Wednesday, December 26, 2007

One Down, Far Too Many To Go

I just finished my first Christmas vacation read. Wow! If you have not read this book, you need to read it soon, this week, tomorrow, today!

Are you still reading this blog? Log off, and drive your blog-addicted self to a library or bookstore and buy this literary gem. If you are planning to take my AP Language or AP Literature classes next year, you can get a jump on your summer reading. Yessssirrrrrrrr, that's going to be the summer read for those two classes. You won't be disappointed in the time and emotional investment you put into this book.

It's wonderful.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry CHRISTmas

God's words describing Christ's works strengthen our faith by offering the promise of a Savior who HAS absolved us of our sins. No longer slaves to sin we can live free in the hope and glorious exaltation that our eternal home with our Creator awaits. Amen!

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vacation Plans...

Next week final exams begin. Students scurry about studying their logarithms, gerunds, Shakespeare, taxation without representation and everything else they hope will ensure academic success.

As a teacher I'm not exempt from the process. On the way home from school after the last final exam is taken, I'll scurry down Romeo Plank and roll up to the Taj mahal of of literary repositories, Clinton Macomb Library - main branch. Once there I'll load up the Civic-sled with some reads that look promising. Most of which I'll never even crack the binding, but it's the beginning of vacation so optimism runs amok. I'm open for any literary suggestions so let me know if you think you have a good page-turner. I love getting up in the morning to a quiet house and the soft gurgle of Mr. Coffee brewing me up a batch of java goodness. I plug the tree lights in and settle in for a good read. No hurry. No scurry. No Romeo Plank black ice. No arctic classroom. No spit-wads propelled from adolescent miscreants.
Just tree lights, java and a good read.

Perhaps the only activity that competes with a warm, morning read is a brisk, quiet morning ride. No heart rate monitor. No cadence. No drafting. No internal fear of being lapped. No "Hold your line!" No accessories.
Just dark streets illuminated by a helmet lamp and the soft crunching sounds of hard-packed snow or crushed salt.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The 4-Second Rule In Effect

As predicted, the Lady 'Stangs battled the Muskrats (Muskratettes?) of Algonac and walked off the court victorious with a 41-20 win, boosting our record to 3-2.
The highlight was our tip-off play. Our goal is to score within two seconds. It took us four. I'm still a happy coach. I'd diagram the play or discuss our tip-off philosophy, but word on Blog Boulevard is that 'Stang opponents are aware of the powerful team and are anonymously lurking in Blogville hoping to read some tidbits that will help them defeat the young powerhouse. I'll just say that as soon as we scored, I looked up and saw 7:56. It foreshadowed how well the 'Stangs would play that night.
However, the win was tarnished with my technical foul. To my players, I teach the need for control, modesty, humility, and poise. I can't spin a tale that justifies vulgarity or the lack of control. I can't spin a tale that explains why it's good to have veins popping out of my neck and forehead while screaming at the ref. I can't even describe the vociferous verbal offerings that reveal my superiority over the black and white striped adjudicators jogging on the court.
All I can say is...I forgot to enter one of my girls in the score book.
Bob Knight, forgive me.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Elusive Road Victory

With the Lady 'Stangs at 2-2, today we journey to Algonac and see if we can shed our Detroit Lions-esque similarity. We opened on the road against Fraser and played well, but not well enough. We had not scrimmaged anyone up to that point, so once we got by the jitters and figuring out who plays where and when, we settled down and were in a position to win. It didn't work out that way but we had our opportunities and that created optimistic confidence.
Our second road game was against Bishop Foley and we just look frustrated. We started out well and looked good in the first quarter. It was rough after that and we were 0-for the road.
So tonight we board the bus and head east in search of a our first road victory, which I'm quite confident will happen. Speaking of the bus ride...
Not much has changed since the old days. Oh, the green upholstery is now brown. Instead of the patch taping being two different colors of green, it's now two different shades of brown. However, the heating system must have been upgraded. I remember my feet being frozen stumps after just a forty-five minute ride. Now my tootsies have been toasty the entire trip. That effusive fuzziness may be challenged today, however because the temps have dropped since our last game.
So often 9th grade basketball finds itself at the bottom of the food chain. We use basketballs with no air, get shanked for court time and proudly wear the varsity handmedowns that junior varsity handed down to us. However, the 9th grade Lady 'Stangs ride in style on the way to games. One bus - one team. There is plenty of space to stretch my legs, go over the lineup and catch up on the latest issue of Higher Things or delve into the world of whatever I'm currently reading. Let the varsity have basketballs that bounce; we have a warm, capacious bus that I don't have to drive.
Now even that would make Ms. Frizzle envious. Post-game updates to follow. Until then, "Bus Driver, move that Algonac for our first, of many, road wins.