How to Get Around and Have Fun in Argentina

Posted by Frederick Parker on

Getting a vacation on such a time as now when all of the economy is down? You might think this is not possible. But, given enough research and much determination, it is easy to take on other options for a getaway from all the stress of daily life.

With the tight budget, your options are focused on less expensive destinations. One of these is South America, specifically Argentina. And with the thought of this country comes a gazillion, more interesting things ranging from great beef to beautifully intoxicating women to Tango music. Another very famous thing in Argentina is soccer, which the locals fondly refer to as futbol. There are great wines and the source of yerba mate. And no one can forget the infamous Evita Peron. All these and more are sure to spark one’s interests on this Spanish-speaking country in the south.

When in Argentina, there is an endless number of places not to miss out on.

The first destination should be the capital which is Buenos Aires. This is the 3rd largest city in South America and is a good example of the contrasting sides of people’s living conditions. Luxurious and rich abodes are abundant in the city that it can easily make a tourist think of Paris. On the other parts of the city, however, slums are growing rapidly. Despite this, the city prides itself for a very rich culture. It houses a world-famous opera, an important theater district and a vast and exciting culinary experience to partake in. The food choices in the city have become quite varied as the influence of Italian and Spanish immigrants have conquered the city in many ways. The city of Buenos Aires is a good location to find best paella, pasta and pizza, all in one place.

After Buenos Aires, one can choose from: (1) the mountain region and wine country, (2) the waterfalls in the Mesopotamic region, close to the Brazilian border, (3) the northwest region close to Bolivia, (4) Central Pampa and (5) the southern Patagonia.

Patagonia is a must for every tourist in Argentina. The land in the region is actually shared with Chile, but there are several options to go to on the Argentine portion. One can go directly to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. Being the southernmost city in the world, it is endowed with natural resources that are attractive for locals and tourists alike. Another good option is the big city of Bariloche in the Rio Negro province. There are great hotels and food in this area. A lot of high school seniors visit the place for ski trip right before graduation. Smaller towns in Argentina such as Villa La Angostura, El Boslon and San Martin de los Andes are charming enough to attract tourists. Most of the people in these rural areas are quite warm and welcoming, making the visit more worth it. It is important to take note of the winter season which starts around June.

Another must-see is the Iguazu Falls in the province of Misiones. It has one of the greatest drops in the world. The possibility of crossing over to the Brazilian side is also an enticing opportunity. One should not forget to prepare the visas and necessary documentations for such a thing.



Putting the Fun Back in Coaching

Posted by Frederick Parker on

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch one of my best friends coach his high-school baseball team in the State Baseball Tournament. The thing that I came away most impressed with of Jerry’s team was that his team looked like it was having an extra ordinary amount of fun while playing together. There were kids smiling, laughing and joking with each other, but at the same time they were being ultra competitive too. I contrasted this to the other team that I saw playing and the players looked tense and general didn’t look like they were having a very good time.

Is it possible to be competitive and at the same time have a good time too? I think it definitely is and all of this starts with the attitude of the head coach. I was fortunate to have a lot of great coaches a long the way, but the ones I admired the most were the ones who not only knew the game in and out, but also made sure that there players were having fun too. As you age wins and losses kind of fade and you realize the things that you remember the most about athletic competition were the people you met along the way and the fun that you had. If your coaches concentrated solely on winning, you probably aren’t going to have a lot of great memories.

How can a coach instill competivness in his or her athletes yet still let them have fun? I don’t think that you have to do extraordinary things to do this, but you do have to make some type of effort. Here are a few of my suggestions to motivate players and bring the element of fun back into practice and games.

Role Reversal

One of the simplest things that you can do is having your players switch positions during practice. In football, we use to have our lineman and receivers reverse roles. Have you ever seen a large offensive lineman running and out and up pattern or having a small split-end hit the seven man blocking sled? Not only do the players enjoy doing this, players also get a better understanding of what their teammates are doing at their position.

Players VS Coaching Staff

Players like to see that their coaches are human too and building some type of competition between the coaching staff and players can bring fun back into sports too. We use to have a baseball coach who use to get into a fungo hitting competition with the players and the players just loved it.

Practice Theme

Occasionally at practice we might have a theme like Hawaii short night where all the players and coaches wore bright colored shirts.

