Friday, June 27, 2008

the boy whose skin fell off

i watched this documentary on tlc a few years ago (not by choice, really; my friend wanted to watch it) and it pops into my head every now and then out of nowhere. i haven't looked hard enough to find it on video/dvd, but here it is in five different YouTube presentations.

fyi: it's the story of a 36-year-old--who looks about 15--with a rare disease that causes his skin to fall off when touched. it documents the man's last few months of life as he plans his own funeral. you really have to love the guy's attitude about life, and about death. the story is a bit unusual, and the clips may seem long (keep in mind its original format was for tv), but the story is one i will never forget. and jonny has some great one-liners. (a few comments are a bit crude, but i think that should be allowed, considering...)

the third clip is difficult to watch because he is in so much pain. (just a warning...) also, how do you feel about the possibility of abortion in the face of such a disease, as discussed in clip 3?

tlc played a post-documentary commentary portion when i watched it the first time, which included some great comments from jonny. i haven't looked for it hard enough yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I can no longer say 7...

...when people ask how far I run each day. Too bad; it's a good number (Not to mention the fact that 7 miles a day makes me seem like a superfreak.)

Now I have a tool to help me calculate the actual distance, no matter how many weird turns I make. I have always been vexed (reeeally wanted to use that word) by the conundrum of trying to figure out how far I run (or walk, depending on the day...and let's be honest, I walk a lot). Coacher introduced me to this new site, and I will be forever grateful. Amazing:

Map My Run

Thought some of you who are training for the Bass Pro 1/2 Marathon might find it helpful. Possibly. Keep on keepin' on.


Bryan and Holly: I completely agree with you about the need to put alternative students who share every detail of their lives during class in their own SEPARATE classes. There are a number of reasons this would be the best scenario, but I will limit my list of reasons to the top 3 (in my opinion).

1. When these nonstop talkers are in a class with others like themselves, they will (hopefully) come to realize how truly annoying it is to hear several detailed stories about their new pet squirrel, every experience their kids ever had in grade school, or their aversion to specific drinks or medications. ("I can drink mountain dew, but I am not allowed [self-proclaimed] to drink mountain dew in combination with other sweets. I also cannot take too many Tylenols at a time. All of that makes me act like I'm on drugs or something. I get all loopy and extremely extroverted." Ah-hem...lady, I think you are already extremely extroverted. And that is no exaggeration regarding the actual conversation.)

2. The duration of class would be reduced by about half. I do not feel this needs an explanation.

3. I would not have so many sores on my tongue (and neither would half of the other students in class). I have to bite it quite frequently to stop myself from telling the woman that no one pays money to listen to her talk about mountain dew. Or to listen to her tell the professor how to teach. (Seriously. She did.)

I will stop at that to add that I really do like to hear people speak and tell stories (much more than I like to talk or tell stories). I especially like listening to older people because they are so wise. But I think you all know what I am talking about.

I don't know why I am even writing a blog right now. So much to do...

Friday, June 13, 2008

And we think OUR lives are hard...

I got this in an email and was stunned by the images. Viewer warning: The pictures near the end are a bit disgusting. I learned about foot-binding a while ago, but I had never actually pictured the damage it could cause.

The latest rage in Japan...

... Now look at the kind of 'shoes' that were worn back in the day of the Geisha... I can't imagine...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

useful doodle

If I received a referral for a 504 plan for my doodling, this page of class notes could be submitted for evidence. (This is just one page of about three I completed in one class period. I can't really help it.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

useful knowledge

I am taking a post-grad course this summer (up until July 3...good timing), so I am spending several hours a week in a classroom. It's a special education course, so I am learning a lot about the process of creating and implementing Individualized Education Plans (IEP), 504s, etc. This class is costing me plenty of money, so I figured I would share some of my newly gained knowledge with you (For some reason this makes me think I am getting more for my money.). Here are a few things I have learned:

1. A kid can get a 504 plan for obesity. This means a kid can use a wheelchair to move around between classes, get special treatment in PE, etc. Now tell me, does that really make much sense? Sheesh. (**A 504 is similar to an IEP, which is used for students with learning disabilities. However, a 504 is for students who have some sort of disability that disrupts their academic performance but does not fall into a specific disability category in an IEP. I am still studying this stuff, so don't blame me if that definition is not Webster-certified.)

2. Apparently, virtually everyone has some sort of learning disability. (??) The professor said this is because we all learn in different ways, and teaching techniques must be modified to match different learning styles.

3. Anyone can get sued for anything. For example, if I told an obese kid he/she should walk to class instead of using the wheelchair, I could probably be sued. Hey, truth sometimes hurts. (Don't kids need to figure this out?)

4. I could probably get a 504 plan that says I need to doodle while taking notes. I am not joking; doodling definitely increases my retention of information. I fully intend to tell my professor this if she asks why I always doodle. If not for doodling, I would be drooling. Which do you prefer?

5. I did not learn this last one in class, but I thought you should know that George Foreman has five sons named George. Wow. (He is also a preacher. Did you know this?!)

That was your free education for today.