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Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
1:42 pm - They're All The Same
Sorry, folks, but I'm going to bring up a dirty word here:

Politics.

The race for the White House in 2016 has started, and so has the chatter surrounding it from experts and so-called experts (myself included). It's hard to escape, whether it's Marco Rubio attending (or not attending) a gay marriage or Hillary Clinton eating at Chipotle. Every word and move the candidates make is analyzed, scrutinized and, in many cases, criticized.

We can't seem to escape how polarizing our political beliefs have become. During Republican administrations, liberal-leaning pundits crow on about abuses, scandals, oppression, and the dictatorial behavior of the incumbent president. Taking their comments at face value, the sky is, indeed, falling. During Democratic administrations, conservative-leaning commentators talk about abuses, scandals, the suppression of liberty, and the "imperial presidency." Again, the sky is falling.

"These people," both sides would say about their opposition, don't just need to be stopped. They need to be destroyed.

Oddly enough, I found a metaphor for our times (and this way of thinking) in a very unlikely place. As I have written before, being the dad of two girls, I watch a lot of Disney Princess movies. While the "Princess culture" these films allegedly promote has come under attack in recent years, my wife and I believe that they do demonstrate good values and character traits as well as teach valuable life lessons. Until recently, though, I didn't realize just how far-reaching those lessons were. Because these very same movies predicted, rather accurately, the current climate we find ourselves in.

Look at Beauty and the Beast. Sure, the Beast is scary-looking and kind of mean at the beginning of the film. It would be apropos to label him a "monster." However, as Belle gets to know him, she begins to see beyond the scary exterior to find a sensitive, wounded, caring soul. Gaston, who is hell-bent on winning Belle's hand in marriage, takes one look at the Beast and sees an enemy. He uses the fears of his fellow townspeople ("The Beast will make off with your children! He'll wreak havoc on our village if we let him wander free!") to form a posse to destroy this threat. There's no time to get to know him--if we wait too long, it'll be too late!

Another example: in The Little Mermaid, King Triton expresses his anger at Ariel for consorting with humans, leading to her falling in love with a human prince. Ariel pleads "If only you got to know him..." to which King Triton retorts "I don't have to know him! THEY'RE ALL THE SAME! Spineless, savage, harpooning fish-eaters, incapable of any feeling!" To hammer home his point, he destroys all of Ariel's human treasures--including the statue of her beloved Prince Eric.

They don't just need to be stopped. They need to be destroyed. It all feels eerily familiar.

Of course, being Disney movies, things work out in the end. Gaston and his mob do not succeed, and after Belle shows the Beast how to love, he is no longer a monster (made clear for everyone by an actual physical transformation). Prince Eric saves Ariel and King Triton from the evil sea witch Ursula, and Triton finds that humans are not "all the same," after all.

Real life is not the same, I admit, but maybe we can learn something from these movies. Perhaps we need to look past the labels we put on those different from us. Perhaps we give them a chance to show us why exactly they do what they do and think how they think. Perhaps then we'll find that our similarities outweigh our differences.

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Thursday, December 6th, 2012
9:17 am - fail

Okay, the LJ Android app kind of sucks.  I can see why a lot of folks don't like it.  It hasn't updated anyone's posts for a long time.  Unless, of course, folks just haven't been updating, which could very likely be the case...

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Monday, November 19th, 2012
4:14 pm - Back

This is my first post in a few years.  Now that I found that there's an Android app for LJ, I might actually start posting here again on a regular basis.  And longer posts, at that.

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Friday, September 9th, 2011
10:07 am - Today's podcast - The Cost of Staying Home
Listen to internet radio with Timothy Inners on Blog Talk Radio


Today's podcast talks about the hidden costs of both staying home or working, and how they can factor into a decision on whether or not to stay home. Two articles that elaborate on this can be found here:


http://www.babycenter.com/0_can-you-afford-to-stay-home-with-your-children_6026.bc

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/149233/the_hidden_costs_of_being_a_stay_at.html?cat=25

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Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
8:09 am - Launching a new podcast....
Listen to internet radio with Timothy Inners on Blog Talk Radio


I know it's been almost 4 years since I've posted anything here, but here is a new podcast I'm doing. I call it "The New Macho" after an article I read in Newsweek about the new role men have in both the family and society at large, and we will talk about these issues in the podcast. This episode is about child-care costs, and how being a stay-at-home parent (either by choice or otherwise) can help with defraying those costs.

