Archive | September, 2012

Pop Quiz!

30 Sep

Pop Quiz

Are You a Capitalist or a Socialist?

Socialist                                                  

Drinks water from the tap after

It has been filtered, sanitized and

Delivered by a Gov. Agency

Capitalist                                                                 

Pays extra to buy that same water

In a carcinogenic, plastic bottle.

Socialist

Realizes that talking or texting on

Your cell phone while driving in

Your car is a detriment to your

Safety and the safety of others

Capitalist

Couldn’t care less. You bought it

And since you’re paying good money

For it  you’ll use it when you damn

Well please!

 

Socialist                                

Votes yes for the school budget

When your kids are in public

School and continues to vote yes

Even after they have graduated

Because all children need a

Proper education.

Capitalist

Votes no on the school budget

Because you don’t have kids

In the system.

Socialist                                                     

You pay your fair share of taxes

On what you earn according to the

Federal tax code.

Capitalist

You never declare what you

Actually earn and love to

Get paid in cash.

Socialist

You donate to charities because

The cause is good

Capitalist

You donate to charities

Because the write-off

Is necessary.

Socialist

You support the military and serve

In the armed forces if and when

Drafted, or enlist when needed.

Capitalist

You support the military

And avoid service under

Every circumstance.

Socialist

You wear your pants at the waist

Because its where pants are worn.

Capitalist

You wear your pants below

The waist because it’s

fashionable

Socialist

You wear shorts

when it’s hot out.

Capitalist

Your shorts are as

long as your pants.

Socialist                                                  

You don’t litter

Capitalist

Litter is for kitties

Socialist

You recycle

Capitalist

You litter

Socialist

You conserve energy

Capitalist

You never turn anything off

Socialist

You eat until you are full

Capitalist

You eat until it hurts

Socialist

Your car gets good gas mileage

Capitalist                                             

Your car has a second job as a boat

Socialist

Too much is too much

Capitalist

Too much is not enough

Socialist

You believe in savings with interest

Capitalist

You believe in the 401K

Socialist

You are concerned that

Everyone should have access

To affordable healthcare

Capitalist

You are concerned that

YOU have healthcare

Socialist

You believe that

The best worker is the

Hardest worker

Capitalist

You believe that the

Best worker is the

Cheapest worker

SCORING: If keeping score is that important to you then you’re probably a NY Jets fan so why bother… You’re a Romanticist!      

Is “Adult” Really Just Another Word for XXX?

29 Sep

Adults and Responsibilities

When I was a child way back in the late 1950s and 60s I remember being aware of a distinct difference between the adult world and the world of the child. We kids were always running around and playing or falling down and getting hurt or doing the wrong things and getting into trouble or having to sit still and behave or being made to take showers and baths and go to school and church etc., and adults were not.

 Adults were always in charge and they always seemed to be on the same page in just about everything they did. One adult was pretty much like the other. If you went to a friend’s house to play and you met your friend’s parents it was like meeting your own parents… All over again! They said the same things, had the same rules, wore the same clothes and did the same things. We never saw them running or jumping or playing or falling or getting into trouble… or anything for that matter! They lived in another dimension: The adult zone. They lived in other rooms that we couldn’t go in and seemed to disappear only to reappear when we did something wrong or had to go somewhere we didn’t want to go or wash something we didn’t want to wash.

It was weird and kind of creepy but it was the adult world and it was a place where we were all heading and would find ourselves someday and had to get ready for because someday we would be adults and have to live where they lived…in the adult world!

Kids played with other kids and adults never showed any interest in participating with us and it was pretty hard to even get them involved if we wanted to.

“Hey dad! We were thinking about going to the store!” hoping that maybe my dad would take the hint and offer us a ride. “Yeah? He’d always say, How ya gonna get there?” That was always the end of any conversation with my dad. “How ya gonna get there?” We couldn’t drive. We were just kids! Parents back in those days would always know just how to cut to the chase. We were just kids and we couldn’t get anywhere and we didn’t have any money so we went to school, did our own things and minded our own kid business and waited until we could become adults.

