Friday, March 28, 2008

The Manga Bible Discussion Group

I introduced THE MANGA BIBLE to the pastors at my church and have received some interesting feedback ranging from “I don’t like comics” to “This is interesting” and ending with “We should do something with this.”

Comics are not for everyone and that’s fine, but for those of us who respond to the medium, and there are a lot of us, THE MANGA BIBLE holds a certain fascination. It is an interesting way to engage the Bible. It can bring the stories into a different light giving fodder for those well-versed in all things Bible.

I asked and my church responded by starting a little 8-week class, a discussion group or round table, to explore the graphic adaptation of some of the Bible stories. The group ranges in biblical knowledge, which makes it fun.

We met for the first time last night (Thursday), and the four of us had a good time. For the most part those present look at the Bible, not as the inerrant word of God, but as stories that have been written, edited, redacted, re-edited, translated and printed. That is not to say that God is not present or is absent from the Bible. It’s just that we do not see every single word as the literal word chosen by God himself, although we acknowledge that view is controversial for many. That view does not necessarily represent the view of Siku, the author of THE MANGA BIBLE. It is simply the lens that those present last night use. I think I speak for those who attended last night that we do not expect everyone (even those who might attend the group) to agree with that viewpoint.

I started a wiki for the group, just to help us record the information that we learn. So far, I am the only one who has contributed, but I hope others will add information, thoughts, comments, disagreements, and questions. A lot of educators are using wikis as part of the learning process for students, so it was good practice for me.

Siku is working on other comic adaptations of the Bible, specific parts. So I look forward to those.

The group is open, so if you are interested in exploring the comic adaptation of some of the biblical stories, you can contact me at Space is very limited as we wish to keep it intimate. The pastor has two copies of the book on reserve in his office.

My Other MANGA BIBLE blog posts can be viewed here, here and here.

High Drama at the Fat Jack Corral

Oh my, the emotions are high round these parts. I hear tell there will be a showdown, a possible shootout, at high noon tomorrow. Me and my two womenfolk are hiding out behind the saloon. We don't want no part of the shenanigans. Too bad I can't tell you all about it. It would make a great blog post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today, I feel as dumb as a bag of hammers, or maybe a box of rocks. Lately, it seems all my projects (in school and out) are just not jiving. I'm not sure what is going on, but I am not happy about it.

It looks like this wonderful week of Spring Break is turning into a long week of re-vamps. Crap.

What’s So Special About Spanish Leather, Anyway?

I enjoy Bob Dylan. I recently discovered one of his songs, quite by accident. I liked the melody; I found it to be relaxing. Then I did the unthinkable and actually listened to the lyrics and I discovered that it is one of the saddest love songs I have ever heard. Love songs don’t usually do a thing for me. I find them trite. Same old, same old. Boots of Spanish Leather, on the other hand, is something unique and interesting.

Everyone thinks themselves a poet, but few really know how to tap into the universal, the pain, the real, and make it sing. Dylan certainly did it with this poem/song. I especially enjoy the dual voice occurring in the piece, the back-and-forth of the two lovers who are about to part ways forever.

The girl announces to her "own true love" that she is leaving in the morning, sailing away, and she offers to send him a gift from her destination. Clueless, the boy doesn't understand the subtext, that his love is leaving for good. He professes his love for her and wishes for no gifts except that she return to him after her trip. She tries to tell him, ever so softly, that she is not coming back but he is having none of it. He will wait for her.

It is not until after she leaves and sends the boy a letter that he realizes that she is never coming back, and so he writes her and asks her to send him a pair of boots made of Spanish leather to remember her by.

Heartbreak at it’s finest. Click here for the lyrics.

Boots of Spanish Leather
by Bob Dylan
Album: The Times They Are A-Changin’
Date: 1964

Making the Last Two Years of High School Non-Compulsory?

My favorite educational site, The Faculty Room, is discussing another hard-hitting issue: non-compulsory education for grades 11 and 12. The truth is, I have never given the issue a thought as I just assumed that all education should be mandated. How else are children going to learn what they need to learn? Greg Farr, the principal at an alternative high school, makes the case that many students are not getting the education they need and are dropping out.

