Monday, November 28, 2005

Spiced Walrus

Another walrus recipe.

Spiced Walrus

1 well-trimmed chunk of walrus
1 gallon water—add ¼ cup vinegar to this
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon saltpeter
1 tablespoon plain salt
5 tablespoons allspice
5 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Soak the meat in vinegar-water for about 10minutes. Take it out and wipe dry. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Cut several slits in the meat and put some of the spic mixture into the cuts. Rub the rest over the outside of the meat. Wrap meat securely in heavy plastic and store in a cold place (below 45 degrees F), but above freezing, for four days. Then, wrap in foil tight enough that meat juices will not escape during cooking and roast in an uncovered pan in a slow oven at 300 degrees for about four hours.

NFL Picks this week

Baltimore vs. Cincinnati--WIN
Carolina vs. Buffalo--LOSS
Chicago vs. Tampa Bay--WIN
Cleveland vs. Minnesota--WIN
New England vs. Kansas City--LOSS
San Diego vs. Washington--WIN
San Francisco vs. Tennessee--WIN
St. Louis vs. Houston--WIN
Jacksonville vs. Arizona--WIN
Miami vs. Oakland--LOSS
Green Bay vs. Philadelphia--LOSS
NY Giants vs. Seattle--WIN
New Orleans vs. NY Jets--LOSS
Pittsburgh vs. Indianapolis—Monday night game

I got lucky in a couple of overtime games this week.

I love the internet for looking at exactly the weather you want when you want it. We have a cable modem through GCI cable. We are always connected. I have one of those Konfabulator widgets always running on my desktop with the weather. This is what the internet and computers are for. Nome, Alaska, today and there is snow, about 1 to 3 inches expected. The other snow has melted yet! It won't melt until the spring thaw either! Today the sun rises at 11:18 am and sets at 4:22 pm. Sunrise at 11:18 am. I still am having a hard time getting used to that. When we go to Barrow this weekend there won't be any sun whatsoever! It is due to get colder at the end of the week. Boy, I got my adventure.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

English Grammar Paper

I found this old paper going through my files. I did this at Western Illinois University in one of my linguistics classes. What's interesting is how much I loved the silly little intricacies of the English language even back then. I wanted to pursue more linguistics, maybe even major in it at one point. Unfortunately, I never took my first of two linguistics classes until my junior year of college. By then, it was too late to change my focus unless I wanted to add another semester or two to college. And I didn't want to do that. I should go back and get another major, this time in linguistics. I wonder what it would take to do that?

Matt Butcher
English 370
Prof. Vick
6 December 1993

English Grammar Today

The usages of modern English grammar are always changing. What was once correct English is not even spoken anymore. Does a textbook always have the last word on a grammar debate? Or is the last word the everyday uses of modern people?
In a recent survey of twenty-two American college students, five grammar usage questions were asked. "This questionnaire is an attempt to determine current American usage. It is not a test of your knowledge of 'grammar'." I will analyze the five usage questions.
The first question is the always annoying differences between the words "lay" and "lie."
It's a beautiful day; I think I'll (lay, lie) out this afternoon.
Of the twenty-two people surveyed, sixteen answered "lay" and six answered "lie." As the textbook Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln indicates, "lie" is the correct word to use in this case. As the survey indicates, most people do not use the "correct" word. I believe this signifies a more modern use of the verb. "To lay out" has come to mean "to sunbathe."
The second question pertains to the function of the subject "I" and the object "me."
They gave Melissa and (I, me) the job.
Most people recognize that this sentence demands the objective
case of the pronoun, as the textbooks do. Seventeen polled answered "me" while five responded with "I." I believe that the people responding with "I" are, in essence, over-correcting themselves. "I" seems to be "more right" to some people, especially if asked, although "me is what they would use in everyday speech. As the poll indicates though, the textbook answer is used in modern English.
The third consideration applies to the always irritating differences between "who" and "whom."
(Who, Whom) did you ask for?
As the textbook indicates, "whom" is the correct grammar usage for this sentence, being the object of the preposition. But that is not what the survey says, as "who" resoundingly wins over "whom," 17-5. This tells me that "whom" is becoming an archaic term. "Who," in the minds of most English speakers, adequately and simply replaces "whom."
The fourth question relates a difference in a verb form.
Robin asks that nobody (bring, brings) glass.
The textbook states that the correct word for this sentence is "bring." And the survey agrees, although by a narrow margin, 13-9. The correct grammar usage of this has been ingrained in most of the everyday speech of English speakers. "Brings" also seems to be an accepted form. I don't think that one would correct another for using the "wrong" term here.
The final question deals with the subjunctive.
I wish I (was, were) going.
The results indicate a close contest, twelve for "was" and ten for "were." This tells me that the subjunctive is slowly losing itself in the speech patterns of the English language. While some do recognize the conventions of the subjunctive, more disregard it and pay no mind to this special case.
All in all, this survey has pointed out the intricacies of modern English grammar and its present day usage. Textbooks are not and should not be the last word on grammar questions. That should always be left up to the majority of the speakers of the language.

We have to take our pictures for the yearbook every year. I think it is funny that I still get school pictures taken. Here I am, 32 years old, in my fourth year of teaching. I can't believe I turn 33 in January.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Walrus Meatloaf

Another walrus recipe. Yes, the recipe really reads "plop."

Walrus Meatloaf

2 pounds ground walrus meat
¼ cup cooking oil
½ cup ketchup
1 egg or ¼ cup evaporated milk diluted with a splash of water
1 cup oatmeal
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon seasoned salt

Mix and plop in baking dish. Cover and cook at 300 degrees in a slow oven for 1-1 ½ to 2 hours.

NFL Picks Week 12

Baltimore vs. Cincinnati
Carolina vs. Buffalo
Chicago vs. Tampa Bay
Cleveland vs. Minnesota
New England vs. Kansas City
San Diego vs. Washington
San Francisco vs. Tennessee
St. Louis vs. Houston
Jacksonville vs. Arizona
Miami vs. Oakland
Green Bay vs. Philadelphia
NY Giants vs. Seattle
New Orleans vs. NY Jets
Pittsburgh vs. Indianapolis

Narnia and my childhood

When the new movie based on The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe comes out, I will feel like I am a kid again. This was the first series that I ever read and it affected everything I did.

I remember playing with action figures that went to an alternate world that did not have time move at the same pace as our reality. The funny thing was that the action figures were an Ewok (I think it was Wicket) from the Star Wars line and Indiana Jones from the Temple of Doom action figure series. That Indy was an oversized figure from what I remember. I think I had him find the Ewok in the alternate universe and then they had adventures to try to return to his real world. It was a way that I could use my cool Indy figure when I didn't have any others of the series with all the mishmash of figures I had from other collections. I remember Go-Bots and Transformers playing with 'em too.

But I also remember the way this series opened my eyes to imagination. The third book in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, really stuck with me for a long time. Gosh, I feel like a kid again talking about it. I remember my He-Man figures having this dimensional portal, sort of like in The Magician's Nephew. All of these movies based on stuff from my childhood are coming out because they finally have the technology to do things with this much imagination.

That reminds me about what I really want for Christmas: a Go-Bot watch. It was just this simple digital watch where it popped off and the arms and legs folded out and the head flipped out. He was the leader of my Transformers, if you can believe that.

Hearty Walrus

Another Walrus recipe:

Hearty Walrus

Walrus heart, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 large onion, chopped
1 large can tomatoes

Combine flour and seasonings in a bowl and roll each slice of meat in the mix to coat it. Brown meat on both sides in oil. Add chopped onions and sauté until brown. Add tomatoes and their juice and heat until simmering. Cover and simmer gently until well cooked and tender.

I haven't written in a while because I have been busy.

I had to finish my German film class. I just put together a final paper and final exam questions that were blah at best. They got the job done. That took a lot of time because every second I sat down I knew I had to work on that.

Big issues with volleyball this week that have overtaken my time. Can't even go into it because I don't know how many Nome readers come here (can't be much). And regionals in Barrow are this coming weekend and we will probably have to go to State the next weekend in Anchorage because there are two playoff berths for only three teams which I just do not understand.

And I have to come up with something at work with the curriculum director for a real writing program. I feel like I could do it but there have to be already published and proven writing curriculums out there. Why am I reinventing the wheel?

But thank God I have this family. You know, it makes the days worthwhile. The nights don't seem so long. The reason to get out of bed and get to work is right there next to me.

I have been reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke to Morgan a chapter a day. Just having her sitting next to me and making predictions about what is going to happen is wonderful.

Madison is busy but there is nothing in the world that I enjoy more than brushing the hair out of her eyes. She is learning by leaps and bounds every day and she makes me be good, to be a better man and father and someone to live up to. You should have heard it today when we were at the store and I pointed to a character alarm clock. I asked, "Who's that?" and she proudly shouts out, "Superman!"

Amy is the light in my life. She keeps me grounded. She talks deep thoughts with me and indulges me when I talk about comics or geek stuff. She may not like it, but she lets me stay a kid. I hold her and we are compatible. I talk with her and she is my best friend.

When it all comes down to it, I rush home after work. I want to get home to these people. I never run off or have other things to do. They make the world bearable.

They are the magic in my life.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The supposed secret base may be in Romania. This is especially interesting if you think about the Eastern Bloc.

NFL Update

Week one: 8-8
Week two: 9-7
Week three: 9-5
Week four: 8-6
Week five: 8-6
Week six: 11-3
Week seven: 10-4
Week eight: 9-5
Week nine: 12-2
Week ten: 11-3
Week eleven: 11-5
Turkey Day: 2-0

They have found a place to search. This is The Village. I think it especially appropriate that Britain is going to inquire about the alleged secret base of the United States used to question supposed terrorist operatives. The Prisoner was a British television show.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving NFL Picks

For the record, I am picking these for the Thanksgiving Day games:

Atlanta at Detroit
Denver at Dallas

Unfortunately, I am picking two away teams.

Fried Walrus Liver

"Slicing through the skin is tough," said Kurtis Kemp, who was a crewmember on one of the Dillingham teams that hunted three walrus on Round Island last month. "They'll dull your knife real quick."

Fried Walrus Liver

1 pound walrus liver, cut into thick slices
1 cup flour
Salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste

Put liver slices in a paper bag with flour and seasonings and shake until all slices are covered with flour. Fry in hot oil for 15 minutes. Ground walrus liver makes exceptional burgers!

This comes from The Bristol Bay Times of October 6, 2005. You may remember that I posted another picture of walrus hunting last month. I had to go do a quick radio interview on KDLG for the volleyball on Sunday and they had old papers in there. I saw this old paper from last month, as I love to look through local papers. I saw a page on walrus recipes. I will also be typing up the others. I am filled with wonder at these traditions that are still viable and alive. The article says, "Today, when walrus is eaten, many people feel a connection with tradition and the past."

Monday, November 21, 2005

NFL Picks Week 11

I did do my picks this weekend before I saw any games. I found a paper with the schedule because I had no TV all weekend.

Panthers @ Bears--WIN
Bucs @ Falcons--LOSS
Dolphins @ Browns--WIN
Steelers @ Ravens--Loss
Lions @ Cowboys--WIN
Saints @ Patriots--WIN
Eagles @ Giants--WIN
Cardinals @ Rams--LOSS
Jaguars @ Titans--WIN
Raiders @ Redskins--LOSS
Seahawks @ 49ers--WIN
Colts @ Bengals--WIN
Jets @ Broncos--WIN
Bills @ Chargers--WIN
Chiefs @ Texans--WIN
Vikings @ Packers--Monday night game

Versus Kotzebue Huskies

Against our division rival Kotzebue, we were up and down but we managed
to pull it out. We won in the fifth game. We kept swapping games,
winning the first, losing, winning, losing, and then winning the most
important fifth game.

This was a division game so now we are 3-2 in our division, for a
coach's tally of 13-8.

We need to learn how to put the ball away instead of just setting it up
for them with a bump back over. That's where we get killed. That fifth
game, we really rallied to score some serious offensive points.

On a personal level as a coach, I have to learn how and when to call a
timeout. I seem to wait too long and then we can't come back anyway.
Yet, I never want to break their focus or concentration. I never want
to call one after a good play.

It's hard being a coach.

Dillingham Saturday

Wow, did I sleep late. I slept on the couch in the teachers' lounge
(separate rooms, you know), and I look at the clock with half open eyes
and it read 8:45. I thought it was a mistake. I can't remember the last
time I slept in past 8:00.

The girls lost the volleyball match last night. We ended up playing
Bethel because New Stuyahok, only about 40 miles away from Dillingham,
couldn't make it in because of a storm there. And I thought it was kind
of nice here, but Alaska will do that to you. We didn't quite exact the
vengeance that I thought we would. Our girls played hard, they really
did. We had some bad bounces. This gym here is amazingly small. They
are building a new one that is due to be done in a few months (just
like Nome). This is the small gym--their big gym was apparently
attacked by black algae and it has to be exterminated in a dry
environment with heaters during the summer. (I learned a lot talking to
the head custodian and his son last night. They are from Evansville,
Indiana, the same as my chaperone, Heidi. They also read comic books
and watch Star Trek. They told me stories of the kids taking the tops
of dry deodorant and then stomping on them in the carpeted floors just
to see if they could get away with it. I learned a lot of stuff. But I
digress...) This gym is so small that one of the girls, Kelly, told me
that last year in basketball, one of the girls tried to not go out of
bounds by pushing off the wall that is just like a foot from the
boundary line. She got called out.

