Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Hate Fire Drills & AIDS Assembly

Really, I do. Luckily today I had a few minutes' warning from the teacher with whom I share my room. Fire drills, tornado drills, earthquake drills...all drills are awful. The loud noises, students who get a little panicky or start cursing, standing outside in the cold...ick. However, the worst part is when you get back to class. The rest of the period is pretty much wasted. Kids have a hard time settling down, even several periods after the fact. I guess we'll see how the rest of the day goes.

Yesterday we had assemblies at the end of school, which meant shortened schedules and a change to kids' normal routine (see above for how much we all enjoy that). I was assigned to monitor the freshmen assembly about AIDS. Keep in mind through all of this that these kids are 14-15 years old. (I will try to keep the rest of the entry PG, but it's tricky, given the subject matter and the presentation.) I don't have a problem with people telling kids how HIV is spread and how it is not spread. I don't have a problem with people telling kids to be emotionally responsible in their relationships and interactions. I do, however, take issue with demonstrating on a microphone to FRESHMEN how to use prophylactics. I also take issue with only 3-4 minutes spent on the definition, not advocacy, of abstinence; the segment centered on what abstinence was not. I take issue with abortion as the only method mentioned of how to break the cycle of teen pregnancy and poverty.

Yeah, I was mad after I left school yesterday. I thought about what would have happened if a presentation like that had occurred when I was a freshman at Cedar High. The parents would have been absolutely up in arms. Somebody in the administration probably would have been fired. When I was 14, I wouldn't have had a clue about most of what they were talking about. I had barely figured out the theory of the mechanics of it all. Some might argue that I would have benefited from this kind of presentation, given my naivete, but that's what my parents were there for. In this assembly there was no mention of marriage or really even committed relationships, but lots of talk about the need for latex every time you have a fling. I just wanted to hear that it's OK to wait and that it's OK to be committed. I need to stop being surprised at how bad it is out there for teenagers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For Your Amusement

Ashley and I have enjoyed this new "superstar" band for the last couple months (remember The Format?). This song is especially epic:


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rough Going

Jake's been feeling a little like this with some of his interviews.



And for your international experience of the day, the subtitles are in Portuguese!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Judging You

Jake works on lots of papers. Often, these papers are amalgamations of three different students' work, and someone has to have the final say in grammar, usage, punctuation, etc. Because Jake is frequently the only native English speaker in the group, that task falls to him, and I help him. Here's a gem I found last night:

The production department produced a production plan.

Ugh.

And the Winner Is...

AmyD! Amy, send me a message on Facebook with your mailing address and whether you prefer Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.

And to the rest of you, great job! I've posted the submissions on the original post, so don't click on them if you don't want to be spoiled.

I was very impressed with many of the answers for number 25 (And they lived happily ever after), listed here for your viewing pleasure in the order in which they were written.
  • Mel: "Well, this isn't a terribly creative answer BUT I feel like I have to choose Princess Bride. I mean, COME ON. That movie invented the phrase happily ever after. BUT I bet if robot matrimony were legal, WALL-E would take the cake."
  • Kell-bell: "Glitter"
  • Caleb: "Disney’s Robin Hood (the narrator actually says, 'and they lived happily ever after.' Most movies just ASSUME they will.
  • AmyD: "Thoroughly Modern Millie"
  • Rachel: "Big Fat Greek Wedding (It's all ABOUT getting married...:)"
  • Jashuma: "King Arthur. Until she cheats and they die."
Props to all of you! Maybe we'll do this again.

But first we have to get jobs. Jake and I both have interviews this week, but Jake's is far more important/long term. Please send good thoughts and prayers for him...so we can have another contest someday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In Local News... and a Great Link from Dave

First, Dave sent me a great link of a punk rock band... that did an entire mariachi version of one of its CDs.

Chicago CBS news is great. ... Great meaning very funny as you can see it struggle to spin news stories. I saw these two news reports (videos are here).

The first is called "Switch to Generic Drugs can Harm." The essence of the story is that the evil insurer is telling someone to use the generic version of a drug even though it's side effects are worse than the original drug. The insurer only cares about the bottom line (although I think the doctor is just trying to avoid a malpractice suit and is shifting blame). ... So the insurer should be lit on fire and publicly flogged. This is why the government should take over healthcare and get rid of the health insurance industry. Makes sense, right? ... Until you think about it for about eight seconds. A fundamental aspect of healthcare reform is to switch to cheap generics (google generics and healthcare reform for about 55 million examples, or just listen to one of the President's stump speeches on healthcare), which would exacerbate the problem in this story. The first rule of spinning political agendas should be, "do no harm."

