Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giovanni, Harper Lee, and Getting a Degree

Last Saturday we called Lori and put her on speaker phone. As soon as she answered Gio fired a question at her, “What was the precedent set in the Morse v. Fredrick case of 2007?” Lori wasn’t able to attend our study group, but we wanted her to get some of the experience. Our phone discussion continued for about five minutes or so with Gio and me alternating who was speaking. Then in a moment of laughter we both responded at once and Lori said, “Is that Gio I hear in the background?” Five minutes and she didn’t even know we were both on the phone. When we told her, she said we sounded alike, even paused at the same points in our sentences, and were beginning to become the same person.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. For the last three and a half years (and the last six months in particular) Gio and I have been mostly living the same life. We did our credential classes together. We work at the same school. We both somehow were manipulated into joining school site council at the same time (which is more time consuming this year because we actually meet), and we both just did the same Master’s program. Now, we even pause at the same points in our sentences and in loud areas with poor self-phone connection and speaker phone are voices are indistinguishable.

Over the years he has made me laugh countless times, including one time I was laughing so hard I had to dismiss myself from the classroom. Once several years ago Gio and I had to do presentations in front of our class and just for a challenge we each gave the other person a word they had to work into their presentation. My word was “inconceivable.” Now with our Master’s Degree on the line in a 50-minute oral exam Gio and I decided at some point during our responses we had to reference the novel To Kill a Mocking Bird.

I even planned out how I would use it. One of our courses was “Urban Issues,” and I recently read a passage from the novel to my AVID class. My students were very inquisitive and asked why a jury would rule against someone if they knew he was innocent. This allowed me to talk about bias, and how some people are so prejudiced they really believe things that are not true. Perfect example. And I thought I would easily be able to work into the questions that dealt with race with regards to urban education.

Nearly forty minutes into my exam and I had already dealt with the questions from that class and even discussed in detail the landmark case of Brown v Board from 1954, but To Kill a Mockingbird never led itself into one of my answers. What was I going to do? Do I really want to pass this exam and get my Master’s Degree if I fail to reference the agreed upon novel? Where is the integrity in that? My calm demeanor, thorough responses, excellent references cited from memory and great classroom examples would certainly allow me to pass the exam from the panel, but I would know. And Gio would know. And God would know.

Then Dr. Elium asked in a question that had way too many words and parts, “Most innovations that have lasted began with teachers involved in the planning. With this in mind, what meanings do you associate with the terms education reform and education renewal? Also, you just mentioned the importance of leadership from the principal; in your response could you elaborate on the necessity of the importance of strong leadership in education.”

I responded:

That question has quite a few aspects. Let me first address the idea of reform and renewal. There are always new ideas out there in teaching. In fact I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird, which is a book written in 1960, and set in the early 1930’s. In the early part of that book Scout goes to school and they are talking about the new wave in teaching, the...

I passed.

Supporting the Olympics

Thought of the Week

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.

--Daniel Boorstin

Ok. Ok. I'll go to Sleep

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Office Clip

I would like to post this with a little more of the background leading up to this scene. They were at a dinner party that was not going well. If you know The Office, and I think even more so if you enjoy playing games then...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things I wish I would have said yesterday: II

One day I went to deposit my checks at the ATM and I realized I didn't have a pen. As I was searching for a pen I noticed an attractive girl at the ATM. I asked her to borrow a pen, and she cheerfully loaned me one.

As she handed it to me I responded, "I just wanted to borrow the pen to write down your number."

Okay. I didn't say that, but it would have been a good line. It is safe and funny. I could have gauged her reaction to see how I should proceed. Worse case scenario I laugh it off as a joke and I still use her pen to endorse my checks. As it was I said nothing.

Things I wish I would have said yesterday.

Thought of the Week

If you've dug yourself into a hole, stop digging.

Fail of the Week

Monday, February 15, 2010

Comcast Chat

My Comcast bill went up to $122.04 per month. This is too much. So I went on to their on-line chat today and told the guy I wanted to pay less for my cable. He lowered it to about $80 per month.

This is how our session ended:

I am so happy that I was able to resolve your issue. I hope you will take time answering the 3 questions survey after this chat. It will evaluate my performance, just click the end session at the top of your chat window.

Have a good day.

Thanks a lot in advance for answering the survey!

Have a great week ahead and always have a good one. As the saying goes "He who has a WHY to live for, can bear almost any HOW." Smile always!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Last week after our hockey game Grace explained why it was her last game this season.

"I'm moving to Iowa for four months for work."

One of my teammates politely asked, "Where in Iowa?"

I just assume that's a question I'll go my whole life and never ask.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thought of the Week

"Girls always imagine things, that's why other people hate them so."
--Jem Finch

Junior High Comprehension

Best Staircase Ever

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Will Hunting

This isn't the greatest monologue in movie history, but it makes the list.

"That's a tough one. But I'll take a shot..." Responses like that don't leave you wishing you had said something different yesterday.

Great movie. Some of the greatest dialogue and best scenes ever.

"That boy's wicked smart."

Click here if you want to view the greatest monologue in movie history.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Things I wish I would have said yesterday

I remember one time in college I went to visit one of my professors in his office. I was wearing a Giants sweatshirt. He noticed and said to me in a slightly condescending tone, "The Giants. I still remember them from when they played in the Polo Grounds. You've probably never even heard of the Polo Grounds."

I responded, "The site of possibly the most well-known play in baseball history-- Will Mays' basket catch in straight-away center field off the bat of Vic Wertz in game one of the '54 World Series. The Polo Grounds remained the home of the New York Giants until the team moved west in 1958. Then they played in Seals Stadium for two years until moving over to Candlestick Park. That remained the home of the San Fransisco Giants until the late 1990's, when they opened Pac Bell park, now known as AT&T... Yeah, I've heard of it."

I actually just said, "Yeah, I've heard of it."

Things I wish I would have said yesterday.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thought of the Week

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
--Oscar Wilde

Northern Arizona University

Best Error Message Ever.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Super Bowl Prop Bets

Unfortunately, my current betting site has a minimum bet of $5 so I cannot make as many plays on the Super Bowl as I have in past years. But here are my bets this year:

The National Anthem: Will be sung in less than 1 minute and 43 seconds. (Somebody by Carrie Underwood an energy drink.)

The person that calls the coin toss will call heads. (Everyone calls heads, right?)

The first first down will be Austin Collie, the first TD will be Reggie Bush, and the first Saints score will be a Touchdown. Also, there will be a score in the first 6 minutes of the game.

The Colts will win by more than 5 points, and we will hit the over at 56.5.

Those are all single bets. Plus I have a parlay:
Reggie Bush's first pass reception will be over 6.5 yards, the first TD scorer will be a player with an odd number on his jersey, and Drew Brees' first pass will be complete. (I consider this bet to be pretty much a lock).

Go Colts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010