Thursday, March 31, 2005
Adopt the orphans!
If there were not such facinating things on the internet, then maybe I could get some work done today. But on Lawrence Lessig's blog, he mentions that the comments to the Copyright Office about orphaned works have been posted. I didnt really know that orphaned works had a name. Those are the works that you want to be legal and cite or pay for but you are not able to find the copyright holders. Apparently this is a big problem.
So I read Lessig and Creative Common's comments. Whoa! over 100 pages long. Then started opening some of the other 710 comments. May were from Average Joes who simply said that the orphaned works should go into the public domain. One said it should be like some sort of thing they have set up in Canada. And then there was the author who I think got things a little mixed up. Her comment gave me the impression that she was thinking that anything not cited correctly would be seen as orphaned. So this woman was for the copyright office retaining copyright for everything. But like I said, I think she is mixed up. (One comment that many many people sent in says, "It is not valid to infer that a protected work of art has been abandoned simply because a potential use has difficulty identifying or locating an artist." Very true. Obviously true. Some people are lazy. So I would think that this is not about one person having difficulty, but about many people have extreme difficulty. After all, the original request for comments "on issues raised by "orphan works," i.e., copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate". These are orphaned works. Orphaned, meaning the creator and the work are not able to be put together. This is not like a mother and son getting separated while at the grocery store. This is like the kid (work) was left on the steps of a church in 2002 and now years later someone wants to adopt him and all efforts to find the mother (creator) are unsuccessful. Please let someone adopt him! Ok. Analogy over.)
So I kept reading and the bigwigs chimed in. Google. MIT Libraries. Standford Libraries. American Film Heritage Association. Writer's Guild of America.
Wow. How democratic. There is a problem. The people are asked to comment on possible solutions for the problem. There are comments from big guys and small guys. Individuals and corporations. I love it.
Lessig mentions at the end of his post that maybe a wiki should be set up to discuss the comments. Ummm yeah. Because all the people on his site can talk about is the drawbacks to having the comments in PDF form.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Last night I went to my book club meeting where we had read Kite Runner. There were 5 people there. 2 had not started the book. I had read the whole book, as had one other member. Then the host had just read about half of it. So the discussion was dominated by me and the other reader. But we had to talk around some of the issues in the book. We could talk vaguely, but we didn't want to ruin the book for everyone else. Even though we couldn't discuss the book like I would have enjoyed, I am glad our book club chose this, because I got to read something unlike my ordinary choices.
This book was unlike something that I would have picked up on my own. It takes place in Afghanistan and the main character is a boy named Amir. The book explores the relationship with his friend Hassan who also happens to be his servant. The book also looks at the relationship between Amir and his father, and Hassan's father. Amir is a flawed character, as all of these characters are. The characters are complex. The book was hard for me to get into at first. I took notes. I underlined and wrote in the margins, especially by figures of speech and foreshadowing. But when the reading got good, I found I had dropped my pen and had been too absorbed with the book to make notes. The story is about a boy who makes mistakes and how "there is a way to be good again". Those words are mentioned in the first chapter in 2001. Then the book jumps back to the 70s and goes through the 80s. Then when you jump back to present day 2001, the words are repeated. And they mean so much. They are so much more powerful when you know what the characters have gone through to get to that point.
Oh, it was so good. Read it.
I want this
A staple-less stapler
82%, fun, mmm, ha.
Today was a big day. I took a practice TExES test that qulified me to sign up for the real test in May. I got an 82% and I needed an 80% to get the green light to sign up for the real one. Sadly, one of the questions I missed was about capitalization errors. that's Something i Need to Brush up On. There were also some questions with words that I did not know. But I did pretty well for not having any real training except for college classes, high school (I found myself sometimes reaching back to what I had learned in MY high school education. Haiku. That question was about haiku. I started immediately counting syllables when I realized that a haiku originally written in Japenese may not translate into a haiku with the correct number of syllables), and what I learn from reading books and lurking on listservs.
Today I also went to the library and returned my books and got new ones.
Today I also bought a blender. Mmm. Smoothies.
And I read in blogs that are describing those blogs that are less than professional. Hehe. They were funny. Both of the bloggers are responding to education people thinking that blogs are fluff. Will Richardson says that "The fact is, Myspace is less a Weblog site than it is a community of adolescents making a lot of sexual innuendo who love the color pink." Then HipTeacher says, "that no teacher would ever be using Xanga for god's sake". But it is true. With all of the different blogging things out there, people know what the main purposes of a certain system is. Some are more geared towards teens, some are more professional. Some are varied.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Game of Fetch
I was sitting outside on my balcony this afternoon, reading The Kite Runner, because it is the subject of my book club tomorrow night and I have only read 111 pages. So I was there and got to see a bunch of my neighbors and match them with their cars. I also watched these two little girls. One was dressed in a purple bikini and the other in shorts and a t-shirt. They were probably around 9 years old.
They were bouncing this ball back and forth. Harmless enough. Then they started throwing if over the car port. Then it got stuck on the car port. And they made a man (who was walking his dog and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) fetch the ball off of the car port with a stick. Lucky girls. So he got it and then kept walking.
And the girls didn't thank him. I was sitting on my porch and wanted to scream, "Girls, don't you need to thank that nice man?" But, in an effort to not seem like that old man on Its A Wonderful Life ("Why Don't You Just Shut Up and Kiss her?") I held my tongue.
I didn't realize that the girls thought that this was a game that should continue. They threw the ball up so that it landed on the middle of the car port. Haha. No stick will ever reach it. I just pity the poor man who fetches a ladder and climbes up there for them.
Forever let us hold our banner High! High! High! High!
I had a great weekend with my family in Houston. Then last night we brought a couch for my apartment. This couch had been sitting in my grand parents garage for two years. But luckily it didn't go unused. Nope. Some mice had been living in it. Oh joy. I immediately thought mice when I saw the little bits of plastic bag that had been chewed up and were now in the corner of the couch. Then I picked up the cushion and saw little mouse terds. If only I didn't know so much about mice.
But when I lived in Tennessee, we had a big mice problem. They were small mice, I guess. Maybe average. But we had many. We would set traps - mostly in the pantry- and make my dad check the traps before we would go anywhere near them. You see one mouse caught in a trap and you never want to see that again. So I know about mice and the evidence of them. I know that you don't use cheese in a mouse trap because they can eat it without springing the trap. You use peanut butter. I know that they can chew through just about anything except for steel wool.
Lucklily I think the mice had moved on before we moved it into my apartment. I have seen no signs of mice. No squeeks. No hand-sewn dress for me to attend the Ball. No Gus-gus. No Mickey. No Minnie. No Mighty.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
I blame Pamela who went on Spring Break and encouraged me to work on our Grant early. So our grant has been turned in since Sunday and it isn't even due until tomorrow. So I have a lot of time on my hands.
While blog reading, Weblogg-ed pointed me here. It is a powerpoint presentation with the sound to go with it. My second sort of presentation of the day. But it is a facinating presentation, interesting, and, as Will Richardson mentions, just a great example of the best use of powerpoint. It is very simplistic but so effective. (although it really is too bad that there is a tremendous echo in the recording. I guess he was at a large venue or something. But it really makes me think I have voices in my head. Especially when he talks fast. Update: ok so I paused the presentation and then resumed play. No echo. So I guess that just leaves the voices in my head.)
My powerpoint presentation that I did at the high school library for the PTA was not so good. Too many words and I talked too fast. But the mothers were thrilled to get the information. I told about all of the databases that the high school offers the students.
Here, John Udell takes a look at one wikipedia entry from its very beginning over a span of a year and a half. The website follows the screenshots of the entry of Heavy Metal Umlaut. I just can't get over how interesting it is. I think I have watched the presentation three times. I am not interested in Heavy Metal at all, but I have seen This is Spinal Tap, so there is that.
But my real interest is in how this teaches me things about wikipedia and how this will affect my future in education. These are my very jumbled thoughts.
