Sheltons Organic Turkey

if I empty out all the unimportant stuff here, maybe there'll be more room in my head for important things

name: shelton brett
location: western u.s.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ICLS 2008

I'm over in the Netherlands (first timer) and enjoying my time in Utrecht. The technical university is here, about a 40 minute train ride south from Amsterdam. Currently, the mayor of the city is offering a welcome.

First impressions of the Dutch are good ones. Wonderful coffee, pleasant and patient people who are tall and striking. My folks say that I have some Dutch heritage, but I don't know of any Van [somethings] in my family tree. I'll need to look more into that.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Open High School of Utah

For those that didn't catch the announcement from David, the charter was approved to open the (virtual) doors of our high school. It's called the Open High School of Utah, and it's special because it will be the first school that uses all open materials in its curriculum. The open materials mean that they are free to anyone who wants to use them, the school will have its materials online so that anyone who has internet access can get to them.

There are a lot of details to work out, still, but this is a huge step! I'm pleased to be associated with it, as co-founder, board member and curriculum advisor (all from Dave's doing, I must say). Stay tuned to David's blog, and the school website (I'll put it up once it's made), for more information.

the conversations between profs and students

I recently watched Lions for Lambs. It was a fairly interesting movie, more about offering some political and foreign strategy opinions than entertainment, probably. One of the aspects of the movie I enjoyed was that it was offered in real-time, with multiple stories paralleling and intersecting each other. One of the story lines had Robert Redford's character in an hour-long meeting with one of his students. They discussed attendance and grades, participation in his (Redford's) class, sociopolitical stances and what it means to make a difference in government as an individual. At one point, Redford offers the student a "B" if he chooses to never come to class again, do no readings and offer no further participation, including to not sign up for any future classes or have future interactions with the professor. The idea behind this offer was to make the student choose: would he rather sit on the sidelines and watch the action, or would he rather become involved in what is happening around him. A choice for complacency versus action, to be satisfied, or act in an effort to make a difference.

If offering that choice to most students, what would they choose? This student remarked that given this choice, most students would jump at the chance for a B. In my experience, unfortunately, he might be right. But like Redford's character, I would probably only offer that kind of choice to students I didn't think would take it. What percentage of my students would that be? Really, it's not an ethical offer to make, so I wouldn't do it. But I wonder how many profs. might jump at the chance to make deals, just to make certain that they never see certain students again...

And if you're into conversations between students and professors, or at least, one-on-one interactions, there's probably nothing that I've seen that's scarier than Oleanna. I'd recommend it to everyone that doesn't get nauseous at Mamet's writing. I love the movie, it scares me to death.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

10 questions

We recently watched "Inside the Actor's Studio" and it cracks me up how ridiculous and important actors consider themselves. The only redeeming and entertaining portion, to me, is the ten questions by Bernard Pivot that host James Lipton asks every guest:
  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Since this is my blog, and I get to be just as arrogant as actors here, I'll take my shot.

  1. What is your favorite word? "lickety-split"
  2. What is your least favorite word? "literally"
  3. What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]? rain: the smell, sound and feel of it
  4. What turns you off? traffic...well, crowds of most kind
  5. What sound or noise do you love? the sound my son makes when happy
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? a loved one in pain (people make the best and worst sounds, really)
  7. What is your favorite curse word? all of them, I like to switch my favorites regularly
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? small business owner
  9. What profession would you not like to do? most physician careers, with the possible exception of orthopedic surgeon
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Just how I like 'em--a guy with no regrets."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

what's up with the D&D cartoon orcs vs. the Return of the Jedi soldiers?

Yeah, that's a super-long title for a blog post. But seriously, the orcs from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoons look extremely similar to the pig-looking guards in Jabba the Hut's palace in Return of the Jedi. Has no one made this connection before? I mean, even their clothing looks the same, but the green-skinned biped that is the pig-soldier is the same in both shows. What's up with that?

Anyone have the energy of finding some photos of each and posting them up? I'd be most obliged.

Speaking of nothing in particular, I thought I'd give an update on my hockey skills. Eventually I'd hope they become "skillz" but we're not quite there yet. Anyway, today I had maybe my best game ever. I scored a nice goal (lifted it over the goalie on the short side, top shelf, quite
impressive!), I had a nice assist to Greg for another goal, and I (of course) took a 2 minute penalty for "roughing." To me, that's probably the best tri-fecta I could have hoped for!

And the guy I took the penality on had to leave the game. Not that I'm proud of that, mind you, but let's just say that the crease is mine. Got it?!

Just had to share. I'm particularly missing friends in Seatown about now, hope all remains up there, and I hope to be back soon.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


what I want
when events of the now turn to thoughts of the past
and people in my life fall into place

some with purpose, some at random, but desperate
like the lambs of jame gum
the ghosts that haunt me
don't seem to get tired
the dreams that hunt me
reviewing the memories that strike me

give me too much pause
two much cause
to blunt me

-Shelton Brett, January 18, 2006

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

coffee is for closers

We now have one of the (sigh) national coffee chains in the small town where I live, and I reluctantly admit that I'm not only a user of their services, I really like them. I know when I lived in Seattle it was extremely hip to throw your nose in the air and walk swiftly pass the Starbucks and into the local mom-and-pop place to support the little guy. And usually, the coffee was better anyway.

Now, after having lived so long in a place where the little guy coffee is marginal and inconsistent, I admit to looking forward to driving to the green and white lettering and ploppoing down $5.95 for my Big Mac of coffees. Yes, a little piece of me cringes, but when that consistent, perfect temperature of soy chai latte (venti, of course) slides down my throat, the guilt is washed away. Yum. Well, almost all the guilt.

But isn't this picture great? "Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers." I think it was this turn as the corporate pusher in Glengarry Glen Ross that Alec Baldwin really took hold as a great scene-stealer. Sure we loved him in Malice, but really, when did he become this great comedic talent? He stole the movie in Along Came Polly and watching him in SNL is fantastic. Anyway, I suggest that when you watch Glengarry Glen Ross you don't accidently leave your outdoor speakers on, set at "11." And definitely not in rural Utah (thanks for the story, Quinton).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

new blogs

Okay, so this is the blog to apologize for the absence of previous blogs, but that's not what blogging is supposed to be about. It's here for when I need it, and to use it, and it just so happens that I did need it this last semester yet did not take advantage of it. A lesson to myself: do not take this for granted, I know that this helps, and I need to keep leaking the stuff here so that the rest is worthwhile. Okay. Done with self-lecture. I apologize to myself and it's time to move on.

There's this "new" blog that I'm getting offered that has to do with Google somehow, maybe I'll migrate to that. If anything changes, I'll be sure to post it here.

BTW, it seems fellow bloggers are going to a variety of hotspots, including facebook and myspace, and also creating new accounts on blogger. I suppose it's all good, just keeping up my RSS feed has been the chore.

Not a bunch I want to share with the world, except perhaps my greatest feat to date, this picture should tell the story.