The Fix was In

 Does anyone else out there think the fix was in last night on American Idol?

Now before I continue, Im one of THOSE guys who like to make fun of the shows my wife watches. Pat enjoys every episode she can of American Idol and other reality based shows.

Heck, even I like a few. The Apprentice, The King of Cars, and some of the Surreal Life series can get me hooked.

But this dude is crazy funny. He cant sing a lick, hes got a voice to drive you nuts and most people couldnt wait to see him go. Then along comes the internet and sites like being pushed to the moon by Howard Stern and others.

Pat isnt fanatic about the integrity of the show and likes a good laugh now and then but I think she was getting a bit ticked off with the whole keeping Sanjaya while ME on the other hand LOVED the fact he stuck around week after week. Call it morbid sillyness.

As I came home from a Milton Walk of Fame meeting last night, I could hear that everyone was in bed and most of the lights were out. Before I could get my shoes off, Pat whispers from the top of the stairs….”Honey, he’s gone!”

For the last few weeks hes escaped the bottom 3 of eviction and others who were perceived to have more talent were being voted off. THEN all of a sudden, hes off. Clips of Simon Cowell were all over the place with a big smile on his face. He knows now he wont have to quit and Sanjaya wont be the American Idol.

Someone had told me though, the producers of the show have written in print so small it takes a team of lawyers hours to see, that they reserve the right to disqualify votes from the totals if they feel or have evidence the votes were mechanicially generated instead of by individual voters.

Hmmmmmmmm. For the last few weeks he has been nowhere near the bottom for eviction and now, all of a sudden, hes gone.

Smells fishy. But thats an ivestigation for another day.

The power of the internet is a big, big thing. Its something that will only get bigger and more prominent in our lives as time goes on. We better get used to it.

This concludes my first, and what will probably be my ONLY American Idol based post.

Its now al most time for game 5 of the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars game. Let’s hope they win and get a rest before the next series. Ottawa Senators won *sigh* As a Leafs fan that holds no solice whatsoever.


Mrs Lesley Sheldrick Teacher of the Month

First off I got a couple of emails from some rabid Flyers fans for the post yesterday. It looks like the team DIDNT lay down, and caused a few more grey hairs to pop out of my head last night. At least the Leafs won and two more wins to go. Lets cross our fingers against the Islanders.

I wanted to publicly acknowledge Mrs Sheldrick, who is Anthony’s grade one teacher, who was given the title of Teacher of the Month by the Champion. I can speak from experience over the last two years (she taught his SK class as well the previous year) that she is an exceptional teacher. She had made an impact on Anthonys life and he loves being in her class.

One of the main things that stands out about her is when you see her in the class with the students, she treats them as “real people” and talks to them instead of talking down to them. Ive seen teachers in the past who treat the children as if they are just kids, but Lesley talks to them like equals, and pushes them to want to do better with their school work and be better people.

Congratulations on being Teacher of the Month. As many parents have said, we only wish there were more of you to go around.

Here’s the story from the Champion.

Teacher of the Month: Learning a two-way street, says Sheldrick
Hawthorne Village teacher beloved by young pupils

Grade 1 teacher Lesley Sheldrick will be the first one to tell you she learns just as much from her students as they learn from her.

“One of the key lessons I’ve learned is to be willing to try new things and that it (sometimes) takes a long time to reach our goals and that’s okay,” said the Hawthorne Village Public School teacher.

Her enthusiasm for her job is infectious, and she obviously takes it very seriously.

“I hope I raise them like their moms and dads would — to be great people,” she said.

Sheldrick was chosen the Champion’s Teacher of the Month for April after receiving an impressive nomination package from parent Kim Anderson, whose son Joshua is in Sheldrick’s class.

Along with Anderson’s complimentary letter was another letter from an appreciative parent, plus 14 letters and pictures from adoring students.

Anderson didn’t mince words in expressing her admiration for Sheldrick.


“Very few times in one’s life does a special person come in and touch the lives of so many people in so many important ways. Mrs. Sheldrick is one of those special people,” she wrote in her nomination letter. “The children are truly blessed to have such a caring, kind, thoughtful teacher who goes way above and beyond her job description.”

Joshua wrote that he likes his teacher because of the “really fun stuff” she does.

“She is very kind and caring and we all love her,” he wrote.

Fellow student Mackenzie Woods had this to say about Sheldrick: “(She) is the best teacher because when my baby sister was born she made sure I knew that I was special too.”

Keagan Flower said Sheldrick smiles a lot and reads them lots of books “so we can be smart.”

Anderson added that the teacher can often be heard saying the children she teaches are her life.

Sheldrick confirmed that to be the case, explaining she doesn’t yet have children of her own. Although she recently moved to Burlington, it wasn’t unusual when she was living in Milton to drop by unannounced at a student’s birthday party or sporting event; students at that age get excited at seeing their teacher outside of school, she said.

This year has been a great one for the class, because it’s the second year she’s taught them, moving with them from kindergarten to grade 1.

At a time when students are often rather nervous about starting all day, every day school, Sheldrick’s presence comforted them and gave them a sense of consistency, she said.

“Grade 1 can be pretty scary. They were already comfortable (with me), so it helped ease the transition,” she said.

Being with the students for two years also allowed her to form solid relationships with students’ parents, which is extremely important, she added.

Before her days at Hawthorne Village, Sheldrick taught kindergarten in Oakville for five years.

She obviously has a special love for younger children.

“There’s something magical about them,” she said of grade 1 kids, who are six and seven years old.

Teaching them so early in life is a special privilege because it sets the tone for the future, Sheldrick said, explaining if they come to love learning in grade 1, that’ll likely carry on as they head into the higher grades.

Some people mistakenly think grade 1 teachers are little more than glorified babysitters, but Sheldrick said that’s not the case. Her students learn everything from reading and writing to math and science.

“There’s a lot of content,” she said.

Despite the occasional misconception, at the end of the day Sheldrick said she knows she’s doing what she was meant to do.

“When they look into my eyes and say they get it, it’s the best feeling in the world… I just love my job.”

Stephanie Thiessen can be reached at

My Open Letter to the Flyers

Dear Flyers,

Tonight is a big night for the Toronto Maple Leafs. We need all three wins to ensure our spot in the playoffs and it begins with you….the Flyers.

You have had a very bad season this year and as a hockey fan I can empathize and completely understand how frustrating its been for you. Not many home wins, coupled with a pretty dreary season can get anyone down. Your playoff hopes have been squashed a long time ago, but you’ve made the best of what you can this season. You have gone out at got a pretty good goalie, building on the hopes for the future of the Flyers.

With 3 games left in the season and all the hard work you’ve put into it up to this point, I think you deserve a night off. Its time to think of others now and you can show your humane side with tonight’s game.

The Leafs need your help. There are two much bigger games coming up this week and it would be a waste to put so much effort into defeating you while not leaving much more in the tank for the next games.

Let the Leafs beat you tonight…they’ll be good. They wont do a 7 -1 or 10 – 1 score on you but a good showing will prove fruitful for the boys in blue.

Next year we promise to cheer for the Flyers as much as we can to help you win more games. The Leaf fans need the playoffs. We need to be able to yell GO LEAFS GO proudly from our cars after every win. Its something that Leaf fans cannot live without.

We ask you, as hockey fans and players, do you want to deny us that?

Please, let us win tonight and give Leafs fans a reason to live.

Go Leafs GO!