Thursday, March 30, 2006

Immigrates on my nerves...

one my best friends here in okc who is from Mexico, has lived maybe 7 years or more here, has a family of 3 girls, and a boy on the way. He is "buen gente" and gets up every Sunday and takes his kids to church, although his wife doesn't go and I am praying that the marraige will begin to work itself out. He's having difficult times. well anyway, his visa ran out about five years ago, so now what he refers to as "his problem" when we discuss all his goals and dreams of attending college here in the states no matter how old he is someday... when he refers to his problem that means illegal immigrant. ALthough his children are all in public school, he pays taxes, has insurance, has a house payment, and even leases a garage where he has his own car repair business that his (legal) brother runs. Because he is a swell honest guy, he is successful selling cars, ( which is at some awful place where they sell to other poor immigrants prolly who have no credit at OUTRAGEOUS interest rates). Well anyway, even this guy tells me, the day INS visits and finds out about his "problem" he is ready before God and everybody to 'fess up and return to Mexico. You'd think I'd say, no fair, but really I got to say, I'm black and white on what is legal and what is not. I'm glad we are getting some legislation and hoopla going in the press about immigration, because it really makes a laughing stock out of laws in general to have 7 million illegal immigrants living here and of course many many working. Inconsistent!

I teach many immigrants from Mexico here at my night job, we are only allowed to enroll with proper papers, although I'm no judge on whats faked or not, I'm sure some of the visa I get are faked, but I'llenroll them, I've done my job in checking. Public schools are not allowed to ask for documentation, so who knows about the kids there I teach. All this to say, I am all for sending these people back, and not making them citizens. (If they were all made citizens, well hello then we'd have that many more voters trying to change laws for easier immigration and voting against English only referendums.) Well I just wish we could close the borders in general for terrorist safety's sake, less drugs smuggling, or sex slave trade, also the strain on healthcare should be an issue. From what I understand, Bush's proposes having guestworkers without a pathway to citizneship, and the McCain/Kennedy proposal provides more a pathway to getting eventual citizenship. I've commented before that I just might accept either as long as they are FORCED TO LEARN AND SPEAK ENGLISH.

There is some Cesar Chavez quote about the Silent revolution, where the MExicans just keep seeping in and then eventually take over.. well of course that wouldn't happen but certainly makes you think how easy we've made it for them.
I also agree with something I heard on the radio today, an opinion saying," why should I care what Fox ahs to say to BUsh about immigration, a poor nation who is practically glad to have all their lower class poor continue to come to USA, why should he have any say on OUR immigration policy." I agreed with that one.
Isn't it a sweet jacket.. I'm shopping adidas on ebay today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Snow Patrol

I mentioned before that I bought this cd while in Tampa to listen to in the rental car. It sort of became my soundtrack to Tampa. I've been listening to it over and over since I've been back home and I love it! I mean I already really love this band, I've been listening to the latest CD "final straw" for a while now ever since getting hooked to them while listening to Virgin Radio UK via internet radio a couple years ago before they blocked streaming radio here at my night job. Well I wasn't too sure what I'd think about a different earlier album from this band, but you know what, its awesome, It's exactly what ytou would expect from buying a cd from a band you already love, and hearing this really new raw energetic tone in the music, yet same band. And the variety of songs, wow. I make the "raw" comment to say the band still sounded new, honestly made me think of a young band , like swivel cherry, jsut out there singing lyrics to some fast rhythm and chunky guitar chords. There is one song repeats the words "Is this on?" as about the only lyrics, until the guy yells out " I am so too". I have no idea what it means, but its great to listen to. It sort of gives me a preview of ability when considering the anthemic song "Run" on "final Straw". For first time listeners I would definitely recomend "final Straw" but you can only find "Songs for Polar bears" and you liek that indie rock sound, get it!
( If I were not at work tonight I think I might be at the OKC Museum of Art, they are screening "Planet of the Apes" in their movie theatre tonight. how fun would that be to watch on the big screen, a rare chance....)


not up to posting much tonight, I'm showing a pic of a book I bought this morning, I bought book 1 and book 2 previous years, now I have book 3, and I'm reading it at work tonight. It is a sort of cheesy graphic novel, but the main thing is the clean content for kids to read, for example my students who need accessible reading with graphic rich illustrations etc... so now they have the third beautifully illustrated one to read. I'm mentioned graphic novels on here before, I can truly appreciate the medium, however, I do find it difficult to find stuff appropriate for the classroom.
I came across a really unique one called "The Walking Man" by a Japanese artist which is a sort of manga style but he tells the story with pictures and few words. Well I hate to admit it but I've copied a few pages (one chapter) from this one and had my students do an exercise, -- they write a sentence for each frame, which is like 45 total. It's a great exercise and gets them to tell the story with the English they know and can use.

