Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mom Gone Wild

Received a lovely e-mail from a parent the other day. A little background before I unleash this Mom Gone Wild on ya.

I, Mrs. Scribe, work as the Newspaper Adviser at Our Humble High School. Our student-run paper is totally self-supporting. It receives not a dime from Principal Man, Superintendent Man, nor any other persons in charge of dinero for Our Humble School District.

Hence, my cherubs sell ads. These moderately priced advertisements are well-received by the local business community, which feels it is getting a great deal plus loves supporting the local high school. The money my students earn, in turn, goes to pay for computer & camera equipment, as well as for the printing of the paper every 2 weeks. Pretty "hands on" life lesson, ain't it?

Students are required to sell 1 ad per quarter to qualify for an "A" in the newspaper production class. Most students fulfill this obligation, no problema. Some students, however, choose to bypass the business community & go straight to good ol' Mom & Dad, who purchase the ad instead. Smells a tad like they're buying a grade, but whatever works for them.

When students bring in an ad financed by Mommy & Daddy, I generally rib them. After all, one of the reasons the cherubs sell ads is to learn responsibility. But I'm never mean. I'm never cruel.

On the day in question addressed in the following e-mail, I had already gently teased a half a dozen of the lazy buggers. The student in question, whose Mommy chose to spew venom & vitriol in a nasty screed to Mrs. Scribe, is a senior in high school. She's 18. She's been my student for 4 years. We've always been cordial. She's a really smart kid. And she always gets an "A," because Mommy buys it every quarter.

So sit back, relax, & enjoy. The run-on sentences, fact errors, atrocious punctuation & off-the-charts hyperbole have not been added for effect. Walk a moment in my shoes. It's pretty amusing, sometimes.

Mrs. Scribe:

[My daughter] was very, very upset when she came home from school today. When I asked her what was wrong, she let me know that you said;

"I can't believe that you got into such good schools because you are so lazy". This is not the first time my daughter's have told me of insulting things that you have said to and about them but, I have had enough of this type of behavior. I have higher expectations than that for any adult and certainly for any staff of [Our Humble] high school. So that we have it clear, I accompanied [my daughter] to seven different places in order for them to place an Ad in the [school newspaper], but due to the current economic conditions, it was not surprising that no one was interested in an Ad for $40 plus. I know that the criteria for an "A" in your class is that you must sell an Ad every semester, and [my daughter] did her best to fulfill that obligation. To relieve any stress I choose to buy an Ad... My attempt to alleviate [my daughter's] stress and time constraints were futile since you felt it necessary to degrade my child once again. I do not presume to know what it is like to walk in your shoes, and you have know idea what it is like to walk in her shoes. In the future I would ask you to please treat her with the respect she deserves as I expect her to do the same with you.

I'm guessing Mom Gone Wild is not much of a Scribe Fan, huh? Guess she's perturbed from shelling out $480 ($40 per quarter x 12) the last 3 years (no ad sales requirements in Intro to Journalism, thank goodness!) to acquire an "A" for her little girl. In an elective, which means nobody's forcing her to be there.

Wonder if Mommy plans to go to college next year, too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today, We Honor a Friend

To An Athlete Dying Young
By A.E. Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

My AP Lang students don't always understand the meaning of this poem, nor the author's intent. One thing they do get, though: By dying young, the athlete is more or less "frozen in time." We will remember his accomplishments as we age.

Ella Numera Dos came home yesterday to honor a friend. I've taken the day off. Our family...three-quarters of us, anyway...will be at church later this morning. Please keep Jordan, his folks & his sister in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"That's What You Call Damned Fine Reporting."

Mrs. Scribe has never done a movie review in this space, unless, perhaps, you count the nod to "Christmas Family Vacation" that ran last November. Oh, & don't forget the back-to-back Peanuts & "Napoleon Dynamite" mentions in December.

So, I guess one could say I haven't done an "official" film critique...until today. That's because I didn't go to see "State of Play" until last weekend.

To paraphrase the crusty stereotype of reporter, played by Russell Crowe, "That's what you call a damned fine movie."

The tale offers two stories for the price of one. There's the congressman plus reporter plus young Capitol Hill staffer plus the newsroom rookie angle. Then there's the newspaper going down the toilet scenario.

Weave them together with intrigue & top the whole thing off with 4 murders and 3 really sleazy performances by Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman & Jeff Daniels, & you've got a thriller cum periodical tribute piece that's really worth watching.

Mrs. Scribe wishes she had more thumbs to raise in praise of performances by Russell Crowe & Rachel McAdams, although I have to say I still have a difficult time getting past McAdams' 2004 turn as Regina George in "Mean Girls." I keep waiting for her to wiggle her butt when she walks...

And I was thoroughly mesmerized by Helen Mirren's spot-on interpretation of the crazy-sexy-cool Editor who just wants to get the damned paper out, & save a few economic backsides at the same time. She's playing a role that we've seen reprised again & again in film over the years (think Glenn Close in "The Paper," only more direct & much nicer). Heck, I've even seen this role reprised in newsrooms a time or two!

Anyway, you should see this flick. It's great on intrigue, creepy in just the right spots, irreverent as hell & just plain Good Ol' Amercan Newspaper Fun. Make sure you stay for the entire show, though. I guarantee that the Hitchcockian ending will leave you in a pleasant puzzled puddle.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today's Lesson Plan: Spring Cleaning with Scribbit

Don't know if you've noticed, but I've been doing a little Spring Cleaning the last couple of days. And I owe Michelle over at Scribbit a debt of gratitude for my new sense of self and purpose.

Michelle, you see, has written an ebook, specifically for female bloggers. Blogging in Pink is 175 typed pages of Pure Blogging Bliss. And it's free!

"The most successful blogs are the ones that are able to generate the most conversation," Michelle writes in her intro. She then takes the reader thru 24 chapters that cover the range of blogging, from Getting Started, to Getting Organized, to Getting Noticed.

While I'm taking Michelle's whole message to heart at little bit at a time (hey, I'm still a Bloggy Neophyte over here. RSS, HTML & SEOs are not yet a part of my fully developed blogging vocab, but I'm getting there!), the section of this fascinating read that stood out to me the least in the past 4 days...was Chapter 10: Housekeeping Tips for Your Blog.

Some of you have been regular readers since I launched My Grand Experiment more than 1 year ago. Remember when The Scholastic Scribe was all "out there," with a black background & the Haight-Ashbury snap? Well, I do...It was a tad Gothy & hard to read, don't you think?

Back in the Day, I also had stuff scattered Willy Nilly all over this space. I fooled around with très mucho Bells & Whistles; basically, much of what Blogger has to offer, & then some. In addition to trying to find my online "writing" voice, I was looking for a face, too.

And frankly, Dear Readers, that face needed a good scrubbing. Hard, with a Brillo pad.

I finally came to my senses around the turn of the New Year, and put a softer, more gentle Scribe out there. In fact, I took a fancy to one of the Blogger Templates called "Scribe," and tried to make it my own. I think I more or less found my voice, too, in early January.

It's no coincidence that I started writing more in the first person, referring to myself with the occasional personal pronoun, & less in the third person, although I still refer to myself as "Mrs. Scribe" from time to time, 'cause that's who I am, after all!

I spent 3 after-school afternoons reading Blogging in Pink. Michelle's message, that "even blogs need a good spring cleaning from time to time," really resonates. And so I went about following her sage advice.

I've got the publishing regularly & planning ahead that Michelle advocates down to a science. But organizing my ever-burgeoning info really needed to become a priority.

So, My Friends, when you take a look at the New, Improved Scholastic Scribe as it stands today, you'll notice 4 "organizational" changes. First off, a new Header. I've been restless ever since I dropped my previous Tag Line: "Notes from the Underbelly of High School Journalism" had morphed into "Notes from Beyond the Underbelly of High School Journalism," which then had morphed, by January, into no Tag Line at all. Michelle points out that I was a goof for losing the Tag.

"While tag lines are often catchy and cute, generally they do nothing to help a blog," Michelle lectures in Chapter 20 (OK, so I'm implementing suggestions from both Chapters 10 & 20 in today's new look). She emphasizes the importance of keywords...even in the Tag getting one's blog noticed.

So I got funky with Google's Keyword Tool, & came up with a Tag that pretty much sums up the journey that this blog & I have made together over the past year: "Lessons learned in the classroom & beyond." It so goes with the blog's title, don't you think? And while I was at it, I re-did the whole Header, to emphasize my message, I hope. Or, at least, to class up this space a little.
And I've taken a few more steps to tidy up. Much of my voluminous info has been organized under some nifty new buttons in my sidebar.

To keep current on Yoshio Nakada's case, with all that entails, please click on Yoshio's Story. I've been able to organize photos, links, stories and more, for y'all to peruse at your leisure. There's so much to learn, so I might as well make it available all in one place, right?

To see my social media, please click on Social Climbers. There you'll find my SITS button, Twitter account, Best Posts of the Week, and the gone, but not forgotten, Blog Around the World. And thanks to Johanne Brunet for the Superior Social-Climbing Snap.

I'm also pretty proud of my updated profile, catalogued under About Moi. I just started writing one nite, so if this all seems like a little too much for Modest Me, please let Mrs. Scribe know! But suffice it to say that I'm tickled enough by this piece o' work to count it as one of my April entries in the Random Complexity Writing Challenge. It clocks in at 557 words. Hmmmmmmmm...guess I think a lot of moiself, huh? Or was that the pinot noir talking?

And finally, y'all, there's the reason that Mrs. Scribe keeps putting herself out there, day after day. I consider Mrs. Scribe Recommends to be more than a Blog Roll. It's a testament to the give-and-take we're engaged in here in cyberspace. Consider these links my gift to you. I also think this method will help me in keeping my Blog Roll current. We'll see, anyway.

There you have it, in a heckuva lot more than a nutshell. I thought about keeping this post short & sweet, as they say, but I guess I got carried away in the end. Thanks again to Michelle's Blogging in Pink. She & her Scribbit are more than an inspiration...they're the spark that started a fire under Mrs. Scribe to become a better blogger.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sx3: Think Pink, Cali-Style!

On a journey Out West, we took in the Santa Cruz nite life, as it were. This man (yes, indeed) was taking tiny baby steps down the main drag. He was there for hours.

