Monthly Archives: November 2008

Stress, Perception, and Reality

I have been under a lot of stress this year. I thought I knew how to write good report cards. I’ve done it enough times over the years. The problem is that each principal has his or her own ideas of what they want to see on these things. I had an idea of what my principal wanted this year and I tried my best to write good report cards. I handed them in and waited for her response.

My principal wanted me to change a few things on the report cards. This is normal, but I struggled all week over some of the changes she wanted me to make.

The principal didn’t tell me to change my grades but she suggested that the kids were a bit higher than I had given them credit for.

I know where my students are at academically. All of my marks are well-documented and can be backed up using the curriculum and supporting documents. My comments reflected what the students know and what they need to work on to improve their marks and further their academic success.

Yeah my expectations are high, but I am following the curriculum and supporting documents.
I know that some of my students are going to feel like their grades have taken a dive. I know that I will have to battle that perception. I knew that a month ago.

The principal has a lot of things to account for. If the marks are low, the perception might be that the teacher and principal are not doing their jobs. But the truth is, there is a lot more to education than the school. I’ve written about this a lot here on this blog.

I thought about changing my grades because of this perception but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t, in good conscience, inflate the grades. I changed the comments as my principal had suggested. They now sound a little more positive and not so blunt; that is a good thing. But I left the grades the same.

I hope that my marks will wake up some of my students and their parents. My students should have higher marks. They should be achieving more at school. But the problem is that they need to put in the effort and they need to work harder at home and at school. They need support at home and they need to be independent learners.

Hopefully the reality of this will sink in this year. Hopefully I won’t be battling a perception over the next few months. But I’m not sure.

Report cards are done, my stress level is down for the moment. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens during parent interviews next week.

Inspiration From Television


I really enjoyed watching Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0 on DVD this week. The shows is really well done. It is brilliantly writing and acted, and has a lot of suspense and action. (If you haven’t seen this show yet, there are spoilers ahead.)

Science fiction is great for shining a light on real life situations that we face every day. Now a dark series about war with sentient robotic lifeforms might not seem like it could shine a light on any important issues, but it does. The show is smart.

One scene in particular has really stuck with me this past week. I think we can all learn something from it.

The chief mechanic is working on one of the fighter ships. He puts on a sticker on it that it is “unserviceable scrap.” A captain comes up to him and tells him how important it is that the ship be fixed soon. The key context here is that they are running out of supplies and everyone is weary and tired of their situation in space.

Captain: “Damn it. I need that ship online.”

Chief: “What can I tell ya captain. Engine mounts are shot, cockpit seals are cracked. If it were a horse, I’d shoot it.

Captain: “Chief, come on, work with me here. I need your help.”

Chief: “What’d ya want me to do? Work my crew to death?”

Captain: “No, just do you’re best. Nobody’s expecting any miracles here.”

Chief “Maybe that’s the problem.”

The chief then gets the idea to build a new fighter on his off-duty time. His crew thinks he’s crazy and doesn’t support him at first. He goes ahead and does it anyway, all by himself. He’s overworked, his crew is overworked but the project becomes something that energizes the crew. They come together and get it done.

This is inspirational to me. It makes me think that we can all accomplish great things. This chief went above and beyond the call of duty. He did something that wasn’t expected but that was truly needed and useful. I think if we examine our lives, we can do the same thing at home, at the workplace, or in the community. I’ve already got a few ideas kicking around in my head. Maybe we can all create little miracles.

TV on DVD

I am lucky enough to live a few blocks away from a branch of the public library. It certainly came in handy last week during the huge snowstorm. School was cancelled and I wasn’t going to drive anywhere.

I felt like I needed the break and I just wanted to relax and watch some television.

I only get a few channels on my rabbit ears and daytime programming leaves much to be desired. I have a few DVDs but not many. So I bundled up and took a stroll to the library.

I like to browse through the DVDs at the library.

A month or so ago I noticed that they started to carry some television series. I already own a few of my favourites but it is nice to be able to watch some other shows now without having to buy them.

There is one series in particular that I have wanted to watch for a while. I used to watch the old series with my dad a long time ago. I watched the reworked mini-series on television a few years ago and it was pretty good. But then I got rid of my cable and only managed to watch a few episodes of season one.

So when I saw Battlestar Galactica 2.0 on the shelf, I got really excited. I knew that I’d be missing a bit of the story line but I figured I’d be able to catch up and enjoy the DVD collection. The cool thing was that every episode started with a small recap of what had already happened in the series. It was easy to catch up on and enjoy.

I must say, the second season was awesome. The only bad thing was that it is continued on another DVD set, Season 2.5. I tell ya, I’m hungry for more. I can’t wait until the next half of the season is available so I can watch it.

I’ve heard good things about this series for a while now. I’m just glad that I’ll be able to watch it all now, even without cable. It just might take me a while to track down all the other discs to borrow. But I will. I just don’t want to wait. When I find something I like, I can tend to get a bit obsessed about it.

What’s It Mean?


I’ve picked up a few stock phrases that my dad always used to use when I was a kid. I’ve done the same thing with my some of my grandpa’s phrases. I never thought twice about what some of those phrases meant. They just sounded cool and it spewed them out with pride.

When I was a teenager, I realized that some phrases that people say all the time are offensive. Like my grandpa used to say,

“Wait a cotton-picking moment.”

This is a racist slur. It goes back to the slaves working in the fields. Fortunately this phrase has fallen out of common usage and I only used it a few times when I was younger before I realized that it was not appropriate.

My dad used to say.

“For crying out loud!”

I still say this one all the time. I don’t even know what it really means. So I just looked it up.

This is what I found,

“for crying out loud: An ejaculation,usually indicating complaint or astonishment. Many of the users of this expression would be shocked to learn that it is in the category known as a minced oath; that is,a substitute based on, but slightly different from a profanity.”

– from the book “Heavens to Betsy” that has curious sayings in them.

It seems that this saying is also based on a bad word.

I think that there is a place for euphemisms, but not all of them. We need to understand when a phrase is hurtful of based on something hurtful. We should try to stop using these phrases.

I know that I try not to swear. I don’t take the Lords name in vain. I don’t say cotton-picking anymore but I still say for crying out loud. I think that one is tame and harmless these days, but maybe I am wrong there too.

How about you, what phrases do you find yourself saying that you don’t really know what they mean. Please share them in the comments. I will try to find the etymology of them for all of us.

Computer Attacks!

I’ve been getting some really annoying pop-ups lately. I think I know why but I have no idea how to stop them.

I’ve run several virus scans. I’ve deleted all unnecessary files on my computer. I’ve searched the add or remove programs function from the control panel and couldn’t find anything suspicious.

Yet I keep getting pop-ups that read “System Alert: Malware threats” or “Warning: Your computer might be infected with a backdoor Trojan that allows the remote attacker to perform various malicious actions.”

I get pop-ups that look like they are running a virus scan. They then urge me to download anti-virus software.

I’ve been using AVG 8.0 and I have never had any problems with viruses. My computer isn’t slowing down. Nothing else seems to be happening. I think the virus here is trying to trick me into downloading it. I’m not going to.

This problem seems to have started when I tried to catch up on an episode of Eli Stone I missed last week. American networks don’t allow Canadian access to their streams. Some blogs have links to streaming episodes and I searched and searched and still couldn’t find one that would work. I found one but it asked me to run an active control or something like that. I did. The video still didn’t work. I knew I made a mistake.

I’ve been careful about my online activities. I hope I haven’t given someone access to my computer and files.

The surprising thing is that the virus scan I keep running scans through close to 500,000 objects. I don’t know how computers work but I don’t understand how there can be so many things on my computer.

AVG has found a few trojans and suspicious cookies. But I’m still getting these pop-ups. I don’t know what else to do. Should I upgrade and buy the full version or should I just keep ignoring the pop-ups.

Any ideas here. Thanks!

Say No to Gift Cards


Gift cards seem to be all the rage these days. Retailers seem to have convinced us that they are the way to go.

They make a lot of sense. If you don’t know what to buy for someone, get them a gift card. It’s quick and easy and it shows that you put some thought into the gift (although not a lot)

Here’s why you shouldn’t buy gift cards.

You are giving money to a store or franchise for absolutely no reason

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just give cash to the person instead? Why should you give it to a store for the promise of a future purchase? Do you know that a lot of people forget about their gift cards after a while? There are a huge number of gift cards that never get redeemed. The stores know this. They are making lots of money off of us for nothing.

Some gift cards have hidden fees

The credit card companies have gotten into this game now. Since financial institutions are not stores they can charge all sorts of extra fees. Beware of these fees because you are not only wasting your money but the money you wanted to give to someone special.

You are being controlling

If you want to buy someone a gift that you know they would enjoy, do so. If you absolutely can’t think of a suitable gift, give them cash instead. It doesn’t limit them in what they can do with the money you have given them, and I’m sure it will be more appreciated than a silly piece of plastic.

Gift cards are not a good idea

It’s time we woke up and stopped buying these things. The only winners in the sale of gift cards are the stores we purchase them from. We are basically advertising for the store, among many other things we probably haven’t even thought about.
What do you think about gift cards? Leave your comment below.

Life Gives Us What We Need

I have not been feeling one hundred percent this week. I’ve had a scratchy throat and that is usually the first sign that I am coming down with something. I have been quite tired too. I’ve been going to bed early and drinking lots of orange juice to stave off a cold.

I thought about taking today off as a sick day. I felt like I needed the time to kick back and take it easy. I had a sink full of dishes. I needed to finish my report cards. I need to write next week’s lesson plans. But all I wanted to do was lay down on the couch, cover myself up with a blanket, and watch some TV.

I looked in all the classrooms yesterday to see if the supply teacher who covered my class last time I had a workshop was in our school. If she was there, I was determined to ask her to come in for me today.

It turned out that there was only one supply teacher in the whole school yesterday and I didn’t know her. I decided not to ask her. I figured that I could survive the rest of the week at work and rest up on the weekend.

I got to school this morning and was met right away by the janitor and the principal. They had just made the decision to close to school because of the inclement weather. I went to my classroom and finished off my report cards. I printed them off and handed them into the principal.

This took me about an hour to do. By that time, there were only three of us left in the school and we were all advised to go home before the weather got worse.

So now I am home. I have been for nearly two hours now. The dishes are done. The report cards are done. And I now get the day to kick back and relax.

I’m sure glad I didn’t use a sick day today.

Things have a tendency to work out.

Life gives us what we need.

I’m glad the universe works like this.

I needed this break.

Bush Babees

I used to tape music videos when I was younger. I made several Beta tape collections of great rap videos. Those tapes are long gone. But thanks to YouTube we can still watch some old classic rap videos.

Today, I wanted to look back at one of favourite groups of the 90s. They only put out two albums but they are both classics and still get a lot of play from me.

The first video here is from their first album and the next one is from their second album.

Enjoy!

Feel Good Interpretation

I am trying to write a blog entry while Jeopardy is on the television behind me.

I am only half paying attention to the Teen Tournament because my time is awfully short these days. I would like to be watching the show and giving it my undivided attention but I can’t. I don’t have any entries pre-written for the week. I need to get back to report cards soon. I haven’t checked my email all day long. I’m starting to get a bit frustrated that my to-do list is so long.

And then the television calls for my attention. It’s a commercial and not a category that I could whip through on Jeopardy. But it is worth my attention.

A Tuba starts off playing a familiar tune. Other people join in the song playing several different instruments or non-instruments. It’s one of those feel good Christmas commercials. And this one hooks me.

I recognize the song right away but it takes my attention to totally recall it. Then I remember.

Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite.

What a great mix of the song too. It isn’t just lifted from the album either. It is a new interpretation of a ninety’s classic. I really love how this commercial sounds and flows. It’s a refreshing change from commercials just stealing and ruining old songs.

It was a nice pick me up after a long and tiring day.

NaRepCarWritMo

I wish I had the time to work on a novel right now. I would love to be part of the National Novel Writing Month. I have been working on something probably just as huge as a novel though. I’ve been putting a lot of work into these things too. They will be published and scrutinized over as well. They will be read by anxious children and nervous parents.

Give up?

They are the first-term report cards.

It sure is a lot of work writing report cards. It doesn’t seem to matter how many years you have done them either. They are always time-intensive affairs.

The worst part about report cards is that they really miss the point. I can’t say exactly what I want to say because they have to go through specific channels and filters. Each principal has his or her own idea of what the report cards should look like.

It is almost universal now that the report cards be positively worded. I always make sure to say something positive in every comment but the truth is, there are some negatives that need to be highlighted.

Parents and students need to know what they need to work on to become better students and raise their grades. I can tell them these things in no uncertain terms. No I can’t. I’m not allowed. I need to be flowery and say nothing.

Report cards suck!

I wish I was writing a novel instead. In fact, I feel like I am writing creatively with some of the comments I have been writing. I wish I could share them with you but they are a private government document. So I’d better not.

Creative Insight

At my previous we used to have a sceince room. There were a lot of materials there for the teachers to use in their science program. It was great. Unfortunately my new school just doesn’t seem to have the same resources available. Each teacher has his or her own materials but we don’t have a bank of stuff that is easily accessible. Too bad.

Yesterday, I wanted to teach a lesson about the properties of light. I taught this same lesson last year and it was a success. I needed three flashlights and three sheets of acetate. I had the flashights but no acetate. I figured I’d probably be able to get some so I didn’t worry about it too much. Until I realized that I had to teach the lesson today and I still didn’t have the materials.

I went around asking the other teachers if they had any acetate for me to borrow. I needed a sheet of green, red, and blue to colour the light coming from each flashlight. It’s a great lesson and I really wanted to show the class the primary colours of light. Of course, no one had any.

I tried painting an overhead transparency with the three colours but it didn’t work. I tried using a tupperware lid but that also didn’t work. I was running out of ideas and thought I’d have to change my lesson. My class was in gym and I had a prep period. I tried to think of another lesson dealing with the properties of light that I could come up with in the five minutes or so I had left of my planning time. I looked at the class and was disgusted that some people had not cleared off their desks before going to gym. I picked up a student’s blue duotang notebook and threw it to the side. And then it hit me.

I got some creative insight and solved my problem. The lesson would go forward as planned. The solution was in front of me all day. I just didn’t see it.

I quickly turned off the lights. I shone a flashlight through the transluscent blue report cover and it cast a blue light. I was so glad that I had bought the students plastic duotangs colour-coded for each subject. I had blue for science, red for language arts, and green for math. Perfect substitute for acetate.

We did the experiment and the kids really enjoyed it. At the end we make white light by focusing all three coloured beams on one spot. It looked kind of like this.

Cool, eh?

Fundraising in Schools

There are quite a few fundraising efforts happening at my school. Several teachers had started initiatives to raise money for field trips. As it stands there are about five classes involved in their own seperate fundraisers.

I don’t know why but this really rubs me the wrong way.

I just don’t feel like school is the place for extensive fundraising activities. It would be different if the entire school was involved in one project to raise money for a new playground or equipment that was needed for our school. I would whole-heartedly support such an initiative. But that isn’t what is happening.

I also don’t like being asked by members of every class to participate in their fundraiser. I don’t have much money as is. I like to help people out, and I already have, but I can’t continue to do so. And it seems that the demand for my money is only getting compounded daily.

I understand that some teachers have great ideas for field trips that will benefit the students. I understand that we don’t really get enough money from the school to make these trips a reality. I understand that fundraising is not seen as a bit deal and it is accepted. However, I feel uncomfortable asking parents for any money.

I want to take my kids on a field trip but I am going to try to find something in the area that can be done on budget. If the trip ends up costing each student a couple of dollars extra, I will just charge them that. I know that some parents won’t be able to afford five dollars for a trip. But I think I can donate that for two or three students if need be, and if it turns out half the class doesn’t pay, I’ll just cough up the money anyway. I think this can be a solution that we should all be comfortable with in my class.

This way I don’t have to feel guilty for asking for anyone else’s money. I can keep the gambling-type fundraisers out of my class and I can feel comfortable not donating to every initiative that comes around.

Running Through the Cemetery

The other day, I decided to run through a cemetery. I’ve run past it several times but I have never stepped foot in it. It’s not that cemeteries creep me out either. I just didn’t think it would be right. But for some reason, last week I decided that it would be okay if I explored this uncharted territory.

It was an early afternoon last Saturday. The streets seemed quiet and empty. It was cool and people seemed to be elsewhere. So I thought it would be okay.

I ran through the majestic looking gates and immediately felt like I was in a different world. This cemetery had an old world feel to it. There were some very tall and old looking monuments. I should’ve stopped to check the dates on the stones but I kept running.

I stayed on the road that winded through the place. It felt more like a walking path though. It was quiet and peaceful and it felt okay to be running there. I think I spoke aloud to the resting souls there. I thought that they might actually like the company.

It only took me about five minutes to run through this small neighbourhood cemetery. I then ran toward the small trail I usually run and wrapped up a nice six kilometre route.

After my run, I had second thoughts about what I had done. It seemed innocent enough to me. But then I thought what if someone was visiting a loved one and saw me run by. Would they have seen it as disrespectful? I then imagined that someone might think it was nice that I was sharing the space with their loved one.

What do you think? Is it disrespectful to run through a cemetery? Should I try it again or give it up?

Observe Today – Don’t Just Pass It By


It doesn’t feel right not going into school this morning. I can’t understand why we all have the day off. And everyone I’ve talked to can’t seem to understand why I’d argue against having a day off. I have my reasons though and I don’t think I am the only one. At least, I hope not.

First off, Remembrance Day is a solemn day that I feel needs to be observed. Having today as a holiday lessens the chance that it will be. I know that many of my students do not plan to attend the ceremony at the Cenotaph this morning. I urged them to go or at least watch coverage of it (or any other ceremony) on TV.

One of the other teachers also mentioned it to my class yesterday. Instead of teaching his usual lesson to the class, he took the time to explain the importance of this day. He had the students make cards to bring with them tomorrow to the community’s ceremony. Most of the kids told him that they weren’t going. One kid threw his hands in the air to proclaim that he was going to the movies. I just shook my head.

My second reason for not wanting a holiday on this day is that many people will be out and about doing all sorts of things. It will be a day of early Christmas shopping, going to the movies, and wasting time. Many people won’t even stop to observe a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. The point of the holiday will be lost.

I remember the school assemblies I had as a kid. I remember the moment of silence. I remember how my teachers made a big deal out of it all. I understood the importance of it. I actually liked observing the day. When I got out of school, I made it a point to go downtown and observe the ceremony at Gore Park, and I still do.

We are slowly losing our veterans. We need to honour them with this day. We need to remember their sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice of their friends. We need to observe this day and not just let it pass us by.

Better Spent?

I’m not a big fan of politics. Never have been. I just see all the money that is spent on these things and think that maybe it could have been better spent.

I must admit that I don’t really get the whole American way of doing things. The election took two years to come to fruition. Two years of multiple candidates. Two years of advertisements, lawn signs, and campaign tours for multiple candidates. Two months or so of the final stretch race. Extra money spent. Billions probably.

I don’t understand why all of this is necessary. The Canadian way of doing things is a lot quicker, a bit less expensive and a lot less complicated. But even that eats up money like crazy.

Just think of what good this money could have done if it had been spread around. I mean, isn’t there a more cost effective way of electing our governments? There has to be.

I hasten to compare electing officials to the rap music industry but I am going to try anyway. There are some brilliant acts that have managed to sell a lot of units with no airplay and very little promotion. How did this happen? Word of mouth and quality of character and product. Can’t politicians be more like musicians this way?

I’ll admit that is argument is a bit absurd. I just don’t like to see all this waste. There are so many people that go without things in this world. We have everything here in our two countries. Can’t we spread some of that wealth around and still run our countries much the same way? I think we can.

Perhaps it is time to overhaul our way of electing officials. We are amidst changing times. So let’s change.

Should Santa Come to Dad’s?


I want to throw this one out there for your consideration.

I know a lot of fathers have a hard time making ends meet. Getting to see the kids on the weekends is an expensive deal. The kids have to have all sorts of things at both places. Entertaining the kids also eats up whatever money hasn’t been paid to their mother via child support. So what is a dad to do?

Should Santa come to dad’s house too? I’m only asking because I know a few people going through this for the first time this season. Money is tight for a lot of people right now. So is it okay just to have a small Christmas with your kids where all the gifts are from dad? Or should there be a gift from Santa in the mix as well?

There aren’t going to be many gifts under the tree this year. I expect it will be that way in a lot of households. But I believe in the power of Christmas. It’s an important time for every child.

This is a delicate issue. Please weigh in and let me know what you think.

Out For Blood

I love my job. I really do. And I’m good at it. I get the kids in my class to work with each other, to cooperate, and show respect. I challenge them to live up to their own potential, to do their work, and always try their best.

I haven’t had a day in my teaching career that I’ve dreaded going into work. That’s an amazing feeling. That’s how I know this is what I am meant to do.

Sounds good so far, right? Right!

The problem is that some parents are quick to jump to conclusions, especially about a male teacher. They assume that we are more strict and threatening than our female colleagues. This is unfair and untrue.

Twice so far this year, I have had run-ins with parents who felt I bullied their child. It’s such a ridiculous claim that I have to contain my laughter at school. I built my classroom atmosphere on mutual respect. I don’t put up with bullying by my students, I defend them from bullying whenever I see it and never turn a blind eye, and I definitely don’t bully them.

I tried my best to get these parents on my side. I could tell in the first incident that it wasn’t going to happen. She was just mad at everything and I was an unfair target. The principal even told me such. Well now, these two parents have joined forces and are out for blood.

I don’t really know what to do. I feel powerless. I need to be able to do my job to the best of my abilities. I need the power to make decisions in my classroom and not fear how they may be perceived by a parent.

I don’t think that these parents even listen to their children. I have built a good rapport with these kids. That should speak for itself.

When we went through the school’s haunted house last week, my students were all clinging on to me. The student in question here even held my hand through it and squeezed it when she got a bit scared. She even invited me to eat lunch with her yesterday. She answers questions and participates all the time in class discussions. This doesn’t sound like a kid who is scared or threatened by me, does it?

So I’m the unfair target here. I can feel the bullseye painted on me. It follows me all the time now. My only option is to ignore it and just continue to do my job. The sad thing is that anyone who really wants blood can find a way to extract it, one way or the other. I hope I’m not about to be anyone’s prey.

Where Are Your Priorities?

Our Halloween celebrations at school last week were something else. They started after lunch with a costume parade. The entire school took part in it. Some parents even came with costumes. After that, we went over to “the haunted house” that some parent volunteers had set up. It was nice to see parents in the school and contributing to something.

Several of my students’ parents came into the class to drop off treats. This was the first time that I had really seen any of them since the BBQ night we had at the start of the year. Quite frankly I was really surprised to see them since I didn’t ask anyone to bring in treats. I had actually downplayed the whole party all week.

So I saw all these parents coming to school on Halloween day and taking a great interest in the happenings at the school. Yet, all I could think was, where are these parents every other day? Why don’t they come and show support for their child’s learning? I mean, where exactly are their priorities?

I’m sick and tired of parents acting like their children’s education isn’t important. They treat school like a glorified babysitting service. They bring in treats and smile. It’s all phony-baloney.

I want and need the support of the parents in my program and I don’t get it. Where exactly are the parents? Don’t they care?

It seems that the sad answer is NO! And that really is a shame.

Many of the students in my class are working below grade level. Many of my students should be reading texts at a higher level. They should be writing more detailed and complex paragraphs. They should be better problem solvers at math. Quite frankly, they should be better students. However, this is not completely their fault.

Parents who don’t take an active interest in their child’s education are actually sending them a message that school isn’t important. This is the wrong message. I know that some parents didn’t really enjoy school and have some issues surrounding how they were treated as students. But education has changed leaps and bounds since then.

School is more than a babysitting service. I am a qualified professional that cares about your child’s education. Do you? Or do you just care that they have some sugary snacks and have a good time?

It makes me not want to have any more parties at all in my class. Of course, that would be just as wrong. I just wish I knew a way to communicate this frustration to the parents. I’ve tried and I’ve kind of given up on it. Maybe I just need to try harder. Truth is, I really don’t know what to do about it. I wish I did.

Clock’s Outta Sync

For some reason I woke up an hour early yesterday. I looked at the clock and it read 06:15 hrs. I tried to go back to sleep but it just wasn’t happening. I was wide awake. I decided to get up early so I could get some work done before school.

I must admit that it was a pretty productive morning. I got a lot of work done before the school buses came in and the day began.

I overheard the bus driver talking to another teacher about how they were both up early today too. Up until that moment, I hadn’t thought much about it. But it was a strange coincidence, all three of us being up early.

The culprit?

Daylight Savings Time.

I have written on here before about my internal clock. I haven’t needed an alarm clock for years. I still set it though, just in case. But I always wake up before it goes off.

Anyway, I set all my clocks in the house back an hour but I don’t know how to set my internal clock back. It still woke me up at the right time. It did it again this morning too.

I know my clock will readjust soon. It’s just a bit annoying. The media tells us that we got an extra hour of sleep on the weekend. I sure didn’t. I feel more tired than usual this morning.

A Wrong Can’t Be Right, Can it?

Most people know the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes we find ourselves doing things that we know in our hearts are wrong, but we can easily justify our actions.

The problem is that we can rationalize anything. We’ve gotten quite good at it too.

I should know. I find myself doing things that are wrong but giving myself a reason as to why it is okay in my circumstance. It seems I’m not alone in this.

I’ve been thinking about it since last week when I read a column by Jeffrey Seglin.

It was an interesting piece that tackled this very subject. Seglin’s readers told him that even though they knew some given actions were wrong, they planned to continue doing them.

So he asked the question, “Do these people really think what they are doing is wrong? If they did, they’d be compelled to stop.”

So here are the things that I have done even though I knew they were wrong.

1) I have copied complete albums from friends.

IT’S OKAY – at least my friend bought it. The artist still gets supported. And if I really like it, I’ll buy it too. Maybe.

2) I have photocopied teaching resources before.

IT’S OKAY – I buy lots of resources for my class. It’s for the benefit of my students. I can’t afford to buy all the things I need for my class. If I use it a lot, I”ll buy it one day. Maybe.

AM I COMPELLED TO STOP?

I must admit that I don’t copy books as much as I used too. But if a good resource does come along, I will probably still copy it. As for music, sorry I tried. I just can’t seem to stop.

Does this make me a bad person? Is it okay to admit to doing something wrong? Or is the admission completely pointless and worthless because the action is the only thing that counts. A wrong is a wrong is a a wrong. Right?

I hate to admit it but I think Seglin might be right. What do you think?