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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Embracing your inner vegetable

Earlier this week, one of my kids gave me a drawing of Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales fame. Which was really sweet of him. He’s a good kid.
I did think it a bit inappropriate that Larry was wearing a thong in the picture, though.
No, I’m just kidding. Actually, he was dressed as Sherlock Holmes. I’ve never seen him in this attire; it must be from a movie that my nephew does not have. Larry the Cable Cucumber Guy, perhaps?

I witnessed an unusual exchange between the boy who drew the picture and another boy in my class today. Apparently, at lunch time, they had both told each other (through a third party) that they did not want to be each other’s friend, and they had both broken into tears upon hearing the news. When I pulled them out into the hallway after recess to find out what had happened, I got the story, and I gave them the typical “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” speech. I told them that if neither of them had said anything, neither of them would have had a cry. Little J (the artist), on the verge of tears again, said to C (“What number comes after R?”) “I’m sorry. Can you ever forgive me?” C responded by throwing his arms around J in a full-on bear hug, complete with back thumping. It was a moment worthy of John Belushi himself, though very sweet. And totally hilarious.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, and be sure to wear white on Tuesday!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Alas poor Pluto, we knew you well

My Very Energetic Mother Served Us Nine…

And then there were eight. Pluto, long-time resident of the low end of the heavenly totem pole, has officially been stripped of its planet status.

Said Pluto, when reached for comment at his summer cottage, “Somebody gonna pay for this. Did Neptune do this? I’ma kill that sucka.”

Pluto has always been derided by its space-mates, as is clear through folklore:

“All of the other planets
Used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Pluto
Play in any planet games.”

According to initial reports, the Solar System was considering adding 3 other orbiting space objects to the established 9, thus forming a “Super Conference,” much like the ACC (Atlantic coast Conference) did back in 2004. This wreaked havoc with the basketball schedule, but it really brought in the football revenue and opened the door to new Bowl games.
However, those plans have been ditched, and now Pluto and its largest moon Charon, along with large rocks Ceres and Xena (sure to be a hit with the interplanetary lesbian crowd) will be given token status as “dwarf planets.” This will undoubtedly raise the ire of several political correctness groups, and my guess is within a year we will be referring to them as “planets of reduced diameter.”

I guess we will have to teach our students a new mnemonic. I hereby suggest the following:

Most Valuable Eight Maintain Status, Unleash Ninth.

According to some early reports, Mel Gibson’s father has already begun to promote the word that there have always only been eight planets.

Ironically enough, Uranus is still considered worthy of planetary status.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Come one, come all!

Hey everyone,
My book signing is one week from today -- August 26 at 2 p.m. at the Borders in Old Town. If you are in the area, or know anyone who is, please come on out, or ask them to come on out! I will be reading several chapters from Learn Me Good, signing copies, and generally trying not to look completely foolish.
Plus, there will be free bookmarks! How's THAT for an incentive!!

In the beginning...

Wow, what a week! I hope that everyone has had a great first week! Especially if you work in Texas, where the afternoon temperature hasn't dipped below 100 degrees!
Here are some of the highlights from the third grade at MY school:

  • One kid was suspended. (Already!!)
  • One kid went home with a bloody head.
  • One kid fell into a sink hole.

Can't wait to see what happens next!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Did I say 13??

No worries, my bliss was not to last long. My class expanded to 20 today. I now have by far the biggest 3rd grade class at the school.

And we have our work cut out for us. I asked one little boy today to start with 1, and write the numbers in order on his paper, as high as he could count. He called me over a few minutes later to ask, "What comes after 'R'?"

Ooooooooh boy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What would Mister Windu do?

Thank you all very much for the kind words and compliments. Hopefully I will be able to post from time to time--like right now!

I hope that everyone in the state of Texas (and anyone else who has already started school) had a great first day! Mine was pretty good--only 13 kids in my homeroom! I'll probably be up to 22 in a couple of weeks, but today was nice.

I just have to wonder how long it will take some of us to start paraphrasing Samuel L. Jackson from Snakes on a Plane. I can almost already hear the cries of...

"I've had it with these @#!**%#@! kids in this @#!**%#@! Classroom!!"

Monday, August 07, 2006

All good things...

I hate to do this. Believe me—I REALLY hate to do this. But I’ve put a lot of thought into it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just really don’t have much choice.
The throat problem does not seem to be resolving itself. Nor does the carpal tunnel syndrome. Since speaking and typing were my two means of updating this blog on a somewhat regular basis, it makes it difficult and/or painful to continue.
Not to mention the fact that with the school year starting up, I will need my voice and my wrists for many things other than humor blogging.
So until someone discovers a way to input data with their knees (at which, no doubt, I would promptly develop bursitis or tendonitis or something), I must regrettably put this blog on hold.
I don’t want to say I’ll never do it again, because I’ve really enjoyed it. But as of now, as Mister Teacher, I have to go on indefinite leave.
I may still swing by some of the other blogs in the edusphere and drop a comment from time to time, but posts on Learn Me Good will be few and far between.
In the meantime, please see the picture below, as this will be my attire-of-choice for next Monday, our first day of classes.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to everyone with their new students!!

Sincerely,

Mister Teacher

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The North Texas Diet

I just got back from spending about one and a half hours at the grocery store, exploring sections I had never in my life visited.
I’ve still been suffering from my non-cold sore throat, so yesterday I went to a nutritionist/chiropractor recommended by some people my mom knows from church. I had already been to my own doctor, and he had discovered nothing, so I figured why not give something new a shot?
The visit was very interesting. I of course had my neck and back cracked—I think that’s just standard practice for a chiropractor—but I also underwent some new and unusual muscle tests and analysis. The guy was very knowledgeable and friendly, but I’m getting to the bad part.
I’ve been put on a very strict diet for the next two weeks. Actually, I was given a list of things that I CAN eat, and a list of things I CANNOT eat during these two weeks. You can guess which list all of the good food is on.
This is supposed to be the initial step in testing for food allergies. But it makes it incredibly difficult to find something I can eat!! For instance, milk and wheat are on the list of things not to eat. This means I cannot have favorites such as ice cream, cheese, or bread of any kind. But what I discovered at the store today is that it is next to impossible to find ANYTHING that doesn’t have milk or wheat in it!!!
I have never ever in my life stood in the grocery store aisles and perused the ingredients charts. But I did today. And easily 2/3 of what I picked up to examine went right back on the shelf.
Here are some other things that I cannot consume:
Orange juice
Corn
Beer or malt beverages
Soft drinks (this will be like Lent come early)
Peanuts—which I LOVE!!
Beef, pork, and shellfish
Chocolate
And here’s the kicker. The one thing I will strive to avoid for 2 weeks, but which I will absolutely NOT be willing or able to give up for the rest of my life…
KETCHUP

I’m sorry, but as Meatloaf once crooned—“But I won’t do that.” Come to think of it, meatloaf is on the non-no list as well. Coincidence??
And while I’m quoting celebrities, let me throw my hat in with one of my fellow Virginians, Patrick Henry, who said, Give me Ketchup, or give me death!” Actually, he used the word “Liberty,” but what most folks don’t realize is that Liberty was the Colonial version of Heinz.

Here are a few things that I CAN eat:
Rice
Oats
Potatoes
Turkey, chicken, and fish
Rice milk and coconut milk
Water
Wild game is also listed under Meats. I guess this means I can enjoy a nice zebra burger or rhino nuggets. Maybe on a bed of oats?
I’ll just have to be creative, that’s all. Maybe simulate a nice juicy cheeseburger by using a turkey-burger patty, slapped between two rice cakes, with a thin slice of tofu on top?

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy a nice tall glass of cool, crisp rice milk.
Bon apetit!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's all about the Kruegerands, baby

I may just be able to quit my low-paying teaching job soon, if the email I got today is true. I know that the gentleman said to keep it under wraps, but I just had to share it with all of you. I can't wait to be rich!!!
Check this out-I am posting the email exactly as I received it.