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Monday, July 21st, 2008
4:12 pm - Writer's Block: Your First Record
What was the first music album you ever bought or owned? Do you still listen to it or have you moved on?
"Duke" by Genesis.

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Saturday, April 26th, 2008
10:46 pm - An oldie but a goodie...
I know, I know, it's been way too long since I posted last. Anyway, I thought I'd return with an update to a list I posted a few years ago. There have been surprisingly few additions since then, but here goes....

All the shows I've seen, if you're interested...Collapse )

Only one more month of school left. Once summer rolls around, I'll actually have time to write proper posts.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

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Thursday, July 5th, 2007
7:25 am - Still here...no, really, I am....
Again, I'm going to say that I'm amazed anyone at all is still on my flist. I hardly post at all anymore. I don't have a whole lot of spare time to post, and when I do, I find that I have very little to write about.

First off, happy 4th for yesterday. Hope everyone had a good day off.

My summer so far, in case you're interested...Collapse )

Anyway, that's the story so far. Exciting, huh? Well, that is all for now. As you were.

current mood: tired

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Tuesday, June 12th, 2007
7:21 am - School's Out
Most of the schools I sub for are now out for the summer. The ones that aren't will be out shortly, so I don't anticipate any more sub jobs for the rest of the year. Now comes the fun (and somewhat daunting) task of securing some permanent work for next year. I'm not sure I can sub day-to-day for another year. A long-term job, maybe, but I don't know about day-to-day.

Not much else going on. I will, however, try to complete some projects I started earlier now that my schedule is pretty open. I also have a lot to do at home--we're having people over on the 23rd, and need to do a thorough clean and straighten of the house.

What an exciting life I lead, let me tell you.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: tired

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Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
11:14 am - Back again
Been away for a couple of days. The spouse and I spent some time in Newport, RI, looking at the mansions of the rich and powerful from the Gilded Age. Very nice getaway for a couple of days, and the houses were very impressive. It's amazing to think that these were "summer cottages"! (modpixie: Rosecliff is how I imagine the March house to look). We also made a stop at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut (kind of a disappointment--you have to pay to see most of the really cool stuff).

I'm already thinking of lesson plans I can write for older kids (yes, always the teacher, even on vacation).

Not much else to report, other than the fact that I have a job interview on Friday. It's an elementary school in a district in the northern part of the county. I've subbed there several times, and getting a job there would be very nice. Of course, this is just my first interview of the year, so I need to be careful to examine all my options before taking the first thing that comes along (provided of course that they offer this job to me). I suppose we shall see.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: refreshed

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Monday, May 14th, 2007
12:15 pm - Reminder
I was not having a good day on Friday.

I was subbing at a school where they told me they needed me the whole day: I'd be a floater during the morning, and then covering a 3rd grade in the PM. When I got there, though, they had to really search to find me something to do. I graded papers. I made photocopies for people. Stuff like that. I just wish, though, that they had just said at the outset that it was a half day. I like this district, so it's really not a big deal if it's only a half day.

Anyway...

I get to my 3rd grade class, and the lesson plans were a little sketchy, so I kind of winged it a little. They were in their literature circles, and had to fill out worksheets based on what they were writing. One of the kids came up to me and asked "What's a metaphor?" I explained that it's like calling someone who is mean "a mean old buzzard." Now, he's not really a buzzard, but you can use that word to describe how mean he is. The kid said "Oh! I get it!" and returned to his seat.

Later that day, the kids had to write an essay about their moms for Mother's Day. The teacher asked me to read their rough copies before they wrote their good copies to make sure they were good. When this same kid came up to me with his rough copy, I noticed that he used a metaphor to describe how he felt about his mother.

