Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things Heard at School II

"They should make t-ball for high school students."
"I'd be so good at that! ... No I wouldn't."

"They can't kick me out for behavior! Sometimes I can't control my reactions."

"Dude! You knew I liked her! You should have asked me first before you asked her out."
"But you already have a girlfriend!"

"Dude, I got a bunny."
"A what?"
"A bunny."
"Like a real bunny rabbit?"
"Dude, that's raw!"

"So we're doing this stuff in gym, and this guy came up and did something really awesome."
"What was it?"
"I don't know, but it was cool."

"Mrs. Miller, will you watch my bag while I go to the bathroom?" (puts it on the other side of the room)
"Sure, but bring it over to my desk if you want me to watch it."
"Maybe I just won't go to the bathroom. I don't feel safe."

Girl: "Mrs. Miller, I like your skirt." (Please note that skirt is boxy, shapeless, and denim)
Boy: "Yeah, it's sexy."

"I'm not spoiled. I just get everything I want."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Sure Do Love McSweeney's

I just finished the McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes, and you can see my review here. Mountain Man Dance Moves was pretty funny too. What I love about McSweeney's stuff is that it's great for nerds like me who have read too much and have nearly nothing to show for our degrees. It makes us feel less like idiots because we can point to some bit of esoteric crap and laugh not only because we get it, but also because no one else does, and we'll happily explain it to you to prove we did actually learn something during five years of undergrad.

I had never actually been to McSweeney's website and decided I'd better take a look. The second piece down was this. For all of you out there with useless degrees, this is for you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Excellent and Free Music

Mute Math has made this song available for free. For those of you in Salt Lake or close to, they are performing on Saturday May 8. Sooo good live. Enjoy:

Are They Really That Stupid? Yes.

I just watched a fight break out in my classroom. I haven't seen one of those in several months. Both students involved were in the other teacher's class, but as we share a large room, it was kind of hard to miss. One kid was talking smack and the other kid didn't want to take it anymore, walked past my desk (whereupon I told him to sit down--he looked menacing), and punched the first kid in the face. The kicker? There was a Safety officer in the room talking to the other teacher. It took two safety officers and another kid to get them apart. Teenage boys are stupid.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

You know it's near the end when...

A neo-nazi group stages a protest. A counter-protest group then comes along and beats up the neo-nazis. This world has turned upside down.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yet Another Tale of Airport Security

This happened about a month ago, but I still wanted to share.

On my flights to and from Vegas, I was "randomly" stopped and searched both times (lucky winner!). When I was getting frisked the second time, the security guard discovered a hard protrusion coming out of the center of my chest and was beginning to wand it. To save him the trouble I explained, "It's a bone." He just kind of stared at me for a second, so I continued, "Do you wanna see it?" I think the big grin on my face when I made the offer kind of spooked him. He mumbled, "No" and abruptly ended the search and sent me on my way. I guess I didn't exactly fit the terrorist stereotype.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Hate April 20

Most people who hate a day in April hate the 15th. Our taxes were relatively simple, and we even got a small refund, so I'm not an April 15 hater this year. The day I really don't like is April 20. Those of you who have ever worked with teenagers know why: 4/20 = license to talk about and smoke marijuana. It's only 9:30 am, and I'm pretty sure the kid sitting directly in front of me is already high. And he certainly won't be the only one today. Yesterday I had kids ask me if I was going to celebrate 4/20. Uh, no. I'm just telling them that I don't celebrate Hitler's birthday. That usually shuts them up for a second at least. Kids who don't normally smoke are going to today, and kids who already smoke will be doing a lot more. I'm already tired of the conversations and rastafarian shirts. I wish I could see all the police reports tomorrow. Good times.

Update: For the story about how "420" came into common usage, check out this story from the Huffington Post.

Two Types of People

A few days ago it was raining, and I mean really raining. The kind of rain where you feel like you are standing in the shower. I had to traverse the distance between the school building and the car. It was a distance of about 200 yards. As I started out the door, so did another fellow. As I was running I came to a strange realization. The two of us each had the same type of newspaper, but he was holding the paper above his head to keep himself dry while I was shielding my newspaper with my body while I ran in order to keep the paper dry. I thought the words, "there are two types of people in this world..." but, I have no idea what those types would be. All I knew was that I was of one type, and the other fellow was the other.

Or maybe he had already finished reading it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Uncooperative Weather

First there's a huge volcanic eruption, then there's an overcast day the one time I bring my camera on my way to school. ... Yes, I'm equating the two.

Also, I had a dream last night that I was trying to get across the city of Chicago in a rowboat that had wheels on it.

Lastly, I learned yesterday what exactly is a pile driver (not the wrestling move). It's the machine that packs in the material below a foundation so that settling does not occur. I guess I can see how that could be construed as a flying elbow...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I thought I was joking

I once made a joke about "Gov-Mart" the supermarket chain. Guess who just proposed $1B for government funded supermarkets? ... :( Or, you could just remove the Walmart ban and change the zoning restrictions, and maybe make a couple bucks off the permits. We are still waiting for a Walmart Supercenter here in Chicago. Someday we'll catch up to Cedar City.

By the way...

Alice in Wonderland was phenomenal, and I have no idea why rottentomatoes only gave it 52%. Maybe I just like weird movies...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Made Best of Web... Again

Ashley's keen eye found a funny and odd snippet from an article, so we submitted it to Best of Web Today, and it got used. Here it is for your enjoyment (with Mr. Taranto's commentary, of course):

Great Moments in Journalism

"Emmy Award-winning journalist Mara Schiavocampo is the Digital Correspondent for NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, the first reporter of her kind in network television," according to her Puffington Host bio. In a Puffington Host post on the care of female prison inmates' children, Schiavocampo writes:

Critics argue the Department of Corrections shouldn't be in the childcare business, given that their primary role is for punishment and rehabilitation. Plus, the programs are expensive, about $24,000 a year per infant. That's taxpayer money, though in some cases the programs are covered by government grants.

We're not sure what kind of reporter Schiavocampo is the first of, but if she's the first who thinks that "government grants" are not "taxpayer money," we hope she's also the last.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review: Folk of the Fringe

From my review at Goodreads.com:

My brother recommended this book to me several years ago, and I finally found a copy in the Chicago public library system. I didn't know going in that the book was a collection of loosely connected short stories, but I found the format worked quite well, despite not being what I had expected.

The setting is a post-nuclear United States. The only community that is really thriving, not just surviving, is the Mormon community in Utah and surrounding areas, now called the State of Deseret. The first story details a group's trek from North Carolina to the Mormon Sea (what used to be the Great Salt Lake, now flooding the entire valley), and the other stories discuss life and hardship within the culture. The final story is a little strange and does deal with sex, but I didn't find it distasteful or inappropriate. Each of the stories is told from the point of view of an outsider looking in on the sometimes impenetrable Mormon culture.

The book is definitely not "Mormon fiction" as most people write it. It's just fiction that happens to deal with Mormons: the good, the bad, the weird, and the very ugly. One does not need much familiarity with Mormon culture to connect with the themes of community, outcast, family, faith, love, and fear. Card's strength is once again in taking ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and making them feel believable and real.

Four stars.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ethical Dilemma

During times when my students are quiet, awake, and working, is it ethical to do things like Amazon's Mechanical Turk while working my regular job? I could use the little bit of money it provides, especially given that I'm not doing much of anything else at that time. However, I'm on the clock for my employer and something just feels wrong about using company resources for non-company activities. Thoughts?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Supreme Court Case Explanation

For the few of you who might be interested in understanding the Citizens United supreme court case and have 20 minutes free, my cousin made a video that explains it quite well. Nice job Quincy. I was actually pretty surprised that it was so well done (not that my expectations are that low... it was just really thorough and good. :) ).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sunny and 72 with a slight breeze

That's the weather at our house today. I wish I had a garden to be digging in right now. I am also forming plans that involve ice cream sandwiches and a bench at the university with Jake later this afternoon. Yes, it's a very good day.

PS: Not an April Fool's Day joke. Check the weather if you don't believe me.