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Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
entertainment centers across the country are offering a variety of
discounts and deals for everyone from veterans and their families to
firefighters and police officers. The list below includes just a few
examples but there may be others. As with all promotions, be sure to
verify availability in your area!
Applebee's - Free dinners to veterans throughout the day.
Outback Steakhouse - Free Blooming Onion and beverage.
Golden Corral- Free buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 16 to anyone who
ever served in the U.S. military.
Krispy Kreme - One free doughnut of any variety.
UNO Chicago Grill- Free entree or individual pizza with an entree or
purchase of equal or greater value.
Coushatta Casino Resort - The Louisiana casino and resort is offering a
seven-clans lunch or dinner buffet to veterans or active military.
MarketPlace Grill & Express - Veterans and active-duty military receive
Masala Wok - The Northern Virginian restaurant is offering a free entree
Hy-Vee supermarkets - The mid-western supermarket chain is offering a
breakfast to veterans.
Abuelo's Mexican Food Restaurants - All veterans and active-duty
receive a free entree.
Carolina Burgers & BBQ - In Matthews, NC is offering a free meal to all
service members and veterans.
Brides Across America - Provides free wedding gowns to qualified
Lowe's & Home Depot - Extra 10% off to active-duty military members,
National Guard and reserve members, retirees, honorably discharged
and immediate family members.
Sam's Club - Over 25,000 Hugo canes will be given away to U.S. veterans
need of mobility assistance. Membership is not required, but supplies
limited, so check with your local store.
Amazon.com - Free "Veterans Day Honor" MP3 album download. The album
includes 12 songs by The Bands and Ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Cabela's Outdoor Store - Offers their employee discount to all veterans,
active-duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS
Nov. 11-12. Discounts vary from 5% to 50%, depending on the item.
Build-a-Bear Workshop - Members of the armed services including the
Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Reserve Officer Training
Corps, will receive a 20% discount Nov. 11-15 on any one transaction at
Dollar General - 10% discount for all veterans, active-duty military,
National Guard and reserve and their immediate families.
Fashion Bug - 20% off all plus-size and misses clothing purchases with a
copy of military ID or spouse's military ID.
National parks, forests and monuments - Admission is free to everyone on
Knott's Berry Farm - Free park admission to U.S. armed forces personnel
and a guest during Veteran's Month, November 1-26.
Colonial Williamsburg - Free admission Nov. 6-11 for active-duty
military, guard and reservists, retirees, veterans and their dependents.
San Jacinto Museum of History - Free visits to the Observation Deck,
theatre, and special exhibit for veterans, active duty military
personnel, and their families.
Historic Jamestown - Free admission to veterans, current Armed Forces
members and their family members.
Battleship Cove - Free admission and a special ceremony for veterans,
active, duty and reservists.
Vicksburg National Military Park - Free admission for all.
Birmingham Museum of Art - Free admission to the ticketed event "Life
and Liberty" on Nov. 10-11 for veterans and active military.
Vulcan Park and Museum- In Birmingham, Alabama is offering discounted
admission through November to the park and museum.
Greenbay (WI) New Zoo - Free admission to veterans and their families.
Central Florida Zoo - Free admission to the Sanford, Florida zoo with
Strategic Air & Space Museum- Free admission for veterans Nov. 11-14 to
the Ashland, Neb. museum.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - in Oklahoma City offers free
admission to veterans and five guests from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans
Natural Elements Spa & Salon - In Chesapeake, Virginia, will provide
free services from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to both active duty and retired military
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
|From Our life as an Air Force Family'|
Its been a couple of weeks since I have entered a I Heart Faces Challenge, but I knew I had a picture for this one, from our trip to the orchards last year. DJ would close his eyes each time he went to pick an apple.
We wanted to go to the festival this year, but didn't make it up there.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Are you kidding me?!? This is crazy! I mean absolutely crazy! And the ones that are going to suffer? The kids and the teachers.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I finally got a chance to watch the episode of Oprah where she had Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee and Davis Guggenheim. I have to say I was not impressed nor too happy with the negative light in which they portrayed the average American teacher.
October 15, 2010
Dear Ms. Winfrey,
I am writing to you today to express my extreme disappointment in your show that was aired a few weeks ago with the director of "Waiting For Superman" Davis Guggenheim, Bill Gates, and Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Through the years since my youth, I have greatly admired you as a person, and as a powerful caring woman. I am forced to say that after finally getting a chance to watch this episode my opinion of you has fallen a great deal.
You may be asking yourself "Why is she just now writing to me? Where was this outrage when the show was aired?" The truth to be told is that I only recently had a chance to view the episode, because you see even though I knew it was coming on, and wanted to watch it, I couldn't. Why? Because I am one of those teachers that your panel of so called "experts" put down and belittled. You see the day that episode aired, I was still in my classroom working on grading papers, writing lesson plans, adjusting lesson plans, figuring out differentiation for my students, and calling parents. It is a very rare day when I leave school before 3:30, or even better yet 4:00, and I am usually at school by 7:00 in the morning.
Let me tell you a bit about myself, so you can see that I am not just your average teacher who is upset here. My husband is active duty in the United States Air Force, which means I am not your average teacher who starts in one school district and stays there until they are ready to retire.
