Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone: March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Husband's 40th Birthday

Yesterday was my husband's 40th birthday, so I wanted to make it stand out.  I needed a birthday idea that was different and sort of fun,  not the typical "Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Forty" sign that people put in their front yard.  So, I decided I would contact a bunch of his co-workers (about 30) via email and ask them to participate in my little birthday idea. I don't know if it really qualifies as a prank, just something fun to do to recognize the fourth decade birthday.  I asked his co-workers to each bring him 40 pennies. That's right! They were to hand deliver 40 pennies some time throughout the day along with a happy birthday wish.   Why pennies?  Because people hate all those pennies!  and who wants hundreds of pennies with no where to put them?  HA!  Plus, I figured people wouldn't give 40 quarters. Oh well! I asked that they not be in a bag because that would make things too easy.  It's a lot more memorable to get 40 or 80 pennies at one time and then being stuck with them in your pockets. He got everything from "40" being written in pennies on his desk, to forty pennies being dropped in his classroom,  to lots of hand deliveries of pennies.  Needless to say, he had a pile of pennies at the end of the was all in fun, of course!

Happy 40th Birthday Ashley!


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaching to the Test

Is this what President Obama is saying?

According to an article I read in the AJC, President Obama addressed parents and students yesterday at a town hall meeting at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C. In his address, he said:

"Too often what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools"
"Schools should be judged on criteria other than student test performance, including attendance rate."
"One thing I never want to see happen is schools that are just teaching the test because then you're not learning about the world, you're not learning about different cultures, you're not learning about science, you're not learning about math," the president said. "All you're learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test and that's not going to make education interesting."

"They're not going to do as well if it's boring."


If I could have a few minutes with President Obama, I might rebut it by saying something like this:

WELL, HELLO President Obama!!.... are you familiar with Race to the Top?  Um, I think you are, because you have signed away on that initiative! You are in full favor of SOME aspects of testing.  You say you are concerned about the testing/and or classroom environment being 'boring' and worried about teachers teaching to the test, but you then want to turn around and support merit pay..... AKA....paying teachers based on how well the students do in this boring environment.  My goodness.  Mr. Obama, I think you left off one important point in the first quote I typed above. You said that, "Too often what we have been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools."  Let's see... you included students and schools being punished, but you said nothing about PUNISHING teachers. In a sense it would be punishing teachers if their salary was decreased based on student performance on a few select tests.  Keep in mind, some students don't test well, some students have negative home factors, some kids bubble their tests incorrectly, some kids didn't get a good night's sleep, some kids didn't eat a good breakfast,... the list goes on and on. Plus, I really think you are totally contradicting yourself with your statements of testing leading to boredom in the classroom and then turning around and supporting a plan that bases teacher salaries on those same TESTS.

Here is a fun little satirical song with a message by Tom Chapin.
Let's just hope this is not the future of teaching!

It is important  I state that I absolutely LOVE teaching. I have dedicated the last 15 years of my life to teaching students in grades 3-5.  It is a passion of mine! I want the exact opposite of what's depicted in the video. My goal is to teach and teach well.

My point in this blog is to point out how Obama seems to have differing views on testing when it comes to students versus teachers. He is concerned about too much testing and even thinks testing puts the classroom at risk of becoming a boring atmosphere. If that is the case, why would he think it okay to turn around and pay teachers based on a student's performance on these tests?  It simply doesn't make sense.

If you're still not sure why I am so concerned about standardized testing and basing a teacher's salary on the test, maybe this little video will help explain things.


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Diet Pepsi

"I think I like tall and skinny instead of short and fat," I said to my husband. His reaction was just to chuckle.

And no, I'm not talking about body type. I'm talking about a can... a Pepsi can... the Diet Pepsi Skinny can to be exact.  The other day I printed a buy one get one free coupon for the Diet Pepsi skinny cans, so I decided to try them out.  To my surprise, who would have thought that a can could feel so different! I think they just sort of fit better in your hand, and quite honestly, they have a better look about them.... sort of a bit more sophisticated looking and classy. I know, it's just a piece of aluminum, but the design just seems to work.

Tall and skinny has sort of gotten a bad rap over the past years, especially when it comes to the media.  Magazine models are all so tall and skinny, and of course, this has sort of become the look that young girls try to achieve.  It is highly discouraged, but none the less, it is pushed in the media. 