But today those divisions between the kid and the adult world have been all but obliterated. Adults today won’t leave kids alone! And instead of kids trying to grow up and become adults it’s the adults who are trying to behave more like kids. Now it’s the adults who are involved in all of the running and the jumping and the falling and the misbehaving and the partying and the troublemaking too. Who’s providing that stable adult world environment for the kids to aspire to? Some adults are, for sure, but not enough anymore to provide that iconic adult realm that kids would look expectantly forward to where they knew their lives would someday be filled with stability and sameness and calming boredom.

Today’s world is a free-for-all where it seems everyone is careening towards the same age. Mom’s on Facebook! Dad’s on the internet pretending to be a teenage girl! Your daughter has breasts at 9 years old and is hoping to someday become a successful pole dancing stripper like that grown up old lady, Miley Cyrus who she saw on video! (And she’s already practicing her primping, prancing and teasing in Advanced, Junior, Midget. Pee Wee Cheerleading!)  Your 10 year old son is already a veteran of World War III…in Cyberspace! Wherever that is! Experienced teachers are dating 5th graders while inexperienced 5th graders instruct adults on Television!

Where are the grown ups? Who’s minding the store? Has the golden age of television replaced the classics as a reference source for the civilized world? Will this unstoppable new virus called modern technology turn us all into same-age juvenile delinquents? Because everywhere we look now-a-days we can see and hear adults bemoaning, “They have to have it! We have to buy it! I don’t see how we can live without it no matter how much it costs! How can we keep them from going there and doing that and behaving like this and eating that and buying what they want…” How can we control them? We can’t control ourselves?!

Parents used to do it. I remember when. I was there. I’m not sure how they did it but I’m pretty sure it had to do with growing up and maintaining self control and taking on responsibility and well, acting like an adult and taking charge. I do know however, that we can’t go back to that time in the past or make the world be like it was then, nor should we want to. But parents had something back then that is lacking in many parents today. Even now I can still hear what my dad’s solution would be…

“Hey dad! We want to go to the internet!”

“Great! How ya gonna get there?!”

Back then parents were adults and ADULTS OWNED EVERYTHING, including access. Adult’s don’t own crap now-a-days and access is everywhere and access has become excess and it’s triple x all day long 24hrs a day.  One of the lessons that we need to learn or perhaps re-learn is that ownership, in the sense of taking responsibility for our actions and owning up to what our responsibilities are toward each other and our children, is everything and the public, us, everyone, must own the public schools together.

 

Vowels and Vulgarity

28 Sep

One Day in Class…

A student raised his hand and said, “Hey Mr. Picone, why is that bitch in the front row so ugly?”

One of the things that can make being a teacher so difficult is that on most days you just never see it coming.

I must warn you. Life in the public schools is not that easy…There is vulgarity there!

! I’ve never been to sea and I’ve never been a pirate but I’ve often heard that sailors and pirates are famous for their salty talk and off color language however, I have spent 50 years in the public schools and I can tell you that the vulgarity and profanity that can be found within our halls of education is a match for any profession legal or ill. And oddly enough in education it’s the kids who lead the way and blaze new pathways in obscenity not the adults. Adults have to watch what we say or it’s the highway for us. Some punk will rat us out to the administration and the next thing you know you’re being reprimanded for not setting a good enough example for the children. Good grief!

Every unutterable syllable of perverse, offensive and sexually explicit language that I’ve ever learned, I’ve learned in school from some classmate or student of mine. (well at least until the invention of HBO) I was never in the military nor did I work in construction so I will admit to leading somewhat of a sheltered life and I will also admit to being a little behind the curve when I was a student in high school as I often had no clue as to what other students or adults were talking about or referring to when they spoke about sex or used profanity. I had no idea what a douche bag was just that I didn’t want to be one and I thought that Pussy Galore was just a cute name for a girl that James Bond liked. Back in those days (when I was a kid) adults could use double entendre and innuendo to make inside adult jokes that were secretly shared between other worldly adults… and only the savviest and most corrupted children might be in on the secret, but naive kids like me still had no clue. Heck, I only just recently realized that Miss Kitty of Gunsmoke fame on TV was a prostitute who ran a whorehouse! How did I miss that? They called her Kitty which rather than just another cute nickname for Katherine was undoubtedly another inside joke that Ms. Galore would have clearly been in on.

