Tuesday, November 24, 2009

He's got a ticket to ride

The Beatles cross generational lines and cultural boundaries. How do I know?

Today I put on The Beatles 1 Album and looked over to see an eleven-year-old Mexican boy in the year 2009 singing all the words to Ticket to Ride.

I love it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why I Like Carson

So, a few weeks back my kids turned in essays for the citywide Why I Like Carson essay contest...and two of them placed! One kid won third place and the other won first prize! YES! My principal came in this morning to tell me and congratulate the kids and me. Very fun! It made me feel successful as a teacher and it's fun to see something positive come through for the kids.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Personal Finance Blog

Hello Blog Readers!

I have decided to start another blog-a personal finance blog, called Homeowner by 30. So, for those of you interested in a blog devoted to living frugally, saving, and getting out of debt, check it out. For those of you who wish I'd shut up about money, you're in luck! The Write Stuff will now be devoted to random musings, teaching thoughts, movie reviews of films of the 1970's...you know the drill.

Or, if you can't get enough of me, feel free to read and subscribe to both! :)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Anyone know anything about Swagbucks?

This looks pretty legit and I've seen some other bloggers write about it. Or click on the banner and see what you think. I have three Swag Bucks so far, but it looks like you earn them by using their search engine. I am a big internet searcher, so this has some potential. Bloggers have mostly talked about getting amazon gift cards, but you can also get DVDs and all sorts of other things. Hmm....

Search & Win

No Spend November

I have been seeking out blogs about saving money recently, for a few reasons. One, to get ideas of how I can save or bring in extra money. Two, it's nice to be able to relate to other people who are working on changing lifestyle habits and working their way out of debt in an anonymous format.

Today, I stumbled across a blog about No Spend November. This guy makes a rule that he can't spend any money except on things like rent, credit card bills, utilities, etc. No groceries, and for him, no gas. The trick is that any money extra made during that month CAN be spent. Spare change, selling things on Craiglist, calling out people who owe you money, rebates, etc.

Check out his blog. You can click on each day of the calendar to see his daily update. I really like this idea and I am planning on doing No Spend January, which lacks the alliteration, but gets me through the holidays. I am planning on doing a daily update on my blog for that month. Anyone else in? I'd love to see how much we can all save and how much we could really earn if we got creative and sold stuff around the house, took in recycling for cash, and collected the spare change.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Amazon Mechanical Turk

I know Amazon Mechanical Turk is sort of gimmicky and sometimes shady. I know that the rates can make working in a sweat shop seem lucrative. But I transfered my $6.95 over to an Amazon.com gift card and bought my next book club book used for a total of $4.00, which means I have $2.95 to spare.


Need I say more? I'm addicted!

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, google it. I've been completing HITs while I watch TV and my goal is to build up funds consistently so that I can shop for books and DVDs without spending any money. Tedious? Yes. Right now, totally worth it? Yes.) Also, google the origin of mechanical turk for another interesting story.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blog Plagarism

Once again, I don't have much to say...so I will steal the words of my students from their important person essay. The assignment: choose an important person in your life, three traits that describe them, and write a five paragraph essay using evidence to back up the traits. Without further ado...

"The person that holds a family together is a mother. My mother is a mom who is supportive, smart, and kind-hearted to others and me."

"The most caring person I know is Areli. She's caring because whenever we see someone we know by themselves she always goes up and starts talking to them."

"My first trait that explains why Pablo is an awesome friend is that he is hilarious. He is hilarious because whenever I'm down he is always there to tell me a funny yo mama joke."

"My mom is giving because everytime I go outside she says, 'Here is a dollar for the ice cream man.' Also, when I go to Target or somethign she says to choose three things but not over $50. The biggest thing my mom always gives me is love. That is my favorite thing she gives me."

"Brianna is very brave when it comes to protecting her best friends. If someone is picking on them she says, 'Leave them alone...gosh!'"

"She likes cats, dogs, and as any grandma does, she loves babies."

"My grandma is faithful everyday. She is faithful because everyday she has a bright smile on her face when she goes to her radiation. It feels like a sunburn and that hurts really bad. Another reason why she is faithful is because she has breast cancer...everyday when my grandma wakes up she has faith that she is going to get better."

"Another trait I would use to describe my dad is brave. My dad went to Iraq in 2004 for almost two years. I call that brave because he didn't know if he would come back to his family. When he came back he was hurt mentally and physically. At night he used to wake up screaming thinking he was still in Iraq."

And finally...one boy seemed to get a little confused...he wrote about his mother was loving...lazy...and clumsy. I would be mortified if my son turned this in: "The reason she is lazy is because she would say, 'Let's go to the store later,' and when we are all ready she's in bed saying, 'Let's go on the weekend.' She always has to eat someone else's food because she is too lazy to make her own."

Sigh. They can't all be perfect.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Go ahead, make my day.

Things that made my day:
1. I sent out an email to parents asking for donations of cups, napkins, juice, and donuts for our Egypt Placemat Breakfast on Thursday (they had to read a book about Egypt and make a placemat with five facts from their book On Thursday we are going to circulate and read each others while eating breakfast). I have had seven parents volunteer to bring items. Love it!

2. The kids did a decoding Hierglyphics activity that was actually pretty challenging. I was going to go over it at the end of the period and half the kids who hadn't figured it out yet yelled, "NO!!!!" because they wanted to figure it out themselves. The room was abuzz and they were SO into it.

3. I was getting observed by one of my assistant principals today, and I coughed, like once. He asked if I was sick and if I was drinking tea. He then left my room, went to his office, and made me a cup of tea and brought it back. Seriously.

And it's only 11:15am. :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I don't feel I have to warn you of spoilers, since the movie came out in 1976

I watched the movie "Carrie" for the first time tonight...whoa. That movie is honked up. But actually pretty well done.

First of all, the weird religious Mom who thinks sex is evil, calls Carrie's breasts "dirty pillows," berates her for having her period, and thinks the devil is in Carrie because the mom enjoyed sex...whoa. Whoa. And then, at the end when all the candles are lit everywhere and Carrie ends up crucifying her mother with knives along the doorway...I don't even know what to make of all of that. Talk to your kids about sex in a normal way, I guess is one of the morals of Carrie.

I also thought it was interesting how quickly the horror part happens. It's a long build up and then bam! Pig's blood, everyone is dead, she and Mom fight, house collapses in the span of maybe twenty minutes. It's an interesting style and makes the movie different from most modern scary movies, which are all about gore all the way through.

It definitely has it's scary moments-when her mom is hiding behind the closet door; when her mom tries to kill her; when she kills her mom, crucifixion style; when she reaches out of the ground and grabs Sue's arm.

But I think the strongest reaction I had wasn't fear, what makes the movie horrifying is the horror I felt at how mean the girls are to Carrie. Literally, when she goes up on stage to accept her award as prom queen, I was curled up on the couch saying, "oh no, no, no." The cute boy is being nice to her, her classmates are applauding. But knowing that John Travolta and his girlfriend (who keep slapping each other around, which is also pretty odd), are about to douse her in pig's blood was the hardest part of the movie to watch. It's just so awful.

Okay, and then the ending-why does the house crumble into the ground? Apparently "be sure to check for termites" is the other moral of Carrie.