This second news story (also available at the video link above) was even more ludicrous though (referring to coverage, not content). About 15% of the girls at just one Chicago high school are reported as pregnant or are already mothers. Considering the demographics, the frequency of abortions, and underreporting, that's at least 20%. The news story, however, does its best to try and transmit as little information as possible. CBS should have done a better job though at omitting out the info that a lot of the girls get pregnant in order to get welfare checks.

Oh local news and your impotent attempts to have political agendas...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Someone Else's Thoughts on Books

I read this tonight on Jewish World Review, and laughed out loud at the following lines:

"Besides, the more children read, the less chance they will have of misspelling their first tattoo."

"Gotta go, Jane Austen's texting me. It sounds urgent."

The whole thing is pretty funny. Give it a whirl.

And don't forget about the movie contest! You've only got a few more days, and we've only had five entries. I KNOW there are more of you who want to give this a shot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good idea... or Bad idea

So I signed up to do the race up the stairs of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).

... Ashley thinks I'm going to die.

http://www.altergroup.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/sears-tower-exterior3.jpg

Sunday, October 11, 2009

*Spoiler Alert* ... And a prize??!!

A joint post by Ashley and Jake

We decided to ruin every movie ever for you. However, if you haven't actually seen the movies mentioned, they theoretically shouldn't be ruined*. Trixy, I know.

So here's the deal: the first person to get all 25 right (and for #25, that means the most creative answer), will get a prize. We don't know what it is yet, but we know it will be wicked awesome (seriously). Out of kindness to others who may actually watch these movies someday (and to not tip your hand to the competition), we won't publish your comments with your answers for one week. However, in a later post we will give you the highlights and the winner. Deadline is October 18th at 7 PM central time. Enjoy!

*Our lawyers require us to say the following: We cannot be held responsible for spoiling any movie you may not have seen.
  1. Bruce Willis is actually dead.
  2. Bruce Willis can't die.
  3. Harrison Ford with wicked plot twist....Aliens? What the crap?
  4. Nicolas Cage with wicked plot twist....Aliens? What the crap?
  5. Paul Bettany is not real.
  6. Brad Pitt is not real.
  7. Kevin Spacey is very real, with no physical limitation, and he's the bad guy.
  8. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fall in love in New York.
  9. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fall in love in New York.
  10. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fall in love...and then jump into a volcano.
  11. Tom Hanks gets off the island.
  12. Tom Hanks gets out of the airport.
  13. Tom Hanks becomes a boy again.
  14. Jennifer Garner becomes a girl again.
  15. Lindsay Lohan becomes a girl again.
  16. Matthew Perry regains his manhood.
  17. 299 of them die.
  18. Matt Damon is the only one who survives.
  19. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the only one who survives. ... Except for that one chick that nobody remembers.
  20. You think Tom Cruise is going to survive, but he dies. Hitler wins.
  21. You think Will Ferrell will die, but he survives. Hitler is not in the movie.
  22. The aliens got a virus.
  23. The aliens got a computer virus.
  24. School votes for Efren.
  25. They get married and live happily ever after.

Greatest Pick-Up Lines of All Time

Here is what I believe are the greatest pick-up lines of all time (I made all of them up, to Ashley's chagrin):

How much do you think I can get for my kidneys? … Because I don’t know how much good they’ll do after you stole my heart.

I fell for you so hard that I splattered all over the sidewalk.

Are you Satan? Because when I saw you I could have sworn you fell from heaven.

Are you a toad? Because if I lick your forehead I might go CRAZY.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Is there a market for that?

If I were the President, I would approach President Lula (Brazil) and try and swap my Nobel for the Olympics. Sure this is the first time that the Olympics will be held in South America, but how about the first time a South American president has received the Nobel peace prize? I believe that's a win-win.

Fwiw: I don't really care one way or the other (same with the majority of "news" stories...), but Mankiw was quite brutal. Although, he is still pretty subtle with the post at the same time.