Friday, April 29, 2005

Friday smile

I have my Friday smile on my face.

It isn't a 'hate my job' smile. I love my job. I will love it even more when I have a book from which to teach, and some training in the teaching skills (National Teachers Institute class scheduled for June 13th).

I love working with the kids (even if some do try my patience). I enjoy their energy. I soak it up all days to supplement mine. It amazes me that some only feel the drain of teaching. I feel the energy. It gives me great hope to see some of the kids and their zeal to make a good life. Mind ya, most are still kids with kid things in mind. Some are still immature and unable to control themselves fully. They can't seem to help their actions.

I had one student hand his camera phone to another student, quickly lower his pants, and the second student took his picture. It was all over in 5 seconds. I could have overreacted and created a difficult time both students. I made a decision to confiscate the phone. I gave it back after class. Interestingly enough, the phone owner's mom was in the building today and spoke with me. I told her of the situation. I told her that it was kids being kids (OKAY .. A little more than that .. but ..).

BUT .. It is Friday. It is sing night. It is 'night before the sleep in' day. Here is my Friday smile

Thursday, April 28, 2005


There is something undeniably calming about the slicing of light as it slides across the horizon .. Chasing away the heretofore smothering darkness ..

seeing the sun break the horizon ..
seeing the sword of the sun tear the fabric of the sky ..
seeing the brilliant lights of oranges and yellows and reds pierce the curtain of darkness ..
seeing the sunrise come in like a flood, washing away the haze of yesterday ..

No matter how many ways you write or tell it, it is nearly impossible to adequately depict the effect of watching the birth of a new day. I know in my mind that this day started at midnight last night. I know in my head that the day is almost 7 hours old before the sun breaks the veil of darkness. I know, in my intellect, that the path of the spinning ball we call Earth has once again turned us toward the massively gaseous orb called Sol.

I used to watch it 'rise' as I drove to work. I work east of my home, so I drove into that sunrise. For the moment, turmoil is suspended. Chaos continues, but somewhere else. On that stretch of interstate, the rays of the morning sun crawl their way into the landscape. Shadows tremble and then run, hiding themselves from that warmth and brightness. Serenity is defined in sunrises.

Since the time change, the sun is already made that that journey before I leave for work. That just sucks. Somedays, I really need that sunrise.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

One line

All I want to say is what I want to hear.

It seems there are those that play the verbal ping pong game. You know about ping pong. I hit the ball to you. You hit the ball back to me. REPEAT. There are some folks that tell you something just to elicit a certain response back from you.

They tell you something with a lingering hook on the end of their statement, meant to grab you and draw you into a response. That kind of behavior irks me. When I have something to tell you, I'll tell you. When I don't have anything to tell you, I won't tell you. No amount of slapping the words in my direction is going to drag words out of my mouth that I ain't feeling like saying at the moment.

When I tell you something, it is because I am feeling it at the moment and I feel inclined to share.

This is not the result of anything going on in my life at the moment. It was just a one liner that popped into my head and wouldn't leave. So, here it is, popping out of my mouth (or the end of my fingers).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

one line

Sometimes being lost is easier than knowing just where you are.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Welcome back to the work week

Today I had to remind one of my more rambunctious blocks that, while I did desire to be their friend, I was determined to be their teacher. If I could only do one of those things, teacher was going to be the winner.

One of the other blocks got the favor speech. The soft drink machines are locked in a 'no sale' status during classes. I have a key which will unlock this feature and allow sodas to be sold. They always want to go to this soft drink machine (Which is sometimes left on accidentally) and buy sodas to drink during class. I, personally, have no problem with the students drinking soda during the time we are working in the shop. I told them today that I was doing them a favor by unlocking the machine. I expected favors in return. I explained that their recent behavior was no favor. I told them I didn't give a rats ass if they liked me or not, but I was going to be the teacher in the class.

We are trying to catch the classes up. Some were here during the CATS testing and some weren't. Therefore, I have students that have taken tests and students that need to take the test. What I am doing is allowing the students that have already taken the test to retake it to try to get a better grade (good news for the couple that got 9% on the last test). So far, many have taken advantage of this offer and improved their scores.

