Thursday, February 21, 2008

Vote for Hillary!

You may quote me... I want everybody to campaign for Hillary. I want people to vote for Hillary in the upcoming primaries and caucuses. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Hillary lover, but I just want Hillary to win the Democratic nomination. I have been dreaming about a Hillary/McCain debate for awhile now. If Hillary doesn't win Texas and Ohio in the next 2 weeks, I expect her to concede the nomination to Obama. I would enjoy an Obama/McCain debate as well, but not nearly as much as Hillary/McCain. Another reason I want Hillary to get the nomination is because the polls say that McCain would win against Hillary in the general election, but would lose to Obama (If you trust the polls). So for the next 2 weeks it's Hillary '08!!!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Eagle, Hurley, Hollister, Aeropostale, and Abercrombie & Fitch

I subbed again yesterday. This time it was for 9th grade World History, and 10th grade American History. I didn't learn too much about history while I was there, but I did decide that I was going to start investing in American Eagle, Hurley, Hollister, Aeropostale, and Abercrombie & Fitch. For those of you who don't know what these companies are, they are men's and women's apparel companies. The reason why I say I should invest in these companies is because there were so many students wearing these clothes. You might ask how I knew who the manufacturer of their clothes were. I knew because they advertise their company name right across the front of the clothes. These kids, were walking billboards for these companies. I am sure these clothes are not cheap either. So basically the kids are paying to advertise for the company. That's a nice deal for the clothiers. I am sure it is a status thing for the students too.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Price of Stamps

I heard today that the price of a first class U.S. Postal stamp was going up. From 41 cents to 42 cents. This bothers me. I must say, in no way am I bothered by the cost of a stamp. 42 cents is chump change. I could find 42 cents in my couch right now. Think about this... a roommate of mine from college asked me this one day. A person comes to your house. That person takes a letter from you and will take it to your friends house, anywhere in the United States. All that that person asked for is 42 cents. Is that a good deal? Of course it is. That is the best deal around today really. 42 cents to do that, and they will do it 6 days a week, rain or shine. You seriously cannot find a better deal in the world. What bothers me is... why do they raise it a penny so often? They are just going to have to raise it again next year. I don't go through too many stamps. I never know if the stamps I have are the current price stamp. If I was the Postmaster General, I would raise the price of a stamp to $1.00. 1 buck to have a guy/gal com right to your door and deliver a letter anywhere in the US? That is a deal. But part of the deal is... I wouldn't raise prices for 20 years. I would probably be the first Postmaster General impeached. Isn't most correspondence done electronically nowadays anyway?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Most Important Lessons

As most of you know, I am a substitute teacher. I usually teach 2-3 days a week for various grade levels. I have taught lessons from counting 1-20, to Trigonometry. I have read books to my class from Clifford the Big Red Dog, to The Illiad. There are 2 lessons that I wish parents (and Teachers) would focus on more. It isn't Math, English, or Science. It isn't Physical Education, Music, or Art. 2 lessons that I feel need way more attention are:

1. Following Directions So many kids just don't follow the directions. I repeat myself too many times. Kids do not hear or read directions. I can say them 100 times, or I could write them out. They just don't follow simple directions. Even after i get 99% of the class on task, I usually get a hand raised from someone asking a question that was covered in the directions. Here is an Example: Imagine 23 6th graders. I ask them to sharpen pencils, and to turn in homework. I then ask them to quietly sit at their desks, and that I am handing out a worksheet. I ask, "Please put your name on the top of the worksheet where it says NAME". When you have done this please stop and wait for further directions. I repeat these directions a handful of times. I ask if everyone understands my expectations. No one answers. After a few seconds, a hand goes up... "do we need to turn in our homework?"... then "I don't understand number 5". Then, "Are we supposed to start?" So I repeat my directions a few more times. Then I get... "Can I sharpen my pencil?" and "I have to leave at 11:20 to help in the cafeteria". Teachers and Parents, PLEASE teach your children the importance of following directions. For the first time in my life I realize why they put those large pictures of Stop Signs at the end of a section of standardized tests.

2. Don't worry about others, worry about yourself So many kids are concerned about what other kids are doing or not doing. They usually do this while they could be getting their stuff done. examples just from today: Mr. S, so-and-so needs to do cafeteria duty. Mr. S, so-and-so just went to the bathroom. Mr. S, jimmy and jason aren't supposed to sit next to each other, and my favorite, Mr. S, David is supposed to mind his own business. Each time, I responded with "Don't worry about him, worry about yourself"

One more thing, while I am at it. Please teach your kids/students the correct way to ask for permission. So many kids ask me, "Can I go to the bathroom?" or "Can I get a drink?" I usually say to them, "Well, you are (fill-in-the-blank) years old, I bet you have the ability." They don't get it. I explain to them that by saying "Can I...", that they are actually asking me if they have the ability to get a drink. I continue by telling them that they should ask by saying "May I..." I usually get a weird look.

I guess it all comes down to what is accepted in their lives. If it is acceptable to not follow direction, then they will. If it is acceptable to be concerned about others, then they will, and if it is acceptable to use improper grammar, they will.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

The Grammy's, Fergie, and Alicia Keys

The Grammy's were on last night. Reminds me of a funny thing that happened to a friend of mine on grammy night a few years back... but anyway...

I am not a big fan of this Fergie chick, but she said something last night that freaked me out. She said something like... "I learned alot from Kids Incorporated, Wild Orchid and Black-eyed Peas". No biggie right? That's what I thought too, but then I started thinking about Kids Incorporated. It was a really badly produced TV show from the mid 80's that I remember my sister and I watching. It basically was a kid sitcom, and occasionally they would break out into a song. I have long since forgotten about it. Until now. Why would Fergie say she learned alot from that crappy show? Unless she was on it! So I researched it, and found out she was on it! She was the cute little girl on it! No Way! If I am the last person in the world to realise this, then I am sorry, but THAT is weird. Then I realized that that cute little girl developed a meth problem. Here's a pic:

Ok, some of you may think I am weird, but oh well. The song "No One" by Alicia Keys does something to me that I have very rarely felt before in a song. If you haven't heard it before, you are missing out. I posted the video so you can see/hear it. The first time I heard this song was around 1am. I had left my TV on and fell asleep. I awoke to this song on my TV. I listened to it while I was half asleep. It made an impression with me. The next day I couldn't get this song out of my mind. I really don't know why. If you know me at all, you are probably thinking that this isn't te type of music I listen too. And you'd be right. I don't listen to urban/soul/R & B music. But, this song makes my skin tingle, my hairs stand up, and my eyes water. I guess it is because the way she sings. You can hear in her voice the way she feels. She isn't singing lyrics off of a music sheet, she feels these words. Maybe that is why she won 2 grammy's last night for this song. Take a listen:

Alicia Keys Lyrics

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Monday, February 04, 2008

I am a Genius

After struggling with nap/quiet time with my boys for years, and bedtime ranging from difficult to a downright nightmare, I have found a solution. I took C1 to the library last week, and had him help me pick out a bedtime book that I would read only at bedtime. I was initially thinking about a "Little House on the Prairie" type book, but was open to ideas. I wanted a chapter type book that would leave the boys wanting more. The librarian suggested any book in the "Junie B. Jones" series which is about a first grader. She also mentioned the "Goosebumps" series. C1 picked out 1 from both series of books. He wanted to start with the Goosebumps book. Goosebumps are scary stroies for kids, which worried me somewhat. I wasn't sure that reading a scary story before bedtime was a good idea, but C1 insisted, and I thought we'd try it and see how it went. I told the boys that the books were for bedtime only. We have been doing this for a few days, and it is working perfectly!!!At about 7:30, I ask the boys if they want me to read from the story and of course they say yes. We go in and brush teeth, get drinks, use potty, and jump in bed. Even C2 will climb in bed on his own. My only rule is that they must have their heads on their pillows. C1 likes to sit up, and my goal is to get them to nod off. By 8:00 their eyes get droopy. I stop at a cliffhanger part, and call it a night.

This also works for quiet time too. After lunch, I ask them if they want to hear from the story and they both run off to bed! It is crazy I know. The best part about this is that they take naps at the same time now. before, C2 would get sleepy between 11:00-12:00 for nap, and C1 wouldn't get sleepy 'til 2-4:00 for his nap. Which means a couple things. 1. C1 sleeps through dinner, and gets up around 6 (which is impossible to get him to go down again at 7:30) and 2. They both sleep at the same time (which as any parent of multiple kids knows, is so important).

I am sure I am not the first parent to come up with this idea, but until I hear otherwise, I will take credit for it, and I will declare myself a genius!

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hillary, Superbowl, Kwame, Brittany, Economy and other Stuff

I want to blog. I have been wanting to write down some things, but I really haven't had anything funny or interesting to blog about. So, I will just jot down some things have been thinking

1. How in the world does Hillary Clinton have any support? She seems like a grouchy, vindictive, power-hungry and angry woman. How is it that Bill campaigning with her is helpful? I never would have thought that an impeached ex-president would be a beneficial supporter. Here is a funny picture I found...

2. Superbowl... Go Giants! I'd love to see the cocky Patriots lose their perfect season. I am watching the big game at home tomorrow with C1. C2 will be at the game of course. Here is a pic of C2 from media day...

3. Kwame Kilpatrick.... The mayor of Detroit (if you haven't heard) was busted for lying under oath about an affair he had. His lie cost the city 9 million dollars, and ruined the careers of 2 police officers. I see that he apologized (he didnt say what he apologized for) and basically said that he has talked with his family and worked it out. Of course he didn't mention anything about costing the city 9 million dollars or apologizing to the cops that he fired unlawfully, or to the jurors in the case that he called racist for finding him guilty. Why aren't the citizens of Detroit lined up at his home demanding that he resign? I just dont get it. He won't resign, in fact, I bet he runs for mayor again and gets re-elected.

4. Brittany Spears... are you serious? who cares? She has problems obviously, but a top news story every day?

5. Economic stimulus package... So the government is sending us some money? Don't we have a national debt or something? When these checks start coming out, Wal-marts are going to be packed with people buying tv's. Car dealerships will be offering to double your checks if you buy a car. I guess it will stimulate the economy in the short term, but by September, we will be right back were we are now... in a recession. My advice (if you care), invest it... pretend like you never got it and stick it away somewhere in an investment.... buy a long term CD, or even a savings account. That wont help the economy much today, but I gaurantee you'll be happier long term.

6. My boys are training to be boxers... when they wake up, it's like the first round bell going off. Ding Ding Ding!!! 10 rounds later, it's bedtime. They fight over toys, food, couch space, and floor space. They fight over Mom time, Dad time and even bath time. I spend a large amount of my day playing umpire when I should be doing laundry or cooking dinner. I know, I know it's all part of being a parent, but can anyone give me any advice on making these boys play nice?

I guess that is all for now.

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