Saturday, December 26, 2009

A happy holiday

I'm on the plane on the way back from the dell (Slidell,Louisiana) and I'm thinking back on how good my Christmas was. We had a small gift exchange, we ate and we enjoyed family. I couldn't have asked for anything more (it would've been nice if my fiancee could've come but she had to work...). I'm thankful for the friends and family I have and the invaluable gifts and blessings they have given to me and the world as a whole. I am truly blessed. This Christmas allowed us all to focus on what we have instead of what we wanted. We were thankful that we had all we needed and everythong else is just lagniappe. I received a t-shirt from my sister and the excitement it brought me you would've thought she just gave me a small fortune. It's times like these that make me truly believe in a divine love. The bond that runs through my family is stronger than anything man could come up with and I am blessed to be able to share that with others and in a few short months there is a beautiful female that I will be able to begin yet another bond with and man am I excited! I have to say this year has been one with ups and downs (we got your back dad), with twist and turns (you'll get the job sis) and loop de loops (friendship first mom) but one that can be looked back on as a year that brought out the best in those around us and allowed us all to some self-evaluation. Thanks 2009 for giving us a year to remember and one to grow from and I look forward to 2010! Let's get it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How google got it right (kind of)

As I sit on this plane heading home for the holidays, I'm listening to a podcast and writing on my blog. Sounds like a productive plane ride to me. I was just thinking about how my g1 can still hold it's own against most phones out there now. Granted, the internal memory is wack, the battery life sucks , and it looks a little frumpy but the functionality is all there. Can I do what a mytouch does? Yes. Do I have the same processor as most other android phones? Yes. When rooted can I do anything your android can do and more? Yes I can and these things allow me to make the statement "google got it right". I know some folks will say what they will but what has kept me from buying another phone thus far has been the simple fact that my phone can still do 'that'. Yes I rooted my phone and some would say that doesn't apply to most consumer phones and I see their point but I look at it from this perspective. Rooted or not, people still use the g1 as the base phone from which to develop and run roms, apps and anything else to push android forward. With that being said I still will put my g1 up against whatever you bring and until the next best thing comes out I'll stick with it.

Dear santa (android wishlist),

Hey big guy! I'm just sitting around thinking about all of the things I'm thankful for and thought to myself that I forgot to write my Christmas list for you. I know it's a little late and the elves are swamped already but here goes. I would like a phone with a 1ghz processor, 5-10 gb of internal memory, a black g1 like keyboard, a 3.7-4in amoled screen, a battery that lasts 3-4 days but is not at all bulky (maybe hydrogen cell or nuclear or some kind of alien technology would work), slimmer than an iphone, 3.5 mm headphone jack, android 3.0 w/cyanogen influences, a camera with flash that would impress the likes of Noah over at phonedog, apps2sd option,root option, voip ability, tmo hsdpa+,and a price tag of $200 or less. That will be all. I hope you can deliver. You haven't let me down yet. Merry Christmas and I'll be sure to leave you some milk and cookies :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm gonna try my hand at it...

A friend of mine is a software developer and now an avid android geek (like myself) and he asked if I'd be interested in helping him make some apps. now to say I'm excited would definitely be an understatement. To say that I'm nervous would also be a complete understatement. I haven't written a line of code since college and I don't want to be the hold up, but he said he'd take the reigns and walk me through it. This could be the start of my part time career, full time hobby and all around good times. I'll definitely keep you posted on how this goes and will soon probably start taking suggestions as to what types of apps, themes, and android goodies you would like to see. Wish me luck and hopefully I'll be able to one day start helping with development for our wonderful android community. That's all for now. Take care!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why i really love android

Last year for Christmas I was given a brand new g1. It was my first smartphone and I wasn't sure the ins and outs of a smartphone so I started researching. I started joining forums and reading blogs and slowly but surely I started to see. Not only was this new, sort of clunky looking phone nothing short of a pocket computer, but it was also a key. It was the key into the world of android and boy what a world it has become.

