Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things Heard at School

"You'll always win when you play Apples to Apples if you get Helen Keller."

"I heard Texas is breaking off from the United States. Dead serious."

"Mrs. Miller, do you know the score of the BYU game?" (asked by a Jewish kid, by the way)

"Pikachu almost died that time, remember? Pokemon can totally die."

"Hey, can someone come up here and freestyle on this mic?"

"I think I'll go to Albania and become a Japanese geisha."

"That's so nasty. It tastes like crayons."

"The best way to make money is to open up a strip club."

"Who was the last girl you liked, J~? N~'s mom doesn't count. Mrs. Miller doesn't count."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is the part I hate

Someone has their music playing, and I can't tell who it is. Whenever I get close, they turn it down or off. I have my suspicions, but without proof I can't do much except ask them to turn it off and then get laughed at.

I went and sat down right next to the boys I suspected of turning on the music. True to form, it wasn't more than five minutes before the kid just had to turn on the music. This kid just got written up for the second time in 40 minutes. Is that some kind of record?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jake's Take on New Moon... Yes, That New Moon

Once again, the Twilight saga produces an epic... soundtrack. Nice work! I am eagerly awaiting the release of Eclipse!

Oh yeah, there was also a movie that went with it and stuff. Ashley told me I have to be Team Jacob because that's my name. I wonder what side someone named Jacob Cullen would choose? Actually, deep down I was cheering for the human kid who took her to the movie. ... or Bella's tragic death. They could weave that one in too. It's like the time when I went and saw one of the Harry Potter movies and the fourth book had just come out. There was an eight-year-old kid sitting next to me, and I said rather loudly to the guy on the other side of me that it's too bad that they killed off Harry Potter in the latest book and that the remaining books would be named Ron Weasley. The eight-year-old started to cry...

And that is my review of New Moon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Well, maybe a nearly-Spring Break miracle, but that doesn't have nearly as nice of a ring to it. The evidence of this miracle? Of the many, many hellions in my 7th period class, all of them are either absent, suspended, or signed out today. Maybe I won't get develop ulcers and a heart condition by the time I'm 30. Hallelujah!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Of Cows and Men

A new technology allows sperm sorting to produce more heifers than bulls. The result is more heifers and cheaper milk. According to some, this is a terrible thing. This was so painful to read from the NYT:

"Desperate to drive up prices by stemming the gusher of unwanted milk, a dairy industry group, the National Milk Producers Federation, has been paying farmers to send herds to slaughter. Since January the program has culled about 230,000 cows nationwide."

Curious use of the word "unwanted." It is unwanted by the producers, not the consumers. Of course producers dislike competition. Where did that "trust busting" government go? :(

HT: voluntaryXchange

On a related note, the article hints that sex-selection for human children could be close. What do you think that will do to sex-ratios?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review: The Lovely Bones

From my Goodreads review of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold:

While it wasn't quite what I expected (especially the end), I thought it had some really beautiful moments. The first chapter detailing Susie's rape is exceptionally hard to read, though straightforward and almost emotionless. It's definitely told at a distance, which makes sense, as Susie is narrating from her Heaven. It's no mystery who the killer is; you find out in the first pages. The story is more about how one family and their town deal with their grief and loss. Susie's dad channels his grief in healthy ways most of the time, but Susie's mom does not. This kind of grieving mother/housewife who deals with pain in stupid and immoral ways is getting tiresome for me. I've seen it in The Awakening, Madame Bovary, and even to a degree in The Memory Keeper's Daughter. You see it over and over again in movies and TV. Moms who are sad and neglect their kids or leave or have affairs or all three are getting pretty annoying, particularly when the author or narrator uses this as a perfectly normal and even acceptable coping method.

For those who care, there is some sexual content (not just the rape), but no swearing. I'd probably never read it again, and I'm not sure I really want to see the movie anymore (reading about a rape/murder is somehow different than seeing it on a screen), but I'm glad I read it, if only to see how these people worked through their grief to have reasonably happy lives. Three stars.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Spring

I define spring as 24 hours above 40 degrees...

Today's Forecast
Partly Cloudy


Hit the play button for a nice spring song...
More Relient K music on iLike


I haven't written in a long time for several reasons:
  1. I've been writing in a journal since January, which has taken the edge off of the need to share every little thought with the world.
  2. I've been reading a really great blog called Seriously So Blessed. It's a hilarious satire of the young married Utah Mormon mom blogs. You know, husband in law/med/business/dental school, Escalade, lives in the same ward as her mother and her in-laws, lots of highlights in her hair, twins (soooo hard, right?), has feuds with the girl pregnant with triplets and who has more highlights and a bigger SUV, and misspellings and grammar problems galore. I never want to be her, even though she's fiction. I find myself ready to gush about how great Jake is and think to myself, "What would TAMN do?" and then I do the opposite. It's worked out well so far, except for the part where I don't write much of anything on the blog.
  3. There's really not that much going on for me. My students found out I have a Facebook account (happily, there are a zillion Ashley Millers out there, so they haven't found me) and could easily find out I have a blog, so I've kept the posts about my job to a minimum, as they don't need to know another thing about me.
My days are pretty much the same, get up, go to work, detentions twice a week, tutoring in the evenings and weekends, teach the 14-17 Sunday School. I've been reading the Fablehaven series, which I'm enjoying far more than I thought I would when I first saw it back at Mountain West Books several years ago. I just started another book today called The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, which I heard about on the radio. I'm looking VERY forward to being in Utah for my brother's wedding. It will be a quick trip, but it will be nice to see everyone for those few days.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This week in The Economist...

This was an interesting article and cover from The Economist (sorry if it's a gated version):

North America Issue Cover for Mar 6th 2010

You can pretty much surmise what the article is about. It describes the use of abortion as a gender selection tool, predominantly in northern India, China, and a few other countries.

I was in a class last fall where a few other students and I were put in charge of a division of a company that sells a cheap device that determines the gender of a child (not really in charge of, it was a case study). My classmates were both strongly opposed to gender selection while at the same time strongly "pro-choice." Not only that, but the majority also believed that abortions should be legalized, except in the case of choosing the gender of a child. I found that odd. I tend to translate this belief into, "You can always have the choice to have an abortion, except when I disagree." People make absolute statements... and then retract them:

"A woman's right of reproductive choice shall be held inviolate." (Colorado law)
"Right... to have children by choice." (the UN)
"Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? ... I trust them to do it." (Pres. Obama)

Logical consistency goes out the window when it's their own ox that's been gored. Some people seem to hold "individual choice inviolate" ... until they don't. Or, "women have the right" and "I trust them to do it" ... until he doesn't. I don't understand it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Tale of Two Jacobs

There are two mysterious manipulating island-dwelling Jacobs on ABC. I am neither of them. Who is your favorite?