Short Term Self vs Long Term Self

I found this image on Tumblr and it really spoke to me. It would be a great discussion piece for the classroom about setting goals and working towards a bright future.

We live in a day and age of instant everything. This can narrow our focus and keep us locked in the here-and-now. Why think about the future when we can be so engrossed in the present?

The woman in the picture below looks like she is going somewhere. I can image that she’s waiting for a flight or bus. She is thinking about all of the rich possibilities that this trip holds. And she’s thinking about her past at the same time.

“I wish I’d partied a little less. People always say ‘be true to yourself.’ But that’s misleading, because there are two selves. There’s your short term self, and there’s your long term self. And if you’re only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decays.”

What a powerful message!

I think this is something we need to share with our students.

I know that I have always hated the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I don’t think I have ever been able to visualize the future in that way. But I do appreciate that hard work pays off.

We have a motto in my school board that reads, “We build each student’s tomorrow, every day.”

It’s a great mission statement but I don’t think many of us understand what it truly means. Do our students have any concept that what we are doing today will pay dividends to our long-term selves?

Are there things that we do today that can have negative consequences to our long-term selves? What is more important – the short-term or the long-term?

I look forward to having this discussion with my Grade 7 class. If you try it out, please come back and leave me a comment about how it went. Thanks!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – great tips, tricks, lessons, and resources every week.

Daredevil Turns 50!

Daredevil # 36

Daredevil #1.50

This a special single issue comic that celebrates the 50 Anniversary of my favourite superhero, Daredevil.

The first story takes us to the future. Matt Murdoch is 50 years old and he has a nine year old son.  His son has heightened senses as well but they pretty much over-whelm him. He is skittish and prefers to stay in his room and read.  It draws a parallel to Matt’s youth when his dad wanted him to hit the books.

The story is very well done and a great way to celebrate 50 years of this comic book icon.

The next story reunites Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, one of the best creative teams to ever work on the Daredevil title. It’s a letter written by a woman who fell in love with the superhero only to meet a untimely end. It’s bitter-sweet but shows the power of love.

Next, we get the old school, swashbuckling hero we saw in the very first few issues of Daredevil back in 1964.

The issue concludes with the letter page that often gets left out in this day and age of comics. Hard-core fans write it about their experiences and love for Daredevil.

I’m glad to see Daredevil continuing in comic form. I was surprised when the third volume of the title came to an end with issue #36. I look forward to reading this fourth volume and adding more hardcover editions to my collection.

Happy Birthday Daredevil!

My 2014 Reading Log (continually updated all year long)

WIHH4: Hip-Hop and Motherhood

WIHH4 logo KYHWelcome to Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge.

Today’s show is part of our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special. We celebrated International Women’s Day this year with over 7 hours of content dedicated to hip-hop’s better half.

In this hour of radio, we look closely at motherhood.

We talk to some emcees who are mothers. We discuss the sacrifices mothers sometimes have to make, the difficulties in touring with a young family, and we even talk about abortion. It’s an in-depth exploration of motherhood in hip-hop music and culture.

Featured on the show are Amy Kickz, Dessa, Eternia, Michie Mee, Money Stax, and music from Shad, 2Pac, and Kanye West.

Download the podcast for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: Dessa Spotlight

Dessa WIHH4We continue to celebrate International Women’s Day with our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular.

Dessa was part of our roundtable discussion and it was quite the lively conversation.

We have her back for this hour of radio, to get more in-depth with her and her and amazing tunes . . .

Call Off Your Ghost
Dixon’s Girl
Team the Best Team
Mineshaft II
Fighting Fish
Dots and Dashes
String Theory

Download this podcast for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: All Female Hip-Hop Mixset

WIHH4 logoHere is an hour-long mix focusing completely on hip-hop’s better half as we continue celebrating International Women’s Day with our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular. 

Press play and enjoy the tunes!

Dynasty – Magnificent
E-Turn – Manifest
Tre-L – Broken
Lasy ASG – Hip-Heart-Hop
Shay D – A Year in My Thoughts
Marco Polo / Rah Digga – Earings Off
EVG Rebel – S.H.E. (Strongest Human Ever)
Eternia – Final Offering
Muma Doesa – What the Guys Do
PG and Talent Major – You Can Do It Too
Marco Polo / Invincible – Drunken Sleuth
Miss.She.Ill – Don’t Play
Reverie – 1 is the Loneliness Number
Intelligenz – Running
Sonaya – Damaged Goods
Kadyelle / Ozi Battla – Ten Steps
Wyz Kit – Tres Manifique (instrumental)

Share this on Twitter with the Hashtag #WIHH4

Download this podcast for free or stream it with the player below

3 Reasons Why Teachers Should Make Regular Calls Home

Sunshine calls a great idea, but one that I have never fully embraced over the dozen years that I have been teaching.

