Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Humpday Umpdate 3/12

This week has been a crazy kind of grind. Every night I am battling to fall asleep, losing last night finally falling asleep around 2:15 am. More on that in a bit.

Musical Artist Update: Last weekend I saw VAMPIRE WEEKEND play two songs as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Their sound was so bizarre and intoxicating that I felt I need immediate gratification. I went right on to iTunes and 5 minutes and 10 dollars later I had the album. Sometimes I buy albums and feel bad. Sometimes I buy albums and they just keep getting better. Vampire Weekend was a miracle purchase, I love accidentally stumbling upon awesome bands. Their self titled debut album is a Freshman masterpiece. The best way I can describe their unique sound is that if you mixed a healthy heaping dose of Paul Simon (in his African Drumming solo years) with a mounded helping of Baroque Period Symphony, then added a sprinkling of Irish Drinking Punk Music and a table spoon of Surf Rock; then whisk spastically in to a fluffy parfait of Cape Cod elite satirizing art deco indi kids and mold to liking. Then you would get this peculiarly addictive band and their sound. Hopefully you like it, there is swearing on some songs on the album but the ones I've included are clean.

Schoolio Thymes: It seems the kids are way over extended at the moment. There is soooo much homework flying around the hallway, afterschool programs, and what not, I find myself trying not to over do it with the assignments. To break up the monotony I did a microscope rotation lesson today that had the kids examining various reproductive structures of gymnosperms and angiosperms (conifers and flowering plants). It was funny because at a couple of times the super close ups of the ovaries and pollen tubes seemed partly pornographic. We even looked at a "Corn Smut" cross section (what the slide was labeled as) and we called it "CORN PORN" which I thought was pretty funny. Every 13 minutes we rotated to a new station and it was just right, everyone was on task, working in teams and seemed engaged drawing and labeling what they saw. So for all of you teachers out there, my biology assessments of student understanding this week have included a traditional read and answer from 4 pages in the textbook, a art project designing your own flower with labeled parts, and a guided instruction team exploratory lab focussed on using a microscope to observe and aid in drawing cross sections of various vegetative reproductive structures. GO DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION! Yes it can be done, learning for every type of learner, but I don't plan it that way, every once in a while I just get good ideas like this. If I could teach a college class in education it would be on self energy preservation tactics and improvisational teaching technique.

I started teaching the whole Junior High and High School student body Physical Education (PE) today also. It went really well. We laughed a lot, we got a sweat going, and we had a lot of fun and I got to wear basketball shorts and blow a whistle which is always a power rush.

AMAZING MOVIES I JUST SAW: I'm officially tooot toooooooting the horn on my Netflix Skills. One might think I'm losing touch with my "out there art world" connection being here. I beg to differ. I just want to quickly give some mad props, big ups, kudos and thank you's to three movies I saw lately. ONE: "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." This movie is freaking nuts, in your face, graphic, homosexual, transgendered hard core rock amazement. Basically its about a German Drag Queen Rock singer and her crazy band as they chase after his/her rock star boyfriend who stole the songs they wrote together while in love. This movie is adapted from a musical so...If you are soooo uncomfortable with men kissing scenes that you can't appreciate the monumentally fantastic and incredible ROCK N ROLL and acting in this movie, I understand, but you should also get over it.

If you can handle this very intense movie, then you'll no doubt be able to stomach and enjoy another bisexually blatant cinematic gem called "Velvet Goldmine." This is basically one of the most incredible movies I've ever seen. Follow talented lipsynching Jonathan Rehes Meyers, Christian Bale, and Ewan McGregor through the 70's and 80's glitter rock era that mirrors David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust/Elton John and then through the death of glitter rock and the birth of grunge. The performances, sets, costumes and musical scenes are unbelievable and I was constantly going "NO FARKIN WAY!!!" through the whole movie. I don't have even a minor problem watching movies in this "genre" called gay film (which I think is bogus they should be in the genre "amazing movies") but if you don't watch these movies then steer clear of this one...actually, its the 21st century, get off your high horse and watch them because they ROCK. If there is one thing I can't tolerate it is people who disrespect people of other sexual preferences. So let it be known now that "Radiate Warmth" means Radiate Warmth to EVERYONE, maybe if more straight people treated everyone like human beings then the rest of us straight people wouldn't have to work double time cleaning up the mess and restoring the straight name to one of compassion, tolerance and love.

