Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MonoMyth Video

Here is the link to that video with the guy explaining the MonoMyth as it applies to the Odyssey. It is really cool, but since it is sixteen minutes long, I didn't have time to play it in class. If you watch it, comment on this post to let me know what you think.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Coming Soon...

Keep an eye out on this blog, because I will be beginning my first blog series (that is multiple blogs with a common theme) in the coming week. The series will be called "Things I Learned from Dr. Seuss". If you like zingwhatsits and whomzoozits, you will love this.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Final Countdown

Athletes often talk about finishing strong. Whether they are pitchers trying to make sure they do not give up late inning runs, football players pushing to get a few extra yards farther into field goal range to set up a last second scoring opportunity, or basketball players running hard until the final buzzer sounds, we are all familiar with the idea that in order to be successful, one must finish strong. My father used to always walk around the house near the end of a grading period while my brothers and I were doing our homework loudly proclaiming, "We're in the home stretch, boys, go to the whip!" The idea behind all of this is that no matter how strongly, or not so strongly, we have done up to the closing moments of whatever race we are running, we are sure to fail if we just throw up our hands and coast the rest of the way.

For some of you, this first quarter has gone well. You have met every expectation and will likely be rewarded with a fine grade to show your parents. For those in this group, I urge you to not relax; keep pushing until the final buzzer sounds. Never become too relaxed or too complacent with your achievements. It only takes a couple of weeks with your eye off of the prize in order to lose all you have worked for.

For others, this first quarter has been less than extraordinary. For you, this message is even more important. You still have the opportunity to cross the finish line with your head held high. Sure, you may be failing this quarter... who cares? That's right, who cares? Not many teachers would probably have that attitude, but here is the way I see it. Every single one of you should have the goal to graduate from high school. With that singular goal in mind, is failing one quarter the end of the world? The answer is no, so why stop trying just because you failed half of a semester? Why throw in the towel after the first round? In order to get the credits you need to graduate, in order to not have to repeat this course next year, all you have to do is pass the semester. That means that even though you failed the first quarter, a strong second quarter and a good grade on the semester exam can pull your semester average up enough to move on. So I leave you with one, last question: Isn't your future, the promise of possibilities beyond those offered to dropouts, worth nine weeks (barely more than two months) of hard work? If you put in nine weeks of work to pass your classes for this semester, and then repeat that for however many quarters you have left until graduation, you can earn a piece of paper that proves you have what it takes to accomplish your goals; more importantly, it ensures that doors aren't closed on you before you even have a chance to start out in the world.