Thursday, December 27, 2007

Notable Posts

As I scroll through the posts that I read through Google Reader, I will select a few posts that I feel are noteworthy. Whether they are interesting, or just plain silly depends on the mood I am in.

Here is that page of shared posts.

New Background

Here is my new desktop background, brought to you by NASA's image of the day.

The image came from here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

GabCast Trial

Gabcast! mattharmless #1


My opinion of Ben Stein just shot up a couple of yards. Check out this movie that is going to be released in February 2008.

With all of these documentary-style movies coming out, it is refreshing to have one with some real intelligence behind it. You should really watch the "super trailer" [click here]. I am really excited about this... Good Stuff.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Great Gifts!

My wife got me one of the greatest gifts this year. We have this tradition of buying each other a book at Christmas time. This year she got me this book:

The Princess Bride

S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale
of True Love and High Adventure

30th Anniversary Edition

But she couldn't leave me with just the book. Though the story is a great story on its own, what really brought it to life was the movie. So, she got me the movie too!

I believe that this movie has fallen into the classic category. I can remember the first time I watched it. My mom made me do it. I wasn't interested in it, but she convinced me that it was a worth while watch.

Of course I ended up loving it.

My wife didn't stop there though. She topped it off. The next gift she got me was like the icing on the already wonderful, cream-filled cake.

She got me this t-shirt:

Billy Crystal: "You are the Brute Squad!"

Great Gifts.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"He's everywhere, he's everywhere!"

Just for my Dad!

I found this video here.

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to send you this beautiful song with these lovely pictures.

We'll Bee going to the movies...

Our annual movie day took us to Spartanburg, SC, the last place that we could find playing Bee Movie. Here is the trailer:

Items required for family movie day...

Kissables for Josiah:

M&M's for Samuel:

Two of these for the boys:

Some of this for the parents:

A trip here afterwards:

And we end up having a great time!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I am not moving.

Today is my first full day of Christmas Break. Other than a little cleaning up this morning, I haven't moved off of the couch. I am right in the middle of a Lord of the Rings marathon. I am near the end of the second movie and I am starting to wonder if I will make it to the end. I was feeling pretty good until we pigged out on a junk food buffet.

The meal consisted of pigs in a blanket, popcorn shrimp, french fries, mozzarella sticks, jalepeno poppers, egg rolls, and sweet and sour chicken. Crazy, I know.

I am topping it off with some Gevalia Coffee and some Finnish bread (a gift from a student). I am here relaxing and I am not going to move. With this many meals I am starting to feel like a hobbit. I should have had second breakfast and elevensies.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No offense Nooma

I have really enjoyed the Nooma videos. They aren't perfect but I have really enjoyed them. I even own most of them. Anyway, if you have watched them you may have seen Bullhorn Guy.

This parody of that video really flys in the face of some of the concepts that I disagree with in the Noomas. So I thought that I would share it with you.

I enjoyed that. I am not trying to be critical, but I also don't want to just accept everything that comes my way without questioing it. Here is another response to the NOOMA's.

Part 1

Part 2

No offense Noomas, but I only think that you are telling part of the story.

I found all three of these videos here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am constantly changing my desktop background. I usually choose a picture from the NASA Image of the Day. There are some really amazing pictures on there.

Here is the new background:

(Read about this image here.)

The background that I had previously used was this picture:

(Properly "borrowed" from here.)

Most of my students couldn't figure out why I would put a cracked egg on my desktop, but it just seemed like a natural alternative to a picture of a supernova. They both have similar forms of beauty and complexity. One is just much, much bigger than the other.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sticky creation #3

Just for the Christmas season, I thought a nice little Nativity Scene would be nice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From Dependance Back Into Bondage

The Governor of South Carolina (Gov. Mark Sanford) was at our school for National Young Reader's Day. While there he had the opportunity to talk to the students. He talked to the Elementary separately from the High School.

I won't get into everything he said, but I did want to mention a quote that he used from an 18th Century Scottish born British lawyer named Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee. Here is the Quote:
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.
I guess that the quote has been used recently in a notable way. I had never heard it before. The Governor's point was to ask the question, "Where do we fit in?" Obviously we are near the end, so our responsibility as citizens is to extend that life as long as possible.

I am not going to elaborate on the quote, but I did want to pass it on. I thought it was a great quote, and worth passing along.

Polly One

There once was a man from Wally-Woo,
He once owned a bird named Polly 2.
Polly 1 was dead,
For on his head,
There once landed some Polly poo.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Prayer Video

At my church we are studying prayer. One of the members of our church put this video together to help us in our study of prayer. I was very convicted by it, but it also motivated me in my own prayer life.

So... I share it with you.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Harmlesses on Parade!

The whole fam waiting for the parade.

Sam and Jo with their normal faces.

Me and me-honey.

Me, standing at the back of the wagon.

Here is the whole group that was with us.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Not Geeky Enough

I am not geeky enough to do a really good job, but I made a page for a friend of my wife's. She is (from what I understand) in the last stages of cancer.

You can read an update on Monica by clicking here.

It is a tough situation, but from everything I hear Monica is handling this with great grace. Her testimony is impacting everyone around her. If you are the type to take up praying for people that you don't know, I would like to encourage you to pray for Monica.

My wife and her friends have pulled together, and like the true godly women that they are, they were moved with compassion, and wanted to come up with some way to provide Monica and her family with regular meals. That is when my wife came to me and wondered if there was some way that I could make an online calendar for everyone to look at when it comes to providing these meals.

I did my best, but my lack of true geekiness has left the page that I created somewhat lacking. It isn't horrible, but I would have liked some thing a little prettier.

Anyway, if you are familiar with North Hills Community Church, here is the page I made.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lock In Movie

We had a Lock-In at the school. Here is a link to the school blog, where I posted a short movie with pictures from the Lock-In.

Outlook on Life

I believe that for the most part, I have a pretty good outlook on life. At least, if I were to write my Philosophy of Life Outlook in a 10 page, Times New Roman, double-spaced format... Well it would be a good outlook then. Of course, all of my typed, double-spaced philosophies are correctly stated.

In reality, my life-philosophy can sometimes resemble this quote:

"I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time."
-Charles M. Schulz

School is in full swing, the work is piling high and the to-do list is starting to resemble Santa's naughty and nice list. I am not depressed or down trodden, but my patience is thin and my temper is short. So I find myself dreading days instead of looking forward to them.

As I seek to continually modify my outlook on life, attempting to conform it to my long-form philosophy, I need to drill down to the core and replace whatever is there with a true heart of thankfulness. A heart that gives thanks in all things, whether it be disrespectful children, lazy students, mediocre income, or a truck that burns more oil than gas...

"Lord, I give you thanks."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

sticky creation #2

Here is the second creation.

I call it, "Thinking about sticky"

sticky creation

This is my new artwork outlet. Sculptures made entirely from sticky tack.

This one is called the Sticky Snow Man.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

18 years and...

You are always new.

The last of your kisses

was ever the sweetest…

John Keats

(English Poet)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Life Accomplishment #2

(Given in no particular order)

I have two great children of whom I am extremely proud.

I need to say with each and every accomplishment that I put on this blog, that the glory of the accomplishment does not go to me. Some people list their accomplishments or achievements as a way to lift themselves up, sort of a self-promotion, or a "look at me" mentality. This is prideful, and frankly its naive. I want to make sure that all readers understand that any accomplishment that I list is purely because of the grace of God. The are in reality, His accomplishments.

Psalm 19 is one of my favorite Psalms, and I am currently going through this psalm in my Bible class at BRCA. I bring this up at this point because of Psalm 19:7, which states, "...The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making Wise the Simple." I love this particular verse because it gives me great hope. You see, I could easily drop myself into the category of the simpletons, but by God's grace, and that alone, I am seeing the fruits of wisdom in my life.

One of these fruits is evident in my children. They are both a pure blessing of God and an accomplishment of God. Here is a picture of them at work with me. I work a part-time job at my church doing some janitorial work. I will occasionally haul them of to work with me, and it is not to run around the halls playing and screaming. They are there to work. There are certain things that they can do, and that is exactly what they do while they are there.

