peachyteachy

For realsies

Pinball Wizardry circa the 1980s November 3, 2013

Filed under: advertising,art,gaming,humor,life,toys — peachyteachy @ 7:46 am
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In this, the season of gratitude (which, yes, should be every season), I am moved to remember and give thanks for an awesome gift from a bygone era: the Firepower pinball machine.

Imagine the grandeur of unlocking the MULTIBALL function—five balls released at once! The adrenaline! No amount of Swedish fish swimming across the screen could ever compare.

I was a freshman in college, and this was the last hurrah of the pinball years.  It was already competing with arcade video games.  Pacman was arrogant as hell. Firepower was pure.  It even talked to me! Its deep, computerized voice said things like, “Firepower,” and “Firepower.”  I believe that it even said, “Fire.” Heady stuff.

The beloved machine lived in the lobby of my dorm, and I think that I may have been in the minority of girls who liked that machine.   My guy friends and I frequently combined Firepower play with mind-altering substance play.

This is the point at which I should wax nostalgic about a “simpler time.”  This was the time of Reagan and the Talking Heads.  Nothing about that seemed simple to me, even though I know that many think of that time as historically halcyon.  A little hazy Firepower play took the edge off the fact that there were things called “Young Republicans” running around, poised to start their careers and define the ME Generation by their ME salaries.

I may have to write a grant to have one of these installed in my classroom.  I will update you on the Kickstarter campaign.

Oh, and don’t forget–

I remain, proudly,

YOU ARE A WINNER - 150 12X12

image:https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=1-QYAinczA0rNM&tbnid=nOa67tkaoUtfWM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bmigaming.com%2FDiscontinued%2Fdiscontinued-pinball-machines-ff.htm&ei=oTl2UsXeJauh4AO22IGgAw&bvm=bv.55819444,d.cWc&psig=AFQjCNGYkz7-EfdyzIsxJQLS9pdzxtD0aA&ust=1383566007020354

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Report Card Comments: End of Year Survival Report July 1, 2013

I wish that I could have included this video somehow in the final report cards of about eight of my students this year, because this pretty much captures their learning this year.  Eight kids who are making and shooting “paper hornets” on a daily basis has a pretty profound impact on the hygiene and learning of a classroom.  I believe that I have mentioned my students’ impressive ability to crease paper more effectively by spitting upon it.  They do not possess an overwhelming generosity of spirit, but they are really quite selfless when it comes to giving up and dispersing their saliva.

If you are new to Peachy’s report card comments, you may be picturing a pale suburban clientele, in which case you would be sadly misled.  Aren’t they adorable?

My class is a bit less enthusiastic. And if they all put their hands up like that, people would be losing consciousness within seconds. We don’t encourage that nonsense. No, mine are more like this:

But let’s get down to it—the bane of the educator’s existence.  The comments.  The comments I tackle here will tend to revolve around students for whom the teacher scratches her head for minutes on end, just trying to come up with one small piece of insight that offers a suitably hazy filter.  You don’t need any guidance to come up with comments for that class up there. . .Well, maybe that one with the Christmas bow in her hair.

We try to include some tidbit of data—this is really for the administrators, as parents really don’t have a huge interest in that numerical food by which we live and die.  Thus, in our nicely laundered comment, we may say something like this:

El Capitan is reading 120 words per minute.  He has mastered his multiplication facts through 5.  El Capitan should continue to read challenging chapter books and practice skip counting daily this summer.  Good luck in sixth grade!

Truth:

El Capitan can sound out words but has no clue as to the meaning of what he reads.  This is especially apparent when he constructs “paper hornets” under his desk during reading tasks.  Although you have been unable to penetrate the force field surrounding the school this year, I have learned that the library is four steps away from your home, and people are permitted to borrow and read books from there. They have a lot of them.  Also, my dog can skip count by fives.  Step it up. GOOD LUCK in sixth grade. 

Slightly altered from reality:

LaShaw’na has demonstrated an interest in graphic design—this, combined with her expanding vocabulary, have resulted in a colorful social studies project during this marking period.  LaShaw’na has also developed a unique note-taking strategy.  Read, read, read! Good luck in sixth grade, LaShaw’na!

Truth:

LaShaw’na embellishes her textbooks, her desk, her pantlegs, and her arms with the proper noun, “Bitch Ass.”  She consistently spells “Bitch Ass” correctly!  I am guessing that this is the given name of an older relative, first name “Bitch,” last name “Ass.”  It would be fantastic if Bitch Ass could spend some time reading with LaShaw’na this summer, as she tends to stare blankly when asked questions such as, “What happened in that last sentence we read?” Good effing LUCK next year!

