Monday, December 29, 2014

Sumner Brooks Affair

This happened during the fiery 1850s.  During this time the country was headed towards war!  The regional divisions were being defined.  The only subject our government was looking at, or talking about was slavery!  It is strange now because our government tackles so many subjects now.  I always tell my students I will never make you memorize dates.  The only people who should know dates are historians and history teachers.  But when I teach the fiery 1850s  the dates of the events are always prevalent.  Because each event adds fuel to the fire - so you need to know the chronological order of things.  You do not need to know the dates, but know the order of things.

In May 1856 the Sumner Brooks Affair happened.  Senator Charles Sumner of Mass. was speaking to Congress about the crime against Kansas. 

Charles Sumner
In 1854 pro and anti slavery factions started fighting in Kansas.  They had battles, and the government was doing nothing.  Historians now say Bleeding Kansas was a foreshadowing of things to come. 
Senator Sumner was shocked the government was doing nothing about the violence, and was speaking out about it!  In his speech to Congress he named names, and named Preston Brooks's cousin.  This infuriated Congressman Brooks from South Carolina, and he decided to do something about it!  They are always from South Carolina!
Preston Brooks
What is interesting about these two men, and the reason why students need to know them is because these two men represent the north and the south.  Sumner represents the North, and Brooks represented the South.  They embodied how the two regions felt. 
Brooks got up from his seat in the balcony, and said I am going to shut up the North!  Brooks walked with a cane, and as he got close to Senator Sumner - he began beating him with his cane!  I always wonder what Sumner was thinking?  I can see the scene!  Here he is talking to Congress, and this angry man is walking towards him.  Then he begins hitting him with his cane!
Brooks nearly beat him to death, but Sumner survived!  The only punishment for Brooks was a slap on the wrist, and paid time off to cool down.  This is shocking to me!  He nearly killed a fellow Congressman!  While Brooks was home cooling down - Southerners sent him thank you gifts, and applauded him for standing up to the North.  While beating Sumner - Brooks broke his cane.  He got sent over 500 new canes to replace the one that broke!
A fun assignment to do with my students is one of personification.  Take on being the cane, and tell the story through the eyes of the cane!  The stories are always entertaining! I love their imaginations, and the directions they go!
Ultimately Senator Sumner became a martyr.  The North would say look what the South will do to you!  They will beat you!  Congressman Brooks became celebrated!  He stood up to the North, and their evil ways!  Others needed to be like him!  The causes of the Civil War are complex.  It just was not slavery, but moments like this just fanned the flames!    

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Everybody Has A Story

I love this because it is a GREAT example that we do not know everybody's full story!  Here is this teacher who challenged his students, and pushed them.  But then they found out something that surprised and inspired them!  Watch!

Friday, December 26, 2014

TED Talk

This is a fascinating talk about the how and why of happiness.  This is a GREAT talk that gives a lot of insight.  Please watch!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Truce 1914

I thought this would be very fitting for today!  Tonight 100 years ago British and German troops decided to have a Christmas truce, and stop firing their guns and artillery.  It is amazing this happened!  The Pope at the time asked each side to officially stop fighting for one night.  They said no, but this one group decided to unofficially stop for one night! 
They sang Christmas Carols and played games together for one night.  Some of the men on both sides decided in this truce retrieve their fallen brothers on the battle field.  This has never happened since, and I believe shows that we are more alike than different. 
This is such an incredible true story - they made a film about it!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Good Night and Good Luck

A great historical movie is Good Night and Good Luck.  This movie will not disappoint!  I showed my government classes the trailer for this movie last week.  We are discussing the Legislative Branch and congressional committees.  This is a true story and shows how a senator can get power hungry and dangerous.
In the 1950s - the decade after WW!! - Senator Joseph McCarthy went on a witch hunt for all Communist in America.  Americans were terrified Communists would infiltrate and ruin America.  McCarthy capitalized on that fear, and created true hysteria in this country.
Edward R Murrow had the courage to stand up to McCarthy, and expose him for what he was.  He helped wake up America, and stop McCarthy.  In 2005 they made an excellent movie about Murrow, and his brave act!  The movie has an outstanding cast, and captured the mood of the 1950s.  It was filmed in black and white!  It is FANTASTIC! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You'll Only Understand If You Live Here