Community Service

What better way to have fun then giving something back to your community. Kids love all types of clinics and if you can have high-school and college age students work with the kids the more they will enjoy. It is not only a great way to instruct kids, but a way for the players to have fun and build team unity.

All of these things that I have listed are above are just simple things that you can incorporate in your season to help your athletes have more fun. In the age of select teams and year round training make sure that you are still incorporating that element of fun into your coaching philosophy. The coaches that do this will certainly add to the experience for their athletes.



Short Fun Poetry: Man’s Hand

Posted by Frederick Parker on

By a man’s hand
they can hold my bosom, they would caress my heartstrings…
by a man’s hand.

With man hands,
I could hold my own bosom, may overuse them…
with man hands.

No man’s land
would feel lost with no…man’s hand,
I hope the women understand…
in no man’s land.

For the man’s hand
to lift me up and tease me, it wouldn’t be the same, and you’ll see…
without a man’s hand.



Find the Main Idea: Fun Ideas for Third Graders

Posted by Frederick Parker on

Third graders are ready for a challenge. Teach them how to find the main idea of a paragraph to help build reading comprehension. The main idea is the most important part of a story, all the other sentences are details. Third-grader are also full of energy. Mix up desk work with some fun alternatives to the text book, pencil and paper. As they begin to navigate more complex concepts and ideas find ways to fully engage their senses to keep them engaged in the learning process.

Debate and Vote
Tell a story. Ask four or five children to come up with what they think the main idea of the story might be. Write their answers on the board. Have these students defend their main idea to the class. Students can then take a vote to see which main idea seems the most plausible.

Arts and Crafts
Create an art project or craft pertaining to the main idea of the lesson the class is learning. Art could be as simple as drawing a picture to illustrate the main idea. A craft can be a clay creation.

Prepare a game to help students recall the sequence of events in a story. After placing all the cards highlighting different events in order, ask a student to pull out the main idea of the story. The cards can be student-prepared to save time. The process of making the game will help the student recall the story and main idea.

Group Projects
Separate students into small groups. Assign each group the task of putting on a presentation related to the main idea being studied. Students can act out the pivotal moment in a story, or use visual aids to prepare a mock commercial stressing the importance of the main idea. For example, if the main idea is, “Safety First,” then students can prepare an infomercial type report emphasizing that point.

Becoming skilled at finding the main idea will continue to serve third graders throughout their life. Quickly finding the main idea on standardized test questions will greatly increase overall scores.



The Saint Louis Science Center Fun for All Ages

Posted by Frederick Parker on

The Saint Louis Science Center has a wide variety of exhibits that is constantly changing. Right now at this moment the highlighted exhibit is called Dinosaurs Unearthed. This exhibit is the largest exhibit that Saint Louis has ever hosted and it is filled with many different unique items. In this exhibit you will see fossils of dinosaurs, feathered covered dinosaur models, many life like sculptures. The exhibit will create a feeling that will transform you mind and make you feel as if you are actually in the same time period of the dinosaurs. This exhibit will excite your young children with animatronic life size dinosaur replicas. This exhibit is not included in the normal free admission to the Saint Louis Science Center but it costs $12.50 adult non member and $10.50 child non member.

The Saint Louis Science Center does have many great exhibits and hands on experiements that are included in the free admission to keep your whole family busy. You have to pay to park but other than that your whole family can get in free and have fun for the whole day. In the discovery room of the science center you can go and take your young children ages 3-7 to be young scientists. Children get to experiement with different properties like magnets, water experiments. The discovery room is great for the whole family to come together and discover nature and the world around us.

Don’t forget to check out the Omnimax theater within the science center. This theater is not like your normal movie theater it is unique and one of a kind. You have to pay for this experience it is not included in the free admission. It is free for members but non members pay $8.00 adult and $7.00 child or senior. The Omnimax theater is different because you do not just look straight forward like a normal movie theater does but you lie back in your seat. And then the movie turns on and it is all around you and above you on the dome shaped ceiling. This will make you feel as if you are running with the zebras in the African plains or flying through the air with the stars like an astronaut. This experience is well worth the money and lots of fun, I took my 8 month old in it and he actually loved it.