The Cactus Who Wanted to Be a Christmas Tree

Katie loves Christmastime. Getting presents is nice, and playing in the snow with her friends is fun, but what she likes best are all the pretty decorations...

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Sunny and Victor: Best Friends Forever

Bears and rabbits are not supposed to be friends, but the story of how Sunny Bunny and Victor Bear became “best friends forever” is a tale of friendship...

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Some Poems About Life

(30 Actually) Gems of Wit & Wisdom

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Who Was James Smithson?

You have heard of the Smithsonian Institution?  The man who provided the money for this famous organization was one James Smithson. He is described on page 4 of the June 2014 issue of Smithsonian magazine —   He studied coffeemaking, human tears and snake venom, and published 27 scientific papers.  His brain, a friend said, was “fruitful

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A Poem For Memorial Day

The Patriot Jerry is a patriot, he loves his country dear. He waves the flag on July 4th, he makes his feelings clear. He fancies himself vigilant, his loyalty is defined. But when it comes the time to vote, It tends to slip his mind. He thinks the world of veterans who‘ve come home from

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What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Since I’ve been working as a substitute teacher, and for years was taking almost any job that came along, I’ve caught myself asking that question regularly.  Like the time I had an afternoon job teaching high school Health.  I was there a bit early, at the end of the period before I was to take

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Do You Like Apples?

This afternoon I was out spraying apple trees.  Between me and my neighbor, we have five apple trees of different varieties.  Mine are just maturing; hers are prolific. This looks like a good year for apples.  The complication is about the time my trees matured and started bearing fruit in quantity,  I realized I really

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Some Thoughts on Raising Children

“Teach your children well,” Crosby, Stills and Nash It’s not easy raising children today. Although I don’t have kids myself, I learned all about modern child-rearing by observing my best friend and her offspring. Like when I dropped by and was met at the door by her then-four-year-old daughter.  “Me Butt-head,” she proudly proclaimed, a

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Are You More Attentive Than a Goldfish?

Time magazine is reporting that according to a recent Microsoft study, our average attention spans are now down to about eight seconds.  This actually puts us as less attentive than goldfish, whose attention spans average about nine seconds. Time reports that Canadian researchers surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using

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More Social Studies Quotes

I’m still working at the local high school while a social studies teacher gets his homelife together.  I always like to post a different quote each day, tying into the lesson if  possible.  Here are some of my recent favorites. “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”  —  Abba Eban “Never tell

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What is Agritopia?

I ran across an interesting article in the May 2015 issue of Smithsonian magazine.  Entitled “Welcome to Farmtopia”, it describes an agricultural movement that calls itself agritopia. Several of these developments have popped up across the country. The website agritopia.com describes one such community in the Phoenix area as “…something of a modern day village

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A Simple Test For Eye Cancer

I found out about this by accident. Another teacher happened to mention today that there is a YouTube video with some important information about eye cancer.  A mother took a flash picture of her toddler.  One eye had the familiar red reflection in the pupil (“redeye”), but the other eye reflected white.  Shortly thereafter, she

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