Archive for September, 2006

‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 8 (Part 7)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 30, 2006 by jedicouncil

Well, it was quite the busy day today.  Heather got up very early and headed out to “Gary’s U-Pull It” to find the part for our car.  While she did that she headed over to Sage Supply Inc. to try and pick up the caps for the drains in the basement.  On her way home, she stopped at the local school garage sale and found some clothes for the kids on the cheap and then she came home.  We found out the caps for the basement were too small and “Gary’s” couldn’t find the part for her, but for $30 was willing to search the entire lot over the week for the part for the car.  We got things together and I headed over to Vestal for marching band rehearsal and Heather tagged along with the kids to get show tickets.  We went through rehearsal with minimal rain at best, which was good because it kept us dry for the night.  We got done and packed things up and I went up and joined Heather who went home to grab some stuff and met back up with me at Vestal.  We left on our own and headed to Corning East right away.  We left fairly early and ate dinner at the McDonald’s in Corning and then Heather and I went to the Corning Store.  Yeah, that’s right mom, we went without you 🙂 !!  Anyway, Heather found some nice Apple printed creamer and sugar containers (for $3) and we also found some nice crystal wine glasses (for $4).  Now that’s shopping on the cheap.

When we got done, we headed over to the competition.  The kids looked like they were ready to go and we were a little rushed at this competition for some reason.  We got out onto the field and of course, it started to rain as soon as our band hit the field.  All well, can’t win ’em all.  Kids did a great job!  They really had improved from the last performance.  Over all it seemed like the judges got the show.  The good news is that I got one of the judges (Dave Bruni) to actually admit he made a mistake and may have given us a score too low.  His comments were all in one box while his score was in another.  He was nice about it at the judges meeting and apologized and had a very candid conversation with me (as he should, because he taught my marching band class at college and we are very close).  After the competition was over, Heather and I headed right out with the kids.  We stopped at Dunkin Donuts and went to the restroom and got some chai’s for the ride home.  It was really a great day.  We got home late and unloaded the car quick.

Okay, time to talk about Part 7 of Chapter 8 of “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm” by Alan Dean Foster…..

Chapter 8 (Part 7):  Anakin says that nothing he can do will ever match Barriss’ talent.  Anakin joked and said he supposed he couldn’t just tell them he has a soul.  He got up and headed to the center of the room and quickly started brainstorming talents he might have.  As he did, he jarred loose a memory he had of him and his mother singing when he was younger and simply closed his eyes, took himself out of the momben and sang as if his mother was in the room with him.


‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 8 (Part 6)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 29, 2006 by jedicouncil

It’s Friday and it’s payday, so it should be a good day right?  WRONG!!  I had so much go wrong at the beginning of the day that it took me most of the day to recoup from what had happened.  I went to school and started to set up to show the students how to use the green screen and how to use Visual Communicator for their music videos.  I plugged my computer in and it wasn’t receiving any power at all.  I knew this day was coming as there has been a short in the power chord for the computer for quite some time, I was just hoping we could get by a few more months before we needed to buy one.  I called Heather and she did me a huge favor and went to STAPLES and got me a new power chord.  Of course, that couldn’t be cheap.  NO, it had to cost eighty-five dollars!!  So much for that extra money with this paycheck.  So, by second period I got the program and my camera to actually work.  The students were excited about the project but were very immature about handling the concepts behind the program.  My third period seems to be into the podcasting idea more than these kids are into making the music videos.  By seventh period everything had broken down.  My seventh period class was completely dissinterested and wanted nothing to do with the project.  It appears that no on in that class wants to do it and I’ve decided on Monday, we’re going to use Democracy to see where they stand.  If they don’t want to use the project, then we won’t.  I’m not going to tell them that the alternative is that they are going to watch and be tested on “West Side Story”.  Oh well, that’s what they get for deciding to not work on the project.