- I was in the library a few weeks ago when an English teacher came in with her students and asked the librarian what she thought about Wikipedia. Her students were working on a research paper and some of them wanted to cite Wikipedia. I was standing there and I couldn't help jumping in. I can't remember now if the librarian was even familiar with what Wikipedia was, how much she knew, or if she had just heard nasty rumors and was following them. But anyway, the teacher and librarian were both against the students citing wikipedia. Which I can understand. First of all it is new. People are scared of it. "Did you know that anyone can change the information!" ooooh. And secondly, teachers have a hard enough time getting students to use paper books, journals, and databases that they now feel frustration with another thing that seems to have all of the answers. Third, some people say that you don't know if it is factual, it is not reliable. So even when I said to the teacher and librarian that wikipedia has so much potential, I could understand why they resist.
- But I know the counterarguments: Sure it is new. Many things are new. Get over it.
- Yes it is a new form of writing. But that's what makes it so exciting.
- Factual/reliable/tested argument: I could argue that this is even more tested then some books out there. If something is in paper form, we regard it as something that has been researched or proven. The thing is, these wikipedia entries COULD BE monitored and revised by those same people who are writing those books. The experts have the ability to write what they know and correct any thing that is wrong. If they get involved, that is.
- I am not in the classroom yet. All I know comes from my library courses, my teacher certification courses, and what I see when I am at my library internship or subbing and what I read on the internet. So I don't really know if what I would do if my students were charged with researching and wanted to use the wikipedia. My options
- Saying yes or no (with no strings, explanations, or complaints)
- Teaching them how to judge for themselves if what they read makes sense according to other places they have found information. (ha. Is this possible?)
- Making them back up their facts with another source. (Is this fair?)
- Making them print out the wikipedia page from which they get their info. This seems to make sense, because even if the information is correct, there is the possibility that it will change on the website. Of course, maybe they could just note their time of access so the history page would show what they accessed. Oh! Need a new citation format for wikipedia entries.
- Treating the students like guinea pigs to show how factual wikipedia is. Have students pair up and choose a subject to research. One student must use only wikipedia, while the other student can use anything but wikipedia. Then the students read each other's papers, compare what they found, and write a paper about that.
- The fascinating thing about watching this website was how it showed how fast vandal's profanity was taken off of the website. About 6 minutes into the video, Udell looks at a period of time when a vandal filled the article with a repetition of vulgar words. One minute later the words were removed. This addition and removal occurred a few times over the next few minutes. Then Udell remarked how he thought maybe the vandal was removing the comments himself. How else could the comments go away so fast? But after looking at the history log, it was proven that these were two different people. So perhaps some certain words or huge revisions raise flags for someone somewhere who can then go in and delete?I don't know this but maybe it is a possibility.
- these articles are monitored and read and changed. Over time, the best explanations and articles are formed. But what about that one second in time where there are facts that are indeed incorrect? How often does this happen and how quickly are they changed? Does this happen more at the beginning of an article's lifespan or all through time? All questions that are interesting but I do not know.
I was going to write a cool post about wikipedia and the future and what I learned from this place.
But then I started looking around my blog and I am so disappointed at what happens when I try to get into the previous posts. Oh. Can I get anything done today?
Update: What was happening was when I clicked on a previous post, then the whole blog design would revert to a previous version of the current template. But then I added a bunch of tags, cleared the cache, reloaded the whole blog, and took away the added tags. One of those thing (I'm guesing clearning the cache) fixed the problem. But whew! that was a close one.
Monday, March 21, 2005
I am watching SuperNanny, which I love. I love her accent and how she takes charge. What I do not love is how Jo only has three outfits. Surely she is being paid by someone. Why does she always where the eggplant suit and glasses for the first visit and black pants and solid shirt the next visit? A little variety would be much appreciated.
I put up my latest personal tally sheet on the fridge. I give myself points for eating Superfoods, exercising, and keeping up with my housework and school work. Today is about a 3 point day. Not good. I am thinking about adding a new category for "reading/not reading". Because I was just reading my email book club email. The lady who runs the book club was reading some of her email that she gets in which someone said, "I don't know when the last time was that I got so into a book that I just couldn't put it down." This is a foreign idea to me. Usually (unless I am forced into reading a book) once I pick it up, I don't do anything until the book is finished. (Fortunately at this time in my life I have the time to read voraciously.)
So I started a new rule. In between books, I have one day book-free, where I get everything done. So maybe I will add that column to give me a point for following the rule.
