Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
I am starting to experiment more with Twitter. Perhaps I am just 800 years old, but for some reason it just always confused me. How am I supposed to keep up with it? Do I just go to the site all the time? Can't it just be a part of my Google Reader along with everything else? There are so many things to read!!
I just discovered Tweetdeck.com,which is helpful--you can organize tweets into columns that you define. And, I'm starting to look into using both Twitter and Tweetdeck as professional development tools. I can follow specific peeps that I like (Jim Burke, what!). And, miracle of miracles, I'm starting to get hashtag chats. I know, I know, welcome to the future, Vanessa. But, it was HARD.
Anyway, #Edchat is something that everyone seems to love and recommend, so it's one of the things I'm starting with. Now, if I can just remember to actually log in sometimes, I'll be golden.
There are about 70 education chats working for specific focuses. There are several hundred hashtags used to identify education-specific tweets. #Edchat continues at noon and 7 p.m. Eastern each Tuesday with different topics. The topics are determined by a poll including five topics that is posted each Sunday and remains open until Tuesday. The No. 1 choice becomes the 7 p.m. topic, and the noon #Edchat covers the second-place topic. A team moderates each #Edchat to keep things moving and focused.
From NCTE Connected Community (login required).
Pat Mora (born 1942)
Ode to Teachers
the first day,
how I looked down,
hoping you wouldn’t see
and when I glanced up,
I saw your smile
shining like a soft light
from deep inside you.
“I’m listening,” you encouraged us.
Join our conversation,
let us hear your neon certainties,
thorny doubts, tangled angers,”
but for weeks I hid inside.
I read and reread your notes
and you whispered,
“We need you
and your stories
that like a fresh path
will take us to new vistas.”
Slowly, your faith grew
into my courage
and for you—
instead of handing you
a note or apple or flowers—
I raised my hand.
I carry your smile
and faith inside like I carry
my dog’s face,
my sister’s laugh,
the softness of sunrise,
steady blessings of stars,
autumn smell of gingerbread,
the security of a sweater on a chilly day. (151-153)
from Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love. New York: Knopf, 2010.
Visit the author online at: http://www.patmora.com
Pat Mora (1942—)
Oda a las maestras
del primer día
como bajé los ojos
con la esperanza
de que no me viera,
y cuando los alcé,
vi su sonrisa
brillando como una luz suave
desde su interior.
“Los estoy escuchando”, nos animaba.
Participen en nuestra conversación.
Déjenos oír sus certezas como luces de neón,
sus dudas espinosas, sus enojos embrollados”,
pero durante semanas me escondí en mí misma.
Leí y releí sus notitas
lo que escribía,
y usted susurraba:
Necesitamos tus cuentos
y tus preguntas
que, como un fresco sendero,
nos llevarán a vistas nuevas”.
Poco a poquito su fe
me dio valor
y para usted—
en lugar de ofrecerle
una nota o una manzana o unas flores—
alcé la mano.
Llevo su sonrisa
y su fe conmigo como llevo
la carita de mi perro,
la risa de mi hermana,
las melodías románticas,
la ternura del amanecer,
las bendiciones constante de las estrellas,
el aroma otoñal del pan de jengibre,
la seguridad de un suéter en un día frío. (155-157)
Fuente: Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love. New York: Knopf, 2010.
Visita la autora a través de la Red: http://www.patmora.com
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
In an attempt to step away from reputation and take a more practical approach to college rankings, Forbes has released its own list of the top colleges.
The rankings are based on five general categories:post graduate success (32.5%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence, student satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore year retention rates, debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates, four-year graduation rate (11.25%) and competitive awards (11.25%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright or go on to earn a Ph.D.Their full methodology is here.
Friday, August 3, 2012
To meet our insatiable appetite for coherent meaning, we unpack a whole scene out of a sensation, say, or make sense of a sudden movement of a limb by inventing a cliff down which we are falling. The fact that we can make a sort of sense out of whatever is served up to us is an interesting sidelight on the question of the relationship between the real and the rational: whatever we can rationalise may seem real to us, and whatever seems real to us we try to rationalise – with impressive rates of success. The division within our (mind-constructed) dreams between the ‘I’ that is making sense of what is there, and the ‘there’ that is made sense of – so that we can even wait tensely for what happens next – is particularly striking.From "Notes Toward a Philosophy of Sleep," by Raymond Tallis in Philosophy Now
The Atlantic reports that an Italian museum director is burning art to protest the museum's lack of funding. Phil thinks it's melodramatic. I am withholding judgment.
In despair, Manfredi decided to try to call attention to the peril facing Italian culture by turning his own collection into a flock of “sacrificial lambs.” He took pictures of the museum’s collection and sent photocopies—a brick 1,000 pages high—to Italy’s culture minister and to the president of the Campania region, around Naples. The package was a ransom note. If he didn’t receive assistance, he warned, he would set the pieces on fire, one by one. “It’s simple,” he told me. “If nobody cares about the art that’s inside the museum, then I’ll burn it.” In February, he started the burning with one of his own creations: a series of five life-size, full-body posters of Mafia fugitives, which had been displayed in the Italian pavilion of the 2011 Venice Biennale.
Stöfhas’s painting is the fifth work Manfredi has put to the torch, and the fourth in less than a week. Inside the museum hang the remains of a painting of a flower by the French artist Séverine Bourguignon: blackened crossbars, with fringes of canvas peeling back from the edge of the frame like flesh around a wound. Another work, a wood sculpture by an Italian artist named Rosaria Matarese, now consists of two chunks of carbonized wood, one impaled by a large blackened nail. Of the others, only ashes are left.
