Thursday, January 02, 2003

High Anxiety





Ben and George ended up crashing on the couch after skiing. We watched Michigan win the Outback Bowl, then the two of them took off. Christina and I had a nice day. One of the relaxing things we did was watch the Mel Brooks movie High Anxiety.

For some reason, we have a Mel Brooks wish list set up of TiVo. I wasn't really familiar with the movie "High Anxiety", but I had heard of it and for some reason wanted to see it. It turned out to be a Hitchcock spoof. Maybe I should have set up a Hitchcock wish list first, so I would have gotten more of the references. Actually, I don't think it would have helped that much. There were some funny spots, but it was mostly uneven. I mean, jokes about psychiatrists refusing to accept personal checks are pretty trite. Nevertheless, the silly story moved along. I'd give it 2 1/2 stars.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

New Year's Eve





Christina went up to Whitetail yesterday for some New Year's Eve skiing with Ben and George. They had a nice deal where you could pay $15 to ski from 9 pm to 1 am. We had done the same thing (sans George) last year.

For some reason, there weren't as many people there this year. Perhaps it was the conditions. Despite the colder weather we've generally been enjoying this year, we got a warm spell Tuesday and especially yesterday. The snow was very soft, which threw off everybody's skiing (well, except George's, but he had a snowboard). Nevertheless, Christina and I both got our first chance to try out our new skis. We both got skis a little longer than we're used to, so we have some adjustments to make. We were both happy with our purchases, though.

I had hoped to try some of the intermediate slopes. One of Whitetail's advantages over other nearby "mountains" is that it is a bit taller. Another is its high speed lift (despite the speed, because it is "detachable", it's actually easier to load and unload). Unfortunately, you don't get those advantages on the beginner slopes. Also, you have to deal with worse skiiers and boarders (which wasn't a problem last night). I decided to wait and let Ben and George tell me which of those intermediate slopes would be the easiest to make the transition to. Unfortunately, with the warm weather and the rain, none of them were really worth trying due to bare spots and "weird" snow.

We still had fun.

Monday, December 30, 2002

Waking Up Early to Go to School





I got a newsletter today from Indian Creek School, where I spent grades 1 through 8. When I left in '84, my classmates and I begged them to open up a high school so we could stay on. Better late than never, I suppose. They've announced plans for an 'Upper School' that will open in 2006.

What struck me most about the project was this part:

"[Indian Creek Upper School] has a different schedule from traditional high schools. Research shows that adolescents need more sleep and do better in school when they begin the school day later. We begin the day at 9:00 a.m and our students stay on campus until 4:50 p.m."


I have read article after article over the past ten years stressing the importance of adapting school hours to the sleep schedules of adolescents. Unfortunately, I have also read article after article of school administrators offering excuses for why they could not make adjustments usually having to do with problems with re-arranging the bus schedules. (If there was one thing public school taught me, it was that all plans revolved around the bus schedule -- well, that and the cafeteria schedule.)

Anyway, right on, ICS! I wrote them a letter applauding their decision. 18 years later, I still know most of the people involved personally, and they really care about education. It makes me proud to be an alum.