Sunday, May 29, 2011

tv worth watching

History channel is finally showing something besides UFO stuff

Three years ago I went to Gettysburg. I am a proud daughter of the South. I completely lost it several times. The first was in the building display hearing the Gettysburg address after seeing a bill of sale of human beings.

That and looking at where Pickett's charge happenned.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

book of the day

Star wars Heir to Empire

This week was the anniversary of the release of Star Wars a New Hope. The movie changed the culture of the world. Its helped develop special effects that changed how we do movies. It made George Lucas rich. It saved Fox Studios from bankruptcy. And it did not even have a premire night.

Heir to Empire takes place after Return of the Jedi and was the first authorized sequel to the Star Wars story. (lets ignore Splinter in Mind's Eye) There had been some stories before about Han and Lando that took place before the events in the movies.

This one, Luke is trying to rebuild the Jedi order, Leia is married to Han and pregnant with twins, an Imperial Admiral by name of Thrawn is trying to rebuild the empire, and the introduction of Mara Jade. Mara was the Emperor's Hand, and she is trying to survive but also driven by the last command of Palpatine, "kill Luke Skywalker".

wanting and having it all

Last week we were cleaning out the shed and the yard. At a junk sale awhile back the hubby bought some bikes that he was going to fix. I have a new bike, and in the shed is our old bike. We put the daughter's bike out by the trash on the theory that scavengers will pick it up and put it to good use. There's no way it would sell. Sure enough, a guy in a pick up truck came and asked if we could have it. You could tell he had a hard life. Work clothes, old truck, upolstery on the truck repaired with duct tape. Since it was a weekend he had his daughter with him. She had cast off old clothing that didn't fit right. She was about 11. I commented to her as she used the truck lift to load the bike that it needed some work (flat tires), she responded "my daddy can fix it, he can fix anything." You could tell by her voice that she loved and respected her father.Then her voice even went up when my husband wheeled my old bike (better shape) around. "oooh that's my bike its just right for me"

I have students who drive cars better than mine. Heck one girl got a new car because she didn't make the cheerleading squad. I know I have rough kids. I know of kids we teach who teachers have bought coats and jackets for. I know of pools of money collected so a student can go to prom. I hope this girl and father get a few breaks.

Book of the day

I've been behind on posting this.

Many of my students know I play computer games. Especially Dragon Age. Even once on a slow day showed them a video of my playing it, and used it to explain job opportunites. The company is looking to hire over 100 people, and here look at how many different types of jobs they need, writers, artists, programmers, oh and of course test players...

Dragon Age the Stolen Throne
takes place before Dragon Age Origins. One student asked why this and I explain that good authors write a lot of background material to explain why things happen.

that explains it

I'm reading this article on psychopaths, because it is interesting and my students might find it of interest, they may have to read it next year. Nice story how science thought develops.

Then on my drives NPR has a series on the test used to test prisoners. Prisoners who rate high on the psychopath scale have little hope for parole. The parole boards will simply not release them.

Following up on the article I look at the test they give. Some of the conditions stand out. These describe many of our problem children. Especially the "failure to accept responsibility". A problems student always describes his punishment as "he's trying to suspend me", no darling, the dean of students can't "try" either you are suspended or you are not.
    Item 3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

    Item 4 Pathological lying

    Item 5 Cunning/manipulative

    Item 10 Poor behavioural controls

    Item 11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour

    Item 12 Early behaviour problems

    Item 14 Impulsivity

    Item 16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

    Item 18 Juvenile delinquency

    According to the article psychopaths are a small part of the population. There is another quote we use "5% of your student population makes up 95% of your discipline problems." Or in my words when I'm reading off announcements of who has lunch detention or ISS/OSS..."the usual suspects". Its the same kids.

    Can we identify them where they are young? Before the programimng of a human being is done? We look at the young students and by 3rd grade we can tell you if they are going to jail or not.