A Case of Fandom #HereWeGo

A Case of Fandom #HereWeGo

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I am just going to spend a couple of minutes today talking about how much of a fan I am of my sports teams!  I am writing this today before I go to bed as I rewatch Thursday night’s game of my favorite team, The Pittsburgh Steelers crush the Tennessee Titans.  It is week 10 of the NFL season and the Steelers are 8-2 and currently tied for first place in the AFC with the dreaded New England Patriots.  One week from now, I will be at Heinz Field with my boy, Mr. Tod watching the Steelers hopefully improve their record to 9-2 with a win over the Green Bay Packers.

I also love my Pittsburgh Penguins, who lost yesterday to the Chicago Blackhawks.  I also love my Pittsburgh Pirates, although they are a little tougher to love.  They have had only 6 playoff seasons since 1991 and haven’t reached the World Series since 1979.  If you compare these three teams, the Pirates are a tough sell, the Penguins have won back to back Stanley Cups and 5 Cups since 1991 and the Steelers haven’t had a losing season since 2003, the season before they drafted their current quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. During these seasons, the Steelers have made the playoffs 9 of those 13 seasons.  The four seasons they didn’t make the playoffs they have finished with 8-8 or 9-7 records are were the last team out of the playoffs.

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My final favorite team is the University of Dayton Flyers basketball team.  I love this team.  This year will be different because they have a new head coach, Anthony Grant, a relatively new team and an exciting future.  The best part of this team is my love for them that I developed back in college and that going back each year takes me back to those 4 fabulous years as a college student.  The atmosphere at the University of Dayton Arena is unlike many because there is always 12,000 fans at each game, no matter who the opponent is.  It is an amazing time, UD knows how to throw a party and celebrate a team.  This year will be tough, but good times will be back soon.

I will focus on the Steelers for the rest of this blog, because I am sitting in my Steelers shorts with a Steelers t-shirt on, deciding what Steelers sweatshirt I should wear to school tomorrow watching an old Steelers game.  This year, while on vacation at Hershey Park, my family and I were sitting on a bench to rest a minute and I decided to check my email.   An email from the Steelers came through stating, “Your Time Has Come” and when I opened the email, it stated that it was my turn to get season tickets!  I put my name on the season ticket waiting list 20 years ago and I couldn’t believe that my name came up.

I really didn’t plan on getting them but I didn’t want to wait another 20 years to get them again.  The whole point for bringing up the season tickets is that with the season tickets you get a year subscription to NFL Game Pass and with this subscription I will be able to explain why I am such a Steelers fan.

I really remember first watching the Steelers and caring about them in 1984 when they lost the AFC Championship Game in Miami with Mark Malone as the quarterback.  My mom told me I cried, more or less, for a week because of the loss.  That is where the obsession begins.  As a kid, I remember them losing in Denver in 1989 when Bubby Brister missed a snap and Denver recovered the ball late in that game.  Then I remember the Bill Cowher years and the rest is history and this is why I am spoiled as a Steelers fan, they have only finished with a record under .500, 3 times since 1992.   Think about that if you’re a Browns or Bengals fan, that is being spoiled, but I am loud and proud about my team.

Anyways, back to NFL Game Pass, and to wrap this up, I watch old Steelers games on that Game Pass app when I am the gym, the app has games from back in 2011 to the present, so I will randomly pick a game that the Steelers won in the past.  I will walk the first 3 minutes but then after that, I run when the Steelers have the ball and I will briskly walk when the opponent has the ball.  Every time, when the condensed game ends, I will have at least 3 miles completed and a look back at a game that I will remember bits and pieces of, but I do get caught cheering for the Steelers in a very old game while on the treadmill.

I am passionate about my teams, I will blog about the Pens later, the craziness for them is there as well.

Thanks for reading.

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A Connection w/ADAM…Stranger Things 2

For the past four weekends, Adam, my son, and I have staying up really late on Fridays and Saturdays to binge watch “Stranger Things.”  I am writing this today as we watch episode 7 of Season 2.   This experience for me has been one of the most rewarding times of my life with Adam.

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He loves this stuff.  I am ok with it, science fiction and mystery.  Stranger Things is along that weird strand of television.  A girl that can moves things, 80s music, a gorup of teenage boys whom like Dungeons and Dragons and all the monsters fits the type of things my son likes and since he likes them, I will too.

I love as we are watching the shows and the current episode will end, Adam begs to stay up another 45 minutes later and I love to see his reaction when I say yes and the dejection in his facial expression when I say it is time for bed.  I love having him explain to me what happend becusase I struggle with it all or I fall asleep.

UPDATE:  It’s 12:40 am and we are watching the finale of season two.  What a way to spend my Friday night with Adam.  We want to know how they are going to avoid the Demidogs.  How are they going to burn the monster out of Will and what is the cliffhanger going to be for this season and HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT FOR NEXT SEASON!??

Adam is struggling….we he make it to the end….I am not sure….But I love hanging with him.

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Adam and I at 12:51 AM watching the finale of Stranger Things 2!

