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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's that?

The phone is ringing at Oh-Five-Dark-Thirty Tuesday morning. I know it’s a subbing job. I’m not totally coherent that early in the morning. Add to that the sometimes bad audio quality of the SubFinder system audio and it could come across something like this:

Lyrics from: 'o fortuna' by carmina burana.



Monday, May 26, 2008

Back from the Beach...

Back from twelve days in Kaua'i, Hawaii...



...and not quite ready for that next four day tour in 5th grade starting Thursday.

Monday, May 12, 2008

On Vacation...

One of the best "perks?" of substitute teaching is the vacation time.

It's my time. I can take time off any time I feel the need. No permission needed, no arrangements needed for a someone to take my place. Just do it.

And so, until further notice...Aloha!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Best Commencement Advice...EVER

Los Angeles Times Opinion - May 4, 2008
"Commencement advice you're unlikely to hear elsewhere"
By: P.J. O'Rourke
Excerpts...

Well, here you are at your college graduation. And I know what you're thinking: "Gimme the sheepskin and get me outta here!" But not so fast. First you have to listen to a commencement speech.

Don't moan. I'm not going to "pass the wisdom of one generation down to the next." I'm a member of the 1960s generation. We didn't have any wisdom.

1. "Wealth"
Go out and make a bunch of money!

There's nothing the matter with honest moneymaking. Wealth is not a pizza, where if I have too many slices you have to eat the Domino's box. In a free society, with the rule of law and property rights, no one loses when someone else gets rich.

2. "Idealism"
Don't be an idealist!


Don't chain yourself to a redwood tree. Instead, be a corporate lawyer and make $500,000 a year. No matter how much you cheat the IRS, you'll still end up paying $100,000 in property, sales and excise taxes. That's $100,000 to schools, sewers, roads, firefighters and police. You'll be doing good for society. Does chaining yourself to a redwood tree do society $100,000 worth of good?

Idealists are also bullies. The idealist says, "I care more about the redwood trees than you do. I care so much I can't eat. I can't sleep. It broke up my marriage. And because I care more than you do, I'm a better person. And because I'm the better person, I have the right to boss you around."

3. "Politics"
Get politically uninvolved!

All politics stink. Even democracy stinks. Imagine if our clothes were selected by the majority of shoppers, which would be teenage girls. I'd be standing here with my bellybutton exposed. Imagine deciding the dinner menu by family secret ballot. I've got three kids and three dogs in my family. We'd be eating Froot Loops and rotten meat.

But the problem isn't politicians -- it's politics. Politics won't allow for the truth. And we can't blame the politicians for that. Imagine what even a little truth would sound like on today's campaign trail:

"No, I can't fix public education. The problem isn't the teachers unions or a lack of funding for salaries, vouchers or more computer equipment The problem is your kids!"

4. "Fairness"
Forget about fairness!

We all get confused about the contradictory messages that life and politics send. Some are rich while others are poor. We'd better close that 'income disparity gap.' It's not fair!"

Well, I am here to advocate for unfairness. I've got a 10-year-old at home. She's always saying, "That's not fair." When she says this, I say, "Honey, you're cute. That's not fair. Your family is pretty well off. That's not fair. You were born in America. That's not fair. Darling, you had better pray to God that things don't start getting fair for you."

5. "Religion"
Be a religious extremist!

So, avoid politics if you can. But if you absolutely cannot resist, read the Bible for political advice -- even if you're a Buddhist, atheist or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those people who believes that God is involved in politics. On the contrary. Observe politics in this country. Observe politics around the world. Observe politics through history. Does it look like God's involved?

The Bible is very clear about one thing: Using politics to create fairness is a sin. Observe the Tenth Commandment. The first nine commandments concern theological principles and social law: Thou shalt not make graven images, steal, kill, et cetera. Fair enough. But then there's the tenth: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's."

Here are God's basic rules about how we should live, a brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts. And, right at the end of it we read, "Don't envy your buddy because he has an ox or a donkey." Why did that make the top 10? Why would God, with just 10 things to tell Moses, include jealousy about livestock?

Well, think about how important this commandment is to a community, to a nation, to a democracy. If you want a mule, if you want a pot roast, if you want a cleaning lady, don't whine about what the people across the street have. Get rich and get your own.


(...and thanks to Carpe Diem for the find)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Real STAR Students!...

Last Friday I was at the same school, same grade level, but in a different 6th class…and a world of difference. These guys did their work, didn’t act up and made for an easy day.

Just for fun. See how long it takes you to complete the following worksheet:
(Click to enlarge)



All done? Did you double check your work? I hope so because there is one final question. Don't cheat and click until your work is done.

(Click the comments for it...)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

EB - rare children's disease

I hadn't ever heard of this condition until my friend, Mike sent me this email to help get the word out. As a parent and grandparent, I can't imagine how I'd cope if I had a kid or grandkid with EB.

...
All,

Lorraine is a good friend of mine from my Lockheed days. She is the mother of Garrett who is featured in the video along with his Dr.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video. If you are so inclined, please feel free to make a donation. There is a link at the end of the clip for where to do so. Even if you can't make a contribution, please pass this along for others to see.

The more exposure for EB the better. One problem with EB is that the disease is so rare, it is hard to get funding for it. Things like cancer and Aids affect far more people, so the funding goes there. It makes sense when you look at the problem from a cost benefit analysis. However, when you have a child with a rare disease, you want a cure for that disease too.

Anyway, please watch the video and pass it along. I would appreciate it personally.

Mike...

For more information or to donate, click here: http://dermatology.stanford.edu/research/research.html