Halloween: A Horror Story

Halloween: A Horror Story

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Halloween is this Friday and I know the preschool and elementary teachers are thanking their lucky stars. Usually, the day after Halloween falls on a school day, and for teachers it’s one of the most dreaded of the year. It’s right up there with testing week.

On November 1, the kids drag into school with their blood-sugar levels bobbing like yoyos. They oscillate between sleep deprived zombies and hyperactive chihuahuas. What should be a normal and productive Thursday morning classroom is, as one teacher noted, “scarier than Halloween”. Chocolate is smuggled across school boundaries in bags and backpacks. Candy-contraband is passed behind teacher’s backs and dealt to friends at recess. An economic marketplace has sprung up overnight. The lunchroom is akin to the wall-street trading floor circa 1980; “I have two Hershey’s with almonds. Looking for gum.” They trade for purer forms of sugar;  “pixie sticks? pixie sticks, anyone?”.

Something has got to be done.

Heck, I’m not a spoil-sport. I don’t want to abolish Halloween. It’s one of my favorite holidays. When I was a boy we would use our candy as chips in low-stakes games of poker: Seven card draw with aces, 2s, 4s, one-eyed jacks, black 10s and diamond 7s as wildcards. “I’ll see your mini-box of candy corn and raise you a red lollipop.” “Does 5 of a kind beat 3 pairs?” We had no idea what we were doing. But we loved piling on the kid vices: sugar, caffeine, games of chance and a late bedtime. It was fun!

The problem here is not a once-a-year sugar and chocolate feeding frenzy. The problem is the next morning. Zombies and chihuahua just aren’t very good at learning long division.

There is a solution: move Halloween from the October 31 to the last Saturday of October. Simultaneously move Daylight Savings Time to Halloween night. This scenario has happened once previously, in 2009. I handed out candy. I went to a party. I went to sleep (later than usual). At 2 AM the clock moved back to 1 AM. Despite staying up late… I got my beauty rest. And so did all the kids. But it won’t happen again until 2020.

Somebody stand up for what’s right and make this an issue for the next election cycle. As soon as I finish marking the cards for this Friday’s poker game, I will send an email to my congress person.

- October, 2014

    


 

MrKneel

 

 

This song, “Outer Space” by Mr. Kneel, is a remix of my song “Outer Space”.

 

Mr. Kneel is a children’s hip-hop artist based out of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He is an incredible improvisational rapper and beat boxer. The first time I ever saw him perform he free-styled about the people in the audience. I remember what he rapped about me:

Dino has the wisdom, his mind is like yoda
I have not met his wife, but I know she teaches yoga

And then he moved on to the next person and rapped about their baseball cap. Watching Mr. Kneel improvise is like watching a magic trick. You are surprised, grinning from ear to ear and in wondrous awe of how he does it.

Check out the song and check out Mr. Kneel’s CD: http://mrkneel.com

 - October, 2014


 

Field&Sign_sm
An interstellar science adventure with Dinosaur O’Dell

K-3rd Grade

In this science based show about outer space, students learn about the planets in our solar system including properties that define the planets; the nighttime sky including the moon and the stars; the difference between meteors, meteoroids and meteorites; friction; and the greenhouse effect. The students are also introduced to a space alien named “Zar”.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5  Analyze the structure of the solar system, including how specific structural elements and larger portions of the solar system relate to each other and to the whole. Cognitive Strategies: Integrate and evaluate content.