Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Busy weekend! Friday I took my son to see Indiana Jones. It was good but a little more hoaky than the past Indiana Jones movies. On Saturday we had some friends over for a cook out. It was a good time. On Sunday we made the trip to my in-laws in Iowa. My son and I went fishing with Grandpa and caught 14 fish (Bluegill, Bass, and Crappie). My son cleaned all but 5 of them. It was his first time and he did a fine job. As a family we spent a lot of time outside even though it seemed like there was a constant threat of rain or storms. Today we grilled out hamburgers at my in-laws and I fried about half of the previous day's catch. My wife and I left after lunch. The kids are excited because they get to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's tonight by themselves. When we got home I got the yard mowed. My wife and I enjoyed a quiet dinner out and are currently watching Ocean's 12 (not too exciting so far).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To The Payson Seymour 8th Graders

This blog post is for my 8th graders. This year is a little different than most in that I am usually am saying goodbye to my 8th graders because I usually don't have my 8th grade students again when they go on to high school. They have other teachers. Because of schedule changes I will most likely have most of my current 8th graders as 9th grade students next year. I am excited about it! I have had a lot of fun with this class and look forward to working with them next year. Next year is when it all starts...grades start to "really" count and you, as students, will become busier than ever!

I just have a few tidbits of advice to pass on. First, don't let anybody tell you you can't be something! If you work hard and stay focused you can be anything you want. I am not saying that it won't be difficult at times but it will be worth it in the end. Second, and this sounds kind of corny, always try to do your best! I know that sounds weird but you will be amazed how much better you feel about yourself if you always try to do your best at whatever you do. Third, always try to do the right thing. I say "try" because we all make mistakes and that is how we learn. If you stop and think about the situation , instead of just doing whatever, you will stand a better chance at doing the right thing. And finally, enjoy life! Don't take life to seriously. You can follow the first three bits of advice and still have a blast! Life is too short to not enjoy it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Myanmar is located east of India. The death toll from the May 2nd cyclone in Myanmar has now reached 43,000! For those of you from the Quincy, IL area, that is roughly our population total! There are still around 28,000 people missing. The people of Myanmar are now having trouble with some people hoarding or trading International Aid. If you can, please help.

The End of School

The end of the school year has really crept up on me this year. Is it because of how busy I have been with everything or is it because I am getting older? I feel my blogging has been suffering but other aspects of my technological education have been thriving. I have been working on mastering the art of podcasting which I will be the first to say that I still have a way to go. We just finished a voicethread (new web application) on our 8th grade solar system projects. I have also been trying to keep up with all the new web applications, which by the way is next to impossible. We just got notice today that our grant was approved for a PV array (Solar Panel System) at the junior high and high school. I will tell you that I am not complaining. I have enjoyed staying busy on these topics.

As far as the home front, everything for the school year is wrapping up for my kids also. My kids had their school Spring program last week and my daughter just finished up dancing for the year with her Spring recital. My son has his scout graduation ceremony this Friday. He will be one year away from being a boy scout!

I have really enjoyed this school year, especially the kids. The seventh and eighth graders have been wonderful this year and have worked hard. We have done a lot of stuff with computers this year and I hope it continues next year. The projects that we did this year were of very good quality. Good job junior high!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Michelle Obama

I like Barack Obama. I wouldn't consider myself a "supporter" but I do like some of his ideas, his personality and his "down to earth" attitude have kind of won me over.

His wife on the other hand has not made me a fan. I didn't know her feelings until I was out running errands and turned on some talk radio to pass the time. Segments of a recent speech she made were the topic of conversation. She doesn't have anything positive to say about America. She says that everyone is struggling and no one is given a chance in this country. This coming from the wife of the first black American to make a serious run at the Presidency? To me, that is what America is about! People getting chances because of their work ethic and values is what America is about. Don't get me wrong, I know that some things need to change but don't tell me that our country in not the land of opportunity anymore!

Gas Prices

I know this has been a big topic in blogging and the news lately but I just wanted to get my 2 cents worth in. These gas prices remind me of the 70's when my parents went through something of the same nature. I'm not sure if it was the price or what it was but I do remember a time in the 70's where there was a heightened alert on gas availability. I would have been under ten and I am sure that it didn't interest me that much at the time. These gas prices do have me worried. I don't know how any American is going to be able to continue on their current course of saving, or in some cases spending, with gases prices raising as they are. My wife and I have already had to make some adjustments to our first real vacation which we are taking this summer. It just makes me cringe every time I fill up at the pump! I don't see any relief in site unless the tax cut for the summer months is okd. Even if that happens what is going to keep the gas companies from jacking the prices up to make the difference?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tony Vincent

I went to a workshop right outside of Peoria, IL on Friday. Tony Vincent presented and he did a fine job. He had some very valuable information and I got quite a bit out of it. The workshop was on podcasting and web applications. I plan on doing my first "real" podcast on some of my favorite and most valuable web applications. Workshops like the one I attended Friday always wear me out. Projects and ways to use the information in class are always just rushing through my head! Here's hoping that I can find a way to use all the important information in today's classroom!