Testing should be as much about learning as assessing. Even though I believe this, I caved in and started giving multiple choice exams years ago. Blame it on Swiss cheese memory. Blame it on some fantastical conversion experience wherein I now believe memorization and identification are rigorous! That’s hogwash. To redeem my unpalatable decision, I give the students a chance to develop test taking skills with a nifty worksheet (stolen from the learning center at LSU). The worksheet helps students review their test results, figure out why they missed particular questions, and then group their incorrect answers into patterns. The students meet with me to
I have a new car. I bought a Fiat 500 Pop. It was great fun to test drive, great fun to purchase, and now great fun to own. Initially I thought about purchasing purchase another Suzuki, a black SX4 hatchback. This car resembles the old yellow Suzuki Aereo that was totaled when I got rear-ended a couple of years ago. I adored by Aereo. I generally name my cars. I planned to name the black Suzuki “Paloma Negra.” The name comes from a lovely, mournful song I heard in Mexico. That purchase didn’t happen for a variety of reasons, none of which had to do
You have to kiss a lot of jackasses to get a sweet burro in your life. This little burro came from a street vendor in San Miguel. Burros are lovely creatures who seem to get the short end of the stick in all of life’s fairy tales. Just look at what happened to Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Even in Indian mythology, the jackass is the high that’s fallen low, or perhaps bottomed out. But those burros keep bearing their burdens forward and trudging along. Clip, clop. I’m the road that drives away. It’s time like these…
It’s times like these you learn to live again. I decided to go to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico because I happened upon a table of trinkets, tchotchkes, and San Miguel folk art at the French Market in New Orleans, and fell instantly in love with the colorful merchandise. Since then, I’ve dreamed of visiting because I knew I would find my destiny there. I pictured San Miguel as the “Greenwich Village of Mexico.” It’s an apt name. It was the perfect place to reflect upon the next step of life. That step is not necessarily about a career path or a geographical relocation, but
Two cool gadgets from Mexico: The first is a swipe key device for the hotel key that turns the room’s electricity on and off. In order to activate the electricity in the room, you have to slide the swipe key into the slot on the wall, which is located next to the light switch. That means in order to take the room key with you when you leave the room, all the electricity in the room is automagically shut off. It’s a brilliant green idea. The second object is a mini coat rack found in restaurants. Waiters place these racks next to dining tables for
Hobbling along with a sprained foot through the narrow streets of San Miguel de Allende in the mountainous heart of Mexico, I wish I were a goat. Cloven hooves would better manage the twisty-turny cobblestones that wreak havoc on high heels and taxicab tie rod ends. The streets wend over the actual old goat paths, so I hear, and the uncertain footing is iconic for San Miguel so much so that “the San Miguel shoe” has been designed specifically to survive the terrain. Beautiful saffron-colored walls and flower-filled terraces frame picturesque doors to colonial-era establishments that cater to international tourists and patrons of the arts.
Cafe Rama in San Miguel de Allende is one of the most charming finds in this charming town. The decor is rustic/retro Mexican pop art with Chinese accents. Think Texas dude-ranch owner meets Warhol meets Mao in Mexico to discuss art over a sumptuous brunch. Or think an interior designer thought this up over brunch and some reefer. However it came to be, it’s lovely and the veggie juice is awesome. The salt and pepper shakers on the cafe tables are..to die for. Two figures hold pistols and look like they are about to count off paces for a duel. They’re not so steady independently,
This clever advertising flyer was handed out in the Jardin of San Miguel de Allende. It’s a simple black and white photocopied ad for a fabric store. The ad has a bright fabric swatch safety-pinned to it. The fabric swatch is a cut-out of a colorful pinata. The pinata is iconic, eye-catching, and tactile. Brilliant.
1. The Jardin is where everything happens. Fireworks over the church at night. Mariachi bands. Even the old folks dance. You can spend an entire day just sitting in the Jardin watching the world pass and feeling like you’re doing something special. New Year’s Eve in the Jardin was like every night in the Jardin, but larger than life.