Well, as I had the idea to write about my preference to the skinny can, I decided to do a Google search on the Skinny can. I had no idea that the Pepsi Skinny can had gotten a bad rap in the media for being exactly that... tall and skinny.  Evidently the can was released as a part of Fashion Week back in February, and the design was intended to be exactly as I described it above.... to have a more stylish look about it. Apparently not everyone liked the skinny part.

Upon the release of the Pepsi Skinny can, the head of the National Eating Disorders Association made this statement:

"The campaign celebrates being skinny and suggests that strong, confident women must be so. That the Skinny Can campaign is being paired with Fashion Week, an event put on by an industry that has had to address eating disorders among its model ranks, is particularly problematic," says Grefe.

My response to this..... OH MY GOODNESS!  First of all, I am not tall and skinny myself, and I was not the least bit offended by the can.  It didn't make me say, "OH, I better go on a diet!!" I don't think the can pushes the attitude that 'skinny is best'. On the other hand, I think this was a great opportunity for the NEDA to bring awareness to the problem of eating disorders. Young girls do suffer from body image disorders and it should be recognized. It is my feeling though that they simply jumped on the idea of using the Skinny Can because it was readily available in the media, therefore it could easily be used to bring awareness to the problem.  Not a bad marketing tactic on their part either. 
Needless to say, I still like the Skinny Can!
Which do you prefer.... short and fat or tall and skinny? and do you think the design of the can is sending a message to the consumer?


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coupon Katarina

Coupon Katarina

If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to save the green stuff... AKA... Money!  I have a list of favorite websites that I like to check out daily in order to get the latest money saving tips, coupons, and even freebiesCoupon Katarina is one of my favorite sites.  I always wonder how these websites, such as Coupon Katarina, know about these hot deals that have just been released, but somehow they do. Katarina posts the latest breaking coupons,  and if you visit her website often, you can be one of the lucky ones to swipe up these terrific deals.  If you are just getting started with coupons, you can visit the section of her website that is specific to beginners.  It lists places for you to find coupons, how to organize your coupons, and so much more.  One of my favorite pages on her website is Freebies at Target.  She posts how you can combine manufacture coupons with Target coupons to get things for free.  Free is a good thing! I would also suggest that you 'like' her on Facebook so you can get all of these late breaking coupon deals posted right to your Facebook wall. Start saving money with Coupon Katarina today!


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Friday, March 25, 2011

Shoes to the Rescue

or would you like boots, or maybe some athletic shoes, or just some casual flats?  Take your pick. They can be yours for $1,000 a pop.  And guess what?  Your shoe selection might even save the salary of a school teacher.

That's right.  Michele Miller, the principal of Jackson Elementary in El Dorado Hills, has decided to put her shoe 'collection' up for sale in hopes of raising money for the school system.  It is nothing new these days to hear about school systems and their budget cuts, but this one principal has come up with an innovative idea in hopes of helping recoup some cash from budget cuts.

Her theory is:  shoes + sales = salaries.

Yep, she is selling shoes (HER shoes) in order to raise money. With the help of the parents at her school, they have started a website called Shoes to the Rescue where you can view her 285 pairs of shoes.

Yes, you read that correctly.... 285 pairs of shoes!  Check out the video to see some of the styles.

This story is interesting enough in itself, but what has really gotten my attention are some of the comments I have read from readers of other blogs and newspapers.

For example, one person said, "How could she have spent so much money on shoes? Maybe we overpay her. She FAILED to make her house payment on her home in the school district she loves so much. FORECLOSED. Property taxes unpaid as well. Maybe that says more about who Michelle really is."

Another person just said, "Gimmick!"

A third person said, "Someone, please help me. I need a vomit bag. This has got to be one of the most self-serving efforts I have ever seen. How much manpower (school resources?) is going into this one-woman accolades-fest? She's gonna save the world! She should be ashamed of herself. Anyone who can afford THAT many pairs of shoes in a school district that is supposedly going to lose so many teachers, librarians, etc. is making waaay too much money. A better, and more humble way to help is to take a frickin' pay cut, sister. No wonder your school district is going bankrupt. Sorry, but ya ain't gettin' no sympathy from me!"

The negative comments go on and on. Maybe it's because I have spent so many years in education that I am able to see Michele Miller as a principal that might actually CARE about kids!  Maybe I am naive, and she has some other personal motive. I don't know the lady, so I really can't make a call on her character, but I will say that my initial reaction to the story was, "Kudos to this lady for trying to make an effort to help her teachers!"  I think it's wonderful that she came up with such a creative idea that actually seems to be getting people talking about the lack of funding in education. Who cares if she sells her shoes, it's making people  more aware that there is a problem in education, and the problem is:  THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF MONEY!  Parents can gripe, teachers can lose their jobs, but in the end, no matter how you slice the short fall of money, the kids are the ones that lose.
I mean, COME ON!!! Think about it, you have a principal trying to sell her shoes in order to pay the teachers..... sort of funny in a sense, would probably make a good Saturday Night Live skit. 

