Thursday, March 26, 2009

DAY 50 - Christian Attorney Still Held Hostage by Government

Just received this from my friend Dan First...

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "The Voice of the Martyrs" <>
Subject: DAY 50 - Christian Attorney Still Held Hostage by Government

ChinaAid & VOM

DAY 50: Gao Zhisheng Held Hostage

Gao ZhishengChristian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, has now been missing 50 days, and there is increasing concern for his life. He was last seen being hauled away from his home by more than a dozen police officers on February 4. Reports from inside China indicate he is undergoing brutal torture.

The situation is critical, and with each day that passes, Gao Zhisheng's life hangs in the balance.

Because of Gao's work defending house church Christians and others persecuted in China, the Chinese government wants to silence his voice. ChinaAid president, Bob Fu calls Gao's torture "the most severe persecution in China's modern history." Gao's wife and two children, who have also been abused and tormented by the police, escaped to the U.S. less than two weeks ago. His family is afraid that authorities, furious at their escape, are taking revenge on Gao.

ChinaAid and The Voice of the Martyrs, together with Gao Zhisheng's wife and children, call on all Christians and those who value human dignity and justice to speak out on Gao Zhisheng's behalf by signing a petition to free Gao.

» Sign the petition at

This online offer is being presented by ChinaAid and The Voice of the Martyrs. For additional information, you may contact us by clicking here or calling at 888-889-7757. To view our privacy policy, click here.

If you do not wish to receive these occasional offers, simply indicate here to remove your name from this list.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alternative Assesments

I just posted a little survey over at the Confident Teacher blog. I threw it together, so I hope I didn't have a slew of typos in there. That would be a little embarrassing on a teacher blog.

Check out the post, and if you are a teacher, fill out the survey.



My 7th grade Bible class loves to do skits. I don't do them all that often, but I have to let them do them every once in awhile because they just love doing them. When I mention that is what we are going to do, their faces light up.

What I usually do is wait until I get to the end of a section and then I will choose to give a test, have them create a presentation, write a summary, or do a skit. If they had the option, they would always choose skit.

I am sure that most classes would choose this, but this particular class just loves it.

Today they were working on their skit over Jeremiah the prophet. They had just finished writing their individual scenes that I had assigned them and had argued their way through part selection when they decided that they needed to have some practice time. This part is fun for me for two reasons.

One, because they always ask me not to watch the "rehearsal" because they want me to be able to watch it as if for the first time when they present. This always brings a little smile to my face. It is that simple enjoyment that they get from having me see the funny little parts that they have added in, their little bits of comic relief that they have timed so well. It is good stuff.

Two, because it gives me a little time to work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I want to blog...

I want to blog, but I am at a loss of ideas... I am at a loss of free time... and I am tired of the way my blog looks, which always eats away at my blogging inspirations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Speaking of blogging the flu, I am sitting in a hospital room with my oldest right now. They are giving him a couple of hours of fluids.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just wanted to try...

Just wanted to try to post to on Blog to dial2do. See how it works. Make sure it works I guess. Had some set-up problems so we'll see what happens. Bye.
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Catching Up (Part 1) - blogging the flu

I want to blog.  Really I do, but I just haven't had the time to really get around to it.  I have been so busy lately, to sit down for a moment to myself just hasn't happened.  I want to go into detail about that, but (like I just said) I don't have the time.  Instead, let me give you a little glimpse into what has been keeping me busy lately.

#1 deterrant from blogging... The Flu!  (Influenza-B to be precise)  You can check out Google's Flu trends to see how how things are going this year compared to other years.

It has hit us hard this year.  When I say "us" I am referring to our immediate family.  I had it first, two Sundays ago.  It was an immediate sickness for me.  High fever, sore throat, aches, pains, etc.  My youngest son got it next with all of the same symptoms, plus pink eye.  He has been on an antibiotic for the last week to take care of the secondary infection in his eyes and his ears.  My wife was soon to follow with all of the same symptoms.  We have all had a lingering cough when it was through.

Then there is my oldest son.  After we had all had it for almost a week, my oldest says, "I think that I may have missed this one."


Last Monday he starts showing signs.  So, both of the boys ended up home for all of last week (which means my wife ended up at home as well).  This has made for a tough two weeks, so I was really looking forward to the weekend.  It was going to be my chance to get caught up with school work, because surely the boys would be good by then.


They made it to school yesterday, but it must have been too much, for my oldest, because his hypoglycemic ways have crept up on us.  Several mornings in a row he has felt nauseaus, but after some liquids and maybe a bite to eat, he has been fine.  He didn't get fine today... so back to the doctor.  There isn't much we can do at this point, other than keep a close watch on him, give him plenty, and I mean plenty, of liquids, and make sure he gets some rest. 

I have to be honest with you.  If you know me at all, you will believe me when I say, he isn't well.  He is really not doing well.  I am a little worried.  I have been through this with him before.  We have made more than one trip to the hospital for that one, and its not fun.

I have learned to trust through those times, but a father's heart never wants this.  I wouldn't even have to think twice if I had the option of taking all of this upon myself.  It pains me to see my family suffer.  There is not a one of them that I wouldn't willingly and eagerly take any load or any burden that they were carrying.

But I know that I can't.

So I look to my Father during these times.  I pray to Him for the strength to do whatever I can to carry my family on my shoulders.  If I can't take their burdens, maybe I can carry them.  I don't know.  I am tired and I am blogging, usually not a good combination.

So, I have blogged for you the flu.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pi Day

I couldn't be a real math teacher unless I mentioned that tomorrow was pi day.

Here are a few pi sites:
Pi on Harmless Online
Official Pi Day site
This strange site (I can't get this one out of my head...)

Voicemail Transcripts?!?

I need some people to call me!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Voice!

I am a Grand Central user, so I am pretty excited about this: Google Voice!

I knew that there was something in the works, but they have been silent on it for such a long time. Now I am just waiting for my upgrade notification so I can use all of the cool features!

Monday, March 9, 2009

GE Smart Grid Augmented Reality!


Sent to you by Mr. Harmless via Google Reader:


via iLearn Technology by admin on 3/9/09


What it is:   Okay, sometimes I just have to share things because they are off the charts amazing.  Augmented reality is something I was introduced to by my graphic artist husband.  Until I found this GE Smart Grid site, I wasn't able to share it with others and let students play with it.  What is augmented reality?  Basically you print off a sheet from the website that has a bold graphic on it.  When you hold up this graphic to a web cam, a 3-D model is produced on screen, by moving the paper you can look at different views of the 3-D model, zoom in and out, and in some cases cause the model to react to other inputs (like blowing into the microphone).  The GE Smart Grid Augmented Reality shows a digital hologram of smart grid technology in the form of wind turbines and solar energy.

How to integrate GE Smart Grid Augmented Reality into the classroom:  I am introducing this site to my students as a discussion starter for where technology is going and brainstorming what augmented reality could be used for.  The Smart Grid site can also be used when teaching students about alternative energy sources like wind turbines and solar energy.  They can actually see 3-D models of each and interact with them.  This would be a great introduction and attention grabber for an energy unit in science classes.


Tips:  Augmented reality is still relatively new technology, it is starting to pop up in the advertising world and in baseball trading cards.  Hopefully the education sector will jump on this technology, how amazing would it be to hold up a science worksheet to the computer and be able to see a 3-D model of a skeleton, or a beating heart?!  (I'll see if I can talk my husband into working on a few augmented reality education goodies). :)   Mac users, if you can't get it to pick up your camera, ctrl + click on the popup window and choose the USB camera option.  Enjoy!


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using GE Smart Grid Augmented Reality  in your classroom.


Things you can do from here:


In case you hadn't seen this...

Here is a link to an article:
The Associated Press: Authorities plan to charge Illinois church suspect

The encouragement is to pray for this church, and especially for the pastor's family. He was married and had two children. I can't imagine how much his family is hurting right now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day?!?

this is what constitutes a snow day in Greenville, SC.



I find this to be sad and a little embarrassing. I just wish I wasn't so sick so that I could enjoy the day off.
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