Anyway, as I got older I picked up more carnal word play by listening more closely in the hallowed hallways of high school, college and beyond until suddenly in the late 70’s,  I found myself right back where I started; In high school again! Only this time there was a new generation in town and the walls of double entendre and innuendo had all but crumbled and disappeared. So much so that not many people even know what those two words mean anymore. And I was shocked to hear what I was hearing. The adults no longer owned profanity. The kids did! How did that happen???…I certainly know that teachers did not teach it in school, that’s for sure.  The Great Vowel Shift in the English language which changed the way we speak and pronounce and even spell words began sometime during the 14th century for reasons still not sure to linguists…but who or what was responsible for this great vulgarity shift in civilization that has changed the actual civility of our civilization? Any thoughts or guesses? Discuss! (nicely)

Feed Your Head: Playing Games

27 Sep

Fine Arts Project!

Educational researchers have found that if you learn something from a musical or theatrical game or through an artistic process you can still access that knowledge when answering conventional test questions. This type of learning works great with students who often struggle in more typical instruction and verbal based settings.

Project: Play games!

 Play with your children and with your friends and play games that involve academic and learning skills like:

Hangman, Scrabble, Sidoku, Mad-libs, Upwords, Rook, Royalty, Quiddler, Boggle, crossword puzzles, word searches, charades, Trivial Pursuit, What would you do?, Password, Name that tune, puzzles, Pictionary, Jeopardy, Who Am I?, Concentration…

Feed Your Head: Singing

27 Sep

Fine Arts Project!

Educational research reveals that the best start for developing the infant’s brain is to sing songs. Singing can help elevate their powers of understanding, and they will be more likely to show astounding speed in learning math and languages.

 

Project: Sing to your babies! Sing with your babies! Teach your babies to sing along with you and make singing and song a regular part of your day every day.

 

Remember; don’t sing too loud or raucously. You still want to protect your baby’s head from damaging decibels that could do more harm than good. Sing gently and quietly while they are sleeping and even play soft music in their rooms while they are asleep. And skip taking your children to the rock concerts and arenas or any concert where the music is amplified and potentially damaging to the young (and older) ears alike. Let them grow to be old enough (and sane enough) to decide on their own how best to damage themselves!

Feed Your Head: Music

26 Sep

Fine Arts Project!

Educational research has shown that involving art processes when teaching academic subjects will help to improve the student’s understanding of that subject. Additional studies have found that skills from the arts do transfer to other areas of learning and even student behaviors such as cooperating; solving problems, taking initiative and being prepared will improve when arts related projects are integrated into regular subject areas. In other words, getting involved in the arts is good for you and will improve your general well being. You’ll become a better learner, feel more confident, and be a better friend, partner and companion to others!

Project Assignment: Music!

Learn to play an instrument…listen to music…listen to hear the individual instruments… attend a professional concert …attend a concert at your child’s school…attend a concert with your entire family…listen to a style of music that you would not usually listen to…or have never listened to…listen to the music that your children listen to…listen to the music that your parents listen to… sing out loud…join a choir…go caroling with your family or friends…listen to the words of a song carefully…discuss what they mean with someone else…write your own song…learn to whistle…whistle while you work…write your own words to a favorite tune…sing in the shower…sing with your children…encourage other family members to play instruments…form a family band for fun…sing karaoke…

Everyone listens to and enjoys music of one form or another but the key to improving your brain through music is to make your relationship more participatory. Don’t relegate music to the sound track of your life. Create your own music!

 

Art Imitating Life?

25 Sep

                                                      Just Some Gambling Advice

Did anyone feel like they were watching Leslie Neilsen as  Frank Drebin in a scene from The Naked Gun last night when the NFL referee walked onto the field at the end of the game to announce whether the infamous (and wrong) Touchdown call was going to be upheld in front of thousands of screaming Seattle fans? Did he have any other choice? He even had that sheepish look on his face that said, “I’m sorry that we’re getting it wrong but you hometown fans are really going to love me for this!”

If the NFL Bigwigs decide to keep these amateur officials on the field in the weeks ahead I think we should all start betting heavily on the home teams!

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