Saturday, May 19, 2012

Last Soccer Game and Possible Evil Genius

 Case had his last soccer game for the season.  He's improved this year.  He can follow the ball better and occasionally gets in there and kicks the ball.  We love his coaches - they coached him last year too. They teach the kids basic skills, but are low-pressure.  I think at this age, kids can play competitively, but there's no need to be high-pressure and intense.  One reason why we've had such a good experience of playing soccer for two years.

Right before a game, you can size up the opposing team by watching them warm-up.  This just translates into seeing how big the kids are compared to our kids (our team has a lot of 4-year-olds so if we play a team full of 5-year-olds, it's obvious).  In terms of skills, it seems like most teams are equally matched and it comes down to how old the kids are.  Five-year-olds tend to be more coordinated and able to listen and hold their attention longer than four-year-olds.  Obviously.

But today we met a whole other type of opposing team.
I realized right away when their head coach started calling out drills for the kids to do.

And they actually did it.

Nobody was hunched over on the ground watching a bug.
Nobody was pointing to the sky yelling, "I see a plane!"

All you heard was, "The dragon is on the other side - Go!"
Then all you saw was this little army of 4-and-5-year-olds run and jump and do some fancy soccer manueaver.

The assistant coach had a notebook, and he was writing in it.  Not sure what kinds of notes you would make during a warm-up at a kid soccer game, but he looked serious.

I looked over at my mom, and we laughed.  We knew we were in trouble.
Then the game started, and we heard commands like, "Tigers, line up over here!" and "Tigers, set and go!"  Their ringer was some star athlete that was probably recruited.  He jumped over the soccer ball during a play, twirled around mid-air, and then kicked the ball the other way.  

Yep, pretty sure we were going to lose.

The good news?  Our Sharks didn't mind.  They had fun playing soccer!

Here's C with some soccer teammates.


I'm just glad that Tiger coach isn't some evil genius.  She probably could take over the world with an army of 4-and-5-year-olds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Compiling Writing Guidelines

I began compiling a writing guide for my students when they have to (get to) write papers for me.  After a few semesters of complaining and lamenting the state of the writing I was having to endure, I decided that I needed to be proactive.  I should give the students some reminders (or maybe first-time lessons for some) on basic writing rules.  I also included examples of bad writing.  Obviously, I'm not an English professor (if you've read my blog, you know this), but I think it's okay that I expect college students to use complete sentences when writing.  Here's an excerpt of the writing guidelines document I'm putting together.  The unfortunate (but amusing) part is that all of these examples are actual statements I've read in papers.

Avoid using informal or inappropriate language.
(In other words, do not write how you talk.)

“The Great Plains is known for having these crazy natural wind funnels.”

“The forest is very hot in the day and super cold at night.”

“This is so not the case.”

"Sensual Survival"
(Not sure what word the student intended to use instead of "sensual", but "sensual" does not describe a tornado.  At least, I'm pretty sure it does not.)

Edit your paper.
(In other words, do not simply run spell-check.)

“I realizes that the story of the floods and the state of the river itself is really interesting and defiantly something I want to look more into in the future.”

“I am researching the resent tornado that hit Joplin.”

“I couldn’t even phantom the devastation of that city.”

“Without science, we are left wondering what individual rolls play in nature.”

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Since Spring Break

It's been awhile since our Sick Leave (aka Spring Break). Here's what you might have missed:

 We colored Easter eggs.

Josh and I apparently were really hokey this evening.

We turned our boys into Easter eggs.

L Child got some education on proper Easter egg prepping.

Easter brought a reason to eat Peeps for breakfast.

Casen and Liam play "Ship" in the backyard now. Drawing on real-life ocean experiences (Jake and the Neverland Pirates), C will climb the rope ladder and yell, "Fix the Sails!" Then he tells Liam to go do it. Liam climbs down and runs around "fixing" the imaginary sails. It's quite the show!

L Child has become quite the acrobat on the playground.

Josh and I got to go see the Zac Brown Band.  It was probably the best concert I've ever seen.  The musicianship of this group is phenomenal!

Some genius set up the giant dinosaur balloon by the 4-yr-old soccer game. As if they need ANOTHER reason to get distracted.

I didn't get a good picture of the birthday boy Graeson, but I did get one of the cake!

At Graeson's birthday party, L Child got stranded on the trampoline when any other kid would jump.

 I got to run my second half-marathon with my cousin Annie. Josh ran his first full marathon! We had family members come cheer us on, and Annie, Jared, and I got to watch Josh cross the finish line.
Like the awkward, I'm-so-sore-I-can-barely-move-closer-to-my-wife hug?

L Child got moved into Casen's room (the room is now "The Boys' Room") AND is sleeping in his toddler bed, or as he calls it: His Big Boy Bed.
A little excited?
He's doing great in his bed. Sleeping great. Loving his special time at night talking to brother before he falls asleep.

In other news, C got a new fan for his room. His last fan met its death from a balloon and ribbon tie. C was OVERJOYED with his new fan. Easy way to make him happy?  Give him a way to keep cool.

Grades are in.  I've read 3 books since last week.  And I only have 2 more days of full-time work.  I'm so thankful summer is here!