New DVD Day

Home MoviesAfter work today I drove over to Best Buy to purchase a new DVD release, which I am watching as I type this. I bought Home Movies Season Two. If you haven't seen the program, it is about a third grader named Brendon who makes home movies with his friends Melissa and Jason. I'm not sure exactly what it is that I like about the program. Perhaps it's the odd story lines or maybe it's the sarcastic, smart humor, but I really like this show. It's part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, but I just can't stay up until 1:00 in the morning to watch it. I was surprised to see that the second season was coming out on DVD so soon after the first season. I was afraid that sales of the first season wouldn't be enough to justify releasing the second season.

This evening my fiancee and I, as well as my mother, went to my aunt and uncle's house in Hudson for dinner. My cousin, his wife, and their eighteen-month-old son are here on vacation for a few weeks from Germany where they live. It was good to see them once again as I only get to see them at Christmas and perhaps one other time during the year. We had a really good, big turkey dinner. It almost felt like Thanksgiving. Fortunately, I exercised some restraint and did not stuff myself.


Oh My God!

Thanks to Homercles, I took the "Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?" quiz. Why did I end up being C-3PO?

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com


How Sinful I Am

I just found this quiz thanks to my friend Ana. I'm really scared about how insightful the comment at the end is.

Your Deadly Sins

Sloth: 60%

Gluttony: 40%

Greed: 40%

Wrath: 20%

Envy: 0%

Lust: 0%

Pride: 0%

Chance You'll Go to Hell: 23%

You will die with your hand down your underwear, watching Star Trek.


The Weekend's Here!

The weekend is finally here, and it's going to be a busy one. First though, I have to say that school went much better today. I really enjoys having an extra free period. Since the seniors are done with school, and all of the students in my AP Calculus class were seniors, I now have a class period, other than my planning period, with no students. To top it all off, I actually get to stay in my own classroom during this period. That helped me to get a lot of work done today.

This weekend is going to be very busy. My fiancee, Mel, and I have a few graduation parties to go to. At least they are all in the Cedar Rapids area. We have one tomorrow night for Mel's cousin. Her graduation is tonight, but I don't think we'll be able to make it to the ceremony. Mel's coworkers are throwing her a going-away party after she gets off work today. So, I don't know when we'll make it to C.R. After tomorrow's graduation party, Mel's parents are going to stop by to see our house since they haven't seen it yet. Then we're planning on meeting some friends for dinner.

We have a graduation party for two people to go two on Sunday. They are for children of a friend of Mel. One of them is graduating from college and the other from high school. On top of all of this, I want to finish painting the master bathroom in our house and put together the cabinet we bought for that same bathroom.


Eight Days To Go

Now that school has ended today, there are just eight days left of the school year and after this afternoon, I feel that it is eight days too many! I really do not like my seventh period class. There are just too many disruptive students in that class. I have called parents, sent them to the office, and written office referrals, but these students just keep screwing around in class. I have to say that this class really helped me in my decision to leave teaching. There are really three main students in the class who are the most disruptive. At this point, one of them has absolutely no chance of getting a passing grade for the semester. It is really too bad that he has to still come to class. Things would be much better if he would just be removed from class. Another of these three students is right on the F/D- border. His current grade is about 59.8% with 60% needed to pass. Since I round the final grades to the nearest whole percent, he is passing, but barely. I would think that be seeing that he is barely passing, he would be inclined to pay attention. In order to pass the class, he needs to get at least 60% on his final exam. If he gets 59% on the test, he'll fail the class and get to take it over again next year. The other student is currently getting a C and will pass the class for sure. Perhaps it's because I was a good student in school that I find it hard to understand why some students would not want to try to learn as much as they can. Perhaps it is best that I am leaving teaching. I guess I just don't have what it takes to motivate some students.

End of the Year

Today is the last day of school for seniors where I teach. I am really looking forward to their departure. Once the seniors are done, I will have an extra class period for planning, grading, and doing other administrative tasks at work as I have one class that is entirely seniors. Also, I won't have to find something to fill the time with them to make it look like I am still teaching the class. The class that I am talking about is an Advanced Placement class. The students in the class took the AP exam a couple of weeks ago, so they feel that they should be done. Personally, I feel that way too. I suppose I could have taught more after the exam, but they were all burned out on calculus by this time. Besides, I was told by other AP teachers at my school that once the students take the exam, they usually don't do much of anything. For a while I wasn't doing anything in this class after their exam, but last week my principal spoke with me. It seems that she found out that my students were playing cards and just talking. She told me that I had to continue teaching them until the end of the year. I had no problem with this directive. So, I resumed teaching my AP Calculus class.