  I remember early on just browsing the forums trying to see what folks are talking about. They would say "my phone can do this" or "my phone can do that" or "the battery sucks" or "it's gonna be an iphone killa!". All of those things intrigued me but I was still learning about apps and open source and all of the other caveats of this little green robot. I started to look into what google had to offer and realized it could do more than just search and it was all hyper-connected to my phone. I slowly and more confidently started to see the potential this little giant had. So I start posting in forums and asking questions and finding out the little intricacies of my g1 and I was on my way.

  A few months later, completely comfortable with what I have, I start reading about rooting. I say to myself "Self. What's that all about? Who really needs to do that?" The more I read the more it pulls me in and then one night around 11pm with my palms sweating and heart racing my phone gets rooted and another part of the android world opens up to me. Not only is the phone a key to another world, but it is your pass to meet new people and be a part of a wonderful communtiy that is built on building new relationships, pushing the platform forward and helping out a fellow droid. This is what really sold me on android. I think the phones are great, the OS is coming along beautifully, but it's the people that make android what it is today. I would like to say "thanks" to those that have driven the development, started the websites, moderated the forums, answered questions, lent a hand when needed and have helped people see that you don't have to be scared to blaze your own trail. Like field of dreams, if you build it they will come and google built it and we were there for the flocking.

  I truly am impressed with how far android has come in a year and look forward to being a part of it's continued growth and success. Thanks google for everything, thank you to all the people who have helped me out so far and I appreciate the communtiy as a whole. Y'all are great! Have a wonderful holiday season and bring on the nexus one!

The holidays

I guess the holidays do bring most people a sense of peace. As I watch the kids work through their finals (which we had an increase in passing percentage from last year in science), I finally am starting to feel resolved. I don't have this angst anymore that I've been carting around. I don't feel as negative coming into work and I may be seeing a little glimmer of hope for this year. That brings me back to my original point. I think these feelings are mainly stemming from the fact that the holidays are upon us and for me so is a 2 week break. Time for friends, family and a clear mind and conscience. I'm thankful for all of the above mentioned things. I look forward to a relaxing break, a rejuvination of spirit and some much needed time off. I wish everyone "happy holidays!" and may you all be blessed. Take care.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Good for the soul

I took Friday off from work due to a heck of a migraine I had on Thursday night, complete with throwing up and all. That day off really showed me that we all need time away from what we do no matter how much we like it. Work is still work. On Friday I actually felt productive for the first time in a while. I went to the dentist, I played a new game I have on ps3, I got a chance to catch up on the latest android news and I got a chance to really just relax my mind and my body. I'm thankful for my day off and look forward to doing it again. I hope that all who read this take a cue from your's truly and take some time for yourself and enjoy the relief and relaxation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Maybe they finally see

I was talking to a couple of my students today and one said "I'm scared of the future." The other one turned and asked why? The first one said "because when everybody Mr. Green's age dies it'll only be us left and I don't think we can run the earth on our own." Wow! That was an epiphany for the ages.

It sort of scares me that this is where the kids are and they're finally seeing that they are in some trying times. Well I guess, like my student said, I'll be dead so it's a problem they have to face on their own. I hope they're ready. For those who have paid attention and learned something I leave you the world. For all the others, I leave you with a wish of good luck. Take care.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Well tomorrow I get to meet with a parent. Why you say? As an intervention to help her child learn? Of course not. In reference to a phone call home about her child's lack of progress? No silly! It's because I took his brush away last week. Yep, that's how to get a parent to the school. Take something away. But don't cry for me Argentina, I'm going to bring the failure documentation I have and see if we can actually have a real discussion. Should be interesting. That's all for now. Have a good one folks!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

And the day gets better!!

Now that I have a sinus headache I decided to stay in tonight and rent a movie. I was in line at the local blockbuster and two people were in line in front of me. They were making small talk with the cashier and at first I wanted to get annoyed but then I tuned in to what they were talking about. The customers were showing the cashier their g1's and the cashier replied "I have a droid." My heart immediately felt warm. He went on to say how he liked it coming from a windows mobile device and he enjoys the android platform. One of the customers turned and looked at me then looked at her boyfriend and said "We're holding up the line." I replied "I have a G1 also. Please, continue." As in star wars, google is building a droid army. It's nice to see people opening their minds to something other than an iphone. Let's go android!! Have a good night world.

