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Parenting: An Idea

My daughter just turned three today. A bittersweet moment, to say the least.

We all get older, and with age we have more responsibility. We start to realize our many potentials: potential to do good, potential to think, to reason, to live with each other. It is these responsibilities that mould us and shape us into the adults we'll be. I listen to the podcasts of a psychology professor who does an excellent job of explaining the philosophy of Piaget. People must learn to be good to one another. And, guess what, it starts at home.

After the party was all said and done, and the other three-year olds left with their parents, my daughter cuddled up on the couch with her nana, and the two took a nap, and I started to think about my role. I'm writing now while they sleep on the couch. And, while they sleep I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by her.

Then, I started wondering what I meant by "the right thing." Kant, one of my idols, believed there must be a moral impe…

Where There's the Will...

I was an odd freshman (who wasn't, right?).

It was 1998, the Year of the Tiger, and I felt like prey.

Band nerd, speech and debate, theatre, chess club, choir, and math/science club were just the beginnings of what would be an overall horrific successful high school career.

Backpack in tow, my best friend and I navigated past pubescent uncertainty and headlong into outright confusion of adolescence.

I was lucky, looking back, to have moved from Colorado a couple years prior, to wind up in a school that celebrated hard work and work ethic, that trusted the students to build their own educational experience and strive to perfect it.

Things changed in April 1999.

April 20th to be exact.

In one fell swoop, two high schoolers changed the course of educational safety. They brought up questions like "What does it mean to create a safe space?" and "What rights do students have in their environments?" and "What are the legal ramifications of protection?".

Teac…

Th' Opressor's Wrong

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Once that sun sets, the stars come out, and the Englishmen get quiet. The wind makes the sails swell a gentle cascading rhythm with the waves. During the night, I am well. I am free.
"Up, apes," the monstrosity of a man shouts from the top of the stairs. I have not revealed that I speak and understand English.
English was mandatory in my home. "No, son," my father would correct. "It is pronounced Free-dum. Write it out, f-r-e-e-d-o-m." He would smile at me while his gentle hands guided my clumsy fingers. "We will leave our home, Chichi," he would whisper. "We will leave, and - make sure your 'o' closes at the top - and you will see the land of plenty. There will be grain and milk, and you will be full."
The last light of dawn fell to the contours of his face and made laurels of his greying temples. "I will be there with you, Chichi. Now, pronounce it like Dr. Wellesly."
We would sit in the dark corner of our home, l…

Socrates in the Classroom

This isn't a dialog about Socratic seminars or circles, though I do find them interesting and inspirational. And, there will be no imbibing of hemlock on the Senate steps.

Instead, I wonder how Socrates would approach the modern educational dilemma.

Educational Dilemma. It seems there's been one every year since Socrates, and I don't know if there actually is one, or if it's just the same issue since then and that issue hasn't ever been resolved. Keeping that in mind, if there's an issue that hasn't ever been resolved, is it a dilemma or just a quandary?

Perhaps, I'll refer to it as the Educational Quandary from here on in.

So, what is the Educational Quandary?

Here I stand in the front of the classroom, Monday through Friday barring holidays, and I expect to see attention, semi-attention, and non-attention. Henry Wong coined these green, yellow, and red zones. Other teachers have come up with synonymous dubs, and I think they're all right. At any g…

What I Think

I get asked this question a lot in my classroom:

"What do you think of Trump?"

I teach 6th grade science. There's a time and a place for political discussion, and the 6th grade science classroom is not that place.

But, my kids know they can bait me into a discussion, and it's one I like to answer. Here's my response:

"Get back to work."

Kidding. I'm a better teacher than that. So, I answer from the perspective of 6th grade science teacher. I try to respond as if whatever I say may have ramifications for years to come. So, here's what I say:

"Kid, you know there's a lot of news, information, slander, bias, fact, and opinion coming at us from all directions. We're getting distracted and being told what we want to hear, or we're ignoring what we don't want to hear (By this time, I've lost a few of them. Only the stalwart remain.). Truth of the matter is this:

95% of media coverage of Trump has been negative.
Unemployment fo…

Half Minus One

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Sequencing was the job of Harper Sigma, and getting him to shut up was more difficult than Splitting. So, we brought him along only when we needed him. Of course, hindsight’s 20-20, and now I was staring at a rotary dial phone with an ornate cathead receiver and a noose for a cord. 843, I try. 8.4.3, I try again. The line was dead as far as I could tell; the only response I got was a single, unconvincing tone, but it was all just the same. His mind was a steel trap. Quite literally. “What we got, Alpha?” Tau startled me. “We got… squat,” I mutter. Tau holds his hand up to his face to block the filtered sunlight that bounded through the broken windows and crumbling parapets. “You think he’s in there?” Robert Cutcheons. Man made of money. Man made of fame. Man made of death. “Yes,” I say, the gravity in my voice making me sound more confident than I felt. Beta sidles up next to us and reaches around my shoulders, hugging me reassuringly. He was kind that way. Kinder than I was. “That’s…

The Slow Fall of the Boulder

The sun never sets on Sisyphus because its orbit is highly erratic. That’s why the Kryzlakians call it Budat, the Sky Demon. So far from home, though, even a sky demon is good company. Truth be told, I’m not sure why I took the job. But, when planet calls you to duty, you don’t ignore the call. I stared out through the argon vapor at the horizon and caught a glimpse of Kryzlak. Right now, they’d be asleep, waiting for the sun to set for them. “Whatcha thinkin’?” I blinked to clear the memory of The Run from my mind, and focused on Darcy. “Just that I’m not sure how this is going to go.” “What? The delegation?” “Yeah.” He put his hand on my shoulder and gave it a quick squeeze. “Look, the Runs stopped two centuries ago, and we’ve made great strides in relations since then. Plus, I bet they wouldn’t have elected Ret-Abel if he wasn’t a great negotiator.” I patted his hand before checking the server for any updated messages. My hand hovered over the icon sent from Earth, the last transm…