The Vandivere Post

Your guide to Mr. V's classroom


view:  full / summary

New Jersey

Posted by jeffvandivere on September 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (7)

You asked for why I hate cats, and now you want to know why I hate New Jersey, so here goes:

1. The misnomer of calling it the Garden State.  The more appropriate moniker of the Garbage State doesn't quite do it justice.

2. Rest areas.  Have you ever stopped at one of these trash dumps along the Turnpike?  Going through there this summer with my boys, the biggest challenge was keeping my two environmentally-conscious toddlers from picking up trash off the ground like we do on our family walks.  Nasty.

3. The New Jersey Turnpike has the most puzzling back-ups of any highway I've ever traveled.  Every time, I sit through long jams at the spot where it goes from 5 lanes to three.  Who plans a highway that way?  Grrr.  I often drive an extra hour or two to avoid Jersey roads when I must drive south.

4.  Jersey Shore is probably the most idiotic show in the history of entertainment.  Add to it the other Jersey reality shows, and I'm left with nothing positive to say.

5.  Newark is scary.

6.  Taking The Path from Manhattan to Newark one scary New Year's morning...long story.  I'd never seen so much vomit on a subway before. 

7.  The Meadowlands, former home of the NY RedBulls & still home of the Giants and Jets, was an absolute dump, and rather challenging to get to via public transportation.  I almost missed the last bus to get back to Manhattan.  And, oooooh, the smell!!!

8. Camden is a suburb of Philly, across the Delaware River.  My buddies and I took a wrong turn in Philly and ended up in Camden, only to make a pit stop at a McD's.  While I waited safely in the car, one of my friends ran back out of the place after encountering a bloody, freaked-out woman in the bathroom.  Creepiness abounds.

9.  Another Camden story: while attending a July 4 concert at the E Center in Camden (a nice venue, right on the water by the bridge going into Philly), we were parked right across the street from a prison, where women and their children were outside waving to their men locked up on the inside.  Kinda ruined the feeling of escaping that concerts often provide.

10.  Jersey walls that divide roads are obnoxious.  Guess where they came from?

11.  No left turns?  You have to be kidding me.  Worst traffic policy ever.  You have to be in the right lane to make a left turn.  How stupid is that?

12.  Giants, Jets, Knicks, Devils, Eagles, Phillies, and Yankees fans live there.  I hate 'em all.

13.  Toxic spraying along the highways.

14. Who names their state after a shirt?

15. No one knows how to get anywhere in that state, especially folks who live there.  I've even heard the GPS say, "I just give up."

16. Bon Jovi.

17. Bruce Springsteen.

18. Governor Chris Christie.

19.  Overpopulation.  NJ has the highest rate of population per square mile than any state of the 50.  I can't imagine wanting to live in a place like that.

20.  Asbury Park, NJ: I went to a New Year's Eve concert at their Convention Center, staying at the nicest hotel near the place.  While there, the elevator decided to stop working...while I was in it!  I don't mean it stalled and I was stuck inside; the thing dropped three stories as if it wasn't attached to anything.  One of the scariest moments of my life.

21.  One night on my way up to Albany to visit a friend, I stopped at a rest area on the Garden State Parkway at 2 A.M., where I was followed into the bathroom and, shall we say, "observed" by a person of questionable intent while I tried to take care of business in a private manner.  Will never do that again.

I'm back and blogging

Posted by jeffvandivere on December 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm sitting in a seminar for "teaching the social studies" in Manchester VT, and I've been inspired to start blogging again.  I have decided I'm going to use this to keep parents updated about what is happening in my class, since far too many kids don't discuss such matters in this age group.

In English, we're in the middle of the novel The Call of the Wild, which would explain why some of them came to school with stuffed doggies.  We're using them for visual images to see how the sled team might look (before they all die, that is).  They've completed the vocabulary packet for this (expect another activity with this soon).  We should be finished the novel by the second week of December.  The book will lead to a response to literature essay before we go on winter break.

We've also completed the groundwork for their Word Roots unit 2, for which we'll be making flash cards, so look for that assignment happening very soon.

