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Posts Tagged ‘sports’

No Child Left Behind Football


picture of bill signing

This evening, in honor of presidents past and present trying to influence education and of Ted Kennedy, the one who "shepherded" the "bipartisan" No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) through the Senate, I am posting a parody, author unknown. What I'm posting below has made the rounds often by e-mail and on forums and blogs, but it just seemed to be crying out to become a permanent part of my blog archives at this time in our nation's history and here at the beginning of football season.

I read online the transcript of Obama's speech today to school children. I think it's probably vastly different from what he had planned to say before so many parents expressed their concerns about his agenda in doing this speech. He said some very good things that leave me wondering, based on his policies, if he actually believes much of what he said.

picture of banging head on a brick wall

Our son Mark and his wife Katie are teachers in the public school system where they have to deal with the repercussions of NCLB and governmental demands almost on a daily basis and face the frustration of having to spend so much time on peripherals that they often don't have adequate time to do the course preparations they would like to or cover the material that they need to.

If the demands of NCLB were placed on the game of football, here's what it would look like.

No Child Left Behind Football

picture of football goal

1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time, even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL!

3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will be kept only in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. This will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals.

If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind.

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I know that there are probably as many proponents of NCLB as there are detractors. Do any of you readers have any personal insights to add? Any thoughts on Obama's talk with our nation's school children today?

quotation...

"The repetition of small efforts will accomplish more than the occasional use of great talents." - Charles H. Spurgeon

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Everybody repeat after me... "We are all individuals."


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Amish Baseball


picture of baseball

Baseball fans know that the season is in full swing, so to speak. This is "Baseball Week" over at The History Bluff (THB). Dave is having a contest this week and the winner will get a free THB t-shirt and two tickets to a Greenville Drive game. His contest consists of coming up with the best caption for the picture in that post. Based on readers' comments to my "toast post" last week, I have no doubts about what creative writers some of you are. So I hope you'll try your hand at Dave's contest and explore his fun site. You can learn more about it by going to his post called Shoeless Joe Caption Contest: Ticket and T-shirt Giveaway or by clicking on the picture below.

When Dave sent me the info about his contest and asked me to post it, I started thinking about baseball and remembered something I had in my files.

Religious Persuasions and Baseball

Lutherans believe they can't win, but they still trust the scorekeeper.

Puritans won't swing.

Quakers won't strike.

Unitarians can catch anything.

Calvinists believe the game is fixed.

The pope claims never to have committed an error.

Fundamentalists balk.

Pre-Millennialists believe the game will be called on account of darkness.

Atheists don't believe anyone created the game.

Deists don't believe in an umpire.

Adventists won't play the 7th inning.

Amish do a lot of walking.

picture of Amish sign

Speaking of the Amish, while we were in Ohio we saw some Amish people in their horse-drawn buggies on side roads as we crossed the state on US Route 30. On a past trip we were able to visit a neat store in Kidron, OH, called Lehman's. This store carries many products that cater to the special needs of the Amish. While we were in the store that time, we saw missionaries supported by our church in Greenville. They were preparing to leave for Papua New Guinea and were looking for a gas-powered refrigerator to take with them, since they would not have electricity. They found what they needed at Lehman's.

As we drove along US Route 30, we didn't see any Amish people playing baseball, but I was able to find several pictures on line that show that at least some sects do enjoy the game.

picture of Amish baseball

picture of Amish baseball

Here are several bits of Amish humor to finish off this post.

Two young men were in desperate need of cash, but admittedly were a bit cowardly. So the one suggested that they break into the Amish market. The logic being that, since the Amish were nonresistant, even if the young men were caught, no harm could befall them. Thus they carried out their plot. However, just as they were breaking into the cash register, the owner lit the lantern and confronted them, pointing a shotgun directly at them. Calmly, the Amishman said, "Boys, I would never do thee any harm, yet thou art standing where I am about to shoot."

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A newcomer to the political scene was campaigning in Amish country for the office of assemblyman. Outside an Amish homestead, he saw a young man milking a cow. He approached the young man, ready to make his pitch for a vote.

Just as he was getting started, an old man called from inside the house. "Luke, get thee into the house. And who is that man thou art talking to?"

"Says he's a politician, father."

"In that case, bring the cow inside with thee."

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While driving in Pennsylvania, a family came up behind an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign: "Energy efficient vehicle. Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust."

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An Amish boy and his father were visiting a shopping mall. They were simply amazed by almost everything that they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again. The wide-eyed boy asked his father, "What is that thing, father?"

The father responded, "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life. To be honest, I don't know what it is!"

While the boy and his father were watching in amazement, an old lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed, and the boy and his father watched small circles of lights with numbers above the walls light up. They continued to watch as the circles then lit up in the reverse direction. The walls opened up again and a remarkably beautiful 24 year old woman stepped out.

The father said, "Son, go get thy mother."

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Can you think of any puns summing up other religion persuasions with baseball terminology? Do you have any experiences with the Amish?

quotation...

"The more zealously a man is focused on external triviality, the more likely it is that he is hiding inward corruption." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Did you hear about the Amish flu? There are only two symptoms — first you get a little hoarse, then you get a little buggy.

Kind of reminds me of the man who married an Amish girl so he could drive her buggy!


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Medical Faux Pas


Well, I think I've given blood for the second and final time in my life. A week ago this past Saturday I decided to try giving blood again when the Blood Connection had its bloodmobile at our church for a blood drive. I had given blood several years back and just made it through my unit when I started to have a vasovagal episode. It didn't come as a huge surprise since I had had problems when visiting people in the hospital who were receiving fluids or transfusions. After that incident I decided that maybe I shouldn't give blood again. This latest time, though, I thought maybe the same problem would not recur. However it did. I was able to finish giving my unit of blood and didn't pass out completely, but I felt terrible for the last third of the unit as and for a while afterwards.

The next day, though, I noticed that I had a rash and hives all around the site where they had drawn the blood. The following day it was creeping towards my wrist and my underarm, and the same thing was appearing on my other forearm. Below is a picture of my left arm.

picture of my hives

I took Benadryl before going to bed that night to see if that would calm my allergic reaction. It did basically nothing but make me half-loopy all day Tuesday. I went to see my doctor Wednesday, and we figured out that I was having a reaction to the chlorhexidine gluconate they had used to clean the site where the needle would go in. The nurse had chlorhexidine gluconate on her gloves and touched all over on my left arm during the whole process. There were apparently traces of the substance on the other arm of the chair from previous donors - hence the rash on my right forearm where it had touched the arm of the chair. I'm on Prednisone for one week (nasty stuff!) The rash is finally going away and bothering me much less.

picture of a t-shirt

What's kind of funny is that in two of my French classes in recent weeks we've been talking about various sports in French, one of which was rugby. I told my students that I had seen a t-shirt in France that said, "donnez du sang - jouez au rugby" (that is, give blood - play rugby). We all chuckled about it since rugby is such a rough game. I'm thankful that some are able to give blood with no ill effects, but after my experiences recently, I think the next time I decide to try giving blood, I'll go out for rugby instead!

Yesterday we had some guests for lunch. One is our niece, a nurse in a local ER, and another is a senior nursing major at BJU, currently doing her clinicals. They were talking about how surprised they are at how unfeelingly sometimes medical personnel talk among themselves about their work. It made me think of something in my files that I could post, wanting very much to have something to laugh about concerning medical things.

Things you don't want to hear during surgery

Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?

Someone call the janitor--we're going to need a mop.

Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad dog!

Hand me that...uh...that uh...thingie.

Oh no! I *know* I had my wristwatch on when I came in here!

Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500 ml of this stuff before?

Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!

Could you stop that thing from beating; it's throwing my concentration off.

What's this doing here?

I hate it when they're missing stuff in here.

Better save that. We might need it for an autopsy.

That's cool! Now can you make his leg twitch?

I wish I hadn't forgotten my glasses.

You did WHAT to our car?!

Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.

Sterile, schmerile. The floor's clean, right?

Anyone see where I left that scalpel?

OK, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.

It's gonna blow! Everyone take cover!

Nurse, did this patient sign the organ donation card?

Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.

Rats! Page 47 of the manual is missing!

FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!

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I'd love to hear about the experiences, both good and bad, of those who've given blood or received blood.

quotation...

"Many brave men have died for countries that don't exist any more." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

When the doctor got a bad cut, the nurse said, "Suture self."


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Did He Pass the Test?


boy taking a test

Does the thought of taking tests fill you with terror? Probably. Classes haven't even begun for us yet, and I'm already thinking about tests. We're in faculty in-service meetings this week on campus and they have been excellent - very helpful and thought-provoking! Next week we'll be working in our offices getting our courses ready to go. Then after several days of course registration, classes will begin September 3. Part of teaching is writing and grading tests. But tests aren't limited just to the realms of academia. Many potential employees have to take tests to show their competencies for the jobs they'd like to land.

Here's a story about a man in that very situation.

Tom is applying for a job as a signalman for the local railroad, and is told to meet the inspector at the signal box.

Tom seems like a good prospect, and the inspector decides to give Tom a pop quiz. He starts off by asking, "What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?"

Tom says, "I would switch one train to another track."

"What if the lever broke?" asks the inspector.

"I'd run down to the tracks and use the manual lever," answers Tom.

"What if that had been struck by lightning?" challenges the inspector.

"Then," Tom continues, "I'd run back up here and use the phone to call the next signal box."

"What if the phone were busy?"

"In that case," Tom argues, "I'd run to the street level and use the public phone near the station".

"What if that had been vandalized?"

Tom quickly replies, "In that case I'd run into town and get my Uncle Leo."

The puzzled inspector asks, "Why would you do that?"

"Because he's never seen a train crash!"

(So, did Tom pass the test and land the job?)

Now here's a little test for you. It appears to be a list of trick questions with obvious answers, but it really is!

The world's easiest test?

(Answers follow, but NO cheating!)

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get catgut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI's first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

Now remember ... NO cheating!

Answers to the world's easiest test…

1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

2. Ecuador.

3. From sheep and horses.

4. November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.

5. Squirrel fur.

6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria — Island of the Dogs.

7. Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.

8. Distinctively crimson.

9. New Zealand. (Chinese gooseberries is an older name for kiwifruit.)

10. Thirty years, of course! From 1618 to 1648.

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If that test made you feel as dumb as it made me feel, maybe this final item about testing will make you feel like a rocket scientist (or at least a rocket surgeon…).

A college football coach had recruited a top talent for the team, but the player couldn't pass the school's entrance exam. Needing the recruit badly, the coach went to the dean and asked if the recruit could take the test orally. The dean agreed, and the following day the recruit and the coach were seated in his office.

"OK," the dean said, "What is seven times seven?"

The recruit looked terrified as he thought it over for a moment then said, "I think it's 49."

The coach immediately jumped to his feet. "Oh, come on, Dean," he begged, "give him another chance!"

Lends weight to the oxymoronic nature of the expression "sports scholarship," doesn't it? Do you have a test experience you'd like to tell about? We'd love to read about it in the comments.

quotation...

"Right affections lead to right thinking, and right thinking leads to right living." - Dr. Bryan Smith

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, then the lesson afterwards.


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(Non-)Olympic Moments?


You would have to have your head totally in the sand not to know that the Olympics are going on. We've followed the first week and a half far more than we thought we would, but the remaining events really aren't our faves.

Undoubtedly the dominant name has been Michael Phelps. The mainstream media has proclaimed him "the greatest athlete of all time" and the debate will rage on until the next "greatest athete of all time" comes along. Michael has definitely achieved wonderful feats in a very tough sport and seems himself to have a good attitude of humility, but there are still many who are asking, "Well, what about __ (fill in the name of their favorite sports figure)?! Is Michael really a greater athlete than __?!"

