Friday, December 23, 2011

TALES OF RETAIL FAILS #715


Ah yes, we often hear the wingnut talking point that "Schools should be run like a business!"
Yeah, that would make all the difference.

Was in the Office Depot in Cedarville yesterday, doing a little last-minute shopping. I wanted to get a digital camera for my son. After looking at way too many brands and models at several stores, I settled on a Canon at O.D. A salesperson asked me if I needed help. After my initial shock of actually having my presence in the store acknowledged, I told him I wanted to purchase the Canon. He looked up the model number to see if they had any in stock?!? He assured me that, indeed, they had three (3) in stock. I took the inventory tag to the counter to buy the camera. The salesgirl told her associate to get the camera from the stock room. Her associate came back to the counter at least two times to get the model number. Writing it down the first time would have been too difficult for her, apparently. And the clock began to run. I waited and waited and waited. The clerk told me, "She's having a little trouble locating it in the storeroom!" And I'm thinking, do they not have things organized as to product and product number on the shelves, or is everything they sell just in a large pile?

I told the clerk that she had two minutes to find it. And I waited, and waited and . . . I gave up. And this is why I shop online.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

CAMPERS POISONED BY TURKEY STUFFING GONE AWRY


Yesterday’s annual Thanksgiving lunch feast was marred by an unfortunate and unintentional, accidental poisoning of several of our campers. Seventeen campers in all were affected by consuming turkey stuffing that went terribly awry. Of these seventeen students, nine needed to be hospitalized. Of those nine, seven have been sent home, but two remain in intensive care, including Bwenda Neengle, the daughter of one of our counselors.


Camp lunch lady, Munthelda Dwerm, made a last-minute substitution to her favorite stuffing recipe. Handed down for generations from her Jamaican-born grandmother, it calls for one cup of chopped habanero peppers, to give it a little ‘zing”. As she was in the middle of preparation of the stuffing, she realized that she failed to purchase peppers at the local market. As luck would have it, Ms. Dwerm had the TV turned to FOX News. Ace TV journalist Megyn Kelly mentioned on air that pepper spray was “a food product, essentially.” She then remembered her ex-husband, Fenbrook Dwerm, left several canisters of Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band Pepper Spray, from his days as a campus cop at UC Davis, before he left to go back to Huntsville, Alabama. She ran home and retrieved a canister and brought it back to camp.


The recipe called for one cup of chopped peppers. Ms. Dwerm, not being a mathematician, wrongly interpolated that a three-minute spray of the ‘food product’ would successfully add the needed ‘heat’. She was terribly, terribly wrong.


Within several minutes after the campers sat down to their holiday feast, screams of pain and terror could be heard emanating from the cafeteria. Many students ran out, mouths open, and headed for the lake, where some were able to subdue the pain by gulping down lake water.


Bobbie Dean Prunt, one of the affected campers, was asked by a reporter from the local newspaper what the stuffing tasted like. He replied, “It tasted like burning!”


And that’s the news from Camp Nickleby, where students enjoy daily, mountain hikes, and no child’s left behind.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

BRUNCH TIME AT CAMP!


I guess there is currently a comma shortage taking place in the United States.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TEACHING IS EASY! ANYBODY CAN DO IT!

Found this in the September 24, 2011 edition of the Los Angeles Times. This guy's story sounds vaguely familiar, but I'm not exactly sure why that is.

Oh, wait, I do know!!!

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/24/local/la-me-0924-banks-20110924

My favorite part:

While Davidson was "trying to give a lesson on shading," the troublemakers were "whacking each other with rulers, throwing paper across the room, getting up and walking around."

They blocked the door when he tried to close it, talked over him when he tried to teach.

The first time it happened this semester, he summoned security "four times during the period and help never came."

Day after frustrating day, he said, the scenario replayed. And when he sought support, administrators met his request with a checklist: Have you contacted their parents? Have you encouraged the students? Have you treated them with respect?

Yes, that's it! Just treat them with respect and everything will be swell. Why, you'll have them eating out of your hand. Or eating your hand! I'm not really sure which.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

MOTIVATIONAL POSTER FOR SEPTEMBER


OK, now I think they're going just a little bit too far!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Schools Matter: On Democracy Now! "Poverty Is the Problem": Effort...

Schools Matter: On Democracy Now! "Poverty Is the Problem": Effort...: The Democracy Now! team discusses recent developments in New York's assessment plans, the U.S. Department of Education's controversial No Ch...

CERAMICS 101


Well, we're off to a good start this school year. Yesterday I demonstrated throwing on the potter's wheel. Today, a few of the campers gave it a try. Overheard one future potter say to his friend, "I don't know what I'm doing. I wasn't paying attention yesterday." And so it goes . . .

Friday, April 22, 2011

RIP, Hazel Dickens

Hazel Dickens was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. She was the eighth child of an eleven-child mining family in West Virginia. Her music is characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs.

I'm going to go into the next room and tune up my Dobro, in Hazel's honor.


Monday, April 18, 2011

EDUCATIONAL 'TOOL' FOR APRIL

DING, DING, DING, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Selecting the Educational 'Tool' of the Month is always a difficult task here at Camp Nickleby because there is always a plethora of choices. This month we narrowed it down to James Carville's wife, right-wing pundit Mary Matalin!

We were sitting around Spellings Hall Friday night, listening to Left, Right and Center, streamed from KCRW in Santa Monica (the Home of the Homeless). The discussion of weekly news eventually entered the murky world of EDUCATION REFORM (turn up the screeching violins)! When it was Mrs. Carville's turn to chime in, we all waited with baited breath. And then, there it was. "The problem with our schools is that there are too many bad teachers who can't be fired because of TEACHER UNIONS (more screeching violins . . . Norman?)."

Thanks again Mrs. Carville for staying with the Republican script and reducing political discourse to meaningless, right-wing sound bites.

Friday, April 8, 2011

USING THEIR NEWLY-ACQUIRED 21ST CENTURY SKILLS

WHAT TIME IS IT? Well, I received quite a shock yesterday. One of the campers asked me what time it was. I politely pointed to the old-school, analog clock on the wall, prominently displaying the time as 1:43 p.m. My little 10th grader sheepishly told me she didn't know how to tell time on 'one of those kind of clocks'! I proceeded to ask the rest of class how many had trouble telling time on an analog clock. About 75% of the campers raised their hands, and one piped up and volunteered, "That what our cell phones are for!" OMG

Sunday, March 27, 2011

THIS ABOUT SUMS IT UP!

WAS LISTENING TO ROBBIE'S SHOW ON KPFA THIS MORNING. THIS CAME ON, SUNG BY THE FOREMAN. THOUGHT IT WAS VERY APROPOS, CONSIDERING THE CURRENT ZEITGEIST IN THE GOOD OLD USA!

Couldn't find a YouTube version of it. Maybe I'll do one!!!

Everyman (for Himself)
words and music by Roy Zimmerman
*

(sung)
When your heart is heavy
When the night has been too long
When every road you choose
Muddies up your shoes
And leads you wrong

When you're cold and lonely
When your rope is at its end
When darkness clouds the skies
And tears fill your eyes
When you just need a friend

Don't look at me
Wipe your own damn nose
And if I've kept you down or made you cry
Or trampled all your hopes and dreams
Well, that's the way it goes

In heaven there's no hate or war
In heaven no one's hungry or poor
In heaven they hold hands evermore
But we're on earth
And here on earth
It's everyman for himself

When you're a Black, Chicano, Native-American, Jewish lesbian folk singer
And this morning when you woke up you hit your head on the steering wheel
You're shoulder deep in s#%&
And you just wanna quit
I know how you can get a handgun without the usual background check

Get off my lawn
Pay your rent on time

And if I hire illegals to build a wall around my property
It's just 'cause I'm
Tough on crime

In heaven there's no fear or need
In heaven no one's rabid with greed
In heaven you get laid guaranteed
But we're on earth
And here on earth
It's everyman for himself

'Cause there's a hot wind a'blowin'
Can't you feel it?
It's blowin' hard!
So, where's your national pride, brother?
Where's your national I.D. card?

