Sunday, July 29, 2012

Being Olympic Students

The summer Olympics have arrived in London, England. Personally, I love the Olympics. I really enjoy watching the athletes compete at the highest level. They have been training for this moment for the past four years. Basically round the clock training in their specific sport. No social life. No life whatsoever besides training and preparing. To be an Olympic athlete, a huge amount of sacrifice is required. A huge amount of dedication is required. When you watch the Olympics, think about how much each athlete has put in to be there, representing their country, on the world athletic stage. These athletes have been focused and driven for 4 years. We, as teachers, ask our students to be focus and driven for 9 months. Olympic athletes are special because of the amount of work and sacrifice they put in. I want you to be Olympic students. How does one become an Olympic student? Well, its a simple answer, but tough to execute. Being an Olympic student means you dedicate yourself to working hard for 9 months. An Olympic athlete puts in a lot of training with lifting weights, running, swimming, etc. An Olympic student needs to be in a lot of training time, but of a different sort: reading, studying, learning, searching, discovering, etc. You don't need to lift weights with your arms, but with your brain. An Olympic student actively searches out new things and does the work required of them. The Olympic athlete never takes their eyes of their "prize", which is the Olympics. As an Olympic student, your "prize" is not a letter grade. Your "prize" is not a big athletic competition. Your "prize" is simply making yourself a better student. Your "prize" is expanding your knowledge. At the end of the school year, will you be able to look back and say to yourself, "I worked as hard as I could to get the most out of my opportunity to learn this year." Very few people have the physical gifts to make it to the real Olympics. But we all have it in ourselves to be Olympic students, friends, teachers, and people.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Legends Never Die

Sports are great. Sports give us experiences. Sports helps us makes friends. Sports gives us something productive to do to stay out of trouble. Sports gives us a sense of belonging. Sports teaches us hard work, effort, and commitment. Sports allows us to experience the joy of winning and the heartbreak of losing. In sports, we learn many life lessons. It's not just about winning and losing. It's about learning how to deal with adversity, challenges and obstacles in life. I loved playing sports, still do. I love the challenge, the competition, the opportunity to try as hard as you can at something. If you play sports, keep it up. Put in the effort and the sacrifice and perhaps one day you will do something legendary like the people in this video. If you are not sports, that is okay but I encourage you to find something you can be apart of. As 6th graders, it is not too late to join a sport. Enjoy the video.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Huntington Beach, CA

I have returned safely from my vacation to California. I had a great time at Huntington Beach. The hotel was called the Hyatt Regency and it was basically a castle/resort. It was so cool. I had never been to a place that nice before. Our room seemed like a house and there was pools and hot tubs everywhere. The hotel had restaurants, gift shops, bike rentals and of course the best thing: the Spa. We could look out the window of our room and see the Pacific Ocean. It was quite the place. Thursday when we landed in Los Angeles airport, called LAX, we rode the super shuttle to In-and-Out burger and had some delicious hamburgers at about midnight. We then arrived at our hotel at about 2 a.m. Sioux Falls time, but we were too excited to sleep, so we stayed up even longer. Friday we all walked downtown and ate some breakfast at a place called Killarney's. I had a shrimp omlette. After some souvenir shopping, in which I bought Isabel a sea turtle necklace, my wife a sweet bracelet, and Olivia a bracelet that said "Olivia Katniss", we headed for the beach. From 10 a.m. to about 5:00 p.m., my buddies and I played sand volleyball, sand football, swam in the ocean, body surfed, boogie boarded and chilled on the beach. There were many people on the beach, but the beach itself is so massive that it didn't feel crowded. The water was very cold at first, but once you got used to it, it felt great. It was also very salty. The waves were huge, probably about 6-7 feet high and constantly crashing us. After all day at the beach, we were all pretty tired so we relaxed in the Spa for about an hour, then ate supper. Saturday started off with a great workout at the fitness center with my buddies, then we again hit the beach for more football, waves, and swimming. Saturday night was a big highlight. We all rented bikes from the hotel and rode about 5 miles to Newport beach to eat at this awesome seafood place. It was so fun riding bikes together because we had a group of 22 people, which makes for a big bike gang. We were definitely stared at a lot as we rode down the boardwalk. After we ate, we rode back to our hotel in the dark, which was also quite the experience. Sunday, we just hung out around our hotel, went to the Spa and packed for our flight home. A very nice guy from Egypt drove us in the Super Shuttle from our hotel to LAX, where we boarded our plane and flew home. It was a great time and everybody had a lot of fun. I was happy to be home though, for I missed my family immensely. It was definitely an experience I will not soon forget. California and LA is quite the place. So much different than South Dakota you have to see it to understand. Now, we are all back to shingling in the heat. -Mr. Klumper

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hello, from Sunny California

As promised, here is the first ever blog post from California. It's been great since we've arrived. We've swam in the Pacific ocean a ton, played a lot of beach volleyball, enjoyed the spa, ate some great food, and just overall enjoyed hanging out at our amazing hotel. The weather is 72 degrees and sunny. The ocean water is cold, but after awhile, you get used to it and it feels great. The sandy beach goes on seemingly forever in both directions. Tonight, my group is all going to rent bikes and go check out Newport Beach. I will return to Sioux Falls Sunday night and post a more thoroughly description of my vacation, along with some great pictures. Have a good weekend!  I am headed to the beach to do some body surfing.....

(the picture above is a few members of the group I am with, not only are they the best shinglers in Sioux Falls, but they are also great people) 

-Mr. Klumper

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Qualifications for 1st Semester Ancient World Hall of Fame

This week, you will be voting for the Ancient Civilization Hall of Fame. There are only 10 slots for the first half of the year. There are over 60 items on the Hall of Fame Ballot. You will only be able to vote for 10 items, so you must make some tough decisions. 
You will vote for what you think should be in the Hall of Fame based on these qualifications.
1. Importance to the ancient civilization it is from 
2. Impact on our world today 
3. Something that is in more than one ancient world we've learned about 
4. How much time we spent studying it 
5. Whether it is needed or not by that ancient world

Friday, July 6, 2012

One Week from Today...

One week from today, I, along with some of my best friends, will be basking in the sun and running around the beach on the Pacific Coast. We will be traveling to Huntington Beach, CA which is to the south of Los Angeles.  As you know, I shingle houses all summer for a company called Sandia Roofing. Everyday we shingle, through the rain, the heat and the wind. We push through any elements and work until the house is done, no matter what. Well, I am not the only one working of course. I am joined by the greatest collection of shinglers in the midwest. It is these guys that will be joining me in sunny California. We will be spending 3 days together, having fun, relaxing, and just enjoying doing some together besides work. This is a big trip and a big deal. How is something like this possible you ask? Well, it's simple. We work for the greatest boss. Period. Through his unmatched generosity, he came up with the idea to take us on this trip. Why did he make this decision? Good question. Perhaps to thank us for working hard, perhaps to reward us, perhaps to show us he cares about us and not just making money, or perhaps all of those reason. But I would say the real reason he is doing this is because he is simply a great person and great people do great things. He is providing for some of us the opportunity to do something that we otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. So, one week from today, I will be running around the beach with my buddies enjoying life, tackling the waves and enjoying an opportunity made possible by one very generous person.  Stay tuned, because next week, I will be blogging on Water for Sixth Grade from California, which will be the first ever post outside of South Dakota.  

(Photo: The picture above is an aerial shot from Google Earth of the hotel we are staying at. It is called the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.  As you can see, it's huge and right by the beach.)