One thing I always do and never really try to find out how right I am is predict award winners for movies.

No joke. I really do this all the time. I think I do it because I’m a nerd. I’m even having strong memories of me sitting on the couch with my mom and dad watching these awards shows.

Don’t know why…but we did…

Since that point, I’ve always had a slight interest in who wins these awards. (Actually, I think I remember watching the Academy Awards when Forrest Gump won so many awards that night, and I really liked that movie as a kid.) This whole memory always makes me take a vested interest in what and who wins these things.

I have since developed a nasty habit of seeing a preview for a movie and I instantly decide how many nominations it will receive and what awards it will probably get. So why don’t I just throw my hat in the ring on this prediction game, eh?

There is just one problem. I’ve never kept a record to find out if I have ever been very accurate in my guesses. I’ve been wondering if I’m any good at this.

So let’s find out.

I’m going to post my predictions and see how well it turns out for me.

Oh, and there’s one tiny catch. I haven’t seen any of these movies. I’ve only seen their trailers and the “buzz” surrounding their performances. I’m still feeling rather confident about my picks despite this fact. I think I’ve got my fingers on the pulse of what Hollywood really likes.

So, allow me to pick some of the more popular categories and see how well I do.

Now, in order to provide evidence of my claims of being accurate in these guesses, I will make another prediction. This is a prediction about my predictions. I predict I will have a 60% success rate or better in picking winners. I’m thinking that’s very confident.

So on to the picks:

Best Picture: I’m going to say this is the most difficult to pick considering there are 10 nominees. I suppose all of them are worthy of the title considering nearly every film has some big name associated with it. I have heard a lot of buzz around The Artist, but I think it hasn’t been seen by enough people. I think Midnight in Paris, The Help, and the Descendents all have a fair shot, but I think this one has already been determined.

The winner? Hugo

Best Actor: Once again, we’ve got a really loaded group here. My personal favorite in the competition is Gary Oldman. It’s a real shame that he’s been in so many great movies, playing so many great roles, and this is his first nomination. But I also think the Academy is thinking he will be around for a long time to come and he will truly have unlimited possibilities to get many more awards in the future. (And I think they should, he should be showered with statues). But this won’t happen.

I think the winner will be George Clooney. He’s cool. He’s dang good actor. He’s ….really cool. That’s about it. He’s just really cool and the Academy will award you for that. Plus, it will make him just that much cooler. It’s like a vicious cycle of cool.

Not to mention, it would be really cool to hear stories between him and Brad Pitt acting like there is a real competition between them for this award. But there really isn’t. They’re really good buddies in real life.

I even have a conspiracy theory for you. I think all the Ocean’s movies were not fictitious at all. They were documentaries that were nicely filmed during the off time that those guys aren’t working on a real film.

Prove me wrong. I dare you. Prove me wrong.

Best Actress: This one is tricky. It can go 1 of 3 ways. Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, or Viola Davis. My pick is Viola Davis because Streep is always nominated and Glenn Close’s movie didn’t have enough people watch it.

Not to mention, she’s paid her dues for many years. She had a long run on a T.V. show and has really done a great job in plenty of other roles. She’s diverse. She’s different. And she’s very good. I think the Academy will want to reward that behavior by giving her an award to keep her around for a long time.

Best Supporting Actor: This one is easy. Christopher Plummer. He’s old. He’s getting a career award that night. Plus, he’s freakin’ Dumbledore. Give Dumbledore the honor he deserves!

Best Supporting Actress: I think this will swing toward Bérénice Bejo. Why pick this? One reason. Sexy names win awards. That’s just all there is to it.

Plus she’s French, and somebody outside of the U.S. always wins something. It’s going to be her.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese. Because the Academy can’t resist giving it to him…again.

Best Writing for Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball. I think the book was popular. The movie was even more popular. This one is a real homerun. (Oh my, look at me. I’m making puns like Gene Shalit)

Best Writing for Original Screenplay: I’m going out on a limb on this one. I’m picking Bridesmaids. Mostly because I have a crush on Kristen Wiig, but also because I’ve heard the movie set a new standard for funny. It will be given the credit it deserves.

