Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 52 - Office Hours

The weather was so gorgeous today and I had tons of papers to grade. So I set up my office in the back yard to get some work done. Here I am keeping office hours.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 49 - Too Much of a Good Thing . . .

. . . can still be a good thing. I'd estimate that about one-third of the students on my team constantly have a book in their hands. They read when you are not looking in class. They read during any down time. They read as they walk down the hall to the cafeteria and back again. It's makes you feel really good as a teacher to see this. Here are just two of our many kids keeping their minds engaged and enriched. I'm so thankful to have a great teammate in our language arts teacher who has done a great job getting these kids excited about reading.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 47 - Movie Review

This is supposed to be a photoblog, but I'd like to take this opportunity to post a little more. Today we took all the sixth graders to see The Lightning Thief. Just to justify our decision, it fits into the curriculum in that we study Greece (and its mythology) plus the kids are reading up the books like crazy in language arts. After seeing the movie, I give it a great big thumbs down!

I've read the first three of five books in the series. They have great story lines and characters. It's no wonder the kids love them. Well, this movie resembled the book very little. I don't expect movies to be exact replicas of the books they are based on, even though the LOTR and Harry Potter franchises seemed to have done quite well in that department. But this was crazy. So much of the story line was changed. With the exception of Percy and Grover, the characters were not developed at all. Even the altered story line was somewhat shallow.

The sixth graders loved it, despite my qualms above. There were some great fight scenes, but that was about it. They liked the action. The movie will make a lot of money targeting this age group. Which leads to an even bigger issue I have with the movie. There was way too much sensuality in a move targeting middle and high school kids. Sexuality and sensuality were used throughout. One of the few scenes that remained true to the book was the main characters plight in Vegas. The movie directors made the poor decision of exploiting as much of the Vegas mentality as possible and still keep their PG rating.

Again, I give it a thumbs down. Make it two thumbs down. When the sequel comes out, I hope they get things back on track.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Day46 - Yummy Gooey Fun

At only 9 years old, my youngest son is a prize winning chef. He won a recipe contest at the NC State Fair last fall, going up against adults. He always wants to experiment in the kitchen and I'm usually impressed with what he turns out. Tonight he wanted to make a simple dessert out of a tortilla covered with marshmallows and chocolate chips. He then rolled it up and warmed it on the griddle.

Well, thinking that looked like a good idea, my other son and I copied his efforts, except we added a layer of peanut butter. Joshua chose marshmallows and I chose chocolate chips as as our second ingredients. They were really, really, really gooey. Next time I'm trying marshmallows because I literally had chocolate peanut butter goo dripping all down my hand and arm.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 45 - Me & My Valentine

Here I am with the love of my life. She fought taking this picture because she "looks horrible". She hasn't looked horrible a day in her life to me. She even tolerates the non-celebratory way Valentines Day has been observed the last few years because I work too darn much. Who could ask for a better Valentine?
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 44 - Easy snow, Easy Go

We awoke this morning to a winter wonderland. It was typical NC snow, very fluffy and powdery due to lots of warm air still around. The first pic was taken about 10am. The next pic was taken at 5pm. That too is typical of NC. Easy come, easy go.
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Day 43 - Sword fighting

Here's a shot of me doing what I do best - cause trouble. This is me and son #2 Noah having a Nerf sword fight in Wal-Mart. It was a draw because we had to clear out for other shoppers, but let the record show that I got the most potentially fatal strikes in due to my longer reach and Jedi reflexes.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 41 - How many toothpicks?

I actually took this pic during halftime of the Super Bowl but used it in class yesterday.  My students had to determine how many toothpicks were in this picture by applying the method of population sampling.  The bottom picture is what I actually gave them to assist them.  How many do you see?  I've posted the answer in the comments.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 40 - The Old Bridge

Bridge support
Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
Today in one of my workshop sessions, we were given a tour of Smithfield, NC by Wingate Lassiter of the Johnston County Heritage Center. We learned quite a lot about the history of the town in a very short amount of time. This is one of only 2 remaining supports for the old bridge that was torn down in the '20's , replaced by a steel bridge that could handle two way traffic of automobiles.

Day 39 - Mmm Mmm Good!

Tammy made a big pot of homemade vegetable beef soup on Monday. I mean a BIGGGG pot, like a 3 or 4 gallon pot. We enjoyed it for supper that night. Then she put 10 quarts of it in the freezer. I can't wait to have it again.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38 - empty communion cup

communion cup
Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
Every Sunday we celebrate Holy Communion at our church. He emptied himself so we could be filled.

Day 37 - The latest technology

Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
Very recently we received a new microwave oven in the cafeteria. Can you guess which one it is? Wrong, it's the one on the bottom, with the big dial on the front, the yellowed push buttons, and Carol Brady's favorite recipe taped to the side.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 36 - Lever 1500?

Lever 1500?
Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
EVERYTHING is down-sized nowadays. Or as the marketing department says "new fun sized" or "more convenient space-saver size". Upon opening my new-make-up-your-own-positive-spin-size bard of soap, I wondered if they didn't need to just change the name to Lever 1500.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35 - Goodbye Mt. Dew :-(

Today I isolated and confirmed what has been causing me so much gastrointestinal distress the last few months. It was not anything I would have imagined. I'm 99% sure it's Mt. Dew. I'm saddened and disturbed because Dew was my drink of choice when I go out. Someone asked me why all of the sudden after 40+ years. I don't know except perhaps the intolerance has built up over time. What I do know is that I have drunk my last drop of this extreme minded ambrosia.

Image of "Black Death" from the Tonngeburg Bible courtesy of Wikimedia Public Domain.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 34 - Dark Hallway

dark hallway 2
Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
This is the usual scene for me each evening as I leave my classroom to head home. Now that the days are getting longer, there is a little light at the end of hall. In December it would be pitch black when I finally left.

I'm frequently of the last five or ten people to leave school. That includes secretaries and other coaches. I once commented to a colleague that he was very dedicated. He and I usually leave about the same time - 5:30 PM. His response? "Nope, I'm just incredibly inefficient." I know that feeling.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 33 - bird at feeder

bird at feeder - cropped
Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
I don't know how they know when we fill the feeder, but within minutes, they come. This is one our frequent visitors, the male partner of a tufted titmouse pair that live somewhere near by. Someday I'm gonna get a closeup of his head and show you how he reminds me of a blue marlin.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 32 - bees on snow

bees on snow
Originally uploaded by mattguthrie
Yesterday I cleaned away the snow blocking the entrance to the bee hive. Today while I was up on the hill I could tell they had come out. The janitor bees had deposited the latest pile of deceased bees on the snow. This happens everyday, but something about seeing them gathered on the snow made it more dramatic.

P.S. Now that we are into February, it's going to be harder to keep track of the day number!

Day 32 bonus pic - 'Nuff Said