Thursday, May 15, 2014


I should begin with the rabbit that BOLTED out of the daffodil patch I was picking from last night.  It ran right into my foot.  That's never happened before, and by the time I stood up to see where it went, it was long gone.

Baseball/soccer/end of the school year is kicking my butt.  On a happy note, the boys' teams are generally kicking butt.  Mr. D's team stands a good chance of winning their conference title for the first time since the 80's.  To put that in perspective, the last time Happyland High took conference for baseball, half the team wore mullets and tight-rolled their jeans while listening to Poison on cassette tapes. The other half had buzz cuts and tight-rolled their jeans while listening to Jock Jams volume 1 on their cassette tapes.

I adore teaching Shakespeare using YouTube.  With a click of a mouse I can show two clips of the same scene to give better depth on how different productions can make him funnier or grittier or more modern.  It's so wicked cool I cannot stand it.  Plus, teaching a play while kids can read along while watching and pausing to unpack it before moving along to the next scene using modern technology beats VCRs and TVs all day long. 

I finished reading Crime and Punishment and it was awful.  But I read every page, yay for me.  I'm palate-cleansing with Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, which, incidentally, is how the AP Language & Composition class is closing out their year.  Two weeks of Potter.  It's not all Quidditch matches and writing spells, however.  We're also discussing archetype, etymology and technology in the wizard world.  'Cuz we're smart like that in AP class.

In student news, there are twin brothers who tell jokes every day in the study hall I supervise very afternoon.  Lame jokes, like Why aren't there gamblers in the jungle?  Cheetahs.  I can't decide what's better, the jokes or the delivery.  They get these big goofy grins on their faces when they dole out the punchlines and I laugh every time.

Team Testosterone and I are praying for the safe return of one Nigerian girl by name, and I hope you will, too.  We chose Ladi Ibrahim.  You can find their names here. 

And in a final first, my blog content has been scraped.  It's one of those things you hear about, and you think I should probably be smart about this and you intend to, but then it's too late and someone's lifted your kid's birthday photos and posts and laid claim to them on their own site.  I'm mad, but too tired and don't have time to deal with it until I'm done teaching.  Until I figure out what to do, for now I'm adding this to the end of all of my posts:

 © 2014 Melissa Westemeier All Rights Reserved


  1. What?! Someone stole your content? To what purpose? To pretend it's their family? How VERY bizarre. And sad.

    Here's hoping you make it through the end of the term :-)

  2. I don't get why anyone would want to take your stuff and act like it's theirs. However, I have heard of this before. Do you know what people gain from it?
    How did you find out about the "scraping"? It makes me wonder if it has happened with my blog also.
    Well, on a happier note summer is just around the corner and no more Dostoevsky. :)

  3. I'm also dying to know how you found out! And how awful that someone stole your content. :(

    I'm reading Crime & Punishment now, but I'm not very far into it. He just made the sling for his hatchet. Oy. I will probably need to do some palate cleansing as well. :)

  4. Ah, if only all kids could have teachers like you. I want to sit in on your classes!
    My butt is being kicked to a pulp this spring. So many things.
    Congrats to Mr. D and his team!
    I, too, am curios to know how you found out about the theft.

  5. Edie had her first taste of Shakespeare this year. As a field trip, they went to the Blackfriar's playhouse to see it performed in ye old style. Being able to see it made a huge difference for her. Me too honestly.

  6. Yes, more curiosity here about the blog scraping.

    Oh that wascally wabbit!

  7. I was just in Shakespeare's home town! I visited his birth home (saw the actual bed...) and also saw where he's buried. SuA is very beautiful, and the gardens were in full bloom. Plus I got toured around by my good friend Jane, who's a native. Super nice!

  8. High Five all around on the sports front. WOW! So exciting for the kids.

    Shakespeare-- I LOVE the movie version of "Much Ado About Nothing" with Ken Branagh, Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington from about 20 years ago-- One of my all time faves. If we'd have had the Internet a hundred years ago when I was studying him, I'd have definitely liked it better :-)

    So touched by praying for the missing girls by name. I hadn't heard of that before and am off to do the same.

    xo jj

  9. Do you have a Creative Commons license? No, me neither. I did on my old URL. Time to get with it again, I guess.

  10. What would somebody want your kids' birthday party pics for? SHEESH!

  11. the blog scraping thing scares me. or it would if i would ever blog.....

  12. Both of my girls adore Shakespeare. And yes, YouTube is apparently a part of classrooms now, according to the aforementioned daughters.

    "Crime and Punishment" -- or, as we quipped back in high school, "It was a crime to write it and a punishment to read it."

  13. That's very weird and a little scary that someone would steal the contents of your blog - what can you do about it? I'm very naïve on these things.
    Lots of sporty stuff doing well at your end, glad to hear that!

  14. I won't ask the obvious question, Everyone else already did. Maybe you should write a post about it so we will all know.

    Not being an Anglo Saxon, I didn't have to read Shakespeare in high school. I did see his plays when I was an adult living in the States. I did come to like them.

  15. Add me to the list of questioners (I'd never even heard of scraping!) who are hoping you'll blog about it. Crazy that someone would steal pics of your kids! I have a CC license but don't really understand what it does for me.
    Huzzah for sports teams doing well and the end of the school year in sight!

    Rejoice Musa ♥ (My friend who lived in Egypt many years ago says the last name translates to Moses.)

  16. We lived close enough to Stratford CT to go to the American Shakespeare Theater to see live productions when we were in high school.
    It was theater in the round and made our reading so much more meaningful. Sadly, they closed in the mid 80's.
    Blog scraping??? What the hell is wrong with people??

  17. What the what? I don't get it. How is someone stealing your content? And how in the world do you protect against that? Crazy! I just finished reading Goblet of Fire. Love that Harry Potter.

  18. Oh, no!

    I am glad you also hated Crime and Punishment.

  19. Yikes! Cool! Excellent! Heh! Heh! Blessing! WHAT?

  20. I was toodling along, enjoying your life and wishing to be the teacher you are, and then I got to the part where your content had been scraped, and I was all, "SCRAPED? I do not know this term." However, lifting stuff from a blog isn't unheard of to me...I tend to think the scaper is easily ignored, all in all, and that your stuff remains firmly yours, no matter the theft.

    I'm not explaining that at all well. I mean this: the scrape will fade away, but you are always you.


Spill it, reader.