Monday, August 30, 2010

Inside Four Walls: interesting story part 2

So a couple of days ago I talked about an AP teacher who had to have a parent conference after her son's acceptance was revoked after he earned a D in the course. So how did it go?

Well, to make matters worse it was a minimum day and who wants to stick around after school on a minimum day? Much less to a parent conference...for a student who graduated already! He told me the mom was giving dirty looks to anyone who would look at her. And she never really specifically came out and said 'change the grade', but that's what she wanted.

The highlight came about 20 minutes or so into it. The son said he pushed himself by taking 2 AP courses his senior year and it caught up to him. So the principal starts talking about how they relaxed the requirements so more students could have the opportunity to take an AP course. He was talking about how it helps out the students when the mom got up and interrupted him. She starts raising her voice saying, "you're not helping him, you're holding him back!" She kept saying that, then she opened the door to the main office and said it again loud enough for everyone to hear her. Then she stormed out of the building...oh yeah she left her son in the room.

He said it was awkward for a few seconds, then the principal started asking the student what his plans were etc. The teacher told him it wasn't anything personal. The student knew he just didn't cut it.

So what did we learn? Nothing. The mom had nothing to stand on. His grades were bad and he scored a 1 on the AP test. Yet, the teacher still had to go in and sit through this on his own time. Why did I become a teacher again?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Inside Four Walls: How old am I going to be?

So in my Geometry class it's all freshmen, except for about 4 sophomores and 2 juniors. One of the juniors, I have had all 3 years. He got an A in Algebra B, but then he crashed hard in Geometry and failed...bad. So of course he blames me for failing. And yet, he took me again. I talked to his counselor and he told me he tried to get the student to take another teacher, but he said no.

So the first couple of days he makes these comments like "are you going to teach this year?" and things of that nature. I let it slide and explain to the freshmen that we work hard, but after the state test we go from a sprint to a walk. I can tell there are some that look worried.

So a couple days later he tells me his birthday is coming up on the 10th. I say hey mine is on the 14th. We start talking about what we are going to do and then I ask him how old he will be. He tells me and I ask him how old will I be. So he uses some logic and says "ok you graduated in 95 and I am assuming you were 18." I tell him yes. So he starts thinking ... you know that looking up to subtract look. And finally he says, "you're going to be 30". At that point all the freshman start laughing at him. And I start chuckling. Then he gets defensive and says "wait wait wait...ummm oh wait you're going to be 28!" If there were any freshmen not laughing before that, they were all laughing now.

So I ask the class "How old am I going to be?" And in unison they all say "34". They are all still laughing when I say "Now I would just like to say this might have been the reason that he failed my class last year...maybe." The freshmen got a real kick out of that one. The junior laughed at it too.

Talk about timing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inside Four Walls: interesting story

First week is winding down, but this story doesn't involve me or deal with this year.

An AP teacher has a conference on Friday with the principal, his dean, and a parent from last year. Seems like the student ended up with a D on his report card and the school revoked his admission. So obviously the parents are coming in to demand to know why he got a D and if he can change the grade to a C.

Seems like a big challenge considering he failed the final & got a 1 on the AP test. So why is the parent wasting this teacher's time by coming in to discuss this? Why is our administration even bothering to take this as well? Clearly, the student is at fault. He didn't study for the final or the AP test or he would have done better. Seriously, a 1?

Once again, instead of the parents being parents and coming down on their child for not preparing, they are redirecting it at the teacher.

Should be interesting. I will update this one when the meeting is over.

The Last Laugh: CA loses again...

Yesterday the feds announced the second round winners of Race to the Top and CA lost again. This is hilarious to me because we sold ourselves out when we adopted the new national standards back in August. And when the discussion came up educators were saying the new national standards weren't as rigorous as CA's. Heck even CA said, we don't need to adapt them, ours are just fine by themselves."

So now we lose again and what about those great standards we have to adopt now? Does anyone realize how much money it is going to cost to buy books that are aligned to the new standards? We just bought new books 3 years ago to have them aligned to CA standards. It is going to cost millions of dollars per district, that they don't have!

California looks pathetic. Here we are this huge state that if we were a nation, would be the 8th richest in the world. But you wouldn't know it because we are billions in debt and can't come up with a budget. We do so much to impress Washington to get their approval, the climate bill, the new standards, green jobs...and for what? Obama is laughing at us. Heck, CA put him in the Whitehouse and he won't even look at us. Great job CA!

Venting the Anger: Muslim suing Disneyland

So if you live in southern CA or if you have been watching the news you have probably heard of Imane Boudlal. She is the Muslim Disney cast member who is suing them for discrimination because she can't wear her hijab at work.

Here is what is pissing me off about this. The lawyers and Imane make it seem like Disney said you can't wear it at all. But that's not the case, they said she can work in the back and wear it there. That is an accommodation. She wants to wear it, Disney is telling her how she can.

Of course, that isn't good enough. We see her courageous words;

“I’m not going to accept to work in the back,” said Boudlal, 26, of Anaheim.

“I’m not here to scare anyone,” she said. “I’m here to do my job.”

No one said you were there to scare anyone. But if you know about Disney, they have a ton of dress code requirements that you sign off on when you decide to work there. So now this lady wants Disney to make an exception for her? Why is she special? If you can't work in the back, because "I’m not going to accept to work in the back", then quit your job!

I was watching an interview last night and it was a great example. What if she decided to get a job at Hooters, then decided to wear the full black robe. Would she expect Hooters to change their dress code?

This is a huge case. Private businesses should be able to have a dress code that they can enforce. If she wins it opens up the floodgates and all the other crap that comes with it.

Why is she so special? They offered her another place to work and wear her head scarf, it's reasonable, take it or leave it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Inside Four Walls: 1st day in the books

So 1 day down and whole bunch more to go. It's difficult to tell what kind of class you have for a few days, but I did make some notes;
  • Geometry classes are packed (37 or so in all 3)
  • tons of freshmen
  • Senior Algebra 2 will be interesting...
  • I think I only have like 2 Juniors...maybe?
  • Like Darren, I am going to start working out more. I have 6th period prep, so I will try to use our schools ellipticals or come home and get an early start before my wife & kids come home
I have also been blogging a ton lately, let's see if that keeps up.

Free Speech for the Dumb: Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt. Most woman think he's hot and most men want to be like him. Well maybe he should just keep his mouth shut and look pretty. Because when discussing the BP oil spill he said this;

"I was never for the death penalty before - I am willing to look at it again," the 46-year-old said when asked about the situation.

So you can kill people and it's ok? But if you spill some oil into the ocean it's worthy of death? Seems a little unbalanced. Why do people value nature over human life?

Brad Pitt has always done a nice job of giving back and helping those in need, but this seems a little off.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: Teacher fired for Facebook post

I have been debating whether or not to post this, but I figured why not? By now, most of you have probably heard about the high school teacher who was fired for a Facebook post in which she said;
the residents of Cohasset "arrogant and snobby," and said that she is "so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset schools."

So I gotta say I am shocked she was fired/resigned. What happened to freedom of speech? She was at home on her own page, expressing her opinions and she is fired.

I have stories about my classes and school on my blog, but I keep them anonymous. But does that matter? This teacher wasn't talking about a single student, it was a general comment. So am I in danger?

Are teachers now "on" 24/7? Are we not allowed to have a personal life? Are we not allowed to express our thoughts and opinions? Sure seems like it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Who Decides: Comeback albums you should own

So what is a 'Comeback album'? For this post, it simply means an album that was released after a crappy/almost career ending album. There are a lot of them out there, but I will keep this list somewhat short. So how can a band release a career ending album? Easy, they try to reach a bigger audience or experiment with some new technique or just put out a half assed effort. For this list I will list the "comeback album" then the "crappy/almost career ending album" in parenthesis.

Fear Factory - Mechanize (Transgression) Yeah Transgression was a transgression. Oh the horror. Fear Factory are known for blast beats, double bass, heavy riffs and some killer vocals. With Transgression we got little to none of that. Actually, it was more reminiscent of Fear Factory during the dark days of metal. Yes there are a few hidden gems in there (the title track for one), but this was made for a tour with Megadeth and they didn't really put much time into it. Seriously who allowed Echo of My Scream to be on this album...and let it go for 7 minutes?

So enter Mechanize. This is more of a classic FF sounding album. From the intro of the title track you hear the industrial sounds that take you back to Demanufacture. The riffs and drums are back to where we love them. Most fans have embraced this album, but it is such a return to form that it had to lead this list.

Trivium - Shogun (The Crusade) Matt Heafy has some pretty big goals in life. When Ascendancy kept getting praise he said he wanted to be as big as Metallica. That's pretty big. Enter The Crusade press tour, where he decided to now say he wanted to be bigger than Metallica. So how could they do that? Simple, lose all of the screams and go with clean vocals throughout. How did it sound? Like a Metallica rip-off. It was so bad. In fact, during the tours they changed all of their old songs to be clean vocals about selling out. Musically, it is straight metal, no metalcore or anything like that. It didn't really sound like Trivium, not that they are built as a metalcore band, but it didn't have that feel. It felt too simplistic. Some songs were good Entrance of Conflagration and the stellar instrumental title track. But what really killed this album, besides the lack of screams, was the intro to Unrepentant it is such a rip off of Through the Never by Metallica. So bad. It's a good album and will probably make The Clone list of Metallica, but it almost killed Trivium.

Enter Shogun. This is a masterpiece of an album. Combination of screams and clean vocals and return to their earlier sound. Lots of double bass action and guitar solos that were just great. And how could they top the title track of The Crusade? Simple, Shogun...a 12 minute song that has all the feel of a Master of Puppets type track without the feeling of copying it. Shogun would probably rank higher on the list of favorite Trivium albums, but won't pass Ascendancy because it seems too convenient to see them return to form. People wrote Trivium off after The Crusade, but this album is a must own.

Shadows Fall - Retribution (Threads of Life) After the great album that was The War Within, Shadows Fall was signed to a record deal with a major label, Atlantic Records. Threads of Life was their first album and they assured everyone it wouldn't be a sell out album. It would maintain the brutality of The War Within. Well it didn't. Like Trivium, this album included more clean vocals and really went for the more simplistic straight metal approach. Most songs were the same; fast verse, slow chorus, fast verse, slow chorus, solo, slow chorus. After the album sold so poorly, they were pretty much dropped.

So what did they do? Over-compensated? Maybe, but Retribution could be their best album in terms of guitar solos...scratch that. It is their best album in terms of guitar solos. This album really does a great job of making every song memorable. There is little filler on this album, if any and each song contains a freakin' awesome solo. I will say this, it topped the list of best albums last year for me. If you want some more praise of this album, go HERE, for some earlier comments.

Megadeth - The World Needs a Hero (Risk) This is the example for comeback album. Risk wasn't a risk, it was a huge mistake. But was it a bad album? Yes & no. It was a horrible Megadeth album. It sounded nothing like Megadeth. Sure the first two songs might have come off of Cryptic Writings, but that was it. Everything else was pop rock. And that's where it's not a bad album, it's just not a Megadeth album. Kind of like Motley Crue's self-titled album without Vince Neil. Great rock album, but wasn't Motley Crue without Vince Neil singing. What made it worse was the hype for the album. It was supposed to be a return to form for Megadeth. Cryptic Writings had some sellout type songs with Trust and Almost Honest and they were going back to metal. Well...somewhere from the press to the recording something changed. Because gone was the metal and back was the sellout pop rock. Dave blamed Marty for the change in direction and producer and I believe Dave on this one. Marty has turned into a Japanese pop star, while Dave has tried to redirect Megadeth back to metal dominance. Plus it was easy to convince Dave because he really wanted to beat Metallica in terms of numbers.

So what happened? The World Needs a Hero. I love this album and it is probably in my top 5 Megadeth albums. I talked about it in depth and reviewed it before HERE. It starts off with a song that could have been on Cryptic Writings, but the solo is nothing special in terms of technicality, but it feels perfect. There are a few "radio" friendly songs here, but Recipe for Hate...Warhorse, Dread and the Fugitive Mind, Return to Hangar, When, and even Kill the King (which was supposed to be on the album, but was put on a greatest hits album before this was released) are striaght up thrash metal that could have easily made it onto Rest in Peace or Countdown to Extinction. What makes this album for me is the solos. There are songs where they solo for over a minute. And it is the classic trade off solos that Megadeth was known for. Bottom line, the whole album is great, but the second half is classic Megadeth. This was the beginning of Megadeth returning to thrash. Some fans bash it, I love it.

