Monday, October 09, 2017

The World Wide Web Has Made The World Small

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Eighth-grade teacher, Geri Rydz, casually asked me, “Do you have any books to recommend to my eighth-grade students?”
I replied that I certainly did. I have 130 books that Chip and I have reviewed on Too Much Scrolling over the last 170 weeks. We have kept a database of the whole list at
I walked in to her first hour class, after morning announcements, and gave them a summary of five books:
  • The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
  • Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne
  • A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Pilot X by Tom Merritt
I left quickly after my presentation and wondered if any of my recommendations would be accepted. Geri Rydz found me later in the day to report that 4 of the titles were selected.
I decided to take a picture of the students’ exit slips and posted them on Twitter, tagging each of the four authors.
Four of the authors replied. They were all excited that students would choose their work for school.
I was so excited that they were engaged in this process so I emailed each of them and asked if they were willing to record a video greeting, naming the specific students.
Three of the authors, Tom Merritt, Tal M. Klein, and Andrew Mayne all recorded a personal message for these students. I was beside myself!
As they came in, I kept messaging Geri Rydz with updates. She was as star-struck as I was (maybe even more so).
Monday morning, I returned to the class to share the messages. The students were even more excited than we were.
The lesson to learn here is that the world wide web has made the world very small and we have access to anyone on that web of information. If you have something you want to know more about, ask the source. They might be very excited to hear you ask too.  

Volleyball Coach

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I have never been an athletic person. My ignorance of most things sport is legendary. When volleyball coach, Traci Kopetsky, approached me to coach volleyball for a day I knew that I was the last name on her list. It may have been a very long list.
She asked me to take over for her on a Tuesday so that she could spend the evening with her 6-year-old for his birthday instead of away with her volleyball team.
She rolled out the list of duties slowly:
  • Coaching
  • Away game
  • Traveling there on a bus so we would leave 10 minutes before school ends
  • Returning to school afterwards on a different bus
I told her that there were too many parts to the adventure and declined. The next day, I had decided that it would be a grand adventure and agreed.
When the announcement to get the bus came, I was excited. I left my class with a sub and went to the door where the bus was due to arrive. No bus was there.
The girls were excited too. I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to get their names fast enough for the event so I settled on the generic name for all of the girls -- Emily.
Unfortunately there is a girl on the team named Emily so I decided that her name would be Sarah.
The bus did not arrive until 3 minutes after school ended. I didn’t need to leave so early at all.
We boarded the bus. Before we even left the parking lot, I started the singing. We started with traditionals “The wheels on the bus” and progressed to “100 bottles of pop on the wall.” Apparently “beer” is inappropriate in 2017.
When we actually arrived at our destination we started with warm-ups. Knowing nothing, I stood back as the girls took the lead.
The match began and I played more cheerleader than coach. I believe that my main reason for existence in this situation was motivation. I believe that children should focus on the fun, teamwork and compassion of sport over the desire to be victorious.
I cheered for every Emily (and Sarah). I cheered for every action whether it was correct or arrant.

The crowd, refs and players didn’t know what to do with me. I was definitely not what they expected to see on this autumn afternoon. Go experience sports, you never know what you’ll see. There might be a former mascot acting like the coach.