Monthly Archives: September 2014

Wow. The Serpent and the Rainbow or Ignorance and Fear Rule the Day

In a instance of complete ignorance and reactionary thinking, the First Baptist Church of Longwood has asked The Ampersand School which rents rooms from them, to get rid of one of their pets.
The Ampersand School is proud to have as one of their teachers an award-winning young biologist. He has brought a few live animals into the school. One of those is a small python. That python is always in locked cage and can only be taken out when the biologist is present. This python has never lived in the wild. This python has only ever been handled by humans and hand fed. It doesn’t know how to hunt. Yes, instinctively knows how to bite strangle and swallow food. It just never has.
The landlord is requesting that this snake be removed from the property. Please don’t talk to me about property rights and ownership. It’s not about that. It’s about bullying kids to assuage the fears and anxieties of a few people who have only seen it once in the year and a half that it’s been in the building. In fact, they were actually closer to that snake in proximity last year and never even knew it existed, than they are this year and are making children of the middle school classes get rid of it.
The parents of these middle school kids pay to go to private school so that they can get the experience that they can’t or won’t get anywhere else. They also pay to make sure the kids aren’t bullied in the small classes, little did they know that it took a bunch of so-called Christians to take all that away.

The first person to say, “yeah, but what if…” loses. Come spend a day and see.

Tell them how much you agree:
First Baptist Longwood • 891 State Road 434 E • Longwood, FL 32750 • Phone: 407-339-3817 • Fax: 407-339-7870 • Email:

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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in The Ampersand School


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Students Called “Bullshit!”

Something happened in class today. Something happened which hasn’t happened in a very long time. Something happened which I both encourage and fear. Something happened which I believe can only happen in a very few classrooms. Something happened that I am proud to say happened in my classroom. Today my students called bullshit on me.
I made a vow to myself that I would complete all of the assignments which I assigned. I wanted to make sure that I was also doing the projects that my students were doing. I did this a few years ago and it really worked out well for me. It also brought me closer to my students. I didn’t do it last year and the opposite happened. This year I’ve done most of the daily assignments but I’m committed to doing the big projects especially. The first product is entrepreneurship project. I have a couple of small businesses in the wings which I’ve been working on. So an entrepreneurship project ought to work well for me. Right?
Well in a gesture of slight cowardice, I decided not to work on any of the projects directly. That way I could continue to procrastinate and not risk actually showing my passions to the sunlight. I decided to work on one small aspect of one of my projects. When I presented to my students today, while asking them to also make practice presentations before exhibition tomorrow night,I asked them if that sounded like something good, or sounded like something that wasn’t sure what it was. One kid looked at me and said “the second one.” Another one said, “kind of both.”
Here I had been patting myself on the back for doing a project along with my students. They see it both as a challenge and as encouragement. Those aren’t necessarily opposites anyway. And while I was asking them for complete vulnerability I was being completely guarded. I wasn’t putting something I was truly passionate about on the table, while asking them to do just that. They called me out. I kind of knew that was going to happen.
So tonight, the night before it’s due, I’m going to have to start from scratch. The good thing is that in our process we get credit for process and progress as much as product. The other good thing is that since were using the Stanford University design school model, testing your product and then going back to starting at the Empathy mode, is perfectly fine, and encouraged. So not only am I not shaming myself, I’m modeling how failure is always an option especially in design and entrepreneurship. It’s days like this that I am extremely grateful for my students. I never want to be that asshole in front of the class who knows it all and can do no wrong. What a boring job that would be. I teach because it affords me the greatest opportunity to learn and satisfy my natural curiosities, and express my abilities. If I don’t listen to when I’m not doing something right, I throw all of that out. There is nothing common for standardized about the way I care to teach.


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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in The Ampersand School


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Shakespeare in Domestic Violence.

Shakespeare in Domestic Violence.

The NFL, and by extension the rest of the country, is so adorable. Did you know that a former FBI director is going to investigate the you-know-what-case? Or rather investigate the NFL commissioner’s handling of it. What’s even better, other than taking the ultimate big brother and bringing him into private industry, is that they’re also drafting Mara and Rooney to help oversee. Those two individuals are in-laws. Their kids are married. The actress Rooney Mara takes her name from her family. They have a vested interest in Baltimore losing star players. Humanity theater, Shakespeare couldn’t have written this.


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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Uncategorized



No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.


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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


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