Before I end this, some of you might be asking yourselves "where's Metallica?" I don't think that St. Anger was a "crappy/almost career ending album". It debuted at #1. And honestly at that point Metallica had lost most of the "true fans" from the Load albums. So Death Magnetic isn't a comeback album for me because Metallica never left.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inside Four Walls: More CST results...

So a couple of days ago I talked about my CST scores and how they were off a little bit from my predictions and what not.

So today, after our meeting, I went back and decided to count the number of A's & B's in each of my periods and then the number of A's & B's that were proficient or advanced. Then I took those two and divided the proficient/advanced A's & B's by total A's & B's. I felt that this would give me a good feel of if the course was lined up with the CST results. I hate seeing a basic, below basic, or far below basic and think they got an A or B in the class.

This will be listed number of A's & B's that were proficient or advanced : total number of A's & B's
2nd period Algebra B - 10 : 10 (100%)
3rd period Algebra 2 - 13 : 15 (87%)
4th period Algebra 2 - 5 : 11 (45%)
5th period Geometry - 14 : 18 (78%)
6th period Geometry - 6 : 9 (67%)

A couple of notes and observations. Anyone can see the sore thumb is 4th what happened? Well for one I had a student who was out for a month with an illness who missed a complete chapter...not a big one, just series & sequences (there was sarcasm there by the way). So she took the test not knowing an entire chapter. And I had another student in that same class that was one of those, I will study super hard for this test and forget about it after the test. In fact, there were probably more than one, but she stuck out in my mind during the year. So if you take out those 2 you would be closer to 55% or higher. For my 6th period, 2 of the B students were literally one question away from a proficient. The score needed to be a 350 and they were at 348.

So what do I get from this? Basically, it tells me that my course is pretty close to what the results are going to be. Some might ask about the C students that were proficient or advanced and there were a few, probably 5 to 10. And those C students are the ones that don't do the homework and blow off a project. They know that they can raise their grade 7 - 10% based on their CST score. Besides, we have had plenty of talks about A's & B's not lining up with their CST score. So in those respects, I am happy.

Inside Four Walls: wanna know why districts go broke?

So last week I told you our superintendent was fired because the district wanted to move in a "different direction", well today we had our back to school district meeting and it was somewhat entertaining.

The first thing was that our board has already replaced Dr. Simms with some guy who has been an interim superintendent 13 times. So for most of us, it seems like they had some guy lined up before they pulled the trigger.

Second of all, the new guy talked about how he was there to work and that he will make some of the tough decisions that haven't been made before...that didn't get a good reaction from anyone in the room by the way.

The funny thing was that I was thinking, "what if no one read the email Dr. Simms sent out or doesn't get the Tribune, they have no clue she was fired." And about that time, 2 people sitting next to me asked where/what happened to Dr. Simms. So that was funny.

Most people didn't like the fact that the board didn't send an email or letter to the staff to explain anything...we were all in the dark.

So back to the title...why districts go broke. Well we found out today (through the grapevine) that Dr. Simms signed an extension of her contract in June of this year...yeah less than 3 months ago. So we also heard she will be getting her salary for 18 months. On yeah on top of that we are now paying an interim guy to "make some hard decisions". So for a district that is already in the red, we are now more in the red because on paper it looks like we have 2 sups.

So, why did we sign her extension? Was everything good and then she pissed someone off? No one knows. I doubt we ever will, but it's moves like this that cause mistrust between the board and the teachers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inside Four Walls: AP tests are now easier...great

This one seems to have gone relatively unnoticed, but it seems as though AP tests are going to be graded differently now. Here's how the tests used to be graded;
Under College Board policy to date, AP scores have been based on the total number of correct answers minus a fraction for every incorrect answer — one-fourth of a point for questions with five possible answers and one-third of a point for questions with four possible answers. The idea is that no one should engage in "random guessing."

Now...just number wrong. So you can guess your way through the test. Is this really surprising anyone?

The schools have been working harder to make AP more accessible to all students, even those that don't belong. So what has been happening to the AP scores overall? Dropping of course! So instead of the College Board keeping their standards high, they lower their expectations.

I have talked in the past about schools lowering their expectations to motivate students and "help" them out, but what is this telling the students? Simple, if you can't do it, don't worry we will lower our expectations so that you feel good about yourself.

I don't teach any AP courses, so I am curious about the reactions of teachers that do. Will this help or hurt students? And how does it affect your course?

Music Non Stop: new All That Remains & the Autumn Offering

Ok so musically speaking, this has been a "ho-hum" type year for music. Nothing has really grabbed my attention for very long. There have been a few, Bullet for My Valentine & As I Lay Dying, but even those aren't as good as their previous albums.

So today we got a new song from All That Remains. Now their last one, Overcome, wasn't bad. It was different than the great The Fall of Ideals. I think the main thing that stuck out for me was the delivery of the vocals, but it was still a solid album.

The title track from their new album, For We Are Many, really sounds like a left over song from The Fall of a good way. The vocals are reminiscent of TFOI and musically it is in the same vein. This could be the year that All That Remains tops my top 10 list.

The Autumn Offering has another new song out as well. About a month ago, they released a teaser of the album and I was really impressed with the direction of the band. They used to be a metalcore/thrash band, then they went to a more pop/metalcore approach. Now it seems as if they have embraced (pun intended?) a sort of melodic death metal/metalcore sound. I don't hear too many clean vocals on the two songs they have released. Oh yeah, I said two because they released another new song, Synapse, on their Myspace page. Here is the video for the first song, Born Dead;

Free Speech for the Dumb: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg

So it's early this morning and I just ran across this article from the Sacremento Bee about Darrell Steinberg's plans to raise income taxes in CA and cut sales taxes. Makes sense for the Dems because since we are being hit with furlough days and losing jobs still no one is buying anything, so there is no revenue being generated by the high sales tax. So there plan? Increase income tax because that's a guaranteed thing.

No one likes taxes, especially nowadays. They increased taxes two years ago and they took it to the voters to decided to keep the tax increase for two more years (about $16 billion) with a spending cap or let them expire after 2 years (instead the four total they wanted). This became propostion 1A. So let's here what Darrell Steinberg said about it;

But the other side would say that voters last May said they did not want to extend the current higher level of taxes beyond next year by rejecting Proposition 1A.

Then that gets to a different argument, because I don't think voters rejected 1A because of the taxes. The Democratic constituencies opposed it because it had a rainy-day fund and what they considered a spending cap.

This shows how out of touch liberals are with people. This thing was voted down 65% to 35%. And yet according to him, it didn't have to do with taxes it was about a spending cap. I would love to see some of his constituents call him out on this one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inside Four Walls: CST scores are in...

Ok I know I don't like evaluating my performance as a teacher based off of one test, but I am curious on how they do. And yet this year I looked at something that makes me think these tests aren't as good as some might think.

Anyway, back in April I posted my predictions for the CST scores (whole thing is HERE). But to refresh your memory here is what I predicted for the tests;

As for my prediction, with a little rationing behind it. I took the percentages of students that have a C or higher to come up with my numbers. These are the top percentages I can see of my students being proficient or advanced, because we all know basic or lower doesn't count.
  • Algebra B - 53%
  • Algebra 2 - 60%
  • Geometry - 53%
I would be happy with those, but my gut tells me they will be lower, not higher. Oh well, let's have them take the test and then wait til summer for the results to come in.
I love that last line about being lower not higher. And it looks as though my gut was right.

Algebra B - 53% just like I predicted.

Geometry - 39% off by 14%. (40% Basic)

Algebra 2 - 36% off by 24%. (41% Basic)

So this year I looked at the scaled scores. It worked out to were if it was 350 or higher that was proficient or advanced. I noticed a bunch of 340, which are basic. So that was my moment of zen so to speak. All it takes is one mistake to miss it and that's it. An adding mistake, multiplying or whatever. These tests really can't say if they understand the concept because they are rooted in elementary math skills which I am not supposed to cover. Oh well.

So I put in those border kids and my new percentages were

Algebra B - 60%
Geometry 50%
Algebra 2 - 43%

still off, and it doesn't matter because nothing is taken into account just the scores themselves. Now comes my favorite part when we get our score back with our names next to them with everyone else's scores. I just don't want to be at the bottom. But with those Geometry scores I might be.

I don't know what these say about me as a professional. Does it mean I only know how to teach Algebra B? I don't know. I don't know what to read into it. I knew my Algebra 2 scores would be low because I had quite a few Juniors and they really don't try anymore. As for my Geometry classes, one period was really smart and the other...not so much. So I am not surprised.

I think for next year when I do my predictions, I will count 75% and up, not any C. That might make it a bit more accurate. Until next time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Inside Four Walls: CA Bill

I have already talked about the lunacy that is, and you can re-read it if you want to, but the fact they are considering a similar idea for all high school teachers is ridiculous.

Seems that our state legislature can't come to an agreement on a budget, but they did vote for SB 1422 in both houses. So it's off to Schwarzenegger for his signature or veto.

So what does it do? Well if you remember doing evaluations for professors in college then it's basically the same thing.

So why complain? Well if you think that high school students can evaluate a teacher without bias from their grade then you probably aren't a teacher. Most students will either say "the teacher sucks" because they didn't get the grade they want or say "they are the best" because it was an easy class and an easy A.

And...? I'm sorry, but I went to school for at least 6 more years than my students, how do they know what to look for when evaluating a teacher. It's not based on method, but emotion and opinion.

And...? In times when we are struggling with balancing district budgets should we even consider something that is going to cost even more to print up these forms?

But only the teachers will see them. For now. I can actually see administrators looking at these with the teachers and indirectly using them in their evaluations.

The one thing that pissed me off more than anything on this was this line;

High school teachers would decide whether to distribute such annual surveys to their students, whose responses would be confidential, seen only by the affected teacher, and not become a part of any personnel record.

Put simply, lousy teachers could just say no.

I am not a lousy teacher and I wouldn't pass these out. If I did, it wouldn't be used seriously on my part. Maybe after state testing when we are "taking a break" from the rat race that is the CSTs.

There is an all out attack on teachers right now. If you don't believe me, then you are living in a dream world. The media, parents, and administrators have found a way to divert any attention from themselves and place it on us, the teachers. I am blessed to come from a school where the administrators back the teachers as long as they have "ammunition". But the media has launched an all out attack saying we are to blame for everything. The parents will scream just as loud because it takes away any sort of accountability they have. Dark times my friends.

What can Brown do for you?: I got you now!

Ok, this story isn't in order, but the next few UPS stories are kind of depressing because it's usually me getting in trouble. So I figured I would tell a good radio story.

Radios at UPS were gold. You could talk to other sups and crack some jokes. Early on I realized radios were meant to have fun with. I would hear the A-Team theme song and tons of impersonations. So it was good fun. No one really complained either, that's what made it great.

This story takes place while I was still in the sort aisle (2nd time) and we got new radios. These had id numbers so when you talked everyone could see the radio number. It didn't bother us and we had to write down our numbers as we signed them out most of us just wrote down the wrong number so we couldn't be traced.

After Lou came into the building he wanted the radio chatter to go away. No more impersonations, no more theme songs. PJ had the best though. He would hold his button down and just make a "blah blah blah blah" sound as long as he had air in his lungs. It was so funny. What made it funnier is when he did it.

A full timer would ask for something and then PJ would do it. You couldn't break in was so hilarious. John really hated it. He would get on the radio and be like "I'm gonna find out who this is and write you up." Of course this just made us laugh more. It was like those cartoons with Elmer Fudd.

So when we got the new radios John was excited. It didn't stop us though. One day John was on the radio and PJ jumped in with his "blah" sound. John was like "I got you now!" He was walking around the building trying to find us. Of course we were kind of smart too. On the way out to load side. I switched mine out with a new radio from the check out room, no one was there. PJ was even better. He switched his out with the quietest supervisor in the building.

John saw us and said "Gimmie your radios, let me check your numbers!" We handed them over to him. He thought he had us, but then he had this look of 'how did they do it?' on his face. He looked up and said "I know you dickweeds are the ones making the noises and I am going to catch you." We walked away and just started laughing at what he said.

I know it's not the most mature thing, but in that building you needed things to make you laugh. I will have to write a story about the impersonations that went on there.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Venting the Anger: Illegal Immigration

***Updated 8-15***
Ok so I find it funny that this story ran in a more "conservative" paper, but it looks like the Daily Bulletin is trying to make us forget about it. It has been removed from their website completely. It's not in the archives or anywhere. Here is a duplicate copy from their sister paper Redlands Facts, LINK.