They have done such a good job that my boss has more than once been disappointed that they weren't there because he had a job for them to handle. Their absence also affects me when I don't bring them, because some of the basic jobs that I do take so much longer to get done.

They are both doing great in school this year, which also makes me very proud of them. In fact, most of the time when we go to a friend's house with the children, we will get at least one, "... your kids are so good." We usually shrug it off, but it brings great joy to my heart. Proverbs 10:1 says, "A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother." This is so true.

I am extremely proud of my boys. I am not ashamed at all that they are mine. The one (and only one) hope that I have for them, is that they will turn to Jesus Christ. I genuinely don't care what they choose in life as far as occupation or anything else, as long as Jesus is their Lord.

See the extremely short list of Life Accomplishments

Monday, October 15, 2007

Food, I Love You

In light of recent events (which you can read about here and here) and the changes that these events will surely cause in my life, I decided to make a little movie...

It's been a good 35 years, food, but it looks like you've been killing me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Life Accomplishment #1

(Given in no particular order)

I married the love of my life,
          and I am still married to her.

She was my high school girlfriend. Well, actually she was the high school girlfriend. I had other girlfriends, but she was the one that I would always go back to. She was the girl that I loved.

We got married in 1996, and I have never... Never... had a day of regret. (Surprised honey?) It is absolutely true.

Don't get me wrong. There have been some times that were really difficult. Really. There have been some times that I wasn't sure that we were going to make it.

But God is so faithful. And He is the one who deserves the credit for this accomplishment. He has allowed me to keep the wife of my youth, and what a wonderful blessing that is turning out to be.

In a world that discards marriage so easily. Where people drop out of marriage the way they drop out of heir cell phone contracts, I am so happy that when the going got tough, we didn't give up. I think that I am more "in love" today than I was 11 years ago.

If I am going to list some life accomplishments, then this is the best place to start. Of all the things that I have done in my life, getting (and staying) married is one of my greatest accomplishments.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

99 Balloons

If you didn't cry at the last video. I know that I will get you on this one.

Our Church showed this one to us a few weeks ago. Wonderful message in this one.

Everything Skit

We watched this video this morning in church. I admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but it pulled me right in. Wonderfully done.

I got the video from this site.

Update: Ok. I have watched this video at least four times since this morning. I have bawled everytime. I am talking about tears rolling down my face.

I think that if you have never been entangled by sin and sinful desires, then you won't get this. I have been entangled in sin. I have known its power. I have seen it in others, and I see it more and more all of the time. Almost everyday I encounter another person who has fallen.

The thing that I love about this video (and the thing that gets the tears rolling) is that Christ is always beckoning. Through the whole thing He continues this. I love then when she turns. Don't fool yourself. That is key. We must turn from sin and run to Him.

But we won't make it.

Neither does she. She throws everything she has to get to Christ, and He continues to pull. But we will never make it. We will never free ourselves. It doesn't matter how much will power we have or how much determination, we will fail.

BUT CHRIST steps in! I love it in the video. He steps in and defeats them all. I am getting teary just typing about it. I love HIM. I love who He is. And when I watch a video that Glorifies, that lifts Him up... even if it is just some skit... I love it.

Is HE all you want? Is He your everything?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9 years

Happy Birthday to Google, who is celebrating its 9th birthday today, Sept. 27, 2007!

It would have to be on the 27th, wouldn't it...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Harmless Online [dot] net

The technology class that I am teaching is going to be run like a corporation. The computer lab will be my office and the students will be my employees.

Here is a copy of the welcome letter that I sent home for their parents to sign.

I went all out and got my own domain name in order to use Google Apps. It cost me a whopping $10 for a year to get the domain name, but the Google interface is free. I have given each of my students their own personal e-mail, and once we get through the first semester, which will only be keyboarding, we might tackle some projects. Besides word and excel, I would like to get them to make a class webpage, and possibly a weekly newsletter.

Although right now I think I am having more fun than they are.


I keep these quotes posted all over the walls of my room. Every once in a while I will walk past one and remember why I put it up there to begin with. I will see the meaning behind the quote afresh.

This quote had that affect on me the other day:

"Education without values,

as useful as it is,

seems rather to make man

a more clever devil."

C.S. Lewis

It isn't enough that I teach computers, math or science. Teaching them how to solve equations or how to create a presentable document on a computer will leave them lacking. They must not only learn how to do their homework, they must learn that they should do their homework.

I am not talking about showing them the benefits of doing their homework, or what they can get out of being successful at their homework. I am talking about teaching them that doing their homework is the right thing to do. The teaching should even go to that next step. They should learn that working hard is good, whether or not they get something good out of it. It pleases their creator when they choose to do their best.

Without these values, education is is pointless.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I found this two days ago on my white board.

I'll confess, I didn't erase it for a day. I didn't know why at first, and I hate to admit it, but I really like it when this happens.

I know, I know. Whichever student who wrote this probably went around to every teacher's board and wrote I ♥ (teacher's name). I know that is probably what happened.

In fact, I know that is what happened because I saw that on a couple of the other boards. But it still makes you feel good.

This is why we are commanded to let all of our words be useful for edification(Eph. 4:29). Our words should build others up, and as much as our culture is one that glorifies sarcasm and insult, the words of the Christians should be reflecting something different.

Whichever student you were that wrote this, and to all of the students that have written this on my board, or on the edge of the homework, or on the top of a sticky-note stack on my desk... Thank You.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The Christian life is a glorious life. Those who try to live the Christian life before they have reached it do not find it glorious, but those who have 'got it' find it a life full of unspeakable joy and glory.
Percy Parker

There are plenty of people out there that try to live the Christian life, but they are miserable, because they are attempting to do it in their own strength. Sometimes they try to live this way because its "just the right way!" or because "that's the way I was raised!" There are many teenagers who are struggling to live this Christian life, because their parents have laid that out for them.

But to those who seek to walk this walk without its accompanying grace, they walk a miserable walk.

The flip side to this idea that I wanted to mention are those who are in Christ Jesus, but never enjoy this to its fullness. Now, I don't believe that a person who never chooses to follow after Christ is a disciple or ever was a disciple. A disciple is one who follows, so I am not saying that. I am referring to the people who are in Christ, they are seeking to follow Christ, but they stop short of the fullness.

This is a temporary time in a Christian's life, (Phil. 1:6 says that we can be confident that He who began the good work will continue to perform it) but for some it can go on for years. It reminds me of the kid who would go down the big hill on his dirt bike, but would always slide his feet all the way down. He has committed to the hill, he is going down the hill, but he misses out on the breeze in his face and the thrill of the ride because he is afraid. What the boy doesn't realize is that he is actually increasing his chances of a wreck by trying to defy the laws of gravity.

This isn't a perfect illustration, because the Christian walk is a walk that involves work. But the emphasis of this post is to point out what so many Christians are missing out on.

By the way, so many times as a child I was the one who wouldn't commit to the big dirt hill. I would drag my feet all the way down, but I can remember when I finally worked up the courage to just go full throttle down that hill. I never went back to my former method.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New School

Sorry I haven't been posting on this blog lately. I have been really busy with the beginning of school. I have several different classes to prepare for this year, and that has kept me extra busy.

Here is my current school schedule:
(Brought to you through Google Docs & Spreadsheets)

I have also been working on a school blog. It isn't official yet, but I am getting it up and running anyway. Click here to see it. I just put up a slide show of the first chapel's power point presentation. There are also links on that blog for the school's main site if you care to see it.

I have tons more that I would love to share, but I just don't have the time to do it. Bye for now.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I don't usually direct people to blogs just about me, but my wife just wrote a brilliant post that was... well... just about me!

It was my birthday today, and if you would like to see some embarrassing pictures of me and see how much I have changed over the years, then swing by her blog.

Click Here

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The SC

I found this video on this blog and being from South Carolina and having spent some time as a teacher in the South Carolina educational system, I knew I had to share this with someone else.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Ash Tree

Under the Ash Tree
On a warm summer's day.
My children love to run there,
To laugh and to play.

They love it there,
In the ash tree's shade.
Its a wonderful place,
For their plans to be made.

Brilliant big plans
That boys like to make,
With silly games and battles
And maybe some cake.

And under the ash three,
It all comes to pass.
In bigger plans than they see,
Plans that will last.

Plans of kindness in battles,
And goodness in games,
There is love in their cake...
and ever
so gently,
They carve in their names.

So Under the Ash Tree
On this warm summer's day
I wish my children could be there
To laugh and to play.

Friday, August 24, 2007

bloody heck

I went to work last night at the church. Thursday night is office cleaning night, so I hit that first and wrapped it up pretty quickly. In one of the back rooms they where hosting a blood drive, so I was kinda waiting for that to get over so I could mop afterwards. I was on my way to work on one of the other projects on my to do list, just to pass the time, when one of the nurses invited me back to have a cookie. I can't resist a cookie invitation, so I figured I would at least go back and see what they had.

I walked back to the room they were using, and while I was browsing through the cookies I overheard the guy in charge talking about how many people hadn't shown up. They figured that they would show up before the end, but they were getting a little worried. So, being the guy that I am I volunteered right then and there to donate some of my blood.

I had toyed around with the idea a little bit in my head, but didn't really want to do it because of my dread of the needle. I absolutely fear needles, just ask my mom, but the older I get, the more I like to face my fears whenever possible. So I signed up, went through the questionnaire, then sat down in one of those fancy lawn chairs.

My nurse was really nice, and found my vein without any trouble. And even though she used an abnormally large needle, she must have been out of the regular ones, I didn't even flinch when she plunged it into the depths of my arm. I was feeling pretty good about myself as I clenched and unclenched my fist. The large quantities of blood were flowing steadily through that tube and down to the bag at the bottom. I watched that bag of blood rock back and forth, back and forth, keeping it from coagulating. Back and forth, back and forth it rocked. Wow, that looks like a lot of blood coming out of my body. I wonder how much blood a person can have taken out of their body.

I asked the nurse that, but I can't remember what she said.

I was feeling pretty good. Tired, but good as the blood kept filling my donation bag. In fact, I was feeling a little too good. The room seemed a little fuzzy and people started sounding a little like Charlie Brown's teacher. My nurse looked over at me and asked if I was OK. "Fine, good..." I tell her, then she walks away to check on one of the other donors.

A few moments later I start to feel a little light-headed. Not too much, just a little. I lay back and try to focus on the ceiling, instead of my bag of blood. There's no way that I am going to be that guy that has trouble giving blood. Just not gonna happen.

But then it starts to get worse. I started feeling a little fluttery in my chest, like I was trying to convince my heart that, " they are not taking too much blood. You're feeling ok. Just keep beating." My heart seemed like it was wavering a little in its trust in me. The air in the room started getting even thicker than it already was, so I finally swallowed my pride, and said, "ma'am... um... I am feeling a little light headed."

Next thing I remember, I am in the midst of the most vivid dream. I know it was vivid, but I couldn't tell you a thing that happened in that dream. What I do remember is looking up and having every nurse in the room around my bed, and for at least four seconds, I had no idea where I was and no clue why these people were staring at me. Then it came flooding back to me: church... offices... cookies... blood... oh yeah...


"Did I just pass out?"

Nurse reply: "Um, yeah. You could say that."

I guess that not only did I completely lose consciousness, I also seized up. The nurse told me later that she couldn't uncurl my arms to get the needle out. She had called everyone over just because of that. They even had to break the stuff under my nose just to wake me up. I can still remember that burning in my nose as I was exiting that vivid dream.

But the story isn't over yet. Oh no.

Right after I was revived, I started to feel a little nauseous. Thinking that I just needed something to eat I asked for some crackers. I thought that was going to help for a few moments, but then about halfway through the second cracker, I started having trouble chewing it up. The cracker was getting thicker in my mouth as every moment passed. No, no, this isn't happening. I am not going to be the guy who gets sick while donating blood!

I kept fighting it and kept fighting it, but it was getting more and more intense. The urge to hurl was almost all the way up to the back of my throat when I finally caved in and said something to my nurse. "Ma'am. I am not feeling so well."

"Your Stomach?" She says. "Good, if you get that up, you will feel much better. Let me get you a bag."

"A bag? Umm. I think I will be OK. I think it is passing already."

"Well here, why don't you hold this bag, just to make sure. It is really ok. We are all used to this happening."

hmm... "Well, I am not exactly used to puking in front of people. I don't know if I am ok with this. Do you mind if I just walk down to the bathroom real quick?"

"No. I am sorry, but we can't let you leave until your vitals get back up to normal."

Vitals!?! Did she say vitals?! "Alright, let me hold the bag. I probably won't..."

Then it happened. As discretely as possible, from my little donation bed I hurled out of the corner of my mouth. Not once, mind you, four times. Me trying to act like I hadn't just done that between each of the regurgitations. Then I had to pass the bag off and have one of the nurses say in her sweetest, most nursy voice, "You all done now? You feeling better? Here's a little wet paper towel for ya.. There now." And each of my responses was a whimpering, "mm...hmm..."

It is really hard to act tough when you just passed out, upchucked, and now a nurse is patting your head.

After all of that happened, I found out that I didn't even donate enough blood for them to keep. But they did give me two t-shirts and I got an extra cookie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

heated inelegance

It has been so hot lately. It looks like the end of the month is going to be a little cooler than the last couple of weeks. Which is a good thing because my wife has managed to make it through another summer in a van without air conditioning.

I was looking for another quote when I ran across this one. It reminded me of my wife (and some of her friends) so much, I just had to put it on my blog.

"What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
~Jane Austen

I am telling you, my wife was born in the wrong era and in the wrong class. She and Jane would have been good friends.

Birthday Wishing

Just in case you were having trouble deciding what to do with that extra little bit of money that you have stored up, I thought that I would list just a couple of things that have struck my fancy lately.

Here is the first one, the one in the middle. Do you see that yellow ladder. I think that would look really nice in my garage. When you are doing home improvement, it always helps to have a ladder.

If you are swinging through a Wal-Mart, you might see this... think of me.

Ah. Number two idea.

I first saw one of these over at my brother-in-law's house. It was love at first sight. Some might say that I have plenty of toolboxes, but I still have more tools than tool boxes. This one is nice too because it can roll around the house.

What can I say, I was strolling around the store doing a little poor-man dreaming.

Now, this one just solidifies the poor-man title... the infamous 107 piece tool set. Most of the real men out there try to avoid these tool sets. They usually end up in some rich guy's house who has no idea how to use tools, but their kids decided that daddy needed some tools, or it is in the cabinet of a I-can-do-it-myself-without-the-help-of-some-man kind of lady.

I don't care though, this particular tool box comes in especially handy for a mover. I had one that was a little smaller than this one, but I lost it on my last day as a mover this summer. Very depressing.

This last one would come in extremely useful as I am becoming more and more known for my moving abilities. This strap set would look really nice hauling around things on the back of my Chevy Pickup Truck.

Well, just four ideas for you to consider. My birthday is coming up just around the corner (on the 27th in case you didn't know), and I was just doing some wishful thinking.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Road

"There is no royal road to geometry."
~Euclid (A Greek Mathematician)
This quote is Euclid's response to a question that King Ptolemy asked concerning Geometry. He was asking if there were an easier or shorter way to learn this area of mathematical study. The "royal road" that Euclid was referring to, in his response, was a road that was built by the Persians that became known as the quickest and easiest road for travel. The messengers on that road made famous the motto of the U.S. Postal carriers of today. So, when King Ptolemy asked Euclid if there were an easier way to learn Geometry, Euclid's response meant that there was no quick or easy way to learn.

Geometry, as with so many subjects that are studied in school, don't have a "royal road" to travel on. Today, we have easier ways to travel, easier ways to bank, easier ways to communicate, easier ways to get food, easier ways to work... everything is getting easier and easier. So, it is only natural that a child would want the easy way out of learning. Unfortunately for us all, there are just some things that if you make them any easier, there is something that is lost.

Now, I am not just writing this to make a statement about the difficulties of the modern child, I am also writing this because in a few moments I am going to begin preparing to be a teacher again. Honestly, I would rather carry a sleeper sofa to the third floor of a house (which I have done more than once this summer) than to write lesson plans or come up with course objectives.

I enjoy being a teacher, really I do. I like being around the kids, I actually like teaching them math, and I love teaching the Bible classes, but I do not enjoy all of the preparation stuff. So, I guess in some ways, I am looking for that Royal Road as well. I want to be a good teacher, but I want the quick road to get there.

Anyway, I saw this quote and I felt like it was very fitting for the moment. Not only for my Geometry students, but also for this Geometry teacher.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

they're gonna hate me

I have really strong feelings about the proper way to type.

Maybe it is because I had to learn how to type when typing was typing. We didn't have any of that backspacing going on, oh no. If you made a mistake, you had to back it up and align some correct-a-type over the letter to fix it. I am talking old-school typewriters that weighed a hundred pounds a piece.

Now-a-days kids are spoiled with their ability to make a mistake and so quickly go back and fix it. Sometimes the mistakes are even fixed automatically for you! Some of them have even become speed demons of the hunt and peck version of typing. That isn't going to fly with me! No Sir.

This is the product that was just purchased by my school for my keyboarding class. It is called a SpeedSkin Keyboarding Cover. It is a far cry from the cardboard boxes that I single-handedly constructed my first year of teaching. There is not going to be any peeking under the box to look at the fingers with these.

I feel an evil laugh coming on...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

easily the most dominant

"I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history."
H.G. Wells, British author (1866-1946)
I love it when I hear quotes like this. In the world we live in, quotes like this are so quickly swept under the rug. I could talk about that for a while, in fact, there is a whole plethora of topics that could stem from a quote like this, but the question that comes to my mind is this:

Is Jesus Christ easily the most dominant figure in your life?


I just completed my commentary on Psalm 23 over at my Let Me Not Wander Blog. I know that Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted Psalms, and possibly one of the most quoted passages in the Bible, but I wanted to did deeper, and spend some time thinking about each of those verses. It was a really interesting chapter, and there was a lot more there than I anticipated.

One thing in particular that really jumped out to me, that I would like to share with you, was the end of verse 5. Most translations end that verse by saying, "... my cup overflows" which is a perfectly good translation of the word. I am no Bible scholar, that I could say otherwise, but when I study a passage, especially for this blog, I will usually go over to the Study Light site and look up the Strong's definitions of some of the key words. So, as normal I looked up the definition of the word overflows, to try to deepen my understanding of this word and this verse.

The Hebrew word that has been translated overflows, means literally saturated. You will have to read Psalm 23, starting with verse 1, to really get how this builds up to this point, but David it is almost like David is just saying, "It's too much! God you are too good! I am saturated with your goodness!"

It is very easy for us to get our eyes off of the big picture. We focus on the valley of the shadow of death, and forget that the Good Shepherd is still with us, and that not only is He leading us through this valley... He led us into this valley.

He knows what is on the other side.

Psalm 23 is a great Psalm, as evidenced by its popularity, but I would like to encourage you to sit down sometime and really read through it. (Also feel free to swing by my other blog and add some commentary of your own.) Check it out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Moving On

I have successfully completed another stint in the world of the mover. I worked completely locally this time, which means that I didn't get to make quite as much money, but I was able to be at home every night, which was really good. What isn't so good is that I have walked away from this summer with a few more aches and pains than I have had in the past.

On my last day there I had something nice happen. Just a little bit of a complement from my boss. He pulls me in the office, grabs a piece of paper and a pen, and says, "Matt, how much could I offer you to get you to break that contract with that school?"

Now, I would never break a contract, once it was signed, and I would never try to work at a moving company year round again... I have been there, and it wasn't pretty, but it was flattering.

It was also reassuring that all of those aches and pains were worth it. You see, as I go into a new work environment, one of my goals is to be a salt and a light. And I have come to believe that salt and light doesn't come from your mouth and it most definitely doesn't come from trying to impose your morals onto those around you. Salt and light emanates from your actions and your attitudes. And going into a job being the best worker that you can be will shine as a light in this dark world. Especially in a world full of people who want to milk the clock, hide from the boss, and do just enough to get by.

But I am moving on now. I am headed back to school to be a teacher once again. The gears are having to shift in my mind because before I know it, I will be standing in front of a bunch of children. These children will also be in desperate need of salt and light, so the work will go on.

It will be a different kind of work, but the command is still the same, " heartily, as if you are working for Christ himself..."