We are in the final block of the day now and Travis Jones drones on. Travis Jones is the narrator for this series of DVD's. The guys think he is a little light in the britches.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

On your mark .. Get ......

GO !!!!

What a busy Saturday. We were on the go most of the day and most of the evening. We were in Winchester, we were in Lexington, we were in Georgetown, we were back in Lexington. We were at school, we were at Sam's Club, we were at a party, we were at a dinner, we were at a board meeting, we were at a group meeting, and we managed to sing a little karaoke.

For all of it's running, it was still a good day. The only thing that was out of place was the snow. We were driving home from the karaoke thing when suddenly the air was filled with flying falling snow. It was great. We stopped at Thornton's close to the house so Tammy could get some cigs and while waiting for her, I lowered my window and hers so that the snow would blow through the truck. It was great.

Now it is time to cuddle in the warm waterbed. Later all.

Friday, April 22, 2005

FRIDAY ... Once again

Friday is finally here. The week has been dragging. The fact that there were no students here for the first half of the day has thrown my entire schedule off. It has made the days twice as long.

Let me just take a moment and say that "Napoleon Dynamite" was one of the dumbest movies I have ever tried to ignore in my life. That is my free personal opinion. No charge to ya.

So, here we are on another Friday trying to catch up the classes that missed the quizzes that the rest of the classes took. The classes ahead in the quizzing are working on a community class project. I am trying to even them out again. It is much easier when I am teaching the same thing to all classes. That will only work this year, though. Next year, I will be teaching two distinctly separate classes. One will be a repeat of this year. The second/afternoon class will be the continuation of this years class.

Mike Durbin, Owner of Thoroughbred Electric, stopped by this morning for a visit and to tour our class and shop. He was impressed. He wants to donate material (Yipeeeee). He has invited me to bring my classes to any of his residential projects here in Winchester. It will be a great chance for them to get a look at real life work and a chance to get a little hands on outside class experience. I invited him to join my Advisory Committee. He accepted.

Tammy called at the beginning of lunch. She gave me the news, good, bad, and indifferent. I just love hearing her voice, even if it is bad news. I don;t enjoy the bad news, but I do love talking with her. Yeah, I know, we are strange.

Tonight, we will be out and about. There is karaoke to be done and we are just the duo to do it.

I am sure there will be much to be reported. This looks like it will be a busy weekend. Sleep may suffer. Which is cool, as long as sex doesn't suffer. I just love the feel of Tammy next to me. I love the feel of her flesh against mine. I love her softness in her soft places and the hardness of her hard places. I love her sweet taste and hot tongue. (Did I mention that I sometimes write erotic literature? Hit me up for a sample if you are interested.) I must stop before I venture into the TMI area for Russ.
Look for more later ... much later ...

Thursday, April 21, 2005


While some classrooms are not available on the hill, the students that are testing in the afternoon are here in the ATC. They have been mostly in Harriet's room. Today, there was an overflow. I have about 25 students in my classroom. Most are watching 'Napoleon Dynamite'. There are 4 guys that have hooked their PS2 up to one of the extra TV's and are playing a football game. There are donuts and drinks.

Yesterday, I have my regular morning class in the afternoon. They were completely unfocused. We watched a DVD on service entrance and took a quiz. The high score was 57%. One student pulled off a 9%. This testing pulls them completely out of their routine. I never fully realized the importance of a routine for kids like I do today.

This afternoon, I have my afternoon class. They will still be unfocused, as their morning has been completely out of the normal routine.

Ah, the life of a teacher ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The feeding frenzy begins

Let me start off by saying that I am not a Catholic, but if you wish to discuss the beginnings of the Catholic Church and subsequent history, I can still hang with ya. This post is in no way meant to be disrespectful of the new Pope and/or the Catholic Church. It is just a post about the media feeding frenzy.

Last night, while watching the news, there was a story about a local nun that met the new Pope before he became the Pope. OK, the Pope is 78 years old. He has been the Pope for less than 48 hours. There have to be thousands of people covering the last 78 years that met Cardinal Ratzinger while he was just a parish priest, and thousands more that met him as he rose through the ranks. Suddenly, a local nun has notoriety because she met him years ago. As if, in some brief meeting, she can now give the world insight into the next popes reign.

