NC Schools should take page from MI for schedule

Snow days are quite new to my family. Having lived in Michigan all our lives, we are quite accustomed to snow. However, when the wife and I were in school hell had to actually freeze over before the school was closed because of snow (I can only remember our school closing twice the ENTIRE time we were there).

Even during the time that my daughters were enrolled in school in Michigan, it was rare that school was actually closed due to the weather (MAYBE two-to-three times a year). Even when the school might have been closed, there was never a make up date scheduled, and Saturday school was never an option!

So far this year my children have missed 11 days because of inclement weather. Because of the weather the schools have scheduled make up days over spring break, Memorial Day, and a couple Saturdays, to name a few, so that they can meet the 180 day requirement.

I think it’s time for the Governing Body of North Carolina Schools to take a page from Michigan and their requirement for school. Michigan goes on an hourly requirement of 1,098 hours¹ of instruction. Whereas North Carolina requires 180 days² AND 1,000 hours, in order to be consistent with 29 other states.

Here’s a quick comparison between a school district in Michigan and one here in North Carolina:

Orchard View High School starts at 7:40 am and dismisses at 2:30 pm on a regular, full school day. A.C. Reynolds High School starts at 7:50 am and dismisses at 3:00 pm on a regular, full school day. A difference of only 20 minutes, which isn’t too bad.

The school year in North Carolina begins August 25th, unless a school can qualify for a waiver³ to begin two weeks earlier, and the school year in Michigan begins the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is a difference of almost two weeks, four depending on waiver qualification, between the two states required start date.

In North Carolina the school year ends June 10th, whereas, this year, the school year in Michigan ends June 4th. This is a difference of almost a week.

Just going on the basic start date of August 25th for North Carolina, student are in school almost three weeks longer, WITHOUT having to make up missed days, than the students in Michigan, to begin with. And, right now, some school districts are already planning on going beyond the June 10th date to make up missed days.

Here’s my point to all this; instead of the schools complaining, or trying to get the State of North Carolina to allow them the flexibility of controlling their own school schedule, maybe they should just fight to eliminate the 180 day requirement. If they were to adopt the same 1,098 hours of instruction requirement that is in place in Michigan, they could start the school year a little later and not have to worry about finding ways to make up days missed due to inclement weather. They would have the flexibility over their school calendar that they want. Students and teachers would keep the scheduled days off during the year, instead of them being used to make up days. And tourism and family vacations would not be affected.

I understand that folks from the South don’t like to take advice, on anything, from folks in the North. But, honestly, I think those folks up there know how to handle inclement weather a little bit better.

¹Found under the heading “Pupil Hours of Instruction”

²Found in Chapter 5, under the heading “Opening & Closing Dates”

³Found in Chapter 5, under the heading “Waiver Requests”

Hell Explained

This one is too good not to share. Enjoy….

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The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona
chemistry midterm, and an actual answer turned in by a student.

The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with
colleagues, via the Internet, which is of course why we now have thepleasure of
enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it
expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we
need
to know
the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving,
which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will
not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell,
let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to
Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to
more than one religion, we project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death
rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states
that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of
Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the
temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the
temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, ” It will
be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you”, and take into account the fact that I slept
with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is
exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell
has frozen over, it follows than it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore,
extinct………..leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which
explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting ” Oh my God.”

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A

A decision is made.

Yesterday I made a decision. It was a very difficult decision to make, for me. I have decided to drop out – no, to put college on hold – for now. I did not discuss this decision with anyone other than myself. Even though I know it is for the best, I still cannot stop thinking about how much of a mistake it is. I may return during the winter term, or I may just weigh my options and see about transferring to a college closer to home.

What made me make this decision, you ask? Well, mainly it is about time, or the lack there of for actually putting forth the dedicated time necessary to achieve the satisfactory that I demand of myself. You see, since the wife and I have been down to one vehicle, I have been working overtime to, hopefully, raise the necessary funds to purchase a decent, dependable, second vehicle. Couple that with the amount of time required for the studies for two online classes. I have realized that it is just not possible for this term.

