Old News

Archived news items from May 2000
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.

Wednesday, 31 May 2000 [14:24 CDT]

My internet connection was working again as of this morning, but my ISP is having problems with their web servers, so I can't upload this.

Tuesday, 30 May 2000 [22:11 CDT]

My internet connection is not working as a write this, so I won't be able to upload this until tomorrow morning. But as I have time right now to make this update, I'm going to go ahead and do so.

Since you last heard from me, a lot of things have come to an end. School is over. All the finals have been taken and graded. My grades are turned in. Graduation has occurred, degrees are conferred, and the school is pretty much empty and silent.

Saturday was an incredibly busy day for me. I left the house at 8:20am to get to the Erwin Center in time for LHS Graduation. Graduation was as good as watching several hundred students walk across stage one at a time ever gets, and then I hung around afterward to talk to whoever I could still catch. I got home around 1:00.

I was home less than ten minutes, and then immediately left for the first of four graduation parties to which I had been invited. I spent an hour or so at each, with anywhere between ten and thirty minutes driving time between engagements. I ate a lot. Got home from them at 9:00pm.

I was home about twenty minutes this time. I grabbed my guitar and my music, changed clothes, and then was off to Project Graduation. As in years past, I played a little concert for my former students. This time I played solid for nearly an hour and half. No amplification, and the room was pretty big, so I had to really project. The concert went quite well, and it was good to see the kids for what was probably one last time.

Of course I broke a string messing around on my guitar after the concert was over, and I had church the next morning, so once I got home a got my microphone (which had been taken home from church a few days earlier), microphone stand, guitar and spare strings and took them back up to the church. There I changed the strings and set everything up for Sunday morning. I got home for the last time right at 4:00am.

Of course, the day was very pleasant but very, very long and draining.

I got about three hours of sleep and then got up for church. The music went surprisingly well; I think I was loaded with adrenaline or something. Once home from church, I took a three-hour nap, followed by a brief, ten-minute bout with consciousness and then a two-hour nap. Woke up again for good around 7pm and then went to sleep for the night around midnight.

By contrast, yesterday was probably one of my least productive days on record. I did get a shower, and I played a lot of Diablo. That's about it.

Today was much better. I took my car to the shop this morning to see about the old "broken-choke" problem which has been plaguing me for over a year. Picked out songs for the worship team CD concert and for Sundays in the month of June. Paid bills. Bought three Revival Generation CDs. And only played a little Diablo. ;)

Sunday, 21 May 2000 [17:28 CDT]

Hoo boy, am I glad to be updating this. I ordered and received a new video card: the Matrox Millennium G400 MAX DualHead 32MB AGP video card. Though it arrived on Thursday, I didn't get a chance to install it until Friday night, at which point my machine promptly died. Two days, some new drivers, two new BIOSes (one for the motherboard and one for the card itself) and some fun IRQ conflict resolution later, everything appears to be working beautifully (though I'm almost afraid to say that out loud for fear of what might occur).

In much better news, my brother Paul arrived on Friday. He'll be spending the summer with me and working a hopefully high-paying job. I'm sure we'll be playing multiplayer computer games and playing guitar as well.

Major other events of note: only three class days remaining (eight periods, though it's not like I'm counting... ;) and went to see the LHS Choir Cabaret and that was pretty good.

Oh, and in some sadder news, the dog of my youth was put to sleep on Thursday. She was fourteen.

Tuesday, 15 May 2000 [23:47 CDT]

Lots since the last update.

First, Saturday morning there was a prayer/praise rally at the high school called Word for Word. I'm not sure what the sponsoring organization is, but it was pretty good. A praise band led us in a bunch of songs I didn't know, there were some testimonies, and we prayed for people. Not a bad way to start off your Saturday.

Of course, being out in the sun (it was held in the football stadium) for more than fifteen minutes causes me to burst into flames, so I'm a wee bit sunburned right now. Just my face and neck, though, and it doesn't hurt.

Saturday afternoon I went over to see the house of a friend from college, who's now married and has a one-year-old son. We talked for an hour or so, and then I went back to school to finish up my grading, which is now completely done. Not that I'm excited about that or anything....

Then, I went home and got myself all gussied up and went to our prom. Since I own a tuxedo it doesn't take much effort and it's always fun to see the kids all dressed up and on their best behavior. Because I was a little late I ended up staying until nearly midnight just to get to see most of my students. A pleasant evening even when one doesn't dance or bring a date.

And in some final exciting news, I just got off the phone with my younger brother (he's 23). Today he proposed to his girlfriend of a year and a half, and she accepted. So she's now wearing his ring and they're officially engaged. The wedding date is still under negotiation, but it will probably be in June 2001, after he graduates from college. And now I have to remember to say "and his fiancèe Julie," rather than "and his girlfriend Julie."

I just finished writing the semester final. Off to bed.

Thursday, 11 May 2000 [19:26 CDT]

My air conditioner is working again. Of course, now I'm going to probably run it only at night, cool things down to less than 70, and turn it off during the day. This place is sufficiently insulated that it tends to maintain its internal temperature fairly well.

Wednesday, 10 May 2000 [21:33 CDT]

I forgot to mention yesterday that my students just took the Advanced Placement computer science test. I think I did a much better job preparing them for it this year than last, and hopefully they'll average higher than a 2 (out of 5).

Also today we got cool namebadges for school. For security reasons, teachers are supposed to wear them at all times when on school property functioning as a district employee. They've got our mug shots, names, title, and are electronically coded so they'll now open exterior doors as soon as they get the card readers put in and the locks changed (supposedly in the next few days). Unlike some teachers I don't mind at all; I always appreciate good security infrastructure (unlike most Microsoft products) and it'll mean I have one less key on my keyring. (Woo! Down to just four!)

Tuesday, 9 May 2000 [22:22 CDT]

Friday night I got to see our Shakespeare Through Performance class do Love's Labor's Lost, which was a respectable performance of a good play. (I'm told Saturday night was much smoother and I believe it.)

Also got some grading done this weekend, though not as much as I'd hoped. Of course, any grading at all in the first week after End-Of-Year projects are turned in is a new record, I think. Hopefully I should have them done by Monday, which I believe would be another record.

Last night was senior awards. It's nice to see the hard work of so many of my kids get recognized. Also, I again have taught eight of the Top Ten, but the percentage is a little lower than last year since the Top Ten is really Eleven this year (there was a tie for tenth place).

My little brother celebrated his twenty-third birthday on Sunday. Woo!

Not much else to say but that I'm glad I have windows that open. My air conditioner is broken; it was over 85 degrees when I got home from work today, and the A.C. had been on all day. Eek. I've called it in, so hopefully they'll be able to get it fixed while I'm at school tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 May 2000 [22:36 CDT]

Today has been a delightful day.

I got up early and got to school around 7:15 for National Day of Prayer. Joined a group of kids down by the track and prayed for our nation. Unlike See You At the Pole, which was a bit heavy on the singing, this was 100% prayer. In fact, no one had even touched the several packages of donuts. The kids were passionate! It does my heart good to see what a good group of ambassadors we have at Leander High School.

Classes went a bit easier than normal, because my Computer Science I students just turned in their End-Of-Year projects so now the stress of that is over for them, plus I can cover some related but non-programming topics which students typically find interesting.

And then the last period of the day we all got out of class for That's What Friends Are For, a bi-annual carnival to raise money for needy students and their families. AcaDec's booth, the pie throw, raised maybe $300 just by ourselves. Of course, I got roped into having pies thrown at me for twelve minutes or so, which wasn't so bad even if some of my students were fairly brutal. The worst part was that the whipped cream, which was all over my face and hair, curdles within half an hour, so I fairly stank by the end of the affair. I also got a chance to sing in the karaoke booth, and did the Eagles' Desperado, which was well-received.

I had planned on staying at school for a few hours and beginning some grading of the projects, but smelled so bad I figured I ought to get home and shower as soon as possible. So I was home by 4:30, quite early for me.

Once I'd showered I sat down to read a book one of my students lent me: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, an excellent young readers' book of about 300 pages about magic and childhood and such. I pretty much read the whole thing in one sitting, with a short break to eat dinner and some times-out to brush my cats. In the days of 22-minute dramas and bad sitcoms, a wholesome, well-written six-hour story is quite nice.

Upon checking my email for the first time all afternoon I have just discovered that the results are good for my mother, who had had some weird test results at a recent doctor's visit. Some more detailed tests were done, and the results today all turned up negative, so she's doing fine.

And to top it all off, we don't have school tomorrow, so I'll be able to go to bed and sleep in. Let's hear it for simple pleasures.

By the way, final count for Easter Sunday, counting children, was 385.

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