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Friday, June 29, 2007

Meme of the Crop

Oh no, I've been tagged for another meme, this time by Elementary History Teacher...

This one dictates that I tell everyone 8 random facts about myself. Just so you know, there are THREE random facts about myself that I will NEVER tell anyone! In fact, I don't even know what ONE of those is myself!!!

So here goes, read (and believe) at your own peril.

1) I did the original voice for Lucky the Leprechaun on the television commercials for Lucky Charms. I get half a cent royalty every time anyone around the world mentions green clovers, blue diamonds, orange stars, pink hearts purple horseshoes, or yellow moons.

2) I pay for everything with American Express Traveler's Checks. The people at Taco Bell don't care for this too much, but hey, as Bon Jovi says, "It's my life!"

3) I have an irrational fear of the letter Q and the number 19. I think this resulted from a childhood viewing of an episode of Sesame Street sponsored by that combination that featured Mr. Snuffleuphagus torturing Elmo and pulling out his fingernails one at a time, while The Count laughed and counted evilly. "One fingernail!" "Two fingernails!" Ah-Ha-Ha! (shudder!)

4) My best friends in the whole wide world are Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey. They ask me to hang with them all the time, and they're constantly bugging me for financial advice.

5) I don't like Sarah Lee.

6) I have seen aliens. Several times, in fact. It's one of my favorite movies.

7) Al Gore is a big fat liar, because it was ME who invented the Internet!

8) I can't count past 7...

OK, now comes the time in the show when I'm supposed to "tag" 8 more bloggers for this meme...

So listen up!

Mike in Texas
Staffroom Showdowns
Lady Strathconn
Ramblin' Educat
100 Farmers
Ed U Cator

The rules are 1. Let others know who tagged you. 2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. 3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. 4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Good luck, and good night.

YouTube, anyone?

Well, I finally did it. I've been curious to go through the YouTube process for a while now. Not just viewing videos online, but actually creating one, posting it, and seeing what sort of a response it gets.

And here is the result.

My brother and I posted a video today that is goofy, silly, completely unprofessional, yet still somewhat funny. It has absolutely nothing to do with the field of education. However, it does remind us of our early childhood. The video is a tongue-in-cheek review of the movie trailers for the upcoming Transformers.

Please view our video and let us know what you think! And tell all your friends! And tell your friends' friends! But don't tell your friends' friend's friends -- because you probably don't know them very well...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Carnival? ROAD TRIP!!!!

This week, the Carnival of Education is served up Jack Kerouac style by Mike in Texas over at Education in Texas.

There are a lot of great entries, including 13 reasons to hire California Teacher Guy, a Florida principal smoking crack cocaine in his office, and Danish students stripping for their teachers. (That ought to get me some interesting hits from Google...)

After you've checked out the Carnival, please be sure to vote for Mike in Texas and Learn Me Good over at the Blogger's Choice Awards!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Diplomas and Gorditas

I found a story online today about schools in a Canada district that could have repercussions on their American counterparts.

Ottawa - Canadian students could soon be graduating from "Taco Bell High" or "Wal-Mart Public School" if trustees here go ahead with a scheme to sell school naming rights to corporations to raise extra funds.

That's right, they're following up with an idea that I proposed in my book, Learn Me Good, and here on my blog, about corporate sponsorship. Of course, I just touched the tip of the iceberg, suggesting that the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills be sponsored. But these guys are playing it out a little further, going so far as to suggest that entire campuses be named just like ballparks.

"No one wants to go to Taco Bell High," Ellen Dickson, chair of the Ottawa Carleton Assembly of School Councils, told the daily Ottawa Citizen.

See, I beg to differ. I can already see Sophomores walking around proudly displaying T-shirts that read, "Yo Quiero Taco Bell High School."

In the graduation programs, the tired old classifications of cum laude and summa cum laude will be replaced with Grande and Chalupa. And the me tell you, Chalupa status will most definitely help in students' attempts to get into fine universities such as Best Buy University or College of Kohls.

I'll be keeping my eye on the situation in Canada, because I'd love to hear exactly how much money a school district can make from Wal-Mart or Chick-Fil-A...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What do teachers make?

I totally stole this video from Mike, over at Education in Texas.

All I can say is, "Definitely Beautiful."

The video comes courtesy of Youtube and Teach42.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sand in all the wrong places

This week's Carnival of Education is up and running over at The Science Goddess's Place.

She has done a great job of tying all of the relevant articles into a nice little narrative. Go and check it out! But watch out for the sand fleas...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Don't touch me!!!