Farr states that he encounters four scenarios when he interviews students who are falling and failing:
  1. They have fallen behind because of poor attendance or failing classes. Regardless of the cause, be it lack of motivation, poor health, frustration with the way material is being taught, academic ability, or a mismatch of learning style with typical lesson delivery; these students miss too much school and/or fail classes. Their friends are moving ahead. For many of them, most of their peer group graduates on time, leaving those who have fallen behind feeling frustrated, alone, and inadequate.
  2. This is also the time when many start to work part-time jobs. Many of the students I interview have no choice. Their family’s economic situation requires them to work. (And when I say part-time, that is really inaccurate - I have students working 35 hours a week, often with outrageous hours that allows them to finally get home and in bed by 1 or 2 am.)
  3. Add to this that many students are getting their first driver’s license, and you have a set-up for a spiraling disintegration from skipping a class, to failing the class, to skipping longer periods, to not turning in work, to skipping whole days, to eventually falling behind to the point that the student sees no point in finishing the semester … then the year …then high school altogether.
  4. Another issue that I encounter (increasingly) is that the students have become frustrated with the testing and State law that requires passing all four sections (math, lang arts, science, and social studies) of the TAKS test before they can receive their diploma. Over 85% of the students enrolled each quarter for the past few quarters have failed at least one part of the test. There is absolutely no question that the high stakes testing required by the State and NCLB is pushing students out of school. Frankly, I have never seen one act of the Federal government leave as many kids behind as does No Child Left Behind!

Farr makes several suggestions for what should be done. Here is an excerpt:
“Eliminate compulsory attendance after the 10th grade (age 15). In its place offer programming with flexible hours. Expand work-based opportunities. Expand the entire concept of independent studies to encourage and accept traveling, working, and performing forms of Community Service. Develop a two-year program in which students can volunteer in various social services for credit. Work with colleges to allow an entirely new block of studies for ages 15-19 in which high school and college requirements are merged.”

Farr's article is short and to the point – nothing like what my educational philosophy professor assigns in his classes. Read it. There are others who are sounding off on the issue. If you wish to read the other articles click here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More Comic Movies on the Way

Click here to see the trailer
The Avengers are destroyed, but before their impending doom, they send their children off to grow, to learn. They do both and become the NEXT AVENGERS, set to destroy the evil that killed their parents. The straight-to-dvd movie hits August 2008.

Click here for the trailer
Marvel is pretending that Ang Lee's version of the green machine just didn't exist. THE INCREDIBLE HULK is getting silver screen attention once again. This time with Ed Norton playing the great scientist. One thing is for sure. The Hulk looks more realistic in this version. Ripped and pissed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Riding Off Into The Sunset

He came, he blogged, he won an award, and then he left. Here we sit, watching the Lone Ranger ride off into the sunset with only a silver bullet in our hand and the memories. Oh the memories of global warming, of scientific research, and the occasional lefty rant.

So our cyber-buddy, Sniderman, is picking up his toys and leaving the one-and-zero game. We appreciate the fact that he found a replacement and we look forward to the cyber-speak of Lorax, the newly appointed CEO of the 2 Dollar Bill.

We are quite unhappy that we never had the chance to meet Sniderman in person. Hopefully Lorax will be able to come to a local blogger’s meet up. That was an official invite, by the way, as if anyone needs one.

We secretly fear meeting the same fate. Once we are a full time teacher, we suspect there will be little time to blog, what with all the lesson plan development, tutoring, grading, meetings and all the whatnot that goes along with teaching. We hear that 60-hour work weeks are typical, especially for those just starting out. No point in stressing about the future.

Bye Sniderman. Thanks for typing. Feel free to visit anytime.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thoughts on Drop Out Rates

Randy Turner, blogger and educator from Joplin, MO recently posted an article about drop out rates and NCLB. The catalyst for the post was an article in the NY Times. States Turner:

"The public education system has to take its share of the responsibility in creating dropouts, but as long as shortsighted politicians continue taking the easy way out and laying all of the blame at the schoolhouse door, the steps will never be taken that could help solve this problem."

