There are days I feel I've been magically transported in the Way Back Machine to the fall of 1983. It's hot outside. The halloween colors are blooming in the mountain trees and I'm feeling very much like a new 6th grade teacher doing his best with a new school and foreign curriculum. I survived this baptism of fire as a new teacher in 1983 and will do it again as a 30 year classroom veteran in 2013. I've got a good group of students. I've got two outstanding co-workers who are there ready and willing to answer any question, no matter how stupid. I'm using parts of my brain that haven't been properly exercised since I stopped teaching a full day 6th grade in 1990. I'm enjoying the challenge and appreciated the opportunity.
Kids make you laugh. Yesterday one of the 5th grade students at Shelley Elementary engaged me in a conversation about his Lego competition masterpiece.
"This looks interesting. What is it?" I asked the boy. We stood at table where he and other members of his group were building set pieces for the school's competitive Lego team. I volunteered to with Mr. Engles as an assistant coach.
The boy was eager to impress. "Well, we're doing disasters, so I'm thinking that if a tsunami hit this sign would automatically pop up to tell people where to go. See the arrow?" The Lego sign with reflective yellow arrow laid flat on a Lego carriage. A directional warning sign for an incoming tsunami would lay flat to the ground and out of sight until needed. His description made sense.
"How do you get the sign to pop up?" I asked. I assumed he would say that someone somewhere would push a button to deploy the sign. He didn't. His answer was one hundred times more entertaining.
"Easy," he replied. "The tsunami would come pouring in across the road and hit this paddle. See this part? That's the paddle. The water would push on the paddle making the sign pop up and warn people." He beamed with pride at his fine American Fork engineering.
"I see a bit of a problem.." I didn't want to be overly critical of a young 10 year old's work, but I felt If I didn't say something, a judge would later in the year at the district competition. "Won't it be too late for the sign to warn anyone if the water pressue from the tsunami makes it pop up? By then, the people would have all drowned." The boy looked confused. "Also, the water might be so high the sign might be buried and no one would see it."
"Oh," was his reply. "We better think about it so more."
Things like that make teaching fun. I'm looking forward to many more moments like that as the year moves along.
Story Corps, A Way of Capturing Memories and Store Them Forever
From the cool website StoryCorps, where people can present brief videos about their lives.
The story of Miss Divine at Story Corps
The Typewriter for Orchestra
(From Maggies Farm)
"Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. As with all his other compositions, Leroy Anderson wrote The Typewriter for orchestra, completing the work on October 9, 1950.
This particular orchestration was performed in a June 12, 2011 concert by members of the National Orchestra and Chorus of Spain in Madrid. The (typewriter) soloist is Alfredo Anaya. Watch his expressions and actions throughout the video...wonderful!
Many of the younger crowd who may see this video won't remember the old typewriter. But we geezers remember it well. That was a long time ago."
Samsung's Galaxy Gear SmartWatch
Hello Extraordinary. Goodbye Ordinary