Saturday, January 28, 2006

Lenaea Festival - CSUS

I spent the day today at Sac State (CSUS) with Lindsey and Camie, watching them performing in the Lenaea Festival.

What is a Lenaea Festival? It's a "three day festival of high school one-act plays, monologues, scenes, musical theater solos, workshops and special presentations" sponsored by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (sounds fancy, don't it?), and Sac State. I only attended today. I'm not too sure I could take three days worth, but Lindsey is sure excited!

My daughters were part of the drama team representing their high school. The one-act play, Chamber Music, was directed by my daughter Lindsey. She was one of a handful of students to direct plays at the festival. Most were directed by the drama teachers at their respective schools.

Her sister Camie was an actor for this play. She played one of 6 women in a mental institute, all believing they were various female figures throughout history.

Camie playes world explorer and famed cusser Eliza Johnson (in the tank top. I have no idea who Eliza Johnson is, but....). Also present is Joan Of Arc in the armor, and Betsy Ross at the lectern.

Ms. Johnson is also a smoker, and manages to sneak a pack of smokes into the asylum. She passes the smokes out, and of course, being in an insane asylum, they have no fire, and quickly decide smoking without fire just isn't what it's cracked up to be.

Ms Johnson, Mozart's widowed wife, and Joan of Arc of a tense moment.

After the play, the judges took all the participants into a classroom and critiqued the play, and gave pointers to the actors for improving their roles. All very positive, really. The kids did a very good job.

Later, in a classroom setting before two judges, or evaluators, Lindsey performed a monologue. She did a clip from Two Gentleman of Verona, in which poor Julia has just torn up a letter from her dear Proteus.

Julia holds the letter close and kisses the very name of her dear, dear Proteus.

After the first run through (sans glasses), the judges gave their feedback, and Lindsey ran through the monologue again, incorporating some of their suggestions. Lindsey has a very good sense of comedy, as this is a very funny scene, and pulled it off quite well.

Julia (during take two, with glasses), is terribly upset with herself for having torn the letter from her dear Proteus.

Overall, it was a very interesting day. I got to see a side of my children that I don't usually get to see. They spend a lot of time at school working on the play (opening night at school for the one-act I talk about above is next Friday), and I don't get to see rehearsals or such, so when I get to see them in this setting, it makes me very proud.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

No Media Bias in Alito Coverage?

I found this short but thoughtful article by David Boaz at the CATO Institute regarding the differences in the way the media has handled Judge Alito's nomination, vs. how the media handled Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination by President Clinton.

Yeah, yeah, CATO is a conservative think-tank, but read the article, and see if you can argue with the facts.


Teachers won't put up posters on gay rights 5 instructors balk at directive, apparently over religious beliefs.

Good for them.

This issue of what school districts can and can't do to indoctrinate our kids, and what freedom a teacher has in their own classroom, has got to be addressed, and I hope this type of case makes it's way to the higher courts.

The school district, in what they say is an effort to comply with California laws to decrease violence in the schools and promote tolerance, have designed some rainbow flag-based posters, stating it's ok to be yourself. These posters are to be displayed in each classroom, as part of an effort to make children feel safer and accepted, regardless of sexual orientation.

The clear message being sent is, homosexual students need to be protected, and if students feels anything other than acceptance with regards to homosexuality, then they are wrong, and need to be properly educated. The school district doesn't state that, but that is the message being sent.

The problem is, homosexuality is not the issue. Student behavior is. But gay activists are going to ride this issue until it's dead, because it promotes their agenda.

Every student has the right to be protected, period, regardless of their personal issue. No one segment should be singled out. No special status or protections should be afforded to any group. Period. If the school district is going to mandate rainbow flag (let's all be honest, they are pro-gay) posters to raise anti-gay awareness and decrease violence against that particular group, then they need to mandate

pro-African-American posters,
pro-illegal-immigrant posters,
pro-female posters,
pro-male posters,
pro-drama-club posters,

How about a pro-skinny-little-boy-with-bad-teeth-and-pimples-and-a-stutter posters? Those poor kids have been the target of violence and ridicule since time began.

Heck, school districts don't even mandate the American Flag be displayed in the classroom, but they want to mandate a poster?

