Sunday, January 31, 2016

S7s: Closing January

1) Last week was a sort of Winter Break for students of Henderson County Public Schools. They were out Monday-Wednesday. I went into work each day and was somewhat productive. Much of my time revolved around getting our wrestling match scheduled. On Thursday, we had a two hour delay. Friday was a regular schedule. It was sort of weird and difficult, since this was the first full day with my second semester students.

Speaking of which: so far, so good. Really nice group of kids. Also, smaller class numbers than last semester, which makes for slightly easier management and more opportunities to collaborate and do discussions. I am really looking forward to this group, though I'll apologize in advance for February. Hosting the Regional Wrestling and then going to the State tournament means I don't get to be in the classroom and miss out on some instruction.

2) The snow made me miss Pompey. The Mazda doesn't have the clearance of the Nissan (not that the Maxima had that much more clearance). Backed into a snow bank, which turned out to be an ice bank. Small paint scratch beneath the rear bumper. I also liked having manual transmission in the snow and ice. Really, the car handled fine in the snow.

3) 62 people are valued as much as 3.6 billion.

The wealthiest 62 people worth more than the poorest half of the world. I know the right screams of the dangers of socialism, but the widening wage gap, struggles of the middle class and the cost of health care worry me more than the dangers of socialism. I'm not advocating that the United States go welfare state in the European model, but I'll go on record that the system is broken. Costs have risen while wages have been stagnant, making the American dream difficult to achieve. Not impossible, but exceptional. And if you get to a safe place financially, you're one major injury or cancer diagnosis from having to declare bankruptcy. In the meantime, the profits and net value of the wealthiest individuals and corporations have skyrocketed comparatively. Middle class income has barely changed in the last two decades. It's a gamed system that is rigged to benefit the top of society and make it difficult for the everyone else.

4) Photo of the week, I still need to go to Iceland:

5) While I hate that someone died, I'm hoping that the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is coming to an end. I biked through Burns, Oregon when I went coast to coast in 2010. I had fond memories there. I stayed at a hotel to get out of the sun and ate at the Meat Hook. Ran into Charlie, who ended up rescuing a lost sock monkey a few days later. 

These guys who led the occupation are not patriots. They claim to love America but then disregard the laws and authority. Anyone else would be labeled threats or terrorists, but we let these guys persist because there are so many like them. Their interest is self serving and not community or national. They were never welcomed by the community they were holding siege. If change is what they wanted to invoke, what a pathetic effort they gave. In the end, nothing changed, they looked foolish and one person is unnecessarily dead.

6) Best Meme of the Week:

That said, tomorrow will be interesting and fun to watch as Iowa kicks of primary season. My prediction is that the Republican winner in Iowa, whoever it is, does not win the nomination. I think Clinton wins in Iowa with Sanders putting up a good fight.

7) So, we were not able to practice on Monday or Tuesday. That's after having to cancel practice Friday. We wrestled our last match against Tuscola on Wednesday. The match was supposed to be at Tuscola, but we moved it to Brevard. Brevard had matches against Tuscola and East Henderson left. We were able to get the win and finish and undefeated conference season. 7-0 and Conference Champions!

We carried that momentum into Saturday. We took 10 kids into the finals and had 7 champions. We also had two third place wrestlers, a fourth and a sixth. We were able to win the tournament, the first sweep of the conference and the tournament for us since 2001. We've won the tournament a few times but finished 2nd in the regular season. But I'm really proud of an great group of guys. They work hard, are good students and care for one another. 

We wrestle Tuesday in the first round of the Dual Team Playoffs. 

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