Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The truth...

Geek Test Results

You are 60% geeky.

Not bad. Maybe you spend a little too much time with your computer, but at least you have friends. You do have friends, right?

The current average score is: 31.89%

Fact: 8.36% of people who took this test wear a bum-bag on holiday.


How about you?
A real runner up

Ok, so I finished reading The Front Runner some time ago, but I've not gotten around to commenting on it. It was fast and enjoyable, but I cannot say I loved it. Maybe I'm a bit too much of a cynic or too hard-hearted to go for the romantic story. I found myself feeling embarassed by the characters emotions for each other and I threw-up in the back of my mouth more than twice while reading the book (once because of the disgusting description of the olympics event).

I'm looking forward to seeing it translated onto the big screen.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Sunday was the third annual MTN Marathon in Kampala, and I did not run the 42km; I'm savin' it for next year. (You can hold me to it.) Fortunately, for those of us not up for the long haul, they also held a 10k race in which I participated…barely. I missed the registration deadline, and I was told that it would be impossible to register: even if I were a government minister, I would not be able to register after the deadline. Well I’m no minister of anything, but I did find a way to register and officially join the race.

One of the finer qualities that I inherited from my dear mother in a stubbornness that does not allow me to accept ‘no’ as an option when I don’t think it is the correct answer. People who know me know that I’m very respectful and not a pushy person; however, I’m no push over either. I really wanted to be in the race, and I missed a deadline that I was misinformed about to begin with. I talked to whom I knew that I felt could pull some strings, I made phone calls to strangers, and I almost gave up hope until around 7:30pm Saturday evening when I got the phone call that I was in and could pick up my ‘runner’s kit’ before the race, around 6:30am, Sunday.

At the race, security did not want to allow me back to the tents where I was supposed to pick up my kit. My explanations and eventual arguments got my nowhere, so I had to take the long way around (literally). I just made the block and went in the back way. I picked up my kit with my jersey. I got a number and a tracking chip. My skills in burlesque came in handy and I stripped down in front of the parliament building and changed into my running gear. The race was on.

I have no idea how well I did. I’m going to be generous and say that I performed well. I ran the entire time, never stopping to walk. I also feel like I was in the front part of the middle portion of runners; I was not in the back. My watch band broke a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve not replaced it, so I could not time myself. My tracking chip was supposed to record my time when I passed the finish line, but it didn’t (just my luck). I sent someone with my number tag to pick up my certificate verifying my time, but he came back empty-handed and said my time was not in the computer. I used to run 10k’s for fun with my friend Susan, and I always finished at just under an hour. The area I ran today was not nearly as hilly as where Susan and I ran, so I hope that I improved my time a bit. Although, I am not quite as fit now as I was then, so who knows?


Friday, November 17, 2006

No brown paper bag...


Now I have one for home and one for on the go.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hoot was a hoot!

Teaching children to think for themselves; coming to their own conclusions about what is ethical or right; allowing them to engage in civil disobedience; adding in alligators in toilets, water moccasins with glittery tails and Florida's tropical setting: What's not to love?

Now reading:

Run, baby! Run

I got this book from my friend, David. He brought it to my house wrapped in newspaper. It's a crazy, crazy world when one has to hide the book he is reading for fear of having someone see it's title. Come on! Because of the homophobic attitude of many, I'm even hesitant to take the book to read at the little cafe I love so much. What can you do?

I've read in more than one location that because of the success of Brokeback Mountain, they are in the process of turning this book into a major motion picture. I'm only 60 pages in, and I'm hooked.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm reading

I finished The Schools Our Children Deserve two days ago. The most applicable command I acquired from the book is "Prove it!" This can really stimulate great classroom discussion. However the most valuable lesson that I learned that I'm trying to pass on to my students is: "Mistakes are our friends." Yep.

Giving non-fiction a rest, I selected Hoot from my classroom library because the author, Carl Hiaasen, was recommended to me by my South African co-teacher. Hiaasen is a fellow Floridian, but I can honestly say that I did not know who he was. Apparently, he's written some quite popular books for adults, but he's also had success in the realm of children's literature. I remember seeing advertisements for the movie version of the book earlier this year. I remember reading or hearing somewhere (correct me if I'm wrong) that Jimmy Buffet did the music for the soundtrack. This week Jimmy has been on heavy rotation on my iTunes. Cheeseburger in Paradise, Margaritaville, and (my personal favorite song at the moment because it is very relevant to events in my life) The Asshole Song. I think it was Hoot's connection with Jimmy that finally drew me to it. So far I'm lovin' it. It's gonna be a quick read, so I'll let you know more of my thoughts in a couple of days.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Hipidy Hop!

Sunday has been a fun-filled day of lesson planning (Yea!), meeting a friend at café for a slice of cake, making corn tortillas for the first time, and reading from Alfie Kohn’s book: The Schools Our Children Deserve. I mentioned in a previous posting that I was reading this book. I love it. It justifies much of what I’ve tried to do as a teacher for the past several years. My style of teaching is very organic. Despite my lesson plans, I find myself to do what feels right at the moment. I looked over some of my planned lessons from just last month and did not recognize them; I did not do them. Yet, I believe that my students are much better off for that. They learned what they wanted/needed to know. If only I’d discovered this book before my demoralizing experience in Samoa, I could’ve explained myself better, defended my methods and had more confidence in what I was trying to accomplish with my class. I am very happy that people like Mara Ashley, Kate Moran and Peggy Halek gave me the guidance and support that I needed. They rank up there with Kato Erisama and Isaac Munnu as my mentors in education. I learned so much last year. My Samoan experience will always be important to me. It was my trial by fire and helped me to define who I am as a teacher. If anyone reading this blog has kids and is moving to Tutuila, American Samoa, let me recommend Pacific Horizons School. It is a little slice of educational heaven on that hell of an island paradise.

Back to Sunday… While at Pap Café (a complete misnomer: pap being a bland soft or semiliquid food such as that suitable for babies or invalid), a street vendor came around selling fried grasshoppers. Yes, it is that time of year: grasshopper/ensenene season! Anyone who has spoken to me about my Peace Corps experience in Uganda knows how I savour these little insects. Words of wisdom: Don’t knock it till you try it. I bought a paper cone full and enjoyed a couple with my friend, David. It was a pleasant afternoon.

What are you looking at?

We're looking at you!
I had a little itch on Saturday
that I decided to scratch.