Friday, November 20, 2009

Brad Pitt's Butt

We're watching the movie Troy in the Ancient World History classes. I'm, effectively, watching it three times in a row. I am humored by the director's decision to show Brad Pitt's (aka, Achilles) buttocks several times throughout the movie. Humorous and crafty of them. I can hear them now: "A single cheek of that man's butt will sell more tickets than Orlando Bloom's peachfuzz mustache could ever hope to do." No mustache will ever have a prayer against a rear-end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Names Unanswered

Happy Veterans Day to everyone.

If you are, ever were, or ever plan on being, in our nation's accomplished military, please accept my humble civilian thanks for your service to this civilization, to this nation, to my family. If you are currently serving overseas, or are putting yourself in harm's way, may your name return answered with every roll call. Blessings and utmost safety to you.

We are grateful for every single one of you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Band Fest

The school where I have been substitute teaching this fall offers a Rock Band class as part of its curriculum. When I first learned of it I immediately thought of Jack Black and his fantastic antics in the movie, School of Rock. Yesterday afternoon, here at school as part of an annual tradition, the Rock Band classes (two high school bands, one middle school) each played a set of songs they'd learned this semester. A production company was hired, they assembled a stage along with an above-average sound system. There, underneath the sun's full scale lighting (sorry, no blue gels here), I got a glimpse into what makes some of these students really tick, what makes them bloom. I loved every second of that privilege.

It was a wonder to witness students, a few of whom I have slowly become acquainted with during my three months here, reflect the interior passions which rarely, if ever, get uncorked in the more rigid academic setting where many of them struggle mightily. For once, it was nice to exit "my" world, and enter theirs.

I especially appreciated the accurate version of "Sweet Child o' Mine". Yes, that's Guns-n-Roses, ye fans of old.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Umbrella Pointers

I'm covering the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations this week in Ancient World History. On a tiny Rand McNally wall map of South/Central America, in the absence of an adequate implement, I have been using an umbrella for a pointer. Bing Crosby, perhaps, would be proud. Didn't he dance with an umbrella? Or was that Danny Kaye?

Either way, I'm certainly not doing any physical dancing, tap or otherwise, but more like I'm dancing around the obscure fact that I know/knew next to nothing about these civilizations prior to taking this job. I'm barely a step ahead of the students. Is that normal for teachers? Is that wrong? Machu Picchu, here I come.