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Last Visit 2016-04-04 09:29:22 |Start Date 2007-08-13 08:30:04 |Comments 728 |Entries 207 |Images 109 |Videos 2 |

06/30/08 11:14 - 70ºF - ID#44829

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra


For those of you who enjoy classical music, the orchestra will be playing at Bidwell Parkway, Tuesday July 1st, 7pm.

(e:Drew) and I will be meeting folks at Lafayette Presbyterian Church in the parking lot at Elmwood ave and Lafayette ave. at 6:30pm to walk down together...if you don't want to meet us at the church, we'll catch up with you at Bidwell.

Hope to see you there!
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Permalink: Buffalo_Philharmonic_Orchestra.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY

06/26/08 02:55 - 73ºF - ID#44792

My Supreme Court Hobby

I look forward to the two times of the year when the Supreme Court reads its decisions.

After taking an intense graduate level class in Criminal Justice and Law in which I plowed through several Supreme Court decisions and wrote several papers, I have an appreciation for and understanding of how decisions are made to a small extent. And because I've read a number of cases, I am sometimes familiar with the prececdents preceding a current case. It really is a fun hobby.

I am currently reading through the majority opinion of the court on the DC handgun case. I'm fascinated to read that, to date, Supreme Court cases have addressed the right to bear weapons in terms of the types of weapons (i.e. restrictions on assault rifles) and the types of persons (i.e. offenders). But this case explores whether the constitution intended for the right to bear arms to be a collective right (i.e. a militia) or individuals (Joe Schmoe down the street owning it for self defense). The decision to go down in history is that the constitution provides this right to the individuals.

I've only begun to dig in, but so far the majority opinion seems dead on, but I'm sure once I read the minority opinion, it will give me something to chew over.

So far, I am pleased that Scalia made clear that the right of the individual to bear weapons does not negate the laws that exist to regulate the types of weapons and who possesses those weapons (i.e. it's perfectly reasonable to make illegal the possession of nuclear weapons by the dude who has spent time in a psych hospital - my example, not Scalia's, lol).

I have a few more thoughts on the topic, but I want to finish reading the decision. Here's the link if you want to join me.

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Permalink: My_Supreme_Court_Hobby.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY

06/16/08 10:35 - 63ºF - ID#44683

How far will we go to save money ....

on gasoline?

We rode our bikes home tonight from Pearl St. Brewery three miles in the rain!

Apparently, these are the memories that will make life seem so precious when we're old.
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Permalink: How_far_will_we_go_to_save_money_.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY

06/14/08 11:47 - 70ºF - ID#44647

Race for the Cure

I ran the 5k Race for the Cure today.

It was a great experience. My friend and I did this couch to 5k plan to work up to it over a two month period and we succeeded so I'm feeling pretty good about myself. And at the very end we got to reward ourself with lots of free goodies including a free hot sausage and all the BEER we could stand in line and wait for. Felt a little goofy drinking beer at 11am, but it tasted SO GOOD.

It was a moving experience too. When you see all the people running or walking with pink signs pinned on in memory of/in celebration of people who succumbed to/survived breast cancer, it really hits you how many people are affected. I saw one young boy, couldn't have been over 18 who ran in memory of his mother. That's too young to lose your mom.

It was a good enough time that I would be willing to put together an estrip team for the race next year!
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Location: Buffalo , NY

06/08/08 01:59 - 79ºF - ID#44587

Live Art

We went to an exhibit at the art gallery where students picked a piece of art work and recreated it with a backdrop and played the parts of the people in the painting. Really cool.









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Location: Buffalo , NY

06/06/08 11:25 - 77ºF - ID#44565

Buffalo PS Update #2

Okay, so I spoke with my friend. She is standing by her story that she needs to ask to take home a social studies textbook and a science textbook.

I tried a couple of different times to get hold of the principal. When I speak to the receptionist because the principal is still out of her office, she says the principal didn't call me back because I "refused to identify who I was". Bit my tongue and told her that I had left my name and my number and gave the receptionist a run down on why I was calling. So finally, the principal calls back.

They story changes a little bit because I originally said my friend was in 8th grade and actually she's in 7th. When you're in 7th grade you DON'T get two science textbooks. But my friend doesn't need permission to take the books for science or for social studies. She can just grab a book from the shelf. Both teachers claim that they don't require the students to ask permission and both teachers have been instructed by the principal to tell my friend that she can take a textbook home whenever she needs it without asking for permission.