Unfortunately, I have inherited my mom's thoughts on buying and returning merchandise. The first step is going shopping. The second step is called "making money". (Normal people might refer to the second step as, making a return. But we think differently.) I went to Barnes and Noble because I had a book to buy for teacher cert. classes. I bought it and went along my merry way. Until my merry way took me to Amazon.com where the book was like 8 dollars cheaper. That is too much money to pass up. So I bought the book there and yesterday I went back to Barnes and Noble to return the book.
But while returning the book, I got it in my head that I should by something else. A new book club I am joining is going to read The Kite Runner. So I bought that. And then I thought about all the free money I was spending, so I walked around and looked for something else. I couldn't find anything, so I walked up to the counter. But on the way there, guess what jumped in my hand?
Magnetic Poetry: Book Lovers Edition.
As if I needed another way to procrastinate.
So yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble and I got The Kite Runner, some magnetic procrastination, and eight bucks. All for free. (See, thats where the faulty thinking comes in.)
Sunday, March 20, 2005
(Is this bolding/copying thing the blog equivalent of email forwards???)
List of the top 109 banned books of all time. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've read part of. Underline the ones you specifically want to read.
1. The Bible
2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4. The Koran
5. Arabian Nights
6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9. Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
12. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
24. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25. Ulysses by James Joyce
26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
28. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29. Candide by Voltaire
30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31. Analects by Confucius
32. Dubliners by James Joyce
33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
36. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43. Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45. Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47. Diary by Samuel Pepys
48. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
51. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X (or Alex Haley?)
57. Color Purple by Alice Walker
58. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
59. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
60. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
61. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
62. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
63. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
64. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
65. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
66. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
67. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
68. The Talmud
69. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
70. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
71. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
72. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
73. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
74. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
75. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
76. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
77. Popol Vuh
78. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
79. Satyricon by Petronius
80. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
81. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
82. Black Boy by Richard Wright
83. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
84. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
85. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
86. Metaphysics by Aristotle
87. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
88. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
89. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
90. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
91. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
92. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
93. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
94. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
95. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
96. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
97. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
98. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
99. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
100. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
101. Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
102. Nana by Emile Zola
103. Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
104. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
105. Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
106. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
107. Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
108. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
109. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Why is there no style choice for supposed to have read for a class but never quite go t to it? Or saw the movie? Or bought, but don't really intend to read?
I don't have many underlined. I guess my banned book aspirations are not that extensive.
And finally, when I first looked at this, I thought the list looked wrong. I am familiar with the banned book list because of all of my library stuff. But I am familiar with the list for a particular year, not of all time. Oh. Just looked it up. I am familiar with the Most Challenged List. I have read 27 of the Most Challenged List books. Way to be.
And the most challenged book of 2004? The Chocoloate War. I LOVE that book. Congratulations, Mr. Cormier
Home again, home again
I am back in Austin after a great week in Kansas with my parents and sister. I thought that it would be a long relaxing week, but turns out I had so much to do that it wasn't that long or relaxing. I got to spend good time with my parents. We went to church, out to eat, and hung out at the house. I rented 3 movies with my sister. We watched Sky Captain of Tomorrow. There is more to that title but I can't remmber it right now. It was cute and interesting. We watched Princess Diaries 2, once the regular way and then again with commentary. Oh how I love commentary. Then we also watched Saved and then made my parents watch it too. It was very funny and thought provoking.
My dad took Monday off of work and we went bowling and played pool, air hockey, and ski ball. It was fun.
I saw the youth director at my old church and we had lunch together. I also went to Williams-Sonoma and said hi, but neither of my favorite managers were there, so it wasn't really that special. It was rather awkward even. It is a little sad because I felt so at home there when I worked there. I have never worked anywhere for as long as I was there (1.5 years) and not I don't feel like this store is home, so I have no workplace where I feel completely at home. Oh well.
I missed my computer while I was gone. All of my favorites and how I have firefox just to my specifications. I tried to use internet explorer, but had to download firefox on the second day I was there.
