Thursday, January 31, 2008
I even got a call from my family, which is always nice. So, all in all, it was a decent day. :)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Wednesdays are my long days since I clean the college building and usually just stay until church.
I got some cute things from my kids today. One got me soem Bath and Body Works stuff, another made me a cute butteryfly and gave me a scrapbooking kit, and a few others gave me cards. My roommates both stopped by my room at different times to get the class singing.
I guess this is just a week for not-so-smooth days. Here's a link to another blog that I read who had a bad case of the Mondays. I enjoyed reading it!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
- The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937)
- The first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940).
- The highest ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps.
- The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress).
- At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced “sink us”), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler’s private train was named "Amerika". All three were soon changed for PR purposes.
- More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%. Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.
- Germany’s power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped on power plants, German industry would have collapsed.
- Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
- It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th found with a tracer round to aid in aiming. That was a mistake. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. That was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
- When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
- German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn’t worth the effort.
- A number of air crewmen died of farts. (Ascending to 20,000 ft. in an un-pressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%!)
- The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in midair (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army". Joseph Stalin
- The US Army had more ships than the US Navy.
- The German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions, and 11 paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The German Army had paratroops who WERE capable of airborne operations.
- When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore were 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.
- Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were capture by the US Army.
- The Graf Spee never sank. The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought by the British. On board was Germany’s newest radar system.
- One of Japan’s methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large artillery shell with only the nose exposed. When a tank came near the enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat." – Lt. Gen. Mataguchi
- Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the fire-fight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.
- The MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for US artillery her pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dove on the German plane and he and his co-pilot fired their pistols damaging the German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon they landed and took the Germans prisoner. It is unknown where they put them since the MISS ME only had two seats.
- Most members of the Waffen SS were not German.
- The only nation that Germany declared was on was the USA.
- During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong, British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer’s mess. No enlisted men allowed!
- Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious “heavy water”. He finally reached England still clutching the bottle, which contained beer. Perhaps some German drank the heavy water…
Grammar’s Top 25 Misses (From Most Serious to Least)
(excerpted from Douglas Cazort’s Under the Grammar Hammer, pp 19-24)
1. Wrong Tense or Verb Form (Past, Present, Future)
Incorrect: When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, he done the English
language a big favor.
Correct: When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, he did the English
language a big favor.
2. Fused or Run-on Sentence
Incorrect: Over 75 percent of mistakes in English cannot be committed in speech they can
only be made in writing.
Correct: Over 75 percent of mistakes in English cannot be committed in speech. They can
only be made in writing.
3. Sentence Fragment
Incorrect: With 500,000 words, the English vocabulary is larger than that of any other
language. Partly because 80 percent of English words come from foreign sources.
Correct: With 500,000 words, the English vocabulary is larger than that of any other
language, partly because 80 percent of English words come from foreign sources.
4. Lack of Agreement Between Subject and Verb (In number)
Incorrect: An important function of managers are delegating responsibility.
Correct: An important function of managers is delegating responsibility.
5. Wrong Word
Incorrect: Creative people believe their creative.
Correct: Creative people believe they’re creative.
6. Missing Comma(s) with a Nonrestrictive Element
Incorrect: Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head expanded and revised for the
1990’s is an excellent guide to a more creative life.
Correct: Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head, expanded and revised for the
1990’s, is an excellent guide to a more creative life.
7. Unnecessary Shift in Tense
Incorrect: The first English dictionary was published in 1604 and written by Robert
Cawdray, who says he produced it for “ladies…and other unskillful persons.”
Correct: The first English dictionary was published in 1604 and written by Robert
Cawdray, who said he produced it for “ladies…and other unskillful persons.”
8. Missing Commas in a Series
Incorrect: George Burns defines happiness as having a large loving caring close-knit family
in another city.
Correct: George Burns defines happiness as having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family
in another city.
9. Missing or Misplaced Possessive Apostrophe
Incorrect: Parkinsons law states that a job expands to fill allotted time.
Correct: Parkinson’s law states that a job expands to fill allotted time.
10. Unnecessary Comma(s) with a Restrictive Element
Incorrect: Linguistic research has found, that New Yorkers communicate social class
through their pronunciation of the letter r.
Correct: Linguistic research has found that New Yorkers communicate social class through
their pronunciation of the letter r.
11. Confusion of Its and It’s
Incorrect: “If it sells, its creative,” they say in advertising.
Correct: “If it sells, it’s creative,” they say in advertising.
12. Dangling or Misplaced Modifier
Incorrect: Popping, sparking, and blowing fuses, the CEO, stood helplessly watching at the
podium while the new audio-visual system self-destructed.
Correct: Popping, sparking, and blowing fuses, the new audio-visual system self-destructed
while the CEO, stood helplessly watching at the podium.
13. Lack of Agreement Between Pronoun and Antecedent
Incorrect: A “Type-A” person will hurry themselves to death.
Correct: “Type-A” people will hurry themselves to death.
14. Wrong or Missing Preposition
Incorrect: We need to invent a language in which politicians would be incapable from
Correct: We need to invent a language in which politicians would be incapable of lying.
15. Vague Pronoun Reference
Incorrect: Some managers focus only on short-term profit, which can lower the quality of
the product or service.
Correct: Some managers focus only on short-term profit, a practice that can lower the
quality of the product or service.
16. Unnecessary Shift in Pronoun
Incorrect: If one wants to become an international airline pilot, they have to learn English.
Correct: If you want to become an international airline pilot, you have to learn English.
17. Comma Splice
Incorrect: Professor Adams Sherman Hill of Harvard was obsessed with mistakes in
spelling and grammar, he passed his obsession on to generations of English teachers and the
Correct: Professor Adams Sherman Hill of Harvard was obsessed with mistakes in spelling
and grammar, and he passed his obsession on to generations of English teachers and the
18. Wrong or missing Verb Ending
Incorrect: The healthy office worker park one mile from work and walk twenty minutes for
Correct: The healthy office worker parks one mile from work and walks twenty minutes for
19. Missing Commas in a Compound Sentence
Incorrect: Many Americans own a thesaurus yet these books of synonyms don’t exist for
some languages with small vocabularies.
Correct: Many Americans own a thesaurus, yet these books of synonyms don’t exist for
some languages with small vocabularies.
20. Missing Comma After an Introductory Element
Incorrect: While the dog ate the cat stayed away from the dish.
Correct: While the dog ate, the cat stayed away from the dish.
Five Uncommonly Serious Mistakes
(excerpted from Douglas Cazort’s Under the Grammar Hammer, pp. 25-27)
The following five mistakes are not among the most common, but they receive strong negative responses when committed. In other words, we don’t make these mistakes very often, but when we do, we cause strong negative reactions…. If you don’t make these mistakes, you needn’t worry. If you do, takes steps to correct them.
21. Objective case pronouns used as subjects
Incorrect: Her guru and her agreed that we are what we think.
Correct: Her guru and she agreed that we are what we think.
22. Double negatives
Incorrect: One hard lesson for many to learn is that worry won’t hardly change the future.
Correct: One hard lesson for many to learn is that worry will hardly change the future.
23. Failure to capitalize proper names
Incorrect: roger von oech, the president of creative think, has conducted workshops on
creativity for american express, proctor and gamble, and the Japanese management
Correct: Roger von Oech, the president of Creative Think, has conducted workshops on
creativity for American Express, Apple Computer, Proctor and Gamble, and the Japanese
24. Faulty parallelism
Incorrect: A good manager requires the ability to lead, the capacity to learn, and delegating.
Correct: A good manager requires the ability to lead, the capacity to learn, and the
willingness to delegate.
25. Subjective-case pronouns used as objects
Incorrect: The senator’s use of double negatives surprised my students and I.
Correct: The senator’s use of double negatives surprised my students and me.
2. Berkley Springs, a resort town, has more massage therapists than lawyers.
3. Berkley Springs is the only place in the U.S. to boast: "George Washington bathed here."
4. W.V. has had the nation's lowest crime rate for the past 26 years.
5. During the Cold War, a sprawling 112,000 sq. ft. bomb shelter was built to shelter members of congress in the event of a nuclear attack. It's located beneath the famous Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.
6. White Sulphur Springs has the only private residence in the U.S. that is made out of coal.
7. The city of Bluefield, WV bills itself as "America's Air-Conditioned City." They back up their boast by serving free lemonade anytime the temperature reaches 90 degrees.
8. St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton was the site of the first Mother's Day celebration in 1908.
9. Two West Virginia men have built castles for their wives. Stephen Elkins built "Halliehurst" in 1890 for his wife Hallie Davis Elkins...the only woman in American history to be the daughter, the wife, and the mother of a U.S. senator.
10. In 1885, whiskey distiller Taylor Suite began building Berkley Castle for his new bride, Rosa Pelham, who was 31 years his junior. He died in 1908, a year before the project was finished. Rosa completed the castle but went on the squander her inheritance on extravagant living and wild parties and ended up losing the castle and living in a shack and raising chickens to make ends meet.