Now, after talking with my calculus students, I feel that I am being singled out for some reason. They are telling me that in another of their AP classes, they are watching a Star Wars movie. I can't figure out how this is remotely related to the content of the class in question. While I know that this happens frequently, showing a movie of this type to a group, that has no relevance to the curriculum, violates copyright laws. To make me even more upset about this is that the students tell me that the movie they are watching is Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith! This means that the teacher is not only showing a movie that has nothing to do with his or her class, but that he or she is showing a pirated movie! I imagine that if this teacher gets caught, there will be hell to pay. So today, I will continue to show The Standard Deviants: Calculus Part 2. While most of the class isn't paying attention, I am at least showing something relevant to my curriculum!

For all other students, there are nine days of school remaining. We were supposed to be finished on June 2, but we have four snow days to make up. While they were nice at the time, I am really regretting having those weather-related cancellations. If we ended school on time, I would have a whole week off before I start my new job. As it is now, I'll just have a three-day weekend. I would have pushed back my start date, but as I was offered the position in January of February, they already waited a while for me to begin. Besides, if I waited another week to begin, I'd have one less week of getting paid from two jobs.

Yesterday afternoon we had our final faculty meeting of the school year. Much of it was spent talking about technology improvements for next year. I guess our student information system isn't adequate, so the school district is going to look into a web-based application to allow teachers and others to access necessary student information more easily. This will probably also allow parents to access student grades online throughout the school year. They won't have to wait until the end of a grading period anymore. I think that this will be a big benefit for parents, students, and teachers. This will really aid with parent communication. This is actually something that I would like to be involved in implementing. Of course I am leaving teaching, so I will not be a part of this. I know I will miss some aspects of teaching, so the end of this school year is somewhat bittersweet, but I'm sure I will enjoy my new career. Besides, there isn't anything keeping me from returning to teaching in the future if I should decide to do so.


More Revenge of the Sith Comments

I have a couple more comments about Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith that I forgot to make in my entry earlier this morning. Homercles made a reference to George Lucas's politics and the comments that Episode III has been perceived by some to be a "thinly-veiled parable of the Bush administration." Having heard this comment prior to seeing the movie, I can see where some people may feel this way. I don't know if I would have noticed this however if I had not heard these comments prior to seeing the movie though. Oh heck, yes I would have, but only because I can't stand President Bush. That does cause me to see some things through biased eyes.

Another, non-political, comment that I have about Revenge of the Sith is that while the lightsaber may be "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age," it is really quite good at removing any appendages that may be causing one trouble. I don't know how elegant it is to cut off someone's hands, arms, legs, or whatever other body part one may want to remove, but the lightsaber certainly does the trick.

Opening Night

Last night my fiancée and I got in line at around 9:30 to see Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. We only had to stand in line for about half an hour before we were seated in the theater. That was nice, because it would have been a bit tiring to have to stand in line for another two hours. Instead, we got to sit in the theater for two hours watching the same advertising on the screen repeat itself dozens of times. Besides watching advertisements and movie trivia for two hours, we were kept entertained by a couple of audience members who asked several Star Wars trivia questions. I got one correct and won a fantastic prize! It was a sticker with an image of Obi-Wan and Anakin fighting. Whoopee! This is part of the reason that I wanted to go to a midnight showing of Star Wars on opening night. You don’t see things like this happen at any other time. Eventually that did get old however. The original people asking trivia questions were interesting, as were some of the people shouting out bogus replies, but when some kid started asking questions, people kind of get fed up with the trivia.

Just after midnight, the theater lights began to dim, and we were “treated” to twenty minutes of commercials and previews. I really don’t mind the trailers for upcoming movies, but I didn’t pay eight dollars a ticket to watch commercials for Coca-Cola or to see Wayne Brady tell me how to diet healthfully. Around 12:20, the movie finally began.

It started out pretty good. George Lucas definitely didn’t waste any time getting right into the action, but I felt that there was just way too much humor in the first twenty minutes of the show. My fiancée didn’t think it was over done, but I could have done with fewer comedic moments courtesy of R2-D2 and an assortment of other droids.

As the movie progressed, it got much better. The comedy went away entirely, and the darker side of Star Wars finally came out. There were some moments that were truly disturbing. I could have done without some of the implied violence. Thankfully Lucas decided not to show the complete extent of the attacks on the Jedi.

I feel that Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith really tied the two trilogies together. The events leading up to the “birth” of Darth Vader was awesome and the movie did have quite a few terrific battle scenes. I think I may end up seeing it a few more times while it is in theaters. My mother would like to see it and so would Homercles.


