Genius Hour #3

I knew Southern Methodist University football was a powerhouse in the 1980’s, but I didn’t realize how much. From 1980 to 1984 SMU had a 49-9-2 record. That is insanely good. That’s a 83 winning percentage. They dominated the Southwest Conference, which was the best conference in the nation. I learned how much of a powerhouse team they were. When they hired Ron Meyer as their new coach, SMU took off. Meyer was a respected recruiter and got SMU some of the nation’s top prospects, like Craig James and Eric Dickerson. Meyer had a NFL background with the Dallas Cowboys. SMU was in Dallas. Meyer knew that to get competitive in the conference they are in he needed to recruit. Coach Meyer knew other teams were paying players, so Meyer started it with SMU. Dickerson was the top prospect in the country. Texas A&M, a team in SMU’s conference, bought Dickerson a gold Tranz Am. Dickerson will be interviewed about the scandal, but won’t tell anyone what he was offered.

Photo by DMA Hawaii Forward Center. This is Dickerson at the NFL Pro Bowl.
Photo by DMA Hawaii Forward Center. This is Dickerson at the NFL Pro Bowl.

I am in the middle of making my pages for the website right now. I think I have about three to four pages left. I want to talk about the players who exposed SMU, the main booster Sherwood Blount, and some other stuff. I have found it easy to translate some stuff I have researched and paraphrasing it. I want my website to be my own so I’m not using very many quotes, but more my own words. I want my website credible with information too. I have been using this site a lot to find facts about separate seasons on SMU.

Genius Hour Blog #2

This is my second blog post about my genius hour topic of the SMU death penalty. I’ve learned that many people didn’t think the result was going to be so bad. The NCAA thought that it would take five to seven years for the team to recover, not two decades. The SMU football thought they were on top of the world by this scandal. The NCAA didn’t let that happen. I also learned that Dale Hansen, WFAA’s sports director, tricked Henry Lee Parker to into admitting he initialed a letter with payment to a player. A very interesting fact I found was since 1987 thirty teams have been eligible for the death penalty, but only two got it, neither of the schools were Division I.

The hardest thing for me was paraphrasing. This was hard because there is so many good quotes about this topic, but I don’t want to have a paper of just quotes or it isn’t really mine. The best thing for me is that this is such a big topic that I can find a lot of facts from one source. This makes it very easy for me to find many facts in a short amount of time.

I am going to start to create my website on I want to learn some stuff about how to make a website and other stuff on computers. My website is going to talk about the players, coaches, punishment,  the pre and post death penalty eras, and other stuff.

You can visit SMU’s site for more info on the school:

Picture from Denise Krebs
Picture from Denise Krebs

College Visit

I went to Buena Vista University or BVU for short. A story about BVU is that there is this arch there, and it has a significant meaning for BVU students. BVU was founded in 1891 and in 1956 there was a fire. In the fire the first building ever was built got burned to the ground except for one wall with an arch in it. Buena Vista has the upcoming freshman walk from the gymnasium and through the arch to the chapel. When those freshman graduate they walk from the chapel, through the arch, and finally in gym. When the seniors walk through the arch they move the tassel to the left. There’s also a catch to this. You can only walk under the arch twice in your four years at BVU, which is those two times. If you walk under the arch more than once, the jinx is you will be at BVU longer than four years. There’s also a bell you ring either before or after you walk through the arch depending if you are graduating or not. I thought this was pretty cool because it only appeals to BVU students and alumni. It supposed to represent that Buena Vista students and alumni have resiliency as the arch did during the 1956 fire.

Genius Hour Project

My genius hour project is over 1980’s Texas football and SMU death penalty. In the 1980’s Texas football was very competitive. The elite conference in college football was the Southwest Conference. There was nine total teams, eight were Texas teams and one was Arkansas. The eight Texas teams were Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Houston, Rice, Texas Tech, and Texas Christian University (TCU).  This got so competitive that it caused these teams to cheat. SMU was caught cheating, so they got put on probation by the NCAA. The NCAA says if you cheat again while you are on probation the university gets the death penalty.  The death penalty isn’t the death penalty you’re thinking of. This is the NCAA’s way of killing a university. When you get the death penalty your university’s football program gets shut down for two years. This means no practice, recruiting, or anything with the involvement of football.

This topic is really important to me because with me playing sports it shows cheating once or repeatedly you will be punished. I want to show that cheating is wrong. The death penalty shows that if you cheat over and over again the punishments will get more severe. I want to inform the younger kids who are just starting with sports and that competitive nature that if you aren’t the best, but want to be the best work hard don’t cheat.

I want my final project to be a complete website. My goal is to contact some important people who were a part of this. I will try to e-mail former players and coaches, NCAA investigators, and news reporters. I will measure my goals by how my progress is going with my research and website. I will set weekly goals to where I want to be by the end of that Monday class.

Here’s SMU’s site:

Picture by Daniel Lobo
Picture by Daniel Lobo
Picture by Ernst Adams
Picture by Ernst Adams


I am done!

I wrote seven blogs. All seven were challenge based.  I have five comments. Two of my comments were by a student and my teacher. My other comment was by a teacher overseas. All five of my comments were on the posts of the am I different and the speak up post. I enjoyed writing the post about my coach. The reason I liked writing that one was because I got to show my appreciation to a mentor, a coach, and a great friend.

The paragraph above was my self-evaluation. I am hoping to get feedback from you guys. What was your first impression of my blog? What captured your attention? What was distracting on the blog? What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog? Thanks for the feedback

Go Visiting!

The first post I visited was Johnathan’s. He is 17 years old. He likes baseball as do I. He talked about how his dad is his hero. He wanted to raise his voice about his hero. It seems we have a connection with our same types of dads.

