Friday, March 28, 2008

In Defense of You Video-Gamers Out There (Just Read IT)

We are running this article in our next newspaper, we are doing a video games for-or-against. I'm personally not down with the whole time wasting element, but this is a freaking awesome article in defense of gaming, I have to admit. Enjoy!

The Happiest Place on Earth

By An 18 Year Old Boy

You’re walking down the hall and you see someone talking about World of Warcraft or Portal: What do you do? Make fun of them? Think they are lame? You MONSTER! Little do you know that they spend their time WAY better than you ever have.

Video Games teach you a lot of skills that are valuable in the workplace today, and are quite possibly the most powerful form of education which makes learning many of life’s needed skills enjoyable. There is also a large social element to games which give kids the advantage of learning about tolerance and other cultures. Many games are online and/or on the computer. Many have increased their ability to type drastically, before I started to play, I was typing (on a good day) 25 gross words per minute and now, thanks to these games, I type (on a normal day) around 85 per minutes with no mistakes. There are a whole lot of people who have inadvertently gained this skill simply by enjoying their hobby.

People might say that video games are causing obesity nowadays and is a really bad thing, that is totally ridiculous I demand that everyone take a look around the school, think about all the video-gamers you know, now how many of those people are fat? Maybe one, maybe. Video games and the culture around them do not create obesity; rather they encourage exercise and other such activities.

Video games can be a comforting friend. Like a puppy, they can give you worth when you feel you have none. What is more comforting than knowing that you alone have saved a lost civilization from a grim fate?! How can you feel any better? If you ask me, there is no better way to improve your mood than by accomplishing heroic tasks!

Much like you would find in a high school, video games give expertise on certain useful career options and teach you skills that you can use to your advantage in the professional world. First, there is the physical dexterity needed to be competent in video games, many studies have shown that surgeons who play video games have a much lower rate of accidents and inaccurate cuts due to the physical dexterity that they gained from their hobby. Accounting and even balancing your own checkbook is a big issue today, with many required to be able to competently plan and save their in-game cash to be able to purchase the more expensive items. For example, in the popular game World of Warcraft, there are auction houses were you can sell your items to other real players in the world. You have to know a lot about supply and demand, and also about saving and making money to be able to earn what you need. And, to make sure that this economy is as close to the real thing as possible, the developers have hired consultants to help with the creation of this economy. Don’t try to tell me this is not a useful real life skill.

Now, how many of you cannot wait for that next episode of The Office, or to find out who wins American Idol? How many of you spend a lot of time on MySpace or another similar site? What are you doing? Mindlessly sitting there WATCHING others have fun. Why not has some fun yourself? Why not interact with the environment that you are a part of? Watching TV and reading about others lives on MySpace is pathetic, not like playing video games, where you are accomplishing a goal and outsmarting an opponent.

So next time you are walking down the hall and you see me or some other person engaged in a rather excited conversation about a video game instead of thinking, “Wow, those guys are lame!” Think: “Wow, those dudes (or ladies) spend their time most wisely.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Life is Short: Scrapbook your Leg Hairs

I confiscated the strangest item from a student yesterday. A duck-taped, maroon binder filled with page protectors displaying peices of duck tape with names written on them in sharpies on one side, and on the other, ripped off, male leg hair. A whole catalog of the "coolest kids" in school's leg hair. GROSS. There were pages and pages and pages filled with leg hair.

I have almost never been more disgusted in my life. When I asked why in the world he would ever do a disturbing thing like that? "Life is short Ms. E!"


The prom queen who is also in that class, has been growing a strip of her leg hair for 4 months to be able to say she was the first girl in the leg-hair-scrapbook. She was just pressing on a peice of duck tape to her legs when I snatched the binder away to dissipate the students.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Where I Work According to Disney!

Okay, so these photos are not as interesting as I thought they would be, but they are filming a Disney Channel Origional Movie on Main Street about a 1/2 mile from where I work! We do have a lovely, quaint Main Street area with narrow, one-way streets, but I promise it doesn't look like this everyday! Apparently this is what small-town America looks like!

The movie is going to be called Hatching Pete and stars several of my students as extras! And the high school drill team and marching band will be in the movie as well. The movie premise is a small town high school mascot does not want his identity to be discovered--it would be the end of his social life!!!!--and eventually his secret rooster-costume-wearing-identity is hatched! Oh, no!

p.s. Now that I look at these photos again, they didn't actually have to doctor up the town too much.... :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

People Outside of Utah

Are not freaky, devilish, and strange--at least not all of them. LOL. A student teacher at my school was talking about how "scared" SCARED she is of the thought of EVER living outside of the state of Utah. SCARED of the people out there. I held my tongue, but wanted to say hey, I grew up outside of Utah, and I am a little scared that you have that opinion of people outisde of this state, and think it is a little close-minded of you to never even desire to live outside of the state. I am not trying to be critical of those of you who want to live in Utah forever, I am just saying--from the point of view of someone who grew up outside of Utah, we are not strange, and I did not feel endangered or weird living in Washington. There are good people everywhere, there are scary people everywhere, and as a high school teacher in the state of Utah, there is sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll here just like everywhere else--.