Living at "Home"

Staying at my parents' house, I'm finding it hard to find time to write much in my blog. Overall, I have to say that things are going well. It's nice having a place to stay in Waterloo so I don't have to drive 60 miles to work every day. What's even better is having dinners cooked for both me and my fiancee most nights and not having to pay any rent. I've also been able to watch Jeopardy! more regularly than I had been recently. My parents watch it during dinner every night. One thing that is driving me a bit crazy is my mother's obsession with politics! Fortunately I get up before anyone else in the house, other than my fiancee, but she leaves for work about an hour before I wake up. When my mom wakes up in the morning, she turns the TV on to C-SPAN, and she turns the volume up pretty high so she can hear it when she's getting ready for work. Also, she tapes Crossfire on CNN which I usually end up seeing the beginning of since she watches it immediately after finishing Jeopardy!. I have to say that it is not one of my favorite programs to watch although I do find the beginning segment, the one in which each of the hosts introduces a topic to talk about for about a minute and a half, interesting sometimes. I find it most enjoyable when Robert Novak ends up looking like a jackass, which in my opinion is quite often.

This weekend is not going to be so good. My fiancee has to work both Saturday and Sunday, so she is staying in Waterloo for the weekend. I am still going to our Cedar Rapids house tomorrow morning however as the cable guy is coming to hook up the digital cable and the high-speed internet. It will be nice to have television to watch once again on the weekends. We've been limited to just watching things that we have on DVD for the past few weekends. Also, I have to check on the cat. My good friend Homercles has been feeding him a couple of times during the week while we've been gone, but the cat does not like strangers, so I will have to comfort him, reassuring him that we'll be back. I just hope the cat isn't too traumatized from being left home alone all week.

Tonight is the two-hour series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise. At first I wasn't too impressed with the program, but lately it has been getting better. I kind of wish that it could hang on for just one more season, but alas, tonight is the end. Of course, I could always get them on DVD as season one was just released. It would be a lot less expensive than it was to buy all seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as there are far fewer episodes of Enterprise. I think I'll probably pass on that however.

Well, I had better be off to work. I have just 17 more days of school after today. There are 18 more days, but I'm taking a personal day on Thursday. I hope everyone has a lucky Friday the thirteenth!


Happy Mother's Day

I had a nice lunch with my parents, my fiancee, an aunt, uncle, cousin, and my grandparents today. I hadn't seen my grandparents in quite a while, so it was good to see them. This Mother's Day begins the second week that my fiancee and I will be staying at my parents' house. The first week went by just fine. It was kind of nice not having to cook at all during the week. We now have five more weeks of this living arrangement. I really can't wait until we are able to stay in our new house full time. It's just so hard to get the unpacking done as well as fixing up the house when we are only there on the weekends.

Now I have just 22 days of school remaining, and the last day of school can not come fast enough. I have enjoyed teaching at times, but I am just so tired of the students who do absolutely nothing! When I was in school, I truly had a love of learning. Perhaps I was just strange in that sense. It's the students who enjoy learning who do make teaching a great job.


Where I Should Live

American Cities That Best Fit You:

70% Austin

70% Honolulu

65% Denver

60% Portland

55% Atlanta

I just got done taking this quiz on which American cities best fit me. I indicated that I would like to live somewhere where it's sunny and warm. There were several other qualities that I indicated that I'd like as well. Anyway, what is really ironic about the cities that came up is that the new job that I am going to begin next month could have been located in Austin, Texas, instead of Iowa City. Now I actually did consider Austin as a place to move to after I interviewed for this job, but my fiancee has indicated that she doesn't want to live in Texas. She says she went to Texas once, but she didn't like it. I actually lived in Texas once as well -- in the Houston area -- and I couldn't move back fact enough, but the reasons for my moving back have absolutely nothing to do with the state as a whole. Besides, Texas is a very large state. Austin is probably very different from either Houston, or Dallas, where my fiancee visited. Maybe some day, if we get tired of the cold, snowy Iowa winters, we'll move somewhere warmer.

Currently my housing situation is rather interesting. I am closing on the sale of my house this Friday, so we moved everything out of the house this weekend. Since I am still working in Waterloo, and my fiancee is still working in Charles City, we are staying at my parents' house in Waterloo until the end of the school year. Now we've only been here one night so far, but as far as I'm concerned everything is going fine so far. I haven't heard any major complaints from my fiancee. I'm sure she doesn't particularly care for staying at my parents' house for over a month, except for the weekends, which we'll still be spending at our new house in Cedar Rapids. Hopefully my parents don't drive us to crazy.