I AM DR. NICHOLAS CHILE, THE MANAGER IN CHARGE OF AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK OUAGA-BURKINA FASO IN WEST AFRICA, WITH DUE RESPECT AND REGARDS, I HAVE DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU ON A BUSINESS TRANSACTION THAT WILL BE VERY BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US AT THE END OF THE TRANSACTION. I GOT YOUR EMAIL PARTICULARS THROUGH WEBSITE SEARCH AND BECAME INTEREST IN DOING THE BUSINESS WITH YOU. DURING MY INVESTIGATION AND AUDITING IN THE BANK, I DISCOVERED VERY HUGE SUM OF MONEY BELONGING TO A DECEASED PERSON, A FOREIGNER WHO DIED IN A PLANE CRASH INCIDENT, THE FUND HAS BEEN DORMANT IN HIS ACCOUNT WITH OUR BANK WITHOUT ANY CLAIM OF THE FUND IN OUR CUSTODY EITHER FROM HIS FAMILY OR RELATION BEFORE OUR DISCOVERY. ALTHOUGH PERSONALLY, I KEPT THIS INFORMATION SECRET WITHIN MYSELF TO ENABLE THE WHOLE PLANS AND IDEA BE PROFITABLE AND SUCCESSFUL DURING THE TIME OF EXECUTION. THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS USD$20.000, 000. (TWENTY MILLION US DOLLARS.)MEANWHILE THE WHOLE ARRANGEMENT AND DIRECTIVES NEEDED TO PUT CLAIM OVER THIS FUND AS THE CONFIDE NEXT OF KIN TO THE DECEASED, AND WILL BE FORWARD TO YOU UPON YOUR ACCEPTANCE, INFORMATION WILL BE RELAYED TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU INDICATE YOUR INTEREST AND WILLINGNESS TO ASSIST US AND ALSO BENEFIT YOUR SELF TO THIS GREAT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY. IN FACT I COULD HAVE DONE THIS DEAL ALONE BUT BECAUSE OF MY POSITION IN THIS COUNTRY AS A CIVIL SERVANT, WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT AND THIS WOULD EVENTUALLY RAISE AN EYE BROW ON MY SIDE DURING THE TIME OF TRANSFER BECAUSE I WORK IN THIS BANK. THIS IS THE ACTUAL REASON WHY IT WILL REQUIRE A SECOND PARTY OR FELLOW WHO WILL FORWARD CLAIMS AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THE BANK AND ALSO PRESENT A FOREIGN ACCOUNT WHERE HE WILL NEED THE MONEY TO BE RE-TRANSFERRED INTO ON HIS REQUEST AS IT MAY BE, AFTER DUE VERIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION TO DESIGNATED BANK ACCOUNT. I WILL NOT FAIL TO INFORM YOU THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE, ON SMOOTH CONCLUSIONOF THIS TRANSACTION, YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO 30% OF THE TOTAL SUM AS GRATIFICATION, WHILE 70% WILL BE FOR US HERE, PLEASE, YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO KEEP TOP SECRET AS WE ARE STILL IN SERVICE AND INTEND TO RETIRE FROM SERVICE AFTER WE CONCLUDE THIS DEAL WITH YOU. I WILL BE MONITORING THE WHOLE SITUATION HERE IN THE BANK UNTIL YOU CONFIRM THE MONEY IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND ASK US TO COME DOWN TO YOUR COUNTRY FOR SUBSEQUENT SHARING OF THE FUND ACCORDING TO PERCENTAGES INDICATED AND FURTHER INVESTMENT CAN JOINTLY TAKE PLACE, EITHER IN YOUR COUNTRY OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY YOU MAY ADVICE US TO INVEST IN. ALL OTHER NECESSARY INFORMATION WILL BE SENT TO YOU WHEN I HEAR FROM YOU. I SUGGEST YOU GET BACK TO ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE STATING YOUR WISH IN THIS DEAL.
BEST REGARD
DR.NICHOLAS CHILE

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