On Satire Bits: Vol. 124

It’s been cold this week in Cincinnati – but at least I’m thankful that we haven’t received the snow continues to dump on the northeastern US. In the past 17 days, Boston has received 70+ inches (177+ cm)? That’s crazy! … and more is anticipated Friday and Sunday.

Life: The Musical official concludes on the next post. The epilogue focuses on life as whole, so submit songs that are about life, and hopefully special to you in some way … and I hope you will briefly share the why behind you choice. In other words, this is a chance to post a song about life that is important to you. Curtain time is Wednesday, 9:30 PM (Eastern US).

For your mid-week satire to propel you toward the weekend, I ventures into the depths of The Onion’s archival vault. Given yesterday’s post about education, I cleared the dust on many good ones. Any favorites? There’s also the Combo Challenge of making your own original headline from the words in the headlines below. For those wanting the extra challenge, try making a headline that’s not about education. My Combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week.

Teacher hopes students can tell that he was once popular

Substitute teacher totally freaks

Gym teacher secretly hates nerds

Frustrated inner-city students running out of ideas to motivate teachers

Male substitute teacher cloaked in mystery

Nation’s substitute teachers what to know who threw that

Inspirational teacher cancelled out by every other teacher at school

Teacher’s sense of humor comes through in multiple-choice test

Gym teacher ensures students that bouncing wiffle balls on a parachute is a sport

Risk champ flunks geography test

French teacher informs student to tell her about the bathroom fire in French

Creative writing teacher announces plan to sit on edge of desk

Teacher sees potential in student with glasses

My Combo: Nerds motivate creative freaks to throw at balls of frustrated male

On Views of Education: Vol. 4 – Teaching and Learning

As a member of a teaching staff, I marched to my own beat as a believer in need for reform across many aspects of education. In discussions, I was often the contrarian in the group. One person described me as, the best devil’s advocate she had ever been around. Of course, I countered her comment that I wasn’t being the devil’s advocate, thus being myself.

In the world of educational conformity, I was often the voice in the wilderness as I spoke my mind, and a few of my past colleagues who read these pages will think – Yep, he said that.

Packing to move provides an opportunity to sort, discard, and organize. I kept some of my writings from my teaching days, thus recently gathered some of the quotes, most of which were written between 1987-2001.

Some will cheer while others jeer. Some will detect a passion, others will think Oh no, he’s one of those. You may disagree with some, all, or possibly none … and that’s OK – after all, I’ve handled dialogue on sensitive subjects before. But keep in mind, because we may disagree, it doesn’t mean I’m wrong – thus it just means we disagree.

Below is a collection of quotes with each standing on its own so I’ve numbered them only for reference.

Today’s Topic: Teaching and Learning
1) If we teach chemistry as if all students are going to be chemists, if we teach mathematics if all students are going to be mathematicians, and if we teach writing if all students are going to be novelists, how many chemists, mathematicians, and novelists have we produced?

2) Assessment practices are locked into measuring low-level knowledge through methods ingrained from our past.

3) Teaching quality is important, yet Dr. Glasser is correct – teaching quality isn’t emphasized today and it should be – and many educators today will deny this.

4) Whereas elementary teachers can learn content and get equipment support from high school teachers, the high school teachers can learn teaching techniques from elementary teachers.

5) All teachers have different skills, strengths, and weaknesses. We hear about the need for lessons being student-centered activities based on research and standards with embedded assessment. Developing those activities is a skill in itself – and how many teachers have those skills – let alone the time?

6) Learning enables people to successfully participate in life, work, and in groups no matter where and when.

7) Learning is more about connections, community, and context than content to meet an academic standard for a test.

8) Learning is an active, social, intellectual, focused, and emotional process.

9) The miracle I would like is restructuring of the school routine to accomplish restructured outcomes for students who want to learn and competently achieve high expectations.

10) Students should be responsible for their own learning, and the information must be understood, applied, and internalized.

11) Few educators at any level think beyond competence. We educators are the ones who have trained the students to do less, do it more poorly, and expect good results. We’ve trained them well at expecting to give little and earn a reward.

12) The grading system has too many carrots and sticks: A, B, C, D, F …. that’s not enough, so add plusses and minuses to each. At best, this is questionable. However, a distinction between competency and competency with highest quality has a place, but, the highest level needs to be for those working at the highest quality and additional competencies beyond the minimum – not the highest level/grade at the minimums – nor a faster/quicker minimum achievement.

