Thursday, March 31, 2005

I miss last year . . .

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I broke up a fight first thing this morning between three third graders. It was over nothing important.

The day got worse from there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Movie Meme

Via Johnny Bacardi.

- BOLD movies you own in your personal video/DVD library
- ITALICS for movies you have seen
- Leave plain movies you haven't seen
- Pass it on to three people at the end

The Big Red One (1980)
200 Motels (1971)
12 Angry Men (1957)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
28 Days Later (2002)
The 400 Blows (1959)
8 1/2 (1963)
Adaptation. (2002)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1939)
After Dark, My Sweet (1990)
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
Alien (1979)
All About Eve (1950)
Amadeus (1984)

Amarcord (1974)
American Beauty (1999)
The American President (1995)

American Splendor (2003)
The Animatrix (2003)
Annie Hall (1977)
The Apartment (1960)
Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Apu Trilogy (1959)
Around the Bend (2004)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
The Band Wagon (1953)
The Bank Dick (1940)
Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen) (1983)
Batman (1989)
The Battle of Algiers (1967)
Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru) (2000)
The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Beat the Devil (1954)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Being There (1979)

Belle de Jour (1967)
The Bicycle Thief (1949)
The Big Heat (1953)
The Big One (1997)
The Big Sleep (1946)
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Blowup (1966)
The Blue Kite (1993)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Bob le Flambeur (1955)
Body Heat (1981)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Bound (1996)
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Breathless (1960)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Broken Blossoms (1919)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das) (1920)
Casablanca (1942)
Chasing Amy

Children of Paradise (1945)
Chinatown (1974)
A Christmas Story (1983)
Citizen Kane (1941)

City Lights (1931)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The Color Purple (1985)
Comic Book Villains (2002)
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
The Conversation (1974)
Cries and Whispers (1972)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long) (2000)
Crumb (1994)
Damage (1992)
Daredevil (2003)
Day for Night (1973)
The Day of the Dolphin (1973)
Days of Heaven (1978)
The Decalogue (1988)
Detour (1945)
Die Hard (1988)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Donnie Darko (2001)

Don't Look Now (1974)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Dracula (1931)
Duck Soup (1933)
Duoluo tianshi (1995) (Fallen Angels)
Dune (1984)
E.T - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
Easy Rider (1969)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Ed Wood (1994)
Elektra (2005)
The Elephant Man (1980)
El Norte (1983)
Eraserhead (1977)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
Fanny and Alexander (1983)
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Fargo (1996)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

F for Fake (Vérités et mensonges) (1976)
The Fifth Element (1997)
The Firemen's Ball (1968)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Floating Weeds (1959)
Four Rooms (1995)
Frida (2002)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
From Hell (2001)

Gates of Heaven (1978)
The General (1927)
Ghost World (2000)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
The Godfather (1972)
Goldfinger (1964)
Gone With the Wind (1939)

The Goodbye Girl (1977)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968)
GoodFellas (1991)
Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
Grand Illusion (1937)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Great Expectations (1946)
Greed (1925)
Groundhog Day (1993)
The Hand (1981)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
The Hearts of Age (1934)
Hellboy (2004)
High Fidelity (2000)
Hoop Dreams (1994)
House of Games (1987)
The Hustler (1961)
Ikiru (1952)
In Cold Blood (1967)
The Incredibles (2004)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Jaws (1975)

JFK (1991)
Jules and Jim (1961)
Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

Killing Zoe (1994)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
King Kong (1933)
L'Atalante (1934)
L'Avventura (1960)
La Dolce Vita (1960)
The Lady Eve (1941)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
The Last Laugh (1924)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
Late Spring (1972)
The Lathe of Heaven (1980)
Laura (1944)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Le Boucher / The Butcher (2003)
Le Samourai (1967)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
The Leopard (1963)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
The Lion King (1994)
Lolita (1962)

Lolita (1997)
Long Goodbye, The (1973)
Lost Highway (1997)
M (1931)
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Man Who Laughs (1928)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Manhattan (1979)
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Mean Streets (1973)
Metropolis (1926)

Mon Oncle (1958)
Moonstruck (1987)
Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953)
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
The Music Room (1958)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
My Dinner With Andre (1981)
My Life to Live / Vivre sa Vie (1963)
My Neighbor Totoro (1993)
Nashville (1975)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Network (1976)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Nosferatu (1922)
Notorious (1946)
Not Without My Daughter (1991)
On the Waterfront (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Orpheus (1949)
Out of the Past (1947)
Pandora's Box (1928)
Paris, Texas (1984)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Patton (1970)
Peeping Tom (1960)
Persona (1966)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Pickpocket (1959)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Pinocchio (1940)
Pixote (1981)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Playtime (1967)
Pollock (2000)
The Producers (1968)
The Prophecy (1995)
Psycho (1960)
Pulp Fiction (1994)

Raging Bull (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raise the Red Lantern (1990)
Ran (1985)
Rashomon (1950)
Rear Window (1954)

Blue, White, Red (1994)
Red River (1948)
The Red Shoes (1948)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Return to Glennascaul (Orson Welles' Ghost Story) (1951)
Return To Oz (1985)
Rififi (1954)
The Right Stuff (1983)
Roger & Me (1989)
Romeo and Juliet (1968)
The Rules of the Game (1939)
Santa Sangre (1989)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Say Anything (1989)
Scarface (1983)
The Scarlet Empress (1934)
Schindler's List (1993)
Scrooge aka A Christmas Carol (1951)
The Searchers (1956)
Se7en (1995)
The Seven Samurai (1954)