IN GOVERNMENT, we're approaching the last week of the course, meaning we'll rush through state and local government, before we culminate with a description of democrat vs. republican and a large debate. 

Feel free to comment if you are interested...

Songs for Children

Posted by jeffvandivere on November 18, 2010 at 9:47 PM Comments comments (2)

One of the ways I get Oliver to calm down when he gets into these lovely screaming fits or when he's rebelling against a diaper change is to sing him a particular song.  Perhaps you've heard it...

"There ain't no flies on me

No there ain't no flies on me

There may be flies on some of you guys

But there ain't no flies on me."

The trick is to do a different verse each time, but that entails coming up with some clever rhymes on the fly.  I've got a few lined up (bugs/mugs, gnats/cats, lobsters/mobsters, lids/kids) but I thought I'd throw it out there for you guys to come up with some clever lines so my feeble attempts at improv rhyming don't sound so idiotic.  I'm curious to see what you guys come up with.

Why I Strongly Dislike Cats (for Bryne)

Posted by jeffvandivere on April 12, 2010 at 4:41 PM Comments comments (16)

1. Litter boxes.  Any animal that doesn't have the common sense to dispose of its own waste either in a toilet or outside is just nasty.  Plus, they smell awful.

2. Hair shedding.  Cats are constantly cleaning themselves, leaving wads of hair all over the place.  And they always want to clean themselves either on my clothes or my favorite chair.

3. Clawing the carpet.

4. 5 AM meowing.

5. Missing the litter box, which ours do occasionally.

6. Cat food smells like rotten fish.

7. They're always under your feet or lying directly in your path, especially when the lights are low and you can't see them.

8. They sleep constantly.

9. They barf in random places, leaving me to step in it without my slippers on.

10. They claw the furniture.

11. They knock over the flower arrangements and other assorted potted plants.

12. They scratch out the screens in the windows.

13. When they do have the decency to relieve themselves outside, they go as close to the house as possible, leaving your first deep breath of the great outdoors to be full of cat urine.

14. They track litter all through the house after they go in the box.

15. They chew on cardboard boxes.

16. They have runny diarrhea  that smells atrocious.

17. They climb trees and get too scared to come down.

18. They fight with claws and teeth.

19. They lick their privates when you're trying to watch a tense moment in a movie or a game.

20. They don't come when called.

21. They are awful at fetch.

22. They are only affectionate when they want food or when you are finally ready to relax (but then they try to sit on your chest or take up the nooks and crannies on the couch left available).

23. They are finicky about food.

24. They won't drink from their own water bowls.

25. They paw at the water bowl to see if there's water in it, occasionally spilling the water onto the floor.

THERE WILL BE MORE!  Feel free to add your own ideas.  :mad:


Posted by jeffvandivere on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM Comments comments (2)

I have created a new page called "Futbol" that talks a little bit about the beautiful game.  If you're interested in the game, or if you have any questions or comments about it, feel free to post them here.  I should respond quickly, as posts are sent to my e-mail, and therefore my cell phone.

The page currently has the 2010 Copa Mundial (aka, The World Cup) groupings, as well as the complete list of what jerseys I currently own.  I'm hoping to keep other pertinent information there as time goes on.

What are your thoughts about nukes now?

Posted by jeffvandivere on December 17, 2009 at 1:52 PM Comments comments (4)

Should VT Yankee close when its license is up in 2012 or should the VT legislature reinstate the license this year?

Website turmoil

Posted by jeffvandivere on September 18, 2009 at 7:33 AM Comments comments (4)

The past few days have been a nightmare with this website, as it was not accessible to me at all.  I offer my humble apologies for this.

I am looking into the merits of a few different free website builders, trying to find ones that have all of the same functions that this one does.  Please be patient as we go through these changes.

Meanwhile, I have handed out the questions for the book reading responses and the Internet reading responses, so students can find a different way to turn this work in, either wriiten or through e-mail.

First day

Posted by jeffvandivere on August 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM Comments comments (70)

What do you think of my class so far?