Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Your input requested.

So I had this idea -- I'm going to do a series of posts about those who are running for mayor, and maybe if I get a chance for those running for city council too.

So I have some thing that I would like some input on.
Would you prefer I do them here... or on a new blog?
or some combination of both?

What should my newblog be called?
(something that a person could remember probably, but that reflects the local nature of the blog)

and more importantly, what do you think we should ask the candidates?
No, seriously, what questions would you ask?
I'll tell you this, I may shy away from leading questions, or biased questions, but I'm expecting these interviews (yes, I really think this will work) to be a nice mix, of soft AND important questions.
Anyway thanks, and have a great day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Extreme Croquet, History / Future

Extreme Croquet has been extremely pleasant.

First I would like to give a brief re-cap of the Summer Series of Extreme Croquet.

I can't really say that I knew what to expect, but I wanted something fun, and simple.

Something fairly dependable, but not overly demanding.

And while I am mostly famous for my Shuffleboard experiences, I am a multi-dimensional entity. So I decided to branch out, and the Summer Series of Extreme Croquet was born (though that is not to imply that Shufflepalooza, and other shuffleboard games, have been expunged).

With great expectations, I designed the first course of the summer at my house. This turned out to be a very good thing. Partially because the course was amazing, and partially because I didn't publicize the event nearly as well as I thought I had. In fact, even though I had posted the details here, and told a few people about it, there were many people who I assumed would know about it, who in reality knew nothing. Also I didn't realize that the time that I had announced would be very widely interpreted. So after setting up the course, and waiting for a good forty minutes, I was beginning to question the whole idea. But I had a book and a chair, so I sat down, and read. It didn't take much longer 'til the first person (Cardine) arrived.

And we played. She started texting people, and her texts were very effective. People started arriving (I, at this point did not have a text messaging service... to some degree this situation has been rectified). We played two games (maybe three) before the others arrived. I was handily beaten in both games... and on my own home court (though admittedly not the course that we normally play there). The course was amazing; over the sidewalk, and on to the park strip. Back to the main lawn, and down a hill to the back yard, then back. In all four games that evening I was the first one dead. Twice by Cardine, once at the infamous hands of the inimitable Joseph, and once by... uh, I don't remember maybe a Humphries or something. I think Cardine won the first two and then Amy Laura and Emily split the last two. Altogether it was amazing.

The second week we played at the South Elementary.
I really liked this course too. Up the hill, and then down the terraced side of the same hill.
I won this one. Well I should say that I killed everybody, or at least everybody who hadn't already done it to themselves, because as I struck the last players ball, I too was killed (I hit him, Eric the Red, and then I went through a wicket). We re-arranged the course and Emily won again I think.

This was yet again a very pleasant course. The site of my eagle project, on the grass, that we laid. Down one hill and up the next. Two guys for every one girl. ü The course was pretty straight forward... except one thing, it was impossible to stay on top of the hill. We spent a good portion of the evening trying to get up the hills (A special thanks to Cardine for bringing Mr. M ).

Patriotic @ Discovery Park.

This course was different, easier in a way, no big hills, but a good variety of terrains. We played on asphalt, and grass, and gravel, and under a tree.

Each 'hole' was marked with a flag, and only once did the people at the pavillion at perturbed by our presence.
And to add to the Extremity, the sprinklers came on!
MVP of the week! Julie, for bringing people, and extra croquet balls!

SU #1 ( I say number one, because there could easily be more)
we started with seven, but two didn't stay, About half way through, we lost three more, but we also gained two. Totaling nine, I think that's the bigggest. The course was amazing, but then they all are. Most of the time the course was quite simple but if you hit it just wrong you could literally end up 100 yards off course. Sorry L. I didn't mean for you to end up out there.


Wow! it was dead, and it would have made a very nice, but different experience... but, the back side was probably better. Once again mega props to Cardine, you really are the EC VIP. or MVP or well you get the idea. I really like the new guy you brought. We played on the rim of a... how would you describe it, a pit. The pit of despair, I think someone called it. It was usually just fine, but if you fell in... well it could make things a challenge. The game was amazing, and I liked the ambulance rule, but I think it was not a crowd favorite. But we had fun. Michelle won one, and Then Emily won one. Then Emily shared with us some cookies she had made. Victory Cookies. Mmmmm.