It’s just so time-consuming to call the parents of every single child that I teach.

I follow Chris Pearce on Tumblr because he has some great insights into teaching and he does so in comic form.  He is an advocate for regular phone calls home and here’s why.

Teachable Moments: A Journal Comic by Chris Pearce

Teachable Moments: A Journal Comic by Chris Pearce

3 Reasons Why Teachers’s Should Make Regular Calls Home

Here are 3 reasons you should call home on a regular basis.

1) Parents are used to having an adversarial relationship with staff and administration at school.

It’s up to us to try to build that bridge between home and school, to make it a good relationship where we can communicate with each other and help the students work to their potential.

2) It’s always bad news.

Most teachers only get in touch when Jane is flunking or Johnny lights the desk on fire. They see that school phone number on the caller ID and they think “Oh god…” but it doesn’t have to be that way!

3) Start the year with a good first impression

Make your first round of phone calls at the beginning of the year. Make them “get to know you” phone calls where you say “Hey, I’m your son/daughter’s teacher this year. S/he seems like a very nice kid and I’m looking forward to working with her/him.” One call in September can make your next seven to eight months a whole lot easier.

How do we find the time? 

If we divide up our classes and into four groups and make an effort to call one group of parents a week, we would be making a monthly call home. Ten times to communicate with parents over the course of the year could indeed do wonders.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – weekly tips, tricks, lessons, resources, and inspiration for teachers everywhere!

Lost in Shangri-La

True Rescue Story from WWII

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

I bought this book for my dad when he got readmitted to the hospital back in August of last year.

My dad was an avid reader and would spend about two hours a day reading. He especially liked books about war and genre-fiction. Clive Cussler was his favourite author.

I went to the local mom and pop bookshop in my neighbourhood and asked them for a book he might like. They suggested this one.

Unfortunately, my dad never did read it. I know he would have enjoyed it but he was too weak to hold a book in those last few months and I think it was straining his eyes to much to read.

When I visited him those last few months, he would fall in and out of consciousness. Whenever he faded, I started reading the book. I talked with him about it too. He was intrigued.

The story revolves around a real life rescue mission during World War II. A small plane crashed in an unexplored valley with twenty four army servicemen and WACs (Women’s Army Corp) aboard. There were only three survivors and it was tough going for them to stay alive and for their rescuers to retrieve them.

Add to that the local tribesmen who had virtually no contact with the outside world and the situation was quite precarious.

Mitchell Zuckoff pieces together historical records and interviews with survivors and family members to tell this incredible story of heroism, first contact, and survival.

Strangely enough, about halfway through the book, we are introduced to Captain Earl Walter, a paratrooper who heads up the rescue effort. This is a strange detail since my father’s name was Walter Earl.

The book reads like fiction as the story develops to tell this real life story. It was a good read and one I know my father would have enjoyed.

My 2014 Reading Log (continually updated all year long)

Life on Mars . . . Perfect Television

Life_On_MarsLife on Mars is a brilliant television series that I have only just discovered.

It centres around the character of Sam Tyler, a police officer played by John Simm. In the pilot episode, he gets hit by a car and wakes up thirty years in the past.

He has some visions and hears things that lead him to believe that he is actually in a coma. But try as he might, he can’t get out of his new reality, living as a detective inspector in 1973.

The show completely captured my attention and I worked through all of the episodes very quickly. I had no idea that the show was only on the air for two seasons. As I worked my way towards the end of the second series, it became clear that the show was wrapping up. I didn’t want it to. I had been enjoying it so much and was actually looking forward to more episodes.

The final episode of this series wrapped everything up beautifully. I love a great story and I especially love closure when it comes to television series.

There was an American remake of this series, which absolutely baffles me. I have never seen it, nor do I have any desire too. British television is great. I couldn’t imagine an American version of Doctor Who. It just doesn’t make sense. So , go watch the original and be amazed.

Chasing Content – April 2013

ExcavationChasing Content is a monthly feature here on Silent Cacophony.

This is how it works, at the start of each month I look back at the blog entries I posted the previous year in that month and highlight some of my favourites. This gives us a chance to dig through the old posts and unearth some gems that might otherwise get buried in the archives.

