Monday, June 16, 2008

Word art is a cool site that creates a word cloud based on text that you give it. Here's what happens when you feed it the text of Ephesians 1, and the text of Romans:

The fish shape just sort of happened on its own.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sometimes the lights go on after lights-out

Sometimes you Just. Want. Them. To. Go. To BED!!! But you should never (Never!) pass up an opportunity to talk to your teenager. Even when you know that tomorrow AM will Not Be Fun as a result.

The Karate Kid boarded the Clue Bus tonight:

Last year he was State Champ in his martial arts division. But as he approached his teens he decided that he was bored in karate class, and didn't really want to go, and, and, and. He hasn't really focused on martial arts in about six months.

So tonight we're talking about this and that and the other thing, and I offhandedly remind him just how gifted he is in martial arts. (He really and truly is, and that's not just Daddy pride.) He gets inspired to get physical. Ignoring the fact that I've told him to go to bed already - twice - I help him stretch (his foot reaches over my head!?!)

He then heads downstairs to work off some energy on the punching bag.

Ten minuntes later he comes back upstairs, red skinned, sweating, in tears. His leg angle is All Wrong! His foot is like This and it should be like That! "I. Can't. Do. Anything!!!" he wails. That's right, kiddo. No matter how gifted you are, if you don't use it, you lose it.

I give him a cool wet washcloth for his face. Send him to bed. A few minutes later, the light is still on. He says needs to listen to some music and write down his goals for the summer.

That's cool by me.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm not an edupunk

"edupunk" is an idea that's been tossed around recently on Twitter and various blogs.

It seems to resonate with a lot of folks, embracing the ideas of do-it-yourself, anti-authority, share and share alike, and so on. The anti-corporate part of it resonates with Blackboard-bashers as well.

But though I share many of these values, I'm just not comfortable with the label. It carries a lot of baggage. We don't really want total anarchy in the classroom, do we? We do have goals and objectives for our students, don't we? We may rebel against giving multiple-choice tests, but we do want students to know that the Civil War happened before WW2, right? Is CBGB really a learning environment that we want to emulate, with used needles littering the vomit-stained floors? (Given, there are some students stuck in facilities not much better.) Is Sid Vicious really a better role model than Jaime Escalante?

I just can't get into punk as a model for learning. I never was a punk; I never wanted to be a punk. But what if we took some of those ideals and recast them slightly?

Yeah, that's it. I'm not an edupunk. I'm an edufolkie.

Besides, at my age it's a lot easier to grow a ponytail than a mohawk.