Best Cinematography: Hugo. Looks too darn good to not win.

Best Score (music): No doubt it’s John Williams. Just the problem is … which movie? I say War Horse. It was a much more fancy movie.

Best Animated Film: Rango. No question about this one.

Best Foreign Film: In Darkness. Title is super depressing, and I expect this to make up for the comedy of Bridesmaids winning an award.

Best Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s not going to win much, but it will have to win something. Plus, the trailer alone had some awesome editing. (I know this probably wasn’t the same person editing, but still. It looked very well done considering it was set to a modernized version of the Immigrant Song.)

Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Apparently Andy Serkis played an ape and he was so incredibly good that he should have been nominated for a best acting award. The problem is, the graphics were so good that many people probably thought it was a real ape rather that a man pretending to be an ape in front of a green screen that has been replaced by a digital ape.

And there they are. So by my count I have made 14 picks. And based on my prediction of a prediction, I will need to pick 9 out of the 14 to meet my mark.

If I don’t meet my mark i’ll do one of three things:

1. Never try to do anything this stupid ever again.

2. Delete the post after the winners are announced and claim I won and nobody will be able to verify if that claim is true or not.

3. Nothing. Nothing at all.

Alright, got that out of the way,

D.A.

 

I’m going deaf. Most likely.

Okay, not deaf, but I’m sure tinnitus is ringing through my ears.

I am at a concert featuring one of my favorite bands August Burns Red. This is the first concert I’ve been to in about 3 years. I hope I come back and say I loved it and will be attending them more often.

But I’m sure I will come across 5,000 scene kids and I will feel like an old man.

I won’t care as long as I don’t see any of my students there. Then it would get really strange….

D.A.

At 12:00 p.m. on January 19th I will have officially completed my first half of my first professional year of teaching. It’s been pretty insane. Had a kid drop a smoking bowl in my room. Had a few kids never show up. Had some kids really put the pieces together and learn some cool stuff. I’ve learned things too.

Allow me to let you know a few things that I have learned over that past 4 or 5 months.

It wasn’t and will probably never be exactly what I expected. You experienced teachers could read this sentence as “I’m totally a noob.”  I’m trying to get better at this job and it’s going to take a lot of hard work. The good news is, as long as somebody is willing to hire me in the future, I’m going to be willing in trying to get better.

My first group of kids can only be described as “ecletic”. I’ve had kids that are wonderful and introspective toward the material. I’ve had kids that are apathetic/not awake through out my classes. I’ve have some kids who are a handful, but mean well. I’ve had kids who are quite and obediant but are probably wishes terrible things on me.

I’ve had kids who didn’t show up but a few times in the 90 days of class. I’ve had kids that haven’t missed a single second. There were even some kids that I really felt great hope for our future knowing that they will be the decision makers for important companies and organizations. There are some kids that I really feel concern about them being able to function in open society.

My coworkers are awesome. I have been given so much help from them it’s almost a crime. They are super nice and easy to get along with. I really feel comfortable there, as compared to the other schools I have worked at.

I think the leadership at the school is solid as well. I really enjoy working for the people who hired me. I think they have a vision for the school and really want these students to succeed, and yet they still do their best to stay out of a teacher’s hair if they can help it.

Not having a faculty restroom really sucks. This point really explains itself.

Science is hardly any student’s favorite subject. This hurts my feelings as well as affects my kids grades.

I remember when I was in high school, it wasn’t my favorite subject. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if I had a favorite subject… I think most kids don’t see science for what it should be and have been led astray in their comprehension on how to perform it. This causes many problems in terms of their understanding of the material.

Eating at the teacher cafe is hardly ever worth it. While the food is sometimes surprisingly tasty, the fries are almost always soggy and cold. $5 for this is really not motivating me to spend any more money there.

Planning periods bipolar. They are both a tranquil escape from the daily grind or a terribly stressful ride on a rocket ship of frustration. On the days when you have planned most everything for the day, you can really take 15 minutes to just breath and enjoy the silence. You can even feel a smile spread across your fact.

On the days when you have 12 things to get done in an hour you can feel your heart rate match the rate of a fighter pilot in battle. You may even feel the sweat drip from your brow onto Timmy’s paper where he kept writing the response “IDK” on the homework from last night. As the bell rings at the end you let out a holler of frustration that sounds like Chewbacca squatting in the woods after a night partaking in the all-you-can-eat buffet at the local Taco Del Rio.

A failed plan is better than no plan at all. If you walk into a classroom and have a plan, more power to you. Even if that plan fails, at least you tried and you can at least try to salvage that. It’s okay, that kind of think happens to everybody.

If you walk in with no real idea what you want to accomplish, then you will have a painful experience. It will be a hard experience to shake off. You may even get that thousand yard stare for a few hours there….

Yelling is always an option. It’s just never a good one. Once you’ve done it, you’ve lost the game.

Pick a time when you’re available after school to help kids/allow them to make up tests. If you tell them, “I’m here everyday after school. Just let me know when you will make it.” two things will take place. 1. They will never remember/lie about when they are going to come in. You will wait. You will hope. They will never accomplish this. 2. They would rather be told when rather than decide for themselves.

Assign lab groups. Don’t let them pick that crap. Because you will get crap from them.

Find a way to keep kids informed of their grades/missing work. This one is tricky. I know there at 1000’s of different methods to figure this out. I know you may have some awesome suggestions (Honestly, if you have one, please let me know what you do) but you need to find one that works.

So far, I haven’t been lucky enough to win the battle on this subject. It’s just a messy situation.

Grading and scoring directly proportional to the work they turn in. If kids aren’t turning stuff in, it doesn’t matter how you grade papers/assignments, they will still get a bad grade. It’s okay to use your own grading system, the trick is being consistent with whatever you pick.

Late work is just… stupid.  I previously allowed for kids to turn in work late at a great penalty. I don’t think this works nor do I want to deal with assignments from 3 weeks ago. On time = full credit. 1 day late = half credit. 2 days or more = no credit.

I’m not sure if that’s fair, but I let my kids know when stuff is due days (1 week in advance actually) ahead of time. If they don’t get it done then, they usually don’t try to get it done even with an unlimited amount of time.

Most kids will look at you like they hate you. Some of them probably do. Most of them probably don’t though. Maybe.

In general, it was a mess. It was a pleasure. And it was definitely a challenge.

I have 75 new faces to learn on Monday. Wish me luck.

D.A.

The Whole SOPA Thing

January 18, 2012

I’m not a law professor but it does seem like this whole SOPA/PIPA stuff is a little too off kilter. It’s a very broad way of trying to stop something. In fact, it is so much off kilter that many of us lazy internet types have actually gotten angry enough to do something about it. And by “do something” I mean things have been done which don’t actually require you to get out of your chair. Which is good because I don’t imagine many internetters to get up and do something. But if you put the solution right on the computer screen, well then, we’re cooking with gas.

Most of the websites that I frequent are down today, in order to protest the idea of passing these laws.

While I support everybody’s intentions of showing “what the internet could become” in the event that these laws are passed/enacted, I still have one really big frustration.

I’m bored…and want to use the internet please. Without my Reddit, I get ancy… like… don’t have Xanax ancy….

(I would like to point out the inconveniace of this day. You remember my little Xanax joke I made about 4 seconds ago? Well, I wrote that joke thinking, “Yeah, I’m sure people who are dependent on Xanax may suffer withdrawal symptoms.” But in order to verify this I would check a reliable source. This source would most likely be Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is blacked out as well.

See what you’re doing to me Congress? You’re preventing me from making properly used jokes!

I should write my congressman and inform them of the matter at hand…)

D.A.

 

Irked and Purple Hair

January 17, 2012

I’m not sure if that’s a word that is being used properly, but that’s the feeling I’ve been having lately.

As a matter of fact, I tried writing about this the day after this whole thing occurred. I wrote a whole (poorly written) post about it and let it sit in my queue for over a week. I couldn’t even bring myself to post about anything else because this has bugged me this much.

Since I have a blog that is written in anonymity why don’t I go ahead a say things that would typically embarrass me?

I was in a wedding like…3 weeks ago? Something like that.

Then I attended a wedding a week after that.

In order to make a very long and painfully awkward family bugging me story out of it, let me recap the main points. Hey, I’ll even use bullets and put it in list form for your added convenience.

  • I attended a wedding some 2 weeks ago.
  • Girl was at wedding alone
  • She had purple hair
  • I was at wedding alone
  • I did not have purple hair
  • 50% of my extended family and 100% of my nuclear family thought I should “Go talk to her.”
  • They also recommended I “Ask her to dance.”
  • I was told she was “cute and bored”
  • ***Main Point*** I was not amused nor appealed by their suggestions, and blatantly refused to do such a thing.
  • Went home kind of angry.

Why, D.A., were you sort of angry?

Well, I was kind of upset with everybody looking at me and taking on this particular attitude. The attitude is something along the lines of  “Hey, you better get a girlfriend soon or you’ll die alone and smelling of old wet shoes.”

But the main source of my anger was myself.

Who do I really think I am? I outright refused to go speak to another human being. What fear was binding me to my seat? What did I have to lose?

Forget everybody’s opinion, what makes me think I’m so great that I won’t bother meeting a new person?

I’m not sure if she was cute. I’m not sure if she had Kuato growing out of her stomach (Yes, this is a Total Recall reference. If you haven’t seen the movie, please do yourself a great favor and watch one of Arnold’s best films. DO IT NOW!) I should be willing to shake anybody’s hand and say hello. No matter what benefit their is in there for me.

For all I know she could have been the girl of my dreams. We could have married and grown old selling folk art together (I’m assuming purple hair = selling folk art future). She could have just been a person I met and immediately forgot her name 2 hours later.  The point isn’t what could have happened between us, the point is, what is becoming of me when I won’t even try to meet new people.

Was I sitting there in judgement on this human being? Was I sitting there in judgement on myself? As a Christian, doesn’t this seem wrong in some capacity? Am I letting my introversion take control in social situations? And I just assuming I will never meet anybody of interest unless I already know them?

I’m asking a lot of questions out loud here. I’m not sure what any answers are. I would just like you to see that this little event really got under my skin and will continue to bug me for quite some time.

But at least I finally got his post out of the way and I feel like the barrier has been broken and I can write about another subject and move on.

Since I’ve been strangely personal for once, why don’t we have a very off topic question to round things up? Sound good?

Great.

If you woke up tomorrow and were 4 inches taller, what would be your immediate course of action? Why?

D.A.

Hey, it’s Friday!

Would you like to have a peek into my real life?

Why are you making that disgusted face? No really. Can I share something with you that is sort of my unwinding ritual from the work week?

WHY ARE YOU GETTING READY TO CLICK AWAY?!

Come on! I’m serious!

And it’s nothing weird. I promise.

Every Friday, when I get off of work, I decide to treat myself to driving out Comic Central. Ahh yes, my “local” comic shop. (It looks really creepy when I use the quotation marks there. It makes it seem like I fly in from Venus or something… Just ignore them and pretend that I put them there for comedic effect.)

Here is the place where I pick up my subscriptions, chat it up with some of the local geekery, and generally just waste a lot of time.

I usually walk out with spending 7 to 8 bucks in picking up subscriptions. Sometimes, when I’m feeling crazy, I pick up a trade paperback of something that I think I would be interested in. Then is just awesome to go off and have a conversation with an adult and talk about things that don’t totally matter.

Most of the time I spend there is chatting it up with one of the employees. Mostly we just shoot the bull, but sometimes we get into some really good discussion about what makes comics so… good. This always perks me up after a hard day/week.

I think social things like this really help to reset my clock and help me prepare for the whole next week.

It’s one of those things I look forward to during the week. And I’m happy I’ve got one of those things. I don’t really know how I would survive without something in it’s place.

But the time has come where I’m caught up on all my comic readings and I need more.

That’s where you come in. Tell me what to read next!

I’m pretty surprised in myself because I don’t recall having asked for this advice on here before. But, if my memory serves me correct, I recall many of my fellow internet friends (that’s you) have read plenty of comics.

This is your time to shine. I will take any and all suggestions. You want to suggest a comic about sharks that do martial arts and combat an army of sea bass? Cool, I’m with that. You want to suggest a comic of teens dealing with middle school drama and vampires? Alright, I could give it a shot. You feel like suggesting a black and white comic with no dialogue about flowers that are actually ultra powerful demigods in Norse mythology? I guess I’m good with that too.

Anything. I’m willing.

And if possible, try to sell it to me like a used car salesman. I would think would be fun as well.

D.A.

Safety Net

January 4, 2012

This post was made in the event that I didn’t wake up after I got home from work today. 

Assume I am still alive and that I still have a job. Also assume I will not become Rip Van Winkle. Though I wish I would become Rob Van Winkle… even if for a day.

(If you don’t know who this is, do a quick Google search to discover this person’s identify. Prepare to be surprised. Then prepare to agree with me. You know you wish you were him, if even for a day. Especially in 1992.)

So this safety net post will draw attention to something that I found a little surprising.

If you post here on WordPress, you will have noticed some of the nice little things that they have done for the holiday season. You may have also noticed the change in the “challenges” you get after you post new content. They set goals for you to post so many times and then you reach a goal.

I’m not opposed to the gesture. It gives the idea of putting out new posts a little bit of a competitive edge. And I’m sure that could be useful in motivating you (or myself) in putting up good stuff now and then.

But I have one qualm.

If you challenge me, I demand rewards. I want my page to become golden dipped for a whole day if I have a streak of 20 posts with no days missing. Yes, that would suit me.

I also want badges. Achievements that would allow me to unlock new fonts and symbols. Maybe even a ranking among all the others in this blogosphere. Yes….

Oh no, I realized I am proposing something stupid.

I want Call of Duty to team up with WordPress.

Maybe it’ll be called Call of Duty: Blogpocalypse. Or Call of Duty: Type, Type, Boom!. Possibly Call of Duty: Social Media War.

Okay, maybe it’s not THAT bad of an idea…

D.A.

From the Beginning

January 3, 2012

I told you.

Well? Didn’t I?

I remember clearly. I said to you, “You may see a lot of me or you may not see any of me.”

It was the latter.

I have been hiding in a hole for my entire 3 week break just loving not doing anything. It was glorious.

Tomorrow will restart the process to putting my brain to work trying to educate the minds that will become our future.

And I’m not very excitied. Wanna know why?

The average “fall-asleep time” for me for the past 3 weeks was aroooooouuuuund …. 3 a.m.

On typical workdays I wake up at 4:30 a.m.

Tomorrow will be a hard day. Very hard indeed.

Hey, if you watch the news tomorrow and you hear a story of a teacher in Florida who suddenly became Rip Van Winkle after a hard day at work, you’ll know who it is.

At least it’s a short week. 3 days. I’m putting my hope in time to somehow go by very fast. I’m also putting hope in my recently developed “scramble up-something-good-for-the-classroom” skills. I’m really hoping they work tomorrow.

Now I’m going to stop writing and try to find a way of putting myself to sleep. Wish me luck.

Why don’t you go ahead a tell me how you get out of the back from vacation funk? I would be willing to hear anybody’s advice.

P.S.- I have no idea why I titled this post “From the Beginning”, but just pretend that it fit in and that it was really intelligently put together.