Posts Tagged ‘Comedy’

Is There Anything Better Than the Laugh of a Child?

January 17, 2020

 

They tell teachers to avoid showing too much personality and that a teacher’s humour can be seen as a weakness. It can lead to a chaotic and uncontrolled classroom.

But I don’t care. I’ll take my chances.

Humour, is essential to who I am as a parent, teacher and now, writer. I don’t seek the laughter of children in the same way as I seek their happiness, security and academic progress. But I certainly don’t believe in withholding humour from the classroom.

Watching the clip above, I couldn’t help but reflect on the amazing impact of a child’s uncontrollable laughter. One of my great joys has been sharing my book, My Favourite Comedian, and watching kids laugh throughout.

So, no, I am not shutting shop on laughter any time soon.

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Treading the Fine Line of Comedy

January 6, 2020

 

Ricky Gervais is the talk of the town. Many loved his pointed barbs at Hollywood whilst others thought he came off as a mean-spirited jerk.

I guess that’s comedy for you.

Comedy is meant to be provocative and at its best can lead you to places where angels fear to tread.

This is the conundrum that I was faced with in writing “My Favourite Comedian”, a children’s book that focuses on comedy’s ability to help alleviate difficult challenges and relate to hard truths.

My book deals with themes such as body image, isolation, divorce and societal pressures and yet has laughs all the way through. The message being, that by seeing the funny side of difficult events in your life, you are able to manage them better.

Of course, the humour in my book is far less abrasive than Gervais’ style of stand-up but no less passionate.

I feel that children respond to this book because it isn’t afraid, to tell the truth, and comedy is my truth-telling device.

Here’s to truth and comedy!

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

My Latest Book Interview

December 29, 2019

 

It has been a great thrill for me to publish my debut novel. Below is the transcript of my latest interview.

 

What is your e-reading device of choice?
The Kindle is now waterproof, which is perfect for me as I love to read in the shower. I hope the next edition is shampoo and conditioner proof.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have found that not taking no for an answer has been the best strategy. That tactic worked to finally persuade my wife to read the book.
Describe your desk
My desk happens to look a lot like a kitchen table. In fact, it is a kitchen table. Used cereal boxes make for great mouse pads.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia which is a lot like Melbourne, Florida aside from the beautiful climate and great beaches. Australians are fun-loving and easy-going people. I’m surprised they haven’t deported me yet.
When did you first start writing?
I once wrote a letter of appeal for a traffic violation. I wrote a very convincing letter. I knew then that I could make it as a struggling writer.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
This book was never supposed to be written. What started as a summer project that was abandoned after just two chapters slowly turned into a completed work. And the credit goes entirely to my students.
Back in 2002, whilst I was a mere student teacher, I noticed that kids weren’t utilising their quiet reading time very well. In fact, they were staring off into space. I decided to print off the two chapters as a means to provide the students with another reading option. Not only were they suddenly engaged in what they were reading, but they brought it home to their parents. I was getting messages from parents requesting the next chapter. And this started my journey towards completing the novel. This certainly wouldn’t have happened were it not for the support and encouragement of my wonderful students over the many years!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It is the perfect career move for me at the moment as I transition to my ultimate dream job – telemarketer!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing your story and the characters you love with the world. That, and getting off parking fines.
What do your fans mean to you?
My uncle means the world to me.
What are you working on next?
I am working on two titles:
The A-Z Guide to the Alphabet; and
Mannequins for Dummies
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A nice, warm Kindle shower.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a social justice warrior. The other day I protested against cuts to the police force by handcuffing myself to a policeman.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I use the same method of discovery as Christopher Columbus – Google.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was 4 years old and got myself in heaps of trouble. Permanent marker is hard to get off wallpaper.
What is your writing process?
Sit at the kitchen table. Turn on the computer. Brainstorm. Give up and watch a YouTube cat video. Reward myself with chocolate.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
War and Peace. It totally changed my life. I loaned a copy to Kim Jong Un, but as of yet, he’s only read the first half.
How do you approach cover design?
I get someone else to do it. I can’t even make my stick figures symmetrical.
What are your five favorite books, and why?

How to Win Friends and Influence People – How I got my wife to read my book

The Art of the Deal – Pure comedy. One of the funniest books ever written.

The Achievements of Kim Kardashian – Available in pamphlet form

The Mueller Report – I once had insomnia. No more.

Grease – Not the movie, just a Jewish cookbook.

What do you read for pleasure?
The television guide.
What was your greatest achievement?
I once got the lead part in my school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to perform it. I got injured during rehearsals. I fell off the roof.
spotlight
Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Top Ten Funny Excuses For Being Late To School

August 30, 2012

Courtesy of funny.com:

1. They’re always ringing the bell before I get there.

2. I saw a sign that read “School Ahead. Go Slow.”, so I did.

3. My watch was set to Tokyo time.4. I had to feed my pet piranha.

5. My alarm clock kept going off while I was asleep.

6. Sorry–usually my punctuation skills are excellent.

7. I was dreaming about a basketball ball game, and it went into overtime.

8. I’m on time–everyone else is early.

9. I told you if I wasn’t here, you should go ahead and start without me.

10. What? I thought this place was open until three thirty!

 

Click on the link to read Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

Click on the link to read Why Spelling is Important

Click on the link to read 2 Kids Outsmart 3 Robbers

Click on the link to read the 100 Skills Parents Should Teach Their Children

Who Said Grammar Isn’t Important?

July 17, 2012

I found this particular sign very amusing:

 

 

Click here to read The 15 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in the English Language

Modern Educational Thinking: Comedy or Tragedy?

January 31, 2011

Most of us acknowledge that school systems worldwide are deeply flawed and require fresh, new and innovative ideas to get them kickstarted again.  What we don’t need, however, are bizarre, extreme and non-sensical ideas that do more harm than good.

Last week I wrote about the Nebraskan senator trying to pass a bill that would allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons for protection.

This week it’s Florida’s turn to create headlines for putting forward horrendous educational policy:

As lawmakers continue to debate education reform, Florida Rep. Kelli Stargel has a new idea: give teachers a break and grade parents instead.

Stargel has submitted a bill that would let teachers grade parent performance along with student outcomes, reports CNN.

Stargel said that parents should be just as involved in the education process as the students themselves.

“We have student accountability, we have teacher accountability, and we have administration accountability. This was the missing link, which was, look at the parent and making sure the parents are held accountable.”

The bill would give the option of grading parents as “satisfactory,” “unsatisfactory” or “needs improvement.”

Grading parents?  Are you kidding?  Is this some candid camera trick?

Because Stargel so evidently has failed to do her homework, I feel obliged to fill her in on some important points:

1.  Teachers should never judge parents.  It is the teacher’s job to co-operate with parents and assist them, not to assess them.  Unless a parent is abusing the child or engaged in any other form of criminal activity, it is not the business of a teacher to make judgements on parental skills.

2.  Yes, there are parents that do not involve themselves with their child’s education.  Teacher’s should see this as an opportunity rather than an excuse.  The child that doesn’t have actively engaged parents relies even more heavily on their teacher.  This scenario should be seen as a fabulous opportunity to inspire, influence and reinvigorate the child.  Stargel’s idea takes what some teacher’s see as a great opportunity to make a real difference and asks us to see it only as a negative.

3.  By calling on teachers to grade parents, you are turning two crucial stakeholders in a child’s education against each other.  Education is best administered when all major stakeholders are on the same page, or at least can work together harmoniously.  To muddy the waters with negative ideas and forced judgments, Stargel has overlooked the most important ingredients to successful teaching.

In one week we have seen two law makers come up with insane ideas that deal with important issues in a simplistic and scattershot way.  What is it with politicians?  How can such seemingly intelligent people come up such lousy ideas?


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