Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Homeschooling Association Meeting

We have decided to home school Jane this year instead of sending her to government school for first grade. This post isn't about the reasons we decided to home school (although we can discuss that in the comments), but about our home schooling association meeting last night. There are about 60 families in our county that belong to a home schooling association. The association doesn't have any requirements about religious affiliation and takes pains to be inclusive. There were a couple of Amish families present and everyone else seemed like typical American folks. There is another home schooling group in our town that requires members to sign a "statements of belief" on the trinity which made us ineligible. I think such a requirement is not unusual for many Christian home schooling groups.

The meeting was held at a park and was mostly just informational for parents. I spent most of the time watching the kids outside while Taliatha attended the meeting. We met one family that had children similar in age to ours and I think we will collaborate with them on some activities. They are devout Catholics and were very friendly. For whatever reason, I find that I am consistently impressed with devout Catholic families. I chatted with a few other dads who were watching their kids. Most seemed like pretty decent fellows. Then I talked to hippy dad. In an attempt to make home school small talk I asked him which curriculum they were using this year. He said, without any hesitation, that his fourth-grade daughter was studying "sex, words, and sunlight." What?!?! Sex and sunlight? Okay, I made up the "words" part but I distinctly heard the other two pillars of their curriculum. I tried to act unsurprised and probed no further. I don't think we will be collaborating with his family's home school any time soon. I'm a bit worried about what they are teaching their fourth-grader about sex. Besides, how can you spend a whole year on the topic? Also, how much is there to learn about sunlight? Hopefully it is just one unit they are doing and it won't take the whole year.

Hmmm, the purpose of this post wasn't to make home schooling seem weird, but I may not have helped the cause. My conclusion is that home schooling attracts all types and parents need to be discriminating in selecting curriculum and other families to work with. At any rate, we all know that home schooling can put out great kids (the Randle family) and we feel it can work for our family. Stay tuned for more posts on our home schooling adventure this year.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love My Job

I know it may be premature and saccharine, but I love my job! I'm aware that any form of gainful employment will seem celestial after six years in scholastic purgatory--but a few signs tell me that I am on the right track professionally.

1. I'm surprised when it is 5:00. The time races by at work. I enjoy teaching my classes, getting my lessons together, writing tests, learning how to handle all of my grades, playing with "instructional technology," etc.

2. I get to go home when it is 5:00. If I work hard all day I can leave everything at school. None of it follows me home. I don't assign homework so I don't have to take home papers. (Sorry, English teacher/history teacher types.) The only homework I have to grade is lab reports and those aren't too bad.

3. My co-workers are cool. All of them seem pretty easy going. My department chair is VERY nice. One of my cubicle-mates is a falconer. He also hunts and is a fantastic wildlife photographer. He just got back from safari in South Africa. I'm taking the kids out to see his place on Saturday. He has two peregrines and one gyrfalcon. He also has a half-mount stuffed zebra and other dead things hanging out all over his place. My other cubicle-mate is the caretaker at the local nature preserve and is great. (The cubicles are temporary until I get my OWN office in the renovated science hall.)

4. The students are fun. I like my non-science major students. They're not academic whiz kids, but none of them are "dumb" either. I can identify with them and I want to help them meet their goals. I think I can help them have a good academic experience which motivates me to improve as a teacher.

5. I get summers off. My salary isn't what it would be if I was a research professor or had gone into research in government or industry, but I will have time to work with the kids on our garden and farm projects all summer.

So there you go. I would have never seen myself here until a little less than a year ago, but I'm glad things worked out the way they did. How about y'all? What do you like about your job? Anybody planning a career change?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

in case you missed it.

While wasting time perusing espn.com today I noticed a rather inspiring bit of info that can be found at athttp://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFL/AFC/AFC+East/

It reads as follows:

Solid play of Bills' O-line leaves Peters with few options

"Aug. 16, 2008

OLT Jason Peters’ leverage is shrinking every day. The Bills' All-Pro blind-side protector of QB Trent Edwards has yet to report for training camp in search of a new contract. However, the way we hear it, it’s soon coming to the point where he’ll need to show up because he’ll realize there’s no way a deal will be struck with him missing in action. The latest evidence came in Thursday night’s preseason victory over the Steelers, where the first-team offensive line performed well enough to convince the Bills that they’re not destined for failure without Peters. Langston Walker, their starting right tackle who has been playing on the left side during Peters' holdout, performed admirably, but a particularly inspiring effort came from Kirk Chambers at right tackle. Chambers was especially strong in the running game, paving the way for a few nice runs by RB Marshawn Lynch."

I don't know who this Jason Peters joker is, but it sounds like his holdout has made a nice window for Kirk to shine. Nice work Moose!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Need to get back to Chucky Cheese

It's been a couple decades since I've been, but apparently they've changed the line-up. My kids love Win Butler.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blazin and Hazin

I know this is a little old, but in the case that there are those of you who haven't seen this, you have to watch now.

It's funny, in a sweet, sort of sad, "I can't believe this is real" kind of way.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Hear ye, ye gentle readers of the Provonian.

"Be it time for Fantasy Football?" Ye be asking? It be!

Time to weed out the pansies from the...tough...guys.

I've sent invites to many of you for 2008 fantasy football. If you haven't received an invite and would like one let me know, by responding to this here blog post, and I'll shoot one your way.

If you have received an invite and and are too...uh-HEM...afraid to accept, also let me know and I'll drop you like a hot rock.

It pained my soul deeply that we didn't have a team last year, a mistake I will NOT
repeat. Let's get this mother GOING!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh Yeah! Science!

Science done correctly. Check out this highly scientific looking figure from my thesis. Sure, it's not a slide show from Machu Picchu, but it's all I've got.

About two or three more days on the thesis revisions and I should be out of the woods. I start classes on Aug. 18th. The community college is referred to as "The JUCO" around here. Look out JUCO students, here comes the biology freight train and Holmes be the engineer!

I went to our ward for the first time yesterday. Lots of nice folks, but it is smaller than our North Carolina ward and there is definitely more need for people to serve--I'm sure they are already working on callings for us. A nice couple had us over for dinner and Holmes got invited to a pre-season Chiefs game on Aug. 16th--boo yeah! Our friend got free tickets through work.

Here are a few other cool things about Kansas that I didn't expect:

1. Lots of toads.
2. A lot fewer mosquitoes.
3. Lots of wild turkeys roaming the countryside.
4. Prairie dogs in town.


Street art done correctly. Wish I knew where this was or how to find the artist, Charlie Todd, to pat him on the back.