11. Philippi, WV was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War.
12. In 1921, West Virginia became the first state to have a sales tax. (Not all of our firsts are things to be proud of.)
13. The mother of Abraham Lincoln, Nancy Hanks, was born near Romney, WV.
14. The largest single shipment of matches...20 railroad cars full...was sent from Wheeling, WV to Memphis, TN in 1933.
15. In 1947, Chuck Yeager, a native of Hamlin, WV, became the first person to fly faster that the speed of sound.
16. The Old Stone Church, in Lewisburg, was built in 1796 while George Washington was President and has been in continuous service ever since.
17. At the end of the "Guilded Age" in the late 1890's, the town of Bramwell, WV had more millionaires per square mile than any other city in the U.S. Many of their mansions have been restored and can be visited by the public.
18. With an average altitude of 1,500 feet, WV is the highest state east of the Mississippi.
19. The first brick street in the world was laid in the city of Charleston in 1873.
20. The first concrete street in the world was laid in the town of Webster Springs, WV in 1903.
21. Indirect artillery fire (action against an unseen target) was used for the first time in military history at the Battle of Fayetteville on May 20, 1863 by a 19-year old Confederate, Sgt. Milton Humphreys. Virtually all modern artillery fire is now indirect fire.
22. James Rumsey of Shepardstown, WV invented the first steamboat. After he died suddenly in England, while raising funds for his project, his friend Robert Fulton took his plans and completed the work and is now credited with the invention of the first steamboat.
23. In 1956, Cecil Underwood (age 34) became the youngest governor in the U.S. In 1996, Underwood ran again and became the oldest governor in the U.S.
24. The hardwood flooring in the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York was manufactured by the Meadow River Lumber Co. of Rainelle, WV.
25. West Virginia has the oddest shape of any state. This was because Union officials, during the Civil War, arranged all the pro-Union counties of Virginia into a state which then seceded from that Confederate state.
Here are some interesting creatures!
White-faced Saki Monkey
Pink Fairy Armadillo
I got this list from another site:
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Oh, you may be wondering why I'm writing in German here and there. I did take a year of German in high (which seems so long ago now). Well, today during class, I taught my students how to say, "we have snow," in German. It was kind of funny listening to them later on in the day when they were trying to recall the phrase.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sorry...got off on a rabbit trail. The book itself seems interesting, nonetheless. The principles seem right.
Friday, January 11, 2008
All right, time for an update.
For Christmas, I was able to go to MI and spend time with my family. I helped out at my parents' new home peeling 3 layers of really old wallpaper off the walls. I think I worked on that for at least 8 or 9 hours in 2 days. We did get it finished.
Christmas was very nice. My students and family spoiled me. :)
I think the only thing I did not enjoy was when I had to go in to the ER. My asthma was acting up real bad and, well, I couldn't breathe. My inhaler and nebulizer just wouldn't help me. The only good thing about it is that when you can't breathe, there's not a long wait to be seen. :) I am doing better now.
School has been very busy. We just finished up the second nine weeks of school. My kids did a pretty good job on their tests. We started our state notebook this past week. I'm learning Virginia history as I go. I think it's kind of funny that I'm teaching the history of a state that I'm not from. Well, actually, I don't Michigan state history either. :s My goal is to try to stay a couple days ahead of my class as we do this.
Today was a teacher work day, meaning no school for the kids, but teachers had to be present. I got a lot of work done. I got an email yesterday saying that I needed to write a course description of each class that I teach and make it look like a college course book entry. I teach nearly every class to my students, so that took a little bit of time. Then I had to update my course objectives for the first semester. That wasn't a difficult, but it was time consuming. Most of us didn't know a thing about them in the first place, or what to do with them. Lesson plans for next week were done today as well.
The one daunting task I had was to change my bulletin board. I just don’t like changing them because they take so much work. This month's theme is to match our missions conference: Shine the Light. I had an idea in my head and the final product is better than I thought it'd be. Now, I'm not taking credit for all the work. One of my students was in the building today (her mom is one of the high school teachers) and she came to my room looking to do something. I had her vacuum and then, knowing what an artist she is, I asked her if she wanted to help me with my bulletin board. Of course she did! We first tried using my tracer projector, but we couldn't see it on paper. So, she free-handed the lighthouse and then colored it and cut it out. She did all this as I was doing my lesson plans. The board looks so cute! It's not 100% completed, but all I have left to do is add the words. All of my letters were at home.
I'm enjoying life and I no longer feel as if it is crashing in around me. I let myself get caught up in the cares of this world. I know my treasures are in Heaven, not on earth. Thank you to those who were praying for me or left me an encouraging word. Have a wonderful day!