Toe Jam Sauce and Rat Tails: Our Fish Camp Dinner

This past weekend, Dr. Smooth and I traveled to visit my brother and his family a few hours away.  My brother had heard great things about a local fish camp and wanted us to go there for dinner while we were visiting. For those of you not raised in the South, let me briefly explain what a "fish camp" is.  It is NOT a place that fish go during the summer, nor is it a place that you go to sleep in a tent and cast a line to catch a fish. It is a restaurant that serves fish.  Lots of fish.  French fries.  Hush puppies.  And lots of other things battered and fried.  Long picnic-style tables with benches.  Usually red and white gingham plastic tablecloths, but that's not a requirement.  Quite often it's decorated with taxidermied animals or fish, and it's usually somewhere near water, although that's not a requirement either. Growing up, I was not a huge fan of fish camps.  Mainly because I do not like fried catfish, the main staple of fish camp menus.  (I know that a tiny, miniscule shockwave just rippled through the state of Mississippi.  I have betrayed my very heritage.)  Actually I do not like any fried fish.  In fact, up until a couple of months ago, I did not even like fish prepared in any way.  At all. Continue reading "Toe Jam Sauce and Rat Tails: Our Fish Camp Dinner"

No Zero Grading Policy

notebooks and binders for class size blogThe Orlando Sentinel published an article this week about the no-zero grading policy.  It appears that high schools across Central Florida are starting to incorporate the policy of giving nothing below a 50%.  This has been a common practice for many middle schools for several years now. The article in the newspaper actually said it is against state law to do this, and that the state statute says Fs should be graded as 0-59 and that an incomplete assignment should be a zero.   That's news to me as a former teacher who was strongly encouraged (pretty much forced) to never give below a 50%. I was shocked to read a statement from an Osceola County spokesperson saying that Osceola County schools do NOT use a grading policy of F being less than 50%, especially since the official policy we were given as teachers at an Osceola County middle school was to have nothing below a 50%. Continue reading "No Zero Grading Policy"

The Best Dog Ever

best dog everToday I said goodbye to the best dog anyone has ever had.  I am sure there are many people who could argue with me that their dog held that title, but I know in my heart that my beautiful Paris was truly the best dog ever. Paris joined our family the last week of July in 2002, a present for Dr. Smooth's 4th birthday.  I wanted him to have a dog.  A boy's dog, that would run and play and rip and roar and be his best friend and most loyal companion. She was all that and more. Paris was strikingly beautiful.  Her mother was a full-blooded German short-haired pointer of championship lines.  A lady.  Her father was some lab mix that happened to find a way across the fence.  A tramp.  Paris was one of 11 puppies, most the mottled, speckled black and white of her mother.  But not my sweet P.  She was the most beautiful one, a rich chocolatey color with an incredible white for contrast.  Everywhere I ever took her, people always stopped us and asked what kind of dog she was.  And they always remarked how beautiful she was. Continue reading "The Best Dog Ever"