Report from Louisiana: Medical Marijuana Eases Blanco’s Last Days

Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco died August 18; she had been suffering from ocular melanoma. Whether or not one agrees with her politics, pretty much everyone will concede that Governor Blanco was a class act. She was always gracious and kind, and her love for the state of Louisiana was never questioned. She caught a … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Medical Marijuana Eases Blanco’s Last Days

Report from Louisiana: Locking Up Cell Phones

The new school year is now underway and with it come all of the typical classroom management issues that frustrate many teachers, especially at the middle and high school level. One of those problems is cell phones. Since the cell phone has become as common as the Number 2 pencil teachers have been struggling to … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Locking Up Cell Phones

Report from Louisiana: Fete Dieu du Teche

By: Pat Austin ARNAUDVILLE, LA – I’m not Catholic by faith, but this is the coolest thing I’ve seen lately. Just beautiful. Each year on August 15, Acadians participate in Fete-Dieu du Teche, which is “a 38-mile, all-day boat procession down the Bayou Teche that celebrates the arrival of the Acadians more than 250 years … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Fete Dieu du Teche

Report from Louisiana: Back to School

Hold a kind thought for teachers in the next few weeks as we head back to school. In our district, we start tomorrow – two days of motivational and procedural in-service training (again) and then kids mid-week. This will be year 24 for me and I’m pretty in-serviced out, if you know what I mean, … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Back to School

Detectorists: Charming, Beautifully Written Series to Steal your Heart

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – I’m bouncing off John Ruberry’s post this week; he reviewed the Netflix Longmire series and so I’m going to share my favorite series: Detectorists, which is a charming, funny, and beautifully written British series by Mackenzie Crook.  Let me stress the “beautifully written” part. Oh, and the photography – breathtaking. … Continue reading Detectorists: Charming, Beautifully Written Series to Steal your Heart

Is Thankfulness too much to ask for?

Normally Thanksgiving is about getting together and enjoying each others company. In my case, with no nearby family, I tend to host Sailors at my house who can't travel home to be with family. They come from a variety of backgrounds, so the conversations we have over the dinner table are always interesting. Despite the … Continue reading Is Thankfulness too much to ask for?

A Tale of Two War Criminals

There were two trials recently for two men who were each accused of genocidal war crimes. The men were on opposite sides of a conflict. One man was sentenced to life in prison, one man will serve no time at all and is free to live his life however he pleases. One man massacred thousands … Continue reading A Tale of Two War Criminals

Struggling with Common Core

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT -- I am struggling with the Common Core ELA curriculum.  We’ve been talking about Common Core nationally for several years now but it has only this year actually trickled down into my high school classroom with the new, mandated Louisiana Believes curriculum which is hosted on Learnzillion. Apparently what “Louisiana believes” … Continue reading Struggling with Common Core

Nasty Surprise In A Nutshell

Warning: this post may not be suitable for the faint of heart or weak of stomach... My best friend texted me from work the other day with a picture of what she discovered in the snack that she was attempting to enjoy on her break. She was eating Wonderful brand pistachios, and apparently what happened … Continue reading Nasty Surprise In A Nutshell

Report from Louisiana: Early Prison Release #fail

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT --  Well, that didn’t take long. Tyrone White, a convicted car burglar who was released early under Louisiana’s new free-the-criminals criminal justice overall, has been re-arrested.  White was out of jail only five days before he picked up a gun and robbed a construction worker in Kenner, Louisiana.  He is now … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Early Prison Release #fail

Manhunt: Unabomber, a review

By John Ruberry Manhunt: Unabomber, is an engrossing eight-episode Discovery Channel mini-series, which is also available on Netflix, that dramatizes the search for the man dubbed the Unabomber by the FBI, Ted Kaczynski. Sam Worthington, best known for his starring role in Avatar, stars as James "Fitz" Fitzgerald, the FBI profiler and linguist who connects … Continue reading Manhunt: Unabomber, a review

Please talk to your Veteran today

So it's Veteran's Day, a chance to have a Federal Holiday, get a free meal from local restaurant, and then go about my day. Sadly, that's how I spend most Veteran's Days. What I should be doing is talking to more people about what it means to be a Veteran, and try to dispel the … Continue reading Please talk to your Veteran today

Some Happy News

The non-stop barrage of negative news and/or nasty fake news can really grind us all down sometimes, so I scoured the web and found a few things that I hope will help lighten the load and brighten everyone's weekend. Honor Flight Brings Veterans to D.C. to Visit Their War Memorials Lea Gabrielle joined 150 veterans … Continue reading Some Happy News

I’ll never forget when my life ended

Some say the world will end in a bang, and some say with a whimper. My world ended with a ringtone. Looking back, the whole thing played out like a farce but was really a tragedy. It all started in late August when my beloved Shirley complained about a sore on the top of her … Continue reading I’ll never forget when my life ended

Proposed Republican Tax Bill Hits Teachers

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – I haven’t poured through the proposed Republican tax plan but I did get far enough to see that teachers will be losing their $250 per year tax credit should it pass unscathed. The tax bill proposed by Republican leaders yesterday scraps a benefit that many teachers have come to rely … Continue reading Proposed Republican Tax Bill Hits Teachers