6 Weeks done….tomorrow…WOW!

I cannot believe that the first set of classes are coming to an end tomorrow at school.  Six weeks done and Eagle News is 20 episodes into our new season.  We have a new camera into the newsroom, 2 sets, a lack of microphone cables, a new green screen in the classroom and 14-15 students who now have committed to Eagle News all year!

I worry every year about who will be the next crop of 8th grade students who want to make sure that Eagle News is the class that will show them not only how to use the tools to run a broadcast, but also be the class that will show them the new tools that will help them tell a story with video, audio and pictures. They have told me that they want to keep Eagle News relevent.

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Sami and Kirin edit a video in iMovie

We have started this year’s class with not much dialogue.  The students come in, expect to be taught and then expect to go “do.”  As they become more comfortable in class, the ideas will start to flow and the creative juices will start to formulate the new ideas for class.  They are starting to want to do new things. They want to change backgrounds, they want to podcast without being told to do it.  They want to do the advanced work in iMovie to tell their story better.

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Cara, McKenna, Kelsey and Alex took a selfie after they record a Facebook Live video.

I am pumped.  On Monday, I start with a new advisory, a whole new crop of students and another recruiting campaign to see which kids will be a big part of my 22nd year of teaching.  There’s nothing better than the work I get to do with these kids.

The Night Before School

The Night Before School
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Twas the Night Before Going Back to School….

I am procrastinating tonight.  Tomorrow is the first day of school for teachers and I always get a little nervous on this night.  Maybe a little anxious.  You see, I have two days to get ready, the classroom is ready, the material may not be, but I am absolutely confident that I know what I will be doing on Wednesday when the kids start.

I was shopping at Giant Eagle a couple of days ago when EmmeClaire wanted her “free cookie” when a lady came up to me and thought she recognized me and EmmeClaire. She proceeded to tell me that she was a retired teacher and was having the “feelings” that kept her awake at night. Those were the nervous feelings that lived in her stomach at the beginning of each school year.  She went on to tell me that all 35 years that she was a teacher, she has had these feelings in the pit of her stomach before the school year.

That’s not happening now.  I know what I have to do to get ready. But I keep looking at the couple of things that I need to accomplish and I keep rotating through those tasks and not finishing them.  These couple of tasks will keep me up, I’m sure, until very late on Tuesday night.

There is something special about the first week of school.  I missed it last year.  I was out the first couple days because I had a hernia surgery. And if you are a teacher reading this, I know what you are thinking, heck what every teacher is thinking, I really don’t like the first couple of days of school before the kids come in, the meetings, the set up, the writing of names, etc., I love them.  It’s like a slow couple of days, but it gets me ready for the school year to start.

I am excited.  I am scared. I am ready.  I am excited for what I will be doing with the students in my technology classes.  I am scared because my baby girl is starting kindergarten and there will be 25 kids in her class and not 11, like there were in preschool.  I am scared because my son, who has a very special set of skills, will be starting 4th grade, YES, 4th grade and he is going to be expected to do more in school and more effeciently.  Oh dear… I am ready for year 21 of my teaching career that I love more than anything except my family.

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My wonderful family….

The other set of thoughts that run through my head is what will the new crop of students want to accomplish in Eagle News this year?  Will they want to be in the class?  Will they be as great as the wonderful students who graduated from 8th grade and moved on to high school?  I am anxious about that. But you know what, the new crop that comes in always finds the path to their own excellence.  This excellence will be different than last year’s group and THAT is what makes my job awesome.  The excellence is always different.

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Last Year’s Eagle News Advisory, I will miss them!  They will always have a special place in my heart!

I actually read a couple of books this year, heck I am reading them again and I look forward to #empowering the kids to make Eagle News and Discovering Technology and Mod Tech better than it ever has been.  There will be bumps in the road.  This is a very important year. I #strive to do the absolute best for my students, best for my school and best for my kids.

Roller coaster ride #21 starts in 3 days and I will sitting in the front car ready to roll.

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Just a Reflection….

Our community has been hit with some tragic, tragic things over the past couple of years. This is not where I am going to list all that has happened.  The Olentangy community has been hit hard and we all have been there for each other to get all of us through it.  I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful place.

I sit here on vacation, on the beach in New Jersey and I watch my family members enjoy themselves.  I value these moments.  I don’t get to see my brother, sister and their families very often and I don’t get to hang out with my parents very often, as we all live in different cities.  I am taking these in a little bit more this week.  I am taking more video and more pictures because the bottom line is you never know what is going to happen next.

Case in point again with the loss of Hunter and Gavin a couple of days ago.  I remember them fondly.  They both went to Hyatts Middle School but were not big parts of my Eagle News program.  I remember Hunter in 6th and 7th grade as a quiet young lady who did her work and I remember Gavin throughout middle school giving me a hard time about my affliation with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  I am incredibly sad of their passing and I feel for all who knew and loved these two young people.  I am praying for them and their families at this very difficult time.