New found love!!! Well, not really new.

For those who know me I love my phone. Well today that love was strengthened. LOL! This is the type of love a dog has for his favorite chew toy. I'm joking I'm joking, but I really do have a new found appreciation for my little pocket pc. Today I was coming home from watching the Crimson tide roll clean over the Florida Gators and I decided to try out google navigation which is included on google maps on my lovely little device (tmobile-g1). I put in the coordinates to my house and then put on some music also playing from my phone and started to drive. I think to myself "Self, not only is this phone navigating me home, but it's also playing some of my favorite tunes" (ding - text message coming in but I can't read it. No texting and driving). This is awesome. This little thing is doing all of this and is not missing a beat. Since when were phones able to do so much at the same time??? I don't know. As I came up to a red light, I picked up my phone and hit the home button and all of my running apps were moved to the notification bar. I pulled down the bar and it told me the next instructions to keep on track. As I ride and Lupe Fiasco is enlightening me the music fades and the phone then tells me to turn at the next light. I'm blown away. I'm just really impressed with my little phone. It's awesome. I'd like to hear from some of my iphone followers. Does your phone give you directions and play music and receive texts all at the same time? I'm just curious. Try it out and let me know how that goes for you. LOL! Have a wonderful weekend.

On a lighter note - ring, ring, ring

I really enjoy my new hobby of dabbling in the mobile telecom industry. Since I got my phone (tmobile g1) I've basically gone all in. I spend time reading cell phone blogs, modifying my phone and trying to keep up with what's new in the cell phone world. It changes just about daily, but I found that I have come across a really awesome community of bloggers, techies, and like-minded cell phone enthusiast. They're willing to share advice, opinions, and offer help at anytime. I'm thankful for my new found communtiy and I'm happy to be a part of it. Now if I can only get my fiancee to stop saying "I'm going to ungift your phone from you" or "you spent too much time on your phone" I think I'll be ok ;). Take care and find a hobby!

An 8th grade observation

One of my students has written me a series of poems about her observations in class. Interestingly enough it started on career day where she looked around and noticed other students not paying attention while the various speakers were talking and it concerned her. So she wrote a poem about it. She gave me the poem and I read it and it mirrored many of the sentiments I've posted on this blog. That made me think. She then went on to write two more poems about her day to day in class. That too mirrored many things I've either said or thought. That really got me thinking....

If a student is able to express concerns about the other students in class, then there is obviously a problem. I do my best to deal with these students but it's like trying to dig a hole in a pool of water. When you scoop more fills right back in. It's tragic that students like my little poet have to suffer because of a lack of discipline by other students, lack of training from home and the lack of a true system to deal with problem students.

These kids are fine being suspended, don't show up for detention, don't mind failing and have very little respect for themselves or others. What do you do with a student like that? That's the question facing many teachers now. You try to focus on the students trying to learn, but you can only ignore or supress the "other" student for so long before they start to distract and influence others.

I still plan on teaching to the best of my ability and hoping to help students like my poet to reach her full potential. I know she will. Beyond that I'm going to continue to struggle with grading policies and procedures and overall frustrations of the education system, but I plan to try to be as positive as possible through it all. As always, thanks for your time and I'll post the poems on a later day. Take care and feel free to follow or share this with a friend.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Breach of security

I'm sure some say "it's an honest mistake" or "it was no big deal" but I beg to differ. When did it become ok for the president of the United States to be exposed to security risk? Whether at the white house or on the road. I don't remember too many times in the past when the last two president's were exposed to this many risks. I don't think Bush or Clinton had people sneaking into the white house or showing up to their rallies armed. It just doesn't seem right. Supposedly all of this homeland security is there to protect us from threats, but can it really protect me or you if it leaves the president exposed on numerous occasions? Just something to think about. It just concerns me that these security breaches are becoming more common now and it doesn't seem as though anyone is really making an uproar about it. I just wanted to put something out there to get folks thinking about the times we live in. Just think, you couldn't go to a Bush rally with a negative sign, but they'll let an armed man line an Obama rally stating he has a 2nd amendment right to bear that firearm. Very interesting....think about it.