I feel like our country doesn't exist anymore. When did everyone in the media start feeling sorry for the illegals? First, we stopped calling them illegal aliens and it became illegal immigrants. Then, it became undocumented immigrants. Like we aren't supposed to think they are breaking the law because they are just undocumented.

I hate the argument that says if you are against illegals you are anti-immigrant. And then of course the classic "America was buikt by immigrants". I don't have a problem with LEGAL immigrants or immigration at all. Get in line though. Don't sneak into our country and then say you deserve to be here while you wave your Mexican flag. My dad and his family came here as a boy and went through the whole green card process to become a citizen. So why can't these people? Why are they special?

So what brought this up you might say? Well in our local paper today a story was run about an illegal who is spending her summer "engaging in activism". This is a piece that would usually run in the L.A. Times, that's how one sided it is. The first thing is I read is;
It's been a busy summer for Gladys Castro, a Kaiser High School graduate who was accepted into UC Berkeley.

But she hasn't been filling out school registration forms or preparing to leave home for the fall semester.

Castro, who cannot apply for government loans because she's an undocumented student, has spent her days either protesting or planning protests in favor of immigration reform and federal legislation that would create a path to citizenship for high-achieving students who are in the country illegally.

"I'm just not scared anymore," Castro said. "I feel so much (more) empowered now that I'm out of the shadows."
that's right she's not scared. And she's empowered to come to our country and make demands of it. Even though she doesn't pay taxes or give anything to help us out. Talk about a free hand out. It gets better;
"It gets you really, really angry," she said. "All we're looking for is a chance, a chance at the American dream, and becoming Americans."
Yeah they have a process for that! If you have been here since 8 and are now in college you could have been a citizen by now if you would have gone through the legal process!!! This is arrogance at it's highest form. She's angry because she can't do it her a little baby!

Here was the final straw for me though;
Castro hopes to have enough money from her family and through private scholarships and donations to pay for spring semester classes at Berkeley.

Beyond that, she doesn't have a plan.

"Cal State was an option, but it wasn't right for me," she said. "I wasn't going to settle for Cal State."
That's right Cal State isn't good enough for her. Like she is owed something better. I went to a Cal State, it was good enough for me and thousands of other legal students! What pisses me off is here we have someone who is breaking the law doesn't hide and nothing happens. Our administration, state and federal, are all guilty of not enforcing basic U.S. laws. Our government will sue a state for enforcing federal immigration laws, but won't go after sanctuary cities that refuse to enforce laws. This country is in trouble.

Thoughts Without Words: Foxtrot

I will probably do a bigger write up on this classic comic strip, but I had to mention today's strip. Foxtrot has always been on the edge of nerdom with tons of strips referencing science fiction, computers, and current events. Today's was no different.
That's right. They are making fun of the double rainbow guy I posted about a few weeks ago. Now before you say that's old, remember this strip is only once a week now. Still a very funny sort of inside joke for internet users.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Keep it in the Family: Happy Birthday Aubrey

I don't talk about my family a lot on here so various reasons, but I do want to wish my daughter a happy 4th birthday. And yes, this is the time she was born 4 years ago today.

My favorite memory from that day was at about 7 PM or so the doctor was talking to me, my parents, and my in-laws about how much longer ( we got there in the morning like 6 AM or so). The doctor was like "she's got a lot of time. Relax go do something and come back in a couple of hours." The parents were like "what? are you kidding?" and staring at each other when I decided to break the silence with "Ok, then I am going to go to Del Taco, I'll see you guys later." The parents were open mouthed and then the doctor chines in "Sounds great, I would love to go, but I can't leave the hospital."


The Last Laugh: Really? This is the best you could find?

Via Joanne Jacobs;
To argue for $10 billion in education aid, President Obama brought two laid-off teachers to the White House. Both Shannon Lewis, a special education teacher in West Virginia, and Rachel Martin, an Illinois kindergarten teacher, were laid off because of declining enrollment, not funding cuts.

Martin is an “excellent, excellent” teacher who was laid off because enrollments had dropped and she was lowest in seniority, said Matteson School District 162 Superintendent Blondean Davis. Davis offered Martin her old job back the day after she returned from Washington, saying enrollment is back up.

Lewis was laid off by her own mother, who’s the county superintendent, because there are fewer students in the district.

West Virginia has not been forced to lay off or furlough any teachers or other state employees, reports the Charleston Daily Mail. Last year, West Virginia cut state education funding, filled the gap with federal dollars and used the savings for other government needs. That’s likely to happen again this year.

My favorite part...
There must be two teachers in this country who were laid off because of funding cuts. I know California’s got plenty. You’d think Obama’s people could have found them.
I usually try to add in some comment, but this works just as well as anything I could say.

Right Now: Reaction Boxes

ok, so this blog doesn't get super hits like some of my favorites, but I get about 30-40 people a day visiting. And I know that maybe 20% of those will leave a comment. So I am trying these reaction boxes. If you would as to be so kind a click the box you like that would be nice :-)

If they start working I am going to have to change the names...kind of generic for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Inside Four Walls: finally organized

So I broke down and went into my classroom yesterday for the first time since school ended. The desks were all messed up since they cleaned my room, so I will have to do that obviously, but I was there for something else...organize my cabinets.

I moved into a new room last year and couldn't believe the amount of storage in the new room. I had 2 filing cabinets in my old portable, so this was huge upgrade. I didn't go through anything, just sort of transferred it over from the cabinet to the new drawers.

As the year progressed, I realized I had too much old stuff (tests, worksheets, etc.) that I hadn't used in years and probably wouldn't use again. In fact, tell me why I had 3 different practice finals for one class? It's not like I have time to give all 3.

Add into the mix that I have streamlined my tests, all multiple choice like the state tests, I needed to organize them. So for about 2 hours yesterday I went through and organized my 3 subjects by 1st and 2nd semester. And at the same time I dumped anything I hadn't used in 2 years.

In the end I actually have 2 empty drawers and I had 2 desks full of old tests/papers that were both about 2 feet high. I felt good when I was done. Now I have to get it all out. I am on the second floor and the school decided to chain the big trashcans to the steps, so I have no clue how I am going to get all that trash out of my room.

But on the positive side, I haven't felt this organized since the first day I taught. How bad is that? Oh yeah I'm entering my 7th year of teaching...nice huh?

Who Decides: Top 15 Phineas and Ferb songs

I have been doing a lot of Phineas and Ferb stuff lately, but oh well it's a great show and deserves the recognition.