He'd start at one end of the 5-blog-long street, placing one heel deliberately in front of his opposing toes, & so on, & so forth. When he got close to the ocean, he'd cross the street, & head back up from whence he came.

Oh & BTW...he hummed a little open-ended tune, of indistinct origin, as he walked. And we think he had the parasol to deflect the Saturday Nite crowd's gazes of amazement.

This snap intrigues me because there's so much going on. The Vision in Pink, the reflective tape on his running shoes, the plastic chair, the little girl, who's also wearing pink, the whatever spilled on the sidewalk, the tights, the parasol...

OK, Scribe Fans. You know what to do, right? Take a gander at this Superior Snap. Then Conjur a Caption for Said Snap. Tippy-tap your Creative Caption in the Comments section of this post.

That's all there is to it it! You won't win anything tangible for your efforts...this week, anyway. But you will earn Mrs. Scribe's undying affection & amazing awe. And what could be better than that?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

6-Word Saturday: Goodbye to a Friend

Yes, he heard a different drummer.

Ella Numera Dos & I were talking yesterday about her friend Jordan, who died unexpectedly on Thursday.

Even though they'd known each other almost all their young lives, "We hung out a lot in 9th grade & before," she reminded me. He went a different way after that.

Taking part in 6-Word Saturday, which is brought to you by Cate at Show My Face. This snap is from Acolyte Appreciation Sunday at our church 2 years ago. Numera Dos is front-and-center; Jordan is in the back row, in the shadows on the right.

The English Teacher in me wants to share the whole quote from Henry David Thoreau with you:

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fx4: Growing Up is Hard to Do

We had to break some sad news to Ella Numera Dos last nite. A friend of hers, whom she knew in younger days, died yesterday. News like this is so terribly hard to handle for us adults. My heart is broken in too many pieces to count for the pain my little girl has to endure.

Here are both Chicas in much happier times. For the record, Numera Dos is now about 5 or 6 inches taller than her Big Sis. I'm glad Ella Numera Una was there last nite to give her sis the hugs that I wasn't close enough to administer.

Hold on, little one. After the darkness, the light is always brighter. I love you more than I could ever say. I really do.

Candid Carrie's sponsoring my message today. Thanks, CC!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Eliminate Comic Sans? No Joke!

There seems to be a movement afoot. The crusade features a font. A typically clichéd piece of type appears to irritate a whole heckuva lotta folks.

I'm not talking about a revolution, but a quiet uprising against one of the most overused computer fonts...Comic Sans.

First things first. Not sure why Softpedia produced the graphic, above. But it pretty much covers the argument for eliminating Comic Sans from typography, as we know it.

Second things second. I come from a long line of "Old School" journalistas. I freakin' studied typography in college. The digital revolution...which started with PCs and has spread in so many different directions since then...has cheapened typography, in a way.

It's just too dang easy these days to have "fun with fonts," as they say. Like the folks who go crazy with clutter, in writing, in words, in their lives. They favor the quantity over quality argument, and standards be damned!

When I studied typefaces, ranging from Bookman to New Century to Bodoni & beyond, typography was an art. I think it still is, in places. But Comic Sans, apparently invented 15 years ago by a Microsoft Geek, makes this whole font business seem tawdry in a way.

There's a reason Times New Roman has that particular appelation. Ever heard of that Old Gray Lady, The New York Times? Bodoni, used in many newspaper headlines to this day, first surfaced in 18th-Century Italian books published by the font's creator, Giambattista Bodoni; an offshoot, Poster Bodoni, communicates the "Mama Mia!" message on Broadway posters, according to Wikipedia.

Emily Steel, writing in the online Wall Street Journal, says Comic Sans was designed to look like comic book lettering.

"The jolly typeface has spawned the Ban Comic Sans movement, nearly a decade old but stronger now than ever, thanks to the Web," Steel writes in her article, entitled "Typeface Inspired by Comic Books Has Become a Font of Ill Will."

The mission of the Ban Comic Sans movement is "to eradicate this font," Steel says in her article. Detractors claim that using Comic Sans in any publication is "analogous to showing up for a black-tie event in a clown costume," she reports.

OK, Comic Sans is seen by some as fun. It's light. It's bubbly. But overused. I reckon I don't have enough time to join any kind of movement, especially one dedicated to the way folks shape their messages in print. But I can urge you to try another avenue.

One uses words to create meaning. The argument can be made that a silly clown font might detract from that meaning. Think about it.

Editor's Note: Yet another of Mrs. Scribe's contributions to the Random Complexity Writing Challenge: 435 words.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Peace Be With You, Mother Earth

In honor of Earth Day, I'd like to share a chotchkie from my garden out back. This is just beyond the deck where I "camp out" over Summer Break & right by my beloved Forsythias, which you can see beaming at the camera from along the fenceline.

Cate at Show My Face is celebrating Earth Day, too. Plus, she's got a environmentally friendly giveaway goin' on!

So much has changed over the years, as far as environmental awareness is concerned. But there's so much to do. Honor Thy Mother, OK?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The symbol -30- at the end of a reporter's story signals "The End." The practice originated way before computers, in the "hot type" era. -30- is a typographic sign that indicates the typesetter must crank his linotype machine to get ready for the next entry on the page.