Schools have no place either advocating to detracting with regards to any lifestyle or sexual orientation. Children in school need to be taught to be polite and considerate to all students, and to respect the rights of the individual, every individual, regardless of their issue.... whatever it is. Period. All students need to be "protected" equally. All instances of rudeness, snide comments, bullying, violence.... again, whatever.... need to be dealt with firmly and fairly.

Laughing at a young girl because she's ugly or fat and no one likes her because she's got buck teeth and a big nose, is just as damaging as telling a student they're a fag.

Probably more so, because now homosexuality can be worn as a badge of courage, of uniqueness, and special status. The poor fat girl is just out of luck.

This issues comes down to what the school's are trying to indoctrinate into our kid's heads, and how teachers have the freedom to display their personal ideology only if it agrees with the prevailing philosophy of the school district. I have an example.

My daughter's former high-school history teacher had a Bob Marley shrine in his classroom. He had, literally, a 6'x3' mural, and about 6 assorted posters of Bob Marley smokin' his dope, up on the classroom walls. The teacher was a nice man, a product of the liberal university system. He was blatantly anti-Bush and anti-conservative. He taught at the high school for several years before a long-term illness claimed his life. But the school administration saw no problem with dope-smoking Bob Marley smiling down on high-school history students, encouraging them to toke up, smoke up, and check out every so often, because the teacher was in-line with the prevailing educational philosophy (and, let's face it, the vast majority of current teachers probably smoked their fair share of dope during college, and, deep down where we don't talk about such things, say to themsleves, "it didn't hurt me any", so Bob Marley is just fine with them. I smoked my fair share of dope in my day, and I say that to myself from time to time as well, and so do many of you, so you know what I'm talking about. But dope smoking is against the law still, and I'm not an advocate in favor it. Teachers shouldn't be either).

But at the same school, a teacher was told to take down a simple "God loves you" poster displayed near her classroom door, because it was intolerant and religious.

So, the school says, dope-smoking good: religion bad.

Come folks, have no illusions. The US education system has been hijacked by philosophical liberals who want desperately to indoctrinate, guide, cajole, and brainwash our children into believing their philosophy of no ethical or moral absolutes, no consequences for personal choices, and that everyone is the same (not just equal under the law, but "not different", which is a load of crap). It's a skewed, wrong world-view that has been shown time and time again to be wrong, but they just won't give up. Especially here in California.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

IE Users Get Their Fix .... Sorta

Ok, folks, I finally got my page to display properly in Explorer, but only if you view at the most commone 1024X768 resolution.

Mind you, I really don't like Explorer. I much prefer Firefox. It's a far superior product, and much simpler to use, IMHO, but I have to acknowledge the fact that 80% of you people ;-) are still using MS's Explorer, for better or worse.

Anyway, through the very helpful tutorials at CSS Tutorial I was able to pin down that meddlesome right sidebar so it shows up the way I intended it (if you have the right resolution. Otherwise, oh well)!

Since I use Firefox, my webpage has always displayed properly for me. It was only recently when I pulled up my webpage from the computers at work that I noticed any problem at all. I tried all the Blogger suggestions, but it took some good old fashioned research to find the answer.

Thanks, Ed, for the reminder that most of you were seeing a funky page with my profile at the bottom. Now you all get to see my smiling mug right where it belongs, front and center at the top of the page!

I'm also going to dump Haloscan for my comments. I like the Blogger interface, and the fact that I can get emails letting me know that new comments have been posted.

So, my page being somewhat repaired now, I think I need to take a day trip tomorrow. I was thinking real hard about going into work for some overtime, but I just can't bring myself to go when tomorrow promises to be such a gorgeous day out here on the left coast!

Let me know if this shows up better or worse for you. If the problem persists, I shall have to continue my research!

Monday, January 23, 2006

This Is Just The Coolest Thing EVER!!

this is an audio post - click to play

I must say I feel like Sheen from Jimmy Neutron!
This is just the coolest thing EVER!! Even cooler than Ultra Lord!

Audio Blogger is a part of the Blogspot system, and is absolutely free. It took me about, oh, 60 seconds to set up my account.

You HAVE to try it!!