Monday, August 08, 2005

What ? Summer is over?

Oh my gosh ! Where has time gone. Training starts today and Teachers (tongue-in-cheek) return on Thursday. Where has the summer gone?

I will not complain today. Am going to school and work my little fanny (did I say that?) off. Only two more years. As the man put on his tombstone - "Free at last - Free at last".

Bad weekend for the momma bear. The MS is after her again. Forgot my birthday, did not know which day it was and just slept most of the time. The years have been short for us. I miss the company and the discussions we shared in abundance.

The cat is warm - hot in fact - we need rain !

Sunday, May 15, 2005

May Sunshine

Well - just one and a half more days at school with the students. Teachers gone on the 18th then my work really begins. We are cutting hay in the local fields and got a good rain storm this weekend. Only a couple of 80 degree days. The new grandaughter arrived from Illinois today. Mother Bear is in tall cotton. The new mother is pleased with herself and the new father is hooked! Little does he know.

There are some good History Channel options tonight. Will have to get Mother Bear back to the home before they start. It appears however that we will lose some government support for her stay in the home. Not sure what we will do when the rules change. But as with the other ups and downs of life, we will face the music together. It does get a bit lonely when you are doing these things by yourself.

There are 66 new computers arriving next week. Some labs are going to upgrade and others will be refurbished. All sorts of new software and three servers to be rebuilt and reloaded in June. Then installation of software starts. Oh fun and games. The life of a Network Adminsitrator.

The cat is secure (tired as usual, baby crying, to much work to do and not enough time to do it)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

In Like a Lamb - Out like a Lion

The rain has stopped - a least for a bit. One nice (?) thing about the Ozarks - if you don't like the weather - wait around it will change real fast. Has been raining and we have had freeze warnings in the last week of April. Keep expecting a snow day:). The sun is out today, however, and it is in the 60's.

The MAP tests were two weeks ago now and school is over for the year. Not much new learning will go on until school is out (May 18th). Our State Board is raising the graduation requirements and this is going to cause a problem. We have a hard time now and with more classes required, new and more inventive ways of meeting the challenge will be required. More innovative ways of bending the rules for those reading at 6th grade level, but really need to graduate. I am sure we will succeed on both sides of the coin. :)

Our State Board also lowered the passing grades for State Measurement and hence NCLB. Our Legislature is under the gun to come up with a new formula for distributing Education Funds in the State. They have an agreement, of sorts, which is now bottled up in some legislative committee. Seems one of the big school districts in the state will loose about 3 million in funding, so the local rep. Is blocking the bill from the floor until they "review the effects of some changes" on the bill. Of course, there is a lawsuit in the courts over the funding and the legislature does not want the court to make a decision. With all the states now openly fighting NCLB in the courts and the press, it will be interesting to see the results.

Was watching an ESPN interview with the new Florida football coach last night and he said something really interesting. Although not an exact quote, "Young people need to be told the truth. If they do well, tell them so and reward them. If they don't do well then you tell them that also and you don't reward them". There is a poem by Kipling about "success" and "failure" and impostors? Success and failure, the opposite sides of the same coin. You cannot risk success without the risk of failure? It is sad that in school, the one place in the world where the risk of failure is without true loss, that we cannot say (as Abraham Lincoln once said) "then let it be pushed".

Have a heavy summer coming in Technology. It will not be fun, and I will be dog tired by the time school starts again. Perhaps 2005/06 should be the last year. I know 2007 will be the last.

The cat is secure (and getting close to retirement)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Spring in the Ozarks

Well tax day is come and gone, the calves are in the front pastures and the warm is coming. It has been two beautiful days in a row. The grass in the fields is green and moist. Have seen some does moving from one hideout to another. The male raccoons are moving - some do not make it across the roads and the dillo's are in the same position. The other morning an owl made a "mouse run" across the road and did not see me coming down the road. The wise one bounced off the top of the car - hope the bird survived. Driving to school in the a.m. is an adventure each day. Makes life worth living to see nature ignore us and move on in a timeless manner.