When things like this happen to people, it makes me look a little closer to the people around me and to value them a little bit more.  I didn’t yell at my son when he started to cry today at the ice cream store because the ice cream lady didn’t give him a waffle cone, I made a point to walk my mom back from the ice cream store and offer a hand because she has one bad knee.  I am sitting here right now with my dad, watching the Pirates game, talking to him about it.  I told my daughter, EmmeClaire and Beth, my wife,  that I love them both before they went to bed.  I spent hours in the ocean today with Adam and his cousins, Evie and Ella because they wanted me to go out there with them.  All of these things I usually take for granted, but today, I paid extra special attention. I took an extra second to enjoy those moments with family.  Do the same thing with your family and/or friends.

Once again, I take pause to reflect on the fact that more young people that I had for a small time in my classroom are no longer on this earth.  If you have read this through, please hold your children a little tighter tonight, lecture them a little longer to show them you care, do what you have to do to take in the time you have with your loved ones.

God Bless the McClellend and Schlotterbeck families.  The Olentangy community has lost two wonderful young students. I am thinking of you.

Our actions and decisions today will shapethe way we will be living in the future.

“A Look Back” Podcast

“A Look Back” Podcast

Hey all, if you are following this blog, you are probably wondering where I have been. Wrapping up the school year was tough, really tough.  Saying goodbye to my 8th grade Eagle News kiddos will always be extremely hard on me.  This year was no different. Knowing that I will no longer be their teacher anymore is very hard for me to put wrap my hands around.

Ending the school year, reading my students’ letters to me, closing up my classroom and then heading the Raleigh, North Carolina for my cousin’s wedding has kept me very busy.

At my cousin’s wedding, I was the “Video Guy!”  I was able to record with video her special day.  Check out a couple of picture I took as I videotaped it.

 

I now am in the long process of editing the video to make the best possible video for them and I hope they like the final product.

Another new thing I am doing is reading a little bit. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not much of a reader.  I have started reading actually three books:

It’s slow for me, But I am reading them.  It’s good for me to keep up in what I believe is current teaching philosphies that WILL work and should be in classrooms today.

But the point of this post is two fold.

  1. I hope to be a bigger part of this website/blog.  I will try to offer up more of me with this.  I hope you like
  2. Secondly, I want to share my new podcast with you all.  Yes, I started one with my Eagle News kiddos and we will continue it with the new students next school year, but I have started a new podcast, called, “A Look Back with Mr. Meta” and I recorded the first 2 episodes for the show.  I did include the first 14 interviews that I had with students that I did initially place in my Eagle News podcast.

I started this “interview” type podcast because it hit me really hard that I have been a teacher for 20 years.  I wanted to revisit those students, teachers, parents, etc who had a part in my career over the past 20 years to spend some time with me to reminisce, and update their lives with me.

I love doing this podcast and I hope to do more.  I am using two Blue Snowball microphones, my MacBook Pro with GarageBand and an Audioblocks account for royalty-free music in the show.  If you have any ideas or thoughts on the show, please let me know.

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A Look Back with Mr. Meta Podcast

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Educationally or professionally, I will be looking at new “stuff” or listening to other’s suggetions and sharing some of that here.  I hope you will listen to my interviews, post positive ratings, subscribe to the show and keep coming back.

See “Yinz” later…

An open letter to my Students…

It’s 12:37 am, the night before our last class together and I find myself not wanting to shut my eyes.  I don’t want tomorrow to end, like I don’t want a holiday to end. I’m ready to say goodbye to you as your teacher and every time I think the words, type the phrase or think about it longer than a few seconds, I’m fighting back tears. 


I know I’m just an 8th grade Media/Technology teacher, but you all have meant more to me this year than you’ll ever know.  I love my work and I love that you all or “yinz” decided to work with me this year.  

We did great things. We had great broadcasts, we worked on new segments, new assignments, we started to a podcast and we completed some big projects as well. We started Facebook videos and updates, worked with all social media and completed the best Lipdub out of the ten that I have produced. 


What will happen when you all leave?  Will Eagle News and me stil he a blip on your radar?  I hope so, but I know in all reality it will fade away.  There will be new blips, I’m crying again, new goals to reach in high school as the 8th grade memories will fade away. 

I am positive you will not forget, it’s been extra special. The Mannequin challenge was cool, the Survivor broadcast was special, all the artwork, the collaboration, design, storytelling, editing, hours of editing, planning, etc that you put just in Eagle News will never be forgotten. 


You challenged me, asked me why or told me that another way was better and I appreciated that. Your dedication was top notch. I knew I could always ask anyone of you to do a project, take a picture or write up a tweet for the good of our program. 

I am proud of every group that passes through the Eagle News studio. I’m especially proud of you all. I always dread saying goodbye, but I fear it today. Not for you but for me.  I know you all will go on to do great things. I fear it for me because I will move forward and a new group, hopefully, will fill your shoes and I want to be as proud of them as I am of you. 


You all made me a better person and teacher this year. I cannot thank you enough.  You all will always have a special place in my heart. I am always available to talk, for any reason, to share stories, to gloat or tell me a grade, to cry, to laugh or to ask me how Eagle News or my kids are doing. 

Please come back.  What hurts the most that I will never be your teacher again. It hurts so much.  But I know you’ll move on to more challenges and teachers that care.  Work hard and do your best.  Don’t ever forget, #EagleNews!


With respect and admiration,

Mr. Meta