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The Next Survivor Series


picture of Survivor logo

Do you like what they call "reality TV"? Although I have not watched more than a minute or two of Survivor (as I scramble for the remote control to change channels), from the ads I know there have been several different series, each with its own difficult setting and conditions. A couple of years ago I posted an idea for a new Survivor series.

A reader who teaches elementary school sent me an e-mail with an idea for yet another new series. Recently when Mark and Katie were at our house, I asked them to read it over and to change anything they deemed necessary to make it more real to life since they are both elementary school teachers. Here's the proposed plan for another series of Survivor:

Have you heard about what they are planning for the next season of Survivor? Three businessmen and women, three state senators, and three state representatives will be dropped into an elementary school classroom for one school year. Each "teacher" will be provided with a copy of the school district's curriculum and a class of 25-30 students.

Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.H.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.
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Turning Thirty


picture of vintage Ivory ad

What are your thoughts about turning 30? If you haven't yet, you're probably thinking that it will really be saying goodbye to youth. If you have already turned 30, you may have other thoughts, depending on how long ago it was. As the vintage Ivory ad on the right is saying, birthday candles are nothing to fear. Nora, the second of our three children, turns 30 today. Our son Mark will do so in two and a half years. This can mean only one thing — our children are getting older.

While I'm thinking about being young and being old, I decided to post some humor on the subject. Ya gotta laugh at this aspect of life ... if not, you might cry. :-) Anyway, here goes.

While spending the weekend with her grandmother, the granddaughter said, "My teacher told us that a little girl can grow up to be anything she wants to be.... Grandma, why did you decide to be an old lady?"

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When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure."

"Look in your underwear, Grandpa! ," he advised. "Mine says I'm four."
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It’s a Jungle Out There!


picture of snake catchers

Do you like snakes? Even though I know there are supposed to be "good snakes" that eat "bad snakes," I still have an aversion to all snakes. We learned recently that a "crazy woman" who lives in our subdivision had released her pet python into the wild a few weeks ago. At first we didn't know whether to believe it, but her (now our) python has been sighted several times, most recently in the small lake in our subdivision. Yikes! (The picture on the right is of some men whose job it is to catch snakes — live!)

We currently need to be able to laugh about snakes, just to break the tension a little. Here are a couple of bits of snake humor I found in my files.

An anaconda is the largest snake in the world. It is a relative of the boa constrictor. It grows to thirty-five feet in length and weighs between three and four hundred pounds at the maximum. Here are the humorous instructions on what to do if you are about to be attacked by an anaconda:
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While You Were Out…


picture of form

Summer jobs are a reality for many students and teachers. Summers have found me doing a wide variety jobs, some better than others, from working on an assembly line in a factory to writing French textbooks. Eleven summers have included short-term missions trips to France and to China. This is my ninth summer as a PC tech at IT. My job takes me to places on campus that many people don't even know exist. It's been fun to be able to meet so many people and to put names and faces together, along with workplaces.

When we work on people's computers, we are careful to respect their workspace and personal belongings. Since my work involves working on computers, though, I can't help but notice the things taped to them — Bible verses, sayings, pictures, cartoons, articles, you name it. Today's iv is several things that I've seen taped to computers on campus and enjoyed, either because they made me think or made me laugh.
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Consistency on the 5th Birthday of My Blog


picture of birthday candle

This Saturday is the 5th birthday of my blog. That's hard to believe. I started the blog as a way to share pictures and stories of our adventures we would have while teaching at a university in China in the summer of 2005. I was reluctant, but at the urging of and with the help of a young tech I worked with at IT, I set up my blog. My first post, on June 19, 2005, was called Strangers in Paradise. If you weren't an ivman reader back in 2005 and 2006, you might enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the accounts of our experiences during the two months we taught summer school in China.

I had been sending out "iv's" (instant vacations by e-mail since sometime back in 1996 or 1997 and got used to maintaining a regular mailing schedule. Some of you who have been reading "my stuff" since the earliest e-mailings probably deserve a purple heart! :-) When I saw how easy it was to publish blog posts, which included images, I decided to start to distribute my "iv's" by way of the blog instead of by e-mail. If you're a fairly new ivman reader and don't know all the history, you might find my about page an interesting explanation of what my blog is all about.

In blogging it's important to be consistent — in timing and in over-all content. Some blogs start out great guns and then quickly die out because the blogger did not count the cost of how much work it is to keep up a consistent schedule. In a post called How to Start a Blog I shared the following comic strip along this line.

cartoon about blogging

Keeping with the theme of consistency, I'd like to share a fun series of pictures. One of the posters we hang up for a few weeks each school year in our French classroom is the one below. Ernest's face is amazingly flexible and expressive for illustrating the different emotions.
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