I've said this before, I love my jobs. It is really really fun to work with the kids at the middle school in the morning, and then at the highschool in the afternoon. I've got three computers running English courses now for those students who don't have homework during my "study hall for ESL" class. I also love working with the adults here at my night job, though its seldom, but they come to me for little explanations on reducing fractions, or exponents, or some other thing the old brain has forgotten just how to do.
I ran 30 minutes and swam only10 between jobs today. I am really going to try and hit the sack early tonight so I can get prepared for daylight coming up! You know when I lived in Honduras there was no daylight savings time, and I LOVED it, I seriously had the best body clock down there, asleep at 930ish and up at 6. was SHWEET in the mountains, I remember the roosters would begin to crow after 1030 pm or so and that is when you knew you were up too late. i was just telling some kid how I never practice piano anymore and how in Honduras I had all the free time in the world and would practice all the time for hours a night, and man I could about play anything back then, now, nope, out of practice!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cult of Individualism

I added this book to my wishlist on Amazon which means I may or may not ever read it. I was listening to "talk of the nation" on public radio and the author was speaking about man's altruistic nature and religion and violence and war etc... very interesting. They mentioned current trends of how we live in a post-modern world and there is actually a gain in people seeking religion after the "enlightment age" of rejecting religion. For example, men wanting ot use science to explain everything, but as we've learned more, it's only created more quesitions, so that even in science we now have a lot of philosophical theories... well anyway they said something like that, also mentioning Freud (scientific approah, although based on limited subject study) versus Yung ( who allows for Faith in a Higher Being). I've been thinking a lot lately about out American culture and what the author called "cult of Individualism." It's no longer just the "me generation" but a "me society" that we live in. How better the world word be if we truly treated others as we wish to be treated.... ahh the golden rule, how difficult that is when we're looking out only for ME. She was commenting on how people need religion, and how some use religion to make war, stating that people start wars for their OWN reasons and then will find verse to back it up( from either koran, torah, bible, etc..). I have ideas about Christianity and how the AMercian culture could make living a Christian life even more of a challenge in this world because of our Individual RIGHTS and FREEDOMS to do as we wish and please. (of course a good thing!) I think its easy to forget that WE (Christians) are not really the ones to say what we wish and please to do, but that God is in control. I think it's more difficult for families to commit to participate and join a church, especially after the non-conformist 60's, or anti establishment era, again, do as we please --- when the bible specifically tells us to pray and worship TOGETHER, love support and ENCOURAGE one another. Perhaps its the focus of having a daily PERSONAL WALK with God that makes man think, hey if I'm PERSONALLY walking with God who needs the church. Well the Lion is ready to attack the sheep out there alone.

anyway, those were just some thoughts I considered while listening to the radio drive to work tonight. I had no bread tonight and ate tuna fish on crackers instead so who says I can't adjust and change from routine once in a while..... :)

International Student Awareness Day

well the field trip went really well today. met at the high school this morning, gathered the 11 students going, got on the bus and headed out. basically we just hung out around the rotunda on the 4th floor until the general meeting, then they had a speech from senators and state superintindent Sandy Garrett ( who I dislike because of her support of the state lottery), and then they recognized all the countries represented which was just about everone you could think of and then some. After this we had music and enteretainment provided in the rotunda, and then lunch served on the 5th floor hallways, some great food from Indian, Germna, Chinese, Mexican, and Japanes restaurants in OKC. anyway we left at 1:15 and got back to school in the middle of 5th hour, we were all tired from the day, but overall the day was a lot of fun and even the students said they were glad they went and coudl they go next year. It was fun to see the students meet people from their countires and practice their native language. one student, Constantine , from Germany, was commenting on the way home that his tongue felt funny because of the way you pronounce German and that he hadn't spoken it in a while and the way one uses the tongue to speak German etc... It was great to see so many young people here in OK from around the world, and as usal i like to look at all the different sort of face structures, and what they're wearing, the kids with same American style, or Asian funky haircuts, or the nerd European style of breasy hair and "dorky" clothes or shoes, and that's the guys and girls.
I also went and met Mike Thompson who is the House Rep from my district in OKC. I told him I was glad the teacher raise bill passed the house,(its now in the senate), and he gave his card etc... what I didn't say was that I'm anti legal tatooing(hb 806 coming up now)((I'm not anti-tattoo, just since it's alreadynot legal , keep it that way here...)),and I'm anti- illigal immigration getting any rights, or anti casino/lottery, or displeased with the passing of the bill that allowed all those evil cash advance places to pop up a couple years ago, that we need better directions, signals, signing for pedestrians downtwon by the new Ford Center(he's the transportation chair), that I supported the bill that would let only opthamologists(Dr.'s) perform laser surgery and not optologists(not real Dr.'s), or that I support legislation for ENGLISH only in the state of OK, I guess if I really cared I could write all that in a letter and maybe I will sometime or not. OR we could just let these people who are elected to make the decisions for us, I guess that's their job right? I just thought it'd be nice to hear from a voter in his disctrict, is why I went to say Hi.
had an excellent workout before work at YMCA in Midwest City today with my bud from singles bible study who is also my trainer on Tuesdays lately, great to have a spotter and I think I've been growing some from the workouts. At work tonight preparing to compare airline tickets to Germany, as soon as I learn some news from OU I will decide whether I can spend $$ on travel or grad school this summer........UGH, The German exchange students today did give me some nice reports on Franfurt and anywhere up and down the Rhine River, and that end of May/early June was a perfect time to go. SHWEET!!!! I can still dream......

Monday, March 27, 2006

multicultural what?

I completely forgot last thursday post that I had this thing at UCO to go to last weekend. The Multicultural Institute. It was a seminar put on bi the Bilingual education dept there, for students in the program who need credit and also for ESL teachers in general to attend and go to sessions on topics to do with language learning and cultures etc... pretty interesting. a dinner banquet on Friday night, and luncheon on Sat. Mainly I went to network with my former classmates at UCO and professors I've had and also visit with other ESL teachers in the city. ( we are all usually the only one at our schools, so its good to connect and compare notes etc..) My school paid for the registration..
So the speaker Saturday mentioned a fact about reasons for non-employability, he compared what was important in the 70's was TECHNICAL SKILLS, and how nowadays , a Fortune 400 or whatever, study says the number one thing is PERSONAL SKILLS. apparently we are failing to teach personal skills and this is the number one reason people lose their jobs.
In other words social skills, so I got to thinking all weekend, what I can do to make sure I teach some personal skills, well I'm thining good old fashion MANNERS in general. RESPECT for others etc. I think there's something in American culture ( OF COURSE I love being Amercian and love my country etc) that lacks teaching these things based on all our individual freedom and rights that we end of with a society that thinks we can do anything we want, to anyone, and regardless of what anyone thinks or feels etc... (offended by). well yeah that might be true, but guess what sometimes IN ORDER TO GET ALONG WITH/WORK WITH people you have to learn to shut up, to accept, to do what you don't want to do, to work with/communicate /collaberate with people you don't like, fake it skills. Agree to disagree. I think it can be taught regardless of maturity, its a system..(although maturity defintiely helps). Of course another problem would be improper humor of course.
I believe there is some difficulty because of the sense of humor in our culture of the right thing to do being the nerdy thing, to make fun of, as in not cool. yes, it has its place, the extreme nerd persona etc...but.... ( another post I could rant on my loathing of reality shows which "entertain" with others becoming angry, making fools of themselves, being ridiculed,not getting along, fighting arguing etc... not funny, not for me)
Another speaker mentioned how the word "tolerate" should not be used as a goal, because when you consider that you need to tolerate someone, is putting yourself in a position above them, as if you should HAVE to tolerate something , placing judgement on that thing as bad, wrong, a nuisance. Well I know tolerance is definitely a starting place.
So in my small small classes I think I'll start teaching Englihs using situations where manners are needed, used, and modelled for the students.
I had all my sheets and blankets and some jackets and newspapers and butcher paper out covering my flowerbeds this weekend, it got to 25 on Thursday night, and 29 on Friday. whether or not the freeze would have killed off my plants, I know I at least kept them from getting more stress from the weather. I think we shoudl be safe here on out. I took some geraniums out of my basement thiss weekend, one had rotted but two others I think are fine, and I started some seeds for some flowers for the front walkway beds I plan to put in this spring ( when schools out prolly). had peanut butter and jelly sandwhich with pretzels both sat and Sun nights this weekend, in case Jamey Clay is reading you J!
i did a lot of laundry this weekend ( my clothes and all those sheets and blankets). Tomorrow I am off from teaching all day, I am taking about 12 kids to the International Student Awareness Day at the state capitol. Its the first time I've done this so I'm hoping it's worth the trip, I knowthere is a free luncheon involved anyhow.... looking towards a good week. I have left amessage with the Dean's office at OU, and will contact them tomorrow to check on the status of my appeal for Grad credit for the classes I had there while enrolled as a "Special" student. I am really counting on getting credit so I won't have to repeat the wokr this summer. however if I need to, I am going to call my advisor at UCO because one class that I need is offered in June but the other is not, so I am going to ask her what I can take in the place of it if anything.... I just hope its not something random and DIFFICULT. I'm really ready to get the masters thing OVER WITH by this point.... so keep your fingers crossed and pray things go well at OU. If I have to pay for two classes at UCO this summer then most likely NO FRANKFURT in May.:(
I ran 25 minutes around the track today and swam 15 in the pool. I'm really wanting to hit it hard the next couple months to see what weight/shape i can reach by the summertime. Also want to begin going to bed earlier this week in preparation for daylight savings. (this time we lose anhour!) I've already noticed the light in my room before waking at 7...I think I will consider sleeping at 10 and waking at 6 for a morning swim, then when we change it will be my usual sleep at 11, and up at 7 without the swim, just get ready fer work.. .. just a plan for now....

amy poehler

she's hilarious. if you have high speed connection watch this video, she does a hilarious 10 year old.
I wanted to post one I saw on tv this weekend. It was a funny sketch with Poeler and Steve Martin and they are ina commercial for getting rid of debt, and its really funny cause the they are all seriously asking the man how to do it, and the title of the book he's giving them is " Stop Buying Things You Can't Afford." anyway, its a great skit.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tampa Summary...

just for memories sake, I left off earlier planning to go to the Tampa Aquarium, and I did. Last Saturday I went after a few sessions to the Aquarium, which was actually a lot of fun, only it would have been nice to have someone to ooh and ahh with at all the fish. It was all that great really, sort of like any other fish zoo, and Saturday was family and kids day which means I was secretlly griping to myself like " can't you people read the do no touch sign" that they are touching and tapping on and putting hands in water etc... and then the kids and then the bad parental discpline like, son turn and smile for the camera or we're going home right now... stupid.
anyway, I did enjoy the exotic seahorses and the coral reef exhibits and jellyfish and more. all very cool. I got some pretty awful pizza at the snack shop and then hit the road for St Petersburg and the beach. the road out west stopped at Madeira Beach, so I stopped there too. just to lay and relax and feel the wind and play in the sand like dig my toes in it and find little shells and watch the waves and people etc.. ( I could have done without the fat white girl and big black bf sitting on a towell within earshot of her foul mouth but.....)
SO I left the beach after 45 mintues, heading back to Tampa. I detoured into a Pier One Clearace store near my hotel on Fowler and bought 8 baskets and 8 zip up basket-boxes and some other things I guess I had to have at those prices, also got a box to bring them home in. Then to the hotel to shower up and get ready to meet Steve and Stacy Ludwig at their place in Lutz. (I rented a house with Steve while he was at JBU and Stacy was a friend while there also.) I drove up to their really nice two-bedroom place in a cozy neighborhood, and we sat around the table and caught up like no time had passed. Just the way it should be with old friends, everything same. Stacy had prepared small bread slices with artichoke dip, crab dip, and crab meat. also shrimp and cocktail sauce. This was my first time to eat shrimp. I never had before! it was good with the sauce, so was the crab meat. She also had fried up some Cod and served a keylime pie, both flavors of Tampa. I saw met their cutey little daughter as she went up to bed,and saw pics of the family and some amazing art work that Stacy was a part of( she models for an artist cousing in FL). And we spoke about Steve flipping houses and his jobs and overall their good times in Florida. really great great nice people, of oourse with JBU pals you can't go wrong. :)
I left their place at 10 ish and headed back to my hotel, my flight left at 9:50 the next morning and I had to pack and prepare to return the rental.
That's about all I'm writing here about Tampa, for further stories I suppose you could ask the disctrict attorney's office, but i assure you no laws were broken. Or you could ask the moon, whose eyes were wide open viewing from the eastern sky, his full round face shining down each night through the tree lined highways as a I zoomed back and forth.... and reflecting up from the water, as if the wave broken surface had been painted a glassy white. Its reflection connected just ahead of my path as I drove back from St. Petes keeping my speed in check of course, windows open enjoying the fresh air of surprisingly exciting terrific Tampa bay.


Woke up this morning to a bright glow shining in through any available path in between the shades and windows. I looked out and all was white. A good inch or more of fluffy thick wet snow. I walked outside and took some pictures of my house, and my redbud tree and forsythia with the snow blanketing all the purple and yellow spring blooms. This is Oklahoma, and all is gone by this afternoon of course. Tonight is supposed to get to 25, so when I arrive home from here I will be outside covering all the plants in the flower beds around my house with sheets and newspapers. With any luck nothing will be harmed and this will be our last freeze. Officially April 15th is the date you can start putting things outside without fear of frost here. Zone 6B.
I ordered some plants online this week, two redbud trees, 3 purple smoke bush, and 2 flame grass. A good gardener imagines ahead to what things will look like thoughout the season and when htings will be in bloom or leaves turning color. These are all good choices for this fall and next spring(the redbuds).
This weekend I plan on working a lot around the house, laundry, pic up stuff, maybe clean out the guest room cause a guy is supposed to come look at it to rent if I ever call him back. I also hope to get going on my shelf project. I need to take the rods and bamboo poles over to my dads and have grooves cut out for the brackets, once all is done I will stain to match the woodwork in my house. pics coming soon when finished.
I haven't bought a plane ticket yet for Germany but I'm shopping and considering, the Visa is ready to charge up....
good weekend to all.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