Bethel didn't even have that one player, #16, who was tall and always
put in front just to block. Even though she had no real athletic skill
but being tall, she was able to hit it straight down. The Nanooks
played hard, we really did. Sometimes our own mistakes are killing us,
but that's volleyball.

(Being in the teachers' lounge last night, they have a library of
videos and DVDs for educational purposes tucked away in here. I was
able to watch a couple discs of Carl Sagan's Cosmos mini-series that
has been digitally remastered. Pretty cool, even though it is out of
date. It brings back memories of my mom giving me the paper with the
new pictures of Saturn from Voyager in the late 1970s.)

Today we are set to play against Kotzebue and New Stuyahok (if they fly
in--the plane went to go get them now, I have been told, but if
visibility stays low then they won't come), and Dillingham for their
senior night tonight in the marquee matchup.

I am glad we get to play Kotzebue again before regionals. Since they
are in our division it is important to know what we can do against
them. I want to play hard against the other teams too with us going
into a bye weekend for Thanksgiving and then regionals coming up.

The record for Nome right now is officially 2-2 for division play. I
put our record now at 12-7 for all of our games, including exhibition
and non-division.


11-182005 3:45 pm

This weekend is a trip to Dillingham, Alaska. Dillingham is on Bristol
Bay in Alaska, just the north side of the Aleutian Islands. It's a big
fishing community.

I am most excited about trees. I never knew growing up that there was a
TREELINE. At a certain latitude, the tundra takes over and trees don't
grow in abundance. I have not seen real trees or a forest of any kind
since moving to Nome. Dillingham is below this treeline. There are
evergreens and deciduous trees. I have missed them. I miss seeing the
snow upon the leafless trees and I miss the towering evergreens of
Washington state. These aren't anywhere near as tall here but they are
nice to look at.

We left early this morning, not even going to school today. We met up
at 9 am at Bering Air for a 9:45 charter flight. We are sharing a
19-seater with Kotzebue varsity. They flew in from Kotzebue with 10
players and we are filling up the plane with 9 to fly straight to

today! Our 2005 Ford Escape is here! We had it barge from Seattle to
Anchorage and then it was actually flown into Nome from there. We got
the call this morning and we were able to drop Amy off to pick up the
car before we got to Bering Air. She was so excited. Now she gets to
drive her own car instead of taking the cabs. We have been bumming
plenty of car rides off of the Callahans. She gets to ride in style to
her interview at the bank today.

NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOG. So we flew out at about 10:00
am. I have always been falling asleep in these planes as soon as we get
pretty high. It's neat seeing Nome from the sky as we veer south. It
was pretty clear today for a long way. But then we got near Dillingham.
As we were coming in for a landing, I don't think I'd ever felt that
odd. We were sloshing around up there as if we were on the ocean. I
could see the runway finally and it didn't stay straight in the line of
sight. It seemed to slosh back and forth with the wind. One gust of
wind made this little alarm go off in the cockpit. At landing, you
could just feel that icy runway underneath as the plane slid slightly.
The pilot asked me later, "Kinda rough coming in, did anybody get sick
back there?" Luckily, no one became ill. Then he added, "We didn't even
know the runway was all ice until the 727 that landed there just before
us radioed in and told us that it was pretty bad." Comforting words.

We're here now, all in one piece thanks to some Hail Marys I kept
repeating. We got to the school and then went out for lunch because
they didn't plan it for us here. We ate at a place called The Muddy
Rudder. I had clam strips, fries and a Diet Coke (it was actually
delivered to me in a can, a Western Family--generic brand--diet cola).
Good stuff.

Now we are waiting to play. Our first game tonight is at 6:30 versus
New Stuyahok. Tomorrow we play Kotzebue (we did manage to get a game
against our dreaded division rival while we're here) at 10:30 am,
Bethel (to exact some vengeance) at 4:30 pm, and then we are part of
the marquee matchup for Dillingham's senior night against them at 7:30

American Education Week, November 14-18, 2005

We got these little cards in our teacher mailboxes during the week with
witty sayings about education. They are to inspire us. I am going to
use this one in the classroom, I find it so astute. I am going to make
them write an essay as to what it means.

"[My family] believed in the public school because they believed in a
community. They believed the important thing was what was in your head.
My grandmother was a schoolteacher. She taught in a one-room country
school north of Anoka, Minnesota, and my grandmother had a certain
contempt for people who made a great show and were not that bright. My
grandmother said, 'Don't be a 10-dollar haircut on a 25-cent head.' You
avoided that by going to school and paying attention. You became a
worthwhile person, and a member of the community."

--Garrison Keillor

I've always liked Garrison Keillor. Maybe not as much as I could have
because I could never figure out the PBS radio schedule.

Versus New Stuyahok Eagles

Well, we lost another match in the fifth and final game. We came back
so strong at times. We really played well. We were hustling and moving
and getting good plays. What's killing me are the points we spot the
other team.

Scoring points for the other team is one of those coaching moments that
I don't yet know how to deal with. We bump a good ball to the setter's
box, the set is perfect, and then the hit either goes long or into the
net on our side. That's a point for the other team when in reality it
is just one little miss. I can't be mad about it--they are playing
really well. The plays are being run well. Sometimes they try to smash
it from the back row with one hand. That works some of the time but
some of the time it doesn't. They try to place or set the ball right
over the net. Sometimes that falls in our favor, but sometimes it hits
the net on our side and makes it look like a bad play. These aren't bad
plays, just unlucky.

There comes a time in sports where you have to play with good luck and
bad luck. A few balls fall in your favor. A lucky bounce off a player
puts it exactly where it needs to be. A shank from one side or the
other is a point for the other team. The reality of volleyball is that
it sometimes just sucks. I still can't think of another game where a
small error on your side scores points for the other team.

I do not yell. I do not fume. I do not get all crotchedy and mean. I
let them work it out on the court. Most of the time, players that make
a mistake come back and make a fabulous play to make up for it.

Dillingham Coffee Pot

The coffee pot in the Dillingham teachers' lounge has a haiku on it.

Turn It Off
A pungent odor
Nose, pot, and coffee burning
Like the small red light.

Versus Dillingham Wolverines

Well, the girls must have wanted to get to bed early tonight because
they lost three straight games.

First of all, we started almost two hours late. The schedule they made
today must have thought that most games would finish fast. Our two last
games went to five.

We made a great comeback in the first game when we got down by a few
points. We tied it up at 19-19, and hung in there for a few, but
Dillingham pulled it out 25-23. Then the next two games. Blecch! They
just weren't into it. I think they had their minds made up that they
were going to lose.

And that's a shame because they are almost there. They have great
talents and skills. They work well together for the most part. They
just have to start believing it themselves.

I am going to bed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ask and ye shall receive...

With the trip to Dillingham coming up this weekend, I emailed my professor of my German films class to ask about the timeframe of the final paper and the final exam. I got like a two week extension! Sweet! Now I can do it properly over Thanksgiving weekend and not rush it within the next two days.

>Hi there--I am going out of town this weekend to coach volleyball.
(gone Friday and Saturday, back Sunday evening). Will the exam be ready to
take Thursday night? If not, may I still take it on Sunday the 20th? I
am sorry that I didn't mention this sooner.
>For the paper I have seen a film called Das Experiment that is only a
few years old and I would like to comment on how this film really comes
the full gamut of the experiments from Caligari and the new ideas of
freedom with Run Lola Run. Would that be ok?
>Matt Butcher

Good idea about the paper. (The experiment...etc) You can take the exam
on Sunday night, (or later) or this Thursday even, if you please. Just
let me know. (No need to rush the paper, either. If you get it done
around Thanksgiving, fine.)
Take care! Have some fun with the volley ball coaching and come back

House. It's this medical TV show on Fox. I admit that the commercials aren't much to look at. I only watched it once after American Idol, and that was only because the TV was left on. I loved it from the get go. And I don't know why. I love the "curmudgeonly" doctor played by Hugh Laurie. I didn't know that Bryan Singer, the director of Superman Returns, had anything to do with it until I read the credits more thorughly one episode. Hugh Laurie was once a choice for Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet, in the new movie too. I look forward to House every week. It's my Tuesday show.

The push for the new Superman movie is starting. The official first look happens tomorrow night, November 17, within the Smallville TV show. Our first glimpse during those previews at the movies is during the new Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Volleyball record

Speaking of records and stats, one of the volleyball ladies who also works on the paper came tome and asked about our specific record. That was hard to answer the way that it is handled here.

We defeated Kotzebue for two matches for our season opener. Remember those come-from-behind barn burners? This was our division and counts towards our record.

In Bethel, we played a tournament that didn’t count at all on our official record. It looks good to me, so I like to count it. In the seeding matches, we beat Akiachak in two straight games (one match win, if you ask me). We defeated Aniak in two straight games for another match win. We defeated Kalskag in two straight games for another match win. We defeated Chevak in two straight games for another match win. We lost to Bethel in a best of three (we won the first game) and the only reason it went to three games is that we were both undefeated in the seeding matches and needed the tiebreaker to place in the tournament (that’s the one where we lost the tiebreaker 15-0—ouch!). We defeated Chevak again in a best of five in the first round of the tournament for another match win. We lost to Kalskag in a best of five in the second round of the tournament. So if you ask me, we went 5-2 for the weekend.

The next weekend we lost two matches to Barrow.

The next weekend was the Mixed 6 tournament that really isn’t even fair to count with the higher net and boys playing on the other side, but we went 1-2, beating Shishmaref.

The next weekend we beat Ninilchik in three matches.

Last weekend was our Alumni exhibition and we won that.

So the only matches that really have counted so far have been Kotzebue and Barrow. We are officially 2-2. I feel we are 12-6. That’s if you count every match we have played.

We have Dillingham coming up this weekend in a four-way competition. They are flying in other schools. We get to play three matches against three different teams. None of them are in our division, even though Kotzebue will be in Dillingham this weekend too. We don’t play them though.

Regionals are held in Barrow the first weekend of December. There we will only play Barrow and Kotzebue. With Alaskan rules and regulations, this year our division gets two berths to State, even though there are only three teams in our division. I feel we are in good shape to go.

The Divided Heaven

The Divided Heaven

East German cinema is dramatically different from any cinema the 21st century is used to. We tend to forget about the complete separation that the Berlin Wall caused. Film was “a state-controlled industry” (Hake 121). The state only approved movies that advanced “the building of a socialist society” (119). There was even a point during the 1960s where they, the Eleventh Plenary of the Central Committee, banned many films that were considered skeptic, nihilistic, and subjective (124).

The Divided Heaven is a film that showcases this division between the East and the West as an analogy of a love story. After analyzing this movie with the understanding that the movie had to get by the tough censors, it was no wonder this film was banned as one of the Rabbit Films (so nicknamed because one of the banned films was called I Am the Rabbit). A woman falls in love with an older man because he has a different way of looking at things, being older and wiser and having plainly different ways of seeing the world. When the magic seems to wear off and the man becomes disillusioned by the uses of one of his chemical compounds, he leaves for the West. He thinks she will follow, but she doesn’t. This is clearly a symbolic representation of the East, showing that he was bad for leaving his beloved East and that only unhappy people live in the West.. The filmmaker undoubtedly focuses on the side of the woman, trying to expose the dangers of falling in love with someone just because they think differently. This analogy goes to the root of the issue that socialism always looks good on paper. Equality, money, and being taken care of are high qualities. After examining the surface, one sees the limitations and the liberties that are taken in this perspective.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Run Lola Run

After reunification, the German film industry must have felt like it could do it on its own again. They didn’t want the mega-blockbusters from America of the 1980s anymore. They returned to making movies that seemed German. They returned to making popular cinema (Hake 179).

“Addressing themselves explicitly to German audiences, the films of the 1990s sought to accommodate the audience’s contradictory desire both for less complicated narratives of Germanness—including in terms of national identity—and for more optimistic visions of a multi-ethnic, multicultural society” (Hake 180). The films were being influenced by a wider world, now known to all of the German populace and not forbidden. Romantic comedies emphasized the power of the woman “wanting it all.” Road movies, while based on the Hollywood formula, were very German in that they emphasized an openness of values with middle-class attitudes. These were more optimistic films.

The films of post-unification Germany also were enhanced by the new distribution systems of the day, with video and television. The huge national corporations made these viable products. These globular concerns were easy to foster in these companies.

Run Lola Run highlights this new tendency in German film. It is a movie without a complete linear structure, sometime repeating whole events for a change of outcome. In a way, it understands its own medium by presenting the audience with something comfortable again and again, in MTV-like staccato images, so the audience roots for a new and better ending. The characters are down on their luck, yet still have the morals to not want to do bad things. The repeating of events to get a new result reads like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, letting the audience seem to pick the ending it likes best, or until the characters get it right, much like a video game.

When Sabine Hake in German National Cinema says that the German film characters of the 1990s were “well-adjusted, upwardly mobile, reasonably happy” yet “incredibly self-centered” (186), the characters of Run Lola Run come of age. The new social and economic avenues that Germany was traveling were adolescent in their own way. These films of the 1990s seem to be the attitudes of a real teenager. Everything is fun and joyous and the party will never end.

Run Lola Run has characters that thought the world was going to be easy. When a problem comes up that they don’t know how to handle, they have a moral quandary. Should they take the immoral way and steal or should they deal with the problem, whatever it may entail? Lola at one point runs to her own father for the money, as many teenagers will do when they get in over their heads. This could symbolize the Germans running for economic cover. However, the father has his own problems, some not moral themselves, and even shouts at the daughter that she wasn’t his anyway, but a child from the mother alone. This is what he inherited, much like the legacy that Germany must deal with. So Lola runs, to clear her head, to figure out what to do. Even though it seems at times to be repetitive, like running on a treadmill, she is making the moral decision and strengthening the resolve within.

NFL Stats

So far this year, my picks have been adequate.

Week one: 8-8
Week two: 9-7
Week three: 9-5
Week four: 8-6
Week five: 8-6
Week six: 11-3
Week seven: 10-4
Week eight: 9-5
Week nine: 12-2
Week ten: 11-3

So that's a total of 95-49
for a percentage of 66%.

Triumph of the Will

Due to the new technologies of film editing and the new science of psychology, the Nazis were able to produce films that made the audience think what the Nazis wanted them to think. “And the Nazis themselves knew quite well that life photographed is not necessarily synonymous with the image of life” (Kracauer 298). The propaganda of the Nazis, specifically having a Propaganda Ministry as noted in the Kracauer text, was to make a reality that showed the Nazis in a good light and that the war effort was good. The movie Triumph of the Will was the perfect movie for this intention. Hitler himself said that the film was an "incomparable glorification of the power and beauty of our Movement” (IMDB). The Nazis used actual Newsreel footage and not studio recreations. Tight editing cut out actual fighting. The Nazis showed the objective, then showed the accomplishment, skipping the take over part, essentially having the “resistance [disappear] in the ‘pockets’ of the commentary” (Kracauer 278). They used real images that made them look good. Music is also used to supplant images. “Music, and music alone, transforms an English tank into a toy” (280).

Goebbels himself “said that films must address people of all strata” (277). In this regard, the films were inescapable and ubiquitous to the Germans at this time. The people of all walks of life were inundated with so much specifically-made propaganda that one couldn’t help but fall into it. It is this type of filmmaking and governmental hypnotism that famous novels like 1984 were written to warn of these behaviors. Those people that think the book is science fiction should understand that the book takes only one liberty—that of a government, like that of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and extrapolated it to the future.

The film Triumph of the Will uses many tricks, through both film media and psychology to push its agenda. Watching this film made me immediately think of the relatively new film Fahrenheit 9/11. One of the differences in ideology between these two films is that in our twenty-first century world, other viewers (newspapers, audiences, and critics) can offer up alternative points of view. In Nazi Germany in 1935, nobody could get away from this film or offer up an alternate view, especially as says that Triumph of the Will was actually made to replace an earlier film that was destroyed because a man in it supposedly plotted against Hitler, thus prompting the Nazis to completely erase him from history.

Psychological tricks include simple phrases of logic that cannot be refuted. For instance, when Otto Dietrich says, “Our only demand of the foreign press and our own press, is that they report the truth about Germany,” one cannot argue against that. But when Germany controls the press, the trust factor shouldn’t be mitigated. These speeches, when taken in the context of 1935, tried to unify a Germany that was falling apart with national pride. Showing babies is reminiscent of politicians kissing babies.

All in all, this film “feels” good. There is music and parades. The quick cuts and editing make it seem a collage, something that you can see but not put a finger on. When you compare it to the Rose Parade, with nifty patriotic messages, it looks pretty good. of the Will.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fwd: Acknowledgment

And the response from the Superintendent.

Begin forwarded message:

Re: Acknowledgment

Susan and Matthew,

I also agree with Barb. The two of you and your positive influence on
our students and staff alike have been very appreciated and noted.
You are both to be commended and we are fortunate to have you both on
our staff working with our students.


Fwd: Acknowledgment

From my Vice Principal.

Begin forwarded message:


I just wanted to let you that you are very appreciated for all the
time you spend coaching, supervising and facilitating volleyball.

I was thinking about how much time I've spent at the games when I
realized that it is only half the time that you've spent at the games
because Owen and I have split the time.

Owen and I have not spent any of the time that you have spent in the
mornings and evenings with practice not to mention the traveling and
facilitating and working with parents.

I have heard several comments from parents, while I've been cheering
in the bleachers, which have been supportive of the volleyball

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Go Bears!

The Chicago Bears are #1 in their division. They beat the San Francisco 49ers 17-9.

I still remember most of the names and numbers of the 1985 Superbowl Bears. For instance, I remember that the starting center was Jay Hilgenberg. I still remember almost all the words to the Superbowl Shuffle.

Bears are now 6-3, winning their last five. They have a few tough games coming up. Go Bears!


M “anticipate[s] what was to happen on a large scale unless people could free themselves from the specters pursuing them” (Kracauer 222). During the political stabilization years of the Dawes Plan, German society was at least stable. After the American stock market crash of 1929, a film about a child murderer opens some eyes on to current philosophies and associations.

In M, the horrifying recreation of a child murderer is presented. While the police try to find this horror, the criminal underworld also feels the pinch of the control and tries to catch the horror themselves. In a way, the two extremes team together to stop the greater evil. And in this way, because of the absolutely chilling child murders (which really had me freaked out on a personal level), the audience roots for the criminals. When they catch the murderer and bring him into the kangaroo court, the audience is a bit upset yet feels like the man deserves it. Police come and everything is rectified. Wasn’t the problem mutual? Didn’t everybody get what they wanted? As the police and criminals mix, the lines become blurred. This foreshadows a regime that made Lang change the title from Murderer Among Us to the more inconspicuous M. Maybe Lang realized more directly what he was trying to accomplish because of this.

This film then highlights the power of mob rule and how it can come into acceptance rather easily. The unspeakable evil with the ordinary face can become anything if both sides want to see it eradicated. Lang himself had Jewish relations and Lorre himself was Jewish. Perhaps they were highlighting this.

The use of sound made profound breakthroughs with M. Almost Pavlovian, the use of whistling indicating that the murderer is again at work, causes the audience to cringe. These types of advances make the film superior.
With editing and cutting as the police and criminal underworld discuss their plans, it tends to blur together. One cannot tell easily who is police and who is in the underworld.
The cry of "Elsie!" as the horrifying images of the ball and the balloon in solitude completely intensify the shock and torment of the mother.
There is a scene where the police are scouring the streets in silence. As the police pass an alley, suddenly out of nowhere a whistle screams out. This made me jump out of my seat.
The whistling was also necessary to capture the criminal. The blind beggar identifies the whistle. Then when the noise that gives away his hiding place sounds, the audience again jumps.
Peter Lorre's own testimony about why he follows the inner demons could only be done well by an actor saying them. If this had been a silent film, it would not have been as passionate. We hear the inner anguish and almost feel sorry for him.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari This is part of my German films class for my masters degree in English.