Pregnant Woman with Disabilities Tortured by Roommates

From CNN:
“Dorothy Dixon ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin.”
That’s right my friends. Five adults and one minor were charged with her murder. They used her for target practice, beat her, burned her, banished her to the basement, and eventually killed her. Sons-a-bithces one and all. They were happy to give her a cold spot on the basement floor and steal her monthly Social Security checks.

Having worked in the developmental disability field, I was aware of some cases of abuse. One especially egregious case involved a national chain that owned group homes. One woman was bathed in bleach and died as a result of the chemical burns. Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are common among persons with disabilities. A majority of the time the abuse is cause by someone close (family member or care giver). At the time of the my leaving the field, the percentile was in the upper 70’s. Who knows what it is now.

Click here to read the story.

(Hat tip to Jason)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Batman: Gotham Knight

I enjoy anime and this adaptation of Batman looks very good. It comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 8.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On Choosing a Profession

Good old Rohrblogger has another comedic blog post. I love this joke as it simply reaffirms my dead-horse saying that there is no such thing as a Christian politician. Enjoy!

Like many young men, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it. So one day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects:

1) A Bible
2) A dollar
3) A bottle of whiskey
4) A Playboy magazine

"I'll just hide behind the door," the old preacher said to himself, "when he comes home from school this afternoon, I'll see which object he picks up. If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be okay, too. But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunkard, and Lord, what a shame that would be.

And worst of all, if he picks up that magazine he's gonna be a skirt-chasin' bum."
The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's footsteps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table. He picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink while he admired this month's centerfold.

"Lord have mercy," the old preacher disgustedly whispered, "He's gonna be a politician!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Super Friendzzzzzzzzz

That’s right. My little one fell asleep tonight in the chair reading comics. It’s a great day when the youngin’ falls asleep while reading. Dadgum adorable. She loves to read all kinds of things and she snatched DC’s newest title for children, Super Friends #1, right off my desk. I haven’t even had time to look at it.

I couldn’t be prouder.

Third Graders Publish Their Own Comics

My friend and fellow educator, Scott Tingley, has helped his third graders set up their own website (Riverside Reads) to publish their works of art and literature, including comics. It’s a great idea, of course, and teachers across the world are embracing technology as a way to engage children and teens in their own education. Some drivel about students taking ownership of their education. Image!

The coolest part is that the students will be focusing on creating their own, original pieces of art and literature, including comic literature, as well as reviewing current titles. I love it and cannot wait to rip it for my future classroom. It is an accepted practice among teachers to beg, borrow and steal from one another in order to secure the proper education of our youth. I am currently working on my eMINTS certification, which allows me to teach technology-based elementary classrooms.

In his funding application, Tingley wrote:

“Differentiation is the cornerstone of positive interventions for all students. Literacy skills will be improved by participation in writing and publishing projects - a class web page in which books, comics, stories and book reviews generated by students will be published, thus adding authenticity to the writing, as well as excitement. A unit creating graphic novels will enhance publication. Students will exchange graphic novels with students around the world, highlighting their community, their province and themselves.” (Tingley teaches in Canada.)

Fat Jack will be keeping an eye on this project. Keep writing and publish those comics, kids.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Links to the Jelly Roll

Two new additions to the jelly roll this week. Both have been blogging for a while, but have yet to be linked. Bad Jack. Bad Jack.

Runs Deep is a blog from a long-time friend who lived in this area for many a moon. He now lives overseas and is a teacher and writer. We believe him to be very good at both.

TV People Are People Too is much younger and prettier than Runs Deep. We met this nice journalist at a local blogger's meeting and look forward to her continued posts.

As always, if your blog is not linked on the right, then fire an email and give us hell.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I’ve been quiet this week. Not had much to say. I am in a fifth grade classroom somewhere in the Ozarks two days per week as part of a practicum. I am lucky to have struck a good relationship with the teacher and the students and I am learning a lot. My dogs sure are barking, though. I feel pulled from all ends so the blogging is a big lighter than usual. I’ve had some idea, but no time to really get them down.

I’m relying on the local bloggers to pick up the slack. Sniderman, Strannix, Sky Girl, Litle, Jason, Busplung, I’m looking at you trouble makers. Give 'em hell.

