Saturday, February 28, 2015

Albino Brain Chiggers

It’s been so long since we’ve seen snow in the Salt Lake Valley that when I saw this outside my classroom window, my mind went straight to an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

The first time they saw snow, Harry freaked out thinking it was Albino Brain Chiggers, which would eat their brains.

Try explaining that reference to a bunch of 13 year olds.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cow Porn Continues

I know it probably does exist out there on this here interweb thingy, but, no, I haven't been checking it out.

For the back story to this, head over here.

Here's the latest two that group of students brought to my attention:

This first one was from a couple weeks ago.  One of the kids said it looked like a Klu Klux Klan'sman with 4 penises.

After showing the second one to me, one of the kids said something about it getting ridiculous, and made the comment:
"It's like '50 Shades of Moo'."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Some guy’s view on education.

I don’t know who Don Gale is*, but as I read his commentary in the Tribune today (Let’s not reduce education to mere data transfer) I saw him echoing something that I have felt for years.

“The CEO of Yahoo ordered employees to come into the office rather than work from home via computers, not because they can't do their work at home but because they work more productively and more creatively when they interact with others in the hallways and at the company cafeteria.

All of us, beginning with state legislators, must realize that information transfer is not the only purpose of education. In fact, it is probably a secondary function. The primary purposes are social. We throw young people into classrooms so they might begin to sense from classmates and teachers the importance of education . . . so they might be exposed to different disciplines . . . so they might see the value of multiple viewpoints . . . so they might learn to appreciate those different from themselves.

The highlighted part is what I’ve been saying for years, the rest is there to keep it in context and because I liked the Yahoo story.

High School drop-outs are created long before high school.  I’ve seen this many times in my middle school classes and thought that if we, as middle school teachers could just get them to see the importance of education, and maybe even encourage a desire in them to learn anything, they would be more likely to stay in school.  A lot of times this is where all the extracurricular subjects and activities that are getting thrown by the wayside by the hyper-emphasis on the core subjects come into play.  For a lot of students, these activities are what make them happy to come to school.

Even in the core subjects, the micromanaging and over-testing make it harder and harder for me to find the time to help students see the beauty in mathematics, to learn to like the challenge and satisfaction of figuring things out on their own.

* The Tribune describes him as “a long time fan of computers, books, education, newspapers and wisdom.”

Friday, February 20, 2015

More proof?

Want more proof that the powers that be in the Utah Legislature are trying to ruin public education and get (more of) that money into the pockets of their cronies?


11          This bill:
12          ▸     requires the State Board of Education to make certain rules regarding administrative
13     or supervisory licensing; and
14          ▸     makes technical changes

26          (1) A local school board or charter school governing board may request, and the [State
27     Board of Education] board may grant, a letter of authorization permitting a person with
28     outstanding professional qualifications to serve in any position that requires a person to hold an
29     administrative/supervisory license or certificate, including principal, assistant principal,
30     associate principal, vice principal, assistant superintendent, administrative assistant, director,
31     specialist, or other district position.
(c) The board may not require that an applicant described in Subsection (3)(a):

43          (i) have a particular graduate degree;
44          (ii) hold a teaching license;
45          (iii) complete an education leadership graduate program;
46          (iv) obtain a professional recommendation solely from a school with an approved
47     preparation program; or
48          (v) have experience in an education field.

So, if this bill passes, the person running your local school, making decisions that effect your children, identifying good teaching and bad teaching, allocating resources, implementing rewards and consequences, hiring, firing, approving and rejecting educational programs and the million other decisions that require an understand of how students think, act and learn will not need to have any educational experience at all.

Yup.  ‘Cause managing a business with a hundred adult employees that can be fired is exactly like running a Junior High School.  Yup.  Uh huh.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


One of our English teachers held in their 4th period after the bell rang because several copies of the book they were reading were missing.

What were they reading?

If it had been a 7th grade class, I would find it easy to believe that there was no connection between the book title and their actions.  Since it was a 9th grade class I'm pretty sure the book inspired them to act.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Danny

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Societal Priorities

For quite a while I’ve questioned the priority of a society that cannot find the funds to improve the situation of their bottom-of-the-barrel education funding, but easily found the money to build the state-of-the-art Rio Tinto Soccer Stadium.  University coaches make more than the people running the academic (primary purpose) of the institution, and as a teacher, if you don’t coach something good luck finding a high school position.  Individually we are willing to shell out a hundred or more dollars to see a live sporting event, but when our property taxes are raised $20 a year for education we freak out.

To me, it seems like we’re playing our fiddles as our society burns.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Yeah, a roof can be a good thing…

Having the doors on the Jeep can keep the mud out of the interior.   Unless a) the puddle is deeper than expected and b) you hit it fast enough to splash the muddy water right over the windshield.

Fortunately all the electrical seemed to be working just fine on the drive home, so I think it was all on the surface.  It did take me an hour to get it all cleaned and shined.

No more mudding without the top and doors on.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Crazy stuff.


Top Definition
(verb) to expel from existence/block on facebook
Jon owed me a cheesesteak, so I asked him about it on facebook, and that loser done rossied me.

If you keep writing on my wall I'm going to rossi you.

If this cookbook is real it’s not for sale anymore.  At least I couldn’t find it.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Ok English Teachers:

Is it me, or is this wrong?

I could be wrong, but it just doesn’t sound right.

It comes from one of the examples in the district-approved online math book.  Supposed to be matching the situation to one of the graphs given.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Yeah, maybe we should ask a teacher…

“When did they start putting cow porn on the milk cartons?”
Never thought I’d hear that, but last month at lunch duty an 8th grader posed that exact question.  I asked him what he was talking about, he showed me this:
I asked him what he was talking about and he said “Well, she’s naked, posing upside down and has a stripper name.” 
And it wasn’t even until I showed it to the Vice Principal that we noticed the power – “Funky fresh head spin.”

Ok, we’ll give the company the benefit of the doubt.  They probably had elementary school kids in mind when they came up with these “superhero” cows.

But seriously, somebody should have thought “Hmmm, middle school kids ain’t the same.”
So, today they opened a new crate of milk cartons, with two brand new Power Cows.  And they had to point this out to me:
Seriously, are they actually trying to make my life miserable, or are they really just totally clueless?

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Making Utah look even stoopider…

From the Salt Lake Tribune, Feb 3, 2015 (no, not 1955):

"If an individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious ... a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape, theoretically," said Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove."That makes sense in a first date scenario, but to me, not where people have a history of years of sexual activity."

Same place, Feb 4, 2015:

This year, lawmakers are lining up to order a special edition AR-15, manufactured by Tegra Arms in Orem, a semi-automatic rifle similar to the M16 used by the military.

The carbon fiber weapon is surprisingly lightweight, covered in a white Cerakote finish with a gray beehive pattern. The state motto, "Industry," is emblazoned on the side with a beehive. On the stock is etched a honeybee, the state insect, and the phrase "Vox Populi," the Latin phrase for "Voice of the People," which is the motto of the Utah House.

And finally, published on the 3rd of this month:

Utah lawmakers looking to make a statement want to change the oath of office and require elected officials to swear to defend Utah's Constitution first, ahead of the U.S. Constitution.

Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, said state lawmakers are elected to act as protectors of the state and its constituents against the federal government.

Yup, our illustrious leaders thing that it is not possible for a husband to rape his wife, gave out an assault rifle as a commemorative trinket of their time at this legislative session and see the U.S. Government as the enemy.

I’m sooo proud to have them “representing” me.

And from the “how the hell did THAT happen” file; saw this on the way home yesterday: