Disclaimer: Some content is inappropriate for readers under 18 years of age or those offended by swear words, references to sexuality, atheism, and libertarianism.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Smart Ass in the Making

My three year old absolutely adores the kids' show "Zoboomafoo" hosted by the wonderful Kratt Brothers. It's basically a zoology show for the little 'uns, and my daughter would happily watch it every day if we'd let her. She's learned an awful lot from the show and our subsequent discussions about each of the topics/themes/animals on the show, so it's quite fun to experience it with her. In one episode, they talked about dinosaurs and so my husband extended her dino experience to include some Discovery Channel documentaries about dinosaurs too. It paid off, because little did we know that dinosaurs would be the center of an upcoming theme at her daycare and all the kids were asked a question and their answers written up on a giant Post-It note. The question was "What do dinosaurs eat?" and amid all the answers such as "popcorn", or "rocks", was our darling star's response of "plants and other dinosaurs". My husband and I wore smug smiles on parent night.

Anyway, the mini-paleontologist was watching Zoboomafoo with her daddy the other day when Chris Kratt, one of the co-hosts, feigned ignorance about something and said something along the lines of "I wonder if elephants hatch out of eggs?" Okay, not quite that, but something just as ridiculous... To which my daughter responded that no, they don't, and proceeded to give the correct answer. My husband remarked: "That's right! You're so smart!"

To which she responded:

"Chris isn't."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stop All the Clocks...

I designed a little lesson to teach in my students' English class. I had them compare and contrast two poems, one of which is a personal favorite of mine... Twelve Songs: IX, better known as Stop All the Clocks, by W. H. Auden. It's straight forward with very few opportunities for confusion; it's raw and almost adolescent in it's declaration of pain. My goals were to get the kids to use Venn diagrams to compare and contrast that poem and Christina Rossetti's Remember and improve their fluency through repetition. At the end, I had them write what they thought my goals were for the lesson that day and I was quite surprised at how profound some of them could be. One wrote "You wanted us to understand heartache and loss." Another: "You want us to appreciate life and not waste a second of it". At first I was disappointed that some of them hadn't said anything about Venn diagrams or comparing and contrasting, but then I smiled. They had come away with something. It was a good lesson.

Funny. I didn't think I would, but I'm still able to recite Auden's poem completely by heart.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So Sayeth Mike From Milwauki

Oh wow. Never have so many truths been spoken by one man in the topic of popular culture, specifically Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Follow the rest of the videos (and yes, that IS an order) HERE.

Loads of people complained about the "comic-book nerd" voice "Mike" is putting on for the persona, but get past that if it does annoy you and simply revel or rave at his accuracy.

Sincere Apologies.

Sorry friends, but taking two grad classes, working full time, being a mother, taking dance classes to learn choreography for a show and general household stuff is keeping me from being a regular blogger. I have no intention of abandoning my post here, so please stay tuned.

Covering The Beatles

I'm not above listening to covers of songs by The Beatles... They're not so sacred that I feel they should be performed by the originals exclusively... So here are a few covers I found particularly interesting or appealing. Enjoy, or despise, but appreciate the effort if nothing else.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps- Allegro Youth Orchestra

Another While My Guitar Gently Weeps, this time on ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro. I skipped straight to the great stuff just before 3:00 minutes into the footage.

Across the Universe- Jennifer J. Chung and Melissa Polinar

Blackbird- Nahareguumi. I was charmed by the cultural impediment to this gentleman's attempt to pronounce his 'r's and 'l's, dooming this "brackbird" to "fry"...

A jazzy, upbeat Eleanor Rigby? Surprisingly, I don't hate it. Not only do I not hate it, I actually like it. I hate to sound cliched, but I have to add: "Not as much as the original."

Monday, January 04, 2010