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Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Why I Left My Last School

The 2010-2011 school year should have been my best ever: I was teaching at the same campus for the sixth year, teaching all honors classes, and only had classes that I’d taught before.

But by the middle of second semester, I was worn out from constant frustration.  A series of cheating incidents had made me paranoid and angry, I had faced a massive outcry after raising expectations for late and missing work, and I had gone through several confrontational parent conferences due to both.

During Spring Break, though, I had resolved to make the best of it and restore my optimism.  I was grateful for a lot of things about that job: I worked with great teachers and students, my leaders were generally supportive, and I loved the work I got to do.  I decided to focus on the positive from there on out and make the last part of the year the best part.

Then school started again…

(more…)

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Seriously, I can’t be the only person in the world who thinks that Justin Beiber looks just like Audrey Hepburn.

Holly Golightly...reincarnated?

Holly Golightly…reincarnated?

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The Barnes and Noble on South Maryland Parkway shut its doors earlier this year.  That means that every major bookstore that was open in Las Vegas when I was in college, a mere fifteen years ago, is now closed.

The Borders on Sahara and Decatur, where I worked my freshman year, closed several years ago, just as the recession was starting.  The space is still vacant.

When I was in high school, there was a little Barnes and Noble affiliate called Bookstar just down the street from it.  They closed before I even graduated.  It’s a linen shop now.

The Borders on Lake Mead and Rainbow opened while I was in college.  They closed last year.

There used to be two bookstores in the Meadows Mall.  Both are long since closed, that mall now bereft of books.

There are just two Barnes and Noble stores left to service all of Las Vegas.  Both are in the same part of town: out west in the Summerlin area.

There is not, nor has there even been, a major bookstore in the northernmost part of the city, where I live.  I remember a little independent one in the strip mall at Rancho and Craig, but that was as close as it got, and they closed before any of these others.  A raggedy used book store on Ann closed a few years ago.  Other than the Barnes and Noble I started off writing about, I don’t think the easternmost part of town has ever had a big bookstore, either.

There are, however, still several fine used book stores in Las Vegas.  Thank goodness for that.

 

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Family Feud Surveys

Every round of this show says that the answers came from a survey of 100 people.  Wikipedia says that there have been at least 8000 episodes.  Say there’s five rounds in each game (a pretty conservative estimate): that makes 40,000 of these surveys.

And at 100 people per survey, that makes 400,000 people.  Or one out of every 750 people in America.

I’ve never been called by their show with questions.  I don’t know anybody who has been.  Do you?  Sounds fishy to me.

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If a Tree Falls…

“If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

NO.  Sound doesn’t exist outside of the ear.  Sound waves themselves aren’t really what we think of as “sound” until they’re decoded by the mechanisms in our ears.  No ears = no sound, right?

However, by that same thinking…

YES.  Does the question assume only human life is at issue here?  If animal life is also to be considered, and is present, then their ears would do the same thing.  Sound would exist.

Unless all the people and/or animals in the area are deaf.  Then, you could have all the people around you want, and there still wouldn’t be any sound.

Unless we allow for those deaf people and animals feeling vibrations through the ground to count as “sound”…

Boy, the things one comes up with on a Friday…

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December

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I love thinking about how space is really a huge window into the ancient past.  We think we see all this great stuff out there, but everything we see is as old and outdated as the time it took the light from those things to reach Earth.

If something is 200 million light years away, we can’t see it; we can only see it the way it was 200 million years ago.

If the sun exploded, I don’t think we’d know about it for eight minutes.  Could the effect of broken gravity travel faster than light?  I doubt it.  And inertia would carry us along for a brief bit, right?

That would make a great science fiction story: a future where we have faster than light communication and travel, and we get word of the sun’s destruction from some satellite near Mercury, giving humanity a few minutes to evacuate the planet.

Here’s another: a future where we can zip across the cosmos–maybe through wormholes–and then look back at Earth and, thus, back into our own history.  In the year 3000, ships could fly out instantaneously to, say, about two thousand light years away, and watch the Crusades through super powerful telescopes.

Historical research sure would get easier.

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November

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October

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Why I Disabled Comments

A few weeks ago, I read this great post from Eric D. Snider, and was inspired.  I knew exactly how he felt.  This blog has often been cluttered by comments that typically say little more than, “I disagree with you!  Hooray for me!”  Though not usually so polite or so succinct.

For the first year or two I wrote this blog, I blocked a lot of people, but they still found ways to post, and deleting them all was too much of a chore.  Besides, I did get lots of great comments that I enjoyed, including form people who disagreed with me.

But most of them have stopped posting, and I wonder if it’s because of the trolls.

And I really hate getting the same kinds of critical comments in a thread after those same thoughts have been thoroughly discussed in earlier comments.  Don’t post a comment if you’re not going to read the ones before it first!

So, ultimately, comments have become more of a pain than a blessing.  Since ending them, I’ve started to enjoy this hobby a bit more again.  I feel more comfortable writing in my own online journal.

 

 

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I’ve written about 1200 posts on this blog, in about four and a half years.  I enjoy it, but is it worth my time?  I recently looked over my bucket list, and I noticed that there’s nothing about blogging on there.

I went back over every post this summer, editing a few and deleting two–more housekeeping is probably needed–but I chose my fifteen favorite posts from each category, mostly to guide me in the future.  What’s working for me here, and what isn’t?  What’s been done to death, and what needs to be examined deeper?  These lists, to be posted over the coming week, should help direct me.

I want to write shorter posts–more bulletins, fewer essays.

I want more reviews of things I’ve read, seen, heard, tried, experienced.  This should be a chronicle of joy.

I want less ranting about our school system, parents, troubled students, etc., and more lesson plan ideas, useful anecdotes, and slices of life in a challenging but wonderful career.

I want more quotes from books and authors I love.  I want to scribble some quick flash fiction.  I want this blog to be my commonplace.

I want less commentary on “issues” and more exploration of principles.

I want more devotional entries, and more scripture study insights.  I love apologetics, but as in political opinions, what do I really have to add?

(More humor that’s actually funny would be nice.)

I started a journal for private reflection this summer.  This blog should be everything else.

I will probably write less and post less often; as my goals tell me, I have better things to do.

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August

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July

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June

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