Showing posts with label school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school. Show all posts

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Say It...

Our aviation instructor was talking about the parts of the aircraft that provide stability.  For example, when a plane turns to the right, the left side is exposed to the relative (oncoming) wind, which then sort of blows the plane back a bit like a weather vane.  There are several parts of an airplane that create stability.

The instructor was discussing this stability in terms of the various forces operating on the aircraft.  He told us that the stability controls were designed to help keep the forces balanced when they went out of kilter.

I tried to figure out a way to make him say that the controls "bring balance to the Force," but the moment passed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Song of the South

Son just left on the bus with his marching band for a trip to sunny Florida, where they will be marching in the evening parade at Disney World.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Announcements, Announcements, Announcements

Son's school hosts the annual Small Town Classic, a marching band competition.  This year, they had a need for an announcer.  GPop and I were working at the football game concession stand a few weeks back, and GPop told one of the Band Moms that I could do the job.

So, off I went, attired in my battle armor of bow tie, sport jacket, and fez.  They probably hadn't seen this announcer's uniform before, but I wore it proudly.

Throughout the competition, I was able to observe the performances and hear the comments of several of the judges as they recorded their commentary for the schools.  The head judge sat next to me, and I was able to hear him lend his critiques to the event.  I was pretty impressed with the judges.  Even when they were giving the kids the business for mistakes, they did it in a way that seemed very constructive rather than critical.

Since Our Kids were the hosts, our school performed last.  I had never watched our band from this vantage point before.  My other observations were either at an odd angle or from the concession stand, so this was my first great view.

I was blown away.  These kids are amazingly talented.  Their show ran for about ten minutes, and the first seven minutes of the judges' commentary seemed to be variations on, "Great job!  You guys are AWESOME!  We love you!"  At about seven minutes in, there was a comment to the effect of, "Sometimes that move can look a little sloppy, but you guys pulled it out in the end.  Way to go!"  Then it was back to, "We love you!"

I started to tear up a little, I was so proud.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Son had several homework assignments to do over the weekend. I always make myself available to help him if he needs it.

Partway through his precalculus assignment, he said, "I should have done this on Friday, when I would have remembered everything the teacher said in class."

I asked him, "Is this somehow my fault that you didn't?" I was fully expecting him to lay responsibility for this everywhere but at his own feet. He had asked to go to a marching band party before the game on Friday, and then had the band performance to attend. He'd had a couple of hours before he needed to be at the school.

I think he read the tone in my voice, because he answered that he guessed that it wasn't.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Morbo Will Destroy You!

Today was Small Town High School's first day of class. Son is now driving to school, because he's of age to drive, and because he has blossomed into participating in some after-school activities that make driving a much more convenient choice than whatever else.

He got up this morning and get himself ready. GPop has to work early on Thursdays, so he left. As we were finishing with the breakfast detail, I asked Son, "Do you want me to stay here until you leave, or have you got it covered?"

Son looked up at the ceiling for a second (The answer is always written on the ceiling in our house.), and said, "You can hang out here if you want." So we sat down on the couch together for a moment.

Son turned on the teevee. Now that he's a Driver, he wanted to watch the morning news for the weather and traffic reports. Keep in mind that the school is about one-and-a-half miles away as the crow flies, but six miles as the traffic engineers have decreed. Of course, none of this is on any freeway large enough to be noticed by the traffic report, but nonetheless, Son was quite interested in finding out where the downtown Capital City traffic snarls were.

After a moment, the newsbots behind the anchor desk came back on. GPop likes to watch that woman on HLN. I find her nattering to be irritatingly inane. This morning, the TiVo had tuned to the local FOX affiliate during the night for some reason, so we saw the vacant stares of Polly Ethylene and Sal Uloid looking directly into the camera. Storms had come through during the night, so the top story was the weather.

Sal: It's the first day of school for many schools in the area, but the storms coming through have caused two-hour delays for three local school systems!

Polly: [long pause] And those school systems are....?

Sal: [pause] Oh! Littleton, Smallville, and Nanoburg.

Son: Why on Earth are we watching FOX?

GDad: You're the one who has the remote.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Son and Sophomorism

Son's last day of being a high school sophomore is today. He's pretty excited.

In thanks for the demonstration last week, the IT Fundamentals teacher gave Son a gift card to Tim Horton's. Son is going to use it to buy donuts for his class today. I thought it was pretty thoughtful. Of course, I'm buying breakfast and picking up any extra cost, so maybe it's not quite as thoughtful as all that.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thanks Given

I got a nice stack of thank-you notes from the students in the IT Fundamentals class. The teacher seems to be really on the ball.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Funnies

One of the kids asked "How much do you make before taxes?"

"More than five dollars. Less than a million."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

School Visit

Son's IT Fundamentals teacher indicated that she'd be interested in seeing the arcade machine Son and I assembled, so I arranged with her to bring it in for a show and tell. In order to make the trip a little more productive, I also offered to do a career day presentation about my specific experience in IT as well as related careers.

A couple of observations...

  1. There was a strong gender divide in response when I would ask, "Who wants to play an old-time video game?"
  2. High school sophomores generally, but not universally, do not have an idea what they want to do when they grow up.
  3. Some of the more interesting kids (who might be my subjects in my role as king of the nerds) are actually interested in learning how to tie a bow tie.
  4. Teachers who stand in front of a class and lecture for six hours a day have WAY more stamina than I do right now. I thought I had bruised my feet and come down with strep, but I suspect a night's sleep will correct the issue.
We had a good time, and some of the students seemed to learn something. Plus, the room was across the hallway from the class that used to be called Home Economics, so there was the smell of baking cupcakes around lunchtime.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Son on the Road to Success

Son passed all the sections of the state-mandated test that must be passed before students are eligible to graduate from high school. That is a relief.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Didn't Pass

I'm thinking about making a web site called

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The school levy is on the ballot today. It's just a renewal, so passage won't affect people's taxes.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

High School Musical

Small Town High School had its second annual musical after a decade hiatus from the format. They performed Godspell. The kids did a great job. The microphones did not.

Son attended, so he gets five extra credit points in English.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


We went to the team cookout for the drumline last night. The president of the Small Town High School Performing Arts Boosters held it at his house. The kids had fun.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Video Saturday - Multiple Views

Here's a video of the model.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Foto Phriday - School Project Edition

Son's model of the El Castillo* pyramid at Chichen Itza. Click to embiggen.

It's made primarily of posterboard, and there are reinforcing layers of foam core up and down the middle with a dowel rod holding things in place. There are a lot of mailing labels used as tape, and the paint is that special paint that looks like rock.

*Yes, I know I'm using two articles.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Son is making a model of the El Castillo pyramid (yes, I know that's redundant) at Chichen Itza for Spanish class. I've been helping him plan it, and he's been cutting, pasting, stacking, etc. It should be fun.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Drove my Chevy

Our school has a levy this year to continue existing property taxes to maintain income levels for the district. Unfortunately, there are two challenges.

  1. The TEA Party has a presence here, and the political climate around taxes is toxic, even for reasonably liberal people who understand about investing in our future.
  2. This replacement levy is the largest percentage of property value I've ever seen in this region.
If the school doesn't pass, they're getting rid of 15 teachers and 18 staff and administrative positions. I'm hoping people will see the benefits of an educated populace.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Final Rank

Small Town High School (STHS) finished 6th place in the state competition in drumline, Division A-academic northern hambone airplane 47 or six to four. This was out of 16 schools that made it to the semifinals in this division.

Sixth place? "Feh," you say.

Keep in mind that STHS has never had a drumline team before this year, and they had a total program budget of $5000, all of which was paid by parents and donations. Other schools in this competition had been doing this for years, and some of them had budgets upwards of $45,000.

I am so proud of these kids.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Son's school has gone on from the drumline semi-finals to the finals. I'll be heading to North Haverbrook for the finals tomorrow.