Later, on the national news, one commentator said that experts were saying that this Pope's length in office will probably not be as long as the last pope. OK, he is 78 years old. Pope John Paul was Pope for 28 years. If he is to outdo John Paul, he will have to live to be over 104 years old. Brilliant deduction there, experts.

The media is spreading it's blanket. Soon we will know everything there is to know about Pope Benedict XVI. I cant wait to find out if he prefers the toilet paper to roll off the front of the roll or off the back of the roll. Enquiring mind, ya know?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

ABC Drivers

I have driven in 3 cities today. I have come to the conclusion that some folks with licenses still have no business driving at all. I am now a firm believer in retesting for drivers license every 5 to 10 years, more so as a person ages. However, bad driving is not an age dependent thing. There are young bad drivers and old bad drivers. Retesting should be done under different driving conditions such as rain, snow, and rush hour. Provisional licenses and license plates should be issued according to the testing results.

The provisions should be something along these lines:

Drive anytime in any weather during any season. Drive with any number of passengers of any age. Drive under adverse conditions (mother in law in car, AC not working, bad radio reception, etc.) without restrictions. Drive in the city or on the highway.

Drive only on sunny days and non rush hours times. Not allowed to drive with small children that are subject to whining or irritating. Not allowed to drive under adverse rage inducing conditions. Drive restricted to side streets and parallel or service access roads.

Only allowed to drive between the hours of 9 - 11 AM and 1-3 PM unless raining, snowing, sleeting, or any other water produced weather effect. Not allowed to drive with any passengers that might distract them or be killed by their otherwise lousy driving. Driving is restricted to neighborhood driving, driving to Wal-Mart, or driving to doctor appointments for eye exams.

Don't drive. The car is just for a status symbol. There should be no engine in the car so that the owner will never be tempted to 'take it out on the open road'. Waxing is optional.

Have a nice driving day.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Who we are ..

I was reading a web post of one of my students and he had asked the thought provoking question .. "Who are we?"

Many times in my life I have pondered this question. There are glib answers abounding, of course. There are the socially right and morally right answers. There are the Biblically right answers. There are antagonistic and smooth answers. Mostly, there are individual answers.

One of the first times I contemplated (seriously) this question, I was a greatly busy man. I was working as an electrician, being a husband and father, being an assistant pastor, Sunday school teacher, bible class teacher, lead singer in the choir, playing guitar for the church, holding position of District Elder for the state of Kentucky, and a few other things. I began to lose sight of who I was in the abundance of the things I was doing. Each of these things were integral to who I was, but each one was taking more of me than I had to offer. I came to the realization that I had to stop. I had to get my list down to the one or two things that I wanted to do best and drop the rest.

It is best to do a couple things you love and do them well, than to do too many things and none of them very well.

Still yet, the question persists.

At a later date, I had to figure out if the things in my life that I enjoyed were really the things I enjoyed or did I just do them because they were expected of me. Sometimes, we follow the path before us just because it is the one before us. That is way some folks make sudden shifts in their life. They realize the reason for the path they are walking, and make the changes to find the path they want. Reinventing oneself is often not really reinventing as much as it is rediscovering oneself. To discover oneself, you have to step outside of yourself. Those around you will not understand. Just be ready for that.

While I am on this journey to the Human I am Becoming, I hope that the Human I am Being keeps an even keel.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Dragging every last minute out ..

weekends come and go so quickly, it seems. This one has not been any exception.

Today just zipped as it seemed to pick up speed once it started that downhill surge. We lazed around for some of it, which was a good thing. Tammy and I went to a gathering at the National Association of Letter Carriers union hall. We were there to talk with and to listen to Congressman Ben Chandler. Ben is the Congressman of the sixth district of central Kentucky. (an interesting sidebar, Ben and I used to play ping-pong during lunch in high school. While he did not remember me personally, he did remember the ping-pong games during lunch.) It was a good time.
We are now having a good time with Chella (who has fallen victim to the invasion of the body snatchers) doing homework from school about the Bible. She thinks that 20 years as an ordained minister might help.

