Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 5: If I was a fan at the Olympics, I would act nuts, too

Part of my Integration! segment today was getting the kids to write down what they like about watching the Olympics. This was after we had watched women’s luge and men’s halfpipe today, but also other events we’d viewed in the past. I’m not naming names, but each student has a number, so that’s how I’ll label them. So here you go, straight from the pencils of some of my students:


#4: I liked the luge because of how fast they go.


#14: I like the luge because it looks so fun and it looks like a roller coaster and it looks like slides and I want to do it so much I love the Olympic games.


#9: Snowboarding because you get to do awesome tricks and it is cool.


#15: I like ski jumping because I like to think they’re flying.


#1: My favorite sport is slopestyle because of all the cool tricks the athletes do of the jumps.


#2: I like the luge because it looks like fun and it’s awesome to watch.


#5: I like how Shaun White falls. I like it because it’s funny when he falls.


#12: I like ski jumping because I like to see them show their technique and how graceful they land.


We also worked with schedules and times of events. Reading A-Z has a fantastic set of Olympic printables, and they have a schedule where students have to determine when certain events are, how much time is in between events, and what events only take place in the mornings.


Yesterday I didn’t keep anything a secret from myself: I woke up and checked all the results from the night. That meant that no matter what I viewed yesterday, I wasn’t spoiled. Unfortunately, it made my evening viewing pretty dull, because I knew what happened.


Today I kept things hush-hush, in an attempt to make the evening viewing more exciting. The only things I wanted to know was the live events I watched with my kids. We watched the tail end of luge (where we finally saw an American win a medal!), the tail end of men’s halfpipe, and the tail end of ski jumping, and those results were all I wanted to know. Unfortunately, thanks to the horribleness of nbcolympics.com, they have posting on the sides of the webpages and stupid tweets that are a couple minutes faster than the videos that are next to them. As I was searching for the live feed of halfpipe, the sidebar screamed, “Russian pairs post highest short program score ever!” Well, thanks a lot. A tweet said, “Germans not happy with second place in short program.” Another tweet said roughly, “Kikkan Randall tries hard but fails to medal in cross-country sprint.” Well geez! Can there just be a page for spoilerphobes?


I’ll spend the next couple of days finding the right balance between knowing what’s going on and keeping it quiet until I can watch in the afternoon or evening.


Are you having issues keeping stuff quiet? Do you really not care? Let me know!


Mini Blurbs
Today’s roundup: women’s luge (live), women’s ski jumping (live), men’s snowboard halfpipe (live), women’s cross-country, curling, women’s ski slopestyle,


CND returns: Since the slopestyle event returns with skis, the Creepy Nesting Doll makes a comeback. It’s haunting me.


Tonight Bob Costas is reporting from… Wait! That’s not Bob Costas! His pink eye looked awful last night, and it looked like it was in both his eyes. He took the night off, and Matt Lauer filled in. Well, Matt Lauer is reporting from your high school’s winter formal.


It was weird hearing Lauer’s voice at the beginning and seeing him in the Ice Dome. Just weird. Anyone else think that was weird?


I finally found a cross-country event that I like: Sprint! Why did I not know about this event? The skiers race in heats - usually six in a heat - and they race around a super short cross-country track. The women race ¾ of a mile, and the men go around a lap that’s a little over a mile. Each heat takes roughly 2 ½ - 3 ½ minutes, and that’s why it’s so glorious. There’s no skipping of “boring” parts of the race, no cutting to commercial, crazy crashes (like the one in the men’s final, which wiped out three skiers!), and no absence of Americans - there are two very good American women, and one even made it to the final!


Another fun thing is that one of the camera angles is pretty much a camera strapped to the top of a snowmobile - I could hear the motor as the snowmobile raced up a hill with the skiers.


Most of the event is done in front of fans, which means the support is nearly constant, and I’m sure that’s very uplifting for the skiers. I would go to this event.


Another set of events I would attend if I had the chance: Luge, skeleton, and bobsled. Those fans are nuts. Have you seen them? (You might have - they were on Primetime tonight thanks to Erin Hamlin!)


It was great to hear my students so excited to see an American get a medal. They were confused when a “1” was next to her name, but the announcers kept saying she’d gotten bronze. I had to explain that they go in order from slowest to fastest, and the fastest two sliders were left. Then they were hoping that the other two racers would crash. Time to teach a little bit about sportsmanship.


SJ Shaun White gets fourth: There weren’t many snowboarders that I saw who did very good on the halfpipe - lots of snowboarders couldn’t get a landing to save their life. Clearly Flying Tomato Shaun White is much better than Skinny Jeans Shaun White. Or the field has caught up. One of the two.


Where were the mighty American ski jumpers? When I tuned in there was no mention of American ski jumpers. After all the hype, they were nowhere to be found. Thanks for bringing it to the Olympics, ladies, but I wish you’d made a better finish.


Speaking of Summer Games commentators: Track interviewer Lewis Johnson is interviewing sliders. Good to see him.


Donna Noble is curling! Sure, her “name” is Claire Hamilton, but we all know she’s looking for the Doctor. And now she’s Scottish.


Are you watching more curling now? I love getting phone calls and texts saying, “I was just watching curling…” because I can turn right around and say, “Do you know the rules? It’s so much better when you know what’s going on!” I watched the US men vs. China (they royally lost) and the US women vs. Team GB (who CRUSHED the Americans, getting SEVEN points in one end).


Overhead cameras: I’m a little miffed at the camera angles chosen to record snowboarding and slopestyle. There is an overhead camera on the slopestyle course that I never saw in the snowboarding event and have seen only a couple of times in skiing. I love it! It really gives a good overall scope.


In halfpipe, there’s a camera over the middle of the halfpipe that was slowly rolling down as the snowboarders did their tricks. But the cameras chose to use a stationary camera at the end, which was so boring! Give us a little style!


Devin Logan: Thanks for winning a silver! You look awesome and can do amazing jumps.


Pairs and Santana: You know, if Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir are going to skate to the music of Santana, Simon should really have played Marissa like a guitar.


Oh, and Simon’s parents are awesome. Did you see his dad’s Uncle Sam hat?


Hoses on snow: Watching the “grounds crew” (?) blasting hoses of water on the halfpipe was incredibly entertaining. They should work with MLB grounds crews to help them with the snow issues.


That pairs music: The music that Canadian Eric Duhamel composed for his and his partner’s routine is great. I would totally buy that piece.


Jackets: I have seen jackets worn by the women’s curling captain and the German figure skaters that have a really high neck and a fake scoop neck in a really bright color. Is that a new thing? I don’t like it. It’s like a fake scarf.


There’s other sports going on? Way to go Michigan basketball!


Enjoy the day everyone!



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