(spoken)
And even as we send the American liberal off to the great society in the sky, we await the day when he'll be joined by his friends, the literate and the tolerant... when all the frivolous arts and sciences are replaced by nationwide network of publicly-funded putting greens... the government at the people, and above the people, and in spite of the people shall not perish, but that certain people shall... and until then, my friends...

(sung)
It's every man for himself!

*Thanks Roy! Hope you don't mind using your stuff! Check's in the mail?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

HAPPY 100TH ANNIVERSARY!



Why do we have unions in this country? Oh, oh, wait! I know, I know!

I AM SHOCKED, I TELL YOU, JUST SHOCKED!

Well , finally we find out what is REALLY behind the school reform movement.

GOOD READING TOO! BUILD A NICE BIG FIRE, REFILL THAT GLASS OF ZINFANDEL, AND ENJOY!


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110323/us_nm/us_iowa_1

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JOKE DU JOUR

A unionized public employee, a Tea Partier, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it.

The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the Tea Partier and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!”

And so it goes . . .

Monday, February 28, 2011

AND THIS IS WHY I DRINK!

Last week, we had a lesson on the My Sweet Lord chocolate Jesus sculpture by Cosimo Cavallaro which created quite a ruckus a few years ago. Many in the Christian community got their undies all tied in a bunch. After a vigorous class discussion on whether or not this work was blasphemous, rude, or just plain dumb, I directed my students to write an essay on their personal feelings on the subject. One of my superstars, a ninth grader, turned this exemplary sample of his work in for a grade. The real kicker is, this kid plans to go to Berkeley some day!!! I just can't do this anymore.



Saturday, February 19, 2011

CHECK ONE MORE OFF THE BUCKET LIST!

Just got back from The Land That Time Forgot. Got to see Todd Snider at the Rio Theatre in the People's Republic of Santa Cruz. Great show, great town, great people. This guy puts on one helluva show!

Todd Snider "Conservative Christian, Right Wing Republican,

Friday, January 14, 2011

U.S. HISTORY 101. WELL, SORT OF . . .

This one actually gave me a headache this morning. We discussed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and its designer, Maya Lin, in class today. Reflecting on the fact that the United States lost over 57,000 young soldiers in that 'conflict' and the cruel irony that I discovered that my recently-purchased digital guitar tuner was made in that evil, communist country, I decided to access my students' prior knowledge about the Vietnam war, which we all know in the teacher biz is a very important teaching strategy. I asked my 3D Design class if they knew why the United States was fighting in Vietnam during the 60s and 70s. One young lady, and soon-to-be-graduating senior, took the plunge and answered, "Because the Vietnamese bombed Pearl Harbor!"

Ouch! This is gonna be a five-Tylenol day, I just know it!

Tora, Tora, Tora Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

THE BUCKS STOP HERE


It's a bitterly-cold day here at Camp Nickleby. As I look out my window, I can see at least three feet of snow on the ground. I have a few pieces of seasoned oak in my Jotul wood stove crackling away. I'm in my cabin, begrudgingly grading campers' finals and other work from last semester. Grades must be in by Monday and I've been in full procrastination mode since the semester ended on December 17th. But at least the campers did not disappoint.

While grading their slide identification finals, I came across a few answers that brought a smile to my face. The correct answer for #4 is Buckminster Fuller, visionary credited with the invention of the geodesic dome. Several students, however, seemed to think that he was also involved with the country music scene in Bakersfield! They identified the person in the slide not as Mr. Fuller, but as Buck Owens! They never cease to amaze!