Monday, October 30, 2006

This Could Be Hard to Explain

I was greeted this morning by some staff asking me if I had any relatives that lived in Fairfield. This caught me off guard but it was Monday morning and I did not have the skill of questioning down yet. So I just let it go and went through my routine. Then another staff member asked me the same question. By this time I was awake and I asked why? It turns out that somebody named Augustin Landeros was in the paper.

Apparently this guy, Augustin Landeros, broke into a house and fell asleep in a child's vacant room. He later reufused to leave. The Reporter cleverly labeled this occasion the "Goldilocks Complex." This would have been really awkward if this was a relative. I would have had to lie and tell them he wasn't. Because of my last name I don't get too many people asking me if I have relatives. Whenever my last name does come up it is usually some story like this "Goldilocks Guy" or something stranger if it can get stranger than that. Click here for a link to the story.

Motivation is Tough

This relates to my last post because the more busy I find myself the less patience I have for people who are unmotivated. This is not directed at my students, I have many students who are the defintion of motivation. More specifically this rant is directed at those who have the ability, oppurtunity, and support to accomplish but choose not to. I am not your "go getter" type but I do not fit into the type that watches T.V. and wonders why the world is against me. Want something work for it, it really is just that simple. Here is what some people who were pretty successful had to say about motivation and inspiration.

"When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it." Sigmund
"The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to
appear. " Socrates
"The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you
want to succeed in business--or almost anywhere else for that matter." Lee
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre
minds." Albert Einstein

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Insanely Busy !!!

The past couple weeks have been so busy. I really haven't had any time to do anything relaxing except sleeping. Even that is by accident, I usually wake up on my living room floor and wonder what happened. The path is getting a little clearer so hopefully I can return to my blogging ways.

crazily, ferociously, fiercely, furiously, idiotically, irrationally, stupidly, violently, wildly, berserk, destructively, frenziedly, madly, maniacally, murderously, savagely, uncontrollably, violently, wildly, absurdly, crazily, deliriously, dementedly, desperately, devotedly, distractedly, energetically, exceedingly, excessively, excitedly, extremely, foolishly, frantically, frenziedly, furiously, hard, hastily, hurriedly, hysterically, intensely, irrationally, like mad, ludicrously, nonsensically, passionately, psychotically, quickly, rabidly, rapidly, rashly, recklessly, senselessly, something fierce, speedily, stormily, to distraction, tumultuously, turbulently, unreasonably, violently

Here are just some other adjectives to explain how busy I have been. My personal favorite is murderously busy and yes it is pretty accurate of how busy I have been.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why Use Images in English?

“Kids tend to be visually oriented, able to point out every significant image
in a three-minute MTV music video, but when it comes to doing the same with a
written text, they stare at it as if they are reading German.” John Golden

I am always asked why I use images and video so much in class and Mr. Golden just helped me figure out why. Thanks Mr. Golden

“the skills they use to decode the visual image are the same skills they
use for a written text”

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Extension Assignment

Go to the following link on writing essays on theme to answer the questions below:

1- What are five things that are mentioned in the first sentence of a sample opening paragraph?

2- What is the purpose of the middle paragraphs?

3- How should the general topic be broken down?

4- How should you correctly end a supporting paragraph?

5- How should middle paragraphs be arranged?

6- More importantly, what does the conclusion give you a chance to do?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This is Fun

To the outsider my canned food drive may seem really dumb but it seems to be having a positive effect on the school. Students are rallying around a cause even if it is a very silly cause. Students are coming up to me and telling me they want me to win or lose. I have some students creating campaign ads and even talks about t-shirts have began to sprout. The creative juices are flown on this one. This could be to Buckingham what the Civil War was to the United States. Now that I think about it maybe positive effect isn't the term I am looking for. Oh yeah this isn't me.

One To Grow On

We have been talking about symbolism and theme in my English classes and I came across this quote.

“One world of truth outweighs the world”

I just think the quote is sort of interesting. This quote asks a lot of interesting questions about society. The type of questions that really can’t be answered with a yes or a no. I like those types of questions.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dr. Strangebeard or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Beard

I have been growing a beard for about a month now. I must say that the beard has taken on a life of its own. All my students are asking me why I am growing it. Unfortunately I don’t have a really good answer to give them. I have been growing my beard in conjunction with Mr. Price, a fellow English teacher. I will say that his beard is very extravagant. But that is just because he started before me, long term my beard would pummel his beard.
Finally today Mr. Price and I decided to have a competitive contest around our beards. We are having a canned food drive. Mr. Price has 10th & 11th graders while I have 9th & 12th graders. The winning team, meaning the students, will get to shave their teachers beard and head. The loser will have to keep their beard until February 13th. This is pretty intense. I really can’t lose this thing for a number of reasons. One important reason is I need to get a rep at my school and taking out Mr. Price is a perfect way to go about that. Also there is no way that I can mentally withstand having a beard for another 4 months. The students seemed enthused and it’s for a great cause so hopefully everything works out. Caution: My beard and this contest do not share any views with that of Saddam Hussein. This contest is in no way sponsored or promoted by Saddam Hussien.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This Is Ridiculous

Last week I spoke of the wonder that is Pho. This weekend I went to Fresh Choice and noticed that they were offering Pho as one of their seasonal soups. This is unacceptable! Pho is too great to be ruined by American marketing. I know with globalization that things like this do happen but it is really hard to see. I am Mexican and I have seen all my favorite dishes ruined by the likes of Taco Bell and Chevy’s. I just hope that Vietnamese food doesn’t go down the same route. I also don’t want people eating this stuff and thinking it is authentic Pho. As I have said before if you want good Pho go to Thanh Dat.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Robert Frost Poem

WARNING! This is the first time I am using the site to complete an assignment but hopefully everything works out. This assignment is very similar to the work we did with music lyrics and symbolism. Below you have a poem by Robert Frost, a famous American poet, who used symbolism. Think about the words that create symbolism. Remember to use the site: Dictionary of Symbolism. To respond to the questions just post a comment. Your post should answer these questions; 1) What ideas or visuals create the strongest symbolism? 2) What is the symbolism created? 3) What is the main idea of the song and does symbolism help you in discovering the idea?