The body snatchers thing ... About 2 months ago, Chella went through some kind of transformation from a lazy teenager to a 'help any way I can' teenager. Mind you, we are not complaining. We are just looking for what caused it so we can spray it on the rest of the kids. The pup (which does understand that he can poop outside but doesn't grasp the idea that it is the only place he should poop,) can lay a pile in the hallway to the front door. They will step over it 4 of 5 times as they go in and out and it never crosses their minds to clean it up. We won't even go there with their rooms. OMGosh. It is scary. Tonight ... We are having a family meeting and this is going to change or other things are going to change. The TV can go. The friends can go. The boyfriend/fiance can go. Enough is enough.

I fixed supper tonight. It felt good to be in the kitchen. I miss cooking. Tammy usually has supper started when I get in from work. I had to tell her this weekend that I was gonna cook so that I could get in there before her. I saute'ed onions and red peppers in butter and then carmelized them in balsamic vinegar. Then I covered thick pork chops with that and sprinkled garlic over it all and baked. I fixed green beans and thin sliced potatoes in Italian salad dressing. I also (much to the delight of Kyle) fixed my garlic biscuits. I put the biscuits in a casserole dish and pour melted butter and garlic over it and bake them. It turned out good.

Tammy says I am the better cook. I says she is the better cook. The only arguing we do about cooking is about who GETS to cook, not who HAS to cook.

Well, family meeting time. Y'all have a good rest of the weekend.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Perpetuating the rumors

Last night, we went out to karaoke. Tammy's best friend (L) went with us. She was here when I got in from work and crashed here last night. Here is the fun rumor perpetuating part ...

It seems several of our friends have this strange idea that we are swingers.

While it is true that we are involved in a BDSM group in more than a casual way, we are not the typical persons ideal of a member of said groups. Most people, mistakenly, think that everyone in such groups are promiscuous. This is not the case. Most of my friends in the group are involved in monogamous relationships. While they do not share society's preprogrammed embarrassment about nudity, they do have some old fashion ideas when it comes to the sanctity of a relationship. We embrace the exhibitionist and voyeur in all of us. I accept that some of my friends operate in a different idea of what a marriage consists of or doesn't consist of.

Anyway, back the rumor perpetuation ... L was at the house and was trying on clothes with Tammy. I was in the bedroom on the floor playing solitaire on the computer in that room. At one point, I looked up, and there were two nearly naked to naked ladies in my field of vision. This didn't bother me, nor did it bother Tammy. She knows where my heart lives. Part of the clothes thing was to decide what L was going to be wearing when I took pictures of her the next day (today). When the clothes changing event was done, we prepared to go out.

we had a great time out singing. When we got to Todd's, we met several members of the BDSM group to which we belong. There was also friends of the LexChat group to which we belong. Also, there were friends from other places, and RUSS. At one point in the evening, a patron of the bar, upon hearing that the handcuffs on the mirror of the black truck were mine, and that Tammy was my wife, and that I was the guy on the floor around the two naked women, decided that he wanted to be me when he grew up. It was a great laugh.

We left Todd's around 11:30 and headed home. L slept in the waterbed with us. She was on the left, Tammy was in the middle, and I was on the right. All that occurred overnight was sleeping. (Cover your eyes, Russ) Now, in the morning, after L departed to 'give us time alone', sleeping did not occur.

The day progressed. I took Tammy and L out for breakfast/lunch at Cracker barrel. When we returned home, the photo shoot was on. I took over 60 shots of L. Most came out pretty good. At one point, I was 'fluffing up' L's boob to make it fill the top and overflow just a bit, when Sierra walked in. The look on her face was priceless.

Tammy took L home and while she was out, Chas and Chris came over with Ian. They were going to the movies and we were babysitting. Ian is becoming such a card. He walked everywhere. He giggled. He laughed. He cried. He ate sliders.

It is time to retire ...

Keep the rumors alive.

Friday, April 15, 2005

another friday has finally arrived

We are doing lock down drills today at school.