I can’t speak much about my classroom experience. I wish I could share more with you. Some nonsense about privacy, confidentiality, and rights keep getting in the way. The truth is, I am loving it. I like the culture at the school and how the staff treat us college students. I enjoy the students. It’s great and I hope that continues.

My work with my Master’s thesis got national recognition this week as I was featured on an ejournal ran by some of the nations most recognized educators: the real movers and shakers pushing for quality change. I am feeling pretty good about that. Considering they get 30,000 unique hits per month, I hope to see some serious results. [End shameless self-promotion.]

Carry on, will you? I have only seven more weeks in the semester, then I can breathe again. Until summer that is.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Secret Cell Phone Videos from the Classroom

One of the Fat Jack operatives sent us this link to some videos from inside the classroom. It shows a classroom full of disrespect and it makes us shudder.

We are utilitizing restraint here, choosing to say little about the tapes and the multitude of issues that have come up: teacher respect, student respect, student cameras in class, etc. We will say that these videos scare us and make us sad that some public school classrooms have made it to this point.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Messy's Send Off

One of Springfield's own, a blogger buddy, is leaving town. News and Leader editorial writer, Tony Messenger, is shoving this job where the sun don't shine and heading to St. Louis. The underground blog board is beating the drums about a send off. Here's the skinny about a fat man from an even fatter man:

1. Tomorrow Night (Tuesday)
2. Patton Alley Pub
3. 6 pm

One may consume alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages as one sees fit. Be prepared to talk about Messy's two fingers, two grapes, and his two new tennis balls.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Failed Marriage Act of 2008

JL, writer of the local blog, Pretension Deficit, asked an important question in the comments section of another post. I want to follow up on that question and ask it of those who oppose gay marriage. I am very interested in how those conservative bloggers view this issue. Here is the question, in my own words:

Jesus spoke explicitly about divorce, condemning it except in cases of fornication. Therefore divorce, and especially remarriage is a sin, unless the spouse has cheated. However, our courts routinely allow couples to divorce for irreconcilable difference. People get divorced willy-nilly these days. I’ve heard the statistic of 50% used to describe the number of failed marriages. I don’t know if that stat is accurate, but it is bantered around a lot.

Considering that issue directly affects the sanctity of marriage, and is eroding our society, why does the anti-gay marriage camp not condemn the re-marriage of individuals (except in the cases of fornication) and advocate for a constitutional amendment banning re-marriage and the adoption of children by such immoral and sinful people?

It is an issue that is dealt with in the New Testament, spoken about by Jesus himself, and has significantly more scriptures applied to it than homosexuality. A search of netted 25 results for divorce in the Old and New Testament. To my knowledge, and after a quick search, I could find no scriptures where Jesus, himself, spoke about homosexuality.

Where is the outcry? Where is the hate for the sin but love for the sinner? Where is the strong push for a constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of marriage? Do the bloggers, who so readily commented on my last gay marriage blog post, believe that we should ban re-marriage?

Scriptures to consider:

Matthew 19:9 (The exact words of Jesus)
“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (KJV)

Luke 16:18 (The exact words of Jesus)
“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” (KJV)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Dirty Jew Amendment

Here’s a scenario for you:

Jewish people do not believe in Christ as the Messiah, the Lord, the son of God. They choose a lifestyle that is innately sinful and immoral. Therefore, they should not be able to marry or to adopt children, because they will then pass on their immorality to later generations and ultimately promote the Jew Agenda. Those people choose their lifestyle and deserve what they get. They are sinful and against God.

Hollywood and the liberal Christians are just frothing at the mouth to allow the Jews to take over the US, infecting our Christian society with their sinful lifestyle mislabeled as holy, moral, religious or normal.

I propose a constitutional amendment – The Dirty Jew Amendment – in which we forbid Jews from marrying or adopting children. I am not proposing we discriminate against the Jews. I love the Jews. I just hate their lifestyle, their beliefs, their customs, their religion, and their culture.

We all know that there are people who profess Christ and believe the very scenario presented above. They can use biblical scriptures to make their point. Is the above scenario discriminatory? Or am I being intolerant and discriminatory by even mentioning the subject?

Silly conservatives are confused about the word “discrimination.” Discrimination comes in the form of action: rules and laws. To forbid someone of color to use a water fountain is discrimination. Not hiring a person based on their religion is discrimination. To pay a female less money to do the same job as a male is discrimination. Making a law that prevents blacks and whites from marrying is discrimination, even if that law is based on one’s understanding of his or her religion. The same, of course, applies to homosexuality.

In the US, we actively discriminate against bigamists. In fact, we prosecute men who have multiple wives – a belief that is rooted in [gasp] morality. Neither do we allow adults to have sex with or marry children. Unless you are from Arkansas and have parental permission. So we all do it, unless of course we have no problems with bigamy or child molestation. I’ve written before about my views on bigamy and turtle-on-donkey sex. I could care less. I do, however, have no problems discriminating against adults who want to sex up our children. But I know that having such a law is discrimination.

For that matter, I have no problems with people believing that homosexuality or Judaism is wrong or sinful or whatever. Believe what you wish. I tolerate that, but I also reserve the right to disagree. Personally, I do not think it is my place to judge where any person is headed after death. I don’t ask the question because I don’t think I know. I also do not go around making laws against those that I personally find repugnant or immoral unless it involves hurting others. But I try not to hate them either. I’m not so sure that we can hate and love at the same time. We can tolerate and love, but hate is some kind of powerful emotion.

By the way, the Bible also talks about not eating meat and cheese together, and a whole host of other observances. I don’t see the anti-homosexual Christians chomping at the bit to make laws against those who eat a cheeseburger. They just want to punish the homosexuals. And make no mistake, these proposed “laws” or “amendments” are based on punishment and not on love.

For more background on the catalyst that spurred this post click the following links:

He Hates Homosexuality, Not Homosexuals
Vote Yes on the Litle Anti-Fornication Law

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ruling States Homeschool Teachers be Credentialed

Big news in education hit when a California appeals court passed down the digs whereby those who teach homeschooled children must be credentialed teachers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. This ruling could affect an estimated 166,000 children and could lead to prosecution.

Excerpts from the San Fran Chronicle:

"California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

My first thought, is that one must have a license to cut hair, to practice law or to practice medicine. Regardless of the location of the practice, credentials are required. Lawyers who work our of their home must comply with laws the same as lawyers in traditional firms. Why should the instruction of youth be any different?

Home school advocates say that the ruling bans homeschooling, but that is not entirely true. The ruling only requires the teachers be credentialed, which assumes competence. The reason for all of the hubbub to begin with came from allegations of mistreatment.

By the way, certified private schools were a non-issue, even the religious ones. Those were just fine. The article is not about forcing children into public schools, only that those children should be taught by real teachers who know what they are doing. Just to clarify.

Other Articles:
Los Angeles Times
World Net Daily

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If We Can See Your Crack …

Starting next week I am placed in an elementary school somewhere in the Ozarks, where I will work two full days a week for eight weeks. I am so excited to work with kids and learn from a teacher. I love my experiences in the schools.

Today, our professors were preparing us for our practicum, going over rules and procedures and expectations. The instructors give us guidance on professional demeanor and dress. One of the instructors tells us to think about our dress before we head into the classrooms. Check. We cannot wear jeans. Check. Girls can wear denim skirts, but no one can wear denim pants. Check. A little strange, but check. We should, in their opinion, bend over while at home. If our underwear or, god forbid, our crack shows, then we are to change clothes. Girls are to bend over and check their chests. Fifth grade boys love to sneak peaks, don’t you know.

I pipe up and ask if my leather hot pants are appropriate for the classroom.. I stumped the professor. Caught her off guard. She laughed, they laughed. I suspect my point was not lost on the instructors. What a sad state of affairs it is when near graduate, soon-to-be professionals in their field, have to be told not to let their crack or boobs show at school. I don’t fault the teachers. They have undoubtedly ran into problems with this before. So now they tell us and now we know. Why didn’t the students know that before hand? Tit bibs and ass cracks do not qualify as appropriate for professional dress. Yes, and the sun is a big, hot object.