Every episode seems to have some sort of musical number in it. They are all relatively short, but catchy and memorable. I have narrowed the list down to 15. This was pretty tough...almost as tough as making the top 10 albums of 2008. It amazing to see these songs sung by the actors because they sound awesome. Although to be fair the voices for Candace and Vanessa are singers in real life (Ashley Tisdale & Olivia Olson) and it shows as their songs are usually the best.

Honorable Mention: I Really Don't Hate Christmas
This gets this spot because this is from their Christmas Special and it was really the first episode I watched and picked up on how great it was. This song is a classic. Dr. Doofenshmirtz hates everything...except Christmas. Listen to everything he hates though...

15. I'm Lindana and I wanna have fun - 80's all over this one. This sounds like it could have been recorded by Tiffany or Debbie Gibson. Classic beat and vocals. Music is right on too. What else makes this great? It's sung by Vanessa's voice Olivia Olson.

14. Disco Miniature Golfing Queen - great disco number which really shows how talented these guys are when writing songs. It has all the earmarks of disco and it works.

13. Gitchi Gitchi Goo - this has to make it since this was the first song for the show. It was actually episode 3, but the Disney execs loved it so much it was the debut episode. This could have been a radio hit if it was released during the right time.

12. Squirrels in My Pants - So we have a disco song and this is straight up classic rap, nothing gangsta here, just great beats and hilarious lyrics.

11. Mom It's Your Birthday - so this is a comedy show and to change the tone of it in the span of 1 minute is pretty impressive. They do it more than once, as you will see, but this one is special. I find it funny how Candace's mom is so touched by the song that she doesn't realize Phineas and Ferb built a huge stage and satellite hook up.

10. J-Pop - this was just released and it is already a classic. The Japanese techno beat, the anime characters, and Candace being confused at the end...perfect.

9. Mix and Mingle Machine - I hated this song the first time I heard, but it is so catchy it gets stuck in my head every time I hear it now. The chorus, the witty lyrics, and infectious melodies makes this one a keeper.

8. Backyard Beach - I hated this song even more than the last one. It's a combo of reggae and some rap. Like Mix and Mingle Machine it has a beat that gets stuck in your head and you end up singing it all the time.

7. Missing My Nemesis - another momentum changer here. With flashbacks to Perry fighting Dr. Doofenshmirtz to watching Perry put his hat moving for a song. Best part is when my kids watched it, my 2 year old pointed at Perry and said "Perry sad"

6. Busted - So Candace and Vanessa are the professionals right? So how do you think this song turns out? It's great. The vocals are perfect. They do some harmonizing in it as well. It is a hard genre to put in, if anything it goes more to a showtunes type song...I know weird.

5. I'm Me - Another Vanessa song. This one is just a straight up rocker. When I first heard it I thought it was Kelly Clarkson singing. Olivia has a powerful voice and lets loose on this one.

4. Come Home Perry - Another sad one. But not as sad as the next one. Nice melody and chorus. It might not be as good as some of the others, but it is catchy and really relaxing.

3. Little Brothers - did I say that was relaxing? This is relaxing and with the video, probably the most touching song on this list. Reminds me of Anthrax's N.F.B. (Dallabnikufesin)...huh? In that you can make any song sad by throwing in an acoustic guitar. The lyrics in here are funny if you listen closely.
Even when you break my toys, you will always be my
Little brothers, cause you're younger, we're related, and you're boys.
Even when you're making to much noise, you will always be my
Little brothers, cause you're younger, we're related, and you're boys

classic line...cause you're younger, we're related, and you're boys...too much.

2. A-G-L-E-T - probably their best achievement in terms of writing. You are listening to a song that is all about the tip of a shoelace. How great is that? And with the corny "We're gonna tie the world together?" perfect!

1. Carl/Undercover Carl - I know it's two songs, but they are equally great because they are the same song with different lyrics. It has that sort of heavy metal fist pumping music.

Hope you enjoyed the list. I know I missed some good ones, but I had to keep it somewhat low...I wanted to do 10 originally.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: Who says chivalry is dead part 2 cont.

A couple of days ago, I posted a shining example of male chivalry in which a man got out of the way of a foul ball and let it hit his girlfriend. Good times right? Well in a move everyone saw coming, she dumped him. Make matters worse for him, she announced it on CBS' The Early Show.

This guy is screwed and can't take any future date to a baseball game because if he is spotted...he is going to be ridiculed like there is no tomorrow.

So what did we learn today? Take the hit. You get a bruise, but more importantly you score major bucks in the relationship bank department.

Inside Four Walls: Our superintendent just got fired

Don't know what this means for us. It's strange because our sups kind of stick around until they want to leave, so to have one fired is big. Add in the fact it was a special board meeting and that we start meetings next Tuesday...just too strange.

So what worries me as a teacher, this quote;

"We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction with leadership. We talked to Dr. Simms about it and agreed that it would be in our mutual best interests for her to move on and for us to move on," said board member Nancy Lyons.

Why a different direction? WVUSD is one of the top performing districts in the state. The only thing I can think of is how they want to handle all of the budget shortfalls. There was a committee report that suggested closing down 2 schools and reconfiguring one more. At the same time, board members have said they will not close any schools at this time. Maybe that was it?

Most of the teachers I talked to thought she was nice and approachable and actually had that "old Walnut" feel to her. This is big though. What a way to start the year off.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Free Speech for the Dumb: Keith Halloran

Wow two Free Speech for the Dumb tags in one day... liberals must be busy today.

So by now you have probably heard of the plane crash in Alaska that took the life of former Senator Ted Stevens and four others. What you might not of heard is what Keith Halloran ( who is running for a NH state house) said just hours after the crash.
“Just wish Sarah and Levy (sic) were on board,”

Nice one. Once again, what is going to happen here? Nothing. Liberals are so hypocritical when it comes to things like this. When they do it, it's free speech. When conservatives or anyone else does it, it's racist or homophobic or hate speech.

Free Speech for the Dumb: Sen. Harry Reid

I can't believe Senator Reid hasn't made this tag before, but oh well.

Senators are supposed to be the smart ones in the political world. There are only 2 per state, it's a prestigious seat. So how can Senator Reid say something like this?

"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK?" Reid said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"Do I need to say more?" he asked.

Really? That is one huge racist comment. Are you saying any Hispanics that are Republican are stupid?

Worst part is that besides Fox, I doubt this will make news anywhere. Imagine the uproar that would be caused if a Republican came out and said he couldn't understand how any African Americans could be a democrat because of the loss of jobs, high rate of poverty, and poor education? Do you think anyone would pick that story up?

What can Brown do for you?: Wanna know something...

So it's been awhile since I had a UPS post, but you can catch up HERE.

Pen 6 was running fairly smooth, but like all belts changes started to happen. Tito was pulling 4 cars on a belt to car line which is pretty impressive. He was a good employee and so I did what we were supposed to do and try to make him a supervisor. So became a sup, so his route was divided up. One of my two splitters was quitting so I would have to train a new employee there too. Things weren't looking too good for us. Oh yeah and one of my other employees wanted to go to the sort aisle because he had school. The writing was on the wall for us, but being my personality I didn't want to accept it.

Also new was our building manager Chuck. He had a different philosophy than Lou. Lou felt like if the sort aisle was clean with no missorts then load side would go down as soon as that last package came out. Chuck was a complete 180. He felt that we needed to just get the packages out of the feeders (semi trucks) and into the building as fast as possible then worry about getting them in the right package cars.

So naturally one of Chuck's pet-peeves was turning off the pen belt. If there was a spill or the loader needed a second to catch up he would turn off the belt and reset it. There was a delay of about 3 seconds. That was usually good enough. If there was a lot of missorts or an irreg on the belt we would turn it off longer. Now by turning it off out there, it would stop in the sort aisle. This caused some problems for the sorters. Chuck told us never to turn the belt off for any reason. This was just one of the many things Chuck and I disagreed on.

So one day my other splitter called in sick. So I was down one employee. Tito was training the new guy. And the loader that replaced Adam (went to the sort aisle) was still learning his stops. I was splitting, but we were getting specials and tons of missorts. So we kept turning the belt off and on to catch up. The sort aisle complained so enter Chuck.

He came up and wanted to know what was going on. So I told him that I needed at least one more employee to cover the sick splitter. He response "He's going to be gone in a few weeks anyways and you are getting a replacement for him. Get used to it." Classic management response I know.

So he leaves and we keep drowning in packages. The belt starts giggling and sounding like it is going to explode. So I turn the belt off and we start putting stuff away. Chuck returns with another supervisor who knows the belt, so I am assuming he is going to help load. Nope...makes too much sense. He tells me "you can't do your job as a supervisor so I am bringing in someone to do your job. You worry about the splitting and loading, you aren't in charge of the belt."

Now I don't like to be told I'm not good at my job especially when the odds are clearly stacked against me. So I go back to the "ok then, you got your wish" mode. John comes up and starts asking me questions and I'm like "don't ask me I'm not in charge." He asks who is and I say Chris, but Chris walked off after Chuck left...never really knew why.

The belt is grinding and the belt is covered with packages and they are stacked up about 3 feet. I can't split the belt anymore, neither can Steve. We keep trying, but since the belt can't move (too much weight) the packages keep backing up. I give up...yeah just gave up. Call it quitting, call it making a point, but I wasn't going to bust my balls for this. I was in charge of the belt, I saw a problem and addressed. My management team didn't respect me enough to listen and now look at what had happened.

I look at Steve and say "want to know something? I'm not splitting the belt anymore." He looks back laughs and says "that's ok, I haven't been splitting for about a half hour now." And with that we both started laughing.

Chuck ended up bringing Adam up to help...about 3 hours too late. It was a big CF. And all Chuck could say was "if you wouldn't have turned off the belt this wouldn't have happen." Ohh this was just the start of my year with Chuck.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star: Who says chivalry is dead part 2

Not a continuation from that great Geometry story, but another shining example.

Let me set up the video, boy takes girl to baseball game. Foul ball hit towards boy & girl. What is the boy to do? Get out of the way so the ball hits his date. Classic.

Read more about it HERE.

Remember the Time: WebTV

ahhh the dawn of the internet. I remember taking a sociology class at Mt. Sac when our professor was talking about the internet and what it was capable of doing. Now remember it is like 1995/1996 the internet was still relatively unknown. He was talking about professors recording their lectures and how students could just watch from their home. At the time it sounded impossible, now...common place almost.

My parents really didn't want the internet, but I did. So I was very interested when I saw this thing called WebTV. So I picked it up and got home and set it up. When I hit connect I was introduced to this screen that would become second nature to me for the next 5 years or so.

Now the video is 6 minutes and you know sometimes it took 6 minutes to connect. I remember starting it, walking out to do something, coming back and it still not connected. Remember the speed of this guy was a 33.6 kb/sec modem. A couple years later they put in the classic 56k modem which was standard for dial up. I had both in fact I only had the 33.6 one for a year or so before I got the 56 K. There was no hard drive so you never had to worry about getting a virus. But there was only 2MB of RAM...I can't believe I actually wrote that. The 56K version upped the RAM to 8 MB. They had a wireless keyboard which was nice and wireless at the time wasn't that widespread so it was kind of cool. At the same time they released the 56 K version they released the WebTV Plus.

Are you kidding me? This thing was definitely ahead of its time. Watch tv and get information about what you are watching at the same time? This is what companies are trying to do right now. What killed WebTV? It had grand expectations, but because of the 56 K speeds they couldn't do what they needed to do. I never got the WebTV Plus, probably because it was $100 more dollars than the regular classic.

Microsoft bought WebTV and I actually expected it to get better, but it didn't. It got put on the back burner and never really developed into anything more. Then actually released a new WebTV called MSN TV 2. It had broadband connections for streaming videos and some other things. But it looks dead to me now. My grandma has this version and the thing is good for email and MSN TV pages only. Why? The browser is basically IE 5...yeah 5.0. Internet Explorer is now on 8.0. Another reason is that the memory is only 256 MB.

WebTV will always have a special place in my heart. I never really noticed the slow 56 K speeds until I moved out of my parents house, they had cable internet by then. I still have my 2 old WebTVs and I have no idea what I am doing with them. I gave my grandparents the WebTV classic with the 56K modem to let them experience the internet. It was towards the end of my grandpa's life, but I will never forget him when we hooked it up..."so you mean I'm online now?" I don't think he saw a big deal for it, but my grandma still uses the newer MSN TV 2 for email and weather.

Music Non Stop: Neil Diamond

Ok so for you regular visitors you might notice the weekly artists on the side bar to the right. So you might be shocked to see that this week Neil Diamond tops the list with 17 times. Now, I could say my wife was listening to iTunes and those were her songs, but I have to admit it was me.