When I got home, Ruth managed to find a “visitor” in our basement.  She came running upstairs screaming and yelling and in tears because she saw a bag moving downstairs (at least that’s how she put it).  I went downstairs to check it out and found a mouse.  CRAP!!  Isn’t it bad enough that we’ve had fleas, lice, and moths infest the house?  Now I have to have mice?  So I went to Lowes right away and bought some mouse traps and tried to brainstorm about how they may be getting into the house.  Nothing yet, but I may have an idea.  We have floor drains that are sitting open in our basement and it seems that the mice keeping showing up near the drains (we saw two throughout the night), so Heather is going to have to go to a plumbing store tommorrow and get drain covers as well.

Tonight and I was very excited because I had my interview with Robbie Chastain of Star Wars And Beyond tonight.  First Robbie interviewed me and then I interviewed him.  I sent him my side of his interview and then I went to pull up his interview I did with him for TJCS and my computer crashed.  The first time in almost two years.  Man, this really sucked.  However, Robbie gratiously offered to do the interview again and we stayed up until almost midnight to do the interview again.  Robbie, if you’re reading this, again I say “Thank you!”

Alright, it’s time to talk about Part 6 of Chapter 8 of “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm” by Alan Dean Foster…..

Chapter 8 (Part 6):  Obi-Wan worried about the task at hand because they desperately need the information from the Yiwa or they could be searching for the Borokii for weeks while members of the Unity could vote to secede anyway.  Obi-Wan knew they had to entertain yet not offend their guests all at once.  Barriss volunteered to go first and moved to the center of the room.  She pulls out her lightsaber which leads many of the Alwari security to reach for their own weapons and Mazong waved them off.  She held the lightsaber in a vertical position as she danced around it with four points being emphasized which represented North, South, East, and West which was done to pay homage to a nomadic people.  Barriss began to move faster and faster until she finally added another element by twirling the lightsaber.  This even impressed Anakin who felt this dance was far beyond basic Jedi training.  He was amazed at how she turned a weapon into an object of beauty.  The dance continued as she jumped in and out circular motions of lightsabers and Anakin knew that one false move could cut-off an arm or leg, or even worse!  the crowd cheered, whistled, and cracked their knuckles a long-standing Alwari tradition.  As Mazong talked with his advisors, Luminara worried about the dangers that Barriss had just displayed.  She told her master not to worry but she felt they needed to make a strong statement.  Luminara said she was proud of her padawan.  Obi-Wan agreed and looked at Anakin and told him he’s next…..

‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 8 (Part 5)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 28, 2006 by jedicouncil

Today was an interesting day at best.  I came to school this morning knowing we would run a Z-Schedule in the morning which would break-up classes and would make it near impossible to get students to focus on school work.  I knew this would be the case, so I had planned on this idea by having my eighth grade students watching their Jazz video and with my seventh graders by having them practice keyboard and catching up on classroom work.  It worked out okay, but the students behaved exactly as I expected them.  They simply were not focused after we ran our Z-Schedule security drill.  The good news is that the drill went smoothly.  I don’t know though, the whole drill idea kind of seems like it defeats the purpose to me, which is to have students do what they need to do in a panic when they need.  Shouldn’t we create some panic in order to have the students understand what that is like?  I’m not saying we should re-enact a shooting, but how about not telling students about it ahead of time and then seeing how they react?  Eh, maybe that’s why I should never become an administrator.

At lunch I had to stay at my building because I simply can’t afford to go out with other teachers to eat out at lunch time.  It was okay because it gave me a unique opportunity.  I watched “Reign of the Fallen”, the Star Wars Fan Film that will be previewed at the Syracuse Heroes Expo on October 22nd.  Not only will the movie be shown there but some of the cast and crew will be there.  So, that was really the most exciting part of my afternoon.   The rest of my afternoon was spent at what I consider to be the most radical lecture I’ve ever listened to.  We had a speaker come from Harvard to talk to our staff for our Superintendent Conference Day and the entire lecture was about how we don’t do enough as teachers to get to our racial minority groups.  I was almost offended not only as a teacher but as a person.  I was told that no one is doing enough and that every teacher sees their students in color and that we are doing a huge disservice to them because we all do it, then we all deny it.  Interestingly enough, the guy who lectured us has never stepped foot in a classroom and worse yet, he’s an economist!  What the heck would an economist know about education?  To make matters worse, his own information contradicted itself and then he made blanket racial comments with no data to back up what he was saying.  I was offended as a teacher, I was offended as a conservative, and I was offended as an American.  I know no one at my school will say anything about the lecture and no one will complain about what a waste of time it really was.  Why?  Because too many of our teachers live in fear of their jobs.  It’s a shame that we have to, but we do.

Alright, enough of this teacher talk, it’s time to talk about my favorite subject, Star Wars.  Okay, let’s talk about “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm” – Chapter 8, Part 5, by Alan Dean Foster…..

Chapter 8 (Part 5):  As Mazong and Luminara stood by the outdoor lights, Luminara offered to help them fix their glowrods as they were flickering.  Mazong laughed and said they were not broken but programmed to look like ancestral torch light as was tradition.  Luminara wondered if their overcla would be as reverent to tradition.  Luminara joined the other Jedi as they were seated acrossed from what looked like the entire Yiwa clan.  They were all presented with a lavish amount of food and drink.  Kyakhta and Bulgan could not believe their fortune coming from being outcasts to being treated as regal guests.  As they were seated, traditional Yiwa instruments played traditional Yiwa music which was pleasing and dis-pleasing to Jedi ears.  They all ate food to their fill and it wasn’t long after till the music stopped.  Mazong informed them that it was time to prove their souls to the Yiwa.  Kyakhta began to suggest something till he was cut-off by Mazong and told they would not be eaten, as they have dropped some of the old Alwari traditions…..



‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 8 (Part 4)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 27, 2006 by jedicouncil

Hump day, hump day, hump day!  What!  That’s what people call today.  Anyway, it was a typical Wednesday in that mass chaos ensued throughout the day today.  I treated today a though it were a Thursday in my classes since most my classes were going to miss their Thursday class.  It was a shame really.  I gave my first test on Jazz today and I think my eighth grade students did a horrible job on the test.  I’ll give you my favorite answer for the day, here it is:  “Blues are the color of the smurfs.”  That’s right, that was a serious answer I received form a student in class today.  Oi!!  I’m afraid to see the rest of the tests and what potentially evil answers I may receive.  No wonder the kids I worked with at Wendy’s this summer couldn’t figure out how to work the fryer.  I can’t get them to remember what we talked about in class yesterday!  Sometimes I wonder what will get through to these students.

I had marching band tonight and practice seemed to go better.  Students and staff seemed to be in an uplifting mood and I think everyone wanted to get the new sets and music cleaned up as quick as possible.  I even had confidence with the show because we were able to work on the field the entire rehearsal.  You really do feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re on a field for your entire practice.  Students seem to be getting a little to “used to” their show and you can see it physically in their appearance, meaning they’re starting to slouch a little and their not turning their bodies correctly.  My philosophy is to get them through this weekend and then handle that scenario next week.

There was an awful school shooting today in Colorado today.  A man wandered into a school and decided to take a bunch of girls hostage.  Not only are the girls held hostage, but they are also sexually harassed.  What kind of sicko’s are in this world?  Is this really how God intended us to live with each other?  These questions have plagued me throughout the evening tonight.  Why would a God who is supposed to be forgiving and humble and who loves his people let this happen to his own people?  I guess these are some pretty HUGE questions to answer.

Alright, enough of this creationist talk, time to talk about “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm”, Chapter 8, Part 4…..

Chapter 8 (Part 4):  Before Luminara could retort, they admitted that change can often be good.  They worry about the Alwari way of life and other representatives of the Senate have talked to them, but were not trustworthy.  They eluded that if the Jedi could prove themselves to the Alwari they will point them in the direction of the Borokii clan.  Luminara said they would do whatever is asked of them.  Mazong told them that there would be a huge feast that night and the Jedi would entertain them.  By entertaining them, they would be able to prove that the Jedi have souls, which their connective politicians  were unable to do.  Before they ended the meeting, the Alwari asked Luminara why she tattoos her chin and upper lip instead of her forhead like Alwari tradition…..



‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 8 (Part 3)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 26, 2006 by jedicouncil

Tuesday.  Second day of the week and the one day of the week my wife goes to work until late in the morning.  I had plans to get caught up on my blogging, but as many of you have seen, it just seems to have not happened.  I was all set to get some serious grading done at school as I was a week behind on my work, but I also had to have a bloc meeting today eighth period which set me back in my plans.  The meeting was relevant but it just seems like I’m getting further and further behind in everything I do and I just can’t seem to ever get caught up, much less get ahead.

When I got home, Heather reminded me that I had a nomination committee meeting at the church tonight.  So, I had to wolf dinner down and get to the church with the kids.  There weren’t many people at the meeting (just two besides myself), but I felt like I caught up quickly and really understood the purpose of the meeting.  It kinda helps that this church is run the same way as my hometown church and I watched my parents serve on committees like this and understood what was going on.  I need to talk to two people about serving as Trustees again and I was going to rush off to church on this coming Sunday and talk to them, but I’ve decided I really need to pray about this and decide how I am going to approach this with those people.

I planned on working on my blog all night long, but the meeting kind of broke my night up, so I worked on grading papers all night long.  It seemed to never end and I thought I would never get it done.  Luckily, by the end of the night I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and things look better.  Too bad I really didn’t get caught up on my blogging today.

Let’s talk Star Wars folks!  It’s time to talk about Part 3 of Chapter 8 of “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm” by Alan Dean Foster…..

Chapter 8 (Part 3):  Barriss says to Luminara that it doesn’t look good, but Luminara says that any good salesman knows that getting your foot in the door is half the problem.  As they entered the central square, children walked alongside them staring at Anakin and Barriss in envious fashion.  Anakin did all he could to not seem overbearing.  Luminara worried about their posessions being stolen as they dismounted but Kyakhta told her that thieves are permanently shunned from in Alwari culture.  They were led to the edge of the lake where the guests sat directly acrossed from Yiwa representatives on woven mats.  Luminara took a drink from one of their drinks and choked on the concoction which made Mazong giggle.  A female elder broke the silence by asking why they should reveal the whereabouts of the overclan and Obi-Wan took the opportunity to explain their reason for traveling to Ansion.  When they finnished, the elders talked in a group and when they got done, Mazong truned to Obi-Wan and said that what they ask would change relationships on Ansion…..



‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 8 (Part 2)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 25, 2006 by jedicouncil

“Monday, Monday, La La, La La La La”, come on you know the song!  Anyway, today is the start of a “broken up” week.  Meaning we have a half day on Thursday for a superintendent’s conference day.  Normally I’m excited about those kind of days, but this year I’m not as excited.  We have a Harvard professor coming to our school to try and talk to us, but I somehow think it’s going to turn into a lecture about how we don’t supposedly do our jobs.  My students seemed to be more active today as far as Monday’s as opposed to previous years.  I had marching band practice tonight for the first time since some of the changes were implemented last week.  I was overwhelmed a little because I had to catch-up on the changes.  At the same time though, the changes that were made make absolute sense to me.  The sets look cool and I think the drum features we’ve put in have helped to solidify the show for everyone to understand and get it more.  I’m actually looking forward to this weekend because I’m curious as to how the judges will view the show.  I think they will really appreciate the changes we’ve made to really add a quality touch to our marching band show.

Not too much to talk about tonight except that Austin started his first Boy Scout meeting tonight and I’ve agreed to help out with Scouts when marching band ends.  So, let’s move on and talk about Part 2 of Chapter of “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm” by Alan Dean Foster…..

Chapter 8 (Part 2):  The Yiwas sent people out to greet them.  Kyakhta said they may have info on the Borokii if they are willing to part with it.  Luminara asked why they wouldn’t and Bulgan said they get offended easily.  Obi-Wan said they would be on their best behavior as everyone truned and stared at Anakin and he asked why they were staring at him.  The Yiwa welcoming party rode to them on sturdier looking steeds called Sadains.  The dozen members of the party were clad in tru Alwarai apparel, clothing that was odd but colorful.  Two had comlinks while other members flashed fairly modern weaponry.  Kyakhta moved forward and introduced himself and a Yiwa introduced himself as Mazong Yiwa and then asked why clanless people were riding suubatars.  Kyakhta explained of he and Bulgan’s trail of shame and the healing the Jedi did and their desire to meet with the Borokii clan  The Yiwa leader spit at them and asked why they should accept those that have walked the trail of shame.  Bulgan said if not for them, then for the offworlders who are actually Jedi Knights.  Mazong says they have heard of Jedi and understand them to be honorable.  He asks why they trouble the Yiwa if they seek the Borokii.  They pointed out that the Borokii would simply shoot down any machines tracking them, but if they could track them using traditional methods, they may find them; then they ask if they’ve seen the overclan.  Mazong invites them into camp and says they will eat and talk…..

‘Star Wars:The Approaching Storm’ – Chapter 7 (Part 7)

Posted in ID - Star Wars: The Approaching Storm (2) with tags on September 23, 2006 by jedicouncil

Well, it was a non-marching band Saturday and it’s the last one I’ll have at least for the next two weeks.  There’s good and bad behind all of that.  We still had a pretty busy day even though there was no marching band to do.  Heather and I went over to Cornell Cooperative Extension and took part in a free book fair.  The concept is to give books one last life before they are thrown in the trash.  My kids found some books to take for free and I found some Star Trek books at the fair.  Unfortunately, there was only one Star Wars book, and it was “Heir to the Empire” by Zahn which I already have in book and book-tape form.  We came home and organized and cleaned some things around the house.  We worked on some projects that needed working on and I went downstairs and worked on my Wookie Bowcaster.  Heather and I took a nap together and she took off to work while the kids and I sat down for a dinner of left-overs.  After that I went downstairs and started to plan out the one year anniversary episode of TJCS and did a ton of research on how to improve the show quality.  I hope to be able to do an interview with Robbie Chastain from “Star Wars and Beyond” for our anniversary episode.  I haven’t received any emails.  I’m not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad sign.

Okay, time to talk about Part 7 of Chapter 7 of “Star Wars:The Approaching Storm” by Alan Dean Foster…..

Chapter 7 (Part 7):  Ogomoor told the delegate from the Unity that they left as he sat in a chair in the delegate’s apartment.  He offers Ogomoor a cold drink and he cringes and refuses.  The delegate says they all know they left to negotiate with the Alwari and asks what Ogomoor thinks their chances may be.  Ogomoor says they’re dead.  The delegate asks why Ogomoor is here and he says he wants to expedite a critical decision for Ansion.  Ogomoor points out that the Unity Council was close to a vote about withdrawal from the Republic before the Jedi arrived.  He pointed out that the Jedi shouldn’t change that and that Ansion prides itself on it’s independence.  Ogomoor asked the delegate how he intended to vote and he said that both Ogomoor and Soergg would surely like to know that.  Then Ogomoor threatened the delegate in a round-a-bout manner and said the Jedi should not change the vote.  Then Ogomoor suggests that the Jedi may not come back or will pursuade the Alwari to take their point of view.  The delegate asks what he should do.  Ogomoor suggests he recall the council and make the vote.  What could go wrong?  The delegate points out that the Senate could reverse the vote.  Ogomoor points out that votes that have already occurred are harder to undo and that the Jedi have abondoned them.  The delegate says this concept will be hard and the Armallot will object.  Ogomoor says that his efforts will not go unnoticed and that there are changes coming in the Republic according to Soergg.  He told the delegate that Ansion may want to be on the right side of those changes and Ogomoor left him to think.