Sixty years ago the Supreme Court handed down the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Until around 2005 or so, give or take a year, the East Baton Rouge Parish school system operated under a federal desegregation order, one of the longest running orders in the country. Today, Baton Rouge Community College continues to receive entering freshmen educated under that order. Due to the cult of self esteem, the best of these students have been told throughout their education that they can succeed, that they are smart, that they have a future. In college classrooms over time, these students demonstrate facility with logic, organization, and critical thinking. Even though theyRead More →

Today I am grateful for some old school internet acronyms plus some texting ones that have joined the crew. Don’t ask my why I’m feeling this nostalgia. It just is. 1. OMG (Note: The F has fled the scene.) 2. FML (Note: The F has returned.) 3. LOL (tried and true) 4. BRB (where are you going? You’re leaving?!) 5. BRT (BRB’s texting brethren) 6. OMW (BRT’s texting cousin) 7. WTF (Note: The F persists.) 8. IRL (stands for “in real life,” as opposed to…which…well..yeah…) 9. OIC (oh, I see….I see how it is…) 10. FTW (Also tried and true) To be clear: I amRead More →

Scramble with Friends

I play Scramble with Friends, the only phone game for me. My score drops precipitously without regular play, but more significantly, my self esteem drops too. Scramble with Friends is the best life coach and personal cheerleader ever. Although Zynga games don’t deserve free advertising, I highly recommend playing this one because of the audio rewards when you score. A voice shouts: “Excellent!!” “Amazing!!” “Excellent!!” “Amazing!!” “Good!!” The soundtrack is better than the game. In fact, people should say these things to the friends and loved ones in their lives in the course of a conversation throughout the day at random moments. Picture it! ThatRead More →

k-cup

A new romantic relationship has brought with it a Brady Bunch-style merger of household objects into my life. Since my partner makes more money than me, each new item triggers my underlying class-passing anxiety.  Financial planners are full of advice about how to handle money when couples earn disparate salaries, but they don’t say anything about handling preferences in sheets, candle holders, or coffee makers. I could joyfully give away my battered, low-rent belongings and welcome the bounty of bridal-registry quality treasures in my life, but that tiny cash register noise that totals up the cost of replacing everything when the relationship fizzles is overwhelmingRead More →

I had too many things in my hand today while sharing the elevator with a campus police officer. As I juggled my items in frustration, I had this conversation (or an artist’s rendition thereof): Me: I need another hand. Him: I know exactly what you mean. Especially the other day when I was trying to arrest this crazy lady.  Me: It is a lot easier when you play Dungeons and Dragons. Him: [crazy look my way] Me: [not stopping for crazy look] Sometimes when you’re adventuring you say to your Dungeon Master, “I’m carrying my sword in one hand and my shield in the other.Read More →

1. Everyone who cares about how teachers teach and learners learn (cf http://chronicle.com/article/TeachingLearning-About/146403/) 2. Every teacher, professor, PODster, colleague, and faculty professional development expert who taught me about teaching. 3. Every administrator who realized that pedagogy and faculty professional development should be funded and supported institutionally. 4. Every student who put up with my insensitivities, failures, and experiments as a teacher. ∞Read More →

Learning about learning, Part I The VARK I know my VARK and where I fall on the inventory of learning styles: Visual. Auditory. Read/Write. Kinesthetic. Someone recently asked me if I remembered Amy Grant’s song, “Every Heartbeat.” My reply: “Yeah, that’s the song where she’s wearing that cute polka dot dress and big sunglasses and there’s a dog. Like, she’s trying to be Taylor Dayne, but without sex.” Clearly, I am not an auditory learner even though I suffer from severe blabbativity and motor-mouthedness. I type super-duper fast, and I suffer from a rampant twitch-speedery that developed over years of living online as a digitalRead More →

Perhaps it’s because they are hollow that our imaginations can occupy them so easily. That is to say, it is their anti-heroism, their apparent lack of Great Qualities, that make them our size, or even smaller, so that we can stand among them as equals, like Dorothy among the Munchkins. – Salman Rushdie, Step Across the Line Referring to the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion of the Oz movieRead More →