Party should get out of his way and stop trying to hurt him." The director said "it would be good…if he could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly."

Wow...just wow. I got nothing.

The Last Laugh: San Diego concerned about losing tourists

Classic liberal moment. San Diego decides to "make a statement" about Arizona's new law and boycott the state. So what do the people of Arizona do? Give them a taste of their own medicine and boycott San Diego.

San Diego's response?

That has tourism officials urging Arizonans to consider the resolutions as merely symbolic and local politics at work.

That's was all for show. Please don't take the whole boycott thing seriously.

Then there is this classic hypocritical line from the president of San Diego Convention and Visitors, Joe Terzi;

"We're in a very tough environment already because of everything else going on, and we don't need another negative impact to our industry," ConVis President Joe Terzi told the Union-Tribune. "This affects all the hardworking men and women who count on tourism for their livelihoods, so we’re saying, don't do something that hurts their livelihoods."

So it's ok to boycott Arizona and affect all of those people's livelihoods, but not San Diego's.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Music Non Stop: Ronnie James Dio

For those that didn't know, Ronnie James Rio passed away today after a bout of cancer. What can I say about this man that hundreds already have? Not much. In fact, if you go to right now, the first page is covered with other musicians mourning the loss of one of the most influential musicians/vocalists ever.

I would be lying if I said Dio was still a big part of my musical tastes, but I can't ignore that he did shape them. My brother had Dio's first solo album, Holy Diver, and it was a classic. It wasn't power metal, just metal. I was impressed and it really opened the doors to my musical tastes. Years later, when I saw that Dio had a greatest hits album, I had to pick it up. Solid metal.

His affect on the metal community? Well, he had to follow Ozzy in Black Sabbath, which he did a fine job of. And to top it off, Dio is considered to be the inventor of the metal horns. Imagine metal today without the horns.

He came back to Black Sabbath, but instead of calling it Black Sabbath again they went with Heaven & Hell (after one of his Black Sabbath's albums). He became this ambassador of heavy metal in his later years, making appearances in movies and tv. A new generation got a taste of Holy Diver, when Killswitch Engage covered the song and even did a video similar to the original.

I could go on for awhile talking about him, but I will let his music and colleagues do the talking from now on.

He will be missed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Last Laugh: Eric Holder

I guess this isn't as much funny as it is sad. Here is the US Attorney General, who has been bashing the Arizona law for the past 2-3 weeks, testifying before a panel admitting that he hasn't even read the law yet. How sad it that? Oh it gets better...the bill is only 10 pages long! That means if he were to have read one page a night her would have finished about 10 days age. That is unacceptable to have a top US official calling a law unconstitutional without even reading the bill...what a fool.

Some of my favorite highlights;

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I have not had a chance to -- I've glanced at it. I have not read it.

POE: It's 10 pages. It's a lot shorter than the health care bill, which was 2,000 pages long. I'll give you my copy of it, if you would like to -- to have a copy.

That's a knockout right there. Instead of staying down, Holder opens his mouth again.

POE: You have some concerns about the statute. And it's -- it's hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you hadn't even read the law.
It seems like you wouldn't make a judgment about whether it violates civil rights statutes, whether it violates federal preemption concepts if you haven't read the law. So can you help me out there a little bit, how you can make a judgment call on -- on that, but you haven't read the law and determined whether it's constitutional or not?

HOLDER: Well, what I've said is that I've not made up my mind. I've only made -- made the comments that I've made on the basis of things that I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team looking at the law.

That's right...our Attorney General got his all of his information and opinions from watching the tv!!! God help us all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Inside Four Walls: more freak dancing

I have talked about freak dancing on teacherblogger411's site before, so why not mention it here...especially since it is in the news thanks to Miley Cyrus. This video is of her dancing with her producer from a movie. Now what makes this worse is that the guy is 44 and she was 16 at the time...that's just wrong. But the video itself shouldn't shock any teacher that has been to a dance where this is common place. In fact, I would say it is a little tame at times...she is standing up, most girls are bent over at a 90 degree angle.