Over this Thanksgiving break I've had a chance to get more acquainted with some of the services that google has available and it's far more than I realized. You can do a website through them, they have blog spots, you can look at books, it's an all around 1-stop shop. I think that's pretty cool that they are putting information out as well as making the internet a more user friendly place to work and navigate. If you haven't had a chance to check it out you should. Just thought I'd give a few lines about that. If there's anything you'd like to see on this blog please comment and I'll give my thoughts on it. Take care and have a great weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did. I was thankful that my family was able to come up and we were together for the holiday. I'm glad that I was able to host and show my family a good time. I ate enough to be satisfied and got some much needed rest. Hopefully this break will rejuvenate me for the next few weeks of school. I'm going to make the best of it. Thanks to all my friends and family for being a part of my life and thanks to those of you who take the time to read this blog. I wish you and your's a wonderful Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's take 2009 out with a bang. Good night and good luck!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is gonna be fun!!

My folks and my fiancee are planning out our wedding. I'm gonna have 2 weddings it looks like. One in Dallas and one in Louisiana. One for the Dallas crew and one for the New Orleans crew. This looks like it's gonna be epic!!! I'm looking forward to it. I'll keep you posted!!! I'm gonna be married. Man that's awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finally a break

Thanksgiving couldn't come quick enough. A break is definitely in order and hopefully I can use it to refocus and re-energize. Being that it is Thanksgiving I'll give my list of things I'm thankful for:
1.) My family, fiancee, friends and my dog (Chance)
2.) Everything else in life the Lord has blessed me with.

Yes folks it's that simple. I'm thankful for all of the people I have surrounded myself with and all of the blessings God has bestowed upon me. During this holiday season I plan to focus on the simple things in life and hopefully that'll rejuvinate my spirit to get back on the grind at work but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Have a safe and happy holiday season. God bless.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Come on Tigers....

After recooping from that unnecessary loss last night it's time to make some things clear. As Mr. Stallworth stated to me yesterday, "Maybe Les Miles is the guy folks said he was when he first got here. Maybe he was only winning because he had Nick Saban's players and some of his strategy." I would have to agree with that. I have to call in to question his play calling and game sense also. Do you really call a spike with 1 second left? Come on Les. Really? But, I must also lay blame on our lame duck QB. At which point do you stop being a lemming and call your own play? If coach calls a bum play and you see something better, then call it but Jefferson has even worse play making ability than Les so you really can't expect too much more from him. Honestly, any play would've been a better call than a spike! Oh well, here's my advice. Les start thinking about trying for the Michigan job again because the tiger faithful aren't going to take this type of behavior. Jordan, please do well in school. You'll need it in the future because the NFL is not looking good for you. Tiger fans, let's just hope for a better season next year, hope that the kinks get ironed out and hope that our passion and fire doesn't get squandered again next year. With all that's going on I'm still proud to be a tiger and there's no place like Baton Rouge Saturday night!! GEAUX TIGERS!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What was I thinking???

No inroads were made. What was I thinking yesterday that I would actually be able to change something? Teachers know what I'm talking about and now I'm going to share it with you. It's common to think that you have the ability to effect change of some kind, but not in this case. I'm still grappling with that truth. I can change me and that's about it. A kid or two may decide to get their life right, but I can't make it happen. Just like I can't make a kid learn. I can put it out there, but they don't have to take it. With that being said I'm going to just carry on my way. If you're between the ages of 25 and 35 just know that in the not so distant future you are going to have to care for yourself. Don't plan on society helping you out and sure don't plan on people helping you out. It's becoming ever more clear to me that people can't help themselves and the epidemic I'm seeing in the classroom will eventually spill over into everyday society and it's all downhill from there. I'm not sure who actually reads this, but if you're a responsible student or a responsible parent or a responsible citizen I want to say Thanks for being you. Other than that...get ready folks. The storm's a comin'. I'm going to keep doing the best I can and being the best me I can be and we'll see what happens from there. Don't forget to follow or share this with a friend. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maybe I'm making some inroads...