In today's post, 30 is not an ending; it's a beginning. Mr. Fairway & Mrs. Scribe said their vows on April 21, 1979, when the world, natch, was very young. And we were, too.

An interesting point, if you're planning a wedding: Mr. F. did not bestow wallets or even Swiss Army Knives upon his groomsmen. He took them to the Fort Worth Stockyards & had them outfitted in style. Gossips opined at the time that Mrs. Scribe's Mama was slightly perturbed, because all the good wedding snaps included at least one of these fetching sombreros.

For those of you who are keeping track, April 21st is also San Jacinto Day. The anniversary of the final battle of the Texas War for Independence. A holiday in the Lone Star State. So either way, you can celebrate: Just eat a combination platter at Ninfa's, top it off with a Killer Margarita, & you're all set.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbine, 10 Years Later

So much has changed since April 20, 1999.

Our Humble High School regularly performs lockdown drills, featuring local SWAT Teams. And while we haven't gone to metal detectors yet, Superintendent Man is considering security cameras at campuses thruout the district.

We've had a few "incidents," as the Powers That Be call them, at OHHS since Columbine. The kid who brought an unloaded revolver to school in his backpack, with ammunition on the side. Fortunately, he told someone he had it. Kid was gone by the end of first period.

Then there was the junior in a trenchcoat, who said he hated everybody. Turns out he had a collection of knives...including a Bowie Knife...sewn into the lining of his coat. Kid set a record for rapid expulsion. We haven't seen him since.

One crazy kid set off a bomb near the cafeteria right before school started. Molotov Cocktail variety. We spent a sunny May day in the football stadium. We returned to class the next day.

One idiot slapped homemade signs on the doors of the school one morning. They all said basically the same thing: "Lives are at steak." The SWAT Team & the Bomb Squad responded to that one. No bomb, no knives, no gun was ever found. No perpetrator charged, either.

And then this year, a young adult with no ties to the school arrived outside the main gym to settle a score. He flashed his piece. Turned out it was sawed-off BB gun. Dude's in jail now.

We've even had "comic relief" terror at OHHS, if you want to call it that. Young woman left an art project on top of her car. It was one of those "free form," "found items" deals...full of wires & batteries & cans & nails. Somebody saw this concoction & reported a bomb in the student parking lot. The County Bomb Squad responded to that one, complete with bomb-sniffing dogs & a robot. We all got a kick out of watching the mechanical beast hunt down its prey. And then we laughed...more from relief than from amusement...when the coast was cleared.

Folks will be talking about the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shootings today at school, for sure. So, it was with that in mind that I watched this heartwarming story on the news last nite.

5 Columbine survivors have returned to their suburban Denver school to teach. Where once they were cowering in classrooms, they now are at the helm of those classrooms. Where once they & their friends huddled together under the library tables to avoid Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold, they now take their classes to the library for research projects.

These 5, in my mind, demonstrate a strength of constitution & of character that I don't think I possess. I salute them & their mission. A teacher's place is with his students.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Silly Sunday Sweepstakes: Ivana Hold Your Hand

Trying to get a handle on all of my old snaps, scattered hither & yon, & came upon this gem: Ella Numera Una as Beach Baby. From way back in the day, if you want to know the truth!

You know what to do, Scribe Fans. Take a gander at this Superior Snap. Conjure a Creative Caption, and tippy-type Said Caption real quick-like in the Comments Section of this post.

What do you get for your trouble? Nothing tangible, this week. Just Mrs. Scribe's undying admiration & affection. Plus a chance to make us smile, or even guffaw a tad. And the promise of more prizes to come. Just ask Richie.

Editor's Note: Today is the last day to enter Scribbit's April Write-Away Contest. This month's topic is "Moms."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

6-Word Saturday: Hardy Souls

Welcome to 6-Word Saturday! It's brought to you by Cate at Show My Face.

Today's 6 words involve the

Hardiest Souls in Spring's Festive Palette

I am, of course, talking about the Forsythia. I've always adored these beautiful bushes, which have been blooming in my backyard for more than 5 weeks. And we've had some super-crazy weather & temp fluctuations since March roared in like the proverbial lion.

Today's 6 words are in green, representing Spring, instead of Forsythia Yellow, because yellow doesn't really work well in this space.

These particular bushes face north, and are in a depression along the back fence that collects water from time to time. My Forsythia don't complain, though, and make companionable conversation with last fall's stray leaves & the moss that grows between them and the lawn, such as it is.

I adore 6-Word Saturday, don't you? It's such a lovely prelude to my Silly Sunday Sweepstakes, don't you think? Don't forget to tune in mañana!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fx4: Grammar Nazi

Looks like even Our Humble High School will be facing layoffs for next year. Principal Man thinks about 10-14 staff will either lose their jobs or have to relocate to another school in the district. And I thought teaching was a "recession-proof" job! *sigh*

We English teachers, however, keep our senses of humor, even in the face of the most daunting odds. Here's the grammar rule:

But people are always "fewer" in number. No such thing as "less" people!

Wish I could make up a little rhyme, in a Candid Carrie-ish kinda way. Maybe I'll work on that.