Next week, we will be in Enoch, the church/ park, but I'm not sure if we will actually play.
We're going for the Forbidden Donut. One of the great emerging bands in our area. So we'll see what happens.

And then I'll be gone. Yep, I'm leaving town. Ten days (one Friday). If someone wants to take over they are more than welcome. But I may not be here.

Anyway thanks for everyone coming, and participating. It's been really fun, and I can't wait to see what else we do.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SSof ExC: Old hospital edition

We've had a good series of Extreme Croquet so far this summer, and we're still going.

Last week we had an amazing course near the SUU Library, and I'm not just saying that because I won (though coincidentally I did... Finally I have won a few. I was a little worried after the night at the beginning where I died four for four games, right off the bat).

So this week we will be playing at the Old hospital, and we may even institute a secret family rule called the ambulance.

I'm not sure whether we will be toward the front (which is more like the side) or around the back, (if for instance the other side is unplayable) but a good time is anticipated for all.

Also this is the new old hospital, not the old old hospital. (In other words we will be at approximately 595 South 75 East... Not at the Leavitt building).

thanks again to everyone.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer Series of Extreme Croquet

This Friday at 7:00 p.m. we will be playing Extreme Croquet to the east of the SUU library.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Five thing I like about George Wythe

You know what I like?


It seems to be a lost art, but I really like it when someone can see both good and bad, and evaluate things in an environment unrestrained by biases.

Ironically, those sources that most people turn to, often do have a bias. News media is biased to the left, talk radio in these parts is biased to the right. But neither one seems to remember Journalism: reporting the facts, all of them, and letting people decide. And what's worse, when you check their facts, sometimes they were misrepresented, though hopefully not intentionally.

So in the interest of presenting a more complete picture, though potentially still sort of biased, I have decided to write five things that I like about George Wythe, and five that I don't like.


For convenience I will try to pull the basis of my thoughts/ideas from the GW website.

#1. Their mission statement.
I like their mission statement, It's basically a pretty good mission.
To build men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty. I'm not sure what it means to them to move the cause of liberty. But I'm glad for the liberties that I do have.

#2. Classics.
Their education is based on reading the classics. I think there are a lot of classics, that people would do well to read. I would like to read more good books. Reading good books is definitely commendable.

#3. 'With class sizes of 10-20 students and a 1:7 mentor/student ratio.... the ideal of a personalized education with constant interaction and individual attention.' I'm not sure exaclty how that works (mathematically) but I like the concept of small classes, and individual attention.

#4. Website.
Their Website. On the whole it's a fairly good website. It's well designed (Good job Matt). It's fairly easy to navigate, and it has it's fair share of information. I've seen many a website that was not nearly as good.

#5. Stan Szczesny
It's true I like Stan Szczesny, and not just the name. I actually think he might be a genius. His musical ability, is pretty remarkable. His cognitive process seems well formed/ thorough.
And he's nice to me, I think that's just his way.

Five things I dislike.

#1. GWU!
The official name of the school is George Wythe University, They probably did it to add credibility. Honestly I don't care why they did it, I really don't think it's a University. Ironically the best definition to prove my point came from a George Wythe University student, here's what she said a University was:
An institution for higher learning with teaching and research facilities constituting a graduate school and professional schools that award master's degrees and doctorates and an undergraduate division that awards bachelor's degrees, the buildings and grounds of such an institution, and the body of students and faculty of such an institution.*

I doubt I could have said it better myself. Ü

*, "university," in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Source location: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Available: Accessed: July 04, 2009.

#2. Mentors
What is a Mentor anyway? I mean, really, why can't they use the same words that everyone else uses. Why can't they have teacher's: people who are experts in a subject, and experts in TEACHING. I know of a kid who left them, because they wouldn't teach, they just kept telling him that if he kept reading their books, he would learn the things he was trying to learn, regardless of his particular style of learning (if I had to guess, I'd assume most people aren't fully in that learning category).

#3. "The ones who come out on top are the ones
who have been trained in the hardest school."

