Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Last Laugh: Problems with new Teacher Evaluations

When all the talk shifted to evaluating teachers based on state test scores, I immediately thought about all the teachers that don't have a state test attached to their course. By the way, that number is usually 60% or higher. So now everyone is scrambling on how to do it.
Because there are no student test scores with which to evaluate over half of Tennessee’s teachers — kindergarten to third-grade teachers; art, music and vocational teachers — the state has created a bewildering set of assessment rules. Math specialists can be evaluated by their school’s English scores, music teachers by the school’s writing scores.
This is just the beginning. I would love to see a Math teacher be fired for having low English state test scores. Someone explain this to me...and once again, if anyone would have asked a teacher, they would have told you that this wouldn't work. Not because they don't want it, but because it just won't work.

Monday, November 07, 2011

This Calling: Matthew 6:34

Matthew 6:34 () 34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Right Now: No-Shave November

So I forgot to shave this past week, really busy, and my TA asked me if I was doing the "No-Shave November". I had never heard of it before and did a little research and apparently it was founded to help raise awareness of prostate cancer. Now this disease is pretty close to home because my grandfather had it and so has my dad. Will I get it? Probably. So if I can do anything to help raise awareness I will. The worst part for me is that I shave my head every other day, so this is going to be tough for me.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Tirades of Truth: Lulu

Wow...just wow. That is probably the best way I can describe the new Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration. I can see why so many people turn it off after the first song. Seriously. Lou Reed doesn't sing, he talks with a little bit of tone. I guess the best way to describe his vocals would be to say it is reminiscent of Johnny Cash's vocals for Hurt.

Now clearly, James Hetfield's vocals would have made this project a lot better. It would have been similar to Load/Re-Load, but a little bit more metal and less rock. He makes a couple of appearances as a background vocalist. It is a welcomed changed and you can almost hear how great this album could have been if he would have just done them all. I am sure that is what people thought when Dave Mustaine did his MD.45 project and then put Lee Ving on vocals. I guess the one positive thing for those people is that Dave eventually released the album with him doing all the vocals. But I don't see Metallica ever doing that. Heck, while every band has re-released albums with "bonus tracks", Metallica never has, ever. So while it would probably sell more and get a better reaction, I don't see it happening. By the way, someone re-edited The View and took out anything relating to Lou Reed. This is what I's not horrible. It is probably better than the Loads now that I listen to it.

I am a huge Metallica fan. Everything they touch is great. As I listen to this now (it is streaming HERE), there are times that I find myself laughing out loud because of the vocals or lack there of or I am laughing at the horrible lyrics (If I waggle my ass like a dark prostitute, would you think less of me) and there is more where that came from. I understand this is a concept album, but wow this story is difficult to follow for me. I just keep getting distracted by those lyrics.

Now for the positives, yes they are there. The music is great. Solid all the way around. I would love to hear this as an instrumental album. Like I said earlier, it isn't Master of Puppets or Kill Em All, but more in line with the Loads. There are times where it is pretty thrashy, Mistress Dread, but overall it stays within what we know Metallica to sound like.

Overall, it was better than I thought it would be. I kept hearing snippets of the songs and vocals and thought it would be horrible. Well it isn't. Is it great? No, and during this year of great albums, it probably make my top 10 list. But it definitely deserves a spin. Skip around sample here and there. I was able to almost tune out Lou Reed's vocals and just enjoyed the music. Someone get around and make this an instrumental.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable

I don't get a lot of time to watch TV nowadays, kids, work, get the point. But one show that has been apart of my daily viewing for about 10 years now has been Pardon the Interruption (PTI). It was basically the same format as The Sports Reporters, but with only two hosts and there was more humor involved.

Now the show is daily, but Mike & Tony take vacations and they need fill-in hosts. At first my favorite was Norm Chad, who gave more humor into the show than analysis. He started doing other things and hasn't been on for years. The next guy to really peak my interest was Dan LeBatard. He was funny like Norm, but you could also tell he knew what he was talking about. For the past few years he has been my favorite fill in host. This past summer I noticed he wasn't filling in very much and I was worried Dan was going the same way as Norm Chad. Well, his days on PTI might be over, but that's cause he got his own show Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable (DLHQ).

I saw a commercial for it and set my DVR to record it right away. I saw the 60's kitchen set and was wondering what this would be like, but all of those questions were replaced when I saw his dad, thick accent and all, asking Dan sports questions. The interaction between father & son is always good for some laughs, heck Petros has his dad on every week for a segment on his radio show Petros & Money. It works.

Dan and his father are no different. The interaction is genuine and at times hilarious. Dan was never the serious guy on PTI and it is interesting to watch him try to be both the funny guy and serious guy at once. And so far he is doing a good job of pulling it off. Sure some of the topics are repeated on PTI, but the way Dan handles them is totally different than Mike & Tony.

I must admit I skip the interview segment, but unless it is someone that I really want to hear talk, I usually skip it on PTI as well. The edits were distracting at first, but now I just go with it. Dan seems like a person that could say a lot of stuff and it might not be too funny, but when he nails a joke it's good. And maybe that's what they are doing here. Maybe they are editing it because of his dad? Who knows, all I know is that I am loving it. In fact, the other night as I was watching it my wife sat down and watched a bit and started laughing at the interaction between Dan & his dad.

This show is something new, maybe not as revolutionary as PTI was 10 years ago, but it is definitely a show that you can't find anywhere else. Hopefully in 10 years DLHQ will still be around like PTI is.