The sad truth of the matter is that education is suffering all over the country due to budget cuts. It's not just California. Teachers are losing their jobs, and if it takes shoe sales to get people talking, then bring on the Stilettos!


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Birmingham Bargain Mom

Well, maybe not a star, but I am a guest blogger today on the Birmingham News, more specifically for the Birmingham Bargain Mom. Click here to read The Blogging Mom's story on this very informative webstie.

Christie Dedman, the author of the Birmingham Bargain Mom, finds deals, bargains, frugal recipes, crafts and freebies, and then she passes them along to you. Today is the first time Christie has opened up her blog for guest bloggers such as myself.  She will have several guest postings throughout the day, which include topics such as:
  • Signs You're a Coupon Junkie
  • Switching to coupons after loosing more than half your income
  • Frugal Decorating
  • Couponing in general
  • Festival round-up
  • One mom's switch from a 15 year career as an educator to a stay at home mom...
Tune in today (and all other days, of course) by visiting the Birmingham Bargain Mom's blog.  You can also follow Birmingham Bargain Mom on twitter to get the latest breaking bargain ideas. 

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blog Give Away

That's right!  We are having a blog give-away, and it starts today!! Join the fun and try to win.  To be entered in the give away, you just have to do at least one of the following steps listed below, and then follow the directions at the bottom to make sure you get credit for participating.  If you have kids, this is a fun give away! You are entering for the chance to win 10 teddy bear outfits that will fit the 15 inch Build a Bear animals.  They are brand new outfits still in the package.  And, its a whopping $100 value!!!  Plus, we pay the shipping to a US address.  You simply can't lose by entering.  Good luck!!  Scroll down for all the details.

We have BOXES and BOXES of animal outfits!!!


For one entry - Post this on your facebook wall: The Blogging Mom is giving away a gift worth $100. It's 10 (yes, 10) brand new, still in the package, teddy bear outfits.  These outfits will fit the 15 inch Build a Bear animals.  You will receive 5 boy and 5 girl outfits. To be entered, just 'like' us on facebook!/pages/The-Blogging-Mom/169876523037748?sk=wall

For one entry - Post about our giveaway on your blog. Please include a link to The Blogging Mom within your blog post:

For one entry: Tweet about our giveaway. Be sure to include our website .


For each of these things that you do, please visit our wall on facebook and leave a comment under the give-away posting in the DISCUSSION section. This will let us know what you've done for an entry. For example, post on Facebook, come back and leave a comment. THEN, go post on your blog, come back and leave a comment. EACH COMMENT WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY. There is a maximum of three entries per household, one for each listed above.
On Sunday, March 27, we will use to choose a winner! The winner will receive 5 boy and 5 girls teddy bear outfits.  We select the outfits, but we'll cover shipping to a US address! All entries MUST be posted as a comment to the 'give away' comment on our facebook page - no exceptions. We will be counting these and then submitting that number to to choose the winner. Your number or numbers will be designated based on the placement of your comment.  For example, if you make the first comment/reply, your number will be 1. If your comment/entry isn't listed on facebook where we specified (under the discussion section about the give away), it simply won't be counted. Entries close 3/27/11 at 9pm MST. Each comment will be counted as ONE entry with a maximum of three entries, so please be sure to leave separate comments for each entry. If a winning comment cannot be verified, an alternate will be chosen.

Thanks and good luck! We're so excited about this giveaway!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Florida State University Seminoles

Have you ever been sitting at a high school football game and looked at their mascot and thought this.... "Hmmmm... I bet because this team has a bulldog as their mascot and it slightly resembles the GA Bulldogs college team, this must mean that The University of Georgia is in someway affiliated with this high school team."  For me, the answer to that would be a big NO!

Well, evidently Florida State University believes just that and is going after high schools, middle schools, and whoever else they think is using a mascot that resembles theirs.  It was written in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that a letter sent by the Collegiate Licensing Company on behalf of the university, said the schools' logo and mascot "may cause consumers to erroneously believe that the university has authorized Salem High School to use its marks. Additionally, it will dilute the distinctiveness of the marks that the public associates with the university."