I saw a story on CNN today about a school in Vienna, Virginia (not too far from Mister Teacher's birthplace) that has outlawed high-fives, among other things.

A rule against physical contact at Kilmer Middle School, about 10 miles west of Washington, is so strict that students can be sent to the principal's office for hugging, holding hands or even high-fiving.

Now if said hugging went on for 15 minutes and involved hands in suspicious areas, I could see the merits in this policy. And OK, so you don't want to promote sexual promiscuity amongst middle schoolers, thus the no handholding rules, but high-fiving??? Are you kidding me?

Next they'll be outlawing the whole "Gimme five -- On the side -- In the hole -- You're too slow!" Which quite frankly is a rite of passage to the American schoolchild.

Reasons for this school policy are sketchy at best:

At a school of 1,100 students that was meant to accommodate 850, school officials think touching can turn into a big deal. They've seen pokes lead to fights, gang signs in the form of handshakes and girls who are uncomfortable being hugged but embarrassed to say anything.

What, they've never seen gang signs in the form of physical gestures? Stare downs? Verbal comments??? Will students be required to be rolled in wearing straitjackets and Terminator-esque sunglasses??

Hey "school officials" (if that IS your real name), how about suspending kids who fight, who give noticeable and recognizable gang sign handshakes, and who go around lecherously hugging all the girls, ala Georgie Peorgie!

In other words, don't ban all physical contact -- just ban the improper physical contact! That way people won't be accusing you of being knee-jerks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Can the lifetime achievement award be far behind?

Today I was graced with an outstanding honor. A fine young lad named Chris nominated this site, Learn Me Good, for a Blogger's Choice Award.

The Blogger's Choice Awards is currently ongoing, and every vote counts! Thankfully, Learn Me Good falls under the category of Best Educational Blog, and NOT Most Obnoxious Blog or Worst Blog Ever (though those two categories ARE available for you to vote on).

If you enjoy my blog, I would greatly appreciate you taking the time to visit the homepage of the Blogger's Choice Awards and cast a vote in my direction!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Unknown Caller

Since I am not teaching summer school, I have been home a lot during the day, and so I have had to deal with those annoying telemarketers more than usual. Sure, I could just ignore them (as I usually do), but sometimes I do pick the phone up and answer the call.

So I thought I'd do a little informal poll here and find out what your favorite ways to mess with telemarketers are.

Here are a few ideas I have had or seen put into practice:

1) I have a buddy who would always hand the phone off to his two-year-old daughter, who was just at that stage where she was able to speak continuously, though not quite coherently, for long stretches at a time. Many a telemarketer got an earful of disjointed facts about Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, and gymnastics class.

2) Before the caller can launch into their script, interrupt with one of your own. For instance, if you are initially assailed with, "Hello, Mr. Smith, I have an exciting offer to tell you about!" immediately break in with something like, "That's great, I have something exciting to tell you about too! I was watching this TV show, and it's all about this lovely lady, who is living with three very lovely girls! All of them had hair of gold, you see, like their mother, and the youngest one was in curls!”

3) See how long you can keep the telemarketer on the line while you recount to him the twisting plot points of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Bonus points if you can get him or her to listen while you read your favorite chapter aloud.

4) Pretend you can hear the person on the other end of the line. This is the simplest prank to play on the telemarketer, but it can have great rewards sometimes. One evening, I picked up the phone and said, "Hello?" and the girl on the other end launched into her spiel. The whole speech must have lasted for over a minute, but it seemed like she hardly took a breath. When she finished with a request to confirm my address, I simply repeated, "Hello?" The girl launched into her whole spiel again! When she finished, I once again said, "Hello?" And she started her monologue again, I hung up on her. It would've been interesting to see how long I could have held her in the repeating loop, but I was getting tired of it already.

Any other tips or tricks you've had success with? Feel free to share them here…

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm staying in Dallas

Some of you may have heard the news last weekend that I accepted the coaching job for the Orlando Magic. Some ungodly amount of money over 5 years. It seemed like a good idea at the time. If I was going to the paid to deal with whining, temper tantrums, and behavior issues, why not bump up the place value of that dollar sign?

However, I have had a change of heart. Orlando would certainly put me closer to Disney World, but Big D is where my home truly is. So I will NOT be working for the NBA next year. I have chosen to return to the elementary school that took me in four years ago.

Thank you.


Since some people seem to be taking me seriously, I thought maybe I should put up this link to clarify...