Before destroying a piece, Manfredi gets permission from the artist. Stöfhas is watching her painting burn via Skype from Germany; her face is visible on the screen of a laptop held aloft by one of the museum’s volunteers.
. . .
In the age of YouTube and Twitter, Manfredi’s protest has resonated across Europe. Artists in the U.K., Germany, Hungary, and northern Italy are burning their works and sending him videos in solidarity. “Maybe this was the spark,” Manfredi says. “Remember, revolutions need fire, like what happened in Tunisia. That fruit vendor set himself on fire, and then everything exploded.”
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Un Terrible Boxeur, Guillaume Apollinaire, 1914.
"Terrible boxeur boxant avec ses souvenirs et ses mille desirs."
“Terrible boxer boxing with his memories and his thousand desires.”
"On Fencing," by Sarah Blake.
Some parts of the body are protected. Women wear a chest plate, made of plastic, and shaped like breasts, as if women wear perky Victoria's Secret bras while they fence, instead of sports bras that flatten them. Even in the Olympics you can see these rounded cups through the lame and jacket.
As a poet, sometimes I feel this way, that I've geared up like a poet, but that my lines about motherhood, about sex, my method of engagement, my very words, have flagged me as a woman poet, and then I'm standing there with plastic breasts that are the same size and shape as every other woman poet.
But if our breasts matter at all, our breasts are different.
Poetry is dangerous. It can be. We don't typically use the word danger. We use words like risks and stakes. The risks of the poet and the stakes of the poem. But danger is implicit, sometimes explicit.
I've always valued the danger in poetry. I might value it above all else. Be it a weakness or a strength, it is a symptom of my fighting heart which led me to fencing in the first place.
"On (Poetry and) Boxing," by Jennifer L. Grotz.
From Lit Hum.
Lacan and Lynch
For Lacan, a link exists between impossibility and what he calls the real. Within every symbolic order, the real occupies the place of what cannot be thought or imagined - the position of the impossible. The real is not reality but the failure of the symbolic order to explain everything. When seen in this light, the impossible is not materially impossible but rather logically impossible as long as we remain within the current social structure. In Seminar XVII, Lacan claims that "the real is the impossible. Not on account of a simple stumbling block against which we bang our heads, but because of the logical stumbling block of what announces itself as impossible in the symbolic. It is from there that the real arises." What is impossible in the symbolic order is, in the real, perfectly achievable. It is in this sense of the term impossible that Lynch's films allow us to experience it actually taking place. They thus provide a fundamental challenge to the ruling symbolic structure, forcing us to see possibilities where we are used to seeing impossibilitities. - Todd McGowan
Weird, huh? But this stuff is so pretty. If I were to get married again, or if I had the money to buy gorgeous gowns to just wear to parties I threw out in a forest with strange, eerie, beautiful music and twinkling candles, then I would buy these things.
And this swoopy ring.
And this sapphire ring.
(I love sapphire rings.)
From Honestly, WTF.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
South Dakota builds laboratory in old mine to search for dark matter. I'm pretty sure I saw this on a cartoon. I can even hear the voice and the music and see the spinny graphics. Doolleddle-ool!
I'm thinking of including a unit on graphic novels and comics in my curriculum this year, and I wanted a place to collect and think about some resources.
Seduction of the Innocent is a book from the 40's decrying comics as the end of civilization (essentially). LostSOTI.org explores some of the comics cited in that work.
"Exploring Literary Devices in Graphic Novels," Language Arts, Volume 89 Number 6, July 2012. This article talks about using graphic novels in the classroom, visual literacy, etc.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. I bought this book a while ago, after I really got into the Sandman series by my future second husband Neil Gaiman. It is apparently THE book on comic criticism. I have not read it yet.
"Writers Draw Visual Hooks: Children's Inquiry into Writing," Language Arts, Volume 89 Number 6, July 2012. This article talks about visual literacy, the relationship and similarities between visual devices and written devices, and children's exploration of writing and reading through drawing.
"Understanding History through Visual Images in Historical Fiction," Language Arts, Volume 89 Number 6, July 2012. Not yet read.
Also posted at MUSE '13.
Following on my recent post about communities of practice, this post by KaiLonnie Dunsmore on Literacy Learning Exchange talks about "deprivatizing" teaching practice. That is,
the ways that educators, especially teachers, can begin to make the instructional practices and routines in their classrooms more open to collegial conversation and collective inquiry, or more "public."
The LLE post notes that
I think it's important that, as new teachers, we are doing all we can to participate in and to foster these sorts of learning environments. Even though[g]ood teaching, skilled instructional leadership, effective administration all require a willingness to invite conversation, inquiry, and collaborative analysis of the everyday patterns of one’s practice.
We certainly need to encourage structural implementation of these conditions in our schools, districts, and states.to effectively create change for students, this can’t be an individual action, but rather needs to be deliberatively fostered by organizational systems which put in place conditions designed to support educators in this process of deprivatizing—or making public—their work.
For instance, such conditions might include:
- creating time for professionals to talk with one another as part of their work day.
- ensuring that professional development is built around opportunities to observe practice, have conversations about it, and then safely try it out.
- making it safe for professionals to admit areas in which they are engaged in their own learning and development.
Some of these things we can work toward right now on a grade-level or department-level basis. Others will take more time. And in the meantime, we can begin participating in outside communities, online and otherwise, that are working toward a more open model of developing the profession of teaching.
I'm not usually a big Ted Talk fan, but once in a while I come across something good. This is an excellent little 17 minute presentation about sparking students to become learners, reigniting their curiosity. It has given me some great ideas as I'm building my curriculum for next year, and it just makes me feel all warm and snuggly.