“Oh my God, these humans, like, idolize us!”

If I went to space and met aliens, I think the gift I would bring as a peace offering would be, like, an alien toy, you know, because I think that would, that would make aliens feel very, like, honored and respected that like, “Oh my God, these humans, like, idolize us!” And I think that would really help us have peace with each other.

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“I stood up and started a petition against IXL in sixth grade.”

So I'm just going to give an example of -- in sixth grade, I'm sorry, I said fifth grade. But IXL. A lot of people know about IXL; it's a learning platform, supposed to be educational. But I don't think it's educational, exactly. You just practice your knowledge when you already know it and it kind of takes you down, you know, when you get something wrong. It's timing you constantly and you feel the pressure, and when you get something wrong, it takes you down and it doesn't really build you up, you know? And slowly -- like, if you're at 99 you can get to, like, 90 if you just get one wrong, and then you have to do like five more questions just to be able to finish it. So I really don't like that about IXL. And I also feel like you can practice your knowledge in some other way. It doesn't really help you. So anyways, I stood up and I started a petition against IXL in sixth grade and I passed it around the classroom, which is probably not a very good idea. Actually got an online signature from one of my friends, too, but.

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“Colorization of older footage is amazing and it can be such a vehicle for education.”

And he created a documentary that brought World War 1 to life in a manner that the world has never seen. And it's so wild how it can take something that we would look over so quickly, especially if you're not a war enthusiast yourself. You would see this footage, the frame rate is super fast because someone was probably literally winding the camera. So it looks like people are walking in fast motion, silently with this damaged film. It's very easy to be like, “Okay, so I get it. World War 1 was literally -- feels like hundreds of years ago, based on that footage,” which makes no sense because video didn’t exist a hundred years ago, but whatever. But when you put in the effort that Jackson did and his team, suddenly you have something incredibly compelling and it feels closer to time travel than it does to just finding a relic of film. And at least once a year, I will show my students the trailer for They Shall Not Grow Old, which begins in black and white with the original footage and slowly works its way into the colorization and it never fails to make my kids’ jaws drop. And suddenly, you can see them just, almost like a light switch, they go from not even knowing what World War 1 was to suddenly completely engaged and they want more. It's so -- when done correctly, colorization of older footage is amazing and it can be such a vehicle for education.

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“We always think of how special it is to have those two trees behind my parents’ house.”

When my sister was born, she's two years younger than I am. A relative, and I'm gonna have to ask my mom who it was, but a relative brought over two trees to be planted, one for my sister and one for me. And every time the two of us are home now, since neither one of us live up in… every time the two of us are home together, we get our pictures taken by our big pine trees and they're absolutely huge and gorgeous now, and probably were planted too close together because they've totally grown together in the last… my sister's 36, so it would have been 34 years ago that they were planted. And they are just absolutely huge, gorgeous trees. And I always, you know, we always think of how special it is to have those two trees behind, you know, my parents’ house.

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