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638016 Posts in 25499 Topics by 3626 Members - Latest Member: smiley wayback September 26, 2018, 07:52:59 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Dennisís Women on: September 11, 2018, 05:57:59 PM

See Dennis and Karen all glammed up!

2  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: September 02, 2018, 06:14:59 PM
NBBF-  My best to your mom. Mine is 87. She can hardly see, but is a lot more gracious about it that i would be!  Love Jason Galaxy and his guitar case that he carries around with kitty accouterments. I need him to come to my house! I've been working all weekend on lesson plans for  the first week of school. I'll begin with serfs, then work my way up to the Revolution by October.
3  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: August 31, 2018, 05:32:52 PM
Watched three Twilight movies today while supervising girls in cottages in residential treatment center where I teach. Meh. Can't understand how not one, or two, but three young men were so enamored of "Bella," with two willing to sacrifice their lives for her. Nothing particularly compelling about her, neither physically nor in terms of her personality.  But I recall seeing an interview with John Cowsill's brother, Paul, who said that he had the job of obtaining, moving, bracing, hiding evidence thereof of the trees in the outdoor forest scenes. It seems that it was too difficult to move filming equipment in and out, find clear areas to shoot scenes, etc., so this was what was done. Paul said that he helped the nervous not-yet-stars to learn their lines and that they had to stay out of the sun in order to look pale.
4  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 31, 2018, 05:22:27 PM
Oh my! Never heard about that one! I'll have to start using it - it's pretty cool.

I'm starting too teach a unit on the Russian Revolution - before, during, after. I'd like to help my lower level teens make some connections in their minds, as many probably know very little about your fair country (due to interrupted education caused by family chaos, trauma, treatment). I'm trying to think of ways in which Russia has influenced US and world culture. Any ideas? Sometimes we take for granted aspects of our own cultures that actually arrived from elsewhere.
5  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 31, 2018, 05:13:49 PM
NBBF - So sorry to hear of the passing of your kitties. It's always sad, and, I'm sure, made more stressful with the uncertainty about the cause.
6  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: August 29, 2018, 05:17:32 PM
Remember Diner? It was filed in Baltimore and featured very youthful Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern, and others who later made it big.
Balto was director Barry Levinson's hometown.
7  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 29, 2018, 05:11:02 PM
Looks like fun, RRA! Unfortunately, I can't find enough time right now for more than brief interaction on SmileySmile. LOVE  your answer to #22. And what is a lickspittle?
8  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What are you watching now?/Favourite Movie of the Moment on: August 27, 2018, 06:44:39 PM
I loved drive-ins growing up. My parents would get us four kids bathed and in pajamas, then put the back seat down flat in the car. We'd pile in with blankets and go see a movie. Dad would bring us soda and popcorn, we'd usually end up fighting. We were then threatened that we'd have to go if it didn't stop. Some of us always fell asleep before we got home and had to be carried to bed (hence the pajamas).

I don't judge a movie by the trailer. Trailers have fooled me too many times! I do read reviews, though. even if a reviewer doesn't like a movie, I pay attention to why, and that might be a reason I might want to see it.   
9  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 27, 2018, 06:33:01 PM
I am not superstitious at all. As for the dolls, I don't share your perception of them. I do LOVE the Chuckie Doll movies. Come to think of it, the Leprechaun were great, too. 
10  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 27, 2018, 04:00:19 PM
We used to pick a daisy, then one by one take off each petal while saying, "He loves me, he loves me not." If the the last petal was an "He loves me," then the guy you have in mind loves you and visa versa. Some people say something they are hopeful about, then say "knock wood" or actually knock on a wooden table. (This is like your description.) Many here also say a black cat crossing one's path is bad luck. Others throw a pinch of salt over their shoulder for good luck. Some brides believe that if the groom sees them before their wedding it bodes poorly for the marriage. Break a mirror and have seven years of bad luck, having itchy palms indicated money is coming your way.  If people are conversing about someone who then walks into the room they might say, "Are your ears burning? We were just talking about you." Oh, and bad things always happen in threes!
11  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Humour----goodness knows we need it on: August 26, 2018, 07:07:30 PM
12  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 26, 2018, 07:06:22 PM
Gosh, I don't know much about rainbows. I have never been able to go under them or find the end of them, where pots of gold supposedly may be found! They are considered good luck though, in my culture. How about yours? Are there any legends?
13  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 26, 2018, 06:03:30 AM
NBBF - So true.

RRA1 - The state and federal (main) governments do fund public schools, and teachers in most areas do not, as a rule need to spend much of their own money on materials or directly for their students. (The term pupils is interchangeable with students, although not typically used. My last school required that we call the kids scholars in an effort to suggest that most of the kids actually cared about their education and studied.)
The majority of schools do fine with what they are given. In reality, although more money is spent on the schools in which kids are most in need of it, schools cannot to do the job of families. I'll take a risk here and also add that there are now generations of students raised, whether good or bad, on various forms of welfare  - "food stamps," heavily subsidized housing, free medical care, etc. Whereas poor kids in other societies care very much whether or not they can get an education that will be a key factor to survival for themselves or their families (and therefore cooperate in school), many here simply don't worry about that. I've been told repeatedly when I express my concern for a student's future, "I'll just collect." I've taught teens who have a child or two before they graduate from high school and plan for more, thinking nothing of, whereas I would have been racked with worry about how I might provide for my babies. These inner city school as so pressured to have kids graduate that they pass them with averages of 30%, attendance of less than 50%. I am not exaggerating.

Yes, although there are some part-time teachers, most in high school and middle school teach full-time and one subject area. An English teacher might teach composition and Russian literature, for example, or a math teacher geometry and algebra. In my special schools, I've taught each student each subject, though, or English and social studies both. Meetings would be with parents of kids they teach, although many parent cannot or will not attend.
We have something called homeroom, in which time is set aside daily or weekly for students to be in the class with one teacher all year. Some catch up on homework (in regular schools in which kids do homework, study for tests), talk about how they are doing, watch student-created news shows about the school, participate in social activities designed to promote a sense of belonging and positive social interaction.

Your discussion of discipline is interesting. Typically, schools can give detention when students misbehave, have students talk to the principal, call parents in to discuss behavior and consequences, give various tasks. The problem with the populations I teach is that the parents often support their kids or refuse to even meet or talk on the phone. The kids simply do what they please. They know that they will be passed on grade-wise and everyone is afraid that if real consequences are given students will not come to classes at all and then drop-out rates rise, making the school look bad. Smoke and mirrors, baby! There are some kids and families who care. I have, at times, been reduced to having those few who want to learn sitting at my desk while others shout, fight, eat pizza, blare music, or sleep. (This, after exhausting efforts on my part during which I have been assaulted, with little or no assistance/support zero assistance.) I've actually had counselors and administrators tell me that I was "triggering" students because I was doing things they did not "like" and needed to stop it because our job is to keep them in school. I was criticized for having seniors write paragraphs, asking them to follow along as I read out loud, and one woman with a PhD in education lambasted me for attempting to facilitate a discussion on a video I had shown. What, you may ask, was I supposed to do in English class? Give them "worksheets,"  pieces of printed paper on which they circle nouns they find in sentences, underline spelling mistakes, copy definitions from a dictionary. After giving them the answers (because that is what they "like"), I was told to reward them by allowing them to sleep, eat snacks that I was to purchase, or listen to music. Heel, the janitor could have done that! Many other teachers did as they were told and collected heir paychecks. They were lauded as really caring about and understand the students. I'm curious as to how that caring and understanding is working out now.

Please understand that most US schools are not like this. I've been a substitute teacher in my own local schools where the kids would not dream of even trying what I have described. I've worked with, in these places, very low level students (intellectually disabled) who behaved better and did much higher level work than the typical student in schools I was used to. My point is that some are, usually in the inner cities.
14  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 25, 2018, 05:37:08 PM
I think that, even though US school vary in terms of how teachers and students are organized, no full-time teacher works just a few hours per day.  Teachers typically meet with parents once or twice twice each year to discuss how the students are doing, address any problems, show classwork.
In the last school in which I worked parents had to come in to conference with teachers of each subject in order to receive their kid's report card .
Most teachers here get 10 weeks off in the summer, a few days in the fall, a week off between Christmas  and New Year's Day, a week off in the spring, and a couple of other holidays. No reimbursement for airline tickets, though! That would be so nice... Housing for them is almost unheard of, although a few very rural places are trying to attract and keep teachers with some deals such as low-cost apartments. Philadelphia used to offer
low-interest loans in order to encourage teachers to live in the city. While we don't get paid extra for parent meetings, many teachers are paid extra for coaching athletic teams, scholastic competitions, etc.
15  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 25, 2018, 05:22:23 PM
Now THAT'S a pizza! Hope it doesn't cause dystopian dypepsia!

I went with a brother to breakfast today - dined alfresco at an old, converted mill. Afterward, he came over to my house and we talked for four hours. He's like that, but I don't see him as much as I'd like to.
16  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 25, 2018, 02:04:48 PM
Thanks, NBBF! While teachers may often get away with doing the minimum, it is really difficult to be effective (especially with the populations I teach) without devoting much more time, energy, and funds than people realize. IMO, its a privilege to teach kids; if someone doesn't want to give 100%, they should do something else.

RRA1 - Teachers in "special schools," as well as inner-city schools, have to deal with many issues not often seen in "regular" schools. We deal much more with the whole child, as our students tend to come with a great deal of emotional baggage and even physical concerns. Its not easy to teach a child who is in the 10th grade who reads on a 2nd grade level while trying to break up fights, get most of the kids to sit in seats, turn their music down long enough for instruction.  He or she might be resistant to learning because of the resulting low self-esteem, or because s/he comes from a culture in which education is not valued due to seeing easy money "earned" via illegal means. It takes a lot of time to create plans and materials that meet their needs. A kid might have a mother who sold her government-granted food card for something other than food and the kids comes to school hungry, but too late to eat the breakfast served because mom was up all night fighting and doing drugs with her boyfriend of the moment. In the winter, teachers might have to either buy winter coats or find a store to donate some because students newly arrived from Puerto Rico have none. I've typically been given $100.00 to purchase school supplies, but spend many times that amount throughout the school year because parents (or whatever adult is raising the child) will not or cannot provide these things. In reality, more money is spent on this population than anywhere else, but the needs are so great that it is never enough. Then there are the endless meetings and busy work assigned in an effort to pretend that the schools themselves can save these kids. Then there are the endless calls home to parents/guardians who defend their child's disruption and/or violence. Most teachers in these situations leave the profession within the first year or two, or get jobs in school districts where life is better, for both kids and teachers. I've become battle-hardened, I suppose.
17  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 25, 2018, 01:30:50 PM
So true, JK. Those English breakfasts are not something I can quite replicate at home. Ditto teas with clotted cream and such! I would so like to return and experience the British Isles through the eyes of a mature adult. I was a bratty teenager when I was last there, and did not appreciate what I was experiencing. 
18  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 25, 2018, 05:36:00 AM
RRA1 - Sorry about the occasional wait for sunshine. I don't have a lot of spare time, and am often just too tired to do much when I have it.