He Hates Homosexuality, Not Homosexuals. Yeah, Well I Can Smell The Horse Hockey from Here

The nasty-grams on being typed right now, I can just feel it. In Tuesday’s edition of The Standard, the MSU newspaper, Andrew Simpson wrote an article on homosexuality. He’s not for it, which was apparent in some of his quotes:

“I refuse to believe that Fred Phelps and Pat Robertson are holding up the gay agenda by unfairness, intolerance and mercilessness.”

“Legitimizing the gay agenda will not solve the pain of rejection that is an integral part of the homosexual lifestyle.”

“This prejudice that you spoke of is warranted because people have been raised with moral standards and they feel very strongly about what behavior should and should not be acceptable, in public or otherwise.” (emphasis mine)
Simpson goes on to say that his objection is to homosexuality and not to homosexuals. A common refrain that we have all heard before, but one that we feel is nothing more than a flimsy justification of discriminateion Simpson betrays his own true feelings, of course, stating that the prejudice against homosexuals is warranted. Since when was prejudice a moral thing? So much for not hating homosexuals. I don't hate you, I'm just prejudiced against you. Flimflam!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Election Thoughts Before School

It’s all coming down to delegates, specifically super delegates, and the question rises to the top: Do the party leaders care more about following the will of the people or do they care about old alliances?

Everywhere I turn it seems that everyone thinks Clinton is the one to beat McCain. Maybe I’m crazy here, but it seems to me that she is less likely to beat McCain than Obama. I think Dems forget how much conservatives hate her. When I say hate, I’m talking about the kind of hate that borders on the criminally insane. The abortion-bombing form of hate. If she gets the nomination, people will forget about their issues with “W” and the war he has waged and focus on annihilating Clinton.

Obama, on the other hand, does not have the hate-baggage of Hillary. People like him. Swing voters like him. Seems to me that being liked is a good step toward, I don’t know, winning an election.

For my own, and I’ve said this before, the person who wins the most delegates should win the nomination. We should not allow the big bosses of politics to decide who gets the nomination for us.

By the way, what the heck is wrong with Texas? They see it necessary to have a primary and a caucus? Those people are nuts. How much time is wasted doing that?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

To the Jack Jalopy, Super Simple!

The Justice Legion of Mega Geeks (Super Simple and Fat Jack) has been summoned to the land of Joplin for large amounts of comic book geekness this Sunday. The Twit Signal is lighting the sky for HURLEYCON, otherwise known as the Joplin comic book convention.

The super sidekicks (wives and/or daughters) may go as well. They haven’t decided. Admission is free, which is very rare in the convention world. So far these are the guests that are confirmed:

  • Jason Aaron - Writer - Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Scalped, The Other Side
  • Cullen Bunn - Writer - The Damned
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick - Writer - 30 Days of Night: Eben and Stella, 24/7. Translator - Girl Got Game, Doubt!, Fruits Basket
  • Matt Fraction - Writer - Punisher War Journal, The Order, Casanova, The Immortal Iron Fist, Sensational Spider-Man Annual, an more
  • Jeremy Haun - Artist - Civil War: Iron Man/Captain America, New Excalibur, Leading Man, Battle Hymn, and more
  • Dennis Hopeless - Writer - GearHead, Cupid (upcoming)
  • Brian Hurtt - Artist - Damned, Jumper: Jump Scars, Queen and Country
  • Kevin Mellon - Artist - GearHead, 13 Steps, Cupid (upcoming)
  • Clay Moore - Writer - Hawaiian Dick, Superman Confidential
  • Tony Moore - Artist - Walking Dead, Fear Agent, Exterminators, XXXombies, Battle Pope, and more
  • Seth Peck - Writer - Sorrow, '76
  • Chris Samnee - Artist - Capote in Kansas, Queen and Country, Checkmate
  • Steven Sanders - Artist - Five Fists of Science, Thunder Road

This Sunday
10 am – 4 pm
Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center
5309 S Range Line Rd
Joplin, MO 64804
Just South of I-44 on Range Line Rd. (Exit 8)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit

Eating out these days is like playing in a grease trap of death. All the yummy things may taste good but, according to Rohrblogger, the restaurant food is not all the healthy. We should have already known that, but sometimes seeing the numbers can really shock you.


My favorite: WORST DESSERT - Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. 1,600 calories, 78 G fat, 215 G carbs. Would you eat a Big Mac for dessert? How about three? That's the calorie equivalent of this decadent dish. Clearly, Chili's customers get their money's worth.

I’m going to go and weep in a corner until my next class starts.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Sunday Funnies

Comedic blogging sensation, Jason Rohrblogger is in rare form with two of his latest Top 10’s. So much funny in one little blog. Before the sniping of the political process gets cranked up again on Tuesday, enjoy these funny bits of ha-ha. Click and be merry.

Top Ten Dumbest Celebrity Quotes

How Many Bush Administration Official Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

Baltimore Officer Suspended After Altercation with 14-Year-Old Skateboarder

Sometimes a position of power can go to one's head. Happens a lot to those who have badges. It's a hard job with lots of stress and high expectations. Even the best lose their head somedays, but this office, in my opinion, too some snotty teen's "dude" and "man" remarks a little too seriously.

The officer wraps his arms around the boy's neck and takes him to the ground. If you wait around till the end you hear the officer ask if the video camera is on. I can only assume the teen lied. Good thing. I imagine the office would have tried to confiscate it too.

Teachers are trained to remain calm, to get quiet, when kids are turning it up. The louder they become the quieter we get. Act as if the behavior does has no bearing on us personally. We just address the issue with logic and reason and move on. That's easier said than done, but it is a good thing to always shoot for.

(UPDATE: Click here for the story.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Whatcha’ Readin’ Kiddo?

A literature meme is making the rounds and I was tagged by ThinkingThings. Grab the nearest book, you say? I’m surrounded by them: academic ones, fictional ones, and tons of comics too, of course. I won’t bore you with academic tripe. I doubt pulling three sentences from the writing of a doctorate would make any sense. They love to write lines of hogwash to pad their simple statements. Fiction, ah heck-fire, I betcha that’s what everyone else will do. I’m certainly not like everyone else. I’ll pick some lines from:

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, page 123. The fifth sentence thing is a bit strange, depending on what you consider a sentence. Here goes:

“Robots are just machines – tools for powerful men. Tools of war. And war … is profitable.”

That makes you want to read it doesn’t it? The writer hid a bit of fun for us adults in the beginning of the book. He alludes to the loss of the gubernatorial bid of one candidate to his recently deceased opponent. Anyone care to remember those details?

Sky Girl is all over this already. I’ll try to pick some new people. I really want to hear from Strannix, cause he is persnickety and I like that. So he’s tagged. How about Jason and Desdinova. I’m really hoping that Desdinova is reading something full of blood and guts and maybe some sex. And we really must know what Jason thinks. He must be smart with all those Blogaroni’s under his rookie belt. We’ll pick his brain.

Here’s what you do, folks:

1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Mandatory Reporting and Pre-Service Teachers

The question that keeps coming up with my classmates is about mandatory reporting. They are freaked out by it, as well they should be. Fat Jack has been a mandated reporter for years and I think I have a good handle on the subject. I’ve hotlined a couple of times, and seen them mostly ignored., but that is not my issue.

When I was 12, a friend (from school and church) told me and a buddy that her daddy was having sex with her every night. We were sitting in the church sanctuary, in the back pews, and she just told us one evening after church had ended. It spilled out and I did not know what to do with that kind of information. It scared me.

I went home and told my parents who then called our uncle who was in juvenile law enforcement. He helped us make the call. Social Services made a visit to the house that night and she denied it all. She, her sister, and their friends were some kind of mad at me the next day.

Fast forward 20 years and I find myself still discussing that issue. Unfortunately, I have had no classes that have effectively addressed this issue. One class had a speaker come and he was asked. He gave the best answer, but these students need to hear it again and again. Two instructors have mentioned it in passing after students have asked questions, but there has been no fundamental framework from which to understand the process and the teacher’s role in it all. Teachers need to really understand what it means to be a mandated reporter.

Teacher Misconceptions:

  • I don’t want to hotline because I am not sure if abuse actually occurred.
  • What if I am wrong?
  • What if the child gets a beating because I reported abuse?
  • To whom do I report?

