Tag Archives: Paraphrase

School, Suddenly Silent, Slightly Spooky

For the past year or so, I’ve been able to see what life is like on the other side of the desk. Well, not the desk so much. I mean, I probably spent more time sitting on a floor than I did anywhere else when I was working as a Title 1 Tutor at Awesome Elementary, but I think you dudes get the idea.

Anyway, what I’ve been facing is that my school year didn’t end with the school year.

All the students got to leave on Friday, content that their school year was over and excited that their summer had begun. On Monday, when every other school-related person was sleeping in, I was getting up early. After all, I had to be back at school to help shut it down for the summer.

It was very, very strange, dudes. Let me tell you.

The hallways echoed with the sounds of my footsteps, rather than the sound of hundreds of voices and feet pounding out a constant wave of sound. Everything seemed so big, without the students there to fill the place up.

It is, to paraphrase a title I’ve read around here recently, a bit spooky in there. The teachers are hard at work, taking down posters from their walls, corralling books left behind by students, even cleaning out some desks that students did not. Which, let me tell you, is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. One young girl left behind somewhat finished milk cartons, somewhat finished Capri Sun pouches and half-eaten foods. In her desk. Yikes!

And there I am, wandering through it all.

It’s a lot cooler inside without the students producing all that body heat, making it much easier for the school’s old HVAC system to cope with the suddenly very hot temperatures.

But still, I miss it. I miss the unselfconscious smiles. I miss the surprise-attack hugs. I miss the laughter.

It’s been a heck of a year, dudes. A heck of a year that I spent learning from some wonderful teachers, some astonishing students and, oddly, from myself. It’s something I recommend to everyone if you have the chance. Go into a classroom, volunteer and get to spend some time with younger little dudes and dudettes. I guarantee you will experience something pure and wonderful, no matter the kid or the school.

Teachers do not teach for the money. I’ve always been told that teaching is a calling, rather than a job.

I think, this past year, I’ve come to understand what they’ve been talking about.

By the way, if this post comes out looking all funky-like, please excuse it. For some reason, I’ve not been able to actually write on the blog hosting website. I’m having to send this in via e-mail and, this being my first time with that, I have no idea if it will actually work. Or, if it works, how well it will do so.

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Memorial Day

by Richard

Around here in the United States, today is a day off from work. Ostensibly, we get the day off so that we can remember and give thanks for those of our fellow countrymen and women who gave their lives in defense of America.

Yeah, it’s Memorial Day. And it’s a crappy reason to have a day off of work.

Not that I think we shouldn’t honor those who fell in the line of duty. I do. They’re brave and they gave their lives so we could live ours.

No, I just don’t like thinking about the fact that they had to give their lives. I’m remembering a paraphrase of something: I don’t want people who are willing to die for their country. I want people who will make the other guy die for his. But what I’m thinking is I want people who don’t have to die for any country.

Of course, expecting rational behavior for the leaders of just about any country is an exercise in wishful thinking. So let’s just move on.

So, today, take a couple of minutes. Round up the little dudes and dudettes. Have a little talk with them about what this day really means, how it’s not just an excuse for a cook out or to celebrate the beginning of summer. Let them know that real men and real women died to protect them, died to protect people they never even met.

In memory, raise a glass and give thanks.

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Freaky Friday: Taking Candy From Babies

by Richard

Here’s a little tip for you dudes out there: Anyone who says that taking candy from babies is easy, has obviously never actually tried to take candy from a baby. I think that’s a paraphrase of a quote from someone, but today I’m just too lazy to actually look it up. If you’re interested, there’s this thing called the internets that might be able to help. Anyway. While it might not be easy, taking candy from babies might actually be a good idea.

Why, I hear you asking, should we go to all that sticky, smelly and yelly trouble to take candy from babies? I’m thinking it’s because we don’t want to get mugged or beaten up in about 25 years or so. Wha-huh?

A study of almost 17,500 participants in the 1970 British Cohort Study found that 10-year-olds who ate confectionary daily were significantly more likely to have been convicted for violence at age 34 years. Researchers from Cardiff University found that 69 per cent of the participants who were violent at the age of 34 had eaten sweets and chocolate nearly every day during childhood, compared to 42% who were non-violent.

This link between confectionary consumption and violence remained after controlling for other factors.

So, what this means is the scientists from Cardiff University (actual real-world home of Dr. Who, which has absolutely nothing to do with this, but I really couldn’t resist making that point) were able to rule out just about every other cause for this increase in violence so that the only probable cause was eating sweeties every day.

Wow. Let me tell you, after reading this I’m feeling much better about being such a mean, nasty everybody-else-gets-to-eat-candy-why-won’t-you-let-me sort of dad. Hah! I was actually in the forefront of a good health trend. Who woulda thunk it?

The researchers put forward several explanations for the link. Lead researcher Dr Simon Moore said: “Our favoured explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want. Not being able to defer gratification may push them towards more impulsive behaviour, which is strongly associated with delinquency.”

Of course, the scientists came up with a few more weasel words to make sure they weren’t trying to make us think the link was positively proven. I mean, come on, if they did that, how would they be able to go after the next round of funding when it was time to make the next payment on every scientist’s lake house and private jet? Or maybe I’m confusing the scientists with bankers. I do that all the time. Which makes for some odd questions when I’m at the bank.

So: Positive tip. Either take away the candy or get ready to stock up on band aids. Seems an easy choice to me, dudes.

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