Easier than writing lots of individual emails

Archive for September, 2007


I thought so. 
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This is my favorite post from Gunner, to date.
What’s ironic is that it’s been sitting, unread, in my GoogleReader menu for a while.  I’d been putting off reading it cuz I felt like it would be too long or really convicting or just somehow not fitting into the really busy/limited time that I had during the week. 
I was wrong. 


Really? Really.  CLICK HERE  The man he headbutted died.  Really.


So, tonight I recieved the email that had the 167 page attachment…the transcript from the parole hearing this summer.  When I first got it (around 9pm) I opened it, glanced at it and clicked it closed…thinking that I needed to be in a different frame of mind for that read. 

A few hours later, I was laying in bed WIDE awake thinking about a zillion things: a San Diego bound friend, the real estate market, God’s sovereignty, the Office premiere, prayer and the Psalmists, some missionaries I know, the ocean, New Zealand, the summer, at one point crying…the usual.  I wished I could fall asleep.  When I acknowledged that sleep was far away, I got up and opened the parole hearing transcripts.  The intro email from the DA said it would be hard to read because it would bring it all right back into focus, as if it had been yesterday.  As I embarked on the 167 page confidential document, I instantly saw his truth.  I felt like I was back in that hot tiny room looking at Ms. Nathan’s shackled profile.  There are some parts from the hearing that I REALLY want to skip ahead to re-read (like the DA’s argument for her continued incarceration and then her defense lawyer’s response and then also the victim statements…those were incredibly compelling).  However, I want to read from beginning to end, in context because I’ve already seen a few details that I missed that day…so, I wonder how much more I will learn from reading them in order. 

I have to teach 7th & 8th graders tomorrow…I wish I had fallen asleep 3 hours ago so that I could be fresh.  However, the transcripts are timely…just a reminder that every person/child matters and you never know where people have been or what they’ve been through.  Especially children. 


I love Todd Bolen’s current (private) blog wherein he solicites help, insight, experience etc. from others who have gone before him in varied spheres of life.  So, in homage to him (and need for myself), I ask for your input, beloved reader who probably knows more then I do about SKYPE. 

I have many international friends and would love to communicate more with them, but it requires much coin.  During a call from New Zealand last night, I was asked (again) if I have Skype capabilities.  I recognize that I need to flee my lazy American ways and learn about it so that I can encourage/be encouraged by my cool friends around the world! 

So, who knows about it (and uses it) and can give good practical tutorial tips?  I logged onto their Skype’s web site, but frankly I know that people like AP, EWZ, you. etc. are better, more understandable resources….so, bring it, hit me up…skype style!


My 2 favorite moments of recent subbing in 8th grade:

#1-The Scene
I gave them a post-test assignment (while they were waiting for their classmates to finish the test).  It was to list 5 things that I might find interesting about them.  My favorite comes from a girl who is VERY interesting.  Very ‘academic’, very intense, slightly disconnected, and angry that I made her write a paragraph cuz of talking w/o permission.  She gave me the cold sholder after the paragraph punishment.  Her ‘5 Things’ paper was neatly listed 1-5, every point was in a different color (I will try to re-create), and her 5 points are:
1.  I am very good at archery.  I study bow and arrow type archery.  I want to get into the Olympics.
2. I am pretty good at singing.  I am a soprano and I am in chorus.
3. My all-time favorite movie is Jaws even though im afriad of sharks.  I enjoy going to the beach and swimming in WAY over my head water
4.  I read at least 1 book a day.  I enjoy reading romances
5.  I collect charms and right now I have over 500 charms

#2-The Scene
During the Q & A that I always let them have, one tiny little guy asked me…
LG: do you have any hidden talents?
Me: Yes.  Do you?
LG: (non-chalantly) yes
Me: Really.  What is it?
LG: I can scream at decibal pitch of 116
Me: (fighting back laughing) Really?  I’d like to hear that.  Would you be willing to do that for the whole class?
LG: (non-chalantly and touching his throat) Well, I’ve been sick and I’m not sure if I can get ny normal pitch.
Me: Well, would you be willing to try?  I mean if it’s going to hurt your throat I don’t want you to, but if you can get even close to that pitch I’d really be interested in seeing…I mean hearing that.
(while he ponders, I ask the class if they’d like him to demonstrate his hidden talent.  They yell ‘yes’)
LG: Ok, I’ll do it
(at my request, he walks to the front of the class, I walk to the back)
Me: Should we plug our ears or…
LG: (non-chalantly) I’d recommend it
Me: (fighting back laughing) Ok, class, you might want to plug your ears

Then this tiny little human (no more than 85lbs soaking wet), standing there as if bored out of his mind, all of the sudden hunched over, opened his mouth, and let out the most amazing and shocking scream…the pitch…well, let’s just say that my right ear was still ringing after we cheered, after they all calmed down and after I resumed class.  I think that’s been one of my top 10 favorite Jr High sub moments.


So, as promised, here are some excerpts from this assignment ‘Based on what I know so far about Miss Neylan, here are 5 things about me that she might find interesting’.  These excerpts are verbatim quotes from  several 8th grade classes at La MEsa Jr High.  I will list my 2 favorites in another post.  As you read these, consider who/what has shaped these young  world views.  Sometimes it’s refreshing, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes  it’s  really disheartening.

-I don’t care what anyone thinks of me
-I hate when people walk slow in front of me
-I have been dancing for 8 years
-My name is spelled weird (I think)
-I have a scar on my stomach
-I can land a nightmare flip
-I don’t believe in God
-I have 7 piercings
-The things I find most funny are usually very random
-My favorite movie is Monty Python & the Holy Grail
-I am a Christian and am being raised in a Christian family
-I can’t burp…AMAZINGLY!
-I’m lactose intolerant & my last name is Mielke (pronounced) ‘Milky’
-I get the guilty feeling very easily
-scared of monkeys
-I’ve been in a movie where I get in a car accident and blow up (the car)
-I always look at the clock at 10:21 at night everynight w/o knowing it because that’s the time I was born
-I want to be a marine archeologist; I would like to help the sea animals
-I can be on the computer for 4 hours straight (or longer, if I am not bothered)
-My mom has cancer
-The computer and my friends are my life
-I’m a trouble maker
-I drink soup with a straw
-I’ve met Fabio (haha)
-I like the show Scrubs
-I play guitar, I have ADHD, I play football, I talk alot, and I skateboard
-I hate when other people crack anything on their body.  I hate the noise even though I do it
-I like monkeys
-I’ve used rifles, pistols, and shotguns, and sub-machine gun
-I can do the splits
-I have 8 brothers and sisters
-Can laugh an evil laugh
-Have broken 5 bones already