So for those that have never seen freak dancing...what do you think? This is what your kids are doing at most dances now.

Thoughts Without Words: Nancy Pelosi = Hypocrite

Separation of Church and State, it's something that the liberals like to bring up a lot. Put the Ten Commandments up in a government building, you will hear about it. Put a cross or nativity scene up and you will hear about it.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi comes out and tells a group of Catholic leaders to;

"The people, some (who) oppose immigration reform, are sitting in those pews, and you have to tell them that this is a manifestation of our living the gospels,"

then I guess that's ok. This is a total violation of church and state, yet not a word from any of the media.

That's not the hypocrisy of it all though. She has the audacity to tell them that "this is a manifestation of our living the gospels." I guess she forgot the part in the Bible where it says that homosexuality isn't right. Or that abortion is wrong as well.

Oh well, it shouldn't surprise me that much. And it shouldn't surprise me that no one in the mainstream media hasn't picked up on it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Inside Four Walls: Update on School Discipline...or lack thereof

So I decided to follow up on the incident from Student S the other day. I emailed his counselor and wanted to know why Student S only got a 1 day suspension for lying to a sub and cutting class. His response? It was his first referral for cutting a class. And yes, he did lie, but it was still only his first referral for cutting a class. The counselor saw these as one offense, not two separate ones.

I didn't reply, but then at lunch a teacher said if I didn't write him up for lying to go ahead and write him up for it. So I did. I sent up Student S for lying to a sub. Now in our student handbook it talks about students not being willfully disobedient to a teacher and identifying yourself to a teacher or administrator when asked. Clearly, Student S didn't do this.

So I get a call from the counselor and he asks me if I read his email. I say yes, but the lying wasn't on the referral that way he could have his "paper trail" that we are always told about. He sounded a bit annoyed by that comment, but he didn't do anything else.

I saw him after school and he tried to tell me again that it was one offense and that the lying really wasn't that important because it lead to the class cut.

I don't know if I will take it higher or bring it up later in summer with the principal before the new school year.

Free Speech for the Dumb: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Our dear governor. What happened to him? He promised to come in and clean up California and he is leaving it in worse shape than it was when he took over from Grey Davis. Now, I know some say he was powerless against the liberal legislature, but he could have stood up to them when they presented those enormous spending budgets...he didn't.

His liberal colors came through more and more with the passing of "final solution" global warming bill, which might hurt our state even more, and the signing into law of Harvey Milk Day. This next quote shouldn't surprise anyone then.

While speaking at a graduation in Atlanta, the governor had this to say about the new Arizona law;

"I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend," Schwarzenegger said. "But with my accent I was afraid they would try to deport me."

Seriously, it's stupid comments like these that have totally blown this law out of proportion. Maybe his wife would be pulled over for all of her traffic problems, but that's another story.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Venting the Anger: School Discipline...or lack thereof

Ok, so I wasn't at school last Thursday or Friday. Today I got the reports back from the substitute and noticed that two of my students left for a track meet at 1. That seemed a little early because most of the time it is 1:20. So I looked at the list for release times and noticed that there was no scheduled release time for track that day. Bingo! Class cut...two of them.

So I am writing up the referrals for the two students (Student A & Student J). I didn't know that Student J was in track so I thought just cut. So I am telling this to my TA and she tells me it wasn't Student J it was Student S. So I proceeded to write out a referral for Student S and thought the sub just misread the seating chart.

So I send up Student A & Student S for a class cut. I tell the class that I almost sent up Student J on accident. Then another student speaks up and says, "that's no mistake, Student S told the sub his name was Student J."

This was interesting to me because on top of a class cut, Student S lied to a substitute, a big no no in any district I am sure. As I am calling his counselor, my TA tells me that Student S also asked her if she thought he could get away with ditching the class.

I am pretty excited now, I have Student S who told my TA he was going to cut, lied to a sub, and then actually cut class. I explain it all to the counselor and wait.

Student A comes back with a simple 1 hour detention after school. I was a little upset, but that counselor has a reputation for going easy on I wasn't too shocked. I read the referral and it said "student was confused about release time". Clearly she wasn't...but whatever.

Student S comes back in smiling saying he was pretty sure he would get caught, but whatever. I asked him for his referral and noticed he got only a one hour after school detention! And the same excuse was on there about being confused about the release time. So nothing happened for him lying to the sub.

I am getting sick and tired of things like this happening. How can anyone justify this? A student blatantly lies to a sub and cuts a class...his punishment? Oh that big one hour detention (actually 45 minutes). What has he learned? That he can cut class and not get into serious trouble. Oh and he can flat out lie to the person in charge and nothing else.

I usually don't bring stuff like this up to the principal or VP, but I think I might on this one. You can't justify a one hour detention for that. I have had students come back from getting detention for tardies with candy from the counselors too. I am sorry, but can anyone say reinforcing negative behavior? The counselors have been horrible on discipline this year. When a student is excited to go to their counselor to get into trouble, there's something wrong with that.

And what does that do to us classroom teachers? It takes away any power we have. The students know they can screw around and have nothing happen to them. Or they play good cop all the time. I had a student who was late all the time, the candy kid. So he was on crutches for a week and showed up late. They had 15 minutes to get to class, which is plenty of time, since you can get across campus in 5. So I send him up for being late. What happens? His counselor tells him "If you can convince Mr. W to take away the tardy, I won't give you a detention. I am sure he will, you are on crutches". Yeah how fair is that to me? I didn't change my mind either, in case you are wondering.

It is this constant coddling that is killing education. If it's not the parents, it's the counselors and administrators.

Music Non Stop: Anthrax

I am seriously done with this band. They have to be the most drama filled band I know. A quick recap...they dumped Joey Belladonna in 92 for John Bush, to create a more aggressive sound. John Bush was perfect for this new sound. Sound of White Noise, Stomp 442, Vol. 8, and finally We've Come for You All are classic albums. I would put them up against any of Anthrax's earlier albums. And John Bush nailed the songs. The guy is a classic metal much so that I put him #2 on my list of metal vocalists. If you want more proof that he was a perfect fit for Anthrax, check him out on The Greater of Two Evils, an album of early Anthrax music with Bush on vocals. The songs from Persistence of Time sound so much better with Bush...and they should because that's when Anthrax started to change its sound.

They did a crappy reunion with Belladonna and pushed Bush aside. After the reunion, they kicked out Joey again and tried to get Bush back. He said no. So they went out and got a Bush-clone in Dan Nelson. They recorded Worship Music. The samples released were great. Faster, heavier...awesome.

For whatever reason, Dan Nelson was let go and Worship Music is still a finished unreleased album. So Anthrax gets back John Bush to start doing shows with again. The Big Four Tour is announced and Anthrax is scheduled to play, with Bush. Anthrax wanted Bush to re-record Nelson's lyrics and release the album. Well, Bush wanted to do something new because he wasn't apart of that process. He was quoted as saying he would release an EP with some of those songs, but not the whole thing.

So I wake up this morning to see that Belladonna is back with Anthrax and Bush is out again. I am sick of it. Belladonna can't be aggressive enough for this new Anthrax. They need to call it a day. I guess I will always have those 5 albums to look back on.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Right Now: what a weekend

Still trying to recuperate from this past weekend
  • 6 hours of yard work, put in new border
  • Disneyland for our son on his birthday
  • Saturday work school
  • our son's 2nd birthday party (on Saturday)
  • Mother's Day

I need a vacation

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: What happened to our schools & country?

I haven't been in education very long (7 years), but if you count in all of my years in school I have seen a lot. So what is going on with our schools? We blame teachers for everything (that has been discussed on this site for awhile, so I won't open that up again) and parents seem to get a free pass on raising their kids.

But what about these two stories? From Darren, seems that 5 high school students were sent home for wearing American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo. WHAT?!?! Could you imagine the outrage that would come from the left if students wearing a Mexican flag on the Fourth of July were sent home? Racist they would cry. So why do this happen and nothing? Where is the ACLU now?

The other story from Joanne Jacobs, and elementary school to a field trip, but only took the black students in the class! How is that fair? Once again, imagine a teacher only taking white students on a field trip. The NAACP would be there so quick they would probably beat the bus back to the school.

These are just two examples I found today alone. But it seems as though, traditional values and American pride is being taken away even destroyed little by little. We are so worried about offending someone or making someone feel bad about themselves.

About 6 years ago, a teacher told me he thought America was like the Roman Empire and would fall and become a 3rd world country. I laughed it off, telling him common sense would right the ship. However, everyday that passes I tend to think he is more right than wrong.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Free Speech for the Dumb: Contessa Brewer

How have I not had this lady on here before today is beyond me. Contessa works for MSNBC and obviously is a left leaning diehard journalist reporter person on tv.

She has been in the news before for bone headed things like mistaking Jesse Jackson for Al Sharpton.

She was quoted telling a guest on her show that the GOP should; "Until they change policies – I mean, that's what it took for conservatives in Great Britain to win – is a real change in focus away from morals and values into things that affect people's daily lives."

This girl is going to be a regular on here I think. Anyway onto the latest. Seems that Contessa was a little sad that the failed NY bomber had times to the muslim world;

"I get frustrated...There was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country."

I am sure that if this person had ties to the Tea Party she would have said the same thing right?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Free Speech for the Dumb: Bill Maher

Ohhh Bill Maher, you are so far left I don't even think MSNBC would put you on TV. This quote comes from ABC Sunday, where Bill Maher was comparing the new Arizona law to WWII Germany. George Will called him on it by saying;

"Mr. Maher, just said -- if i heard him right -- that conservatives basically are racists and like government intrusion only against people that aren't white," said Will.

So Maher decided to clarify himself;

"I would never say and I have never said, because it's not true that Republicans, all Republicans are racists. That would be silly and wrong. But nowadays, if you are racist, you're probably a Republican. And that is quite different," explained Maher.


Music Non Stop: new Limp Bizkit

I know this is about a week late and I really don't know why I didn't post it the day I heard it, but better late than never I guess. So here is the first released song from Limp Bizkit's new album Gold Cobra, Why Try.

Initial thoughts:
  • back to old Limp Bizkit sound, gone is the "mature" LB that put out The Unquestionable Truth Part 1
  • catchy hook and chorus. It's always been their strength minus Results May Vary
  • same can be said about the lyrics. With TUT part 1, there was some depth and some touchy subjects like priest abuse. You aren't finding it here...
Imma rock it like some TNT
blow it up like a G with a dollar bill 3
all the G's on your fleas don't lie
f*ck with me and you'll fry

The song has peaked my interest a bit more. I can't believe I am waiting for a Limp Bizkit album. The new Soulfly was a let down, maybe this will pick up some of the slack.

Venting the Anger: Sense of entitlement?

This picture popped up over the weekend at one of those anti- illegal immigration rallies. It hasn't been confirmed as real or fake yet. It might be photo shopped or it could be someone just trying to stir things up, but the message I believe is real.

Not only do we see a sense of entitlement in the classroom more and more, but it seems as though everyone is feeling that way lately. I do feel that these people are coming here and are expecting to be handed a lot of things to them, like health care. And why not?

The Mexicans aren't the only ones that are doing it though. For some reason, they want to draw the attention to themselves. The Asians have this down to a science almost. A teacher at our school had some relatives come over from China to live here. The aren't citizens or anything, but they are here legally...the beginning process. Anyway, when they arrived by plane, the first stop was to a lawyers office to fill out papers to begin receiving free benefits.

Social Security is going broke, yet they receive every month SS benefits! How is that possible? Why are we giving SS money to people who have never paid a cent into? Worse yet, giving it away to someone who isn't even a citizen?

It comes down to this, the liberals want to help everyone to feel good about themselves. And in the process this country is being destroyed. We have lost our identity and find ourselves in trillions of dollars of debt.