Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Write Makes Might Promo Video

It's here, it's here!  The OFFICIAL "Write Makes Might" Promo video!  HUGE thanks to Rob Culp over at Little Fish Productions.  He's a master storyteller and really a big bag of fun to work with.  Great guy.

Also big thanks to principal Tavis Peterson and the students and staff at Adams Elementary of Wapato and Camas Elementary of Wapato.  Your dedication to writing and letting me run around and throw stuff at you was, frankly, inspiring.

Please feel free to spread this around to any educators, para-educators or would-be educators you know.  I love to do the assemblies and they're really a big boost to writing programs (not to mention more fun than Cheese Zombie Day in the cafeteria).  Check out the School Visits Page for more details, if you want 'em.

Say it with me now... Write Makes Might!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Camas Elementary of Wapato - Write Makes Might!

The Word Warrior and his battle-ready crew.  They totally raided my props. :)
How was it?!  I'll tell you how it was...

It was LOUD!
It was CRAZY!

It was also well-behaved, eloquent, had great listening skills and showed off a ton of positive participation and writing ability.

It was Camas Elementary, the Write Makes Might assembly!

This school was fab fun.  Had some great words and vocabulary, lots of energy, especially for an end-of the day gig, and above all some top-notch staff.  Mr. Salazar rocked the AV and introductions and the Principal, Maria, totally floored me with what has now become one of my favorite presentation moments.  Earlier in the day her counterpart at Adams Elementary, Tavis, had asked "Is everything ready? Did I get it all set up like you asked?"  To which I replied "Yes, Tavis... all except for the bag of blue M&M's."  He played along nicely.  We shared a chuckle.  We parted.  Then Tavis went to his office and called Maria.  She dashed out, grabbed a bag of M&M's and had all the blue ones sorted out by the time I started my afternoon assembly at her school.  Just as I was starting, she popped up to the front and made the presentation.

It was totally awesome.

Thanks for the blue M&M's, Maria!  Now I R a rockstar!
Not only do I now feel like a bonafide rockstar, but I'm going to add "bag of blue M&M's" permanently to my list of required assembly materials.  Hey, what can I say?  Once you get a taste of fame, there's no going back.

And, as usual, below is the entire text for the amazing story the kids created.  This is for YOU, students of Camas Elementary!  Write on!!

Jeff the Janitor Cleans House
Once there was a little frog named Jeff who lived in a pond. He got sucked into the sewer and ended up in Camas Elementary school. The frog was wandering around and found a mug on Mr. Salazar's desk. The mug had something green in it. Jeff drank it. It tasted like seaweed. Then he mutated into a janitor.
      “That was gross!” Jeff croaked. “Let's go clean something!”
      One day an evil snake named Ssindy tried to take over the world. Ssindy using an evil smoke. When you smelled the smoke it turned you into a snake. Jeff decided to make an army of frogs using the same drink that turned him into a janitor. The snake army met the frog janitor army in battle. The snakes got slimed by the frogs' super bazookas.
      “Noooooooooo...” hissed Ssindy.
      Jeff the Janitor won the day!

Adams Elementary of Wapato - Write Makes Might!

The Word Warrior prepares students for combat by handing over a public restroom.
Another great show!  Huge thanks to the administrators, staff and students at Wapato's own Adams Elementary for hosting my Write Makes Might assembly, especially principal Tavis Peterson.  He was great, kids were great, participation was great, story was great... in short, it was great.  They also have more great stuff than just assemblies going on.  Adams Elementary is totally committed to the writing process and are doing some amazing things with showcasing student work, rubrics and other cool educational terms that I only understand in a very basic and non-educator-like way.  Basically, it's great.  One of the teachers typed the final story into Google Docs during the assembly and took her kids straight back to class to continue working on it as an assignment.  Now that's innovation.  Go Adams!  Write Makes Might!!

On a side note, my Sgt. Vocab mustache stayed on the whole time, I only ate about nine hairs from the Word Warrior wig (a big improvement) and videographer Rob Culp from Little Fish Productions (pictured below on the far right background desperately trying to follow the action with his camera) was able to nail some choice footage for the upcoming Write Makes Might promo video.  Go Rob!

Sgt. Vocab gathers ammo for the Word War.  Careful - that thing is loaded!

As usual, I also include here the full text of the story written by the students during the assembly's grand finale.  Way to go, guys!  This one's for you!

The Oink Heard 'Round the World

A long time ago in a farm far far way lived a pig. The farm was run by an evil farmer named Dr. Farmer. Dr. Farmer experimented on the pig and turned him into a super pig named Oink Oink. Oink Oink flew around helping people. He helped old ladies cross the street. He caught someone falling off a roof. Then one day Dr. Farmer got hungry. But Dr. Farmer's daughter loved Oink Oink. She warned him he was in trouble.
     “Watch out!” she cried. “My father is coming!”
     When Dr. Farmer came to make bacon, Oink Oink let loose his secret weapon... the Super Oink!!! Dr. Farmer was defeated and Oink Oink was saved. The Evil Dr. Farmer had met his match!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stuff I've Learned From the Avengers Part 2: Iron Man - You're Only as Good as Your Armor

And THAT, folks, is some AWESOME armor.  They don't call it "Hulkbuster" for nuttin'...

Continuing this series in honor of The Avengers:  Age of Ultron, let's take a peek at the group's frontman and see what we can learn - billionaire philanthropist and occasional egomaniac Tony Stark.

To learn any lessons from Iron Man, that's exactly where you need to look - not at the tin suit, but at the man underneath.  This super is a great illustration for all of us: when it comes right down to it, we're all pretty soft and squishy.  Vulnerable.  Bendable.  Breakable.  Bleedable (I made that one up).  In short, "human".

Problem is, life comes at us as hard and fast as a dozen Ultrons on any given day, with pressure, stress, temptation, fear, anxiety, pimples, bad choices, bad gas, bad credit and bad weather.  We just don't know what's gonna hit us next.  The GOOD news is... well.. the Good News.

We are not alone.  We got armor.

In Ephesians 6:10-12, God tells us what to do to stand up to life and all the threats and dangers it can dish out.  Put on our armor.  Slap on the Truth, buckle on Righteousness and clamp down Faith all around us.  Even more, we're encouraged to go on the warpath.  With a sword.  Dang.  I want me some of that.  That's something even Tony Stark doesn't have.  Iron Man with a big flippin' sword?!  Now you're talking.

The plain fact is that we're only as good as our armor.  And if we put on that armor, then nothing can stop us.  Not even life.

So put it on.  That's not a suggestion.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stuff I've Learned From the Avengers Part 1: The Hulk - You've Got the POWER!

Say it with me... "Avengers... assemble!"  C'mon, you know you wanna...
In honor of the Avengers: Age of Ultron, I've assembled (ugh, sorry) some of the many critical lessons I've learned from these superheroic fellas (and one lady).  Let's start with Big Green.
The lesson from the Hulk is POWER.  Pure, raw, earth-shattering, unstoppable and downright incredible.  Know what?  You've got the same power.  YOU are Bruce Banner.  Just like him, that power is not your own.  It comes from another source.  For Bruce, it's the little green Gamma dudes swimming around in his blood.  For you, it's something more.  Something bigger.  It's God.  In 2 Timothy 1:7 the Almighty drops a big one on us - we have POWER.  Massive power.
Feel weak?  You are.  Want power?  You got it.  Just tap into what God has to offer.  Dig into His talk, figure out what He wants and how He works.  Wrap your life around it.  Give into it, just like Dr. Dave.  Unleash the beast.  You'll see some amazing, incredible, powerful, potent things that will blow you away.  Guaranteed.
Does all that power scare you?  It shouldn't.  It's a rush.  That's the way life was meant to be.
But when you unleash it, just make sure you hold onto your purple pants.  It's gonna be quite a ride.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Summitview Elementary - Write Makes Might!

Huge thanks to the students and staff at Summitview Elementary in Yakima, Washington for hosting my Write Makes Might! assembly last Friday!  It was awesome!

This event marked the debut of two new characters, the brash, bold and dedicated word guy Sgt. Vocab and everybody's favorite crazy scientiest Professor Pondorium.  Both were a big hit, thanks to the kids and their boundless, incredible enthusiasm.

My favorite part was when Sgt. Vocab's mustache fell off.  He quickly explained it was due to an "unfortunate mustache-related injury back in the war" and tossed it out into the crowd as a souvenir.  Some lucky parents who watched that one come home!  It also led to a rare mustache-handing-out-ceremony after the assembly.  A group of kids rushed up for autographs and when the paper ran out, I just handed out mustaches.  That was a first, I guarantee.  But knowing Write Makes Might, probably not a last.

The kid story we all wrote together was another great one, "The Adventures of Monkey Man and Banana Boy".  Anyone from Summitview who didn't get a copy can just contact me and I'll email you one.

Tons of thanks to teachers and kids once again.  You guys are the reason I do this.  Amazing words, great participation, incredible ideas and another unforgettable experience.

Go write!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Northwest Community Church Hunts Monsters

Spent the weekend with Northwest Community Church Youth Group speaking at their Winter Camp retreat.  The topic was Jesus Christ Monster Hunter.

What can I say about it?



That's the best way I can think of to explain it.  I have worked with a lot of churchy people, but this group... man.  They really know what it means to lay it all down and pick up whatever Jesus offers.  We laughed, we shared, we cried, we hurt, we healed, we offered up the deep dark fears and monsters of our lives and vowed before God to help each other smack 'em down.  Even me.  That's right.  They even pulled me into it.

Our Saturday Night Smash circle-n-prayer time went over three hours.  We smashed the heck out of some Monster cans, lifted each other up in prayer and praise, lived out loud, laughed out loud, sang and sobbed.  If you've never let God work you over like that, it's a rush.  Seek it out.  We were a family engaged in what God wants families to do - help each other out.

HUGE kudos to the Michael Moody, Erin and Elisa Peabody and all the other leaders who helped make this thing go.  There was a lot of faith and many years behind it.

HUGER kudos to the kids who bared their souls, lifted their hands and wore their hearts on their sleeves to get past the lies the world is selling - that we're alone and unloved and helpless.  We hunted some monsters that night, that's for darn sure.  Jesus Christ... thank you.  Couldn't have done it without you.

Remember, folks, as you set out from this day - build a monster hunting team.  Share your life with others, build each other up, watch each other's backs.  And above all, know your Savior, the Master Hunter.  Do you want the Chuck Norris Jesus or the Stevie Wonder Jesus?  Know him, follow him, sell out to him. 

Those monsters will never stand a chance again.