Looking A Lot Like Christmas

December 24, 2007

My front door…….

Front Door Christmas 2007

The tree, some presents and the cat……….

I know, the tree looks crammed into that tight corner.  The problem is that Dr. Man sent me out to buy a tree and I came back with one that was basically too big.  We both figured it would be a pain to take back so it ended up staying.  That spot was the best that we could do.

Christmas Tree 2007

Gift wrapping central……

Did I ever mention that I’m a horrible gift wrapper?  I much prefer to stick things in a gift bag and call it day, that is unless my mother is nearby to wrap it for me.  She’s good.  Really good.  When she’s done wrapping gifts they usually look too good to unwrap.  However, this Christmas, we will be 3,000+ miles apart so, so much for that.

Christmas 2007 gift wrapping 1

I usually don’t put a lot on my Christmas tree.  Dr. Man and I have a tradition of ordering a personalized ornament each year, whether we plan to stay in town or not.  However, when searching for a new personalized ornament this year, I came across and ordered ornaments that were words.  They said/say “Peace,” “Faith,” and “Hope.”  I want to extend those, plus Love and Joy to all of you this holiday season.  Surely we could all use a little of each.

Christmas 2007 Ornament


Origami Gone Bad

December 23, 2007
Origami Gun

 

This takes the beautiful art of origami to a different level.  A student of mine created a “working” origami gun, which he said was his “9,” as in 9mm.  Anyway, he made this “gun” so that a portion of it could actually slide, as one would do when cocking a real gun. 

I found myself amazed and saddened at the same time.  I was amazed because, for one, I had never seen something like it before, and while I hated to admit it (and still do), it was kind of creative.  Yet, I also couldn’t keep from feeling somewhat saddened that he used that same creativity to create a gun of all things.  And, I was further saddened when he told me that he learned how to make it the 5th grade.  He’s now in the 10th.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes that is gang writing on the side of that little thing.


As Seen In The Classroom: Priceless

November 13, 2007

 

I’ll just let the shirt, the fake gold chain, and the kid wearing both speak for themselves…….

Slacker T-Shirt


Much Love and Respect

November 12, 2007

U.S. Flag 

To all who have and continue to serve, know that you are appreciated.

You too Dad! ;)


No, I Didn’t Fall Off The Face Of The Earth

October 6, 2007

Hey folks, I didn’t post much in September and this is the first post of (many more to come) this month, but I just wanted you all to know that I’m still here. 

I had surgery recently and aside from not having the physical strength to write, I haven’t had it in me emotionally and mentally either.  But, I’m getting there and I didn’t want you all to think that I just up and disappeared.  Just recuperating is all and working with someone to improve the blog as well.

Health wise, I will update you soon.  I too am still gathering information and taking in what I do know, and I’m looking for a way to raise awareness of the condition through this blog/site.

Anyway, I’m thinking of all of you and have even been lurking on some of your blogs/sites to keep up with you.

Much Love to Ya! 

:) 


Rally in Jena

September 19, 2007

Its been a while since my last post and a lot has happened and changed since.  More will come before the end of the weekend, however I must update you on the Jena 6.

I wrote about the Lousiana teens known as the Jena 6, back in July, because I was somewhat amazed and more disturbed that something so blantantly racist, as whites trying to intimidate blacks with nooses tied to a tree and the legal injustices that would follow, would occur in 2006/2007.  Yes, racism is definitely alive and well, but most of my experiences with it, as with others that I know, have been mostly covert.  However, I was talking with my father several days ago, and was surprised to discover that he had spoken out against an incident involving white men who had tried to intimidate blacks by tying a noose around a black man’s lunchbox on his job.  This was in the late 90’s.  According to The Institute for Southern Studies, NBC**, and other media sources cite that the town of Jena once gave over 60% of its vote to former KKK grand coward, David Duke, when he ran for governor.  That ought to tell you something about that town.

None the less, supporters are on their way to Jena, as I type, for a rally to be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 20th, to call national attention to the boys’ plight.   Thousands are expected to pour into small town Jena tomorrow and information about the rally, as well as efforts to gather people for bus trips to Jena, has been all over urban radio programs here in Los Angeles, and in other large cities as well.  A schedule of events, which I located on www.hrcbackstory.org , is as follows:

7am – Convene at Ward 10 Recreation Park to receive information and instructions regarding the day’s events.

8am- March to the Jena Courthouse where judicial proceedings will begin.  Prayer will occur after the march.

11am – Rally at the park after sentencing

7pm- Town hall meeting focusing on educational and criminal justice disparities in the U.S. will occur in Alexandria, Lousiana.

Also, I received an e-mail today urging all of those in support of the Jena 6 to show solidarity by wearing all black tomorrow.  Well, being that I hadn’t checked my e-mail in a couple of days, I wore my favorite black shirt today.  I have another but it’s kind of dressy….oh well, I’ll figure it out.

