Sunday, November 23, 2008

Random collection of thoughts

Hard to believe that the second trimester has already started; one third of the year has already come and gone. Yeesh.

Tried out texthemob last week, with mixed results. Turns out quite a few of the kids have Cricket, and so weren't able to send a text to the site, so they had to go to the internet on their phones before they could register their vote. Good to know for future reference.

One of the great disadvantages of blogging is the guilt associated when one doesn't regularly update said blog. For some reason I've decided that I needed to update this blog on a weekly basis. Don't ask me why. I have no idea. At any rate, here I am again, wondering what I could possibly write about this time.

Really, though, setting aside a time to write on a regular basis is said to be a good thing, though sometimes it feels a bit like taking cod liver oil; not that I ever did, but from what I'm told, I'm lucky to have escaped that little fate.

So here we are towards the end of November with one marking period behind me and what have I learned? Well, getting students to embrace technology is a bit more difficult than I'd originally anticipated, for one. I figured I'd offer them the chance to blog and such and off they'd run. Not so. I had more students than I thought I would completely bypass blogging for the entire term, for a variety of reasons, and though I was given a wide range of whys and wherefores, I think part of it simply came down to a lack of confidence in their own writing ability combined with a self-consciousness that the world would see them and even see through them; a fear shared not only by many students, but many adults as well.

That's a lot of what writing is, really. The laying bare of the soul. Even the most mundane entry says something about the writer, and it is for this reason most people seem to fear putting their thoughts down anywhere, let alone on a public forum like a blog.

So how will I combat this with my students? I'm not sure, really. A few of my students read my blog, and so they get to see my writing, warts and all, but there must be another way to encourage them to step beyond their boundaries, their comfort zones, and step into the world of writing. I'm not sure what those strategies are yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Very funny

Said by one of my students after repeated difficulty logging in to her Google docs account: "That's it. I'm just going to become Amish. I'm serious."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And just like that, the world changed

Tonight was the most intense and emotional election I've ever experienced; it was one of the most intense and emotional nights of my life. Tonight the citizens of the United States shed shadows of its past and embraced a black man as their President. I made sure that Kyle watched it... watched history being made.

I remember what I did when at 9:00 p.m. MST, NBC news announced that Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States... I cried. I cried simple tears of joy that our country could look past the color of a man's skin to other possibilities, not just for a few, but for anyone and everyone in this country, regardless of race, gender, age, or other typical barriers to the highest office in our land.

I was also impressed with Sen. John McCain's speech. He continues to be a man worthy of respect and worthy of admiration. It was a long campaign, and I thank him for the many years of service he has given this country.

Congratulations, President-elect Obama and Vice-President-elect Biden. Thank you for helping lead the United States into the 21st century and out of the dark days of our past.

The big day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Hard to believe that it's November already. The last farmers' market of the year was yesterday, so I did a little stocking up, said goodbye to the farmers and told them that I would see them come April. It's a little sad, but I'm sure farmers are looking forward to a little bit of a rest. It's going to be quite strange this Saturday, though, when I don't get up at the crack of dawn to be in Boulder for my scone and coffee at the market before getting my produce picked out and bought. For the first time in a long time I can take my time getting out of bed and getting my groceries for the week.

Term 1 is over in 12 days. Last week I got confirmation that I'm going to be in the IB Academy, which is really exciting. I am a huge believer in the IB program and what it can do for our students, so to be a part of the IB Academy at ACHS is amazing and great. A group of my students have chosen to be in an IB-influenced class starting term 2. Once we obtain authorization, they will be officially designated an IB English class, so that will be cool as well, but in the meantime I plan to get them well acquainted with various IB concepts like the Areas of Interaction, Learner Profile, the Personal Project, and the like. I can't wait!