Sunday, August 26, 2012

A New School Year

Here in the desert, we're just about done with our first month of school. I know, crazy. It feels weird to be half way through the first quarter and it's not even September yet. So much for the days when school started after Labor Day. With the new schedule adopted by the school district, we do have the first week of October off, so at least I've got that much going for me (Bill Murray Caddyshack voice).

A new schedule isn't the only big change for me professionally this year. Three years ago I chose to participate in a federal study. It was a two year commitment, but I stayed a third year because I loved the people I worked with, and I believed we were turning things around. We found out this summer that the girls would be starting school later, and since I handle the mornings, I needed to find a job that fit our new family schedule better. As it turns out, the school I left had a position available, and fortunately, wanted me back. 

I'm teaching 6th grade language arts this year, and while it's a new grade for me, the content isn't much different. I'm quite enjoying it so far. A couple things are making it a unique experience. First of all, my oldest is in 6th grade this year, so for the first time in my teaching career, I have a child who is the same age as my students. I've told my students that I have high expectations for my daughter, and whatever I expect of her, I'll be expecting the same from them. What kind of teacher would I be if I didn't?

The other thing that's kind of strange is that for many of my students, I am the first male teacher they've ever had. A number of parents mentioned this to me at the little pop-in we had before school started. Some of the kids were actually nervous about it. This won't change how I do anything, but it's kind of cool to think I'm the first male teacher for some of the kids. I better make sure I represent for the fellas.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can't Wait

I'm not normally one to get worked up about a movie trailer, but this trailer for Life of Pi has me really excited. I love the book, and I'm not gonna lie, when I saw this thing yesterday before ParaNorman, I got a little verklempt. I know movies often fail to live up to great trailers, but if this movie is anywhere near as good as the trailer, Life of Pi is going to be one hell of a movie.

Any Life of Pi fans out there? What do you think of the trailer? If you're unfamiliar with Life of Pi, does the trailer pique your interest?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fast Five: Olympic Highlights

I'm writing this post as I watch the closing ceremony of the Olympics with the family. That's what this Olympics has been about for me-family. The girls really got into the spirit, and their enthusiasm made these last two weeks a transcendent experience. I'm sad the the Games are over, but also glad to get back to a more regular schedule.

The Olympics are always full of memorable moments, and these Games were no different. The Rileys have spent a good chunk of today discussing our favorite Olympic moments. So as I watch The Pet Shop Boys sing "West End Girls" in some seriously ridiculous outfits, these are my top five moments of the 2012 Olympic Games:

5)  The Queen's Entrance: I thought Danny Boyle did a nice job with the Opening Ceremony. I enjoyed the ode to the national health system and the young couple finding love with help from their cell phones, but the highlight of the OC had to be the Queen and James Bond parachuting in.

4) The Blade Runner: Oscar Pistorius didn't claim a medal, but in my mind, there was no bigger winner. Pistorius showed us all what real courage is, and his performance will continue to inspire me for a long time.

3) King of the Pool: There will be plenty of debate about who's the greatest Olympian of all time, but the choice is simple for me. Michael Phelps: 22 medals, 18 gold=fuggitaboutit.

Before I get to #2, why the hell isn't The Who singing their own damn song.

2) Fab Five: My girls fell in love with Gabby, Aly, Jordyn, McKayla, and Kyla. It was a blast to watch them screaming and cheering for their every move. They nearly lost their minds when the Fab Five won the team competition.

1) Queens of the Track: The American women set a world record in the 4x100 relay. When Carmelita Jeter crossed the finish line pointing at the clock because she knew they'd set the world record, the Rileys were going crazy.

These are five great memories that I'll take away from the London Games. Which moments will stick with you?

P.S. Why in the holy hell is Liam Gallagher performing without his brother?