I was able to retrieve most of the things I left in Kansas. Most important were files I had left on the computer. I also brought back my precious scrapbooking supplies and a cool game called TriBond. I spent the week looking for a necklace that I got for 9th grade graduation from my aunt and a pearl ring that I got from my mom for college graduation. I was so sad when I couldn't find them because I had already looked and looked here. I just prayed that I would find them here, because they were not in Kansas. Then last night we got back and I found them in a box under my sink. But I swear that box did not exist before.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
One of my strengths is my ability to find what other people have done and change it up for my own purposes and use it. Not stealing. Just not reinventing the wheel. Like my new design for my blog. I took a blog from blogskins and redesigned and redesigned and learned new CSS by just getting in there and doing it. It made my mind stretch and it was fun.
Anyway, I can see myself using tips and strategies and lessons from other teachers as I am teaching. I collect things I read on listservs and on teacher blogs. As much as possbible I want to learn from those who have been out there and know what they are doing.
What I am not finding are blogs with lesson plans on them. Or blogs with English related sponge activities to use at the beginning of the class. Or any sort of activity. There are blogs with book reviews. There are blogs with stories of what is happening in classrooms but not the specifics.
It is not that I am trying to be lazy. I don't especially want to find these so that I don't have to do the work or thinking myself. But I know that there must be blogs that do this out there and it just astounds me if there are not. Because I think that would be one of the first things that I would/will put out there. For my future reference and for the community so that we can all see what is going on out there.
Blog To Do List
Sadly, this to do list will probably take priority over my real life to do list, which includes things like laundry, taxes, cleaning room, school work and returning to austin.
1. Clickable posts with their own pages
2. On those individual post pages, make sure the pictures of books show up
3. Change picture of hot chocolate to something more interesting
4. Pick quote of the moment from my personal collection... perhaps. Or maybe just bring it to the top.
5. Separate comments from time posted.
6. If possible, shorten the blogger header thingy back to original height. Please be possible. Please be possible.
7. Fonts: make them all the same color.
8. Add favorite links
9. When back in Austin look at old template and see what else I am forgetting
10. Get firefox button?
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005
I saw this on two people's blogs and I couldn't resist. Mostly because they had only lived in one state. Ha.
bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...
Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /
Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
obviously this is a work in progress. But at least I can rest well tonight. Tomorrow I really have to be productive in things other than blog.
Procrastination: A yummy recipe
I have so much to do. I have a philosophy of education paper to write and a poster to do displaying my philosophy. I have questions to answer and another report of some sort to write. I have to pack and to brainstorm all the things I need to get while in Kansas. But what have I spent my time doing? Working on a new blog design, reading a book I don't have to read, and cooking.
I made a whole quiche and 3 small blueberry crisps. Now I am eating dinner. I am never hungry after cooking. It is a great diet. I don't know what it is, because I don't sample food while cooking. (something that sometimes leads to very bland or too salty food) The quiche and the blueberry crisps are destined for the freezer which is stocked with enough food to feed a family of four for a week. (that was 6 fs within 8 words.) Just off to top of my head this is whats in my freezer: soon to be at least 5 pieces of quiche, 2 spaghetti casseroles, fajita meat, pork chops, ground beef, smoked sausage, 3 chicken-tomato-spinach-broccoli casseroles, cooked carrots, hash browns, garlic bread, various flavors of chicken breast, popcorn shrimp, prepared sweet potato, 1/2 an onion, 2 tv dinners, and 5 egg rolls.
There is a ban on buying any more food except for milk, and eggs.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
I think it should be mandatory for teachers to substitute before they teach. It is not fair for teachers to expect exactly what to give to the students if they have not acted in the position of a substitute.
Today I was at a middle school. I was tired of high school because of the busy work given out and I wanted to try out middle school because I have not subbed at that level since moving here. But I found the same problems here as in the high schools. It is so ironic. You think of the kids that need to be babysat as being small children. But when substituting, you are able to teach the small children and can only hope to babysit the middle school and high schoolers. This has been my experience, anyway.
I realize that the teachers cannot trust substitutes to actually teach a lesson on the middle/high level. (Although the elementary school teachers do pass on their lesson plans with no issues.) But if the substitute is doing something that is just passing the time for the students it needs to be done in the right way.