Yes, this isn't a photo, but I'm playing along with Candid Carrie & her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta anyway. So there!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leslie Geraldine Sherman: April 9, 1987-April 16, 2007

Two years ago today, winds gusted up to 60 miles an hour, vanquishing the blossoms from the trees. Mr. Superintendent worried that the hundreds of classroom trailers...known euphemistically in the biz as Learning Our Humble School District were in danger of blowing away, so he closed the schools 3 hours early.

The surprise & jubilation of that morning quickly morphed to shock & deep, deep sadness as we heard the news. A lunatic had shot a couple of students down at Virginia Tech University. Two students became 10. Ten students became 20+. When all was said & done, 33 lay dead on the Tech campus, including the gunman.

Our Humble High School is one of many "feeder"schools to VA Tech. In any given year, we send up to 50+ grads down to the picturesque Blacksburg campus, nestled in the Appalachian foothills near Roanoke. As one of my colleagues said a couple of days after the Tech shootings, "We're definitely a Hokie campus."

Springtime will never be the same at Our Humble High School.

About 250 of our grads were enrolled at VA Tech on April 16, 2007. One of them was Leslie Sherman, who graduated from OHHS in 2005, and had just celebrated her 20th birthday.

Leslie's laugh was infectious, her enthusiasm even more so. She loved life and, clichés aside, lived it beyond the fullest. As a
Washington Post tribute said of this effusive, exciting young woman, "She was the unofficial team cheerleader, whatever the team."

Leslie ran cross country and track. She had finished the Marine Corps Marathon the previous October, &
had her sites set on NYC the following fall. She never took one of my classes, but I knew her quite well. Leslie spent the better part of her 4 years in high school "dining" during lunch in my classroom, with her cross country buddies who worked on the newspaper & yearbook staffs.

Leslie also loved...and lived for...her friends. I remember where Leslie sat each day, at the table near the blackboard on the left-hand side of the room. I remember her laugh. I remember a happy kid., with a heart that was big enough for everyone.

One of Leslie's favorite things to do as a high school student was to grab her camera on a beautiful Spring day and record snap after snap...of trees in bloom, of the paddleboats down at the Tidal Basin, of the stern but sensitive countenance of Mr. Lincoln down at the DC Memorial dedicated in his name.

Another of Leslie's passions was languages. She had just about mastered French, & wanted to tackle Russian. She was silly, but serious, too. She liked to quote Forrest Gump. And her kindness was legendary.

Leslie was in her French classroom at Tech, on the second floor of Norris Hall, when she died. She was one of 32 victims in the deadliest shooting by a lone gunman in this nation's history. Her family, her friends, her classmates, her teachers, still remember her.

Every Spring, we will pay tribute Leslie Sherman. We will neVer forgeT.

Yet another April entry in the Random Complexity Writing Challenge. 511 words.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's the Word Wednesday: Tramp Stamp?

When Ella Numera Dos came home a couple of weeks ago, her parentals were all riled up. Well, they were uber-excited to see her, natch. And then there was the matter of the tattoo.
As the Chica bent down to grab her suitcase in order to heave it into the back of the car, her Mommy noticed a bit of a smudge in the soft, sexy area where hip meets booty.

"Hey, what's that on your butt?" the ever-so-tactful Mrs. Scribe shrieked, grabbing her baby by the belt loops &, in effect, partially pantsing her in the parking lot.

"Oh, that? I was gonna tell you about that," Ella Numera Dos explained.

Turns out she's been thinking about a Tramp Stamp for a while. But she says that because of the diminutive size of this tat & because of its location, right of center, it's technically not a TS, a term often reserved for trashy gals. And of course, my baby ain't no trash.

To answer any questions you might have: The critter is a Longhorn, mascot of The University of Texas. Ella Numera Dos has long considered attending UT, because Mrs. Scribe's Daddy was a Longhorn, too. The initials etched between the horns are those belonging to Ella's Grandaddy.

And how did Mrs. Scribe & Mr. Fairway react to the realization that their baby had entered the realm of Body Art?

Well, she's of majority age, more or less. And there are a lot worse things she could be doing than tatooing her grandfather's initials on her butt.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Took a Poll, and...

When her peeps said something about
"taking a poll," this wasn't what
Ms. Honey Bunny had in mind.

Yup, Scribe Fans, we have a winner! None other than Richie, of Bellringers, grabs the Brass Ring and the book in our Seasonal Silly Sunday Sweepstakes. Please send me your contact info, Richie Dear, and I'll get those Peeps & that positively fabulous Peter Carl Fabergé book right out to ya!

Mrs. Scribe...and Mr. Fairway, who also labored in the trenches of professional journalism once upon a time...really appreciates the double-entendre, as it were, in Richie's slightly risqué caption.

We had so many silly caption entries that Mr. Fairway had a difficult time selecting a winner. Thanks so much to everyone who played along. What fun, huh?

And as always, Peeps, stay tuned to The Scholastic Scribe, especially on Sunday. You never know what the Silly Sunday Sweepstakes may reveal!

Monday, April 13, 2009

You Know You're Addicted When...

Hey, y' Silly Sunday Sweepstakes contest is still open. Click Here to enter!

10. ...You give up your daily Decaf Grande Skim Latte for Lent, & pop on over to resume your fix right after Early Easter Church lets out.
9. ...You arrive at your neighborhood Starbucks right after Early Easter Church lets out & the barrista still knows your name, even after a 46-day absence.
8. ...You are proud that you've been making it to school fairly early in the morning during the Lenten Season, but have no worries about future tardiness, even though you have to work your morning Starbuck Stop back into your routine again.
7. ...You down that Decaf Grande Skim Latte after a 46-day absence, yet fail to wipe the milk moustache off your upper lip right away because you're feeling so satisfied.
6. ...You don't hesitate to shell out the $3.62 for your Decaf Grande Skim Latte, even though your subconscious slightly registers that this is an exhorbitant amount to pay for a cup of coffee, especially if it's decaf.
5. ...You briefly speculate if decaf really contains some caffeine, but immediately relegate that thought to your subconscious because your first Decaf Grande Skim Latte after a 46-day absence knows just how to satisfy.
4. ...You feel a new sense of urgency & energy. Your deep subconscious briefly registers that decaf must contain some caffeine, after all.
3. ...You sit down to type your Monday post on a Sunday afternoon, feeling a new sense of clarity & contentment. Please see Numbers 5 & 4.
2. ...You type your brilliant Monday post, all the while debating going out & snagging another Decaf Grande Skim Latte, at the exhorbitant cost of $3.62.
1. ...You're really proud of the $164.68 you saved during the 46 days you went Decaf Grande Skim Latte-less, but nevertheless seem to be getting back in the habit again. Can you say Stimulus Package?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sx3: The Ultimate Peep Show & Something for Your Easter Basket!

Editor's Note: This Contest will remain open until 11:59 p.m.
on Monday, April 13.

Your Humble Scribe has always been fascinated by Peeps. You know, the unnaturally colored marshmallow treats traditionally available just in time for the Easter Bunny to pop into all those baskets?

Sounds like the makings of a contest, don't it?

Unlike my previous adventures into Giveaway Land (Click Here & Here for more details), today's Silly Sunday Sweepstakes celebrates the season in a unique...but also funny, stale & très chic at the same Here's all ya gotta do to be a Winner!

Those of you who are Sx3 Regulars know the drill. Take a gander at this Superior Snap, brought to you courtesy of KYCK-FM in Grand Forks, ND (I know...only a radio station, right?). Then Conjur a Caption for Said Snap, and tippy-type it in the Comments Section of this post.

And what do you get for your trouble? If you're the Grand Prize Winner, Mrs. Scribe promises to go to her local mart & purchase a variety of Post-Easter Peeps for your dining pleasure! And to sweeten the pot all the more, she'll throw in the beautiful hardcover edition of Alexander von Solodkoff's Masterpieces from the House of Fabergé. This stunning collection of photos, essays, historical notes & commentary captures the era of those beautiful baubles made by Peter Carl Fabergé for the likes of Russian Czar Nicholas II.

The Winner...deemed funniest caption in the bunch...will be selected by Mr. Fairway. So hurry, quick like a bunny, & enter your caption today...don't delay! And Happy Easter, y'all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

6-Word Saturday: Spring Break Recap

March roared; April rained; blossoms gone.

The Weeping Cherry Tree in front of my house has been doing a striptease, of sorts, this past week.

Last Saturday, she was in full bloom. But a combo of Fickle Spring Weather (70s one day; 40s the next, followed by wind, then rain, then sun, then rain, then wind) & the advancing of the season has sent these delicate blossoms on their merry way for now.

Walking a little stooped over after a mega-session with several flower beds yesterday. Think I'll take a break this a.m. (well, it's pouring, anyway!) & wait for the sun to come out before I start up again. 6-Word Saturday, natch, is brought to you each week by Cate at Show My Face.

Is everyone ready for Easter? Mrs. Scribe is celebrating in High Style, with an Easter-Themed Silly Sunday Sweepstakes...featuring Peeps & a Real Prize. So don't forget to tune in!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fx4: Has the Bunny Been Here Yet?

'Tis the Season, & since I graced y'all with a Geometrical Crepe Myrtle yesterday, thought I'd give you the more familiar perspective. All done up by the Easter Bunny, natch!

Playing along today, as I do every Friday, with Candid Carrie & her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. Hope the Bunny hops your way on Sunday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Geometry of Spring

A recent project, involving Crepe Myrtle & Vinca. I recently covered most of this bed with newspaper, then mulch. The result, looking down, is almost Calder-esque, no?

Spring Break is such a blast. I could stay home forever!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's the Word Wednesday: Typos..and Tits..Happen

One of my Journalistas wrote a recent story about education & technology. A fairly tame, incredibly stodgy, wonderfully safe topic. But she juiced it up, quite by accident.

"Next year in Our Humble School District," the Cherub wrote, "one elementary school, one middle school and one high school will have the opportunity to experiment with one of tits best possible advances in the school system. iTouches will be lent to the select students for daily use in school."

"The iTouch would revolutionize school," she posits. Well, of course it would. Especially if the tits, mentioned above, are involved. With the iTouches, you see. OK, I think you get it!

BTW, the little birdie pictured in the snap above is called a Willow Tit. Courtesy of Surfbirds News.

Somehow, I'm feeling vindcated for January's post about the Christmas Breasts...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rap Yo Résumé, Fo Shizzle!

That time o' year again. The Journalistas are trying out for staff positions on OHHS' newspaper & yearbook staffs. Mrs. Scribe will announce the winners in May.

This Cherub wants to be Newspaper Editor. Contemplate her dulcet tones. But first let me explain a few of the more arcane references.

Gourmet Foods is the lame-o home ec elective. If a Cherub doesn't perform well on staff, I often suggest said Journalista enroll in Gourmet Foods, instead. I think I've explained the Yuck List before, but the Black List is all the folks who've already been quoted too many times in a given school year. The Beat Book is the running list of good story ideas, which the Journalistas must contribute to every week. And Luis & Divya are 2 boys on the staff this year. They spend a lot of time talking sports, so we tease them about being a "couple."

I'd say this is enough to make Shakespeare sit up an take notice. Wouldn't you?

Here is a rap as to why I should be Editor
I make the photos really good and I am a good creditor
I been up on this staff for over 3 years
And I use my experience to help my peers
I make sure get everything done by deadline
And all the little kiddies need my help for headlines
I can be friendly to all the little frosh
Don't you remember Charlie, aka Josh?
I know all the rules for editing the pages,
and I'm gonna make sure that we have the ad wages
I'll make sure there's no flirting with Luis and Divya
And if ya don't turn things in on time I won't forgive ya
When we're not busy we'll have a raging party
I'm good at English, too, just ask Mrs. Moriarty
Yeah, she was my teacher for AP Lang
and with the exception of this rap, I learned not to use slang.
I look at all the lists, you know, the Yuck and the Black
If you don't follow those rules I'll give you a smack
I'm all about correcting dem stories
We'll be gettin awards and livin in the glory
You know I won't leave for Gourmet Foods
I'm not a "lazy teenager" like those other dudes
I'm all about being on time with the Beat Book,
So understand me, I'm off the hook
I won't pick up that cook book
I have what it takes to make this a great paper
So please don't be a hater
I'll be the heart and soul of the publication,
but only under one condition
If on The Paper you make me the right position
So, Mrs. Scribe, don't make me ask you again
Make me senior editor in oh ninte/ten!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Daffy for Daffodils!

Spring is here for sure, y'all! I knew it was coming when I saw the glorious Cherry Blossoms, but now I'm 100 percent positive. Fo' Shizzle! What a great way to start off Spring Break, huh?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sx3: All Toured Out

As y'all already know, 'tis the season in DC, the Capital of the Free World. The elementary, middle & high school tour groups are out in Full Force, as it were. When I was at the Tidal Basin doing a little Cherry Blossom Peeping the other day, I kept bumping into oodles & oodles of class-trippers from other parts of the country.

I took this Superior Snap on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. A gaggle of gals from a Lakeland, FLA high school dance team, in town for the Cherry Blossom Parade & other festivities, was resting up in the shadow of Our Nation's 3rd Prez. All of them were gabbing & generally hanging out, except for this one sleepy chica, who decided it was time for a Power Nap.

I was taken with the juxtaposition of colors & accoutrements on the granite steps. Dance tights & satin jacket; hot-pink skirt & T-shirt drapped nonchalantly over the face. Black nylon accessories tote doubles as a pillow, of sorts. Particularly adore the artfully placed Mickey D's bag & the carelessly flung left hand. She looks like she's really asleep, doesn't she?

You know what to do, Scribe Fans! Take a gander at this Superior Snap. Conjure a Caption for Said Snap, and tippy-type it, real quick-like, in the comments section of this post. Of course, you won't win anything tangible this time around. Care Bear tapped me out on my Blogoversary Sx3 last week. But you will win Mrs. Scribe's admiration & approbation. What could be better than that?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

6-Word Saturday: Don't Be a Pansy!

Why frown? Isn't it Spring now?

I don't know about y'all, but I've always thought Pansies had faces. This little fellow, I think, illustrates my belief quite well. Even though he's watered, fed & well cared-for, he still looks unhappy to me.

Doesn't he know that it's Spring? While the Cherry Blossoms are bustin' out all over with joy, here Mr. Pansy sits, perturbed in his little pot.

Show My Face sponsors 6-Word Saturday. Show her what you've got today!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fx4: DC on Parade

The most beautiful time of year in the most beautiful city in the world. The Cherry Blossoms peaked Wednesday. Mrs. Scribe, of course, made her annual pilgrimage after school, abandoning her post for the more tranquil setting of the Tidal Basin.

Clockwise, from above left: Tour buses, galore, compete with the approximately 3,750 trees that line this storied venue; the delicate blossoms, up close & personal; hoards of tourists don't even spoil the view; the Jefferson Memorial peeks thru the branches; a rescue helicopter hovers over a couple of paddle boaters...false alarm, thank goodness; the obligatory Don's John offers some of the comforts of home; the view across the Tidal Basin & the Potomac to Virginia; the ramrod-straight Washington Monument competes with twisting tree trunks; a branch bursting with blossoms; Mr. Jefferson's Memorial from a different view.

