Thursday, March 28, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse Science Lesson

7th Grade Science Class

We are learning about ecological succession. We started a project where our football field was abandoned and we have to draw the different stages of succession. To set the stage, I asked the kids what would make the community abandon our school. The boys answered quickly with zombie apocalypse. So, I went with it. Then my high thinking boys again asked, "Mrs. Grissom, if the area was abandoned because of zombies, then everything is infected, right?" I agreed and the follow up question was, "Then all of the species will be infected. So, can we draw zombie animals?"
I laughed and told them of course. They will remember succession because of a zombie analogy! Teachers; make it fun and they will learn!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Reflection; My Kids

Are our children a reflection of who we are?

A reflection is defined as 4b: An effect produced by an influence

Using that definition makes the answer easy! Parents influence their children every day with words, actions, and discipline. Even when we don't think they are watching; that is when they are watching the most! Kids seem to replicate the worst parts of their parents. As my two get into the depth of their teenage years, I see more and more of myself which makes me angry. I feel like a failure because they adopted the same darn habits that I desperately wanted them to overcome. Part of me wants to give up. Its inevitable. They will become who they want whether I approve or not because honestly, I am the one (or my husband) that influenced them.
Then I think; how can it be too late if I am in a constant state of change? Change is never too late! Parents can change their influence now, no matter the age of their child, and therefore change the effect on their children. So, my goal: CHANGE ME and quit trying to change them. By changing me, I will be indirectly changing what I don't like about my children. Next time you notice something about your child that angers you; step back and look at yourself. Work on you and see if it changes them. (All you teenagers reading this better give me a twitter high five!!!!)

(Tomorrow: What Else Influences My Kids?)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bullying or Teenage Drama?

After linking teen suicide to bullying, school administrators are now feeling pressure from the public to address bullying with a more aggressive approach. This political pressure has increased professional development for teachers and initiated bullying programs in schools, but has it changed the mindset of the adults involved?

Recently, a Texas student reported that two cheerleaders at a football game were calling her names and cussing at her on the field. Throughout the school week, these same two cheerleaders continued to harass and belittle the student, encouraging other students to join in their fun. After an investigation, the student was informed that their situation was deemed "normal teenage drama".

How did this administrator determine the difference between bullying and teenage drama? Where was the line drawn? Old-school protocols overlook teasing and rumors because they believe the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" to be true. Tell that to the victims of suicide caused by relentless emotional bullying.

In the teenage world, words are everywhere and can be communicated across the school, city, state, and country within minutes through technology. A simple rumor can ruin a student's reputation, cause sleepless nights, isolate them from the general population, cause changes in personality, and project thoughts of suicide. The old-school definition of bullying must change!

Bullying is ANY behavior or words that an aggressor uses to make an individual feel uncomfortable and continues to repeat this behavior on a consistent basis. Therefore, teenage drama can be deemed bullying if the same student/s are repeating this behavior consistently against the same individual/s. If we still have administrators and teachers telling students to get over it or that it's normal teenage drama, the teacher training is not adequately covering all aspects of physical and emotional bullying. What if Child Protective Services only removed children with bruises and ignored the situations where a child was suffering emotionally?

We have to stand up and defend those who are constantly targeted whether it is physical or mental abuse.

Educational professionals need to recognize that the day of "sticks and stones" is over. If a student reports bullying, don't tell them to get over it and don't expose their problem to the class.

  • Take time to listen and care about them. 
  • Report it to your campus principal and counselor.
  • Be vigilant to watch out for any further bullying or retaliation. 

Victims of bullying need to feel supported and cared for by their teachers and peers. If not, we are responsible for the loss of life; whether it is taken through suicide or diminished self-worth.

Take a stand against bullying!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Princess Syndrome

Princess Syndrome

Symptoms: Abnormally high sense of self, Heightened expectations of service, Decreased responsibility to care for self independently, Carries nose in an upright position, Expects others to take care of any undesirables, Interrupts, Rolls eyes, Stands with an abnormally straight stance of superiority, Voice projects over everyone, Opinions flare as facts, Unable to accept that they could possibly be wrong, follows current fashion trends that do not suit them or their environment, Hair bumped higher than Snooki's, Overly consumed with appearance, Mirrors in every environment, Refuses to accept the answer "No", Bitter look on face, Strange vocal projections, Orders others to complete tasks that they should complete, Expects satisfaction at all times, Self consumed, Prideful, Demeans others, Gossips, Reapplies make-up more than twice a day, Displays name brands, Only wants to date someone who is already taken, Believes they are extremely wealthy even if living in poverty or middle class, Thinks someone might steal them because they are so cute, and Extremely large, delicate ego. *These symptoms are not exhaustive; any unusually prideful, bratty actions should be considered.