1. There needs to be enough work to cover 150% of the period. The students need to have so much work to get done, to be turned in at the end of the period, that there is no "free/homework/talk/play cards/leave class/whine/whine/whine" time.
2. The work needs to be something that is taken seriously by the students. Ideally this would happen by the students knowing that their work will be taken up for a grade. Also, in a perfect world, the work would be regarded as something more than just busy work.
3. I realize that there is a delicate balance between having enough work for the capable students to keep busy and having the work not be so overwhelming for the lower performing that they give up and do not do anything at all. Yes, problem acknowledged.
I don't know. I am just rather frustrated today. I know it has to be better having your own classroom, but this substituting thing really sucks. I even brought a book to read to them. But I couldn't even do that, because it was only a 45 minute period and some students didn't finish the worksheets until the end of the class.
I know that any experiences I am having will be valuable to my future. I hope that I will learn from this how to best equip substitutes in my classroom.
Phantom Phone ring
They say that when a person gets a limb amputated, they can still feel like they have the arm and can sense it, in a way. I think of that every time I hear what I call my phantom phone ring.
This was especially bad last summer when I was co-managing the catering company for three weeks while the boss was up in Michigan. I was in charge of the phones and they would ring and I would have to be chipper and nice and ask people what they wanted to eat. It made me a little nervous to be in charge of the phone all of the time. And I heard the phone ring a lot. And even when I didn't really hear it ring, I thought I heard it ring and I would look at it, and it wouldn't be ringing and it wouldn't even say I missed a call.
A few minutes ago I noticed that my sister had called me this morning, so I returned her call, left her a message, and then left the phone in the bathroom where I had been doing my hair. Later, when back in the living room, I thought I heard my phone so I run run run to the bathroom, dodging the clothes on the floor and the hair dryer cord. And nothing. No ringing phone, no missed call.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
First off, what a great weekend with great friends.
While catching up on my online reading, I came across the link to the button for librarian bloggers to wear to ALA events. It is awesome. This is in response to comments made by Michael Gorman, president-elect of ALA about the "blog people".
From someone who sees a great future for blogs in libraries and education, I think it is great & amusing to see that the bloggers are standing up to these negative (maybe not quite negative, but misunderstood?, underestimating of bloggers?) comments and wearing buttons that say who they are.
Friday, March 04, 2005
I went to check my snail mail today. I was excited to see 4 pieces of mail. FOUR! But sadly I quickly recognized the copy of Prevention magazine that was not mine. Then I saw two other pieces of mail that were not mine. And then the final blow. The fourth piece of mail: NOT MINE.
So the guy innocently coming to get his mail heard this: "Hello. No. NO. NOOO." And then got a frustrated look from me where I really really wanted to tell him the whole story. But then I tried to break the cycle. I don't have to be my mother or my grandmother. So I left him wondering.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Could this day get any better?
- Got free dinner at church meeting where we did fun brainteaser type questions
- got my Real Simple magazine in the mail
- Smirnoff Ice bottle filled with cigarette butts and who knows what else (but it was certainly too Amber colored to be Smirnoff Ice) was removed from my apartment walkway.
- The counter club will meet once again this weekend.
Way to go Dell.
I got my printer! And only 2 months after I ordered it! I am just so happy. It has bene so long that I had practically forgotten that I had ever ordered it. Woo hoo.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
I think I am preparing to have a husband who is always late for dinner. Because right now I am waiting on my brother for dinner. He is currently only 18 minutes late, but it is 8:33 for heavens sake. If I hadn't eaten a row of brownies already, I would by hungry!
This is my new couch. (shh. don't tell it that it is two chairs --- two beach chairs, no less-- put together)
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
A few things
Today I went to many furniture stores in Austin looking for the perfect chair for the perfect price. And I discovered it didn't exist. So I got two chairs from Bed Bath and Beyond (one hot pink and one lime green) for less than 40 bucks. And they add a lot of character to my apartment. The kind of character that is usually only found on the beach.
I was so happy to hear about the supreme court decision that outlaws the death penalty for minors.
And the BTK was caught in Wichita.
And I got a free book today. I got Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. It is a book registered with Book Crossings. So I need to register it and read it.