What these students do not understand is that they have an ethical, moral and legal obligation to hotline. Teachers are not investigators and they are not responsible for misconduct that occurs because of a hotline. Teachers are mandatory reporters. That means they have to report suspected abuse not confirmed abuse. They are reporters and are not responsible for substantiating a claim.

Yes, it is possible that a child may get hurt if a report is made. However, in the long run a report may very well save a child from years of abuse. If a teacher suspects abuse, then he or she is to call the hotline and make a report. Period.

Why is it that pre-service teachers do not receive extensive training in the ethics and procedures of mandated reporting? We receive plenty of instruction on philosophy related to teaching, but virtually nothing regarding this issue. I find my college experience to be great, but I believe the MSU College of Education is sorely lacking in mandated reporting instruction. I have emailed my professors about my feelings on this issue and I hope that change may occur.

Springfield has seen firsthand how well educated school officials are in the realm of reporting. Even principals have a hard time understanding the process. The ambiguity has lead to heartache.

Fat Jack Receives Subpoena

Months ago we were heading to church, putt-putt-putt, when my wife saw a man fighting a woman in the front yard, next to the street. I whipped the van around and pulled up to the curb. They were so engaged in the altercation that neither noticed.

The wife called the police while I hopped out of the van, and walked around the front stopping next to the grill. They were 25 yards or more from me. I wanted to make sure there was plenty of room to give him a way out so the altercation did not turn on me. That’s when I announced my presence and the fact that Skinny Kitty was calling the fuzz.

He stopped, looked at me and tore out of there and she did the same. I followed her and watched her enter an apartment nearby. I waited for the police and showed the office the apartment. He took care of it from there.

Today I received a subpoena from the prosecuting attorney. So I will have to take a day off from college and testify in the case. I do so happily knowing that our stopping may have saved her life.

Needless to say, we had to have a talk with our daughter about domestic abuse. She witnessed the whole thing, as did Skinny Kitty. Thank goodness for Skinny Kitty’s super-senses as she is the one who spotted the incident in the first place.

And I cannot help but wonder: If these two have children together, how is that child’s life impacted? How is he or she expected to excel in school, to learn anything, living in that kind of home? I had a professor recently who said that school is not about education. Rather, school is about relationships. What he meant, I think, is that before we can do anything, we have to love our students and develop relationships with them. Then, and only then, can we deal with learning. And for some kids, that is much harder and takes longer than others.

In Remembrance

We had two bloggers pass away over the past year and we remembered them at our awards ceremony. John Stone and Dan Feather were well liked. We will miss them muchly. I did not know Dan very well, but I really got to know John Stone and I really enjoyed his brand of crude humor.

Best Personal Blog – That’s Pretty Cool

Now that Larry has made the final announcement, I can tell you that I won BEST PERSONAL BLOG from the local bloggers. I was surprised when I received the award, which I presented to myself, as the original intended emcee was Larry. He petered out at the last minute. Some nonsense about putting family first. I don’t know.

Since he could not be there, and had me step in, he brought the winning certificates in sealed envelopes over to my house the night before. Apparently Larry French kissed each envelope as they were sealed up tighter than a … (I can’t say that or that) … they were glued as tight as a pedophile’s cheeks in general population. I accidentally ripped one of the certificates trying to get it out of the manila envelope. It was awful, awful I tell you. Poor Desdinova was the recipient of that torn Oscarette. By the way, he wore the famed mask.

Lots of new bloggers came to that awards ceremony, which was very cool. I haven’t told Larry yet, but since he could not make the meeting that he designed, he was appointed as our pseudo leader (basically that means sending out an email and reminding all of us). We decided that we want to meet every month for an informal gab fest, like we used to do. Just hanging out with the boys and girls of blogsville. Larry will have more details about time and place.

I thought I might use my new award as a way to take over the world, but Desdinova already has that locked up. I could go back to my reporting roots and sit through local governmental meetings, but I thank the Lord on High everyday that Jason and Jacke are doing that instead. I’d rather have hot pokers in my eyes, thank you very much.

I guess I will just be the good looking blogger. You know, the one who gets all the attention from the girls and struts his stuff like he’s cock of the walk. Bask in the glory that is FAT JACK, yo!