Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wise Beyond His Years

When people ask me whether I regret leaving teaching, I answer them honestly. I don't regret it because it was going to kill me -- the negatives from all of the red tape and politics I faced far outweighed the positives -- but yes, I miss the kids. 8th grade was just about perfect for me (but the irony was that the bastards in the district office acted a lot less mature and they're the ones who had me tearing my hair out!).

Educators I tell this to know exactly where I'm coming from. Others I tell (those from outside the didactic realm) usually react funnily -- like, 8th graders?! You cannot be serious. Yes, trust me, I am. And every once in a while, stories like this showcase exactly what it is I miss. This 13-year-old solved a problem. When he saw an injustice, he didn't bitch and moan about it on his blog or write an article for an un-sponsored underground newspaper to start some grass-roots push for change (both things I, as an English teacher, would have strongly encouraged my students to do), he applied true wisdom to the situation. He thought like his enemy and created something to which they could relate -- something in their 'language' (where would this world be without PowerPoint?). Of course they acquiesced.

My point is that all kids possess true wisdom like this. We just rarely have teachers who are allowed to creatively nurture it out of them. That's not a dig on teachers. The key word in that sentence is "allowed."

Think about that while I top off the Grey Goose in my water bottle. (See? True wisdom.)


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Weather Geek Time

As this is destined to be -- by all local weather reports -- my last day here on this earth, I thought I'd blog about the impending destruction that will ultimately lead to my demise (and to the demise of countless loved ones).

Here's where we stand at just before 11am:

This is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center. See the middle of that scary HIGH circle? Yeah, that's us.

Here's The Weather Channel's US Thunderstorm Forecast map as of about an hour ago:

I've Google Bookmarked those two pages with the tag 'severe_weather.' I leave them open in their own Firefox tabs and auto-refresh them periodically on days like this.

Oh, yes. Yes, I am a geek.


The first watch is out.

...and, as I update, the second.

UPDATE #2 (Storm report count: 3)

Note how the convective outlook has been updated.

More concentrated now, tightening the noose on Central Wisconsin.

UPDATE #3 (Storm report count: 18)

Another watch extends further to the south now.

The line entering WI is looking ripe. Eau Claire and La Crosse are getting whomped as I write this.

UPDATE #4 (Storm report count: 22)

Here's the bad news: By all reports, this appears to only be the beginning. Wave 1 is what's doing the whomping at the moment. Wave 2 is what is apparently getting organized back to the west. Here's the overnight prediction, according to TWC:

UPDATE #5 (Storm report count: 27)

Okay, now it's our turn.

UPDATE #6 (Storm report count: 47)

Well, now it's just plain ugly-looking.

It's been so cloudy here all afternoon, I don't think things have destabilized nearly as much as the liberal media and/or the Bush administration was leading us to believe it would. North and west of us, they're getting the brunt of it. I haven't even heard a clap of thunder here yet. The wind's sure been kicking up an awful fuss, though.

UPDATE #7 (Storm report count: 79)

It's nearly over now....

UPDATE #8 (Storm report count: 152)

Yawn. Still here. What a total bust.

So that proves it. My taking the time to document the certainty of our doom preempted it. You fuckers all owe me.

Homer: "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true! Facts, shmacts."


Friday, June 01, 2007

What's the Deal with Dead Guys in Big Glasses?

I can't believe I didn't find out for almost an entire week that Charles Nelson Reilly died. I love watching old "Match Game" episodes on GSN. That kind of let's-all-just-use-this-as-an-excuse-to-get-liquored-up-and-make-poorly-veiled-sex-jokes game show just doesn't exist any more, and that makes me sad. Even when they tried to bring back "Match Game" in the '90s it sucked. It was too transparent in its attempts to modernize. It came across as blatant shoehorning, with disastrous results. (Sally "doyouwannamakemoremoney?" Struthers, I'm looking at you.) Now game shows are all either too formulaic -- some competition with three judges; one flippant British guy, one woman, and one Hollywoodian everyman -- or too much like reality shows.

Don't get me wrong. I'm watching just about all of them. I'm just saying.

I mean, it wasn't bad enough that Penn Jillette's radio show got yanked... they had to take away his "Identity," too?! Sheesh. Can't a Libertarian Atheist catch a break?!?

What was I saying?

Oh, yeah. That Paula Abdul is one crazy drunk. Or was that The Hoff?

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