Are you kidding me?  I could understand if Salem High School, or any other team for that matter, was using a mascot and promoting it as being related to the College team, and then was trying to sell and profit from the resemblance, but that simply is not the case.  So, Florida State University has sent legal cease and desist letters to schools giving them a deadline to remove the the Seminole from their helmets, uniforms, etc. The cost to the public schools is going to be astonishing.  Think about things like gym floors, wall murals, signs outside the schools, and all the other expensive things that will need to be replaced. 

Interestingly enough, the elementary school  and recreation dept. right down the road from me has a Seminole as a Mascot. I checked out their mascot, and what do you know?  Click here to see the Seminole resemblance.  Click here to compare it to the Florida State Seminoles mascot. Where does it end?  I guess they will target all of the little league teams across the country, as well.

I couldn't help but wonder about other mascots, so I did a quick check of my Alma mater, and what do you know?  The Berkmar Patriot is almost identical to the New England Patriot's mascot.  Here they are side by side.  I'm thinking my old high school better put some money in savings if this is the wave of the future.

This is the official New England Patriot's Logo.

This is the logo used at my Alma Mater.

Is it just me or are they pushing this a bit too far?  I just can't help but think that Florida State University should have better things to do than target public schools and recreation departments when their use of the Seminole logo/mascot is not intended for financial gain and they are in no way insinuating they are affiliated with the college team.  My suggestion for FSU is to move on and quit messing with the little guys!


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Friday, March 18, 2011

Bill Gates and Education... What's the Grade?

Just a tad perturbed here at Bill Gates as I finished reading a blog that focused on some of his recent points dealing with education. So disappointing, as I think Bill has earned a failing grade. (my opinion, of course)

Bill, Bill, most would say, you are a gifted man. But here is the deal. Gardner's Multiple Intelligences state that there are multiple intelligences and that we are not typically gifted in all areas. You, for one, seem to be gifted in the area of Logic and Mathematics. In case you are struggling with what that means, you have the .....

ability to use reason, logic and numbers. These learners think conceptually in logical and numerical patterns making connections between pieces of information. Always curious about the world around them, these learner ask lots of questions and like to do experiments.

problem solving, classifying and categorizing information, working with abstract concepts to figure out the relationship of each to the other, handling long chains of reason to make logical progressions, doing controlled experiments, questioning and wondering about natural events, performing complex mathematical calculations, working with geometric shapes

Possible career paths:
Scientists, engineers, computer programmers, researchers, accountants, mathematicians

A teacher on the other hand is typically gifted in the area of Verbal/Linguistic. They have the....

ability to use words and language. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and are generally elegant speakers. They think in words rather than pictures.

Their skills include:
listening, speaking, writing, story telling, explaining, teaching, using humor, understanding the syntax and meaning of words, remembering information, convincing someone of their point of view, analyzing language usage.

Possible career interests:
Poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, translator

Back to Bill Gate's points on education as referred to in the blog Get Schooled.

One point made is that research teams are analyzing videos of more than 13,000 lessons – focusing on classes that showed big student gains so it can be understood how the teachers did it. At the same time, teachers are watching their own videos to see what they need to do to improve their practice.

Big student gains.... ????

I will agree that there is a lot to say about having a great teacher in the classroom (kudos for that point), but there are so many factors that I do hope are being looked at. Kids have so much going on in their lives... divorce, deaths, teasing, friendship problems, not eating a good breakfast... the list goes on. I have had students lose parents.  It does affect them academically.  I have taught kids where a parent was arrested at school.  It does affect them academically. So, before you look solely at lesson plans and a select group of teachers and their accomplishments, you won't get to the root of it all until you look closely at each individual inside AND outside the classroom. Take a look at how many of those kids had parents helping them with their homework, how many of those kids have a mom that stays home, how many of those kids were involved in sports as well as academics. You have to look at the whole picture, Bill.

Another point made was that other professions have success based on performance.That's great for professions such as an engineer (kids... computers.... I don't see a resemblance), but are you going to pay a doctor based on whether his patient took the medicine that was prescribed? Use your logic to figure that one out, Bill.

The points go on and on... the next one being that another standard feature of school budgets is a bump in pay for advanced degrees. Such raises have almost no impact on achievement, but every year they cost $15 billion that would help students more if spent in other ways

If I am not mistaken, the only degrees Bill Gates has are honorary degrees from schools such as Harvard and a few more. Um.... at least some of us earned our degrees by going to class. I think Good Ole Bill is basing this point on the fact that he has earned so many millions, or is it billions, without having ONE degree, so obviously they are worthless in his eyes... makes sense, right? Oh, that one deserves a LOL.