William Carlos Williams (1893-1963)

nothing like having the Friday off after spring break......I'm about to make my usual evening meal here at work, all supplies stocked. Tuna, mayonaise, sweet relish, 100% wheat bread, baked lays chips, baby carrots, and chocolate chip cookies( no Pinwheels alas). I've been fishing around on ebay some, reading blogs, and surfing in general while here at my night job... Saw that my friend had some more artwork up so I'm posting one of them here, "Tangerine and Cream". I realize there are no plums but it fits. I've decided that if I don't go to Frankfurt in June then I'll spend money on a painting. I really dig his style, a combination of aggressive brushwork, color, and composition, so awesome. Tonight I plan to post a summary of Tampa if time allows.... enjoy the pic.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

busy night

sometimes I can be super prepared, sometimes I just work a lot better under the gun of time running out. Well time is up on Friday for my application to be a Fulbright Scholar. SO tonight I am at work finishing up my personal history essay, which is like a written out resume but also explains how my experiences affected me, and how my future will be affected by the trip to Morocco. Everything at my school is lined up, the superintendent and principal support the idea, paperwork ready, my two references(one from a teacher I share a room with who LOVES watching work with the kids and the other from the Director of Bilingual Education at the Oklahoma State Department of Education) done, now I just have to finish completing this (somewhat tedious) application, and then have my essay proofread by some teachers tomorrow before printing everything up and sending away to Washington D.C. I think I have a pretty good chance, but really it depends also on a teacher wanting to come to my school in OKC.... so who knows. many future posts as the news unfolds I'm sure.
I will mention right quick that I'm off work Friday because this week is parent/teacher meetings. But the school has the meetings on Tue and Thu nights after school. However I have a night job, so I'm not there. SO I'm doing the honest thing ( even though I SWEAR no one will miss that I'm not there because they would just think I'm at the other school) and reporting my abscence as we've been told to do if we are not going to be at the school. I will get a$100 taken from the $500 bonus we get if we take zero personal days by the end of the year. but I have to be honest, and working 2 nights at my night job is more than the $100 I miss. ALSO I assure you that no ESL parents are coming, so I'm not missing any of my teacher duties.
The photo is a redbud tree which is the state tree of Oklahoma and they are all blooming now including the one in my yard, and I cut some branches and brought them in a bottle to the secretary monday morning.....and I ordered two more on the internet to plant this spring....
ok now back to that application........

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I really like this picture because of the lighting at sunset, all the boats with the parallel vertical masts, the diagnol lines coming from them,and the red flag blew perfectly as my friend/colleague took the pic. although for some reason I'm not very clean shaved in either pic

In the middle you see a cruise ship in the bay- this is downtown Tampa.

Ybor city

THis is my first night in Tamp, after leaving 6 am in the morning, all day on the plane, tampa airport then convention center right after 5 pm then drive over to Ybor city and walk around and eat dinner..... then this picture, but it was a good start to my time in Tampa.

Monday, March 20, 2006

to bloggers

I highly recomend posting while traveling, everything I wrote before was fresh, new, recent. Now I'm at work and busy and not in the mood to remember things to post about the trip.

However... I do want to post again tomorrow about Saturday night and Sunday back home!
tonight, a very good friend, my closest Mexican friend who used to study here, has arrived a couple hours ago to catch up, and he is having difficult times now at home, although I was glad to hear the news that his baby on the way is a boy! yay, I prayed he would have one after 3 no time for blogging...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tampa 4

Good time yesteraday, I went to the Ymca on South Himes past Plant highSchool, some real nice neighborhoods and ranch style houses with tons of trees and plnats, real nice. I went back by downtown for "light up Tampa" where there are light displays all over the art museum adn other buildings downtwon, the museum had an opening of "keith haring" art from the 80's, and some band playing, and soem break dancers, it was pretty cool crowd there also. next was hardees and then chill with the tv, and rested up...
went to a great breakfast place this morning north of Martin luther King on OSborne and Florida. it was a real old style diner cafe. I went by the mall on the way to convention to get a cd for the car, I chose "snow patrol" new one. at the convention this morning more great sessions. Now I am on my way to the Aquarium, then out to treasure island beach or some beach, then back to the hotel to change for dinner with Steve and Stacy Ludwig. hope for a great Saturday....

