Monday, May 29, 2006

I Speak Engrish good

I’ve been way too serious lately which isn’t like me at all, so here’s something a little fun.In the past I have taught both junior high and high school Japanese students in a summer program at a local university.  One of my favorite activities was reading their shirts that have English on them, as the words are usually combined for appearance and little regard for meaning.  

Awhile back I stumbled upon this website,  I visited their store and ordered the “Just It Do” shirt (Buy them before they get sued by that overpriced shoe company!)

Carnival submissions are due by 9 P.M. central tomorrow. Please look just above the moon phase for the email address.    

Monday, May 22, 2006

Stargazers in the Hauwse!

I just got back from our annual 3rd Grade stargazing party. This year mother nature provided us with great views of Jupiter and Saturn and a tiny Mars, which is nearly across the solar system from us. We had 2 of the school telescopes and our librarian brought her reflector from home.

Our school is very fortunate to have use of a fantastic 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron reflector. Some kind soul donated to the high school several years ago, and since they don't teach any astronomy they were kind enough to lend it to me. It is always the star attraction of our star parties. It features setting circles (which I do not know how to use) and a clock drive for tracking stars with the earth's rotation. An astronomy professor at a local university was kind enough to set it up so that the only thing I need to do is make sure a certain axis it rotates on is pointed due north. Any drifting of the object in view is easily corrected.

I am constantly amazed at how many adults have never seen a planet through a telescope. About half of those who attend seem to comment that this was their first time actually seeing Jupiter/Saturn or what have you.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's all in the family

I'm very proud to say that my niece, Ms. Deemer, has been selected as Teacher of the Year for her elementary school. Unfortunately, her school's website doesn't publish such silly things but I did manage to find this picture of her. She's the one with her back to the camera writing down information.

Needless to say I'm very proud of her. She and her husband were refugees from Hurricane Katrina, fled to Houston, nearly took jobs with Houston ISD but decided to return home and work to rebuild their schools.

Incidentally, I'm her favorite uncle, although she has repeatedly told me there's not that much competition so I shouldn't be too proud of that fact.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Exploding Science Project

From the WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??? files comes this story, courtesy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, about a student whose science project, a homemade cannon, exploded Wednesday morning at school, causing the loss of the student's hand.

I have seen several conflicting versions of what actually happened. One local TV station, KETK 56 aired this story that claimed the project was school sanctioned and the gunpowder had been provided by the school, presumably by the Physics teacher.

One ATF officer was quoted as saying:
"From an ATF standpoint, I would personally like to see students not making gunpowder or cannons for class projects,

And to think we were worried at our district about students taking the alcohol based hand sanitizer and setting it on fire.

I once sat through a presentation by a high school science teacher from another district who went to great lengths to show off his ability to make explosions. While it was certainly entertaining, most of them were far too easily constructed and I found his admonishment, "There are some things I do but you don't" to his students would probably have done little to discourage them from trying it themselves.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Week 67 of the Carnival is up!

Week 67 of the Carnival is up and running over at the EdWonks.

Next week's carnival will be hosted over at NYC Educator.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Teachers consume alcohol during school dance!

In another shocking display of "What were they thinking?", two teachers consumed a flask of alcohol on school property and another encouraged students to raise their bottles in a toast to their teachers.

The only thing keeping this story from making the rounds of the "reform" crowd is the fact that it happened on NBC's Teachers sitcom, which has already raised the ire of The EdWonks and I have to say is one of the dumbest portrayal of teachers I've ever seen. Tuesday night's show was actually the second time in this short lived series teachers have been shown drinking on school property.

I can't decide if it was dumber than the Boston Public episode where a teacher fired a gun in class and got a stern lecture.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Baby Bush spanked

Little brother Jeb got a serious spanking today from the Florida legislature, and educators won a big victory. Baby Bush had tried to circumvent the Florida Supreme Court by trying to have an amendment put before the voters to allow charters. Not gonna happen.

Compounding the spanking Bush recieved is the fact the legislature also voted down his attempt to defy the will of the people and weaken the voter approved amendment for lower class sizes.

Suck it up and take it, or as Maggie Spellings says, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it"

Read all about it at the St. Petersburg Times.

Monday, May 01, 2006

When did the folks at Education become such right-wing hacks?

It used to be Education was the internet site for education news. Lately it seems all they print is the usual anti-public school garbage the "reform" crowd spouts.

Check out the stories in favor of The 65% Solution (delusion), or how about The Customer Is Always right (pro-charter rantings from a school board member no less, whatever happened to representing the people who voted you in?)and watch them bend over backwards to kiss some KIPP ass.