Made up niceties:

Dennis has an affinity for physical fitness, the fine arts, and for word study.  I am confident that he will make his mark on middle school! Good luck in 6th grade!

Truth:

Once, Dennis said the word “wheat” (pronounced “hweat”) three thousand times in the space of fifteen minutes. He has launched a small business selling transparent tape sculptures of zombies, and has clean-and-jerked a large table.  These activities have proven to be slight obstacles to learning, as the words get blurry when one is sprinting past the classroom door.  Remember, snack is not provided in the In-School Suspension room at middle school.  But the lunch is equally delicious! GLI6G!

Teachers everywhere, have a lovely summer.

 

My Little Pony: Life Lessons April 21, 2013

“I think you’ve taken your assertiveness training too far, Fluttershy! You can’t go around being mean to everypony!” The formerly too-nice Fluttershy had begun to terrorize somepony  in Equestria on a daily basis. Friendship is magic, after all, and so it was intervention time.

There’s a reason that My Little Pony is such a cult classic, like Plato and Aristotle.

Before now, I hadn’t considered the fact that this could be a factor for those meanies that come across my path in many forms:  they’ve just taken their assertiveness training too far! Clearly, assertiveness training is a free course, accompanied by free snacks, held in some church basement, or, possibly, basketball court in the neighborhood of our fun-loving elementary school.

In a fascinating turn, it would appear that another stratum of my little slice of human interactors has ALSO gone a little hog wild with the assertiveness training!  While the youngsters practice their pec-to-pec assertiveness bump (derived from years of study in the wild of the assertive mountain goat), the folks at the top of the food chain are correcting the errors in their too-nice ways, sporting their newfound skills of belittling and blaming those over whom they reign.  Nopony’s staging an intervention for these folks, though, which can be problematic if you’re an underling in the organization.  Note that the underlings have not been offered assertiveness training as quality professional development.  That would defeat the purpose of underlings.

Can’t we just all be Bronies and get along?

image: http://abadcookie.deviantart.com/art/Fluttershy-s-Rage-288099157

“My Little Pony” is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc., the same company that brings you G.I. Joe Retaliation Snake Eyes Ninja Chucks.

 

Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga: One Game, One Goal December 27, 2012

Is there any game/app/movie franchise that is not a part of this game? No! Is there any skill that isn’t tested by the gameplay involved here? Well, maybe one or two skills remain untested.  Cooking isn’t really tested well by this game, nor are the beloved needle arts, although my son did rename Darth Vader “Darth Tenderloin,” which I found endlessly amusing.  Suffice it to say that we were successful, not only in constructing the Death Star (which one must repeat whenever one has a burning desire to play Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga), but also in destroying the Death Star, which is no small feat when Han Solo is reduced to an irritated fowl with his hair parted in the middle.  If you want to find out more details about the game, I have included an annoying YouTube tutorial for your viewing pleasure above.

Such are the simple pleasures of a teacher’s life in the few days following Christmas.  I also took a ridiculously long nap, and shoveled a foot of snow (and by that I mean several cubic feet of snow).  More vacay fun: removed the rug from son’s room, where he had thrown up in the middle of the night. Yes, the festivities just keep on rolling.

Our ultra-faithful neighbors across the street snow-blowed (snow blew?) the part of the driveway that I didn’t finish, and for that I was truly grateful. Halle freaking lujah grateful: I whipped up a plate of “Thanks -for- helping -us- out- even -though- you -won’t -let- our- kids- play- together- because- mine- is- a -heathen- who- reads- Harry -Potter- and- has- seen- representations- of- Renaissance- art” Christmas treats! It was very healing. Hopefully they didn’t notice that the star cookies were pentagrams. . .Come on, you’ve received those gag cookie cutter gifts too.

Finally, I must confess that the snowstorm arrives on the heels of my discovering that I have no snow pants that fit my son.  We had so little snow last year that, when we did try to sled, we had to throw on a couple of layers of sweat pants and race up to the hill before the 40 degree temperatures transformed our sledding adventure into a little mini Tough Mudder. This winter (today), my inadequacy is far more evident.   I have hand-me-downs in the attic, but the next size up will by when he is pushing puberty.  In addition, my holiday investments have left the snow pants budget rather depleted.  Please email if you would like to forward me your gently used outerwear, size 8-10.

 

 
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