Let’s start the excavation.

I’d hate for these great posts to get buried in the archives never to have been seen again.

Read all of the posts from last April

or just these favs . . .

Putting the Roof on my TARDIS

Making a full-sized TARDIS was a lot of fun. I loved blogged about every step of its creation as well. This summer, I will be working on making a fan film using it. I hope to share that with you here too.

Get Professional Sounding Recording on Audacity

It took me a long time to learn how to put together great radio shows using the free program Audacity. I hope you can use the tips that I’ve picked up over the years. My earlier work isn’t nearly as polished as it should have been. These tips work!

Lessons We Can All Learn From Skateboarding

This TED talk is phenomenal! Dr Tae suggests that the educational system can learn a lot from skateboarding. Being an educator and a skateboarder, this video really spoke to me. But we can all learn from his advice and unique take on learning in the classroom.

The History of Women in Hip-Hop

I transcribed last year’s Women in Hip-Hop special. I used to transcribe all my radio shows but simply don’t have the time to do it any more. This one is a great show. You can download it for free, stream it, or read it. Enjoy!

Hip-Hop’s Better Half

We do have one. Females have been running this game for 100 years. I’m not exaggerating either. Click through to read the transcript or download the show and hear for yourself.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

5 April Fool’s Jokes to Play on Your Class

April Fools for SchoolsToday is April Fool’s Day and it’s a school day.

I know that a lot of teachers out there are dreading what might happen today. On a normal day, we can have our share of jokers in the class. This day can push them over the edge. So here is a game plan – get them before they get you.

The Prank Test 

I love pulling this one on my students. I make up a test of multiple choice, short answer, and word bank questions that have no right answer. I instruct the students to read every question before starting, making sure that the last question lets them in on the joke. Then I sit back and watch them squirm.

Morning Message

I’ve never tried this one but it seems like it would be fun. List all the students names on the board, and put random information next to each name – dates of no signfiicance, random letters of the alphabet (excluding A-F), compass directions etc.

Do not explain the list. If they ask you what it is, say, “I’ll explain after lunch.”

Send a Good Kid to the office

Prep a referral sheet with “April Fools”. Chew out a good-natured well behaved kid over something slight. Send them from the room, handing them the referral as he goes.

The Prank that Never Comes

Act like there’s a joke coming but never follow through with it. Mention the date a few times, look at the clock a lot, stop suddenly during a lesson and stare at the door, check you cell phone, and other such distractions.

Then don’t actually play a prank.

That’s Not My Name

When the first kid of the day calls out your name, tell the class, “That’s not my name. Come, on! We’ve been together this long and you still can’t remember my name!” Make up a name for yourself and totally pretend like that’s been your name the entire year.

Pretend it’s Halloween

Wear a Halloween costume and tell all the children they won’t get any candy this year because they didn’t dress up.

Do You Have Any Ideas?

That last one is absolutely hilarious. I don’t know if I could do that, but the thought of it has me laughing uncontrollably. If you have an idea you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.

Have fun and enjoy the day! 

Walkie-Talkies to Cell Phones

True Rescue Story from WWIIA small plan crashed in a very remote valley during World War II. The terrain made it very difficult to amass a rescue. In the meantime, an air drop was arranged to give the men and women much needed supplies to help them survive.

One of the most precious items in the cargo was “a portable FM radio that could be used to transmit and receive messages. It was almost certainly a rugged waterproof thirty-five pound two-way radio the size of a small suitcase.

Developed by Motorola for the Army Signal Corps, the device could be carried on a soldier’s back, hence its immortal nickname, the ‘walkie-talkie.’

Its design was a milestone that contributed to a revolution in portal wireless communication.”

Original Walkie Talkie

Imagine if technology hadn’t advanced in the past 50 years. These wireless communication devices have become incredibly compact since their development for the armed forces. Would people be walking around with cumbersome backpacks right now to stay connected.

Would the benefits of being connected outweigh the hassle of lugging around the cumbersome, original walkie-talkie?


I bet most people don’t realize that the cell phone in their pocket comes courtesy of the armed services. Without the army, we wouldn’t have had two-way wireless communication.

That’s something to think about.

WIHH4: Shay D of Lyrically Challenged

Shay DWe are celebrating International Women’s Day with our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular.

In this chapter of the show, I interview Shay D about her work with the Lyrically Challenged Collective, her solo work, her involvement in the hip-hop community, must-have rap records, and the issues involving women in hip-hop culture.