I have to fundamentally disagree with this idea. It assumes too much. Granted, I will say that some of the best schools are indeed very challenging, but most of the time a good teacher, can take something incredibly hard, and easily help people who are adequately prepared to understand such difficult concepts. And my second point, making something harder, for the sake of making it hard, can be self defeating, In the real world we often call that busywork. Yes I realize that hard things can be valuable, but it reminds me of a time when I was in school. I was not what you might call a good student growing up. Sure, I wasn't a bad kid, but I struggled. Especially I struggled with math. It was awful: one subject could consume a perfectly good day. Fifty problems, just to be sure you understood. And I didn't. I would not. I didn't like it, and it was the enemy. It was hard. It was hard until I met Mrs. Ferguson. Her philosophy was that math was awesome! And SHE wasn't going to ruin it. She knew that these concepts were really quite simple, but that nobody would want to do 50 problems. So she never assigned fifty problems. If you could get it with five that's what you did, If you couldn't with five, you got to do ten. By not purposefully making things hard, she taught me that I could do math. That I was good at math. That I might even love math. She knew that there was more to learning and education than simply being trained in the hardest places/ ways.

Work smarter not harder. I think this has merit.

Which brings me to my next point.
#4. "Mathematics is an integral part of a statesman’s education. Whether it is applied mathematics or its philosophical side, statesmen learn to solve problems and think logically and orderly when they set their minds and hearts to the study of mathematics." Quoted from the website. It sounds really good. But I've never met a GW student that made me think 'mathematics (and especially applied mathematics) was an integral part of their educational experience.'

#5. Types of education. At George Wythe they believe in three types of education.
"A) Conveyor Belt (employee) education exists to prepare everyone for a job, any job, by teaching them what to think. This includes rudimentary skills designed to fit them to function in society [coincidentally I heard something about this in conference].
B) Professional education ranges from apprenticeships and trade schools to law, medical and MBA programs. Its purpose is to create specialists by teaching them when to think.
C) Leadership education teaches students how to think and prepares them to be leaders in their homes and communities, entrepreneurs in business, and statesmen in government. "

Wow, I can't believe how degrading they are of other people and institutions. [Oliver said this would happen, but I think that he kind of started it]. Ironically I don't think I've met many groups so homogeneous, like they came off the conveyor belt. I do think that it is important to know how to think, but when and why and what are pretty important too. I think these concepts can co-exist. You can learn skills, principles and processes. I've had classes like that. I know that there are classes, that are like that in many places. To assume that their education is the kind that will teach a person how to think, is to ignore all the greatness and thinking from those who aren't them. And that's why it bugs me so much, because sometimes it feels like that. Like they are better than their peers. I don't think they all feel this way, in fact I hope it's something they are doing better with. I hope it's something we can all do better with.
May God help us when we feel that way.

There are in fact some good things happening all around, and that includes at George Wythe. I hope they will continue to work on their problem areas, and who knows, maybe one day they will be even more than they have been.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Randomness of July 2nd

First I would like to thank those of you with Birthdays in June who added me in Faceb00k. I now have official friends in each of the 23 months. ;-)

In other Social news... I went on a date this week. Actually I went on three dates this week. Well if you count Thursday to Thursday, I think that it is four. Seriously, I think that's my all time record. (I mean maybe not if you count the times that I was in a relationship... but 4 dates in seven days? whoa!) I'm impressed. Ü

And in local news now's the time to submit your apps if you think you'd like to be the mayor... or a city council person. That's right many cities are in this same boat. In our home town, we have two council spots, and one mayor to be elected (I think).
Steve Wood has filed for Mayor. Joe Burgess, is seriously considering it (probably waiting on the results of the poll he put out there). Ray Green, who I admit, might get favorably biased comments and support from me, is undecided. And the current Mayor has theoretically decided not to run this time, which surprised me. And honestly, I'd probably be willing to work with any of them. Either way, filings are open from July 1st through July 15 @ 5:00 pm.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Extremely Patriotic Extreme Croquet.

As you may well know, the 4th of July is upon us.
So for extreme croquet this week I am thinking there might be some tie-in,

Either way Croquet will be the 3rd of July:
Friday at 7:00

As usual, everyone is invited,

and this week we will be playing at Park Discovery.