My trademark saying is, "You can't fix stupid." This does not mean that I look down on people who disagree with me, have intellectual disabilities, those who did not have opportunities to get an education, or anyone who does not have particular knowledge or skills that I might have. Rather, it refers to people who are stupid because the have an attitude such that they refuse to grow. In many cases, in my opinion, it is a very conscious phenomenon. As a teacher, I see it in some of my students, which used to keep me up at night. You will have some who have low ability or a poor prior academic experiences, but open themselves to learning and do progress. I just finished teaching a remedial reading class in summer school. I spent three or so extra unpaid hours per day creating really fun and engaging lessons, complete with hands-on projects, to make sure that I did all that I could do to support their learning. Four girls advanced a full grade level to a level and one half in ten weeks. The three others, who listened to music, ran around the room, destroyed my posters and decorations, and tried to shout over me so that others could not learn, remained at their second grade level. This troubles me to no end, but I have an obligation to those who want to learn because they are not stupid.   
19  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 25, 2018, 05:09:30 AM
I never couch-surfed. Just doesn't appeal to me to be a guest, paying or not, in someone's home when I don't know the person. I do have a high level of social anxiety, so I would be all worried about pleasing the host rather than enjoying my vacay. That is why I hated staying in bed and breakfasts in England, although I thoroughly enjoyed  the English breakfasts.

I'd enjoy watching that show, just to see the faces of the contestants who win the "poor" vacation.  Still, if it's free it's free, better than nothing.

20  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 24, 2018, 07:41:03 PM
Especially affecting was the story of the loss of nasal vowels. Smiley I suppose similar disagreements also arise over the pronunciation of words. A friend of mine moved backed to Pennsylvania from the Boston area with her little girl. The school promptly recommended that she take speech therapy because she said "ah" at the end of words ending with r. In reality, the sweet child spent her life thus far in a town just north of the city where the stereotypical Boston accent is at its most extreme, and no one had an issue with it up there!
21  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 24, 2018, 04:39:25 PM
RRA1 - Your accounting of your living conditions as a student is interesting. I think that I am grateful to have lived in the whore house! Also, you have an amusing way with words, and I don't mean by that that you make mistakes with English. It's impressive that you know Russian, English, German, and Korean. I know Koreans who speak/read Korean, no one else.
22  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: So what did we all do today? on: August 24, 2018, 04:29:48 PM
Yes, the Captain. You explained the financial issue quite well.

RRA1 -

I went to college by applying for and receiving partial financial assistance. I was awarded some funds from a church organization because my dad was an Episcopalian priest. The state of Pennsylvania kicked in a fair amount (based on need), and my university also contributed to my tuition. Some students who were outstanding in high school have tuition and room and board paid by their university or college and need nothing else. (Not me!) The rest of us cobble together a mish-mash of sources for funding higher education. The difference between grants and scholarships is sometimes fuzzy. The words are often used interchangeably, some based on need, academic achievement, participation in certain organizations, or one might have to write an essay to receive money for educational purposes. I was on my own for living expenses and books, hence my need to work 30-40 hours per week. On the upside, I had no student loans to pay back.

23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: RIP Robin Leach (Mike Love on Lifestyles on the Rich & Famous) on: August 24, 2018, 04:02:53 PM
I don't want to click on the interview if it's the one with Mike in the hot tub.
24  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sandbox thread for insignificant chit-chat on: August 22, 2018, 05:15:38 PM
Performance is when people do dramatic things in public spaces. It is the performers who are the visual art.  They might pose in a thought-provoking way, do motions that are highly choreographed, etc. It started in the 1960s. One example is a woman who stood naked for several hours and told people they could do whatever they wanted to her. It was disturbing. Stella McCartney is a fashion designer.

Sorry about the spelling of the b-word. Spellings do tend to get mangled across the miles! I'm guessing the ch has a hard sound that sounds like a t, so perhaps that's where we got the idea.

Psysanka is the tradition of making elaborately decorated Easter eggs using wax and dyes. My friend, Dariya, used to demonstrate this in high school.

25  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: August 22, 2018, 04:55:31 PM
No, I'll have to find it. It just might be in my next read, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. The book examine the liberal Orwell and conservative Churchill, apparently finding between them common ground in terms of their ardent concern for freedom of thought and gifts of expression. (I don't believe that they ever met.) What I find fascinating with Orwell is that he was clearly a Socialist, yet saw the realities of Communism. This was not typically the case of many Europeans and Americans of a similar bent through the Stalin era.
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