I started teaching in 1998 in a Department of Defense Dependent School in
In 2005 my family moved to Florida where I taught 6th grade Language Arts in a school where the majority of the students had been effected by Hurricane Ivan, and had spent most of the year before picking up the pieces, some of which were still displaced from their homes. I taught students later in that school year who were Hurricane Katrina refugees. I taught students whose parents lost their jobs at the beginning of the recession. I taught students who went to bed without eating, and came to school in the same clothes at least twice a week. But I also taught students whose parents volunteered in the school weekly, or who had not been affected by Ivan or Katrina at all, and to them there was nothing to be worried about. How many of your "experts" can say that?
In 2006, I moved to an alternative school, where I taught 6th-12th grade science to students who were "in the system". Most of my students there had been in a youth detention center for everything ranging from shoplifting to assault. I had the pleasure of watching a student who had never had success at school "get it", and the scary moment of staring down a 6'4" "boy" who had gotten high on crack cocaine the night before and came to school still in the throws of the effects of the drugs.(I wonder if any of your "experts can say that?). I had a young woman knock me off my feet, causing me to sprain an ankle in her rush to try to start a fight. I had students who were young parents, and I had students that did not know where their own parents were. Again I have to wonder, how many of your "experts" can say that?
For 12 months in 2006-2007 I taught a GED class at the local community college. I got to meet the adults of society, for whom the local system had failed at one point or another. I got to know these adults, and got fairly close to several as I learned their stories. I heard the stories of how a pregnancy, an illness, or legal trouble caused them to leave school without a diploma. I do not recall a single story of how a teacher let them down, or how a teacher just didn't care enough, or spend enough time with them as the reason for why they left school when they did. I did hear a few times "If my teachers in school cared like you do, I would have stayed in school." However they would also acknowledge the fact that most of the teachers tried to care, but when you are dealing with 200 students its hard to have one on one attention like it should be. How many of your "experts" can say that?
I currently teach 4th grade in a small 100% free lunch district (less than 1100 students pre-k to 12th grades), just outside of
I work on average in the school 70 hours a week, according to our time clock that we punch in and punch out on every day. That is not taking into account the three to four hours every weekend that I spend working on papers, or writing lesson plans, nor the average of 30-60 minutes I spend at night after leaving the school. You might say, "Yes, well you get summers and vacations off." However, I would have to correct you. Over the last 10 summers I have spent an average of 10 days in professional development trainings, unpaid trainings mind you. School year vacations are often spent planning for the days after we return, and more often than not, worrying about what is happening to my students, especially the ones that I know have a rough home life. How many of your "experts" can say that?
I spend on average over $500 a year on things for my classroom, out of my own pocket. From paper and pencils, to trade books, to teacher education materials, if it goes into my classroom, chances are I have provided it out of my pocket. I tried to make a pact this school year that I wasn't going to spend my money on my classroom, because with the furlough days quite frankly I can't afford it. I can't justify to myself spending money on paper for my students when I have three students of my own at home that I provide paper to whenever they need it. However, the sad truth is, I have already spent about $250 on my classroom this year, and we are only into October. How many of your "experts" can say that?
The "experts" talk about teachers having planning periods, and other times to work on improving our teaching. I would like to invite them to come in a sit for a week in my school. I have students in my classroom from 7:20 until 3:05 most days. I eat lunch with my students. My only "down time" during the school day is when my class goes to connections (specials), and that is filled with meetings, and/or conferences on average of 3 days a week, the other two days are usually filled with grading papers or meeting with my teammates.
Did you ever stop to ask those of us in the trenches of teaching, from Middle Georgia rural schools, to inner city
Do you want to know what as an educator I think the real problem is here? My answer is two fold.
1. A lack of community caring.
The parents of today's children, the ones who are failing school, overwhelmingly are not involved in their children's education. These parents are the ones who are happy to sit back and join you in the crusade to blame educators everywhere without lifting a finger to help and fix the problem. These are the parents who do not read with their children at night. These are the parents who do not attend conferences with the teachers. These are the parents who do not teach their children general manners, and expect us to do it for them. I know that this is not the case for every parent or for every child, but for quite a few of them it is.
Then there are the "experts like those on your show. They say that they care, and they preach at us that are in the trenches, but what are they doing, what are you doing to help us fix the problem? Throwing money at private schools and magnet schools is not helping the general population of children. Preaching at the general educator without walking a day in our shoes is not helping the children.
2. Lack in education funding, or education funding being funneled to schools that already have "it all".
Race to the Top is not going to "fix" anything, least of all since the schools that need the funding the most are the ones that are not getting the funding. States across
History shows that we need educated people to have a successful nation. I am a firm believer in part of the reasons for our economic troubles right now is because of a lack of education, a lack of funding, a lack of caring in the past. What we don't need is supposed "experts" going around talking and not doing. Or doing, but only for a select few, that they think deserve it.
Ms. Winfrey, I am asking that you give those of us "in the trenches" a chance to speak about this disservice that has been done to us. I ask that you get a panel of every day teachers together and get our opinions on what is wrong with education today and how it can be fixed.
Thank you for your time.