Budgets are due at school and the Sup will be mad at us for being slow. The DVS is in full force now and the principals still do not get it. The DVS (District Virtual School) was designed to get around them.:) They are having a hard time dealing with an organization which is a "school building" without walls. The people in their building who belong to the DVS are like a virus. :) The DVS contains Title One; Special Education, Credit Recovery, all the building libraries and Technology. All of the people in these areas report to the DVS Management Team and the Management Team Coordinator. The Management Team is headed by the Asst. Sup. For Curriculum and Instruction. Our first intrusion into the world of the K-8 buildings was :) - schedules. The DVS did the schedule for the next school year. Yes that is right! For the first time in memory, the schedule of classes was done outside of the Principal. This is an education schedule - not a schedule for the adults (who are royally hacked by the way). My how the mice run around when the cat begins to move. Technology has been fully intergrated into the operation, along with the library reading efforts. We use AR and Plato. Title One is supervising both buildings and will extend the curriculum into the classrooms from the side - not from the top down. The Libraries will set the reading standards and push the communications arts curriculum into the classrooms from the library.

Enough of the education trials.
The cat is secure.

Monday, March 07, 2005

March Madness

March madness has arrived. Basketball is in full roar and I am going nuts with the sniffles. The sun is making the grass grow, along with hay and all the other things in the hills and dales. I will sniffle and cough for months.

The count down to granddaughter is in the continue mode. I understand that in the household of the expectant mother, house cleaning is in full swing. A sure sign of an impending birth. The new father is no doubt, unable to do anything right or move fast enough to satisfy the new mom. Ah, how sweet. Get your revenge. Live long enough to see these things heaped on the generation behind you. I warned him before the wedding that he would be sorry. But he just had to do it anyway. Kids - they never listen anyway.

School is - well - going. To steal a line from a movie - "Springtime comes to the veldt and the young bucks break out in monkey bites". Arguments, pushing, shoving and a general lack of attention to the work at hand are sending the fuses of tempers to the short stage. Guys who stood shoulder to shoulder in a football game four months ago are now trying to knock each others heads off. The distaff side of the world cannot make up their minds what they want to do. Perhaps some third person will be chosen.

The cat is secure !

Monday, February 28, 2005

Sunshine in the Ozarks

The sun is out this morning. Do not know what to think. The winter has been pretty mild, although the old timers say that we will get dumped on in March. Spring snows can be really fun.

Momma Bear (alias the Queen Bee) and the Queen Bee in training, are all up in a tizzy. Two weeks from yesterday, the first grand-daughter will arrive on the scene. When the only daughter is going to have a daughter, the world gets turned upside down. I have been introduced to a new concept (hope our government does not get wind of it) called the GDST. Now the GDST is the Grand-Daughter Shopping Tax. The rules concerning this tax are still not defined well enough for this old accountant to figure out how to mimize the impact. I have a feeling that I never will figure them out. It is just a short hand way of shopping for the new lady in town without having to purr and coo to the guy who pays the bills.

School is going. Our District Virtual School is off the ground and we are going to give it a shot. It would take three weeks to explain the concept. It will be fun to try.

The cat is secure -

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cold in the Ozarks Again

It is down about 10 degrees right now and warming up to 20? What a morning to have a flat tire. But I managed. In an earlier posting, I mused about moving to Missouri from California. Why the move at the ripe old age of 45 you ask? Well - the powers that be tore down the Little League Stadium to build apartments! That's right! Demolished the ballpark! Progress is really horrible when it happens in your "hood". I see on the net this morning, that the "hood" elementary school is on the block for closing. Benjamin Corey closing. So much for the memories of Sissy, Jim and Tim and me. "Trace" is on the block for closing also, along with "Hester". Guess the folks in the old "hood" have grown old, like me, and the kids are out having kids. Whoops - the kids of the kids are having kids! Sheesh! Skipped a generation for a second.

Our State decided to lower the bar for meeting the requirements of NCLB. Chickens! They have been running like jack rabbits for a decade now trying to "improve". The powers that be have not figured it out at this point, so instead of applying more pressure by letting folks fail - we lower the bar. Like Little League. Used to be you had to have skills to play. Now you get to play just by showing up and saying I want to play. Good and bad in ways. It remains to be seen if the educational establishment has the hair to truly change and improve.

The cat is secure and getting warmer.

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