Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's pronounced Ni-jer

At the Giants game Thursday I was sitting near a guy wearing a Nationals jersey and openly cheering for the away team. It was a smaller than usual crowd, but he was definitely the only guy I saw sporting a Nationals jersey. I started chatting with him and he turned out to be the father of Nyjer Morgan, the Nationals centerfielder. Several innings later I decided to inquire about the name of his son. He told me he has always been fascinated with the Niger River in Africa.

He added, “But I had to change the spelling.”

Thought of the Week

A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things, but cannot receive great ones.
--Lord Chesterfield

Um... Thanks.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One of my Favorite Jokes

Texan: "Where you from?"

Harvard grad: "I come from a place where we do not end our sentences in prepositions."

Texan: "Okay. Where you from, jackass?"

Click here for 2nd Joke.

Education leads to Opportunity

In honor of my graduation last weekend...

Thought of the Week

We are not aware of that which we are not aware.
--Kevin Burrill

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Doing It

When I was in the elementary school (I think the 5th grade) we were learning about improper fractions. My teacher told us they were like Dolly Parton, “bigger on the top half than the bottom.” I wasn’t familiar with Dolly Parton, nor did I get the reference. I remember thinking she must have been a fat woman. Years later I understand the comparison, but am not sure why I remember the comment.

When I was in the 2nd grade during our singing time we learned a new song that in chorus repeatedly told us to “do it.” Some of the boys were giggling every time we sang the words “do it.” I didn’t get why that was funny. On my classmates filled me in, “You don’t know what it means to do it?” I said no. He then explained it to me. “Do it, means to fart.” I laughed with the other boys the rest of the song, and we never sang that song again.

When I was about that same age my mom’s cousin, Tim, taught us, “… an old Chinese Proverb. He who goes to bed with itchy butt, wakes up with smelly finger.” We told our mom knowing that she would not approve, but with amnesty, because an adult told us it. Anything an adult did was appropriate.

When I was in middle school on the bus coming back from a church trip one of the kids explained to another peer that I was a good kid and probably didn’t know what “69” meant. Then she did a demonstration with two stuffed animals that were on the bus with us. I understood.

Friday I did a lesson for my students on why they should not do drugs. I began the lesson with a quote from Chef from Southpark. "There's a time and a place for everything, and it's called college."

Yesterday, at my graduation, the guy that delivered the unnecessarily long benediction spoke with an accent. When he mentioned the great “fock-all-tee” of your department I listened to grown adults, who just finished post-graduate degrees, snicker behind me.

I guess as you get older you understand more. You begin to recognize what the adults in your life were saying, and what they were trying to teach you. And you even find yourself trying to teach similar things to the youth in your life. And farts are still funny.

Thought of the Week

If I sign onto my e-mail with the specific intent to send a certain e-mail to avoid forgetting I should send it before reading the new e-mails in my in-box.

Don't Worry

This sort of thing happens all the time.

Stage Presence

If he doesn't get into entertainment this kid is going to light it up on karaoke night. He's a performer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What was that?

My sister just opened a phone conversation topic, "I think Cheese is going to mate with Mack this time. She's not rejecting him."

She said it in the same tone one might say something like, "I'm making pasta for dinner tonight" or "I'm about to throw in a load of laundry." Except those sentences would make sense.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Choosing a Photo

For nearly two years now I have posted my weekly column every Sunday. My blog is more consistent than a losing baseball season in Pittsburgh, a left turn in Nascar, and a woman changing her mind. My diligence has paid off as last month I was contacted by a local publication that wants to print one my stories. I will be featured in the June issue of the church’s magazine. A couple days ago I received an e-mail asking if I had a photo of myself to use with the column. Exciting news. I’ve never before been featured in such a way. So I wanted some help choosing a photo. Here is what I found on my computer. Let me know which one you think I should use.

Thought of the Week

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

- Dr. Seuss


Sunday, May 2, 2010


Last weekend I went on-line and asked one of my students about a vocab word. While instant messaging I could see her current status update next to her name. It read, “IM SO FUCKING HAPPY TODAY LOL.” After she came up with the vocab word our conversation went about like this:

Me: Can you change your status? I find it both crude and offensive.

Student: Omg. Mr. Burrill. Fine.

Me: Why don’t you use another word from your vocabulary.

Me: How about “exuberant?”

Student: What does that mean?

Me: It is when you are excited and happy about something.

Student: Oh.

Me: It’s kinda like “so fucking happy.”

By the end of the conversation she informed why her day was going so well and had changed her status update to, "OMG FEELING PARTICULARLY EXUBERANT TODAY :D."

Myspace Expression

This is the introduction on one of my student’s myspace pages. She is 14.

--&& thiss is mehh =] i blow the candles on march 7. i got to albert einstein, && i have a lot of frans bt thee main one is alisha;thts lyk mahh sisterr ta mehh and ILoveHerr soo muchh |notlykthtthoe| aha. anyway umm i luvv to hang out wit frans,,&& i do nt smoke or drinkk & i dnt caree wat yu thnkk bout meh. i really dnt lykk drama wit ppl bt sumtyms they doin wayyy to much =| . Mmm;;i mite bee shyy wen i first meet yuh bt later on i b mahhself. i lovee shoes [vans/nikes/jordans] p.s. bday cumin up ;) ahah jkk. i lyk shoppin or just go to the mal and hang out. i lyk goin to the moviess and i luv scary movies. :D. myy favoritee sport is basketball, i dnt really lyk soccer dnt knw y and yes i knw it wierd cuz im mexican and all mexican ppl suppose to likee soccer bt yepp nt mehh. i like gymnastics or how evrr yuh spell tht ahha. bt yea uhh i guess this is it. if yu wanna know moree just message mehh and we'l talk :). well anywayy buhh byee.

My favorite part is, “i like gymnastics or how evrr yuh spell tht ahha.” Somehow I didn’t manage to previously detect that accurate spelling was a concern.

High School Development

Thought of the Week

"Reading and writing, arithmetic and grammar do not constitute education any more than a knife, fork, and spoon constitute dinner."
--John Lubbock