One of my main arguments, with myself, for making the decision that I have is the fact that I already earned my Associates. I mean, really, do I really need my Bachelors in order to be happy? In order to keep, or land a better career? Or position within the company that I currently work for? For all of those questions, the answer is a resounding NO!

I have already accomplished more than what anyone ever thought that I would. After being a High School drop-out, the only one in my family, to being the first child my parents bore to earn a college degree. Marrying young, having three children young, and keeping this family together for 13 years (after many, many trials that would have torn other families apart). To providing for said family to the best of my abilities; keeping a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, and even providing luxuries that definitely are not necessary.

Yes, I agree that a Bachelor degree would be an even greater accomplishment. However, I also feel that there are more important things for me to take care of right now (things that I cannot, should not, and will not share), things that will make it even more difficult for me to concentrate on the work needing to be done, this term.

No, I am not ruling out the completion of my degree in the future. All I am doing is putting it all on hold, for now. Maybe I will take the time to pay down some of the student loans that have accumulated over the past three years. Maybe I will research the local colleges to see what they actually have to offer me, and what classes will be allowed to transfer from my current learning institution. Or maybe, I may decided that having just the Associate degree is enough.

Who knows that the future holds?

Until next time, my friends…

F-Word Friday: Football

F-Word Friday

F-Word Friday is a theme that I am stealing/borrowing from fellow blogger and friend Ms.Darkstar. It is a day to take a random word, that begins with F (of course), and express your thoughts accordingly.

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This week’s F-Word is Football.

Hello Ladies and Gents, today is all about football. It tis the sport that I love. Although I really did not play when I was younger – just a couple stints in Jr. High and for half a season in High School. To me, there is no sport better than football. Seeing the boys/men killing each other on the field is a wonderful sight.

This posting is brought about because tonight starts the High School football season here. Although the teams are different than who I am used to rooting for, I am still pumped! No longer am I going to be an avid Orchard View Cardinal, or Muskegon Big Red (as if I have been a Big Red fan that much lately….pshh!) fan. Now it is all about the A.C. Reynolds Rockets!

From what I seen of them last year, they have a large student body, but a small team. Nothing like what I am used to from the schools back in Michigan. Heck, the student body here is bigger than what Muskegon High ever was and the team (from what the fielded last year) had less players than Orchard View fielded.

Muskegon Big Reds 2007 Football Team (via blog.mlive.com)

Muskegon Big Reds 2007 Football Team (via blog.mlive.com)

Just to let you all know what I am talking about that are not from my home town. Muskegon has a student body of approximately 1200 and Orchard View is approximately 800-900. Muskegon fields a team of approximately 60-65 players, and OV fields approximately 40-45. A.C. Reynolds student body is approximately 1300 students, and they field a team (from what I seen last season, it could be more this year) of approximately 45-50 players.

Orchard View Cardinals 2007 Football Team (via blog.mlive.com)

Orchard View Cardinals 2007 Football Team (via blog.mlive.com)

OK, now that I have explained that, and I hope that I did explain it well, I am not saying that I no longer care about Muskegon or OV, I really do hope they do well in their respective Divisions and Conferences, and I hope that they both win State this year. But, I have a whole new school and team to follow.

I am a little excited for the high school season to begin. I already have some Reynolds Rockets gear (still need to buy a hat yet, probably tonight). I am more excited than my daughters are, of course. But, hopefully they will come around. One other good thing, the Rockets seem to be a powerhouse team from WNC! They have won a couple State Titles in 4-A, and they went really deep into the playoffs last season, losing a close game in the semi-finals (I believe).

The only bad thing will be if it actually rains tonight like is being predicted. They are calling for scattered storms tonight. And trust me, lately, when it rains, it pours around here. I am not sure if I want to get that wet for a game (not like I haven’t before, but still!).

