Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Moving on

I am sad to report that due to district filtering, Blogger will no longer be accessible to my students during the school day. Because of that, I am transferring my class blog to another site. Please visit us at


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ghosts, Goblins, and Monsters, Oh My!

I don't do scary movies.

There, I have said it. I watched Children of the Corn at a 5th grade spend the night party and I was done! I spent the rest of the night in my friend's parents' room.

I don't do haunted houses.

There was one in Gordo, Alabama that I went to once. Just once. I don't care how romantic it might be to do that kind of thing with a date. I was mortified and thought I would never make it out alive.

What is your favorite haunted movie? What is your favorite haunted house? Do you have an experience to share that scared you silly?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Roots of Halloween

From the site Answers.com, the roots of Halloween come from three basic events:

Samhain. The Celts of modern-day Ireland and the UK two and a half millennia ago braced themselves for winter with this festival, which is pronounced "sowen," literally means "summer's end" and falls on November 1. It heralds the beginning of the dark, cold half of the year. (Its counterpart was Beltane, which kicked off the warm, light half of the year on May 1.) The harvest was gathered in to protect against the wintry blast of the faeries' breath, and Samhain was an occasion for thanksgiving, sacrifices, divination and prayers. In each home the hearth-fire was extinguished the night before and relit on Samhain from the central bonfires of the priestly Druids.

Pomona. She is the Roman goddess of fruit trees and the symbol of abundance. There was a festival dedicated to her worship at the end of autumn, around the time of the big harvest. When the Romans arrived in Britain, in the first century, they melded their customs with those of the Celts whom they conquered.

Feralia. This is the ancient Roman festival of the dead, which was held on February 21 with prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the deceased. The customs of this day were also blended by the Romans with those of Samhain. Feralia was superseded in the Christian Church by All Saints Day, also known as All Hallow's Day or Hallowmas, observed on May 13. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1 (though it is still marked in springtime, on the Sunday after Pentecost, by the Eastern Orthodox Church). All Saint's Day was followed by All Soul's Day, established by Saint Odilo of Cluny on November 2 to remember the souls awaiting release from Purgatory. Halloween is a contraction for "Hallow's even" — the evening of All Hallow's Day, i.e., October 31.

The first city to officially celebrate Halloween was Anoka, Minnesota, in 1921.

So, describe for the class your most memorable Halloween or fall tradition. Even if you don't believe in the whole dress-up and get candy part of it, is there something that you or your family does that indicates the end of fall and the beginning of winter?

Ex. Because we did not live in a subdivision, we had to plot our Halloween trick or treat route. There were lots of older people in our church who gave away fruit and baked goods. I would always hit those houses first. I also learned that it was important to spend time chatting with the older people rather than just getting the stash and heading back to the car. Eventually, I would make it to a few other houses before the porch lights began to go out. My parents made sure that we also made pound cakes and took them to widows and widowers in our church during Christmas holidays. I got that time to chat with them again. Since I did not have any living grandparents, I inhereted a large group of "adopted grandparents" through these experiences of taking a little time to talk with them and learn about them.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Living in Excess

As we all know this week is dedicated to being drug free. The bombardment
of red ribbons when you enter school reminds us everyday that we do not need
to use them. Our school listened to a speaker on Monday who informed the
school that doing drugs the first time is a good experience. However over
an extended period of time they can ruin your life. This is also true of
other things, it goes back to the saying too much of a good thing.
Examples of this can be found all around us. When have you seen a situation
when living in excess has had a negative affect?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Build for the future?

The issue in New York City over the possible reason to interrupt the construction currently taking place at Ground Zero is all over the news. This controversy really made me think.... I know it is important to "build for the future" but would it make the families and friends of the 9/11 victims get more closure if some time was taken to consider the human remains that have recently been discovered? Having never been in a situation such as the one these individuals who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks are in, I cannot say whether bringing up the past of what they had to deal with 5 years ago would be a beneficial thing or a tormenting thing. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

War.... what is it good for?

With all of the different things happening in the world, the Iraqi War, the genocide in Sudan, North Korea testing nuclear weapons, many people wonder, when is it just to go to war?

So what are your thoughts?
When is it our place to go to war?
Or more importantly, when is it our responsibility to go to war?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

One mankind

This weekend Mtn Brook High School and Fairfield prep came together to perform an absolutely spectacular performance of To Kill A Mocking Bird. The central theme behind this performance is the racial issues between blacks and whites. Both theater teachers wanted to get these two schools together, neither one containing any race other than white or black, to show them that the only difference is the color of skin. Garth Brooks, a famous country singer, wrote a famous song called "We Shall Be Free" containing these lyrics, "
And when money talks for the very last timeAnd nobody walks a step behind When there's only one race and that's mankind..."

Tell of a time you have heard of or have judged someone based on their skin color or ethnicity, but realized your judgment was wrong and that there is only one race being mankind.-JMM