Today I had my boss come and see first hand what we are dealing with in the classroom. I think it may have given her a truer look at the conundrum we are in as teachers. I don't know what's going to come of it if anything at all but I'm glad that she got to witness it. What it really opened me up to was how hard it is to get the winds of change to start to wisp in your general direction. I wish I had all of the solutions so that I could just write a book and get rich like ALL of these other educational writers, but I digress. I'm hoping today's episode will allow us to start moving in the right direction because the way we're going now is clearly not the way. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your time and feel free to follow me (scroll down to the bottom) and leave a comment.

who dat?

This post is simply a shout out to the hometown New Orleans Saints! I just want to know who's a believer, got that who dat fever in da Superdome?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bow or no bow??

So are people really upset about the president bowing? Wait, wait, wait.....WHILE IN JAPAN?? Now I know folks feel however they feel about the president but really? Can you honestly say that he shouldn't have bowed to the Japanese diplomats? I'm truly at a loss. This country, society, world is headed nowhere fast if people are trying to make this an issue. Can we please focus our energies in some more productive directions? Here are some directions we can go in health care, employment, hmmmmm maybe education? Let's start with those. This whole no bowing thing is like asking a person not to get wet when getting in a pool. I'd like to hear your comments about this. Have a great night!

I'm done

Well today all hope went out the window. I've tried for the past few years to be that voice of reason. I've told myself things will get better if you just stick with it. How wrong I was. I try to hold myself to a high standard and I do the same with the kids I teach, but today that was crushed. One piece of paper is all it takes to bring a kid from failing to not failing. The same kid who has done nothing all year. The same kid who told you he/she is going to make a failing grade. The same kid who told you that they weren't going to do anything. The kid that walks out of your class. The kid that is on the 3rd grade reading level but is in eighth grade science. The same kid who doesn't do the extra assignment. Yeah, that kid was able to pass because a few pieces of paperwork weren't filed. Sure, I understand that is policy, but does that one paperwork really make the kid understand the material. Does it say you no longer failed your test? Not at all, it simply says we don't want you to not be as good as you think you are and your teacher is a bad person for trying to fail you. That's what it says to me, but when I step out of my teacher role and look at it a little more objectively. It says something more along the lines of we don't want to have to deal with you anymore so we're going to pass you along. It says that the education system is no longer in the business of educating kids. It says that teachers no longer have a say in a student's grade. It says that paperwork is more important than classwork. Well, that's all I needed to know. What's sad about it all is that you are now pushing away the teachers who actually do care. You're now telling them it doesn't matter how hard you try or how much passion you have, the students can do everything or nothing and they are still going to pass. The question I pose is "Why do we need teachers then?". Are we just full time babysitters? Are we there just to watch after the kids? I guess so. Learning seems to be far down on the education system's list so I ask again, "What's the role of the teacher?" If you know the answer please let me know. If you have some suggestions please leave a comment. As for me, well, I'm not sure anymore. Thanks for your time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's the strategy?