And this served as a reminder as to why I do what I do.

current mood: contemplative

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Thursday, April 26th, 2007
4:45 pm - Stuff
I know, I know, it has yet again been a dog's age since I last posted. The Time Fairies have not been smiling on me, lately.

Anyway, more of the same has been going on, except that today was a job fair at our local Intermediate Unit. A large number of school districts in the county were there, and I gave my resume to 5 of them. And I totally rocked the interview (it's like a pre-interview interview, where you get scored on your performance and then that goes into a database that the whole county can access). So here's hoping. I do have to prepare, however, for the distinct possibility that I won't get hired until August (which is when a lot of teachers get hired). So it promises to be a nerve-wracking summer.

Been subbing lately. A lot. Anywhere from Kindergarten to grade 5, with some middle-school thrown in for flavor. It's great experience, and it's a good way to get into the good graces of the principals of certain schools, but being in a different school every day is tough. Recently, though, I've had a couple of two-day assignments, which has been nice.

A lot of fine folks have already said plenty about the events at Virginia Tech, so I'm just going to say that it affected me a lot more than I thought. I hear about the acts of heroism of the people who died while allowing others to escape, and it still gets me. The loss is incalculable, on every level.

Anyway, I hate to end on a downer, but that is all. As you were.

current mood: contemplative

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
1:04 pm - Still here...no, really, I am...
Again, life has been a bit hectic. Been busy with subbing, and the Easter holiday weekend was a bit crazy. But I'm still here.

It was spring break last week for most of the districts I sub for, so I only got work on two days (and one of them was only a half day). Otherwise, I've been scoping out school districts, looking for the ones that are looking for full-timers in the fall.

Which brings me to the sticky situation of trying to find work for the summer. I'm looking into what it would take to teach summer school, but I'm not sure I have enough experience doing that (they said right on the posting that preferential treatment is given to applicants with prior experience). It also depends on who enrolls (if not enough kids enroll, the class is cancelled). I'm not looking forward to a drought from late-June to early-August, but I'm keeping my hopes up that something will come up.

I subbed yesterday for a teacher who has been put on bedrest until the end of the year (she's having some complications with her pregnancy). She asked if I was available to teach her class until at least the end of the week, and I told her I was. She was looking for some continuity for her kids, and didn't want a different sub every day. I told the office I was available, but they decided to go with someone else, which was a little bit of a bummer. However, I will try to throw my hat into the ring if this turns into a situation where they need a long-term sub--I really liked the kids, and the idea of guaranteed work until the end of the school year is appealing. Ah, well, I guess better luck next time...

Which brings me to another point: the hardest thing, I think, about subbing is the fact that you're in a different classroom, and different grade level, every single day. I've had weeks where one day I'd have kindergarteners, and the next day I'd have middle-schoolers. And you never know what you'll be walking into--sometimes the teacher is really organized, sometimes not. Sometimes there are plans, sometimes not. I can't wait until I have my own classroom--I miss the consistency that I had in student teaching (having the same kids every day). Ah, well, that will come in time, I suppose...

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

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Monday, March 19th, 2007
5:38 pm - Still here
Just been really busy.

Actually, I'm amazed no one's dropped me from their flist. I hardly post at all, anymore. Again, I entertain thoughts of just doing away with this journal altogether. I can't post when I'm at work (either I have no computer access or the site is blocked by the school district), and I'm usually too busy to post from home. So I don't know. I keep threatening to go back to just emailing people, but I don't do a whole lot of that, either. Hmmm....need to think on this more.

As I stated before, I've been really busy. I sub almost every day. I've come to the realization that I LOVE 2nd-graders. They have such a sunny outlook on things, and I could be having a bad day and then hang out with 2nd-graders and feel so much better! Their positive outlook is infectious.

Still nada on the permanent-position front. Which freaks me out a little, because my student loans are coming due soon. And I owe a LOT. Not looking forward to that. Anyway, I know it'll just take some patience and perseverence.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: busy

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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
7:14 pm - Feast or Famine
Sorry about the lag in updates. There has been lots going on. I have officially gone from famine to feast--I now have more subbing work than I know what to do with.