Level one .. we lock and close the classroom. We report any students not in class and note any students in our class that are not members.

Level two .. all of the above .. plus

Ignore fire alarms
Move students away from doors and windows
Stay out of line of sight of door and windows
Do not look out the window
Turn off lights and stay quiet
Make note of students not in assigned class
DO NOT open the door for anyone
Students outside of classrooms, report to restroom or teachers lounge
DO NOT let anyone leave the classroom
DO NOT call office for info
Stay in classroom until building is secure
If evacuation is necessary, one room will be released at a time


The mere fact that this is necessary is a sad commentary on our society.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Failing grade

The failing of the public education system.

In my humble (but sometimes noisy) opinion, one of the failings of the Public Education System in Kentucky, is the failure to equip our youth for life beyond High School. Each phase of our live is, in part, preparing us for the next. We learn to walk and talk, do the potty thing(some here at ATC are still working on their aim), and to work and play well with others. All of this prepares us for Elementary School. Elementary school prepares us for Middle School. Middle School prepares us for High School.

High School, ideally, prepares us for college or life beyond school. In many cases it works. In a growing number of cases, it does not work. I realize, at some point, a student must come to the realization of real life after school. This happens with the cooperation of schools and parents. I am a strong proponent of the 'learn to earn' ratio. Somewhere, students has to understand their "learn limit" is directly proportional to their "earn limit."

Teaching in a Vocational School is enlightening. For the most part we are shipped the students which do not excel in a regular classroom environment. It is as if we are the 'miracle' workers. We are called on to reach what the others cannot reach. We have to find the key to educating these students. We have to prepare them for "NEXT".

As I listen to my students, I can see that the majority of them are walking out of high school without a clue as to what real life is all about. I can see how my 27 years of actual construction experience is going to come in handy here.

I am preparing a small percent of the future. It can be an overwhelming task. One student at a time, that is the key.

Also ran ...

There were a couple other stanzas that didn't make it into the poem yesterday ..

Chella and I were talking a few day s ago. We touched on silence. She stated that silence was the scariest sound there was. It was interesting. Yesterday's poem was the result. The following were also the result. I have included the reason they didn't make it into the poem.

My heart beats like a hammer
against this wall of silence
obliviously pounding
without the benefit of knowing
what effect
on this fearsome sound

This one didn't make it in because it talked about silence as a wall, whereas the finished project was more centered on silence as a river. It just wouldn't fit.


Silence crashes
like waves on my soul
wiping away
the edges of my facade
retreating in the undertow
ebbs of my strength
waving waving waves
carry away my life

Same reason as the last one kept this out. While it is talking about water, it is more centered on silence as an ocean. Again, I didn't feel it would fit.

Also, I want to add a comment by DaVinci here ... "No work of art is ever finished. It is only abandoned."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Just something I was working on

Without one word

Raging like a river
swelled from Spring rains
railing against the banks
filled with failure to contain

Your shouts of silence
forcing themselves
through my heart
this unvoiced anguish
drives through my veins

Just a word
to slow the swell
silence knows no compassion
and amplifies
my growing pains

My heart and soul
washed under in the dark
drowning in this vast expanse
the hardest sound of all
a lover's silent refrain

Ron Simpson, Jr.
April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Mid break ... and more

Lunch time ...

This morning there was a 'know how to get to your testing area' thing that took over 30 minutes. This meant that I didn't have student until after 8:30 as opposed to having them at 8:00. The school shortened 1st period, 2nd period, and 3rd block to accommodate the 30 minute exercise in futility. Now, at lunch, we are back on schedule.

I didn't have time this morning to say everything I wanted to say.

Today marks 18 months that Tammy and I have been married. It has been one wild roller coaster ride. The ups and downs have come through events and situations brought on by the kids. Tammy and I are rock solid. We were together for 18 months (thereabouts) before getting married. We kid ourselves about the way we kidded ourselves early on by saying we were taking our time. We weren't rushing this thing. We just weren't pulling the brakemen's handle very hard either.

We met in April '02. We met at several luncheons hosted by the chatroom that we both frequented. With the exception of giving her my brother-in-law's phone number for auto work, we never spoke online before meeting the first time in person. We were at the same lunches a few times before we ever really spoke then, other than the "hi's" and "byes" of hospitality. It wasn't that I ignored her, but I wasn't looking for anything in my life at the time we met. I never was much of a pursuer of those things anyway. I felt that if it happened, it happened. If it didn't happen, then it just didn't happen. I didn't press the issue. I had lots of friends and was having lots of fun enjoying their company and 'partying' with them.

So, we meet at these luncheons. It was the 3rd or 4th one (she can tell you exactly) before we ever spoke directly to each other with anything more than pleasantries. I was singing at the table to a friend. Tammy was at another table adjacent with her daughter Sierra. I stuck my tongue out at Pam (the friend to whom I was singing), and Tammy commented something I couldn't make out. She would not repeat it. She did later. "Nice tongue. Do you know how to use it?"

We talked online after that a couple times. We discovered our common love of writing and our common love of poetry. We got together one afternoon to share some poetry. It was the infamous 'Long John Silvers' meet. We talked for what seemed like hours and just minutes at the same time. It was time for her to begin her 'pick up the kids' thing, she we had to break off our conversation. I walked her to her truck. The connection between us was intense and our conversation just sealed it as eternal. We were going to be something, just what, was still indeterminable.

More to come .. Later .. As my time for lunch is coming to a close.

AND MORE ... (1:45 PM)

We went out a couple times more, but decided to keep it low key. We had seen how relationships in an open chatroom suffered. Making personal business everyone's business is never a good idea. Eventually we 'outed' ourselves. I never wanted to 'hide' our relationship, just protect it in it's early stages. I had no idea then that this was to be what it has become.

We dated for a while, as I said, telling ourselves that we were going at a nice slow pace. It was September 17th, when I told her for the first time that I loved her. I told her that I loved talking with her, I loved spending time with her, I loved hanging with her, so, I may as well admit it to myself. I loved her. She almost hit the floor. She already knew, but it was different to hear the words.
Class time ... Later

AND MORE ... (3:15 PM)

While I was working in Indiana, her landlords decided to tear down the house Tammy was renting. I told her to move into my place. I was only there on weekends. It just made sense. From there we lived together until a month or so before our wedding (interesting story).

18 months ago, we said the, "I do" thing in front of family and friends. It has been, as I said, a roller coaster ride. Each event, however, has pulled us closer together. A good friend once told me that trials can make you bitter or better. The choice is yours. Our trials have only strengthened our bond. She thinks I give the most in this thing. She thinks I have wings hidden somewhere. She doesn't know just how much I needed to be saved. She doesn't know how much I depend on her every day. She doesn't know how much it means to me to see her smile. With the blessing of God and the next 40 to 50 years, I hope to show her.

The Monday cometh

here is it ... Monday morning.
After a weekend of no blogging, I am sitting at my desk at school, wondering just where the weekend went. They seem so short, don't they ?

We went out Friday night to Todd's Karaoke. I finally had enough throat to sing a few. I did 3 songs. I started with one of the harder songs I sing. I figured if I were going to give the throat a go, I might as well stretch that go to the limits. I did "Keeper of the stars" It is a song that explores a wide vocal range. It forces me to use at least 3 octaves.

From there I went to "My heart is lost to you" by Brooks & Dunn. It is a great song. It has a Spanish flavor (if you are not familiar with it). After that, I tried a completely new (to me) one. We generally call that a Karaoke Suicide. The first time one tries a new song is rather nerve wracking, especially for a perfectionist like me. Tammy said I did great. She is biased, of course, but she is honest about music. She will tell, and has told, me when I sucked on a song.
Saturday was okay. We didn't go much of anywhere or do much of anything. We considered going out and singing, but that faded. It must be a swing. Sometimes, I cant get enough, and other times I couldn't care less.

Sunday was good. We (Tammy, Kyle, and myself) went to breakfast. I was planning on the haircut thing, but it didn't happen. I am sure it wasn't the breakfast, but my stomach was just a little off all weekend. It wasn't terribly upset, but it wasn't happy either. I wasn't tossing my cookies, but everything I ate or drank gave me the burps, the farts, or a light nausea. That kept me close to the house.

A few movies and some online time and the day was just about done. A semi restless night and here I am again to start all over.

we will see what the new week brings.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Finishing up the week at school

it is Friday. That is a cool thing.

The day was not too bad. It did have a few moments. The principal talked to the kids involved in the table sawing incident. I had to inform the rest of the classes, so as not to have a repeat in any of them. Most of these kids are good to OK kids.

I did tell one of my students, in construction worker fashion, that you cant bullshit a bullshitter. He was cutting a piece of conduit for his project. He cut it once. Then, without moving, cut it again. Then, again without moving, cut it a third time. He was just killing time and making noise like he was working. I flat told him. He was not fooling me, nor would he ever fool me. I have done all the tricks and been caught at them by another former bullshitter.

I have explained to them all, that the bottom line is the grade. When it is all said and done at the end of the day, have you drifted or have you contributed?

anyway, it is about time for me to go home and kiss my darling. So ............


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Putting off the sex story ...

I was reading a great story in the news with a compelling reason to increase your frequency of sex. I was all ready to blog on it, when something else popped into my head. This something else seems like it is going to take precedence. Remind me later to tell you why you should increase your sexcapades. For now, however, here is the latest from the jumble in my brain:

Why is it that those with a crappy attitude feel compelled to share their attitude until everyone is on the same page?

There is a guy here at work that has a crappy attitude. He is a fellow teacher. He has been teaching here for about 8 years, as near as I can tell by his conversations. He has settled in to his 'devil may care' attitude. He figures that only 2 students per class will make anything of themselves. He tries repeatedly to convince me of the same. He tells me that I will only reach about 10% of my students, "If I am lucky." He assures me that I will lose my enthusiasm. He is positive that I will make my way to his level.

When 3:30 rolls around, he is ready to run out the door, but wants to make sure he takes everyone else with him so that he is not the only one leaving on time. He wants everyone to go with him. If you don't go with him, he goads or tries to browbeat you into feeling like you shouldn't give the state that extra 10 to 15 minutes. I do not give the state that time. That time, I am giving to my students.

He was telling Tammy that I would lose my energy eventually. I think Tammy would have decked him, but she was kind to him. She assured him that she was confident that I would have this energy for years to come. He is trying to bring everyone down to the level he is on, so that he doesn't appear to be so low.

I, for one, will not share his crappy attitude. I will be who I am until I am not. I will teach all my students with all I have.

Take my cheery attitude and choke on it , buster !!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I almost fired a few students today.

We were working on our conduit project. These three were mostly goofing off. About 30 minutes into their goofing off, two went to wash their hands. The sink is in the shop. Then, they walked out the door. I asked the remaining one of the band where they were off too. He said they were going to get something to drink. When they returned with their drinks, I asked them when the rules changed to where they could just walk out of class without asking. Each in turn told me they thought that the other had told me they were going. Then, they went to where they were working and sat down. I asked them what the deal was. They were taking break, they informed me.

BREAK ????

They had been in the shop 30 minutes and they needed a break ? I informed them that in the 'real world,' you took a 10 minute break after 2 hours of work.

Based on the horse play of earlier, the leaving the 'jobsite' and the early break, I would have fired them in the 'real world' or at least given them a written warning.

This set up the start of the rest of the classes. They all began with a "Here is what I expect out of you" lecture. I hate when I have to do that. However, the rest of the classes took it quite well and worked 'on task' and made great progress on their projects.

I had one later block, where I had no choice but to put 3 guys together on the project. The problem was that two of them would rather cut up and play instead of doing any actual work. One of the two will not listen when you explain things to him and looks dazed and confused when you correct him on the incorrect way he is going about it. The other just doesn't care because he already knows everything he needs to know. Poor guy number three was frustrated from yesterday and ready to quit. They tried 3 times to install the first piece of conduit from box 1 to box 2. It was just a simple 90° bend with a 1.5 inch kick out. Each time they messed up the conduit because they didn't listen when we went over how to do it.

Finally, student 3 asks, "Mr. Simpson, how do we do this? We haven't got anything done." I took him to my desk in the shop and showed him what to measure, first. Then, armed with measurements, I showed him how to bend what he needed to bend. Two bends and one cut later, the conduit was installed from box 1 to 2. From there it was a repeat in reverse to install conduit from box 2 to 3.

I sat him down and explained to him that the other two didn't care and if he was going to get this done, he was going to have to take charge. He was going to have to be the "lead man". He needed to lead the other two in this project. He took charge. He made a great showing for himself after a miserable start. I was proud of him and told him so.

There are two words I keep trying to get them to see. "Real world" Out there is the real world, where bad performances don't mean bad grades. They mean you do not eat. They mean your car is repo'ed. Of my 23 students, there are 5 that I would fire in the real world.

My job, however, is not to weed them. It is to teach them. I told them that they must learn how to do this. Once we know how, then we can work on speed, but first, they need to learn it.

I think I got through to a few of them.

That is a good day.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Clearing my good name

Kyle came to school with me today. It has been a good day. He does claim, in his blog, that I hit him in the head with a piece of pipe. First, it was a piece of conduit. Second, it didn't really hit him. It grazed him. Just kidding. He moved as I turned and his head and the conduit lightly connected.

I had a couple students that missed yesterday and missed the quiz. Kyle sat with them in the blocks they were in, and gave them the test after they finished the video. He decided that he was the official test giver.

He says he has had a good time. I will know more tomorrow after he has told Tammy about his day.

The auto shop is working on Tammy's Lincoln. They are redoing the front brakes. It needed pads and calipers, so it seems. The old calipers were frozen, hence, the bad brakes. Tammy drove it for the first time in several weeks, a few days ago, and immediately noticed the brake problem. Jordan has been driving it for the last few weeks and he wouldn't know if it disintegrated under him.

the day is coming to a school end.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Break over ... Break begins

Spring break is over in Clark County. Spring break begins in Fayette County.

I have students today for the first time in a week. It seemed like longer and they wished it were. We are easing slowly back into the school work schedule. We watched a DVD on wiring methods and took a quick quiz on it. I, also, explained their next project to them and laid it out for them in the shop. This project is going to be a departure for them. It involves metal boxes and conduit. They have bent conduit bends and worked a little on the various types of bends, but they haven't incorporated them into conduit runs.

This project will also involve pulling wire in the conduit, which will entail them figuring out how many of what kind of wires they need. Then they will install the devices and make it work.

I have changed the grading on their projects slightly. Now, 50% of the grade is that it works. If it doesn't work, they can lose 50%. However, I generally give the a chance to correct their mistakes and re-grade it (on the working part only). If they can make it work the second time, I will only take off 25% instead of 50%.

With the amount of information that they can request at no cost on their grade, and the tests we take on completed projects (the paper part of what they just did in the shop), one has to be trying real hard to flunk.

Spring break has just begun for my kids at home. One day this week, Kyle (9) is going to come to school with me and work with the kids on the new project. He is excited about that. I will fit him up with a tool belt and pouch, filled with the tools necessary for the job. He will assist a team in each class. It is gonna be fun for both of us, I think.
I will finish my lunch by checking out the World in the news. If something grinds my ass, I might be back.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

New Words ...

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are this year's winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.And the pick of the literature:

18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

self explanitory

COPYCATS: "41% of Parents Skip Truancy Meeting" -- Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel headline
Comment not necessary .. it says it all ..
other news .. we were out last night for a class and a party .. we got home around 1 AM .. was a good night .. more to follow

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Up .. For the third time

Man .. I have been up twice already.

I got up around 4:30 AM and checked my email. Then I was up at 8ish and had a bowl of cereal. Now, finally, at 11, I am up, I think.

We have a lot to do, so, I guess I am up for the day.

we went out last night to Todd's Karaoke for the first time in ever. Tammy sang like an angel, as usual. I do not sing, as my throat is still not fully recovered from the flu bout. I can sing about 3/4's of a song before it feels like there is a growth in my throat.

We are headed to the excitement of the grocery. Y'all have fun.