Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Teachers be teaching


As the year draws to a close and we begin to formulate our priorities in terms of what to tackle, I highly recommend re-reading Steven Brill's fantastic piece of journalism about New York City's ongoing attempt to rid its classrooms of ineffective, under-performing teachers.

I'm not sure why I've always been fascinated with the teaching profession (I know, there should be more examples, but stick with me). Maybe it's cuz I kinda want to be one. I mean, we're all teachers, in a sort of way, and I think I am/would be pretty bad at it, but (intermixing meanings here) the hours are great, the rewards are stupendous, and the feeling of transferring knowledge to someone else is up there with riding a bike at night through the city. It's something I really want to practice every day. It's an instant high, it's repeatable/reproducible, and perhaps best of all, it's self-sustained within a good conversation/communication. Having, learning a different perspective, gaining knowledge about something else not by trying it, but through explanation and/or observation is really what it's all about. ugh... such a great feeling. And then to expand on it!.. to try it!...

Yeah, I think that's what it is. Two steps: learn and experience. Awesome. (As an aside, I was thinking if those could be, ever would be better interchanged... off the top of my head, I can only think of it happening at a great concert, a great relationship, or a great bike ride. Really I guess, if I admitted to myself, with any experience that blows you away before you get a chance to learn about it... implicit vs. explicit learning?.. hmm.. kinda. And yeah, that's tied in a with a future prepared post ;)

Stereotyping People by Their Favorite Author

Ever look at a bookshelf to figure someone out?

Margaret Atwood
Women whose favorite color is hunter green.
Joseph Conrad
People who drink old fashioneds.
Aldous Huxley
People who are bigger conspiracy theorists than Orwell fans.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
People who get ARM mortgages.
Joseph Heller
People who love buying drinks for their friends. See also, people who cringe when they see their bar tab.
C.S. Lewis
Youth group leaders who picked their nose in the 4th grade.
Richard Dawkins
People who have their significant other grab them under the table in order to shut them up whenever someone else at a dinner says something absolutely ridiculous and wrong.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
People who can start a fire.
Kurt Vonnegut
People who played Creep by Radiohead while having sex or smoking pot.

Complete list here. Via Kottke.org.

Song of the Day: R.E.M. - Strange Currencies

Pretty raw, both musically and lyrically (except maybe the bridge, which, perhaps being necessary, kinda sucks). Re-listened to (better version of Everybody Hurts, someone said?) after a great evening and morning at the Beaconsfield house.


I don't know why you're mean to me
When I call on the telephone
And I don't know what you mean to me
But I want to turn you on, turn you up, figure you out, I want to take you on

These words, "You will be mine"
These words, "You will be mine" all the time

The fool might be my middle name
But I'd be foolish not to say
I'm going to make whatever it takes,
Ring you up, call you down, sign your name, secret love,
Make it rhyme, take you in, and make you mine

These words, "You will be mine"
These words, "You will be mine" all the time, oh
I tripped and fell. Did I fall?
What I want to feel, I want to feel it now

You know with love come strange currencies
And here is my appeal:

I need a chance, a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance,
A word, a signal, a nod, a little breath
Just to fool myself, to catch myself, to make it real, real

These words, "You will be mine"
These words, "You will be mine" all the time, oh

These words, "You will be mine"
These words, they haunt me, hunt me down, catch in my throat, make me pray,
Say, love's confined, oh


Previous R.E.M. posts:

I can't listen to R.E.M. after Monster, but pre-'96 they were on and we grew together. Here's a torrent of their albums. Don't know how to download torrents? - check here.

Kensington Market Festival of Lights

Really, really fantastic.

The fall is over! The nights are colder, but getting shorter. Which, starts getting me thinking about perspective.. how experience changes your perspective, and vice versa. But anyway, that's still a few days away type post. For now, enjoy these pics, and start planning for next year.

Grey Cup 2009 - Calgary montage

2009 Grey Cup, this year in Calgary. Next year in Edmonton. The year after that, Vancouver. I figure Hamilton sees it 2015 and 2016.

Below, both expressions nailed.

Yeah, we ate there.

Winnipeg party (I'm still not sure if I'm more comfortable writing above or below the picture).

Looks pretty much how you imagined it, right?

Cherry Suede played! I would link to their site, but apparently my virus checker says not to. My virus checker really hit the nail on the head.

I have approximately 20 photos of Derek standing with random dudes in helmets.

Shoom gets his game on.

Leaving the Winnipeg party. Apparently 3 inches had fallen during Cherry Suede - I'll leave the punchline to you.

At the Argos party...

At the good Argos party. Free boudoir shots, and drinks.

This picture honestly needs no further explanation. What is happening here is exactly what it looks like.

Apparently we hug a lot...

The next morning. Derek got us up at 7 am everyday. This is us ready to go.

Schooners party! Mythical team, magical party.

Fans also get "Screeched in" Newfoundland style, having to kiss a cod fish and then swallow the harsh drink. There's a 25th anniversary Atlantic Schooners pin this year and the team that never hit the field also has merchandise for sale. (from here)

The Mudmen! Hit song? "Drink and Fight". They are the best band you'll never hear. Wait, that is entirely not true. You will hear them at some point.

Shoom did manage to pick up a Schooners hat! The claws work with the draw strings!

Adam randomly hit by a crazed Sask fan.

Yeah, apparently we not only like to hug, we like to high five and hug at the same time. I apparently like to blog about it.

And giggle... we like to giggle.

Yeah.. they like to giggle too!

This is what we saw of Calgary.

Back inside, this is where we watched the game. Yes, we didn't actually go to Calgary to attend the game. Just the parties, thank you.

Probably reading what Adam just tweeted.