Thursday, March 31, 2011

Muslims, Christians and Jesus

This was a very interesting book to read. Written by Carl Medearis, it talks about how to talk to Muslims about Jesus without turning them off to the good news. It explains the 5 Pillars of Islam and points out a multitude (I lost track at 80) of verses that mention Jesus in a positive light along with a correlating Biblical Verse.

The book also talks about the things that Christians do that turn Muslims off to Jesus. One of the most interesting things about the book is how focused the book is on Jesus and not the Christian faith and it's not hard to see why. It's not Jesus that turns people off it's the way we follow (or don't follow) him that turns them off.

Reading that book gave me insights into the Muslim faith that I didn't have before and answered some questions that I did have. It was far more instructional than watching blowhards on the news argue about whose religion is better.

For Jesus it was never about religion, why do we keep forgetting that?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why is this OK?

So today at lunch I found out one of my male students called a female teacher 'sexy chocolate' during our mentorship class. Needless to say I didn't take that news real well and seriously chewed his ass out when I saw him before class. I told him that if I caught or heard him doing something like that again I would call his grand parents, write him up for sexually harassing a teacher and personally walk him to the dean's office. I also made him go back to that teacher and personally apologize to her for that comment. WTF?

Why is this OK? It's not the first time I've heard female teachers get hit on at school. Last year one kid told his teacher that they needed to get together because he could 'teach her things'. Are their home lives so bad that this is an acceptable behavior? Do the parents have so little control that they let their sons do this at home? My parents would have ended my life if I had done this in high school and not figuratively either.

Tomorrow I am going to address this issue tomorrow with all my classes to let them know that they need to add this to the list of 'things you just don't do'. What's sad is that I even have to do it at all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

HS Students Hungry For History?

Normally people would see that and say... "uh, not a chance!" and I don't really blame them. I learned far more about history and military history from reading books on my own than I did in any history class I took. However, I'm confident that the reason that most HS kids don't like history is that most of the books... well suck.

I say this for two reasons based on my own observations. The first reason is that when I do a mini lesson on big historical events like 9/11/01 or Pearl Harbor the kids always eat it up. Both days I got great written responses and comments from the kids about how they learned something that day. The second reason is that I have this tendency to put historic WWII aircraft on my desktop and when I project them on the screen 'by accident' I always get questions about the plane and it's historic importance.

The first one I did was a P-38 Lightning, my personal favorite. The P-38 Lightning was made famous when it shot down Admiral Yamamoto and America's top ace Richard Bong (40 Kills) flew a P-38. It was fast and had it's 4 .50 caliber machine guns and 1 20mm cannon in the nose for a very concentrated blast of firepower. Can you say 'swiss cheese'? I knew you could. It's extremely long range made it perfect for the Pacific Theater in WWII.
After having that image on my desktop for a while I then found a picture of a P-47 Thunderbolt with the bubble canopy that is currently gracing my desktop. I always forget just how flipping big that airplane is, and I don't know about you but I'd rather not get in the way of it's eight .50 caliber machine guns! The 'Jug' as it was called was also great at attacking ground targets as well as taking on enemy fighters. Another interesting thing about both of them is that they used superchargers to maximize their performance.

If only the history teachers could actually add things like this into their curriculum and not worry about offending anyone. War is part of history and when students get to see images like this it piques their curiosity and then you have them. I'm not sure what will grace my desktop yet, I'm thinking about either a B-25 Mitchell or maybe the B-17 Flying Fortress. All I know is that I'm glad to give them a bit of history in addition to literature.

I also linked the photos to the original sites so you can see the bigger images and to give them their due. Taking a ride on a war bird like those is totally on my bucket list!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WTF? The March Edition

Maybe I should make this a monthly thing since there is a plethora of subjects worthy of a genuine 'WTF?'. This month's edition is thanks to my students who thought it would be a good idea to flash gang signs in my class when there was a guest teacher covering for me while I was proctoring the proficiency tests. One of the kids wrote 'F*** Crabs' in one of my textbooks. 'Crab' is an insulting term used for the Crips. I found this out when one of my students from that class came by after school and pointed the tagging on the book out to me. I asked her point blank about the gang signs and she said that they were indeed flashing signs in class. WTF? Did they think that everyone else in the class was just going to STFU and not say anything? So I had to email the deans with all the important information to see what the next step is. If what I heard is true then both those kids will at minimum get suspended and possibly expelled from school. We have a serious gang problem at my school and any gang activity is a one way ticket to behavioral school.

The other piece of news is that my school is going to be facing a major staff change next fall. Fortunately our principal won't have to leave but it will suck to lose half the staff. I've already started filling out the application to return next year. I love that school and don't want to leave. I do know that some of my fellow teachers will not be back next year. I just hope they make the right choice. It should be interesting to see what happens.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Comedy Corner

My teacher is sooooooo dumb...

'how dumb is he?'

He's so dumb that I can sign into class and then split without him ever knowing I'm gone!

It looks like the joke's on you moron... and that goes for your two friends as well. I use the sign in sheet to keep track of who is there, but I also look around the classroom to see who is there and who isn't. And when I am handing out progress reports and I call your name because you signed in... Well you get the idea. I had to write up three more students today. Two of them were the butt of their own joke today and the third left class 20 minutes early. All three got dean's referrals and two of the I am going to try and remove from the class.

The one thing that really angers me is a lack of respect and thinking that I'm really that stupid is really, truly disrespectful. Should be interesting to see what happens next week. The dean's office didn't look to happy when I told them what happened. There are advantages to working with the dean's office after all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


I was bouncing around cyberspace recently and ran across these two videos. The videos pretty much speak for themselves and they've become known simply as RvD.

And here is the second one.

The second one took place about three years after the first one. You do see a 'clone' at the end of the first RVD. It was an inside joke about his love of making clones in videos. The website is here.
It includes FAQs and a video interview with the two combatants. It's pretty cool what these guys came up with. I guess the force was strong with these two.