I found a terrific comic online this morning that I want to share:

Michael Phelps' dominance

For today's iv, I'm sharing two stories - one funny and one thought-provoking - about some runners, Olympic or not.

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Two gas company servicemen, a senior training supervisor and a young trainee, were out checking meters in a suburban neighborhood. They parked their truck at the end of the alley and worked their way to the other end. At the last house an older woman was looking out her kitchen window, watching the two men as they checked her gas meter.

Finishing the meter check, the senior supervisor challenged his younger coworker to a foot race down the alley back to the truck to prove that an older guy could outrun a younger one.

As they came running up to the truck, they realized the lady from that last house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped and asked her what was wrong.

Gasping for breath, she replied, "When I saw two gas men running as hard as you two were, I figured I'd better run too!"

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In the late 1990s at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with determination to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry, slowed down, and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back. Every one of them.

One girl with Down's Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, "This will make it better." Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. More important than winning for ourselves in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

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A friend told me that, upon reading my last post about becoming empty-nesters, he thought it sounded like I was saying, "Well, life's all over ... now we can die." I laughed and told him, "Far from it! Let me tell you about Friday of last week...." My wife and I decided to take the day off and "head for the hills" for the day to do some of our favorite things - a last hurrah before my teacherly duties began this week. We headed to Flat Rock, NC, to a shop called The Wrinkled Egg. That day we weren't interested in the shop as much as in the new barbecue place right behind it. It's called Hubba Hubba, and let me tell you - HUBBA! HUBBA! We definitely found a new favorite - or as my wife Becka put it, "yet another reason to go to Flat Rock!" We picked up a cranberry-apricot scone at the bakery in the back of the Wrinkled Egg for dessert/mid-afternoon snack and headed for Carl Sandburg's house. We didn't want to tour the house on this trip - we just wanted to see how this year's baby goats were doing. We took the hike to where the goats are kept and enjoyed petting them. Here's a picture of Connemara (the Sandburg's house) and a picture of Becka with several of the kids.

pic of Connemara

Becka and three baby goats

After that we headed to a quilting shop Becka really likes in Hendersonville. What a nice place - they have an area with rocking chairs and magazines for husbands! I had actually brought along my own entertainment a Sudoku book to pass the time pleasantly, warding off dementia while Becka touched every bit of fabric in the place (of which there is a lot!) After that we went to Lyda farms to get some produce and some early apples. From there we headed off to the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC, to go to Sliding Rock. It was really crowded, and so I had to wait in line for about a half hour before I could slide down the rock into the 55 degree water in the pool at the bottom. Below is a 10 second video clip of Sliding Rock (viewable on the blog itself, not in e-mail or blog readers).

Here's a picture of me ready to begin my trip down the rock...

Rob on Sliding Rock

The line was even longer by that time and we had some other things we wanted to do, so I changed into warm, dry clothes, and away we went!

On the way back to Brevard, we stopped at the ranger station across the road from the Davidson River Campground. They have done a lot of renovation on the ranger station, and there's a lot for children to enjoy inside. One thing we enjoyed outside the ranger station was watching hummingbirds visit their two feeders. After that, we went shopping at four different stores in Brevard (and bought something in each) before having dinner at the Pisgah Fish Camp. While eating dinner we decided to drive back to the ranger station to take some pictures of the hummingbirds - something we hadn't thought to do earlier.

There were even more hummingbirds when we went back than there had been earlier. And the hummingbirds actually flew right up close to us to check us out! Here's a little video footage of their activity (viewable on the blog itself, not in e-mail or blog readers). Sorry for the talking in the background - Becka's on the phone with one of our daughters telling her all about it.

After that, we drove back to Greenville. Now does that sound like two people whose lives are all done and are now ready to die?! 😀

I can't figure out a way to work up a poll question to get at the following - have you decided to and actually gone ahead and tried out any of the activities and/or places that I've written about in the past several years on my blog? If so, which one/s? Since it's impossible to structure as a multiple choice poll question, please just tell about it in the comments to this post.

quotation...

"What you live for and base your decisions on has the greatest effect on your children." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have become really good friends.


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