Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The WB

So I was watching one of my all-time favorite shows, "Cheaters" (Saturdays at 9 on the WB) this past weekend, and I realized that all the commercials were aimed at people they thought were... I don't know how to put this.... lower class/uneducated?? By that I mean that the commercials were advertising help with credit card debt, erection problems, local chat lines, etc. as if to say that the only people who watch the WB are losers or something. That is really bad because that is not true! I love "Cheaters". I really don't know how to explain this....... maybe someone can help. I am really out of it today-maybe I will add more to this when I can think clearly.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The plight of Guatemala

This is an email I received the other day from Casa Alianza's distribution list. Casa Alianza is an organization located in Central America and is a branch of Covenant House New York. It works to protect the rights of children.


For the second time security forces assault an Educator from Casa Alianza

On Wednesday the 14th of June a group of street educators were conducting their daily activities with the street children. When they arrived they were surprised to find that a group of soldiers, who make up the “City Security Squadron”, had a group of street children standing up against the wall. They were searching them and, at the same time, giving them blows to the chest. The military were traveling on the motorcycles of the National Civil Police, as part of the combined operatives of the two governmental institutions.

An educator from Casa Alianza went to their defense and in response the soldiers assaulted him too. They put him against the wall, searched him and took his name down in a notebook. The educator explained to them that he worked for Casa Alianza and showed him the respective identification. The soldiers responded with crude language, giving them to understand that this did not matter to them. One of the soldiers said to them, “stop interfering in things, we could find ourselves meeting when we are not in uniform”, which was taken to be a clear threat.

Casa Alianza, along with various other organizations that work for human rights, are becoming greatly concerned recently, due to the fact that they hear daily of harassment of street children and street youth by the military forces. Such preoccupations were made greater when it was officially announced that the army and the police will strengthen their work together, and that the soldiers, as much as the police, will be equipped with support materials such as electric immobilizers and pepper spray. With the situation as it has been in the last month, this greatly concerns Casa Alianza, due to the possibility that it could increase abuses committed against children and adolescents.

On the other hand, the Prosecutor of Violent Crimes reported that up to May 86 bodies had been found with evidence of torture, of which, 60% of the victims were registered as having criminal records, and that the statistics indicate an increase in violent deaths.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Sunday, June 18, 2006

In no particular order...

These are just things that I have thought about lately.

1. I did laundry today and it's great that the machines are so nasty that my clothes (specifically a pretty red dress I have) come out with more stains on them than when they went in the washer.

2. I saw "The DaVinci Code" on Thursday and loved it! I guess I am in the minority though b/c most people said they didn't like it (the ones that read the book BEFORE the movie at least). At work the other day, some people said I would like the movie so much b/c I didn't read the book first. By that I assume the book is better, and that the movie ruined it. (?) Either way, the movie was amazing. On my grading scale of A to F, I give it an A-. (As opposed to my favorite all time movies like "The Gladiator" that get an A+).

3. I also saw "The Breakup" today (Aniston and Vaughn). It made me laugh all through the movie, but the ending left little to enjoy I think. I give it a B-/C+.

4. I came to realize that in one year (November to November), my international travels will have taken me to Western Europe (Espana last Thanksgiving), Central America (Costa Rica a month ago), Eastern Europe/Middle East (Turkiye in 2 weeks), and Northern Africa/Middle East (Egypt in a month and a half). Damn. I am so lucky!! I can't sit still! : ) : ) I cannot imagine how many pics I will take on the two upcoming trips. Don't be surprised if there are 1,000 total.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Recent happenings

Wow, thanks for your comments on the high school major thing! That seemed to spark some debate. : )

So I decided to check out that new show on CBS on Tuesdays called the Tuesday Night Book Club. I could only watch it for 20 min though b/c it was just so made up.... despite the fact that it was supposed to be reality. Seven women from Arizona who meet every Tuesday for a book club end up talking about their marriages, sex lives, jobs, and kids and don't even read the books. There is a divorced mother of 3, a newlywed, a woman who has been married since 19 and wants to leave her hubby, a woman who had a husband with an addiction, a party girl (single), a trophy wife, and another I can't remember. Basically they all talk about how bad their lives are and cry about it. The newlywed and her hubby moved into a new house and she claims he won't help her with anything, while he says she nags. Usual stuff. It was good at first, but I still felt the whole thing was staged. Then I turned the channel. I may tune in again next week to give it another try, but I can't guarantee anything.

Other than that, the World Cup is going on.... Spain kicked a*s and poor Costa Rica keeps losing. I love the Cup though!!

Going to see DaVinci Code tonight-perhaps I'll put up a commentary about it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Picking majors.... in high school?!

Sorry I haven't posted-I intended to yesterday and the day before, but when I tried to get onto Blogger, it didn't work. Anyways, here is a new law in the state of FL and I really don't know what to say about it...... other than it will affect my job a lot.

Jun 5, 5:05 PM EDT
Bush signs education bill requiring high school majors
By KELLI KENNEDY Associated Press Writer
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida high school students will be the first in the nation required to declare majors and minors like college students, as part of a sweeping education overhaul bill that Gov. Jeb Bush signed Monday.
The provision, to begin during the next school year, is designed to bolster poor graduation rates by allowing students to study subjects that excite them.
A major could include traditional academic subjects like English and math or a vocational field such as carpentry or auto repair. Students still have to pass a core curriculum.
"Not all students are the same," the governor told a group of students from McFatter Technical High School in suburban Fort Lauderdale, where he signed the bill. "Some struggle with certain subjects while others excel. Our education system should not be a one size fits all system for every student, but it should adapt to meet the needs of each student."
Students are making great strides academically in elementary school, Bush said. But by the time they reach middle school, their interest starts to wane. By the time students are in high school test scores start to plummet.
"We see major declines in reading and math in 10th grade and that is not acceptable," he said.
The governor said all the provisions in his "APlus-Plus" plan will increase rigor and relevance at the middle and high school levels.
Yorlenis Rodriguez, 16, who has decided to spend her senior year studying nursing at McFatter, praised the program.
"It's better because you get an opportunity to work outside (high school) and make money, and I get a start on my college career," Rodriguez said.
Critics contend the education bill does little to address the real problem - a system that relies too heavily on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
"Florida has the worst high school graduation rate in the nation and it's only gotten worse under the A- plus plan," said Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, who voted against the bill. "Rather than repair a flawed policy, we simply continue down the same wrong kind of path. I thought there was very little in the bill that would meaningfully change anything."
Rep. Shelley Vana, D-Lantana, applauded the vocation component of the bill, but said the plan overall is still fundamentally flawed.
"The A-plus-plus is attempting to remedy the fact that long term the A-plus plan doesn't really work," Vana said.
The bill (HB 7087) requires high school students to take a fourth year of math, as well as career planning instruction for middle school students.
Additionally, middle and high school students who perform poorly on the FCAT, must enroll in an intensive reading course. Teachers who fill vacancies at low performing schools or in subjects where there are shortages will receive higher compensation.
The bill also prohibits local school districts from starting the school year earlier than two weeks before Labor Day.
The starting date limit is a response to complaints from parents and the tourism industry about starting dates steadily creeping into early and mid-August, instead of later in the month - a move prompted by a growing emphasis on standardized education.
© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Here is the link to the article. I just don't get why we have to push students to pick a major in high school-they can't even pick one in college b/c they are so many opportunities.... I don't know if many 15 yr-olds know what they want to do until they are 60 yrs old. : ( Opinions????

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I know, I know

I will post more Costa Rica pics when I get them developed.... what I do on every trip I take is take emergency cameras (disposables) in case my digital doesn't work (like if I forget to charge it, which happens RARELY). I want to save the disposable pics on a CD but CVS was out of CDs when I asked, so I have to wait to share the pics. They are good ones too... in due time, in due time. : )

Meanwhile.... the French Open continues, and Nadal gave me a little scare today vs. Frenchman Mathieu. Nadal dropped the first set, but won 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Phew. And on his 20th b'day too. Now his clay court streak is 56 consecutive matches won. The longest in the open era. My dilemma is predicting who will win the French. Everyone is saying Nadal vs. Federer... do I want to go with that? I think so. I actually don't know what to predict here for the winner. I think I will say Federer b/c he wants it so badly. But I don't know-Nadal fought back today. If I HAD to put money on it, I'd say Federer. He just has to contend with one of the most feared forehands in the game and the speed of Nadal. It'll be quite the match to watch.

And Costa Rica opens up vs. Germany in the World Cup. Vamos ticos!! (And Espana too of course!) I cannot wait for this!