03 May 2014

Political Education Rant

A friend of mine posted this video (with a Glen Beck link) on facebook and it struck a nerve.  Though I agree that healthy political debates and opposition are good, I wholeheartedly disagree with this guys viewpoint.

Interesting.  As a math teacher in the middle of this, however, I see the common core as a great tool to push students further and into more rigorous thinking than we have challenged them to do before (or at least in my generation of teaching and my generation of being a student).  Utah's implementation of it has been less than perfect and has left teachers to try to interpret and create much of the curriculum ourselves, but the core itself is good.  I am teaching kids concepts that are beyond the level of what many of them would have otherwise reached.  And guess what, many of them get it!  He said we want to teach "free minds," but everything in society has minimum expectations and education is no exception.  We need to give kids as much opportunity to learn as we can and exposed them to as much "free thought" as we can so that they can make decisions for themselves and be contributing members of society.  Teaching is a difficult job for many, many reasons.  All teachers I know are frustrated with Utah's approach to implementing the Core, but I don't think any would call the core a stifling socialist takeover.

29 April 2014

Lithuania Express

I carried my phone in my pocket all day today for two reasons:
1) to see if the pedometer really works
2) to be ready to talk to my brother if/when he called

What were the results?
1) the pedometer doesn't really work and it gets stalled, going for minutes at a time without recording any steps
2) I missed the call.  Arghhhhhhh!!!

I can't believe I missed the call.  Fortunately, he did leave me a nice voice mail message from the Chicago airport.  I was able to play it for my kids to hear it.  He called and talked to my mom twice (once in Salt Lake and then again in Chicago) and that is probably more important anyway.

He was supposed to be ready to leave the MTC at 3:30 this morning.  He took off this afternoon from Chicago and around 10:00 p.m. tonight (Utah time) landed in Frankfurt.  He is now probably close to boarding his final flight for Latvia (which will land around 4:00 a.m. Utah time).  He'll spend a few days in the mission home there and then will be forwarded on to Lithuania for the next 22ish months.  He sounded excited on the phone even though he said he was "an emotional wreck."  My mom said he was just so excited when she talked to him, too.

We love him and we know he'll be a great missionary!

(even though it seems like he took quite a bit of time taking "selfies" at the MTC and probably should have gotten a hair cut while he was there).


Dance Class Parent Day

Today was parent observation day at Molly's dance class.  She has improved a ton since last fall when I got to watch her.  I'm not talking about her dance skills, but more her cooperation and participation skills.  (It may have helped that I threatened her before the class and also promised a Slurpee if she was good).  She was an angel and did everything she was supposed to do.  She had to leave the dance floor only a couple of times to come and give me a hug and near the end, she kept hollering at me, "Mom, I can't talk to you.  I have to focus."  Um . . . ok.

Jack was really good and sat on my lap the whole lesson, also.

Sometimes (a lot lately), I am completely overwhelmed and wonder if I will ever catch a break with multiple aspects of my life.  Lately Molly has been a handful, but this afternoon I was finally able to catch that break and have a great experience at her dance class.  No crying.  No whining.  No pitching fits.  It was a good afternoon.