28.12.17

That Day I Spoke to Margaux Hemingway When I Was Twelve Years Old

A Woman's Secret (1992)
It was Summer. I think. Somewhere around 1992 - I'm not sure. Mom and Dad were still together - and we were driving through Madisonville, Louisiana. The town hugs the Tchefuncte River - dotted with wood-paneled houses, an abandoned lighthouse, a swing bridge, a dozen churches, a feed store, seafood restaurants galore, and a Piggly Wiggly - not to mention a scenic riverfront landscape and an old Southern feel. A whitewashed stately two-story building houses the public library. And Higgins boats - the amphibious assault vehicles used to storm the beaches of Normandy - were assembled not too far from town. 


Swing Bridge in Madisonville © 2016 Kim Chatelain
We were driving through that day - like we usually did when I was growing up. Dad liked to take long road trips through the backwoods. So it was nothing unusual. We stopped at the Tchefuncte Feed & Seed on Louisiana Highway 21 (locally called Covington Street). The road is a nondescript stretch of highway - however, it is an unusual bend of the road, turning left and right as it stretches along - basically connecting the town of Mandeville (where I lived at the time) to the town of Covington. So it gets a fair amount of traffic.
Holy Shit! That's Madisonville, Louisiana on the silver screen!
I don't remember who noticed it was a film shoot. It may have been Dad. But we parked our car across the street in the Hibernia National Bank parking lot. We stepped outside the car and there was Margaux Hemingway stepping out of a Mercedes Benz right before our eyes! "Shhhh!" my dad said. "They're filming a movie." We stood there for about an hour watching what I soon learned was the incredibly boring process of filming a movie. In that time, waiting, we parsed that it was a "European director" filming a movie in the United States and the actress was Margaux Hemingway! I never felt so proud to be a Louisiana boy witnessing movie-making in action! Damn. 
I'm almost certain that's a real Madisonville cop!
Being all of twelve and considering myself an astute cinephile, I blurted out to Dad, "Hey, Dad. That's Margaux Hemingway! She starred in the Superman movie!" Not really knowing what the hell I was talking about I somehow managed to knock on the camper trailer where supposedly Margaux was staying. Her handler answered and told us to leave her alone. But I persisted. Finally, Margaux Hemingway stepped out and greeted us with a plastic grin. The girl was none too pleased that a couple of local oglers wanted to talk to her. "Hey!" I gushed. "You're Margaux Hemingway! I loved you in the Superman movie!"

25.12.17

Today is the 55th Anniversary of the Release of To Kill a Mockingbird

Scout Finch isn't talking to Boo Radley in this scene. She's just saying, “Hey, Boo!
On Christmas Day December 25, 1962, To Kill a Mockingbird was released in theaters in the United States.

12.12.17

GIF: Teach Like a Boss

Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific - TeachersPayTeachers.com

23.11.17

Thanksgiving, Y'all

Thanksgiving Meal, © 2017 Yuanhao Zhu
If you strip away the context, Thanksgiving is basically a harvest festival. It is a way to say "thank you" for the food you'll need to survive the upcoming Winter.

I love teaching my high school English Language Learners the word "thanksgiving." It is a great word to introduce to students because it opens up a nice way to talk about gratitude, what to give thanks for, and what is the meaning of sharing and community.

I particularly like this photograph one of my students took at our annual Thanksgiving dinner at school. I like how he chose to take the picture of the plate from a bird's eye view. It gives the place setting importance - even the plastic glass full of apple juice is in the right spot - and the fork and spoon set in the right place.

I am thankful for my students - we spend a lot of time with each other every day - and sometimes it is a challenge - but at the end of the day it is kinda cool


Here is what one of my tenth graders wrote:

I am thankful for my parents because they have given me a good life and good conditions, so I am very grateful for what they have given me. I thankful for my teacher, because they teach me English and learning new words.
Maybe it is an overused, overdone question (because of the holiday) but what are you truly thankful for?

31.10.17

Halloween Costume (circa late 1990s)

Greig dressed as a scary D.C. lobbyist OR tricky Dick
Halloween Shenanigans
I don't dress up for Halloween anymore. The last time was a few years ago - I was a wizard.

However, I found this darling picture of me from back in the day - I was dressed up as either a crooked political lobbyist from the bowels of some Washington, D.C. think tank or I am just basically your standard Richard Nixon - except I look pretty ragged.


Peace out, dudes! And happy All Hallows Eve!

26.10.17

Photo: Sixth Grade Photographic Portrait


Greig in Sixth-Grade, circa 1992
I'll probably regret posting this picture of me taken on a Sixth Grade field trip to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana.