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Musings and Meanderings

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Radio Shack

Starting Radio Shack today. Again. So the night job is set. Now for the day job.

Until then I may be able to work out with the Manager FT hours. It will be 2nd shift so to speak, i.e. I'll be closing, but it will help.

This year due to changes in the compensation plan coming in January and mandates for more staff I will probably be able to stay on in the same store next year.
posted by Mike 10:38 AM

Saturday, September 24, 2005

One of the things I like about Alex the person

He is not afraid to try things even if risky.

Three good examples.

Last night even though he knew no one from going, he showered and got dressed for the Dance over at LaSalle. Now admittedly when we got there it was obvious he was under dressed and might have been the youngest person there if he had stayed. But he tried.

Few weeks ago he came home and announced he was running for Student Senate. (Student Council). He made signs, and wrote a speech (which we helped on). Eventually he lost, but he tried.

Round that same time, he came home and announced he was running cross country. He has been practicing after school so I figured he would be in good shape for the next meet. For whatever reason he was gassed from the warm ups and finished dead last by at least 10 min. He didn't give up. In fact he said he impressed the older guys by not quitting.

None of these things were pushed on him. Even though he finished so far behind he's not even thinking of quitting Xcountry. This shows me a very good character.
posted by Mike 5:31 PM

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ok lets do the Math

Sept 23 2005 MINUS Sept 23 1961 makes....

Oh dear...

Now I know why people start counting backwards at 40.

"4 4 4 4 lets sing a song of 4.. how many is 4??"

4 and 4 doesn't make 8 it makes me



Send money.
posted by Mike 7:01 AM

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Right makes me ill

As the Righeous Right at the top accuse the Left of bending the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina to "political purposes" the Right wing Bloggers and Spurious E-Mail creators are haveing a field day with bogus claims and unsubstanciated rumour.

I just spent about 15 min here at the Snopes Site regarding Hurricane Katrina and I urge you to take the time as well.

Amidst the funny pictures and amusing anectdotes seems to run a sick undercurrent of racist slurring (often citing Fox News as a source). Admittedly not all the racial slurring is from the right, as evidenced in the "looting" vs "finding" pics that I'm sure you all have seen. However I think you will find as I did an appalling attitude in many of these so called "personal accounts".

In another small way it just reinforces my beliefs that the rank and file Right Winger is just another angry white person who hates any one that doesn't look like him/her or have the "decency" to live in a nice neighborhood and have a good job.

It's also another symptom, if one can call it that, of the quiet back water goings on that you do not see from day to day in the newspapers. This goes back to the Bush election in 2004 in a way. The reason the Pollsters were wrong, is that they missed this quiet yet extreemly powerful communication tool (emails to the faithful, Right Wing Blogs etc) that really got out the vote for the Right in '04.

If the Left doesn't wake up and smell the (place appropriate morning beverage here) pretty soon, they will be swamped again in 06 and 08. I'd never call for the horrid racially slurring tactics of the Right, but I hope the Left can see it's way through to being more connected in the years to come.
posted by Mike 7:11 AM

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Job Opportunities

Radio Shack has called me back, though I do need to go back through the motions of being hired, Alex at Colonie Center has assured me a place PT eve's and weekends at his store, same as last year.

Staffing Manager interview on Thu for AccounTemps went well I think. It's a two week process for one open spot. I am not on the inside track because I don't have an accounting background, but my sales background was apparently impressive to the interviewing manager.

I have some apps in at RPI in their developement departments: Advancement Officer and Administrative Specialist-Annual & Major Gifts . I went to HR on Thu to see if I could shake the tree but no joy. I now have the address' of the two Development offices and I may cold call them on Monday to see if I can shake the tree.

Also Thu I registered with Adecco (this site is cheesy) and jumped through their hoops. Scored very high on thier MS Office tests, 95th percential. After they check my referrences they will be forwarding my resume to two opportunities they have FT which pay 11-15/hr and sound interesting.

Last but certainly not least, I have put in applications for substituting in the two school districts close to home, Lansingburgh and Troy. Problem is I don't think that they will respond fast enough, and I do need to be working FT Asap.

Below this entry is the "essay" I wrote for the substitute applications.

The days off are numbered, finally!
posted by Mike 1:01 PM

Friday, September 16, 2005

Why I want to Substitute

an essay submitted to the School Districts with my applications

Attached is my application for substitute teacher in your school district. Hopefully I have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s.

Essay questions were always my favorite part of any test. No really.

You have asked me basically why I wish to substitute. Specifically you have asked for me to outline some of my goals, aspirations and philosophy of teaching, and any special experience that I will bring to the classroom.

But no doubt you have also looked over my application and realized I have not one minute of teaching experience. Not one hour of post BA classroom setting after I graduated from Pitzer. Consequently I cannot provide a list of anyone under whom I have taught, although I have provided a short list of people who can attest to my good character and work ethic from other fields.

So why would you then allow me to, even if briefly, affect the minds and attitudes of the next generation?

For me the answer is simple. I was born to teach. However, for the last 20 years I have been in the private sector in sales and management. What sort of experience have I gathered in those 20 years that can apply to the classroom?

Certainly there are techniques in both time and human management that will apply neatly in the classroom. Many hours teaching sales techniques and seminars have given me a background in speaking to a large group, be it adults or children. My extra curricular activities as a coach for Lansingburgh AYSO soccer and an assistant scoutmaster for our local Boy Scout troop have shown me how different working with children is than with adults. 20+ years of Public Speaking, be it in a one to one at home sale, presentation to a board of directors, or the local soccer team has developed my skills to keep the audience interested.

This year I stepped off that treadmill and decided to re-evaluate what impact I am having on the community, and the future. I don’t know how often you have had a prospective candidate tell you this: but for years now my friends, close co-workers and family have said to me: “Mike you should be teaching”. So I wish to try. Should I find that this difficult yet rewarding job is something I take to, I aspire to go forward and get my credentials and then my Masters.

We all had teachers that inspired us in our past. And we have all had teachers that we disliked for one reason or another. I think the difference between the two comes down to passion. One thing I have is an abiding passion for teaching. In my professional career I have nearly always taken training responsibility when asked or required. My time as a coach and assistant scoutmaster are all about teaching the skills unique to each field.

Passion for inspiring the minds of the next generation is so important. Teaching those minds how to be analytical and focused while still being creative is the foremost challenge to our society today. Perhaps there is a post graduate class in the “philosophy of teaching” and various schools of thought that I am not aware of. For me however this is what it boils down to. Be passionate. Inspire minds. Work with the high achievers and slow starters in equal effort.

Now I realize that all this sounds a bit starry eyed, and in today’s environment of No Child Left Behind and aptitude tests it may seem far fetched. But I do believe that this type of thinking can enliven any classroom. Studies have shown again and again that a lively classroom is a successful classroom. For the day, or the week that I am allowed to sit with your children and move them along in their lessons, I will bring this philosophy to life as best I can.

So what can I teach? Well anything barring HS level Calculus really. However most of my areas of study have been in the social sciences. I have a double BA in Psychology and Economics from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges. My avocation is reading American and European History, as well as other literature. All my life I have been an avid reader. Most of all though I feel I have a sharp keen mind and can ably pick up midstream any classroom lesson and bring them along for the day or week. Most importantly not leave them in a heap for the regular teacher to walk in on the next day.

I realize that this small essay is much more than you asked for on your application, but with absolutely zero in class experience, I felt that this might open the door to further interviews and more importantly the opportunity to be invited to the classroom to substitute.
posted by Mike 1:24 PM

Monday, September 12, 2005

Green Day - Brilliant

Just finished listening to the new Green Day. Maybe I won't be just an observer anymore in the Culture Wars anymore. Have not decided yet. But perhaps its time to get out and fight again.

Anyway the whole CD is brilliant. Here are the lyrics to the Title Track. Oh oh naughty words ahead

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new media
And can you hear the sounds of the hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow
For that's enough to argue.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along to the age of paranoia

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information age of hysteria.
Calling out to Idiot America™.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alienation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.
posted by Mike 6:40 PM

The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind