Well, another week has gone by and I have to say that time is flying by, but at times I feel like I’m standing still. This past week we had our New York State ELA test. You know, that test that students and teachers have been sworn to secrecy upon. So, I can’t talk about the test specifically, but I will say this. EVERYONE (that means, parents, community members, administrators, teachers, law abiding, and tax-paying citizens) should question anything the government does when they do so shrouded in secrecy. It is never a good thing when any government anywhere does anything in secret. When this happens, it usually means that whatever the government agency is doing has some nefarious plot to it and all I can say is that tax-payers should believe the same thing here. Question the Common Core. Question the need for testing. Question the test themselves! Better yet, question why all of a sudden the National Education Association is suddenly putting out commercials about websites that supposedly explain how the Common Core is good for you, your son/daughter, and our kids. I won’t tell you my opinion (although I’m sure you can elude how I feel), but I will say that you need to question why these commercials need to be created in the first place. We all need to start questioning the government. Fight “the man”!
Okay, so it was a rough week to say the least. Lots of things going on and I had to keep track of them all. We have a plumber now set up to come into our house during the Spring Break and fix the plumbing so my wife can do more than one load of laundry at a time. Ruth finally got some of her money exchanged into Euros for her trip and that trip is becoming more and more of a reality. Austin and Tara have now started Track practice and are now working on getting their times down for short distance and long distance running. Heather’s workplace finally has her on somewhat of a schedule. We now know what to expect of her job at least from week to week instead of from day to day which means it’s a little easier to plan our weeks now. And my job is just as stressful as ever. I’m beginning to think that many in the educational field believe that we became educators to push paperwork. To those who think so, that’s not the case. I went into teaching to teach kids and help them succeed. To see the spark in their eye when they understand something and to see their brain working on overdrive when they begin to question something they don’t believe in. Educators no longer see this. Instead, we see them filling in bubbles and becoming a part of the data that we all now use for our Data Driven Instruction. Anyway, Ruth is now preparing for her NYSSMA solo which is this Saturday. She has one doozy of a piece and I think that if she pulls it off, she has a SERIOUS shot at All State. Probably a better shot than I ever had at All State. I have faith that she can do it and her new lesson instructor (Dr Tim Perry) has been a HUGE help!
Okay, so no GalaxyCast talk, no books to read. Instead it’s time for some more of my opinion. This past week Thursday, Heather and I went out to see “Captain America: Winter Soldier”. Now, I will give my opinion on that movie in a minute, but before I do, I want to talk about all the other movies I’ve watched on video lately. I say I watched them, but for most of them, they were just background noise to the things I was really doing. Yep, I tried to watch all the award winning movies from the last year or so and I have to say that they were all a gigantic waste of my time. How do some of these movies actually win awards? I watched several movies including “American Hustle”, “Gravity”, and have even started watching “12 Years a Slave” and I have to say that what I’ve seen so far has me less than impressed. Most of the storylines are weak, make no sense to the average American, and honestly are meant for the “artsy fartsy” types in society. Then you look at who runs the academies for motion pictures and you start to understand how these movies win awards. These movies have nothing to do with entertainment, they have nothing to do with providing a quality movie. Instead, these movies play to the political aspirations of those running the academies of movie awards. Since when were politics and Hollywood so closely intertwined and why have we as a public let it happen? If I had the choice, I would throw all of these guys out of these academies and let the PEOPLE decide who the best movies are. After all, in the past two decades that I have been alive and watching movies, the top grossing films for each year have very rarely if ever won any sort of award. Why can’t Hollywood figure out that Americans speak with their wallet because they have silenced our voices? When will Hollywood listen? So I ask of those who have watched movies over the past twenty years or so, has Hollywood lost it’s edge?
To answer that question we have to ask a few questions of you and your movie watching and their movie making first. What was the last movie you watched? Were you impressed with the movie? Have you ever watched a movie in the last year and wondered why you spent that much money on a movie? Better yet, when thinking back to the movies you have watched in the last five years, how many of them were not based on a book or comic book that had already been popular or won awards? Of those that do not fit in this category, how many of those movies were actually good and worth going to the theater to see? I bet your answer was none! Many people ask me why I like Star Wars so much (in particular my students at school) and my answer is always the same. To me, Star Wars was the last movie that I watched that was inspired! It didn’t require a book before it was launched. It created it’s own book series after the fact! It became it’s own thing. George Lucas came up with the concepts and broke new ground just to make it happen! When did that ever happen after George Lucas. Not too often. With my own son hoping to go to Hollywood and be a director and a profound influence on that town, I have told him to take note of the things that George Lucas did and how other directors refuse to come up with original ideas. I have tried to inspire in him the idea that he can be a person of change in a town that fights change like it’s mold on your bread. Which brings me to my next point.
Last night I had the opportunity to see “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and I have to say that of all the superhero movies I’ve seen in my lifetime, I can herald it as the BEST superhero movie to come out in my lifetime or before. There are many good superhero movies out there, but not many that inspire a great many thought provoking ideas. I like the fact that in Captain America’s hope to find out what was going on with SHIELD, he soon discovered that Americans were giving up their liberties in order for SHIELD to feel better about itself instead of American people gaining security from their infringements. Wow, that sounds a lot like an NSA that is watching everything, reading all our texts, and listening to all our phone calls. Then when Cap and Black Widow are in the truck, they have the discussion about their personal lives and Black Widow talks about the importance of individuals feeling like an individual. That’s an interesting thought in a time and place where Common Core demands that all of our children learn the same information from the exact same point of view and demand that all children be treated like a “widget” instead of a human being or a child. And then there is the overarching theme throughout the entire movie and even into the post-movie credit scenes. The idea that organizations like HYDRA (which by the way, for many comic book readers represent communism or socialism) will never die and that they think they can continually infiltrate the government and the people and will simply wait till people become “she-ople” to strike and take control of everything and everyone. We are starting to see that same thing play out in our country even today. But, putting all the politics aside, the movie was an awesome balance of everything. It had a great amount of action, it had a wonderful plot line. It had some dramatic moments with some good acting occurring. It even had a bit of a love story going on within the movie that I have to say surprised me to an extent. It even had some great plot twists that even took me by surprise to a great extent. And then there were the connections to the other Marvel universe things. There were connections to “Agents of SHIELD”, “Thor: The Dark World” and even hints of things yet to come for “Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron”. It was a wonderful movie and if you haven’t seen it, I plead with you – GO SEE IT!