Showing posts from June, 2008

On the Degeneration of the American Culture

What sounds more exciting and interesting:

1.) A group of students slacks off in class, never listens to the teacher, spits gum and skateboards in all the places there are signs saying "No Skateboards" and "No Gum." They don't study for tests, shoplift in their spare time, are straight F students, bring concealed knives to class, and, after getting expelled in the tenth grade and forcibly reenrolled by their parents, they drop out of school and become violent thieves.

2.) A group of students behaves perfectly in class, always listen carefully to the teacher, take notes, and don't even dream of bringing skateboards or gum to class. They have shelves full of books on how to study right and always manage to memorize every single thing on the test. School is more important than shopping, they're straight A students, and, after graduating with honors from an Ivy League college, get high-paying jobs like accountants, insurance agents, and university deans.

I don…

Another story beginning written with Lincoln School, Costa Rica

Max Gil had always wanted to climb a mountain. He said that it didn’t matter which mountain it was (although he’d prefer a pretty high mountain), as long as he got to climb a mountain.
Max would spend hours in bed just dreaming about climbing a mountain. Max had a very nice room. The walls were painted dark blue and the curtains were made of silk and lace. Max had eighty-three building blocks, five boxes full of toys, drawers and drawers of beautiful writing paper, and lots of different things to amuse himself with. Still Max was not happy. He wanted to climb a mountain.
That was why he was so excited when his father told him that they would be going to Mt. Chirripo. In fact, Max jumped up and down and nearly knocked over the breakfast table. He bumped his head on the chandelier. The chandelier ended up on the floor and the candles all fell out. Fire streaked across the hardwood floor.
“Aaaaaah!” Max shrieked as his socks burned. Max’s father was laughing so hard that he didn…

Beginning of a story written with Lincoln School, Costa Rica

On June 9th I had my first videoconference with a school in Costa Rica, the Lincoln School. I gave two presentations on Inspirations for Writing. During the second session, I showed them how you can easily start writing a story using simple inspirations. The beginning of this story was inspired by the ideas "carnivorous plant" and "monkeys." I would love it if the students of the Lincoln School wanted to continue this story, copied and pasted the beginning into the "comments" section, and gave it their own ending. Here is the beginning of the story:


The town of Saitam was not known for being an exciting place. Nothing much ever happened there. It was a very small town, with two restaurants, one post office, one school, and twelve houses. The people of the town had to get their groceries from another town four miles away. Saitam was so small that it wasn’t even on the map.
But something would happen to change all that.

There were lots of monkeys in…

Musical Preferences

When giving presentations via videoconference I am sometimes asked what my favorite kind of music is. At those times I will usually start off by listing the types of music that I dislike. This, for me, is a great deal easier than listing the kinds that I like. I will list for you here some types of music I dislike, in order of most disliked to "I guess it's sometimes okay" position:

Rap. I'm not even sure if rap can qualify as music, but anything that a majority of the United States teenage population likes probably isn't intelligent talk radio. I've taken to doing rap parodies to annoy people, namely my older sister. Whenever I come into the room she blasts Soulja Boy on, high-volume, in order to annoy me back.Pop. As in today's pop, like Avril Lavigne and the Jonas Brothers. I would describe it as "high-pitched wails, clashing vibrations of shallow idiocy, and altogether unpleasant." I know that I'm probably offending quite a few people her…

Upcoming Events

I'll be presenting at these upcoming events:

WHO Convention (Washington Homeschoolers Organization)
Puyallup, Washington State

NECC (National Educational Computing Conference)
San Antonio, Texas

Tikatok Company Launch (
Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts

For more information regarding these events, or to request a presentation, feel free to contact us.

Dialogue between presidents in the White House of the "underworld"

For class I was studying some early presidents, because I was supposed to write a dialogue between them. I asked my teacher whether I could have some presidents talk with presidents who would have been dead in their time. She said sure. I got the idea to make them ghosts in the underworld.


The White House was never the quietest place in the underworld, but tonight the noise was absolutely alarming. It made sense--all the dead presidents' ghosts, ghosts of staff, and ghosts of family crammed into a single building were bound to make noise. In the kitchen, where at least some of the cooks knew him, Andrew Jackson tried to get to sleep.

"Poll wants to fly! Poll wants to leave!" Jackson's parrot, Poll, squawked.

"Shut it, you scumfaced, traitorous, most--oh, thought you, someone, Poll," Jackson mumbled sleepily, groping for his pillow. "Who stole my pillow?"

"Poll wants to leave!" was Poll's only answer.

"Fine, sirrah! …