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-- Robert Frost

Or post a comment on the symbolism of my T-shirt.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Soccer Fans Are Smarter

First let me say that this is coming from the perspective of a born and raised soccer fan. So of course there is a bias. But it is my stern belief that soccer fans are smarter than any other sports fans.
Nascar fans aren’t even in this equation, they just watch to see a car crash. Fans of Hockey watch that sport for the same reason; they want to see a fight. I have been to some Baseball games recently and all they do is talk about anything except Baseball. Going to a Baseball is more about the experience than the actual game. Also have you ever tried explaining baseball to somebody who knows absolutely nothing about the game? It is at this point that you realize how complex baseball is. Football fans watch just to see the pure savagery. The game of football is predicated on overpowering strength. Smarts don’t win in the game of football. People just watch football to see living beasts beat the crap out of each other. Basketball is my second favorite sport but I don’t know how often I have said “Wow that is a great pick and roll” and have the person next to me look at me like I was speaking Portuguese. They just want to see the windmill dunk.
If you have ever been to a Soccer game you will realize how knowledgeable Soccer fans are. You will hear things like; “Switch the field”, “play the flank”, and “through ball”. Soccer is so simple but yet complex. Soccer is simple because you just have to score a goal, easy right, but it is complex because you just can’t keep on going forward and score a goal. Fans have to know all the intricate aspects. Soccer fans know the difference between long grass and short grass; they know the difference between a cross to the near post or the far post. If soccer fans didn’t know these things they would just be lost. The comment by American sports fans is always that “Soccer is boring” this is true because you don’t know what is going on. I have recently converted some friends into appreciating soccer and know they can see how interesting the game is. They can now see all the little things that make soccer the “beautiful game”
That being said I am currently glued to my television watching Baseball playoffs. I also can’t wait until Basketball comes around. I think the Warriors have a chance at the playoffs. This is in part why I love fall so much. You have Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Soccer going on at the same time.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Measure of Success

Is Google searching your name an appropriate measure of success? And if so what does that number mean? When people are bored on the internet they often Google their name, in fact I don’t know anybody that hasn’t Googled their name. I searched my name and came up with 590 results. The sad thing is that only a few of those were actually me. There is apparently a composer, boxer, and minor league baseball player named Mario Landeros. So even when it comes to being Mario Landeros I am pretty unsuccessful, oh well.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Love Food

I have already talked about one of my favorite things which is art, the other is food. I had some really great food experiences this weekend. Food is great for a number of reasons. One reason is you need food to live. Another reason why food is great is it can get you to reminisce about events and places.

I love grilled cheese sandwiches from In an Out. By now their secret menu is not so secret but if you didn’t know you can order a grilled cheese sandwich from there. From the picture you will notice that it does not look that appetizing but it is pure heaven. The other reason I get grilled cheese from In and Out is because the meat patties do something vicious to my stomach.

For some of you the sight of sushi is disgusting. I use to be one of you people but in the last couple of years I have come to appreciate it. I went to Davis for lunch at an all you can eat sushi buffet. For ten bucks you can eat all the dragon rolls, sashimi, soft shelled crab, and friend bananas you want. A fun competition to have with yourself is to see how high your stack of sushi plates can get. The hour long wait outside of the restaurant before it even opens is well worth it. An important tip to keep in mind is that you should not listen to the Beach Boy’s album “Pet Sounds” after eating sushi. Brian Wilson’s dreamy voice and a stomach full of sushi are sure to knock you out for a good three hour nap.

My mom made homemade enchiladas out of the blue this week. My mom has to be one of the best cooks of all time. Coming from a Mexican household I always had some of the best Mexican food ever. My friends would ask me if I wanted to go out and eat at a Mexican restaurant and I would just tell them that I have the Mexican restaurant at my house. My mom makes all the Mexican dishes but my favorite has to be here enchiladas. No matter; green, red, beef, chicken, or potato they always come out great.

The last item is Pho. If you don’t know what Pho is, it is the greatest thing ever. Essentially it is Vietnamese beef noodle soup but it is so much more than that. I will tell you that the best Pho I have ever had is made by good friend’s parents. If you don’t know my friend’s parents then I would say go to Thanh Dat on Elmira and Nut Tree Rd. I will not expand on Pho anymore because I want to leave it a mystery so you will be intrigued enough to try it.

Appreciate Art

This weekend I saw two great films. One was one of my favorites, The Royal Tenenbaums, the other was a surprisingly stirring film, The Ratcatcher. Watching these films got me thinking about how important it is to appreciate art. Without out art life would be boring. Life would be facts and numbers, everything would be there and we wouldn’t have to think about anything. Art makes us takes take a stretch. It creates a world that we want to be a part of or just learn more about.
You should take time to appreciate art. I don’t care what type of art is; a film, graffiti on a wall, or your favorite song. Remember that art is there so we can benefit from it. Art is; beautiful, intriguing, complex, immense, emotional and simple. The reason I end with simple is because when it comes down to it art is what ever you decide to take from it and that’s all that really matters.