The Seventh Seal (1957)
Shane (1953)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Solaris (1972)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek Generations (1994)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Star Wars (1977)
The Straight Story (1999)
The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977)
The Stranger (1946)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Stroszek (1977)
A Sunday in the Country (1984)
Superman (1978)
Sunrise (1928)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
The Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Swing Time (1936)
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
A Tale of Winter (1992)
The Tao of Steve (2000)
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
The Thin Man (1934)

Thin Red Line, The (1998)
The Third Man (1949)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Three Colors Trilogy (1994)
Three Women (1977)
Tokyo Story (1953)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
The Trial (Procès, Le) (1962)
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
True Romance (1993)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

Ugetsu (1953)
Umberto D (1952)
Un Chien Andalou (1928)
Unforgiven (1992)
Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2002)
The Up Documentaries (1985)
Vertigo (1958)
Victim (1961)
Walkabout (1971)
West Side Story (1961)
Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)

Wild at Heart (1990)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Wings of Desire (1988)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Woman in the Dunes (1964)
A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
A Woman's Tale (1992)
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (Macht der Bilder: Leni Riefenstahl, Die) (1993)
Written on the Wind (1956)
X-Men (2000)
X-Men 2: X-Men United (X2) (2003)

xXx (2002)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
A Year of the Quiet Sun (1984)
Yellow Submarine (1968)

Finally, film school does something for me.

Added: The Thin Red Line, Fallen Angels, and The Long Goodbye.

I'm going to pass this one to Michael, Ed, and Galactus.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Things Students Have Said When Unwittingly Smelling My Farts

"I think a rat died, Mr. Rice."

"There's something rotten in here."

"Oh, God! It's like a hundred farts mixed together!"

"Justin farted!" (insert any other child's name at different times)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Jesus was resurrected: historical fact

The uniqueness—one could say oddity, or implausibility—of the story of Jesus' resurrection argues that the tradition is more likely historical than theological. Either from a "revelation" from the risen Jesus or from the reports of the earliest followers, Paul "received" a tradition that the resurrection was the hinge of history, the moment after which nothing would ever be the same. "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain ..." Paul writes. "Lo! I will tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet."

From Newsweek.

New Rule

OK, no more goatees. Guys, they look stupid. They were in, what, a decade ago? Sure, we all had them then, but their time is up. You're not Stone Cold. You're not Evil Spock. You look like an idiot. Shave the damn thing.

For that matter, no "string" beards, those thin things around your jawline. That looks stupid, too. In fact, if you're going to have facial hair just grow the damn beard and bite the bullet. If you spend more time grooming your facial hair than dressing yourself, you've got a problem.

And don't ever, ever, ever pluck your goddam eyebrows.

Monday, March 21, 2005

What a difference it makes

So, as you could tell, I was hatin' life. My kids were driving me nuts, the school system was doing it more, and I was generally in a bad place. Well, come open school night last week, everything changed. It started with dinner. Ate with three teacher friends. It really reminded me why I loved doing what I'm doing. Re-centered me. So, once I got back to school for the rest of the conferences I was on fire.

Remember that basketball video game? I think it was Double Dribble. If you made three baskets in a row, the announcer would say "He's on FIRE!" After that, until the other team fouled you or something, everything you shot would go in. You couldn't miss. Teaching can be like that, too.

I got to talk to all the parents I really needed to talk to. Some were very surprised at what I had to say. Suffice to say, things changed quite a bit the next day. For one, I was in a better mood. For another, my kids were more centered. And then the test scores started coming in. Well, practice test scores. My kids were getting higher and higher. Then I find out the practice test they did was way harder than the real one. We do one more like the real one and EVERY SINGLE ONE PASSED.

Now, that's not necessarily going to happen. And these tests are still pieces of shit. But my kids are getting better. We're all pumped right now and it feels great to be a teacher again.

Except when field trips go to hell, but they always do and that's no ones fault. Except the damn bus company.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Hack hack wheeze

So it wasn't a cold. It was an infection. I guess in my sinuses, but then spread to my lungs, throat, the whole deal. A lot of fun and I'm still recovering. Much better now that I can think somewhat straight and the fever, it seems, has broken for good. So I called in sick Friday and today. Today I talked to my AP to let him know why I was out and that I'd be in for Parent-Teacher Day tomorrow no matter what. He let it slip that Friday, while I was out, my principal took that chance to go into my room and "clean things up." I don't know the extent of the damage but I was enRAGED when I found out. Now, it's silly to get that angry over something so minor but it's just more of a "last straw" type of situation. Being a male elementary teacher, I'm a bit of an oddity. And I'm naturally less neat than pretty much all of my coworkers. I just am and always will be. So they come in and bug me about it almost weekly. I clean up everything I can, have my kids clean, really do my best and it doesn't seem to be enough. It's the very definition of frustration. If I devote more time to organizing the way they want it, it will hamper my actual instruction time.

The proof will be in the pudding, from what I've heard. My kids' test scores. New York, in all its wisdom, has decided that third graders' promotion will be decided not on teacher opinion, classroom work and achievement, or how far they've come in the year, but on how they do on two standardized tests in April. They fail one of them, they fail third grade. No questions asked. It's complete and utter bullshit. These tests are designed to trick my kids. I'm forced to spend much of the year teaching the kids how to take these useless piece of shit tests instead of useful knowledge or skills. And if my kids don't do well, then I am a Bad Teacher. Never mind that my average kid came to third grade with first grade skills and that I've brought them up end of the year second grade/beginning third grade level skills. That's not fucking easy to do, but it doesn't matter, because they'll be tested on a level that, no matter how far they've come, they are not ready.

I keep hearing "No ones, Rice, no ones," (one being the lowest and failing score on the test). I'm going to have ones. I'm going to have a few. These children were not ready for third grade and they've done everything they can (well, most of them have). So they're going to be held back because of this useless test made for rich white pieces of shit, be put down and seen as failures and so will I.

Thanks a lot, New York Department of Education.