Well today is my first day back to school, I am packing things up and getting ready to head back to school with a new district and in a new position. I am thankful because this time, I am going to take over a well-established program and I am ready to build that program up more and give my students new and exciting challenges. This week I have a bunch of meetings and hopefully will have at least one day in my classroom to get everything setup as much as I can for the first day with students. I never actually have my room entirely setup the first day with students, but we will see how close I can get this year. I have actually been pondering the idea of enlisting my students to help me design my new classroom. I am thinking of giving them the task of designing my classroom. I will give them the “stations” I need setup, but give them some free reign and see what they come up with. So here is to a bright future with my new district and a really great school year.
I have been an avid DIYer, Woodworker and general Build-It-Yourself guy since I was in high school and before that I was the kid on the street that was called into service by the neighborhood kids when a new half-pipe need to be built or a tree house was being thrown together from scrap would found in our parent’s garages. As a father now, I have greatly encouraged my son to build and explore creatively because no matter what you actually do I think that this is an immensely important characteristic for people to have in their personality. However, as a public school educator, I have noticed the creative/building trait slowly disappearing from the personalities and minds of our youngsters and I find this to be very disturbing. Which why I think that there are certain basic skills all guys need to know, they don’t have to be mastered but guys should know how to do them proficiently. Whether it be because it will make them better guys or just to impress that girl down the hall or keep a smile on your wife or girlfriends face. Being able to build a box that can be turned into a basic bookcase or storage area is a skill all guys especially need to know how to do with just basic tools. Armed with just some basic knowledge, simple materials and basic tools, a box can be built that is much stronger and better looking than anything bought from IKEA.
Why I Think All Guys Need to Know How to Build a Basic Box
So I have attempted another gluten free version of one of my favorite desserts; Peach Cobbler. I have in the past polished off a whole pan myself, which is why I don’t make it all that often. But I wanted my wife to have tasty treat this weekend.
UPDATE: So the Peach-Cobbler turned out pretty well, most people didn’t even know that it was GF, though personally I think it was a bit on the sweet side and a bit too much cinnamon. I am going to make it again later this week, with a few changes in the basic recipe. But I think the next time I make the crust I will also use a piping bag with a wide-flat time, so that I can create criss-cross in the crust.
For a long time I have been fed up with ITunes, in my opinion (at least the windows version) is one of the biggest pieces of bloatware I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I have also tried the much loved Winamp. While this program does every thing I want a media player to do it, its lack of style and refinement in the user-interface makes it a very hard program to use on a daily basis. So I am going to ask my readers, any suggestions for other media players on a Windows PC that meet the following requirements:
- RIP Music/Video to major common formats
- Import playlists from major media players
- Download CD & Track information
- Organize Music & Video libraries based on a defined structure
- Playlist generator based on song music style
Yesterday after work, I heard about the bombings in Boston and at first, I was in shock in a similar fashion as I was when I heard about the attacks of 9/11. However, this time I did not think it was radio joke as my first thought. It was not again, someone has brought violence to the shores of our country. My heart goes out to those injured by the bombing and to everyone associated with such a horrible event; it is another instance in our country’s history that will be unfortunately galvanized into our countries psyche forever. This event has also made realize that I have accepted that events like this are possibility anywhere in our country and at anytime. My wife and I made a plan for what happens to our family if something like occurs to us or near our family; it started as a joke to use, but turned in a deep and meaningful conversation. I hope that my son never has to know a tragedy like this, but then I think how naïve that is. The world truly is a different place, my parents and grandparents knew events like this, but they were far from them and disconnected, I hope the same for my son. As I personally knew people associated with 9/11, it is a father’s hope that his child never knows such a thing even if it is just a simple wish.
I am a teacher and work very hard to help raise the test scores, confidence and knowledge of my students using a variety of means, however I will would never turn to cheating. I am a firm believer that if anyone is going to do something they need to do it “the right way” or “do a better job”, this is one of the most fundamental beliefs that drives my classroom. I am a teacher with high expectations and will always push my students to meet those expectations regardless of how creative I have to be to motivate my students. However, like so many things there is a limit and cheating is one of those limits for me and should be for everyone. It is better to help a foe be the best that they can be then beat them rather than cheat. This philosophy stands regardless if the foe is a creative block, a test or a competing team, it makes your victory so much sweeter. The Atlanta Cheating Scandal has served one purpose and that is to galvanize a greater negative view of the American educational system and teachers in the public’s mind. We are already an industry/profession that is under attack for lack of performance on standardized states and international ranking. Those of us that are good, upstanding educators at all levels must declare this cheating behavior as unacceptable in any form. This is not just to set a good example for our students who will be the future workforce, but also to the country’s parents and society.
So it looks like spring is here-ish, I know it is probably going to be a couple more weeks before spring is in full swing, but I can start planning some of my summer projects. It is going to be a busy summer since I have a couple of projects left over from last year that need to be finished up. However, I have to add to that list about five new major projects, I am hoping I will have the time and money to get it all done.
Those of you reading this that know me personally will attest that on many political topics I have both republican and democratic views depending on the topic, but like thing I am learning more and more his that our federal government is failing us completely! They knew this financial crisis was knocking on the door and rather than actually solving the problem, they played political games and we the middle-class will be left to pick up the pieces. In the weeks before the sequestration both parties presented bills that could have avoided the current deep budget cuts to a variety of programs, but politics got in the way of those bills passing. While I doing agree with all the parts of any of the packages, they should have been passed in some form to keep our country stable. I say anyone who voted these packages down should be votes out of office as soon as possible. Government is for the people by the people, they are not aristocrats deciding the peasants fates.
Therefore, all of my websites have been down for the past two days and this is the third multi-day outage since the beginning of the year. I can understand that a company does have outages, but to have three outages in less than two months in unacceptable. Therefore, I am going to start shopping around for a new hosting company.
I am writing this posting using a new Bluetooth keyboard that i was recently given for my birthday (no I am not saying which birthday though), intially I thought the keyboard was a bit flimsy as it is super light on second thought though I can see how many people would like this fact. Personally I like things with a bit more heft and strength to them, I do think that so far writing a posting with this keyboard has been pretty enjoyable. My real only complaint has to do with the software that I am using rather than they keyboard that I am using to type up this post. I am using a free program called QuickOffice that I have used for a long time, it has been a while since I have actually used the program to do any writing and that was limited at best. Since I am hoping to get some writing done with this while I am at work, I am going to have to explore the program a bit deeper and see how I actually like it. While I am thinking about it, I am going to have to see if this will work with my phone as well on those odd occasions where I need to write a couple of sentences on my phone. If it does work, this bluetooth keyboard will be the latest device that gets added to my usual bag of tricks.