Lectionary Gospel – Laetare (Fourth) Sunday of Lent – March 6, 2016

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Google Slides

Since this Sunday’s gospel is the familiar Parable of the Prodigal (or Lost) Son and because it’s Laetare Sunday,  I thought I’d do something different with the illuminated gospel this week.

You’ll notice two translations/versions of the story. Slides two and three are the liturgical NARB version while four and five are from The Message Bible. I tried to include art which seemed to best fit with each version.

And, as a special bonus, here’s an excellent, exegetical sermon and two songs about this parable:

Bishop Baron’s Weekly Homily: “The Prodigal Son Returns”

“Apple Pie” by Flannel Graph

“Now You’re Back” by Justin Roberts

Disclaimer – Since I don’t seek to profit from these files, I don’t cite the source for each of the images found through a Google Search

Stuff You Should Know: Powerful Video on U.S. Wealth Inequality

To say that the internet and devices to access it are powerful tools is a gross understatement. Not being a guy who can crunch numbers, but who is nevertheless interested in data and statistics, I am grateful that the internet offers ways to find, present and then communicate data to the world.

A favorite recent example of this threefold use of data is this “interactive heatmap” infographic displaying the most common birth date in the U.S.  (the answer to the question is below the image):

Birthday Heatmap

The answer? September 16th!

Data and presentation tools can be used for much more than answering trivia questions. In the hands of skilled practitioners, data can be used to show the need for social, political and economic change. Take about six minutes to watch this video, which clearly shows how much wealth the “one percent” in America holds. Perhaps more interestingly, the video also shows how vastly different the actual wealth distribution is from either what the public thinks it is or what people surveyed think it should be.

 

So what can you and I do about this? Honestly, I don’t know.  What I do know is that this massive disparity cannot be sustainable for much longer. And that remedying it will take significant courage, sacrifice and commitment to fairness and justice. Do we the people have what it takes?

An App to Know – Curiosity.com

After hearing the announcement/ad for Curiosity.com numerous times on NPR, I finally got around to checking it out and down loading the iOS app.

I’m not going to say much about it here, because I emphatically encourage you to click the link above and check it out yourself.

As a passionate learner (which hopefully every teacher is), I like the set of five interesting links it gives me every day. An example from the last few days is above. And here’s a few more:

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When you click on the image, it takes you here:

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Here’s one more pair of examples:

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Curiosity-6

What are you waiting for? Visit Curiosity.com and get learning!

 

Happy Jubilee Year of Mercy! Great, Short Lego Video

It’s another celebration of a new year in the Church as Pope Francis opened the doors to the Jubilee Year of Mercy!

While there’s no shortage of educational materials available to aid in celebrating this jubilee, I take a moment to share a fun little video that came across my Twitter feed (@HartleyRKRelig) this morning:

And while you’re at it, check out the first and second posts of videos by Stephen Colbert to celebrate Hanukkah:

 

 

Use Flubaroo to Auto Grade and Report Student Assessment

I tried Flubaroo for the first time last week and am impressed by this FREE Chrome/Google Sheets add-on. I want to get this post up and out before my Study Hall supervision ends, so I won’t say much about my positive experience with it. I will say – it works – so try it!

There’s an urgency here at my school for a replacement for the auto-scoring and auto-recording tool embedded within our LMS – Buzz. Our former system – BrainHoney got an attractive, generally user-friendlier upgrade over the summer. BUT, the assessment piece, which some colleagues and I used a lot is essentially non-functional now. Hence, this solution.

While Flubaroo, does swift work scoring assessment and you can have it email and/or print results, you do still need to record the grades into your grade book program. And, I discovered this the hard way – most personal Gmail accounts allow only 100 outbound emails a day. So, if you have more than 100 students on a Flubaroo driven assessment, you’ll have to wait to email results to some of them.

So, here’s the link to this helpful post featuring new functionality on Flubaroo and this is the overview video featured at the link:

 

Advent Prayer Resources and Calendars

It’s the second day of Advent 2016 (yes, it is now The Year of Grace 2016) and here’s some resources that I’m using with my students and in my own personal prayer:

Advent in Two Minutes:

Busted Halo Advent Calendar (pictured above)

USCCB Resources

#adventword – A Global Advent Calendar – This is a cool site leveraging social media to gather images of an Advent “word of the day.”

Sign-up for Bishop Robert Barron’s  daily Advent reflections

And a video from him as well:

Loyola Press has an engaging Arts & Faith set of Advent Resources while the home page for all of their Advent resources is here.

How about iOS and Android Apps to either create or access Advent calendars and other resources? Learn about these here and here.

Finally, for videos and other resources, from a more general Christian perspective, check out Advent Conspiracy

Have a blessed and meaningful Advent season!

 

 

Sun(fun) Night – Farewell Teddy & Meet Fr. Andrew Trapp and His Guinea Pigs

I learned about this story during last summer, but I’ve not gotten around to writing about it until now. I’m choosing to share it tonight because guinea pigs are on my mind.

First, the sad news. Prior to this afternoon, we had two guinea pigs, Jack Black (on the right) and Teddy (left):

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Teddy had been ailing for a while with weight-loss. Last Monday, the vet ran x-rays and found a large, untreatable bladder stone. As he was in noticeable pain from it, the vet gave us pain medicine for him as all we could do for him was keep him comfortable until his condition worsened.

During the week, he continued to lose weight. Today, he was in even greater pain and was making horrible “squawking” sounds. We made the agonizing decision to take Teddy back to the vet to be euthanized.

I had a few moments to hold him, take photos and then to say goodbye.

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I feel quite sad about Teddy’s departure as he was a good friend to the family and his “brother” Jack. We had these pigs for more than five years and they were great companions during some tough times. We’re going to watch Jack to see if he’d benefit from getting a new friend or if he’ll be okay alone. Teddy, I’ll miss you…

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The good news is that there are plenty of cute guinea pig photos and videos on the internet. Perhaps none is as unusual and funny as this one from the saintfactory channel on YouTube:

After I received this video from our great hay supplier: Small Pet Select, I did some exploring. Turns out that the owner of these guinea pigs and video producer is a young, Catholic priest. His website/blog is Saint Factory: God Wants to Make You a Saint. According to the site, Fr. Andrew was ordained in 2007 to the Diocese of Charleston, S.C. He sounds like the kind of priest and person I’d like to meet – not only because he loves his pigs (named Carmy & Claire after Carmelite and Poor Clare habit colors), but just because.

Before I sign off for the night, here’s another one of his hilarious videos:

Okay, okay…one more ridiculously cute piggy video:

Sun(Fun)day Noon – Congrats to Hawks & Supercut of Motivational Coaches from Movies

It’s early on this Sunday, but I have a few fun posts in mind for today. So, I thought I’d get an early start (and I’m not quite ready to settle in to my grading/planning for the day).

Congrats and kudos to the @hartleyfootball team for winning last night and making it to the semi-finals for their division in the state of Ohio.

Hawks Football

Coach Birchfield is exceptionally skilled at motivating his players, students and colleagues. But just in case he needs some inspiration from legendary movie coaches, here’s a great supercut of all-stars:

In case you’d like some more movie coach fun, check out the results of this recent “tournament” determining which coach is the most motivational of all time.

 

Friday FunLink – The Barbie Commercial You Need to See

About a year ago the toy company GoldieBlox made headlines with clever ads showing how their products allow girls to do more than play with Barbie and her kin. And they even got in some trouble when the ad linked to above was originally released with an appropriately modified version of the Beastie Boys “Girls” as the soundtrack. 

Barbie strikes back as the Washington Post draws our attention to a funny and savvy marketing campaign which might persuade you as to how playing with Barbies can empower our daughters.

Take a couple of minutes to watch it and see what you think…

 

Does this “girl empowerment” Barbie make up for the unrealistic body image that Barbie portrays? Perhaps not. But I do think it’s a (previously) ridiculously high-angled footstep in the right direction.

Sun(Fun) Day Night: 6 Photographers + 1 Man + A Twist…

A busy Sunday night here, so I need to keep this one brief. I don’t know if this video is funny – at least not in the “ha-ha” kind of way.

It is interesting as the results of the experiment done by the people at Canon Photography are fascinating. The set up was simple – six photographers met individually with one man to set up and take a photo shoot. Here’s the twist: the man was an actor who gave a very different story about himself to each of the professionals. In turn, each took quite different photos, based primarily on whether they thought the man was a self-made tycoon, an ex-con or a psychic (pictured above) – just three of the six roles.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to see the results…