Friday, December 19, 2008

Wintertime at Camp Nickleby

Well, the end of fall semester is upon us here at Camp Nickleby. A light dusting of snow covers the ground. The campers are taking their last finals today. Most have already packed up their stuff and are ready to get out of here for three weeks. Parents will be coming up this afternoon to pick up their little darlins.

As usual, most of them have waited ‘til the last minute to turn work in. Even though the deadline to turn in work was last Friday, they try to slip their work in under the radar. Over much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have to let them know that ‘the train has left the station’ and they can round-file their work in the trash.

Christmas celebrations here at camp were somewhat subdued this year. Superintendent Kim Chee sent out a memo two weeks ago concerning upcoming budget cuts. It doesn’t look good for next year. One of the first things to go this year was our yearly Holiday Decoration Fund. If we wanted to decorate our rooms with yuletide flair, it was going to come out of our own pockets! Not having much extra coinage in my pockets, I did the best I could. I went in to Cedarville last week and purchased this second-hand decoration at the Salvation Army thrift store. It was a bargain at $2.99! I told the campers that is was truly the ‘first no-L’! They didn’t get it.

And in the Hey Barack, WTF? category, most of the staff here who supported him for POTUS are wandering aimlessly around camp, shaking their heads. First, the nomination of Arne (close them schools) Duncan for Secretary of Ed, and now choosing Rick Warren to give the invocation on 1/20/09? Coach Shrewsbury has been walking around the last couple of days with a big grin on his face, carrying his autographed and dog-eared copy of Warren’s A Purpose-Driven Life. Can't wait to see what happens next.

And that’s the news from Camp Nickleby, where every youngster enjoys the great outdoors, clean fresh air and daily mountain hikes, where NO CHILD'S LEFT BEHIND!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Hmmmmmmmmm, maybe not so much.

Well, Barack picked his Secretary of Education. Wow, another non-educator telling educators how to do their job. Why did we even think things would be better? Greg Palast has a great article here to clue you in on what’s to come. God help us all!

Protractor Origami

While I encourage my students to use non-traditional materials in making art, sometimes you just have to wonder what goes on in their little minds. I get the feeling that some of them come in the classroom, look around, and try to figure out what they can destroy or screw up that day. Yesterday, while putting some art supplies away, I can across these poor, defenseless little protractors. I’m sure they weren’t hurting anybody. Just minding their business. Helping students figure out angles on their color wheels and such. And then, tragedy struck! One of the little darlins’ thought it would be hilarious to see what would happen if you combined an aluminum protractor with a bench vise. And voila, this is what you get!

When purchasing art supplies and equipment, I attempt to buy those products that have been thoroughly tested in a cage full of bonobos. Apparently, these did not receive the Bonobo Seal of Approval.