Possible Causes: Genetic condition from birth, Childhood tantrums resulted in getting their way, Parents overly served and complimented them, Pageant participation at a young age, Cheer-leading for over four years, Too much attention, Peers complimented them one too many times, Psychological disorder

Prognosis: There is no known cure.

Natural Remedies: Take away all mirrors, Do not give in to any of their demands, Expect withdrawal symptoms of childish tantrums, crying, threats, and running away to last for one year up to ten years, Stay strong, Join a support group, Admit them to a PSA (Princess Syndrome Anonymous) program to begin a twelve step recovery process, Communicate with family, friends, and co-workers to explain this serious and possibly fatal syndrome along with the recommended remedies.

Current social research is in progress. Up to this point, there has not been a successful remission from all symptoms. To follow and donate to the current research contact: or call the emergency hotline: 1-800-SLAP HER

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Bull and The Ballerina

One afternoon, a three year old boy ran into the living room where his Mom was watching television. To get his Mom's attention, he got down on all fours and started bucking his feet in the air and raring his head up and down. "Mommy, look what I can do! I'm a bucking bull!" the little boy yelled. His Mom watched and cheered him on about his amazing, new found talent.
The little boy's older sister who was five came bursting into the room wearing a pink leotard and tutu. "Mommy, look at me!" she yelled as she twirled right in front of the bucking bull. Of course, this did not make the bull happy. So, he made his way back to the front and added loud bull grunt noises. The ballerina grimaced and quickly did a twirl with a jump to regain her front stage position. The Mom sat back and laughed, enjoying the show and noticing the rivalry for her complete attention. Her two children advanced closer and closer to their Mom each time they got in front of the other. Finally, they were both up against the couch and unable to move. The Mom grabbed them both up in a huge hug and said, "You two are the best bucking bull and ballerina that I have ever seen!" Both children smiled; happy with the approval of their Mom and ran off to play.
How often do we, as adults, buck and dance trying to gain the approval of our children, spouse, parents, friends, bosses, or God? All we need to do is be ourselves and quit competing against one another for front stage because we are each perfectly unique.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Learning To Spell With A Fork

The cutest four year old, blond headed boy with big blue eyes was sitting in front of his mother. She had taught him all the letters in the alphabet and their sounds previously. Today, she was trying to teach him how to begin spelling words with the letters. The mom thought the word "eat" would be an easy start because he could hear the letter "E"; plus he loved food. She looked into his big blue eyes and asked, "What letter does "eat" start with? E,E,E,EEEEEE eat?"
The little boy put his finger on his chin and tapped it as he thought. The mom continued to sing out the word eat while emphasizing the letter "E". Finally, the boy jumped up and flung his finger in the air, "I know!"
The mom was ecstatic that she had such a genius as a son. She couldn't wait to hear his answer.
The little boy yelled, "A fork!"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Forever Love

A set of twelve year old, bouncy girls ran across the churchyard. They stopped when their friend, David, arrived. The two girls, Jana and Sarah, waited for him to get out of his car and come join them in their usual game of tag in front of the church. David hopped out and was joined by a friend, Roy. A new boy definitely caught the attention of both girls. They watched and giggled as he followed David up to meet them.
"This is Roy," David stated as he slapped Jana on the arm, "You're it!"
The usual game of tag proceeded. As Jana chased Roy, she realized that he was much too fast. She chose an easier target and tagged her friend, Sarah. The game was interrupted when the pastor's kids walked up with a rope. The older boys made the younger boys run and took turns roping them. Jana and Sarah leaned against the white brick exterior wall of the church and watched the rodeo.
Jana turned to Sarah, "I am going to marry him one day."
Sarah laughed, "Who?"
Jana raised her arm and pointed to the new boy, Roy, and smiled. She was smitten with a forever love.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Imaginative vs. Realist

Walking along the lakeside, my husband and I approach a set of chaotic tracks. Large animal paws indented the sand with claws protruding from the pads of the animal. Human footprints were intertwined in a manner that suggested something had gone terribly wrong. The two sets of prints diminished into lone animal tracks followed by drag marks leading away from the water's edge and into the tall grass. I turned to my husband with a horrified look, What do you think happened here?" He looked down for a moment and then pointed to a stick beside the mess, "Looks like a guy was playing fetch with his dog and probably used that stick right there." I sighed in relief, "I thought a mountain lion attacked that man and drug him away." My husband laughed and took my hand. We passed on by the tracks in the sand hoping that he was right.