Utah was an adjustment for me, as it is for a lot of people who move into the state, but I like it, I really do. But it is healthy and wonderful to have the mix of cultures and peoples that you find in other states. I think it is probably likewise very healthy to live in another state at one point in your life, or atleast travel around and see that life outside of Utah is intersting, and wonderful, and there are good, conservative people of other faiths out there, who are not scary, and make nice neighbors.

I am sorry if I offended anyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Hope of America

I have a good friend who every time he talks to me asks me, "How is the hope of American doing today?" meaning my teaching experience and my kids. And today if I responded to that I would have to say, the hope of America is all worn out! If you want to know what teaching is like click on Katie's blog link and read about all of her worries! I share them! :D

I do what I can for my kids, some I help, some I don't, and that is a trick to teaching. Who do you help? I had a kid come to me yesterday with a 69.50% in my class and he is in super-trouble with the law and has to go to court today and bring a transcript of his grades. He needs to have at least a C- or is is in BIG trouble. Now, he comes to class, is not super-smart, but he does come and tries, so I let him make an extra credit project (see above) for 25 points that will roll him up to a 70.15% in my class, and thus a C-. Saved a kid from jail.

Student #2 came to talk to me the other day, and said he has to go to jail if he skips one more class. He skipped one more class--mine. "Please Ms.E, please just don't mark me gone, or I'll be going to jail!" I refused to help him. Not only because that would make me a liar, but because he has only shown up to my class: TWICE. I told him I would never lie to him, but would have been more inclined to be sympathetic, if he had had his bum in one of my seats at least "most" of the time. Jail for him, and has he reformed now that he is out? Well, he has come ONE more time to my class.

I will have to say though, I do have some hope for America when I recieve responses like the following for novels I teach:

"The most important lesson I learned from Huckleberry Finn was it doesn't matter what time you were born in. Or what kind of environment you were raised in. You can still have a good heart and do what's right. Huck had a good heart in a warped society. He treated Jim kindly and helped him escpae to help his family. Huck could have turned him in any time but didn't."

AND one of my students left one of our journalism cameras in another teacher's classroom for two days and it was still there this morning when I retrieved it! Still sitting on the SAME desk, NOT stolen, but YES, full of pictures of people's nostrils. LOL.

Nice. Hope for America.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


1. Scrapbook Paper

I was buying some scrapbook paper yesterday and realized I am addicted! I then thought about all the things I am legally addicted to. I weaned myself off of shoes and purses, only to focus my attention elsewhere! So, I thought I would let you all know a little more about me by telling you 10 things I am absoultely addicted to!

2. Cafe Rio

3. The Radio

4. The Internet

5. Lipstick

6. Chocholate

7. Novels

8.Cliff Bars

9. The Color Black

10. Work

The L-I-S-T

1. Scrapbook Paper
2. Cafe Rio
3. The Radio
4. The Internet
5. Lipstick
6. Chocholate
7. Novels
8. Cliff Bars
9. The Color Black
10. Work

(going to the gym would be a close-11)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

National Good Grammar Day

So it has been brought to my attention that today is National Good Grammar Day, and according to MSN one of the top reasons good grammar is important is because "Good Grammar is Sexy," women will overlook men who have grammatical errors in their personal ads and dating profiles! :D Take or it or leave it; it is National Good Grammar Day.

And in honor of what probably should be every good English teacher's favorite holiday, (even though I have bad grammar in my blogs because it tends to be stream of conciousness), I will tell you all that I solved a long standing family argument a few days ago. One of my students said she constantly argues with her mom as to whether "nuther" is a word. She said her mom will say, "There is nuther basket of laundry for you to fold," and she will tell her mom nuther is not a word, it is another. And her mom will say, "No it's not, you don't say, 'here is "a" another basket of laundry for you to fold!'" And so they argue..... She came to me to settle the arugment: "Ms. Baker, is "nuther" a word?" :D My 11th grader really wasn't sure...esp. since we are reading Huckleberry Finn, and he says "nuther" all the time, which shook her faith in the belief that "nuther" is not a word.

Too funny.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Where I will be in 30 days!!!

In 30 days I am going to be an irresponsible teacher and take a week off before spring break and go to Italy! We will be going to Rome, Florence, Venice, Asisi, and Pisa! I'm sooo excited!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

And I give it 4 STARS!

You absolutely have to see this movie! This is seriously the best movie I have seen in a while. It has the perfect blend of fairy tale/reality, modern/Victorian Mod, fun and love/coming of age and hard times. Without being didactic it has a good message about sense of self, and is also very, very romantic!

And this guy is growing on me, the male lead, he is in Narnia and Becoming Jane, but he is definitely cutest in this movie. He does the hesiate-before-kiss moment so well! :D