I just saw the best article!  I stumbled on the article, "31 Things Oklahomans Have to Explain To Out of Towner's." I had to share!  I have seen things like this before. Two stand out to me.  I saw an email once that had a picture of a construction cone with the caption "Oklahoma State Tree."  I thought that was so true!  There is always construction.  They finish one project, and start another.
Another one that I always relate toare the ones that say "You know you are from Oklahoma if you can pronounce these towns."  We have some strange city names.
Read this article, and see if you relate to any of these things:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A GREAT Philbrook Field Trip

In World History we just finished the Renaissance.  The rebirth of Europe after the Dark Ages.

I want History to come to life for my students.  So we went to the Philbrook to see their Renaissance Art collection.  We also got a tour of the new Native American Exhibit.  I loved that because the Renaissance was all about becoming a well rounded cultured person - a Renaissance Man! 
The day went perfect!  The students had fun!  The Museum tour guides said our students were the best students they have toured in a long time!  That is what I love!  BTW students are always so well behaved!  The guides told me their favorite part was the fact they would ask the students questioned about the Renaissance and they knew the answers!
I could not use a flash - so it turned out blury.  Checking ou the art.

TED Talk

This is a GREAT talk about how to learn anything.  He goes through the whole process and makes it doable to learn something new.  This is very insightful!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Everybody Has a Story

I love this idea - everybody has a story because it is true!  I think we all forget that.  It is nice to be reminded of that.  Also I saw a great movie that highlights this idea - St. Vincent.  Vincent on the surface looks like a terrible person, but then they dig under the surface.  It was great!  I dragged my sister.  She did not want to see it, but cried in the film and loved it! 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Everybody Has A Story - Veteran

Homecoming 2014 - 300: Rise of the Hive

Homecoming was so much fun!  This is always my favorite week at BTW!  And I cannot believe this was my 10th one!  Here is a collection of my favorite photos taken:

I love that each Class gets to decorate a hallway!  It makes the Hive so festive!  You can feel the spirit!
Seniors - Class of 2015
Sophomores - Class of 2017
Freshman - Class of 2018
Juniors - Class of 2016
Mix Match Day
Mix Match Day
Dress Your Age Day
Dress Your Age Day
Outrageous Orange and Black Day
The Awesome Door My 2nd Hour Made!
Pep Rally - Watching Teachers about to race!
Mr. and Miss Hornet

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

For Halloween I went as Tami my nurse!  She has been my nurse since day 1.  Every month I have to get an infusion.  The drug is called Tysabri.  In the MS world it is a big deal.  My doctor explained Tysabri in a good simple way.  It is putting a pause on MS.  I am so thankful for this drug because it is working!
And most of all I am thankful for this office!  They are taking care of me!  I truly believe they are saving my life!  It was an honor to be Tami for Halloween!
Tami and the other nurses dressed up like Wizard of Oz.  Tami was a GREAT Tin Man!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Everybody Has A Story - Balloon

Steve Hartman believes everybody has a story, and he does that on CBS.  So every week I am going to post one of his stories.  They are beautiful  and will touch your heart!  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why you need sleep!

Last night I saw a GREAT TED Talk!  This doctor tells us why sleep is important for our brains!  I found out the hard way how important our brain is.  The Central Nervous System controls everything from talking to walking.  So we need to take care of our brains.  I hope you get something out of this video!  I did!

I also included a video about MS and how it affects your brain.

Make People Happy!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

You Are Beautiful!

I just watched this TED Talk and I am shocked!  Shocked by the statistics of how teenage girls feel about themselves.   As I watched this Talk - I was hoping none of my students feel this way!  I want all my students to know they are beautiful!  And if anyone tells you different they are crazy!  So do not listen to them! 

Watch this video!  I hope it is informational, and gives you hope!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Viking Runes in Oklahoma

Today in Oklahoma History we started European Conquest in Oklahoma.  The first Europeans we know about are the Vikings in 1001 C.E.  Now this is incredible because we are not 100% on how they made it to Oklahoma, but we know they did!  We know because of the Heavener Stone in Eastern Oklahoma.  On that stone Viking Runes have been discovered and authenticated. 
So today I gave the students a sheet of Viking Runes and play dough.  They made a message in the play dough.  They had great fun!
Creating a message
Final product
This says, "BTW" in Runes!

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Every month when I go to OKC to get my infusion I drive by the Buffalo in Sapula.  I love this Buffalo.  It sits on top of a mound, and it is an eye catcher.  I want to take my photo with it, and today I can cross it off my list.

Buffalos are the State Animal for Oklahoma.  So this animal is significant to Oklahoma.  Next time your in Sapula check it out!


Declaration of Indepedence

In U.S. government we have started the foundation of American Government, and we are about to look at the document that makes the colonists break from England official.  While I was in Philadelphia at Independence Hall where the Declaration was signed, the park ranger said something interesting.  He said every group has an Origin Story.  This is America's Origin Story.  I love that!

And this document made it official.  The colonist put off declaring independence for so long.  I think the best example of that is the fact the colonists fought the war for over a year before they declared independence.  They loved being English.  They just wanted to be represented.  They wanted a say in the taxes they had to pay, or acts they had to follow.

But the Declaration was meant to be heard - not read.  Below is a fantastic reading of the Declaration from famous actors!  Listen to the words!  The main purpose of this document is to tell King George III why the colonists had the right to break away.

This is one of my favorite quotes about July 4th, and it comes from one of our Founding Fathers!  America has listened to his advice!
“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Work Tips and Advice

I have had two jobs in my life - AMC and BTW.  When I was 16 I needed a job to pay for a trip to Europe.  My parents told me if I want to go to Europe I have to pay for it.  So I thought where would I like to work.  I love movies, and my best friend worked at AMC.  It was an easy decision.  I ended up working at AMC for 10 years, and became a manager.  In those 10 years I learned a lot!
My first tip is when you are deciding where to work pick a place you'll love.  You will spend  a lot of time in that place, and there will be moments where it will be hard and stressful.  There were times at AMC I had to stop and tell myself "I am being paid to be here."  Also think of a place where you'll get good perks.  I loved AMC because I got free movies, and I would always see a lot of people.
Once I became a manager I got the opportunity to choose the applicants who AMC would call to hire.  It was shocking how many people would fill out there application with sloppy handwriting.  It would be so bad I could not even read the numbers to call them.  If I could not read the application it would get put into the do not call pile.  How you fill out your application is your first impression to the employer.  Always use good penmanship!
Once you get the job - you want to stand out!  You want to stand out in a positive way.  There are many ways to stand out.  One way is to be on time!  When you get a job, and you have to be at work at 6 p.m.  They mean you are clocked in, dressed, and on the job at 6.  It is always amazing how many people would walk in late, and not dressed.  That gets you noticed, and not in a good way.  When you are late for a job it is not like school.  You do not get a warning - you get a write up.  After 3 you are fired!  That puts you in bad standing.  When you apply for another job you cannot put your previous job on the application because if the new employer calls the old one they will not say good things.
You want to build a good reputation for yourself!
My last piece of advice would be to have a good attitude.  Be fun to be around!  This will take you far!  I was always upbeat and positive!  Even now as a teacher I try to leave my problems at the door.  Why should my bad day ruin someone else's day?  Be positive!  It will take you far!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Live a Passionate Life

This is a wonderful TED Talk that talks about the importance of living a passionate life!  She says to say yes to life!  You only get one life!  Make this LIFE GREAT!
This talk also talks about one thing we all have to deal with.  Aging!  Don't be afraid to age!  Accept it!  Enjoy it!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oklahoma State Meal

Tuesday Oklahoma History ate the Oklahoma State Meal.  I have done this for the last 9 years after the first unit - Geography of Oklahoma.  Instead of memorizing the State Meal, I think we should eat it together instead.  I bet anything they will remember the State Meal!  Every student brought an item off the State Meal.  We had a feast on Tuesday!  The Meal includes:
  • Strawberries
  • Squash
  • Biscuits
  • Gravy
  • Corn
  • Barbeque Pork
  • Cornbread
  • Grits