Sunday, April 27, 2008
It was also really nice to see my family again. I know I'm biased, but I think they're awesome. I'm excited that we'll be gathering again (at least some of us) in NH this summer.
Now that I've done all of this driving, I feel like a real DC-area resident. I navigated not only the beltway, but also the back roads too, plus missing a turn on the directions from Arlington to Ken's. It was a long weekend and it was also short.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Also from the NYT, "Informal Style of Electronic Messages is Showing Up in Schoolwork, Study Finds." First: they did a STUDY on this? And second, duh.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
(Ok, so she wasn't really my aunt. But that's the easiest relationship to shorthand in this case, given the closeness of the extended Greek family. Technically, she was my mom's first cousin, my first cousin once-removed. But who wants to explain that? And she did once introduce me to someone as her niece. So, she was my aunt.)
I get to drive into DC tomorrow to pick up my cousins at Union Station, which should be ok, as adventures go. DC's not bad, the grid and all that, and it's midday, so traffic shouldn't be an issue.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Um, the rest of us are too. It's nearly enough to make a girl not vote in November as to protest the length of this presidential election cycle. (Only I certainly will vote. I'm genetically incapable of not voting.)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
My kids organized an observance of the Day of Silence at our school. They're selling the stickers that they ordered and they're sending the money back to GLSEN as a donation so they can continue their work. How awesome... They got up at assembly today to announce the event, explain the reasoning behind it, and invite everyone to participate. I wonder how many kids will? I know that it also doesn't really matter. Knowing that it was spearheaded by kids makes it worth it no matter how many of them participate.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Stacy and I had been friends since about 3rd grade and we lived just down the street from one another. On the bus on the way home from school, she taught me how to blow bubble gum bubbles. We were Junior Girl Scouts together in elementary school, sang together in chorus in high school, and traveled together to Disney World senior year on a chorus trip. Stacy was my perennial defender in elementary and middle school and while I have forgotten most of the mean things that classmates said to me, Stacy still knew every single one, even when we were nearly 30 years old. She was creative and funny and smart and kind and brave and I miss her so much.
Maybe that's enough for now. Maybe the rest can wait until her memorial service this summer. Stories about her sense of humor and the questions that she asked in chorus ("So, if someone's singing a little sharp and someone else is a little bit flat, does that even out?" -- Stacy was a visual artist, so this makes sense from a color point of view, but not so much for pitch, eh?). How she just knew to hug me and didn't have to say anything when I came up on anniversaries of my dad's death. How she taught me to be more musically artistic just because I knew that she could hear colors.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I wonder how much my grading has changed since I was an intern? That year, the kids used to call me "C is for Cynthia." Apparently, I was a tough one. (Seriously, though? There's no excuse for not knowing how to correctly punctuate a sentence when you are in high school. That's the part with rules. Constructing an argument is much more difficult than knowing where to put a comma or whether to use two, to, or too.)
As pain in the ass as my Summerbridge weekly evaluations were, at least they were more descriptive of what the kids could do. I feel like the B+ tells parents and students nothing, which I guess is where our comments come in. But it was easier to be detailed in the weekly evaluations because we only had 8-10 students or whatever. I have 75... (which is nothing compared to some public schools)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Yeah, I wish there was something else to report here, but there's just not. I'm having a good week at school -- wandering around school yesterday a colleague remarked that I looked like "the cat who ate the canary." Not really sure what's up with that.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Also from the NYT, a bit about the revival of Greek yogurt, which my aunt has been making in her kitchen for years. And now people want to eat it who aren't Greek!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Think he's a smarty pants? You bet he is. (A good public speaker too.)
Sign his petition, link to it, tell your friends.
Got some media influence that you wouldn't mind exercising? Lemme know all about it.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I need to sing again in the fall, with a real, somewhat legitimate chorus/choral group. What would really be good would be if I could get back into a women's group, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. There's one in DC that looks good, but the travel time would be too much each week, with rehearsal ending at 10-ish, I wouldn't get home until 11-ish. Not ok, with school starting when it does. But I think one in Annapolis will be ok, good enough for now.
And I miss people who live far away from me.
Monday, April 7, 2008
- Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA (specifically the library and Abbey Chapel)
- Wallis Sands Beach, Rye, NH
- Camp Farnsworth, Thetford, VT
- my grandmother's backyard, Renton, WA
I'll add to it as I remember other places. I feel like there must be others, but I can't remember what they are. These places are quiet, verging on silent at times. Places I feel like myself.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
"One challenge with a model like TFA is that it's hard to replicate, says Douglas Harris, an educational policy professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The study suggests more broadly, he says, that people should be open-minded about 'all sorts of possible alternative routes to [teacher] certification.'
Cognitive ability is an important predictor of worker effectiveness in complex occupations like teaching, Mr. Harris's research has found. So alternative programs could be useful, for instance, if they draw in candidates who 'learn faster and learn better,' he says."
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
(By the way, the topic in question was "1920's Literature." We said "Gatsby" without thinking twice. And we were right.)
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
"The act is at once the Bush administration's signature piece of education legislation, its most significant domestic policy initiative, and the most intrusive federal education law in our nation's history. The federal government provides less than 10 percent of all education funding, yet NCLB drives education policy in every school district in the country."
Being that NCLB [No Child Left Behind] is one of the reasons I left public education, it's nice to hear someone actually point out the disparities between the requirements of NCLB and the funding provided by the Feds.
Are there things wrong with public education? Don't get me started. But the way to fix them is not with NCLB, at least not as it's currently written. There are good goals in the NCLB: "creating high goals for all schools, ensuring accountability for meeting them, and focusing attention on disadvantaged and minority students who are too often ignored" but excessive standardized testing, exacerbating the culture of shallow, over-broad, disconnected learning is not going to fix it.
"Standardized test results tend to track socioeconomic status." 'Nuf said. You can tell more from SAT scores about the kind of car a kid's parent drives than you can accurately predict their success in college.
I don't agree with their stance that it's time to create national standards in subjects, simply because the Feds aren't providing the funding for all schools in the nation. (That's my Libertarian/New Hampshire streak showing.) Large states with weirdly conservative standards is what has corrupted the textbook industry, at least in my subject, history/social studies -- I think national standards will eliminate the creativity of individual teachers.
Wonder if these things affect high school classrooms too (also from CSM) -- politics of professors
And the improbable physics of Harry Potter (CSM)