 In my opinion, it has been the internet and the effort of bloggers who have really spread the word about this story.  I have seen and heard very little about them on the nightly news and mainstream media, in general, has been slow to pick up this story. Hmmmmm……I wonder why?  CNN has done a series of low profile stories on the boys on CNN.com, and I say low profile because the articles that exist about the Jena 6 are no where to be found on their main pages.  I found information about the boys on the CNN website by performing a search.  This search yielded other blogs and websites and 11 short CNN video clips.

The Jena 6 need your continued support.  Visit www.freethejena6.org/, www.colorofchange.org, to learn more about ways that you can help.  Also, for more articles and stories regarding the Jena 6, check out the following sites:

MSNBC/NBC Nightly News Video

www.democracynow.org

CBS2Chicago.com 9.19.07

The Houston Chronicle 9.18.07

www.hrcbackstory.org 9.14.07

Facing South

www.pursuingholiness.com

**Note** I wanted to post the YouTube NBC clip where the political history of Jena was discussed, but I refused due to the many hateful and racist comments left by some YouTube viewers.   


Teachers on the Tube and the ‘Net

August 31, 2007

Big Brother Is Watching You!

 Forget about Big Brother watching over you.  “The Man,” is no longer a threat.  With the advent of cell phones that have cameras and video recorders, its tech savvy kids that we should fear and more and more teachers are ending up on the internet, without even knowing it.  AOL Video has a feature called “Dirty, Rotten Teachers” which features teachers recorded on cell phone video cameras by students from around the world.

“Austin” teacher was wrong for all of the profanity, but he was clearly upset.  It is obvious from the video that there was a big issue in his classroom with students using their cell phones to send text messages.  Ironically it was student using a phone, as he was yelling about it, that got him on YouTube.  Was the teacher in the right?  No.  He crossed a line.  But at the same time I truly undertsand his frustration.  I think he would have done better leaving the room to collect himself and perhaps should have called an administrator to come in a see what was going on with the kids and their cell phones. 

“Angry Professor” was actually not as angry as I expected him to be.  As both a teacher and I student, I don’t see the need for cell phones in class. They are very distracting and I would nevr answer a phone in class.  If it was such an emergency, the person could simply let the caller leave a message, then excuse themselves from class, walk outside and then return the call.  It’s not that hard.

A part of me agrees with the Chinese teacher in “Angry RJC Teacher.”  Should she have pulled the student aside and sscolded him?  Well she could have, but would it have had the same or any effect?

I have been scolded by a teacher in front of peers before and I lived to write about it here, at this moment.  Sometimes I think that parents have gotten so caught up preserving a child’s self esteem that telling the truth and getting the message across has fallen by the wayside.

“Teacher Hit Student” was just wrong.

“Angry Teacher ” only shows a teacher yelling because half of his class came late.  I understand the frustration.

Cell phones have been a big debate at my school for a while.  I understand that things have changed since Columbine and 9/11 and many parents argue for the permitting cell phones at school for emergency purposes.  But, the faulty logic with that to me is that while many schools and districts permit cells phones on campus, they are supposed to be turned off and not in use while class is in session.  But more often than not, the phones are on and kids are using them in class.  I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve caught some of my students texting or calling their friends while in class.  A few have even admitted that they were texting or calling their parents!  And, I don’t know which is worse, the fact that the parents are knowingly interrupting class and breaking school/disrtict policies or the fact that many of these kids read below the 5th grade level!  They can barely read and are trying to text! 

This, coupled with the lack of support from parents and administration, has frustrated me on more days than I care to remember.  I even had a student threaten to video the teachers and staff at my school and we (well I can really only speak for myself) have not behaved liked this, even when hit, kicked and threatened by them.  Just imagine, if half the kids recording these teachers put in just as much time and effort studying, doing classwork or just even paying attention in class, imagine how much better they would academically be. 

It’s no wonder that teachers are in short supply.  I don’t think that increasing occurences of teachers ending up on YouTube and MySpace is going to help matters.  There were many days that I wanted to record the conversations of some of my students and the things they said to me.  Once, as a student was yelling while standing in a chair, after she had overturned her desk and threw papers all over the room, I realized that I had my digital camera in my purse.  I took a picture of the mess and the girl, wanting to show it to administration and her mother.  But, Dr. Man talked me out of it.  I still have those pictures, along with many more of a torn up classroom.  The only reason why you all haven’t seen them yet is fear on my end that someone who works at my school or one of the parents would recognize either my room and or the student even if I blurred the face.

My dad got me a swanky, little digital recorder recently as a birthday present and for use in grad school.  Hmmmmm.  That’s got me to thinking…….. My cell phone only takes pictures, and they’re not that great.  Hmmmm………. I say all teachers out there should raise up and arm themselves with digital recorders and cell phones that have video recording capabilities.  We have to have some way of fighting back!  Administrators are unwilling to help and the parents seem to think that their kids are Angels, or at least should be treated like them even if they realize they’re actually hellions. Viva the Teachers!!!!!!

What do you think?  Should cell phones be allowed in school or not?  How do you feel about teachers being recorded and posted on the web?


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