And don't forget the Center Snaps: Watch out for those low-slung branches; Bob Ryan, the local weather-dude, talks to tourists from Seattle before executing his evening news standup.

I know I've said it before, but now it's official: Happy Spring, y'all! This festive display is brought to you by Candid Carrie & her Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool's Day & The Farting Frog

OK. Some of you might have noticed that yesterday was April 1. That would be April Fool's Day. A few of you also might have guessed that Mrs. Scribe did not write the post that perched upon this blog yesterday. Not my style. Plus, I don't teach history. Duh, now!

I was involved in a bit of April Foolery yesterday, sponsored by none other than Mr. Teacher. He got all his bloggy friends together, and had them post to each other's blogs, thereby totally confusing readers, hither & yon.

My post for April 1, entitled, "Mrs. Scribe has Left the Building," appeared over at So You Want to Teach. Joel, the proprietor over there, does not rant. He does not rave. So yesterday's ranting rave, penned by moi, probably positively dumfounded his readers.

The lovely, logical & quite informative post that appeared at my place yesterday was written by EHT of History is Elementary. Yes, I still teach High School Journalism. And no, I don't do history projects with elementary school students...but she does!

To add mayhem to the mix, I've been dying to show you my neighbor's frog. He's weathered many a spring rain...and snow...storm, and still manages to maintain his pleasant demeanor. And I also wanted to turn you on to a funky writing site. It's called The Farting Frog. The author calls his blog "A cultural truck stop for those with a tiny attention span."

To close this disjointed & just plain weird post today, here's a haiku from TFF:

Lonely lily pad
Once pride of the pond, now home
To a farting frog

The End. For today, at least!
Editor's Note: Mrs. Scribe's April Fool's Day Post was the first in her scribblings for the Random Complexity Writing Contest. This entry weighed in at 430 words.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Never Too Early to Bring Up College

While my yearly curriculum does have its fair share of projects and independent study opportunities, I would say they are fairly spread out….at least one per nine weeks. Project topics might include Native American tribes, an in-depth biography of an explorer, or detailed information regarding a battle not usually covered in the history books during the American Revolution or even World War II. Every now and then I like to throw in a couple of quick projects just to keep research skills sharp.

I firmly believe it’s never too early to begin exposing younger students to the future and the possibility of college. I want them to understand that preparation begins in elementary school in order to obtain the proper foundation for later studies in middle school and in high school. I generally begin by showing them actual textbooks from middle and high school. If you haven’t lifted a high school history text in the last few years, I encourage you to do so, but be careful you don’t pull a muscle. Those suckers are thick and heavy. My nine- and ten-year-old students are often amazed at the “stuff” found in the texts, and by passing them around the room the door is opened for me to share what the future holds and why attending to their studies now will make adding more material in the future that much easier.

We also discuss college early in the year as well. Sites like
this one give plenty of reasons to attend college, but I’ve found most elementary age kids want to go to schools they are familiar with because it’s located in or near our hometown, they hear the name on television a lot, or it’s the alma mater of a parent or grandparent. Most of the kids name schools that are in the news mainly for football, but over a couple of days I like to show students that college today means so much more than a big name or being a football school. There are non-traditional colleges such as online schools, schools for particular trades such as being a chef, and smaller private colleges including religious institutions.

If you are a regular reader around here you are well aware that I’m dead up into the history of….well….the history of EVERYTHING. I like to show students that even schools of higher learning have a history and some pretty amazing facts can be gleaned by reading the history of a school. So, I pass around a hat and everyone draws out a slip of paper with the name of a college written on it.

Since it’s the beginning of the year, researching the history of a college is fairly simple since it is usually given at the college Web site. This affords me the opportunity to discuss my Internet rules, discover who is computer savvy and who is not, and we begin to hone our Internet research skills we will be using all year long.

Yes, I’ve predetermined the names of schools students will research. I’ve done this on purpose. I’m familiar with the history of each school, and I’ve chosen the schools because their history is fairly interesting and not just the same old story…..somebody who is now dead thought a community needed a college and blah, blah, blah… does not make my cut of interesting history.

Some colleges that make the cut for my project are:

Salem College….the oldest women’s college by founding date (1772)

Bellevue College…in the 1970s a male student filled in as the switchboard operator. Callers were surprised to hear a male voice. The guy experienced many folks hanging up on him thinking they had dialed the wrong number.

Reinhardt College…one of my own alma maters had military training in the 1890s for all students except those preparing for the ministry. They would hold war games on the same field where I remember being initiated into my sorority. Wow, if that field could talk…..

Harvard…is over 350 years old and the current yearly tuition tops out at $32,557.

University of West Georgia…is probably the college my students are most familiar with. They are always interested to discover the school was founded as an agricultural and mechanical school and is located on the grounds of a former plantation.

We usually round out the reporting process by drawing the school mascots and pennants using the school’s colors for a bulletin board display along with the student’s reports.

The picture with this post is the famous Georgia Arch from the University of Georgia campus.

The Georgia Info site explains the arch serves today as a symbol of the college. It was installed in the 1850s, when the front of the campus was enclosed with an iron fence. The Arch was patterned after the arch on Georgia’s state seal. Originally, the three columns held two iron gates – but these soon disappeared.


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