I just have a problem with a college drop-out giving advice on education. I don't care how much money you have or the math/logic giftedness, my logic tells me that just doesn't cut it.

NOTE:  I hope I did my research properly... everything I read on the internet related to education for Bill Gates said he was a college drop out.  Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.  I didn't have access to Bill to ask him personally.

Yet another point I read from Bill Gates was that the most expensive assumption embedded in school budgets – and one of the most unchallenged – is the view that reducing class size is the best way to improve student achievement. This belief has driven school budget increases for more than 50 years. U.S. schools have almost twice as many teachers per student as they did in 1960, yet achievement is roughly the same.

If that's the case Bill, let's just build a lecture hall and teach with a podium and microphone. Oh wait, that would go against hands on learning.  But, that does sound like something a powerhouse mega millionaire would do when he is lobbying for change in education... speak from behind a podium to a bunch of politicans that haven't been in a classroom since their graduation, and then they darted out so fast, you would have thought someone lit a match under their a**. Here is the deal, Bill....have you ever seen one of those clown cars where the clowns just keep piling out? It works in the circus but not in the classroom. They don't build lecture halls in schools today, they build classrooms, and classrooms hold a select number of students. Just ask any teacher if it is a more productive classroom when you have five fewer students. But, wait!!! Here is another point. There are some students that are equal to teaching five students (you may not know what that means Bill because you have never been a teacher), so just take one kid out and save some more money..... but no, we teachers take all kids and we vow to do the best we can do.  It's just in our nature, Bill.

And a last point is that approach is to get more students in front of top teachers by identifying the top 25 percent of teachers and asking them to take on four or five more students. Part of the savings could then be used to give the top teachers a raise. (In a 2008 survey funded by the Gates Foundation, 83 percent of teachers said they would be happy to teach more students for more pay.)

Wait, Wait.... I can be in the top 25% if you give me all the kids that are highly motivated, have loving caring parents who work and care about their education.  Top that with my desire to teach and excel in the classroom and I will make the top 25%.  Ohhhhhhhh,  you see, that won't work because the only thing I have control over is ME and what I do in the classroom. I can't control all of those other factors that were mentioned above.

Plus, how many teachers participated in that survey? Where did those teachers reside? What was their current teaching environment? Bill, I have taught in some schools where I had kids bashing each other against the dryer in the bathroom, looking at each other across the classroom caused a fight, food was not to be eaten, it was to be thrown..... you probably don't have that happen in fine restaurants where you wine and dine.
On a final note, I love the profession of teaching, as I have been in the classroom for fifteen years. I strive to be the best teacher I can be. I think anyone that has ever taught with me would agree. Good teachers make a greater difference than poor teachers, that is a no-brainer. You don't even have to have that college degree to figure that one out. Just get your facts straight Bill, and learn a little more about what it is like to be a teacher before you go increasing class size and basing our salary on performance.

Final thought to Bill:  I do think your intentions are good, but the next time my computer fails me, your pay should be docked!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Cake

Lucky Kiddos.....Because it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would surprise the kids with a little something green.  I didn't go all out though because I used a chocolate cake mix (poor kids!).  I did decide to make the icing from scratch and went with buttercream (recipe below). I added a few drops of green food coloring while mixing.  After I frosted the cake, I used my icing tips to make some little flowers. I just free-handed the clover so it may not look all that great. It's nothing real special, just something fun to do.

As you can see, they liked it!
Buttercream Frosting Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.

3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed  until the sugar has been mixed well with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for for 3 minutes. If the frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time. Enjoy!

NOTE:  I actually like to put the cake in the fridge inbetween servings. Cold cake is YUMMY!

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Bird's Nest

Sorry Birdies, but you simply are not welcome here!  I am so OVER these chirpie little two legged creatures building nests in my garage.  I know, I should simply close the garage.  I hear you!  But here's the deal... I own this place and I shouldn't have to close my garage just to keep these little nest building intruders out. Plus, the kids are in and out of the garage so often, it's just not realistic.

Two years ago it was Madison's bike helmet.  I don't have a picture of that one, but needless to say, I had to throw the helmet out.  Last year, it was the pocket inside my pool bag (see below), and this year, it was a backpack pocket that was partly opened (also below).  I will give the birds credit though, they do find really comfy materials in which to make their home.... quite stylish too, as the pool bag was Old Navy.