She can go to summer school, but only for two subjects. However, my friend has already made plans for a week long mission trip and a wedding for her cousin. She can only miss three days of summer school and then she'll be dismissed. I'm a little upset by that because my friend tried to advocate for herself to get into summer school and when she she was told no, she made new plans. But, rules are rules and it's hard for schools to make exceptions for each individual student's situation, so she'll have to make a choice. I'm pretty sure that she'll pick summer school, but we'll see. I have to call the principal back around the 16th of June to make summer school arrangements...this time I'll leave a bio about myself so no one accuses me of refusing to identify Man, it's no fun to deal with a surly receptionist before your first cup of coffee.
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Permalink: Buffalo_PS_Update_2.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY

06/02/08 10:00 - 58ºF - ID#44518

Buffalo PS update

I mailed off my letter on Wednesday night. I received a voicemail from the principal on Friday. I called her back to talk this morning.

So far, I'm pleased. The principal was concerned with my information regarding the textbooks. According to the principal, all students are to have a textbook for each of their classes to take home whenever they need. In fact, for their science class, each student has a textbook for home and for class. The only class they do not have a textbook for is their ESL class because it is not structured for students to take work home. So, I will speak with my young friend to clarify for what classes does she not have a textbook that she may take home everyday. And the principal will speak with the teachers.

The principal believes that the Tuesday night program is run by an outside organization and she will look into how it is run and get back to me.

For summer school, the principal and teachers work together to determine who gets summer school, but a parent can request that a student receive summer chool irregardless. I pointed out that the young woman's mother would probably never think to ask and wouldn't be able to ask as she primarily speaks Nuer. The principal said it was sufficient enough that an advocate like myself to request it. The principal is going to look into my friend's grades and determine why she was not placed in summer school. And I"ll speak with my friend to see if she still wants to go.

The principal was very receptive to me calling and glad for a student at her school to have someone actively advocating for her. I was glad to speak with such a receptive principal and hopefully things will progress from here.
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Location: Buffalo , NY

05/27/08 11:27 - 49ºF - ID#44463

Buffalo Public Schools

I tutor a young Sudanese woman who up until a year ago was living in refugee camps in Africa. It is absolutely my pleasure to help her with her homework. She's such a bright young woman. But I want to pound my head with frustration when she shares with me the obstacles she runs into at school.

Last night was the last straw for me when she explained that she needed permission to take a class textbook home to do homework or to study for a test. If she wants unrestricted access to a textbook, she may purchase a used copy from the school with permission from the teacher and counselor. It took her a really long time to explain this to me because I couldn't begin to comprehend this situation.

So I decided to compose a letter to the principal of her school politely explaining my concerns and asking for clarification.

[box]I am writing to express concerns that have been brought to my attention through tutoring a young woman in the eighth grade at (school name with held).

The young woman has explained to me that she does not have an assigned textbook for each of her classes. Instead, she must ask permission from her teacher to take a text book home and then she must return it the following day. If she wishes to have a book of her own without such restrictions, she may purchase a used book from the school if approved by her teacher and the principal. Is this information correct? Could you please explain your school’s policy on the use of textbooks? I am very concerned that this young woman and other pupils at this school do not have unrestricted access to textbooks for studying and completion of homework.

The young woman has also informed me that she participates in an after school activity on Tuesday for assistance with homework. She has indicated that this after school program is little more than students “running around, yelling, and eating”. From her viewpoint, there seems to be no structured activity to this program. This young woman can use any extra assistance available, so I’m concerned that this after school program is not fulfilling this need.

Finally, I would appreciate information on the process of determining the need for summer school. This young woman informed me that she is not eligible for summer school because science is the only subject in which she is deficient. After assisting her with a science assignment, I am concerned with the decision that she does not require summer school for this subject. Who is the appropriate individual with whom to discuss the issue?

I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

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Permalink: Buffalo_Public_Schools.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY

05/20/08 11:26 - ID#44399

Vive La Revolution

My sociology antennas perked up when I read this article. I remember something about Marx predicting that in countries like America, the middle class would assist the proletariat in overthrowing the government by providing the financial, educational, and leadership capital to do so.

While I don't think we can expect a bloody communist overthrow, I wonder if the declining condition of the middle class will lead to a bloodless democratic socialist overthrow. When middle class people are living homeless in their cars .... when the middle class takes all their retirement savings to pay their kids way through college .... when the middle class is bankrupted by medical bills....
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Permalink: Vive_La_Revolution.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY

05/13/08 07:23 - 63ºF - ID#44329

Help a friend of a friend??

I have a friend going to Greece for two to three months starting tomorrow. Her catsitter JUST bailed on here. Anyone willing to take in a cat for 3 months?

Please let me know ASAP.
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Permalink: Help_a_friend_of_a_friend_.html
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Location: Buffalo , NY



New Site Wide Comments

paul said to ladycroft
Nice to "see" you. I let the CPR ads stay because at least it was something lol...

ladycroft said to joe finger went spastic. ...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...

ladycroft said to joe
Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...