Friday, March 17, 2006

tampa day 3 update

I went to two good seesions this morning, then the Tampa Art Museum downtwon at lunch, a very good exhibit of maurice Sendak, wow, here were some of the original art for his children's book, and a lot of the original preliminary sketches for the, including a lot of "Where the Wild Things Are" Apparently, it originated as "Where the Wild Horses Are," but he couldn't draw horses and told the publisher he could draw these "things". I did that during lunch and then took the other teacher to the airport, came back on Kennedy east back to downtown, went and got a cuban sandich and then came back here to the convention center to sit on the deck out by the bay to eat lunch and get some sun, now I go on to other sessions....I've decided to go to the beach toorrow after lunch , and today just relax some and go shopping for a cd to jam to while driving around in the rental ( it has a cd player, new for me) .good Friday.

Tampa day 3

well, today we left the hotel at 730 and came downtown on 275. yesterday was a great, and I attended some great sessions. I walked over to the YMCA for a good run on a machine and workout, then asked some poeple there for ideas for lunch. I walked over to a French restauarant, Rendezvous, between franklin and Ashley, I think. For some reason i spoike in spanish for fun to the waitress who did not understand, she is asian, I asked if she spoke French, and she said no, but japanese. A Very good lunch, a salad of varied leafy greens, some corn kernals, and a creamy balsamic vinegarette(sp?). then a ham and asiago cheese croissant. yum!
retruned to convention. I found one very good session titled, "How to become a Fulbright Scholar", there I was able to hear from other teachers who have done the exchange program and ask a lot of good questions to the man from Washington DC. I'm going back to his booth at the job fair today to ask many more questions. I'm gathering what I can to include in my application to help my chances. He did tell me that not speakind French would not hold me back, and that asking for only 3 weeks instead of 6 wouldn't hurt either. I hope I can make it work! ( I still have my mind set on bringing back a rug, ha!)
One cool thing at the end of the day we saw a BIG cruise hsip at the port near the convention center here on the bay. wow so big, i'd never seen one before, also this morning some teams rowing boats across the bay, very cool.

After the convention sessions yesterday, we drove straight out west on 275 and down into St Petersburg. My goal was the Salvador Dali museum. Yes he's completely WEIRD and the art so strange, but he has a place in the history of art, and the tour we took was amazing. I saw the original of a painting i have framed in my second bedroom at home, its a poster that I THINK was given to prather or weinhiemer by one or the other as a wedding gift, (i don't remeber how i got it or was told), anyway, its a painting of Christopher Columbus arriving in America, and now I know what all strange imagery it entails. they are open late on thursdays, and I got myself and Ms. Dunn in free with my fellow membership from the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. anyway, I bought some postcards and we took some pictures of us in front of the sailboats all lined up in the pier.
Next we went to bayside mall I guess, and did some shopping at some really cool stores ( if I were the sort of person who liked shopping and buying stuff, I prolly could have done some damage). I bought a nice big polished cowrie shell at one store, and some salt and pepper shakers made from polished coconut shells. We ate a "Twojays" where i had some really good chicken asiago pente pasta with artichoke hearts and mushrooms.
We ate late! like 8:45, but really that was 7;45 my stomach time. the drive across the bay at dark was really great, the moon reflected from above on the water while we drove across. wow. got back to ghettoland bush gardens at our hotel ( its really not that bad) about 10, and I flipped channels, went out and bought a map and toothpaste, and then a hot bath at the hotel and sleep.

Today I'm leaving the convention at 1 to drive Ms. Dunn to the airport and then I'll have some real freedom to just to whatever I want. ( without endless discussions and niceties about what to do, and what do you want to do, and why, and ha ha and blah blah) two days enough with a person you sometimes work with, and completely different generationally. I hope to come back to the convention after running her up tothe airport, and then go to the YMCA on Himes with a opol to swim around 5 and workout. After that, I am debating whether or not to drive out to the west side of st. petersburg. a local told me to go to Fort Desoto beach, or Ana marie beach which are supposed to be nice and community like, and less touristy. I may also do this after the airport depending what I'm in the mod for after getting out of downtown and if the sun is shining..:)
tonight I will prolly see a movie, or if I'm over in St Pete's then shop around there some more. no idea.
tommorow more convention and lunch from 11;30- 2 pm I plan to spend at The Aquarium.
(imagine Dali image here, can't post pics on this computer.....etc)
a long line formed fro the ten computers, no time to check errors, please forgvie any.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