Despite my frustrations, I do find it fascinating at how quickly birds can build their nests.  The one from this year was only partly built before I removed the bag, but they did the work in just a few hours.  I will admit I felt sort of bad removing the bag, but I was glad to notice a new nest built in the tree right outside the garage the next day, which of course is where the little birdie belonged in the first place!!!

Old Navy Pool Bag

This year's backpack nest

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Teacher Loses Job Over X-Rated Video

I am sort of pulled in two directions on a story that is making national headlines.  A high school science teacher, Tera Dye, from Missouri has quit her job due to a student exposing an x-rated video of her from years past.  Evidently she is a wonderful science teacher who made a terrible mistake.  I have read in several news articles that she has been quoted as saying she 'is from the wrong side of the tracks and made many poor decisions in her life'.  She also has said that she absolutely loves teaching and anyone can walk into her classroom and see that. So, how did a use-to-be porn star get hired as a teacher?  Her acts were not illegal, they were just ethically and morally wrong. Therefore, when the school system did background checks, this information was not revealed.

The catcher here seems to be the moral part, I suppose.  We as teachers are held to a higher standard.  Every year here in GA we even have to watch an ethic's video and sign off that we did indeed watch it.  Why am I a bit torn in this situation?  The school hired her after the events had already occurred.  She had apologized years earlier about her wrong decisions and said she had gotten her life on track.  I just hate that she made such a poor decision early on in her life and she is now having to live with the consequences years later, especially when she appears to have straightened her life out and even has a family.

Where is the line drawn though?  I have known several teachers and even an administrator that were arrested for DUI and were able to keep their job. I even saw the mugshots!! That is actually an illegal act and what she was doing was not illegal. Morally wrong, yes.

Should she have just chosen a different profession from the beginning?  Should she be forgiven, let the past be forgotten, and let her teach? Would you feel differently if the videos didn't exist?  I'm curious, what do you think?


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Red Robin Commercial

I have never eaten at a Red Robin, so I don't really know how great their burgers are.  Quite honestly, I don't even know where a Red Robin restaurant is located here in the Metro Atlanta area. But, I will tell you this.... I don't like the message one of the Red Robin commercials sends.  It's a subliminal message, but it's there.  Here is the commercial.

Maybe it's because I am a parent and my teenage children are exposed to commercials such as this, but what message is this commercial sending.  You have a teenage daughter in her BEDroom, her father walks in, and a boy (who you assume) is her boyfriend, is hiding behind the curtain.  Now, I know they are fully dressed and there is nothing remotely sexual implied by the commercial, but I do think when you show a teenage girl sneaking a boy into her bedroom, you are creating thoughts for kids that they may not have otherwise had.

My question is this, why do you have to take a (what seems to be) family restaurant and blow the image with a mishap advertisement such as this?  I visited the Red Robin website and they even have a  Red Robin kid page with games and coloring pages. They must be trying to at least half-way create an image of being family oriented.  I can think of so many other ways to do a great advertisement (that is family friendly) without placing two teenagers in a bedroom together in order to SELL A BURGER, for goodness sakes! 

So, what gives Red Robin?


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Savvy Shopper

On a recent trip to Walmart I was scanning the shelves for some great deals. I mean, come one.....It's Walmart, right?  Great deals are everywhere.  And, of course I am the savvy shopper who knows how to find those great deals, so this was going to be a no brainer!

Okay, I could go on and on about Walmart and their great deals, but haven't you heard the phrase "pictures speak louder than words"..............

The can on the LEFT came from Walmart!!!!!!!!!
Are you catching my drift yet?  I was pushing my cart up and down the isles when I came to an isle that had some great deals (or not!).  There was laundry detergent, candy, all kinds of stuff.  Even Pringles.  The price was $1 a can on the Pringles, and I thought, "Wow, that's a great deal!"   I get home where I had a couple of cans of Pringles that I bought previously and then

WHAM! ........BAM!..... what's wrong with that CAN?

Um.... it's a tad short, don't you think?  No wonder it was a good deal (or not!).  I have to say that, Yes, I felt like I had been sort of tricked in a sense.  These cans of Pringles were not on the regular chip isle.  They were nowhere near other cans of Pringles so you could visually compare them, and the cans are so tall and skinny, they just appeared to be the size of a regular can. Honestly, had I not had other Pringles in my pantry, I probably would not have noticed that I was NOT getting a great deal.

I really do think that if I went back and checked the other items on that isle, most all of them would have several fewer ounces in them when compared to the same items on the other side of the store.  Therefore I was NOT getting a good deal, I was just paying less and getting less!!  Go figure!


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