The First Presidential Debate

I am not going to go into a long explanation about my feelings concerning the two candidates. Use the archives.

I will admit that in the minutes after the debate, I felt exactly as Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz did. I felt as if the President should have more aggressively defended his policies as well as attack Romney on both his previous statements and lies as well as the ones  he was saying last night.

When Mitt Romney made a statement that was patently false, which he did more times than I could count last night, the President flashed that awesome smile of his and moved on. What he was banking on, I think, is that American people to be smart enough to know when  used car salesman is lying his ass off to get you into the driver’s seat of the bucket he his trying to pitch to you.

I will say this. I wish the President had been more energetic and aggressive. A little.

However, the only universe that Mitt Romney “Won” that debate last night is the alternative universe from which Mitt originates. One where facts do not matter. Basically, Mitt Romney “etch-a-sketched” his way through 90 minutes last night. Nearly everything he attacked the about the President was something that he previously supported. And everything that the President has done that has worked, well… That’s in his plan. Everything is apparently in this “Plan of his”. The problem for Mr. Romney is, in this universe, there are things like fact checkers, who have stated both last night and today, that Romney either lied or misled on a number of occasions last night.

I am (now) teaching Participation in Government and U.S. History and Government (yes, this liberal is shaping young minds). So of course we discussed the debate this morning. I was really pleased to hear that many of the students not only watched the debates, but watched some of the coverage of it, and were able to articulate what the pundits had to say. What I said to my students this morning was this. If you put the TV on mute, and watched but did not listen. Mitt Romney won that debate last night in a landslide. He looked directly at the President, was forceful and energetic. I don’t know what the smile/grimace thing is that he does, but it is terrible. But aside from that, Mitt “Looked” strong. The President in comparison looked down a lot (was taking notes I think), nodded when Romney was talking as if he agreed with him, and looked at the camera, not at Romney when he was talking.

If, however, you were to read the transcript, i.e. take away the visual and just have the words, the President won this thing going away. Romney only wins when you suspend disbelief. The substance, as has been the issue for him from day 1, was not there. I don’t know what the polls will show following this debate. The general consensus is that Romney “won”, big. I suppose that means the polls will tighten. If however, the electorate is smart enough to know when they are being lied to, repeatedly, I don’t think their will be much change.

I am disappointed that this is the post I am writing today. I think the President had the opportunity to shut the door on Romney last night. If he hit him on the 47% comments, on the Ryan budget, on the lies and distortions, on the etch-a-sketch nature of the Romney campaign etc., if he put Romney on the defensive, it could have ended this campaign.

I do think that the incumbent is at a disadvantage. There are four years of Obama policies, some successful, some not, from which to attack. Romney has the benefit of sitting back and saying, “this failed, that failed, I’d keep that, I’d replace that, I do this and that”, but never had to actually say how he would do so. Meanwhile, the President is in the position of defending the record while simultaneously stating what he is going to do better. It is a tough spot. One that in a lot of ways President Obama put himself in, but still tough.

ADDED:

Pay particular attention to the part about the ’84 election at about 10 minutes in:

Watch THIS VIDEO

Update

I cannot overstate how ready I am for this long weekend. Today is my Friday.

I have begun our Superhero Psychology project in my Psych classes and so far, the kids seem to be into it. I am doing a lesson today on how to watch a film critically so that they have some tools available to them when viewing superhero films later this month.

We watched this:

Which fit perfectly with what we are doing. After we learn how to view a film critically, we will be watching “Batman Begins” next week as we build on our project. I am using “Batman Begins” because it offers a perfect example of a Hero Arch for the students to follow and see and archetypical example.

I am starting to build the final project for my law classes. At this point I am unsure what I want them to do.

As far as my workouts go, I am in the midst of a much-needed recovery week. My back (I have a strained lat muscle on my right side) has been becoming increasingly sore, and I am starting to think about possible alternatives to my current workout program.

I will start Phase II of my X2/Asylum Hybrid on Monday.

I still have a few samples of Shakeology available for anyone who is interested in trying one out. Shoot me an email (terrancegilmore@gmail.com) or message me on Facebook with your address and what flavor you would like to try.

I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in a few weeks and I was down about 3 pounds from where I was on April 15th. I can see a difference in how I look. I think the increased cardio of the Asylum is a large part of this.

I am still on my 1900 calorie diet which you can read more about under the Diet tab at the top of this page.

Aside from that, I am looking forward to the long weekend.

Finding Forrester

We are watching this in my Psychology classes right now as we wrap up our unit on Adolescent Psychology. Jamal Wallace is a great character to study because of the things that make him exceptional as well as the things that make him ordinary.

“Why is it that the words we write for ourselves are always so much better than the words we write for others?”- William Forrester

Teaching Psychology- Superhero Project

I have decided that the final project for my Psychology classes is going to be a research/creative project about superheros.

I would be doing this in my law classes as well, if I didn’t have so many kids taking both.

I am looking for ideas for the project. I have a basic structure, but need more. This is going to be a multi-week unit. They are going to do some research about superheros and the hero’s journey before they create their own. I am going to tie it into the Psychology curriculum that I am working from.

This is going to be an awesome opportunity to bring in some comic books and movies and have a fun, relaxing, but educational end to the school year in two of my five classes (maybe I can do this in my study skills class as well?).

If anyone has any ideas for this project, let me know as I am basically working from a blank slate here and have no limitations (aside from not showing R rated films, which means “Watchmen” is out unfortunately). I am really excited to put this together. I am thinking we will take about two weeks to complete, including watching some in-class superhero moves (can you say field trip to see the Avengers) which means I need to get started as the clock is ticking on my high school classes.

Subliminal Messaging Part II

So I am continuing to teach my Psychology students about the power of subliminal advertising and the impact that it has on their decision-making.

Today I had them group up and come up with a list of the types of images, pictures, and thoughts that come to their minds when they think about their school.

I then showed them THIS VIDEO which blew their minds. I gave them “Hall Passes” (I was feeling adventurous today) and sent them around the school to record the types of visual stimuli that they observed.

I can proudly report that they all came back before the end of the period and had observed exactly what I hoped they would. That many of the images and symbols that they came up with at the start of class were similar to those that they found on their expedition.

I have no idea where I am going to take this mini-unit. I think I will have them look through magazines and create their own advertisement for a product. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to share. The kids are into this (they loved the stuff hidden in the Disney movies) and I want to ride this wave of involvement.

Subliminal Messaging

Of course I left it until 8pm on Sunday to decide what I am going to teach my Psych students now that we have (finally!) finished Psychological Disorders.

I never to Psych in high school, but I remember all the kids that did always talking about Mr. Partridge’s unit on Subliminal Messaging and thought I would give it a try. I will not be using the image to the right——–>

As I think it may be a bit too much for my very mature 9th-12th graders to handle.

I did put together a pretty sweep PowerPoint presentation with some images that I found when I poked around the internets.

I think I will also show them “Josy and the Pussycats” which actually has a pretty strong message about the power of advertising on young consumers.

As it turns out, I do my best work under pressure. I think this will blow my student’s minds away.

Here are some of the images that I am using: