The Suns fall in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter from a 16 point lead to let the Jazz (number one in the NBA) tie and send the game into overtime. In overtime, the Suns and Jazz kept going back and forth. Marion was on fire. He tried carrying the team on his back with lots and lots of scoring. The Suns get a chance to send the game into a second overtime, as the Jazz were up by three with a few seconds to go. Two three-point attempts, but no scoring. The Jazz win in overtime against our Suns, 120 - 117, respectively. The Suns now fall to three and six, and the Jazz keep their best record going, now standing at nine and one. We've lost to the Jazz two times now, and both games we had 15 and 16 point leads in the second half which we gave away, letting the Jazz back in the game, and eventually gave the game to them. We can beat them. We can win. We will, yet.
The Diamondbacks have new colors and a new logo. I was surprised to find out about the change. My only question is: why? From purple and tourquois to black and red. Much different. Check out the new logo on the sleeve of the home jersey below. Also new, btw.
(Listed in order of arrival) Mike Ogle (father-in-law), Michael Withem, Matthew du Mée, and Jeremy Quáde all came over tonight. We (minus Ogle) played a mario soccer game. It was the most fun I've had in a long time. We were able to kick each other and knock each other off. We laughed so much. I haven't been able to just kick back with the guys and have fun like that in a long time. Thanks guys. It was a blast. Amy, thanks for the salsa. With all of that, the Suns' game was more on the backburner. Go fig.
Game eight was a great game. The Suns started strong, and then they finished strong. They kept a good solid lead for most of the game. The final score was 106 - 94. What a great showing for the Suns, and without Nash. Nash was having back spasms, so he did not play tonight. Stat looked great. He showed that he is almost completely back to full form. He had some great dunks that looked like the Stat of two seasons ago. He's back. The next job to do for the Suns is taking care of the Jazz who are the hottest team in the league. The Jazz have the best record in the NBA with 8 - 1. The Suns are in Utah to take on the Jazz tomorrow night. GO SUNS!
Suns go up against the Phili 76ers tonight. Suns have the fourth worst record in the NBA going into tonight. The Sixers are 4 - 3, tied for the top of their conference. The Suns lost to the Sixers in Germany, when they had pre-season training camps and games in Europe. Let's see how we do after a week's rest and some at home training. I'm having a few guys over from NCC to watch the game and play some gamecube beforehand, since most of the women are going to the Women of Faith conference being held at the Glendale Arena (where the Coyotes play). We should have a great time: especially while eating the salsa that my wife will make. GO SUNS, and Amy!
I took off yesterday. I decided that I wanted to sleep in and enjoy a day with my wife and son. It was fabulous. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Now that it is Friday, and I'm back teaching, I have two lessons to squeeze into one day, but it's worked so far. God was very gracious to me with letting me take yesterday off. I slept until after 11am. What a joy that was. Simple pleasures, huh? That's where it's at.
I have been instructed to give a writing prompt to each of my classes, and this once a month from October to April. This method of reinforcing writing skills, I believe, is sorely ineffective. If the point is to help students learn to write more efficiently, then we should instruct them on how to write, give them a chance to apply it, and then give them adequate feedback that would help them on future performance. This is not how our district has mandated this "writing across the curriculum" plan. They are having us give the students writing assignments (once a month, as stated above), and keep them, not giving the students any feedback. Not only do the students not receive feedback from the teacher, but the district is asking that teachers, who have not been instructed in the ways of grading English, now be required to grade essays based on the "6 Traits of Writing" rubric. I was trained for elementary education, so I am familiar with and could grade with the "6 Traits of Writing," but most of the math department (let alone other non-English deptments) have not been trained in anything but the subject that they teach. I chose to teach Mathematics and not English on purpose: I didn't want to grade the writing! Now, as a math teacher, the district wants me to grade 140 papers on a writing rubric. If the district wants stronger writers, they should up the instruction and feedback on the students' writing, not give them more work without any instruction or feedback for progress. What's next, "math across the curriculum"? Let's see what kind of non-math teacher feedback there will be while trying to grade quadractic equation problems. That'll be the day.
I was asked to come to the principal's office and talk about a student. I have a student whose parent (I guess) wrote the administration, asking that her teachers not be allowed to ask her child how the child was doing. This student has had a lot of rough situations this year, including the death of her father. I have talked with her, asked how she was, trying to get her to do some work in class (since it's been such a long time at this point) and succeed a little while in my class. The principal asked me to stop asking the student how she was doing. I agreed to not push the subject and to back off from seeming overbearing. The principal, at the end of the conversation, told me, and I quote, "Sometimes, caring is wrong." I looked at her, head half-cocked, gave it a thought, and let it go. I do not believe that caring is wrong, in whatever situation. I do think that sometimes teachers might come across as prodding too much. What was said, in effect, was that her teachers did care about her, but that it was wrong. I couldn't believe my ears, but I smiled and said, once more, that I would back off, then left.
Now, you might have heard of Across the Sky, the Christian Conteporary music group; they broke up a while ago. Man, you're out of the loop. Heh heh. Anyway, the point to bringing that up is that Justin Unger, one of the forementioned group, went to NCC with me and was in my studentministries. We even played/sang together in the studentministries worship band, back in the day. Justin did not inform me, however, that Falon (his wife), Carson (his son), and he had returned to AZ and are now a part of The Heights Church in Prescott. Justin, excuse me...Pastor Justin (I'll never get used to that), is now the co-worship leader at The Heights. If you'd like to know more about Justin and his family, I would suggest visiting his "official website." It's nice to know that Justin brought his family back to AZ after being in TN for so long. Below is a picture of Justin and his son, Carson.
The following is the "about me" page from my teacher website that I keep up. Just thought I might post it for my friends and family to see, as well. Just in case anyone out there cares.
A Personal Note
Hi there. My name is Vaughn Adam Van Liew II: if you're a student, you can call me Mr. Van Liew, and if a parent, you can call me Adam.
I go by Adam because Vaughn is also my dad's name. My parents decided to call me Adam to cut the confusion. Much good that did! I went by Vaughn in 2nd grade, junior high, during college, and at my first teaching job.
I was born February 28th, 1983, in Columbia, South Carolina, where my father was in seminary studying for his Masters in Christian Studies. Ten months later, we moved back to where my parents had both been born and raised: back to Phoenix, Arizona. My sister, Bethany, was born in Phoenix. Then when four years old, we moved to Boulder City, Nevada. Three weeks into my third grade year, we moved to Birmingham, Alabama. When going into sixth grade, we moved back to Phoenix, where I've been living since. My parents and sister moved to Senegal, West Africa, to teach at a missionary kids' school in Dakar called Dakar Academy. After a year, Bethany moved to Alabama, where she currently lives. She is married to a great guy, Joseph Dumas, and they now have a son, my nephew, Jonathan David. My parents left Africa after two years, and now currently reside in Alabama, as well. They work at a boys' ranch called Big Oak Ranch, where they are house parents to up to 8 boys at a time, ranging in age from 5-18 years old.
I graduated Deer Valley High School in 2001, 5th of 405 students. I went on to Southwestern Bible College in Phoenix. During my sophomore year there, on Saturday, December 28, 2002, I married my beautiful and wonderful wife, Amy Michelle (Ogle). We'd known each other since junior high, but nothing had really happened between us until college. She is the love of my life. I graduated Southwestern summa cum laude (with highest honor) with a 4.0 in my major's studies. I earned a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education, with two minors: Bible and Math. On Friday, March 31, 2006, Amy gave birth to our first child, a boy, whom we named Vaughn Aidan Van Liew III. (He was 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 19 3/4 in. long.) We also just found out (on 9/10/06) that Amy is again pregnant! Woohoo! The due date should be around May 14th or so. I'll keep you posted. If you'd like to hear more of my musings and thoughts, you can visit my personal blog at http://dutchroyalty.blogspot.com. Be forewarned that this blog has nothing to do with DVUSD or DVHS in any official sense. It is clearly a personal blog.
I student taught with Mrs. Kathy Mauser in the Timberwolf Core at Desert Sky Middle School. That was an incredible experience: learning from an amazing teacher and enjoying getting to know some great students. After student teaching, I then went to work for Cornerstone Charter School, Phoenix, AZ. I finished out the school year with them. It is a great school for at-risk students, and I enjoyed learning and growing through the student population there instructing me on how to live out grace while still retaining control of the classroom and an atmosphere of learning. In the 2005-6 school year, I taught Algebra 1/2 and Algebra 3/4 at Boulder Creek High School. I had a great time being a Jaguar for a year, but decided that working closer to home would be of great benefit. I now get to call my high school alma mater my teaching home, as well. GO SKYHAWKS!
I have a student whose quinceñera is coming up. I received from her a beautiful invitation this morning. It is very well done; no expense spared. This will be her time to transition from childhood into adulthood, and she felt close enough to me to invite me to share in the occassion. That's pretty exciting stuff, I must say. Her invitation was completely in Spanish, too, which was fun to read. I'd love to go to it to be able to show my support for her and her family. What a great opportunity to love people. Lord willing, I'll be able to go.
I have been shown lately that simply confessing the external behavior is superficial. The sin didn't originate in that I acted like a jerk, the sin originated in my arrogance for wanting it all to be about me. Sin is finding my identity in anything other than God. He wants my name to be blessed because of Him, not because of me trying to build my own name up (which was partially the topic from Resolved last night). I keep finding myself speaking too much, saying things that sound arrogant, and I hate it. I truly do. I even think that I offended some of my friends this last weekend, and I don't know why. Probably my arrogance; maybe some off-hand comment. I don't want to be like that. I didn't mean to do it, but if it's coming out, I can be assured that it is still in my heart (motivation/attitude). If I offended you, I ask for your forgiveness for my arrogance in finding my identity in looking good or trying to make it all about me, and then hurting you in the process. I will not make excuses for myself; I was wrong. Please forgive me. It's not the external behavior that God wants: it's the motivation and attitude in the heart. Truly it is against God that I commit my offenses: making an identity for myself in the stead of depending on Him, submitting, drawing near to Him, and humbly approaching Him. When I humble myself before him, then He will exalt me, make my name for me, and that for His glory, not mine. If you'd like to check up on my reasoning, please do. I encourage that. Never just take my word for it. James 4 talks in depth about how I need to approach God, because "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (v6). *Lord, forgive my arrogant and prideful heart. Come in and radically rearrange my life, so that You may be glorified. I expect you to do great things because You are a great God who does great things. On the merits of my Great High Priest, Christ, I ask it. Amen.*
I, an arrogant man, was given the opportunity to teach on arrogance and dependence today in sm@ncc. Does our God have a good sense of humor? I think so. If you'd like to hear the lessons that have been taught lately by all of the teachers in sm@ncc, head over to www.znotaboutme.com and click on 'messages.' To download, right click and select 'save target as...'. To God be glory, and Him alone.
The Suns go out saying that they will play with intensity, and they come out with win number two. The Grizzlies fall to the Suns; all is as it should be. We now only have the fifth worst record in the NBA. The next challenge doesn't come until this Friday night. Anyone want to come over to watch the game? I'll provide the salsa and chips (well, Amy'll do the salsa, yum), and you can bring some soda. Let me know!