After their defeat in World War I, the nationalism that affected Germany was seen in its films. While the authors of Caligari wrote an entirely progressive and artistic film, the director inserted a frame to the story to convict the antagonist of madness, thereby conforming the story to then-current political ideas. “There could be no better configuration of symbols for that uprising against the authoritarian dispositions which apparently occurred under the cover of a behavior rejecting uprising” (Kracauer 67).

Wiene’s frame subverted the aim of the story by glorifying authority. “A revolutionary film was thus turned into a conformist one” (67). This reflected the current nationalism of Germans “retreat[ing] into a shell” (67). The less educated and submissive to authority again submitted to a show that helped them internally to justify what they were submitting to politically.

One wonders what would have happened with this film at a different time. The authors intended to point out the folly of being hypnotized by a leader and always being in a submissive sleep, only waking to do the bidding of the authority. This manifests itself in the “manipulation of the soul which Hitler was the first to practice on a gigantic scale” (73).

In a way, this movie also helps the character of the nation positively by showcasing the dangers of sleeping through life and following the will of others. I believe if the movie did not have the frame of madness that the German character may have understood these dangers. Since the movie had the frame, it seemed to negate any message that was sent. Hake also said that “Kracauer saw the vacillation between anxiety and aggression, and revolt and submission, as an expression of the German national character and its foundation in authoritarian social structures” (Hake 27).

The stylistic advances of Caligari were far advanced for the 1920s. The claustrophobic interiors and the high-backed chairs said a lot about the characters.

The interiors built for this movie were paintings brought to life for the screen. This seemed to mimic what the characters’ wandering minds were feeling. These images made the mind of the characters shape their own world. The strange contours and lack of straight lines made the mind not want to fit inside the box. At one point, the famous image that is the cover of the Kracauer book, the character seems to exude from the darkness into the light. This says a lot about the character, as his soul is also supposedly brought out into the open at this time.
The uses of light in this movie were dramatically breathtaking. The murder that was shown in shadow was disturbing yet the image was only a shadow. It was this shadow that kept the action lit yet in the dark. “It was their expressionist nature which impelled many a German director of photography to breed shadows as rampant as weeds and associate ethereal phantoms with strangely lit arabesques or faces” (Kracauer 75).

Wiene strangely disavows this expressionism style with the framing of the story that he introduced. When the insane asylum comes back at the end, the images do not revert back to the normal perpendiculars and right angles. In fact, they may even be more increased here. I see here the “staging of tyranny” in that the area of authority, the doctors and setting of the asylum, are still part of the madness around them. If this is the madness of the asylum, why does it exude into the real world? Is the asylum all around us? By staging the asylum as the authority over the character’s madness, is the asylum framed around our reality?

Madison and her best friend from across the hall, Lupe. Madison doesn't like wearing clothes half the time.

NFL Picks Week Ten

NFL Week Ten

Cardinals vs Lions
Ravens vs Jaguars
Texans vs Colts
Chiefs vs Bills
Vikings vs Giants
Patriots vs Dolphins
49ers vs Bears
Broncos vs Raiders
Jets vs Panthers
Packers vs Falcons
Rams vs Seahawks
Redskins vs Buccaneers
Browns vs Steelers
Cowboys vs Eagles

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Does anybody find it kind of fascinating that they are not worried about secret prisons but are more worried about finding the "Leak"? The possiblity that we have a secret prison in Eastern Europe terrifies me. What else do they put away into secret prisons? Where does it stop? I understand that these are bad people but we are supposed to be the light. If we feel so superior that we could go to war without UN approval (which still irritates me to this day), why can't we be upfront about these detainees? I am just shocked and dismayed that these supposed secret prisons are not bringing about even more uproar.

"We want information."

"You won't get it."

"By hook or by crook, we will."

Friday, November 11, 2005


I have had a poll recently on this website. I asked, "Do you believe there is intelligent elsewhere in the universe?"

Of the 11 votes (I didn't know that many people came here), 7 said YES, 2 said NO, and 2 answered JURY IS STILL OUT.

I honestly believe that the unfathomable universe must have something else.

The Day of Doing Nothing

Today is the second day of parent-teacher conferences. What they decided to do this year is stick us all in the RC (like an auditorium-type of area) and wait for the parents. No appointments or anything. Yesterday we were here from 1:30 pm (actually started work at noon because they assume they can just switch our eight hours around and that time is then compensated by a morning off--I didn't find out the hours until Tuesday because I specifically had to ask so thank goodness Amy had the day off yesterday. But I digress...) and we ended at 8:00 pm. There were a total of 15 parents that came through and I only talked to about 6 of them. So here we are again today, a day shift from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. I bet I see even less parents.

It is interesting to note about the time of day. I feel like I have completely lost my internal clock. I used to know what 7:00 am "felt" like. Back in Illinois, I could guess the time of day, even nighttime, and come really close. In Seattle, the day started to shift for me. The hours of light were slightly different. Now, the hours of light are skewed off the charts compared to what I am used to. The sun doesn't rise today until 10:22 am. Walking over here at 7:30 am, it felt like 3:00 am or so, that time a few slight hours before the sunrise. Yet this is supposed to be the working hours. Just feels odd, that's all. And then the sun sets tonight at 5:09 pm, so the actual daylight hours are less than seven hours.

Tonight is the Alumni tournament. The junior high will have an intersquad match with themselves, the junior varsity will have an intersquad match with themselves, and then the varsity will have a match with the alumni, ladies that have graduated but have been in volleyball for at least one season. It doesn't count for anything except pride and giving them a game to play. Next weekend we go away to Dillingham and the first weekend in December we go back to Barrow for regionals.

To top it all off, I have a cold today. I crashed last night early and at least got to sleep in this morning until 7:00 am because there is no practice on Fridays. I feel a little miserable. At least tomorrow, Saturday, is free of commitments. I need to work on my German film class for my masters degree anyway.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Superman Returns website now online!

Madison and the river

You know, Madison just makes life complete. Both of my kids do. We got a weekly update from Morgan's teacher and she wrote the message, "Morgan is wonderful to have in class." That is probably the best thing that you can hear about your own kid, especially since I am a teacher and I know what it would take for me to say that about a kid. I made sure to tell her how proud of her I was for that.

Madison is here in this picture during our little adventure driving around Mt. Rainier a few months ago. This is a little "river" that runs down near the visitor center. She loves posing for the camera. She has recently ditched the ba-ba and has gotten hungrier as a result for real food. She is so fun--she put a broom underneath her tonight and yelled, "Ride 'em, cowboy!" I don't even know where she got that from.

The diaper has to be ditched next. One at a time...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Episode III

Ever since Brian originally posted a nice little essay on Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, I remembered what it was like to be a boy between seven and ten.

I finally watched Star Wars III on DVD this weekend. It is the only one that I didn't go to the movie theater to watch. Episode II was so bad, to me, that I gave up on the franchise. I remember wanting to leave the theater, and the only other time that has ever happened is when I saw that terrible POS known as Batman Forever. I gave up on George Lucas' storytelling. I still believe to this day that he had only a rudimentary idea of the prior history before Episode IV: A New Hope, the classic film. I see him understanding that past as Tolkien had all those stories about the history of Middle Earth--all those back stories and legends that became mixed up in the great Lord of the Rings trilogy. But when you try to write those histories, they don't make as good of reading material. They don't.

As a kid growing up, Star Wars was always a part of a boy's life. I was four when the first movie came out and I simply can't remember if my parents took me to the theater for that one (I think they did). I do remember my mom and dad yelling for me to come running when Siskel and Ebert would show that great clip of Han and Luke at the laser cannons of the Millenium Falcon. I was seven when The Empire Strikes Back came out. That was the perfect age to read all the books, comics, and everything I could get my hands on, especially the trading cards. I loved those trading cards. I had them all at one point. We played Star Wars figures constantly. I also remember role-playing the characters like Cowboys and Indians, figuring out how to get Han Solo out of the carbonite. I remember writing a sort of fan fiction to figure it out on that grade school lined paper. I was 10 when The Return of the Jedi came out (which now, with the naming of this movie, I really understand why he changed it from The Revenge of the Jedi). I knew the names of all the characters that they actually don't say in the movies. I remember my fifth grade reading group calling ourselves the Ewoks. I remember Josh Dunnington and I creating an Ewok village drawing (I think this also started to spawn my hobby of dungeons and dragons because of the drawing of maps). Star Wars was embedded in my little boy's soul. Some of my best memories are related to how I think of my youth. Star Wars is at the top of the list, probably as high as comic books for me.

So these movies didn't do it for me, these prequels. Some elements were fantastic. The fact that Episode I: The Phantom Menace was enitrely set up for the Senator Palpatine to become the Chancellor of the Senate was a brilliant strategic move for a really good bad guy. Darth Maul and the double-edged lightsaber was fun. I remember watching Liam Neeson cut a hole in a door with his lightsaber and whispered to Brian, "Cool, I always wondered if a lightsaber could do that." But Jar Jar Binks ("Me-sa ruin dis franchise!") and those fricking midicholorians destroyed the movie. I still hate the fact that George Lucas felt a need to quantify the Force like an episode of Star Trek. And maybe it is just me but I kept looking at the new technology in the movie and wondering how it looked more advanced than episodes that were supposed to happen 30 years later.

Episode II was just bad. That actor they got to play the teenage Darth Vader was terrible. The biggest thing that upset me was how the marriage to Padme, Luke and Leia's mother, was handled. I just could not understand that he massacred the Sand People and then Padme still married him, knowing this. I really thought that needed to come after, as a sort of prelude to his fall in the next movie. Some of it was all right, especially the origin of Boba Fett.

Then Episode III comes along. I didn't go to the theater. Perhaps I was busy, perhaps I was making an excuse. I just didn't want to be disappointed. There was so much to the "legend" that I felt a little like I didn't need to see it. I wondered how "cool" a movie could be when the baddest guy in the galaxy went around exterminating Jedi. It was supposed to end on a real down note.

This was better. The whole Palpatine-Darth Vader set up with killing Dooku that is so reminiscent of the scene from The Return of the Jedi is actually quite brilliant. I always knew there would be lava involved in the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin, though I do not know how I knew that. I wish as I grew up that I had saved some of this source material. I really liked this one, maybe because it seems very close to Episode IV, especially with the glimpses of ships and interiors that look like they came from Star Wars (white spacecraft interior looks like that first ship from Star Wars). It seemed to directly be a precursor to the classic film.

Why couldn't Anakin sense the twins within his wife, when he can detect a Jedi in a spaceship above a planet? Why did Lucas let Obi-Wan in on the fact that there were twins when he specifically says in Empire, "That boy was our last hope." (And did we see any other female Jedi in any other movie?) Why would you bring Luke to his family on Tattooine when I would think that would be the first friggin place that Darth Vader would look?

Now I am picking it apart, and I shouldn't do that. I ruin it this way. I can't help it when my buddies and I would try to remember scene by scene in order to reenact the movie outside playing. There were some good elements to the movie. I thought that Anakin's fear of losing Padme was underdone. It was plausible but just not done well. It is a good glimpse into the origin of why he has to fall into the dark side, to get the power to save his family.

When we were younger, we had heard all of these rumors about there being NINE movies. I think the best stab at coming up with the next trilogy was Dark Horse Comics' mini-series Dark Empire. Luke Skywalker, in order to defeat a greater evil, must get power from the dark side in order to defeat it. He would fall into the same trap that caught his father. The difference this time is that he would be able to save himself from the dark side and still save the day.

This movie made me gather thoughts buzzing in my head for years, some of which have never been fully articulated. I mean, I have never gathered them into a formal paper or anything. So come on, George Lucas, what do you have in store for the next three? Even though I've heard that he is finished. But rumors sometimes come true.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Cold in Nome

Today here in Nome, the high temperature made it up to 13 degrees. Yesterday was even colder. The wind chill tonight makes the temperature feel like -6. As I walked to the school this evening to pick up the blue van key so that I could get to volleyball practice in the morning, the wind made my cheeks feel like the blood inside them was freezing.

Other than that, it is just going to seem like a long winter. I am used to that from the Chicago area. It is just different getting it in the beginning of November. The snow on the ground is supposedly here all winter long now. It looks pretty, the mountains and Sledge Island covered in snow.

The really weird thing is getting used to the daylight hours. The sun didn't rise today until 10:12 am and sets at 5:18 pm. This is really different from when we got here in August and the sun went down about midnight.

The taste of musk ox

I have sampled the rare taste of musk ox today.

Krista Marvin, one of the other language arts teachers whose kids are also babysat by Becca Callahan across the hall, was able to cut me a piece of her husband's freshly killed musk ox. It had never been frozen so I got a fresh taste.

It tasted a little tough but it was flavorful and not gamey. It was like a big piece of steak actually.

Musk ox. The other red meat.








Patrick Callahan

Nome-Beltz A.D.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Nanooks Sweep

The Nome Nanooks swept Ninilchik this weekend. We played two games on Saturday, in amongst the junior high and junior varsity playing against Bethel. We won the early afternoon match in three straight games (best of 5). That was good to me as a coach because these girls have to realize and feel how they can "put it away." So many times it has seemed like they have let the other teams creep back in. I got some flack for it for not playing every single girl more. It is hard to fit on twelve girls on a six-girl squad. There are so many times when I believe that the six on the court start a sort of harmony that shouldn't be disturbed. I especially don't want to disturb a girl on my team when she's serving.

I have to come to some sort of happy harmony. I really do want more of them to play. I have to balance VARSITY ball with playing and winning, when winning is a key focus on varsity. When I was the junior varsity soccer coach at South Kitsap High School, it was nice because I could put any player out at any time, damn the score. Junior varsity is about playing and getting skills to one day get on varsity. The twelve girls I do have I really believe are the twelve best and by them playing each other during practice they all get better.

At 5:00 on Saturday, we played Ninilchik again and won. We won the first game. I switched it up on the second game and it was a very close loss. We then won the third game. We lost the fourth game due to a lot of our own mistakes. We took care of business and put it away early in the fifth game. It's good for morale (and for concessions because I had to run concessions all weekend too).

We have the Alumni game coming up next weekend. It's hard for us to get a ton of games so we put on these little exhibitions. We travel to Dillingham the next weekend. Then it is regionals time on December 2nd. We are already up in the standings for beating Kotzebue. The top two teams out of Barrow, Kotzebue, and Nome get to travel to Anchorage the next week for State. I want that trip.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

We thought there was a plane going down in flames. Out our back window, we saw this streak of fire burning up in the atmosphere. It was pretty big. We were told it was the twilight glinting off the bottom of a plane, but I thought, "No, that ain't no reflection." (I know, really good grammar for an English teacher, but I grew up in the Midwest.) It was exactly what this article said, "an orange-red fireball streaking across the sky." I thought that maybe it was a satellite breaking up in the atmosphere. It was on a very level plane with the horizon.

NFL Picks this week

NFL Picks this week

Falcons vs Dolphins
Panthers vs Tampa
Bengals vs Ravens
Lions vs Vikings
Houston vs Jacksonville
Raiders vs Chiefs
Chargers vs Jets
Titans vs Browns
Bears vs Saints
Giants vs 49ers
Seattle vs Arizona
Steelers vs Green Bay
Eagles vs Redskins
Colts vs Patriots

Saturday, November 05, 2005

This picture was taken in the first month we were here, when the air was still a bit warm and the ground wasn't covered in snow. We must have a good two or three inches on the ground now and the high hasn't gone above 25 degrees in a couple weeks. This is a picture of the Anvil Creek shooting range. The cars in the background are parked at the actual place that these outdoorsman take shooting practice. The sign here is pockmarked with all sorts of bulletholes. They do a LOT of hunting around here. I have students that talked this year about shooting their first musk ox and moose. I have one student who writes in his journal about seal hunting.

The volleyball girls snapped this picture of me at an away game one night. I didn't realize it would make it into the photo page of the Nanook News, our school newspaper. Some of the girls have taken magic markers and drawn on a Superman tattoo on their own arms. (I think they're making fun of me, but I'll play along. It's all in good fun.)

Last night the Nome Nanooks volleyball team defeated the Ninilchik Wolverines 3 games to 2. These contests going to 5 games are killing me. Ninilchik is a small school but they are on the road system. They had to leave three girls behind with the flu and those were supposedly some of their top players. We're spotting too many points with bad serves, if you ask me. One game had at least nine of our serves go into the net. You just can't spot another team that many points and get away with it. The girls played tough. We play them twice more tomorrow. Once at 1:30 and again at 5:00. The seniors will be tired because we were out last night until after 10:00 with both the JV and Varsity matches going to five games and they have the SAT this morning. Our JV and Junior High games were against Bethel JV and Junior High. We had them flown in on the backhaul on our charter flight for the wrestlers going to Bethel. Apparently on these charters, it is the same cost if the plane is full or empty. They try to fill it up then and split the flight cost with both schools. This is an immense savings because the JV and Junior High are actually getting competitive games against other schools rather than just playing each other. Last year, the JV played only one game and the junior high didn't play at all. This will only help the girls in coming years playing real competition. Our athletic director has already worked out a deal for us to go to Ninilchik next year to play in their tournament. It will take some fundraising but we can do it. I will need to take on concessions at some basketball games. All in all, it was a great night, especially with a win. I just have to learn how to help us not kill ourselves with our own mistakes.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

CIA has secret bases for interrogation

I have often been fascinated with a 1960s television
show called The
Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan. (He played King
Edward the
Longshanks in Braveheart, by the way.) I really find
it interesting
that what seemed to be a fantasy may be real life.

The Prisoner relates the story of a British secret
agent who resigns
one day. We never really know why except for one hint
that it "was a
matter of conscience." He is kidnapped, by one side or
the other, and
sent to a place called The Village in order to find
out what he knows.
This was all during the Cold War, remember. The Iron
Curtain could have
taken him to find out what he knew being a top level
agent. The British
could have taken him to prevent a possible defection.
In any case, we
never know who kidnaps him. It is the struggle of one
man to stand for
what he believes in and not give in to the majority. I
have always
found it powerful stuff. It is a pity to me that there
were only 17

So I see this article today about secret prisons to
interrogate al
Qaeda captives. The world does not know of this,
except in leaks
apparently. I was sort of ok with interrogations going
on at Guantanemo
Bay. At least we knew where they were. If they start
hiding captives,
whatever noble pursuits are in their heads, we start
becoming corrupt.

I always found comic books gave me this moral debate
too. The X-Men
would often say that stooping to the level of the
villain makes you
just like the villain. Batman never killed the Joker,
although he had
every right to and he constantly kicks himself when a
new crime
happens. Killing the villain makes you guilty and
unclean. You cannot
be the shining beacon of hope if you bring yourself
down to that level
of disregard for life.

By not making light of this situation, they are
playing the same game
as the terrorists. As a country, as a people, as
civilized people, we
must stand strong and play up to our ideals. We
corrupt the basic
fabric of what we espouse when we go behind the doors.
We have to stand
as that ray of light in the dark world. We have to
shine that light
wherever we can, so that everyone can see it. We have
to be better than


We are taking our third sentence diagramming quiz today. I give them
the first five minutes to look over their notes and papers. I am
actually giving them the same sentences we have already diagrammed
together in class.

One student comes up to me as the five minutes is up and asks to go get
her paper out of her locker. I declined because it was quiz time. "But
I didn't get to study," she said. "Did you study last night like you
were supposed to?" I asked. "No, I didn't bring my papers home." "Oh,"
I said and handed her the quiz.

I cannot download it into their brains.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Favorite Phrase

I think my favorite saying today to kids was, "You have enough candy

It is the day after Halloween. They are asking to borrow pencils and
paper. They have backpacks but they are full of candy.

No papers or pencils inside them.

Makes you wonder about where education lies on the priority list with a
backpack full of candy and no school supplies.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Trick or Treat. Morgan posed as a witch for Halloween. Also shown is Chad from across the hall and the Wehde girls.








5:00 PM Nome Junior High vs Bethel Junior High

6:30 PM Nome JV vs Bethel JV

8:00PM Varsity vs Ninilchik


11:30 AM Nome Varsity vs Ninilchik

1:30 PM Nome Junior High vs Bethel Junior High

3:00 PM Nome JV vs Bethel JV

5:00 PM Nome Varsity vs Ninilchik