Sep 01, 2017

Students text memes to each other under the table during your class. Instead of doing their schoolwork, they laugh at Facebook videos making fun of hipsters or old people (you know, people over 25). They watch Saturday Night Live. They watch South Park re-runs and streaming series like The Tick. They laugh and they laugh. They’re enjoying satire. They just don’t know that’s what it’s called. That...  
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Apr 14, 2017  |  1 Comment

My wife and I love to eat out. It’s our favorite thing to do on a Friday night. But eating out is expensive, and I’m not one of those guys who doesn’t have to look at the prices when he orders. When I get a coupon for a restaurant I want to try, it always seems like there are restrictions that make it so I can’t actually use it. It doesn’t apply on Fridays or Saturdays. Or it applies only to a prix fixe menu that doesn’t include the dish the restaurant is known for. An...  
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Feb 23, 2017

My characterization video makes a statement that some people will think is incorrect. I say that the protagonist is “the good guy,” as opposed to the antagonist, who is “the bad guy.” This is an oversimplification of the sort that teachers often use when introducing complex concepts to young people. The kids get the gist quickly and can be taught the finer points as they try to use the terms. I go on in the video to say that not all ...  
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Jan 06, 2017

Welcome! Aloha! My shiny new website (mistersato411.com) features all the videos from my YouTube channel. The videos are organized into six categories: Essay Composition, Literature, Poetry Writing, Other Writing Assignments, Fiction Elements, and Grammar. At least for the moment, the videos will be available both here and on YouTube. The primary reason for the website is to give more people access to the videos. A lot of schools block YouTube because for some mysterious reason...  
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Nov 16, 2016

My students are the ones who weren’t successful in regular school. They sat in the back, plugged in their earbuds while you were talking to them, socialized at inappropriate times, got written up, got into fights, brought drugs to school or got high at lunch and came back for afternoon classes red-eyed and stinking of weed. You’re a teacher too, so you know the ones I’m talking about. You have a lot of students to teach and in your secret heart of hearts were probably not so...  
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Nov 16, 2016  |  1 Comment

Two years ago, I sent this final email to my colleagues at a suburban high school near Seattle. The curriculum I’m blasting is SpringBoard, a product of College Board.

As many of you know, I resigned from S******** exactly two weeks ago, and Bill graciously accepted my resignation. I’ve still been in the saddle because HR asked me to stay to help ease the transition. Last night, I was told that today is my last day. So, starting next Monday, I will be teaching a...  
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Nov 16, 2016

I don’t like the word “karate.” There’s nothing wrong with the word itself, or the martial art; it’s speaking the word that makes me uncomfortable, like I’m sitting on a sharp edge of my cell phone. If I say it the correct way, the Japanese way, I sound pretentious. If I say it the way people in America say it, it grates on my ear. I saw an old Italian man in a documentary pronounce it in a way that was much closer to the original pronunciation yet still very Italia...  
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