tampa day 2

starting my day in tampa, was pretty tiring yesterday flying all day from okc to Kansas city( they've gone about as fur as they can go, in kansas city), then to Indiana where we sat on a plane for an hour at the gate waiting for a radio to trade off with another plane that hadn't landed yet. then we took off and got into tmapa a half hour late. Got the rental car, I upgraded to an suv, Buick Rendevous, silver. its fun. and then we went to Ybor City here near downtown to walk around and eat dinner. long day and I was so glad to get to the hotel and chill and flip channels, and take a hot bath. sleep.
This morning the highway was all backed up so I took some off road to get south to downtown, (22nd street from martin luther king east of N275) passing two schools on the way (Middleton High School) and some good ole nice neighborhoods. All the houses and buildings here have that beach house sort of style, and lots of old old structures some taken care of some abandoned. but over all everything is green. I like the way there are a lot of pine trees adn palm trees growing together on the sides of the roads here. also moss hanging on some trees, and bougenvillia etc..
I am now at the convention center downtown. I've just registered and came straight to the exhibit hall ( vendors) because they have an "internet cafe" set up at one of the booths here with 10 computers and they are busy all day of course. Next I will go to the job market booth, and get a listing of recruiters just because its fun to see what recruiters are here and jobs that are out there.
There is a YMCA across the street so I plan to go work out before lunch. I called Steve and Stacy (Varner) Ludwig last night in Lutz. I spoke with Stacy about Tampa and how I ended up at some random hotel on Fowler in bucsh Gardens across from a "ghetto" mall. ( think crossroads mall in okc). anyway, we have plans to get together Saturday night if she can get a babysitter, otherwise I'll jsut go to their place and visit at the house, either way, i'm looking forward to seeing them both.
Today after the convention and sessions... Ms. Dunn and I are driving to St Petersburg to see the Salvador Dali Art Museum, then have dinner somewhere there. Tomorrow she leaves in the afternoon, and then I plan to go to the beach and/or the Florida Aquarium ( I love aquariums btw). And then saturday more sessions etc.. Tampa weather is awesome, its perfect this time of year, not really humid or muggy at all, high of 75 I think today. wow. I'm in jeans and a long sleeve penguin with my suede loafers. I broght a short sleeve t-shirt and flip flops to where after the sessions today. its really nice having ar ental car and i drove around last night around armenia and Mabe Del parkway jsut to feel the coolevening breeze coming in the window while driving by all the palm trees lit up night by the street lamps.
(no images to post til I get home for this post).....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

again again

was just checking my post from a year ago, and guess what, I'm looking forward to spring break AGAIN and I'm going to the car show this weekend AGAIN. fun fun.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sudoku and my back

not much to post tonight. my back is sore so that means a good workout yesterday.(also my last with my trainer/buddy Scott, cause I got to save $$) I wanted to mention I bought this Sudoku book at the bookstore last weekend, an easy edition. It is crossword puzzle book, but they are all 9x9 crossword puzzles. you have to fill each row and column and square with the number 1 through 9. so far I have greatly enjoyed the challenge. sort of logic fun.
anyway, I see some artists I really like, Kozyndan, are in Australia and so I'm posting some of their art. they do a lot of bunny stuff, and this time they draw them as fish, sortof strange.
ALSO one of my best friends from JBU during my first couple of years there was John Lasater. One of the most kindhearted and great goofy unique fun type of guys you could meet at a Christian college. anyway, I include one of his paintings also, cause he's a really great artist and wouldn't you know one of my favorite paintings he's done is also the priciest. ( prolly cause they want to KEEP it on the wall of their home)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

cheers to coach Alan Green

Coach Green is our boy's basketball coach at Mustang. Today I passed his room and they were listening to a woundbite off the internet. It was part of the classroom recording of J. Bennish in Colorado who was suspended for comparing Hitler and George Bush. I don't know any information enough to take any stand on the Bennish issue in CO, however I will say good going Green for bringing into the classroom a current issue and causing the students to discuss and think on this topic. Well, if you know me much at all, I have a sort of chip on my shoulder about coaches who teach vs. teachers who coach. prolly cause I work in a biulding with 3 coaches/ history teachers. I don't know, the generalizations just always seem to fit when you see what's going on or not going on in the classroom. Although I will say I've known awesome coaches who are awesome teachers. and I've known teachers who are not awesome teacher and they don't coach either.. he he. the picture is a book on my current amazon wish list. also included are:

Animals in Translation : Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior
by Temple Grandin

Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Issues of Our Time) (Issues of Our Time)
by Kwame Anthony Appiah

by David B.

sound interesting?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Arkansas, Indians, and Oscar

I had an excellent weekend in Arkansas. I got a lot accomplished on Friday, I got the purchase order number I needed to register for the "multicultural institute" at UCO which is a professional development thing going on march 24th,25th. After school I swung right by house to get the shoes (pictured below) off my front porch and put them on, and pack up all my things for the weekne din the back of my truck, then off to the state capitol to speak with the Director or Bilingual Education, Dr. Van Anderson. We chatted a bit, then I asked her if she'd fill out one of the references needed for my application for the Morocco teacher exchange program. She knows me from UCO when she taught one of my classes a year ago. I drove straight up to AR and when I arrived at Jeff and Emily's I got to relax, they made AWESOME homeade real Italian style pizza with chocolate cake desserts. then we caught up and talked and visited. Breakfast was some amazingly tasty wheat scones with maple syrup, bacon, and eggs. yum. I got the chance to run by Kirk and Heidi's to see them and the baby. my they grow fast!! Then I went to Fayetteville with Jeff and his wife the rest of the day, shopping around town and the mall. I ran into one my best friends from my first year at JBU, Steve Markovich, and his wife and kids coming out of circuit city. I told him he looked exactly the same, and so he said the likewise to me except my hair was longer. Next was dinner at the Venitian Inn, and we rented "Walk the Line" which I thought was a great movie!