I also spin some of her great music, including . . .

Reverie and LC Collective – Calm Before the Storm
Lyrically Challenged – I Do It For Hip-Hop
Lyrically Challenged – Struggles
Shay D – A Year in My Thoughts

#WIHH4 coverage continues all week long right here. Come back tomorrow for Part 5.

You can download this show for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: Old School Hip-Hop Mix by Miss DJ

Miss DJMiss DJ is part of an all-female DJ crew based out of Sweden.

She is our special guest deejay for our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular.

I interview her and then she gets on the wheels of steel to drop an amazing mixset of old school and golden-era classics.

NWA – Express Yourself
KRS-One – Step into a World
Onyx – Slam Harder
Beatnuts – Off the Books
A Tribe Called Quest – Check the Rhime
Common – Inspiration
Pete Rock and CL Smooth – T.R.O.Y.
Mos Def – Ms Fat Booty
Little Brother – Speed
Jeru the Damaja – 99.9 Par Cent
J Dilla / Common – So Far to Go
O.C. – The Chosen One
L’il Kim – Crush on You
Gangstarr – Full Clip
Naughty by Nature – Feel Me Flow
Black Moon – I Gotcha Open
Method Man - Break Ups to Make Ups
AZ – Sugarhill
Ice Cube – Steady Mobbin’
Notorious B.I.G. – One More Chance

This is part of  #WIHH4 as we celebrate International Women’s Day by focusing on Hip-Hop’s Better Half.

You can download this show for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: Women in Hip-Hop Roundtable Discussion

WIHH RoundtableWelcome back to the 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Radio Spectacular.

Make sure you tune in to Silent Cacophony every day this week to catch all of the different segments from #WIHH4. Right now, we have an incredible discussion with a panel of hip-hop experts.

Our Panel Today

E-Turn is an emcee from Orlando, Florida.

Dessa is a emcee / singer / producer from Minneapolis and is part of Doomtree.

Reverie is an emcee from Los Angeles, California.

Lo-Do is a hip-hop journalist, CEO of Ashy to Jazzy Productions, and a drummer.

Highlights of our discussion

Here are some of the highlights of our discussion

00:00 – Introductions

02:30 – Do you identify yourself as a feminist?

05:30 – Roadblocks of being a female in a male-dominated art-form

11:00 – Gender roles in society

13:55 – Systematic degradation

16:50 – “Hip-Hop is not a positive environment for a young woman”

18:50 – Songwriting

20:00 – The term “Femcee”

30:00 – Music from E-turn “Come Close”

35:00 – Images of women

42:00 – How we got into hip-hop

49:10 – Paying dues

54:42 – Counting Bars

60:00 – Music from Reverie “Locks Without Keys”

63:00 – Top 20 Rappers (Lists are often devoid of female artists)

72:00 – Homophobic lyrics

74:38 – Lyrically Challenged Collective

77:25 – Women in other elements of hip-hop

80:00 – Final thoughts from the panelists

86:26 – Music from Dessa “Fighting Fish”

Download WIHH4 Roundtable Discussion or stream it with the player below.


Thanks for tuning in!

See you tomorrow for another installment on #WIHH4

WIHH4: Celebrating International Women’s Day – Hip-Hop Style

WIHH4 podcastWelcome to a very special edition of DOPEfm. For our seven hours of programming tonight we are shining a spotlight on the Women in Hip-Hop.

We are celebrating International Women’s Day like we do every single year. This is our 4th annual show and we have a lot of great content coming your way.

We have a roundtable discussion with Reverie, LoDo, E-Turn, and Dessa. It was an incredible discussion. You won’t want to miss it.

We have a spotlight with Rapsody. We talk to her and play some of her amazing music. We are going to have Dessa back on the program a little but later to do a spotlight on her as well.

We sit down with Shay D, all the way from the UK, for an in-depth interview. We play her music and talk about her work with Lyrically Challenged.

We have a guest DJ who will be dropping some old school classic hip-hop. It’s absolutely incredible what she does on the wheels of steel. Her name is Miss DJ and she is all the way from Sweden.

We have a Know Your History episode focusing on motherhood in hip-hop. We talk to some mothers who are also emcees about how they balance a rap career and a family. We will discuss some of the issues around touring and how difficult that can be when you have a family. It’s a thought-provoking hour of radio, that’s for sure.

I drop an hour-long mix of female-only hip-hop as well.

This is our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular. It grew out of a little seed of an idea about five years ago when I talked to Shad. I talked to him a few months back and this is what went down on that interview.

Chase: “You inspired me in a way that you probably wouldn’t even believe. Your track ‘Keep Shining’ and then talking to Eternia. Those two things gelled in my mind and set me on the path to feminism, believe it or not. That’s how our International Women’s Day show started and it’s become a yearly tradition now.”

Shad: “That’s awesome!”

Chase: “Keep Shining is an amazing track because quite often in rap we don’t see or hear women portrayed in such a positive light. It really is a shame too. We have some great talent and we have some great female talent. And sometimes that doesn’t get heard.”

That’s what this show is all about – exposing the talent in hip-hop’s better half.

Press play or Download WIHH 4 – Part A

This is the first of 8 parts. Remember to come back tomorrow to get the next installment of this groundbreaking radio program.

Thanks for listening!

Share this on Twitter with the hashtag #WIHH4

Lip Sync Battle

Radio DJ, Mastermind, shared this on Twitter the other day.


I clicked through because it seemed like such an interesting concept. A Lip Sync Battle? I’ve heard of dance battles, beatbox battles, and freestyle rap battles. But a lip sync battle, really?

As I watched the video, the teacher in me immediately saw the educational benefits of trying this in the classroom.

1) It would be a lot of fun.

2) It works on the performance aspect of singing without needing the chops to pull it off.

3) The competitive part will have the audience invested.

4) We could use this as a reward / fun day to entice the students to do their classwork.

I think I am going to try this out. I’ll let you know how it goes in an upcoming Teaching Tip Tuesday post.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – great tips, tricks, lessons, resources, and inspiration every week!

DJing Is Child’s Play

Who says that it doesn’t take talent and effort to be a hip-hop DJ?

DJ Nu-mark makes it all look like child’s play in this clip (and I’m not just saying that because he is using preschool toys to create this incredible turntablist routine)

He makes is look easy, but it really isn’t.

This is talent, skill, practice, and hard work paying off.

I love this routine!

Access: 88 HIPHOP

88 HIPHOP was definitely ahead of its time. It was one of the first Internet hip-hop shows.

When it started, I wasn’t even online at the time. It began as a radio show that was available through the phone lines only. It quickly moved to video and had some very historic broadcasts since its 1996 debut.

Today, we talk to the founder of the hip-hop media conglomerate. Without further ado, here is our interview with Randy of 88 HIPHOP.

Journey to Rainbow Island – Book Giveaway


Journey to Rainbow Island by Christie Hsiao

I was approached by the publisher of this book to do a review of the novel and a giveaway on my blog. The press release sounded interesting, so I agreed. Unfortunately, the novel didn’t live up to that potential.

The story revolves around an eleven year old girl. She lives on Rainbow island, a magical place where there seems to be an abundance of love and where people are able to talk to animals. Despite this, she is skilled with a bow and arrow.

Meanwhile, an evil wizard has conjured up a dragon-like creature and is slowly turning the world into a dark and miserable place. It turns out that the young girl is, in fact, a Darq Render, and the only person capable of defeating the dragon and foiling the evil wizard’s plan.

I had a really hard time getting through the entire book. The characters seemed quite flat. The hero was impossibly sweet and innocent, and the story was way too preachy. It never really captured my interest or attention.

While this book is a fantasy, it really seemed to be a veiled advertisement for Christian living. It almost hits you over the head with the tenants of faith, belief, and love for thy neighbour. It never really comes out and says these things, which almost makes it worse.

There was one scene in the first third of the book that I was able to get into, but it seemed to be a stand-alone story. That happened three times within this novel too. Things just didn’t connect the way they should have.

I struggled to get through the entire book. I wanted to put it down several times. But since I was expected to blog about it and offer this giveaway, I stuck with it hoping it would get better. It didn’t.

I realize that I am probably not selling you on this book. That being said, a young Christian girl might be able to get into the story and enjoy it. I can’t see it appealing to anyone else, however.

If I haven’t scared you away, you can enter for your chance to win a copy of this hardcover.

Enter the Book Giveaway Contest

1) Twitter – tweet this message

I just entered for a chance to win a copy of the book “Journey to Rainbow Island” from @chasemarch on

2) Facebook  - post a similar message to the one above. Make sure you tag me in the message.

3) Leave a Comment below 

I have two copies of the book to giveaway and will randomly pick two winners from everyone who shares this post on Twitter or Facebook. This contest is open to Canada / USA residents only.

Good luck!

My List of 2014 Reads – with links to every title I read this year.