I really don't have a problem with Neil Diamond. My wife introduced me to his music in college. I made fun of him at first because the way he sings is more of melodic talking. I would always do an impression of him when we listened to him. I thought I was pretty good, but my wife probably thought otherwise.

Then along came Scrubs. I was watching it one day and saw an episode where all of a sudden Turk sings Jimmy Crack Corn as Neil Diamond. Hilarious! I remember my wife not thinking it was that funny, but I rewound it a couple more times and laughed some more.

Scrubs actually put Neil Diamond into the show a couple of times. They played his music in the background and had a small storyline about a Neil Diamond the end of this video to watch Turk sing America...he's so good at it.

I actually don't mind listening to Neil Diamond anymore and he does have a place in the history of music. BTW, the first Neil Diamond song I heard and imitated was Play Me.

I still think I do a good job on the impression.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Tirades of Truth: Phineas and Ferb - Summer Belongs to You

So I have already talked about this classic show awhile back, but this was only their second hour long episode, Christmas special being the first. Most episodes are 15 minutes long, expect for a few which have run 30 minutes. You can tell you are watching a good show when you don't realize you have been watching for an hour. In fact, I was watching the clock wishing it was even longer. So much to talk about, but I will just do some bullet pros/cons.

  • hour long (duh), but it didn't feel like the story would be out of place for a normal episode.
  • watching Doofenshmirtz interact with Major Monogram
  • Vanessa joining the gang for most of the trip
  • Candace and Vanessa talking about Ferb's name
  • Perry, Major Monogram, and Doofenshmirtz teaming up to find Vanessa
  • O.W.C.A., classic
  • JPop song with the cast drawn in anime was hilarious
  • watching Phineas give up. Seems simple, but it was really well done to watch him sort of break down and give up.
  • Isabella motivating him to get up and find a way out

  • Clay Aiken and Chaka Khan was kind of stupid, but it was nice that they kept referring back to it since Candace wasn't there
  • Rubber Band song was too long
  • Candace becoming Jeremy's girlfriend, not too bad but wasn't necessary
  • poor Isabella

All in all a great episode. It's hard to list cons because it was so well done. I am looking forward to the next special/movie where Phineas and Ferb discover Perry is a secret agent and have to help him out. Sounds awesome!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star: Blackstar Warrior

This is a fan-made trailer for a blacksploitation movie starring Lando Calrissian called Blackstar Warrior. Really well done. Lots of nods to the classic Star Wars movies as well. And it also hits the 70's with those female Stormtroppers. Must watch for all Star Wars fans.

Music Non Stop: Dan Nelson

I never thought I would do a post on Dan Nelson, lead singer of Anthrax for about a year, but his voice is something special for me. I won't go into too much of it, but he replaced Joey Belladonna who replaced John Bush who replaced Joey Belladonna. Want some more confusion, John Bush replaced Dan Nelson and then Bush was replaced by Joey Belladonna just a few months ago.

Now, I don't think that Nelson can write music, but his vocals are identical to Bush's. And since I love Bush's vocals, Dan Nelson is appealing to me as well.

So when I saw that he released some tracks with the guitarist from Arsis, it peaked my interest. The songs kick ass. Honestly, I would love to see this band do something instead of Nelson's Blackgates. It sounds like a little bit heavier version than Anthrax. Check the songs out HERE.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Right Now: one more week

Just got back from a quick trip visiting my grandmother. We have one more week until we have to report back to work. Some quick thoughts;
  • will post some UPS stories this week ( I talked to Trevor last week made me realize I hadn't posted some in awhile.
  • gotta start working out again, and I might start a new tag for it.
  • will review the Phineas and Ferb hour episode from this past word, great.
  • relax!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: Playhouse Disney Live on Stage

So we go see this show at California Adventures every couple weeks or so and it's the same thing ... here's a video of the last song.

Anyway, this last time was a little different. First off it was a different Casey. That's the generic name they give the lead singer/host of the show. We have seen 2 other Caseys and this one was more dramatic and ad-libbed a bit. So that was a plus, but the real magic that day was the puppeteers. You can see that the stage is a few feet off the ground, so the people can operate the puppets below.

During the Winnie the Pooh part something was going on below because Casey was laughing pretty hard. Hard enough to were he had to look away from the audience. Then right before final song (above) Mickey tried to bite Casey! It was great and Casey did a great job of playing along with him.

The best was during the last song. When Cassie is kneeling next to Minnie and Donald is behind him, Donald head butts Casey's leg. Casey turned around and the puppeteer made Donald look like he was passing out! It was funny because Donald's eyes went up and his eyelids started to close and he was falling over. Casey played along again and even pretended to pick him up. Classic.

My wife and I figured that the puppeteers were sort of hazing the new Casey. That's all we could figure out. I wondered if anyone else noticed.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Thoughts Without Words: CA adapts common core standards


I can't say I am sure how this will affect us, but I do know that the whole 8th graders enrolled in Algebra 1 isn't going to be pretty. I teach Algebra B (second half of Algebra 1) and I have seniors that can't add fractions, factor, graph, or any other basic math. Worst part...I come from a school that has an API over 880, unheard of in CA high schools.

How are the poor performing schools going to do now? I like this quote from Ontario-Montclair's assistant superintendent Jill Hammond;

"If you give the teachers the foundational knowledge, and the district does a good job of building it, then the students are going to be more than ready with this challenge," said Jill Hammond, OMSD assistant superintendent of learning support services.

I like how there is so much emphasis on teachers being the key. Once again where is the focus on the students and the parents. Remember we only see these kids 55 minutes a day. I doubt the common standards will do anything new...what a waste.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: The Soup - Gay Shows

A couple of weeks ago I talked about a spin off from The Soup, The Dish. In it I said that there were times that The Dish was better than The Soup. Now, first off remember I am a huge fan of The Soup. It's one of a handful of shows that I need to see every week (I think a list is in order this week).

One thing that makes this show for me lately is there Gay Shows segment. The intro is incredible. I thought it would be a one time thing for skater Johnny Weir's show, but since Ru Paul has had 3 drag queen shows they use it for that. This is easily the best intro for any segment on either The Soup or The Dish. Just watch Joel McHale's reaction after seeing it the first time... many manly things in here and then the announcer's motocross voice-over = great!