My second post  I visited was Ben’s post. He is 17  years old. He wrote about the American Dream. He showed why America is the best. He gave legit examples of why it is the best country on the globe.

My third post I visited was Corey’s post. He is 14 years old. He talked about the difference between a job and a career. He talked about how if you give your all you will get the best outcome.

My fourth post was Kane’s. He is 14. He talked about how him and his dad love old cars.

My fifth post was Jonah’s. He is 14. He talked about him and his family going skiing.

My sixth post was Ghazi’s. He is 14. He showed how a memory can be who you’re with not where you go.

My seventh post was Paulino’s . He is 14.  He talked about how he found his mother dead. It is a very sad story!

My eighth post was Max’s. He is 15. He talked about how he came from Germany and about himslelf.

My ninth post was Rylan’s. She is 15. She talks about cheer-leading nationals.

My final post was John’s. He is 12. He wrote an interesting article about pizza.

The Great Lakes!


The Great Lakes are a series of interconnected lakes of freshwater, that is located in the northeastern region of the United States of America. They sit on the American-Canadian border. The lakes connect the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. The Great Lakes is not the only name for the group, they are also called Laurentian Great Lakes, and the Great Lakes of North America.  The group has five lakes which are, Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.  Lake Huron is also known as Lake Michigan.

The lakes are full of freshwater.  All four lakes contain twenty-one percent of the world’s surface freshwater. The whole surface is ninety-four thousand two hundred and fifty square miles. The lakes are very similar to seas. They have almost the same properties of seas. They have five similar properties of seas which are rolling waves, sustained winds, strong currents, great depths, and distant horizons. The lakes are all different sizes and shapes. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world measured in area. Superior is behind the Caspian Sea.  Lake Michigan is the biggest lake that is entirely in one country.  Lake Huron and Lake Erie, the southern half of the Great Lakes, are surrounded by the Great Lakes Megalopolis.  The lakes touch Ontario in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The Great Lakes is great for recreational activities. They attract tourists for boating and fishing! The lake has people living in it as well, but not in the actual lake in a basin. A basin is a natural “ditch” in the earth’s surface. Thirty-four million people live in the basin in United States and Canada.  The lakes have more than three thousand species of plants and animals live in the basin. That does not include the one hundred and seventy plus species of fish.

The Great Lakes is a great attraction. It is great for a family vacation. The lakes have great places to explore! You and your family can go fishing or just a ride on the boat. I would encourage you to visit the Great Lakes. I have not visited the lakes, but I really really encourage you to go.

Map of the Great Lakes (92° to 75° West and 50° to 40° North).

Picture by Environment Canada.


Spotted Dick!

The name is a little weird, but it is an actual food. It is a desert that is very common in the United Kingdom.  It is a cylindrical pudding. It looks a lot like an American cinnamon roll. The main ingredients are suet and dried fruits. Suet is a white fat from cattle, sheep, goats, etc.  Suet melts at the temperature of 112 or 113 degrees Fahrenheit.  The dried fruit they use is currants and sometimes raisins. The dried fruit they use is mainly from the grape family. A currant is a variety of a grape.  The food is made from a flat sheet of suet. The cook has to then sprinkle dried fruit on the suet. They roll the pudding up in a cylinder shape.

The name might be a little off putting, but trust me there’s a reason about the name. The part that says spotted refers to the dried fruit that is sprinkled on top of the pudding. The fruit makes it look like the pudding has spots on it. Here’s the off putting part. The part that says dick is referred to a nineteenth century name for plain pudding. If you are eating tapioca pudding it would be tapioca dick.

The reason I decided to write about spotted dick was I interviewed a guy who was 22 years old who came from England. I asked him some questions about different things, but I had to ask about food. He listed off some popular entrees. I wondered about desert, so I asked about popular deserts. He said Spotted Dick. I did some research on it and it looked very good.  I wrote about it because it looked good.

Citations where I got my information. I used this link to find stuff about suet I used this link for information on Spotted Dick

Google Images.
  Google Images.

How My Family Celebrates Halloween!

My brothers and I have a type of scare off. We try to make each other scream. We dress up and hide around corners. Austin and Tommy would set up traps to try and get me to scream. It usually worked. My family and I carve pumpkins together and see who gets the best carving. I remember that Austin would have to leave the room while we take out the seeds. He hates the smell of pumpkin. He won’t eat pumpkin pie, bars, or anything that has pumpkin.

My dad is a teacher, so he gets a lot of former and current students. Whoever is handing out candy whether its Austin, Tommy, my dad or mom, or me. We count how many people we get to see whats the most people we can get.  I think the most people we have ever gotten was about four hundred people.


Kansas City, Missouri!

In 2013 my family and I went to Kansas City, Missouri with a couple of friends. We were there for three days. The first day we arrived we just explored the city. We went shopping at the big stores in Kansas City. That night my friend Jeff Kampen taught me a little rhyme that helped him in being an auctioneer.  The second day we went to World’s  of Fun and Ocean’s of Fun. I don´t like roller coasters or anything like that. That day was still fun. Austin and Kole almost threw up after they ate and went on this ride called the Boomerang. The final day which was the best day in my opinion. We went to a baseball game in Kauffman Stadium. It was my first MLB game that I can remember. It was the Royals versus the Red Sox. I tried to get in right when the gates were going to open, but no one would come with me.  I got to sit row one at the home dugout. The home dugout is usually the third base side, but at Kauffman it was the first base side. The Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tossed up a ball after the inning if he had the ball. I got three baseballs from Hosmer. The Royals won, but it wasn’t over yet. We went to the game with the firework show. It was the best baseball game I have ever been too.

Photo by Chris Murphy
Photo by Chris Murphy