Anywho…good luck to all teams that are beginning their seasons. I wish them all the best of luck. That is, of course, unless they are playing against the A.C. Reynolds Rockets, Orchard View Cardinals, or Muskegon Big Reds!

           A.C. Reynolds Rockets     Orchard View CardinalsMuskegon Big Reds
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In other news…

Along with High School football comes the NFL. And, yes folks, I am still a DIE-HARDDetroit Lions fan. Hey, they at least won their first pre-season game! (So, don’t hate! 😉)

Alright, I know that they were also the only team to will all their pre-season games last year just to lose all their regular season games and go down in history to be the only team in the NFL to lose 16 games in a season.

But hey, they are still my team and I will not trade them for any other. Not even the Panthers that are right here in NC! And now that the wife has a job, I may just splurge a little bit and get DirecTv just so that I can get the NFL Sunday Ticket in order to watch my Lions on Sunday’s.

Until next time, my friends…

A Change…and some good news!

I have made a decision. Something that is usually difficult for me to do, but I made one (haha). Yesterday, while I was at the Doctor’s, I decided that I was ready to quit smoking (again).

A few years ago I made a semi-successful attempt at quitting. With the assistance of Welbutrin (sp?) I was able to quit for about 6 months. That was until I decided to fall off the wagon cause of stress at work. Everything was going pretty good with it at the time, to be honest with you. By combining a diet program with the method for quitting I was able to do it and lose weight at the same time!

I tried to quit again a little over a year ago, but, obviously, it didn’t work. Honestly, I didn’t even quit for a day that time.

But, this time, I think that I am completely ready and determined to quit. I have my generic Welbutrin (Budeprion) prescription and have already decided on my quit date (September 2nd). I plan (although plans do seem to change, often) on completely cleaning my car this weekend and turn it back into a “NO SMOKING” vehicle like it was the last time I quit. And, by the end of next week, I plan to completely quit taking smoke breaks at work.

I am hoping that I will find more active things to do when I am out of work. But, then again, school will be starting for me again in about a month, so that may cut into the time I will have. I will just have to see how things are going.

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In other news…

The wife got the call today. She starts her new job on Tuesday. I am so happy! She will finally be doing what she went to school for (and she graduated in 2007!). I guess that also means that I will have to learn how to cook again. At least a few times a week. ;)…

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Plans for this weekend kinda got a little messed up today when my friend said that her daughter wasn’t going to the first high school football game this Friday. My daughter was kinda looking forward to meeting her (in person) and I was kinda hoping that both of our families could get together for an enjoyable evening. My friend said that her daughter is going to her brother’s and that her and her hubby are going out. I don’t blame her, as she said that she needs some adult time.

Maybe I will take the wife out (to celebrate the new job) instead of going to the football game. But, then again, I really don’t like it when anything comes in between me and football. I guess that I will just have to wait and see how the rest of the week goes! (However, if said friend was to invite the wife and I out with her and the hubby, I think that I could convince myself to talk the wife into going out instead…hint-hint 😉) Not TRYING to seem desperate, but just looking for things to do with the wife OUTSIDE of the house!

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Well, that about does it for me today. Nothing else exciting to talk about. Now, aren’t you all glad that this post wasn’t a lot of TMI? Hahaha…I’m saving the next one for TOMORROW! 🙂

Until next time, my friends…

What’s there to be worried about?

So, today was just one of those day’s. I don’t know if there was a lot weighing on my subconscious, or what it was. At work I made a major, major mess up. One of the easiest parts of my job, making sure the operator’s are using the right ink for the labels they are printing, and I mess it up. Major FAIL! on my part. Fortunately it was found before the jobs were completed and sent out to the customer, so we were able to fix the problem. But still, that was something that I should have noticed right away, at least on four instances!

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Today my wife had her second “working interview.” I guess that it went alright, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that she will be offered the position in the next couple days. Especially since the other job she interviewed for a couple weeks ago was offered to someone else. Not that I want her to work, because I would rather she didn’t have to. But, life will be so much better with a second income coming in. We will just have to wait and see what happens. We are confident that she will be offered the position by the end of the week.

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Tomorrow I go and see what the results of the CT-scan are. I am hoping to finally find out what the issues are that are causing me so much pain (not constant pain, but pain nonetheless). It will be a relief to finally have an answer to my questions, but at the same time, I am a little worried about what the results will be. I hope that it will be something simple to fix. But, at the same time, I am fearing the worst.

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Next week, a week from tomorrow to be exact, the children start their new school. I know that they are a little scared, but I also know that they will be fine. My oldest finally got to talk to a future classmate of hers on the phone today. I have only been trying for the past few weeks to get them to meet (unsuccessfully, obviously). But, they got to talk on the phone and my daughter seems to like this girl after their first (hour-plus long) conversation. It is just too bad that the younger two daughter’s have not been able to meet some future classmates.

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By the end of the month we will probably be down to only one vehicle as our lease on our van is up. If we are not able to get refinanced then we have to turn it back over. The only problem that I see with the situation is that we will be in a bind for the both of us to get to and from work until we can afford to buy a second vehicle. I guess, if we will be down to one vehicle, I can check with a co-worker about catching a ride to and from with them. Not sure how they would feel about it, but it is an option (pretty much the only option) for now.

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So, really, what all is there to be worried about? Although there is a lot here that I have mentioned, really there is nothing. All I can do, all I will do, is just take everything day-by-day and let everything come as it may. For pretty much everything that I have talked about I will be giving updates as soon as I know what is going on. Wish me luck on finding out my result. Wish my wife luck on becoming one of the newly employed. Wish my daughters luck on beginning a new year in a new school. And wish my family luck on, hopefully, continuing to be a two-vehicle family. Honestly, there is nothing to worry about. At least not on my end.

Until next time, my friends…

So, where have I been?

Why, hello all my wonderful friends. No, I have not forgotten about you all. I bet you thought that I did though, didn’t you?

Anyways, I wish that I could say that I have been really, really busy, but, that would be one BIG lie! Hey, at least I am being honest with you all. And, no, I have not been ignoring you all, I have just been taking it easy and enjoying the days as they go by.

So, what is new and exciting with me, you ask? Nothing really. The kiddo’s are about to embark on another year of education, but only in a new school this time. I think that they will be alright, but, you know how it is, only time will tell.

It seems like the wifey is getting closer and closer to finding a job. Yes, FINALLY!!! She had, what seemed to be, a promising interview on Friday. Then, she had another interview on Monday where they requested, get this, a “working interview.”

Huh-what?!

First of all, what the hell is a working interview? And, secondly, why the hell would a company want to interview someone in that manner? I am just baffled by the idea. But, hey, at least they are going to be paying her for it, so we can’t complain about that.

Aside from all that, I am getting myself used to working day’s again (yay for me!!). And just counting down the day’s until I start classes again at the end of September. The classes I have this fall are going to be kinda exciting: Creative Writing, Principles of Marketing, and Business Law. All crammed into 6 wonderful weeks of learning and torture with the first two classes being taken at the same time, and Business Law being taken during a 6 week period all by itself.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. As some of you might already know, I went in for a CT scan last Friday on my side. I have been having slight pains and have been quite uncomfortable (and have been having some other problems…a TMIT? Maybe!) for a couple/few months now from whatever the issue is. I am still waiting to hear from the Doctor as to what the results were. I just hope that he is not planning on waiting until next Tuesday, when I have my next appointment, to tell me the results.

Anywho. I thought that I would drop in here, change up my blog page a bit (how you like it?), and say “Hello” to you all. So, drop me a line or leave me a reply. Let me know that you all still care….lol. 🙂

Until next time, my friends…