SUnday I went to Siloam Bible Church, and was welcomed by people I knew when I used to attend and live in town like Wanda West who gave me her bulletin, and Dave Cook who was ushering ( I got there a wee bit late and they were doing offering). Anyway, I found jamey Clayberg and sat down. The service was refreshing, I always love getting back to good 'ole siloam bible church. they sang one hymn, and the rest were praise songs, but the nice thing is I could hear everyone singing. (my church has a sort of loud band on stage, and not everyone really ever sings for some reason) well Pastor Shoop gave a sermon discussing works vs faith and grace. We were focusing on the part of scripture in Acts where Paul is confronting Peter about not making the Gentiles follow all the jewish customs, because salvation was not bound to the Jewish law etc.. I went for lunch with the claybergs at a Mexican resuarant and was thrilled to run into Dr. Guinn and his wife Nurse Mary on the way out. Gave him a handshake and her a hug, and then started rambling about what I do now in okc, teaching etc....and how I want to teach at JBU "someday". spent some time that afternoon with Jamie and Shannon, then came home in time to watch Oscars on tv while I was moving around the house and getting ready for ths week. Also I spoke on the phone with Brad and Ruth Van Beek in Grand Rapids Michigan, who are friends of mine that I worked with in Honduras. In fact he was my best friend down there for two years.

So I had my usual " I love this town and knowing people here" sort of weekend in Siloam. not sure whne I'll make it back up there, maybe Dogwood festival weekend. I got really worked up on the drive to AR after speaking to Dr. Anderson at the Capitol. SHe had mentioned a school and what they were doing to work over the system and it made me mad the more I thought about it. Oklahoma schools recieve about $700 a year for each student who report on the "home language survey" as speaking another language at home MORE OFTEN than English. Well apparently there was some school suddenlyl gouging the system by reporting 600 "bilingual" students this year, which they did not have last year. How did this happen, well the school has a HUGE Indian ( Native American) population. SO they were sending all the forms home and getting them checked more often. This is dishonest because seriously, ( and I've been to the Native American Indian language meetings) the Indian languages fluentlyl spoken in Oklahoma are declining rapidly. SO granted, probably some families use a few words or phrases, or maybe gramma and grampa speak these languages, but it is false to say they are spoken more often than English at home. ANyway, what happens, is they check bilingual, they are given the tests, and because of reasons OTHER THAN NOT SPEAKING ENGLISH, they may perforn poorly on the English language proficiency test. So the school suddenly has all these "bilingual" children so they rake in on al the "no child left behind" funds that go along with the numbers. Well anyway, they are working on a better home language survey so this sort of thing can't happen so easily.

Its sad too, because usually we thingk educators are in the job to set an example and obey rules themselves, and be honest etc... but it really all comes down to numbers equalling MONEY.

end note, Amy Adams did not win an Oscar but she looke dreally really good. I mentioned above I saw "walk the line" this weekend and it was really really good. I'm glad Reese Witherspoon won cause I like her in everything, even not acting. she's just so CUTE and GOOD. he he. I guess I'll have to rent "crash". And also there are some robert altman films I still need to see, I got in a kick of seeing all his movies (that I could find) while in college. "the Player" is very good, I think "get shorty" copied it some. I need to check out"Nashville" next I decided. Overall not too exciting of a show , the oscars, I think we see so much of the movie stars now interviewed every dang step of the way beofre during after movies, that its not that thrilling to watch them sit in an audience or care who gets the award. maybe its just the choice of movies and actors out there this year. good week to all.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I had an idea today that we could send a bulk load of bracelets to Iran and Iraq that say "What would Muhammod do?"This would inspire muslims all around to end the fighting, and put an end to hatred of the west, and use of violence against innocent lives. However, I'm afraid any true muslim "revival" may put a damper on the extremist leaders who know how to manipulate their religion all too well, keeping the public, women, the poor and uneducated right where they want them, under their control based on how they intrepret Islam. What a shame.

sidenote: I also have always thought that perhaps a slogan of "What if Jesus were here with you?" might have been a little more thought provoking to teenagers than the simple "what would Jesus do?". That latter question always seemed a little obvious to me, and what we've always known and tried to live up to etc........any thoughts?