In the non gay film but still musical movie category I watched "ONCE" recommended by a friend and not only did I love this movie, I may or may not have shed a tear at the end. This movie follows one incredible week of a struggling Irish street musician in Dublin and finding his inspiration to record a magical record in a the friendship of a Croatian piano playing single mother. The music they make together made me want to quit my job and move to Europe to become a street performer.
I didn't plan on ordering three movies of this musical nature but they kind of revived my once deep hatred for musical movies. (Grease, Hairspray, and others...)

So if you're on the three Netflix a month plan, get "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "Velvet Goldmine" and "Once" and have yourself a movie musical party with other cool people who can handle this level of awesome. PLEASE DO NOT SHOW THE FIRST TWO MOVIES TO THE KIDS and don't watch them if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, also these movies are pretty messed up but if you can handle it then give them a try (there is a lot of sex, drugs and rock n roll so you know).

Last but not least: I heard that this site is loading slowly. This is probably because of all the music video posting. I'm gonna cut that to twice a week. I'm also gonna cut the amount of posts on the front page so make sure you go to "OLDER POSTS" at the bottom if you want to see more back logged posts. I took a photo album slide show off also. Hopefully this helps!

You can vote for Readers Choice Topic 8 now if you like.

We set a new record here on RW of 49 visitors in one day a couple of days ago! So if you're reading this you are not alone!

Well we made it halfway to Fridaysia. I'm taking two elementary boys as chaperone to Native Youth Olympics competition in the village of Eek on Friday so that should be interesting fodder for some new thoughts, unfortunately it will continue my sleepless in Alaska streak lately I fear.


Three words to live by: BE GOOD FAMILY

(Thanks Reese for the idea) If you could choose three words to describe yourself what would they be?


alisha said...

Your blog is loading TONS faster...

I have already found a class for the summer. It's an online course that has gotten pretty good reviews from other newer teachers that I've talked to in my building. I have all the info about it. I'll email you with the info tomorrow. Your idea of sharing the workload sounds good to me. did you ever read my book review for this class? I've been wondering what you thought of that! I'll be so happy when this class is over!

Anonymous said...

As an 'older' teacher-I hate to be confind to 'planned' structured lessons. Yes, I have an idea as to what will be taught and they are written down, just incase I win the Mega Millions and don't make it in that day, or ever!

I even have the copies made. However, depending on how the kids are, or how I am, or what are conversations are like, is how I plan my day (how I use those lessons/units I have planned).

What I have found helpful throughout the years, is to not only keep my old lesson plan books, put I plan my months by themes/even with the older kids, I used themes, more by subjects. This was where I should be and when based on the months in the school year.

Then based on the kids, or me. I go for it. Great teaching isn't about what is written down, you have to feel it and so do they! And if you aren't feeling it, they aren't!

I also keep 'extra' lessons on had, for the just incase moments of insanity, or 'holy cow' these kids are freaking amazing today!(i still have those copies to bust out at anytime...i'm still waiting...)

Congrats, on your day! It is such a good feeling to actually feel like something amazing happened in your classroom and you didn't have to sit and think for hours about it-thats what teaching is!!!

Movies-did you ever see Priscilla Queen of the Desert (not sure of the spelling)? I didn't care for the movie, but its one of Chris's old time favorites, it goes with your genre, check it out...

Also, I had to crack up. You mentioned Ewan McGregor. I am just awful with names, don't normally pay attention to them. Anyway, this wk Alex rec. a breakdown for a role in a feature film. One of the actors was Ewan McGregor-didn't know who he was-so I had to look him up...Needless to say, I didn't know the Velvet movie and now I have heard it twice this wk.

In this upcoming movie, he is playing Jim Carey's boyfriend, I think while they are in prison-its suppose to be a twist on a romantic comedy.

So, who knows, maybe we will get to meet him-ha ha! :O)

Have a great rest of your week!
Loves to you, take care!!!

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