I have to decide how to strategically work out my schedule so that I do the maximum amount of work in the districts where I'd like to get a permanent job. Subbing is nice, and affords me a flexibility of schedule, but I need to not lose sight of the bigger picture.

I just got added to the sub list of one of my top-choice districts, and I just got a call from another top-choice district, who I need to call back. I know that doing all of this substitute teaching is no guarantee of a full-time job later in these districts, but I at least have to get them to know who I am and how I teach. This will hopefully make me stand out when interviewing starts.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: busy

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Friday, February 16th, 2007
10:18 am - I really should be writing lesson plans...
...but instead I'm updating LJ. Of course, it's been a while, too.

Ever since I got added to the substitute list at the Intermediate Unit, I've been really really busy. Last week, I subbed every day, although one day was a mistake (I showed up a day early for an assignment), but they needed me anyway that day, so it worked out. I only subbed two days this week, and that's mostly due to weather (Tuesday and Wednesday were snowy, so a lot of schools were closed).

Home today, doing some cleaning and straightening, and then I need to write some lesson plans for two books I've read recently: Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli and Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson. There are a lot of similarities between the two, and I think they can be used to help illustrate prominent social issues (the Holocaust and the organized-labor movement). These would be for more of a 5th or even 6th grade level--which is good, since most of my lesson plans are for a 3rd-4th grade level.

Not much else to report. Not much else going on except subbing right now. No permanent position postings have appeared (or even long-term sub positions).

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: busy

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Thursday, February 1st, 2007
4:15 pm - Busy
It's been a busy couple of days.

I had a sub job on Monday (Phys. Ed., which actually was a lot of fun) and then a contracting job on Tuesday. Work that results in getting paid is always good.

Then Wednesday was my birthday, and the spouse came home early to hang out with me, which was very nice. We went to see Pan's Labyrinth, which was really good, and then to dinner, and then home to watch the Tar Heels win against Miami. All in all, a good day.

Today was spent in an orientation for more sub jobs. This is with a combination of different school districts, so I should be getting a lot more work in the near future. Again, getting paid is always a good thing, especially after a whole semester of basically teaching for free.

More contract work tomorrow, but I'll probably not be out and about too much, as we are expected to get snow.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: busy

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007
1:02 pm
Goodbye, dwc. I don't really know what to say right now--I'm just kind of numb. Thanks to warsop and phamos818 for letting me know.

current mood: numb

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Wednesday, January 24th, 2007
4:40 pm - Blah
Not much to report. It's hard going from working almost non-stop to stopping work.

Cleaned a lot of the downstairs today, and it looks as though tomorrow will be devoted to a great deal of food prep. We're having my family over for dinner on Saturday, so that promises to be fun (it's an early b-day celebration for me).

I'm going to be 36 next week. I sometimes wish I had accomplished more by now. But then again, accomplishment is relative.

I need a new video camera, especially since I have some video projects I need to finish, and can't edit them without one. The one I have quit rather unexpectedly.

I wish I had more exciting news. Not much happening on the job front, although I do have some freelance work next week, which is good. No subbing jobs have come my way yet.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: blah

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Thursday, January 18th, 2007
1:35 pm - Brrrr...Redux
Once again, winter has reared its ugly head. And it looks as though it's here to stay, at least for a while.

I'm actually okay with that. 65 degrees or more in January may be nice, but not exactly "seasonal." What I'm not crazy about is the prospect of snow, which is possible later today and into tonight. Since we bought our house, every year I am less and less a fan of snow, and the requisite shoveling it requires. Especially today, since it will be slushy, icy and wet if we do get it.

Not much else happening on the job front. Haven't had any calls to substitute. There also aren't many job openings right now (they usually don't show up until spring, when teachers have told districts whether or not they plan to retire). I'm hoping that the fact that I'm a man who wants to teach elementary ed with good technology skills will work in my favor, as the competition for jobs is pretty fierce in this region. I guess we'll see how it all pans out.

Anyway, that is all. As you were.

current mood: blah

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