"So what's the stategy for what?" I ask myself. as I find myself administering a reading test, that's the first question I hear. It makes me think about the way things are going in general. Is there a strategy? Are we going to find our way out of this recession? Is there a strategy to get out of this war? Is there a strategy to get kids to value themselves and want to come up with new and better strategies? Now that's a question for the big wigs to wrestle with. Can we strategize to overcome laziness? Is there a model for beating apathy? Are there general guidelines for instilling and activating self-respect, determination, or self-motivation? If there are any ways to combat these I'm waiting for the next cnn special to show me how. Can we call it "Lazy in America" or "It's not your fault in America"? You know something with some real substance. Well, maybe I'm asking for too much. My parents taught me to follow my dreams and to do my best. They instilled in me confidence and courage. They let me fall, all the while lessening the blow, so that I would know how to get back up. Is that type of parenting long gone? Is that a thing from the past? Am I going to finally be one of those adults who start sentences with "When I was growing up..."? I don't know. A conversation with some collleauges really made me think. We discussed that kids in school aren't going to fail. Not because they're stellar students or complete everything or pass every assignment. Instead, they get a free ride because the paperwork isn't complete, they have their own paperwork, policy wasn't followed, they had a rough upbringing, or maybe just maybe it was the teacher's fault. That seems to be the general concensus. No matter how many times you gave them lunch money, stopped the bully from picking on them, encouraged them to do better, or even tried to encourage their parents to help them do better. It's still the teacher's fault and all interested parties go home and sleep at night. All except one, that teacher who carries that burden of all of the kids they are in charge of, that's the one who has to use a sleep aid, drink, complain to friend, re-evaluate their life because the blame can be pushed no more. They are the ones who stand up and try to map out the plan, do the strategies, be the leader, teammate, and cheerleader but why? When the "real" strategies are being made and put in place no one looks at that teacher bearing those burdens. They say you're doing fine and help's on the way. The only thing that comes is one more burden to bear. In closing, I hope we, as a society, can find some new strategies to make things better. It seems as though it has been left up to the people to make the strategies and find ways to weave them into the fabric of society which is fine but if we don't start with a drastic change in thinking and in our actions we will end up right back where we started. It's not much but let's start here: 1.) Parents be parents - teach your kids to make society better. 2.) Dear education system, can you please be a part of the solution instead of the problem - you only have so many chances in life. Not everyone can make the team, not every kid's an honor student, and you're not going to be sued by every parent. Have some courage and stand for what's right. Isn't that why we pay you? 3.) Every person should hold themselves accountable for their actions. We can only change who we are and what we do so let's start there and if that's the general concensus then we should be doing ok. Let's all find our strategy and make it work. Have a great day.

Why do we work?

I'm a teacher and after talking to a friend today I really started to wonder "why exactly do we work?". I know the generic answer is that we're making a difference or affecting the lives of America's youth, but I really wonder about that. I would love for that to be the case, but the current state of education has me believing that I'm in the classroom more as a glorified babysitter than an educator. Now granted, I go in and give it 100% everyday because that's my nature but overall the question remains. Why? Why should I give my all when the system is set up for the kids to "pass"? Why expect excellence and the kids only have to strive for mediocrity? Why be passionate, caring, encouraging and you are alone? I used to have answers to all of those questions. Now, I just feel lost. Sort of like being in a dark alley and you don't know whether to go left or right, so you just stand there for a moment waiting for something to guide you. I've seen student and parent involvement decline rapidly over my last 3 years in the classroom and it's tragic. I've seen students go from behavior problems to learning problems. The education seem to be so afraid of parents and lawsuits that they don't even take the time to get to the root of the problem that's tearing away the foundation of our education system. Instead they find the prettiest, most childish and consolatory band-aid they can to put on it until this school year passes and then we'll try again next year. The problem with that is that the band-aid hasn't been able to cover the gaping wound for sometime now and we're just now trying to find a way to deal with the bloody mess in front of us. The kids don't know what to do or how to react because they've always been told "it's going to be ok." but in reality it's not. This sweeping under the rug has left a large mound that we now have to find a way to beat back flat. That's not easy when you start to look at the stuff that has been put under there. A few examples are responsibility, accountability, resourcefulness, critical thinking, earning your keep, you reap what you sow, life isn't fair, you're not the best at everything, you're going to have to try harder/again, you mom isn't going to always be there, and many more. When those things start to get pulled from under the rug and aired out they become harder to deal with. Now that we are in the time of change and hope finally has the audacity to raise its head are we going to try to fix the problems that we have with education in this country? I sure hope so. If not, we can all sit back and watch the youth of this country go down and then shortly after we can watch our country do the same thing. I'm going to continue to do my part in the classroom and I hope you will help do your's. Let's not have more and more teachers wondering "why do we work?".

My first blog

This is my first blog. I figured I'd take some of my sayings and daily experiences and blog it out. If you read it, I hope you enjoy and if not that's fine too. Well I'll be back.