Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

Update - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - (it exists and it's horrifying to think about) has been made into a character in its own graphic novel -

I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  Regardless, bringing people to awareness of it can't be too bad.   On and on it goes....

Happy Earth Day!

I know being green can be a pain, but here are some numbers that will hopefully convince you to do a little more than what you're currently doing.

First, here's a couple of links to give you some info -

I drive GQ a little  A LOT crazy with my compulsive recycling, but it makes me crazy to think of how much stuff goes into the trash that doesn't have to go into the trash. 

I mean, like, really crazy. Like,  I could obsess over it and probably cause my hair to turn completely gray and give me ulcers.

Again, I realize that it takes effort, and I'm not one to talk about doing things that take effort.  I've discussed my shortfalls here -

But this is something that I can't ignore.  Back when I was teaching 5th grade we would watch this movie called, Garbage - The Movie,  which is different than the movie that's out now with a similar or the same name.  I don't think I could watch the new one b/c it'd probably give me a panic attack.

Anyhoo, the movie I'm talking about focused on a garbage barge that couldn't find anyone to take its garbage.  It literally motors around from place to place getting rejected. And it just goes from there.

I just learned last weekend while leading R's Girl Scout troop in an environmental lesson about a floating collection of trash that is the size of Texas that is in the ocean.  Read that again, never mind, here -  THE SIZE OF TEXAS FLOATING IN THE OCEAN. And that's just one of many.

So, please, if you don't recycle, if you don't try to reduce the amount of trash that you're putting into the garbage, if you don't think about these things, please start.  Even just a little. Start small. 

Plastic bottles and aluminum cans are probably the easiest things to start with.  If you live in DeKalb County the curbside recycling is really easy and quite affordable.   Here's the link -

Okay, I've got to go do some stuff.  So,  Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Day in the Life

Fire Drill!!!!
Working in a school I see all kinds of behavior that makes me shake my head, grit my teeth, and raise my voice.  All three of those happened yesterday from the same situation.  It's something that in my 15+ years in the classroom I've never experienced.

Our school has periodic fire drills.  I'm sure you're familiar with those; either from your memories of being in school, tales from your kids, or being in one yourself.  We do this so in the event of an actual emergency we can exit the building quickly and safely, and with children those things take practice.

If you've ever been in an elementary school you know the reaction of kids when a fire alarm goes off.  It looks like this - 

24 first grade faces turn to me with this expression, plus five surprised third graders that had come in early from Wiggle Time (aka recess aka State Mandated 15 - 20 minutes of unstructured, uninterrupted free play).

"All right, guys, come with me, get in line, and follow these 3rd graders." I tell them, because that's what you say in these situations.

I look back over the classroom to make sure they're all filing out as orderly as possible when I see a kid still doing his computer activity.

In the midst of chairs being scooted out, 24 little people asking, "Is there really a fire?" and "How come these always happen when we're in Computer Lab?" This kid is still doing his math games.  Oblivious to everything going on around him.

I shout this child's name, causing him to literally jump in the air at least two inches.


He comes over, glancing back over his shoulder at his computer.


Seriously, in all the time that I've been in a classroom leading kids outside during a fire drill, I've never seen this.  I've had kids scream.  I've had kids take it completely like a joke.  I've had kids talk the entire time, adjusting the volume of their voice to fit the volume of the alarm.  But this?  Nope. And it was from a 1st grader!

I spoke last week about my own lack of discipline.  I suppose if I had the discipline this student was showing toward finishing 1st Grade Math - Base Ten Activities then I wouldn't have near the troubles that I find myself having.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why I Write and Why I Don't

I've had this blog for several years now, and while there's nothing spectacular about it, it does fulfill something that I need.  A place for me to put it all out there. All the junk that's up in me head.  I've always done this, but until the Internet made it possible for us all to put our inane thoughts out there in cyberspace forever, I did it in notebooks.  Lots of notebooks. 

Unfortunately, not lots of filled up notebooks.  Lots of partially filled notebooks.

Of course there are some things I write about that are just interesting to me and hopefully to some of you. 

I am somewhat steadfastly holding onto the thought that although I only have 6 people following this blog on blogger, other people read it, despite the fact that the comments don't back up this belief.

Some of you may find it odd that I need a place to "put it all out there" because to some of you that is how I live my life.  But it's not always so.

I get a lot of stuff stuck in my head that doesn't make it out.  There are various reasons for this, but sometimes it's doubt.  Sometimes it's because something else comes up that needs my attention. A lot of times it's forgetfulness; a LOT of times.

There are two blogs that I read regularly, & and I am really in awe of the writers' ability to do it as regularly as they do.  Of course there are millions - probably literally millions - of blogs out there to be read, and we all have so much to say. So much important stuff to say.

The problem is, for me at least, is that I find it easier to say by pushing these little keys than I do by speaking the words. 

I've thought about this before and I've talked about it with friends and family. Why it's easier to do all this mind spilling all by myself instead of in front of a person.  It's all in there. It's not as if there's a different compartment in me head for speaking aloud and typing.

Now, the thing is, you could take me at almost any time and put me in front of a group of people and I'd be able to take off talking a mile a minute about all kinds of garbage - both meaningful and meaningless. But I get a little stymied when it comes to one on one conversation.  And this troubles me.

So, to get to the topic of the title, why I write is because I have all this stuff up in me head, and if I don't get it out it gets all cluttered.  My head that is. The words, too, get cluttered.  The problem ties into the second part of the title.

Why I don't.  

I've recently come to recognize that discipline isn't something that I have in surplus, and to be very honest, I'd be in the Discipline Debtor's Prison if there was such a place.

I could come up with all kinds of excuses, but it all comes back to lack of discipline.  This is not a very uplifting epiphany to have.

I realize that it should be a clarion call to me to get to it.  Realizing this and taking the necessary action to do it are very different things.  

Caution - Tangent Ahead

I'm going to enter some risky territory here.  It's not surprising territory, but risky.  I am a cocky person.  My belt buckle and t-shirt prove it.  

I can do all manner of things that many people can't.  I really can. I am thankful for these talents, and I could list those things, but the world doesn't need the amount of barf that this may induce from some... What the hell is your point here, Man?


My point is that I can do all kinds of things that many people can't, but I can only do them adequately.  What keeps me from doing them really good well? Lack of discipline.

I know that GQ has some things to say about this, but she has very graciously chosen to keep them to herself until I ask her about them.  (I know that sarcasm flows through my words in the same abundance as oxygen in the air we breathe, but I am very sincere when I say "graciously" there.)

It disturbs and disappoints me that I know this, but I haven't done anything about it.  Just do it! Yes, I know this.  I do.  It's much easier to say it than do it.

However, I am making little strides toward doing it.  I am.  Some people don't see it.  Others haven't noticed that it's there.  That's okay.  I know I have, and I really want to continue.  There are some distractions that I have to recognize and put down more often, and I'm going to try to do that.  

So, hopefully you'll see more of my thoughts here in the coming days.  I've got a whole slew of ideas up there that I've been percolating. I just hope they haven't gone bad.

My soundtrack while this was going from head to screen 

  • First Breath After Coma 
  • All In My Mind
  • She Loves You
  • I Ran (yes, that one)
  • That Thing You Do
  • Chapter 2 of The Seeing Stone from the Spiderwick Chronicles
  • MLK
  • Why Should I Be Nice to You?
Music is such an important constant.  It helps tremendously in many situations.  I need to remember this.

Peace & Love y'all.