Thursday, February 26, 2009


Second week of rehersals for the Scottish play, and things are moving right along. The teacher in charge has done quite a bit of cutting -- we'll only have about 45 minutes to present the whole thing. Some of the kids are really good, but most are not really into it.
My only lines are in Scene 1, but I do have one other major scene (right before my off-stage de-throating). Later I get to haunt the perpetrators in my bloody Royal nightshirt.
A lot of work - but I think it will be cool.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Opening, Another Show...

The Drama Club at my school has decided to put on a production of "the Scottish play" - yes, I know my theatre traditions - it's a good selection for the middle school thespian, since there is plenty of sword-play but very little smooching.

And guess who has been tabbed with the role of King Duncan?

Yep. It's Good to be the King.

Rehearsals start this week, with Opening Night (hit it, Mel!) set for the first week of March. I may even get to wear a kilt!

I think the kids will get a charge out of seeing their teacher on stage (do I have a death scene?)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Last night I had a very vivid dream -- about camping in the mountains. We had a nice cabin, and everyone had a great time. My uncle was there with his son.

But this wasn't my cousin (he's in his 30s now). This was one of my students.

Friday was the last day of the Fall Semester, so things have been busy. Starting Monday, my 7th grade Science class changes to Health -- with a major unit on you-know-what.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You're pathetic! (ha ha ha)

Or, more accurately, "we're just as inept as you, so we shouldn't really bash you guys for being stupid. But we do."

I recently was elected to membership in the major governing body of a major collective-bargaining entity, currently in major conflict with a mega-sized overseeing mortibound bureaucracy. Wednesday night was my first meeting. Much of the first 45 minutes was taken up rancorous discussions and the format of the new agenda - items had been moved around. The parliamentarian -- a professional parliamentarian not a member of the aforementioned collective-bargaining entity, constantly tried to explain that the new format actually followed criteria mandated in Roberts Rules of Order (Revised). Nonetheless, there was enough whining that we eventually voted to use the old agenda format, sending the new one back to be reviewed by a special committee.

We proceeded with the meeting (all the while, I could see the parliamentarian shaking his head in exasperation), and managed to get some vital information and make some important decisions.

Then came some additional motions (all previously submitted in writing, as per both the new and old rules) of a political nature -- involving international events (we are solely a local enterprise, though local politics could be germane to our functions).

Cue the major rancor -- and part of the process involved complex parliamentary procedures -- there were nine motions presented at the same time, but three of them were "pulled" -- various members wanting them to be discussed and voted on separately. The remaining six motions (again, all clearly within the purview of our organization) were adopted without objection.

When the first of the "pulled" motions was brought forward, there was a motion to table discussion (try to follow the minutiae of procedures here), which meant there would be discussion on if we should table discussion. During this discussion (the original motion involved events in Israel), a member used the phrase " a Jew, I feel..." standing behind him, another member said, not-quite under her breath, "So now you're a Jew?"

Yep - school-yard name calling/dissing/stupidity in a major downtown high-rise professional building.

And before anything else could happen, another member challenged "call for a quorum" -- well, by this time (a good three hours into the meeting), there were only about a third of the hearty souls fools members remaining, so the chair declared the meeting over. Done. Right then. Finito.

Professional, educated folks -- all with advanced college degrees -- acting like four-year-olds in serious need of nap time.

Of course, I'll be back for the next meeting in a month.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Kevin (Raymond?), Juliana, Juan and Raymond (Kevin?)

Well, our second robotics tournament is in the books.

We only had four of the ten team members present -- but they had fun.

First round, still rather nervous and a bit unorganized, they only completed two missions (a third was disallowed). We got some inspiration (that is to say, we stole some strategy plans) from a couple of teams and managed some quick reprogramming and building to pull off six missions in the second round - a team best. We were confident that the third round would be even better.

Kevin and Raymond (Raymond and Kevin?) at the competition table.

But disaster struck -- just as the twins hit the 'run' button, the left rear tire fell off - and repairs took up most of the allotted 2 minutes, so only one mission got completed.

However, the kids quickly recovered and had a blast at LEGOLAND. This will probably be the last event for this team -- I'll start recruiting the '09-'10 version sometime in March. We were given another robot, so I should be able to field 6th and 7th grade teams.

The folks at LEGOLAND put up a great show.

They liked the medals, too!