Thinking About Memories and Anniversaries

“It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.”

–Lennon/McCartney

The year of anniversaries. Ten years ago, 2009, Obama was inaugurated and I tried to get my students interested in watching history in the making. Not everyone is interested in history. Kids ask, “Why do I need to learn history if it already happened?” “Why do I need to learn about dead people?” I usually respond with some confounded response about how history lays bricks for future roads. Continue reading

Thanks to Netflix

Aziz Ansari just blew me away with his new stand-up special, Right Now. He’s always been a good comedian, but this was his giant leap into great. His Netflix show, Master of None, was pretty good. It’s not as funny as Tim Robinson’s new show, I Think You Should Leave, which is curse out loud, spit out your food, fall off your chair ridiculous. With this special, Aziz hit the buttons of the moment and made them funny. Continue reading

If I Had a Million Dollars…

I taught a writing lesson to first graders this week about “If I Had a Lot of Money.” I remembered the old Barenaked Ladies song, “If I Had a Million Dollars” and played it for them. One kid said, “Why can’t I stop singing this song?” One kid said, “That’s not true, you can’t buy love.” He got a star for saying that. Continue reading

The Radical Changes of Our Smartphone Culture

Is technology a help or hindrance? Does it facilitate our friendships or control our choices? I once heard a comedian say, “I dare you to take a dump without your iPhone.” The convenience of the world is constantly at our fingertips, and it’s hard to put it down. The information of our collective history, photos of Earth’s natural wonders, images from space, cute cat videos, babies dancing, or girls falling off tire swings are all available to us for free. We can communicate with colleagues in foreign lands or Skype with family across town. We can create, configure and imagine our lives to appear any way we choose on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and chat apps. The question remains, is it a good or bad thing? Continue reading

Steroids Are The Future

It’s old news now that Lance Armstrong, the promoter of the LiveStrong campaign, the man who won a grueling 2,000 mile bicycle race seven times in a row, lost a testicle to cancer, and still had the balls to leave the mother of his children who supported him after the cancer treatments to get together with Sheryl Crow, is a lying, doping, remorseless man. He repeated ad nauseum about how he was racing clean and didn’t need any performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). Continue reading

A Titanic Question

The Titanic re-release in 3D for the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking may have been seen as a money grab for either 20th Century Fox or possibly James Cameron; which it may have been, despite the fact that Cameron, according to IMDB, forfeited his director’s salary and share in the gross to get the extra money needed to finish the film. But the film is a modern classic with amazingly cheesy yet famous one-liners, a thrilling story behind a dramatic love story, all set in an extremely sad historical event. Continue reading

Conformity

After watching a beautiful youtube video: RSA—Changing Education Paradigms, I realized how dangerous conformity really can be. After spending a few months in Korea, and experiencing the gold standard of conformity, I started wanting to scream on the subway just to disrupt the routine or wear my shoes inside and watch the reaction. I have been shushed for talking on the subway, pushed for standing on the sidewalk, and stared at for being white in an Asian land. Continue reading

Chilean Miners

The headlines called them heroes and the president of Chile promised to use all available resources to get them out of the dark, hot mine shaft. The world’s news was fascinated and focused on the small mining village outside Santiago. American technology drilled down to save them as we learned South American geography and churches prayed throughout the world for their safe return to sea level.  Continue reading