13) A student asks, Why do we have to learn this? – I say at least someone in the room has contemplates that question.

Previous posts in the series

On an Announcement for Monday

Welcome back from the weekend.  How was yours?

Our weekend involved ballroom time and hosting our dinner group – thus the latter involved getting ready. All in all, our afternoons were actually low-key. Also, we recently started watching House of Cards  on Netflix. Do you watch it?

The Explore post about the Gobi Desert was well received. Glad you enjoyed it. The Explore series aims at people, places, and things, so if you have any ideas, please tell!

Here’s a surprise. After thinking about it, Life: The Musical is going to have an epilogue. Besides, as I look ahead, this week is as good of time as any! Previous acts focused on words in the song title, but this time, it’s about the lyrics. There are many songs about life, and you may have a song that is special to you. Some are linked to situations or occasions, while others tug at us through their lyrics without a reason. In other words, this is a chance to post a song about life that is important to you. Curtain time is Wednesday, 9:30 PM (Eastern US).

Celebrations for your week

  • (Week) Dump Your Significant Jerk Week, Risk Awareness Week, Congenital Heart Defect Week, Homes for Birds Week, Celebration of Love Week, Children of Alcoholics Week, Jell-O week, Freelance Writers Appreciation Week, Random Acts of Kindness Week, Flirting Week, Friendship Week, Love a Mensch Week, Green Week, Love Makes the World Go Round – but, Laughter Keeps Us from Getting Dizzy Week
  • (Mon) Read in the Bathtub Day, Bagels & Lox Day, Hershey Day, Stop Bullying Day, GI Joe Day, Clean Out Your Computer Day
  • (Tues) Extraterrestrial Culture Day, Extraterrestrial Visitor Day, Umbrella Day, Cream Cheese Brownies Day
  • (Wed) Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, Get Out Your Guitar Day, Make a Friend’s Day, Promise Day, Be Electrific Day, Shut-in Visitation Day, Satisfied Staying Single Day, White Shirt Day/White T-Shirt Day, Inventors Day, La-Z Boy Chair Day, Peppermint Patty Day
  • (Thurs) Darwin Day, NAACP Day, Oglethorpe Day, Paul Bunyan Day, Safety Pup Day, Pancake Day, Lost Penny Day, Plum Pudding Day

This week’s Monday Morning Entertainment uses Wednesday’s Get-Out-Your-Guitar Day.  You’ll have to click the video, then click again to watch on YouTube because the owners blocked embedding. Have a good rest of the week.

On Exploring Gobi

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. (C. S. Lewis)

My work is all about adventure and teamwork in some of the most inhospitable jungles, mountains and deserts on the planet. If you aren’t able to look after yourself and each other, then people die. (Bear Grylls)

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing. (Baltasar Gracian)

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Saving the world via medical research or going off to Gobi Desert to dust off dinosaur eggs is what I thought I might be doing when I was a kid, and I’d love to bring those interests to a show like ‘E.R.’ or ‘The West Wing,’ or a movie like ‘Jurassic Park.’ (Morgan Fairchild)

For whatever reason, I enjoy geography. I’m sure geography during elementary school provided my first exposure to the Gobi Desert. Although this expansive, arid region found in two countries is fifth largest desert in the world, there’s something intriguing about this desert. It has sand, but it’s more rocky with mountains and steppes … yet it as grasslands for livestock. As the world’s northern-most desert, it has very hot summers, and brutally cold winter.

Enjoy this trip to the Gobi Desert, yet to me, the music sets the tone for this interesting area.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 250

Maybe the latest horrors regarding the Jordanian pilot will motivate the Arab world to fight ISIS with boots on the ground, and then the world follows their lead.

It was quite the week with some US politicians pandering for votes with vaccinations. Long ago on these pages, I stated something like this about Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – Keep him talking. Meanwhile, I wonder (thus I don’t know) if President Obama’s has been consistent since 2008.

Speaking of vaccinations, here’s part of the closing statement from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: Let’s chalk up the weird science of Messrs. Paul and Christie to a lack of information, and we’re happy to send them 13 years of vaccine editorials if they want to study up.

Here’s CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Op-ed on vaccinations.

Much has been made about the Seattle’s blunder in the Super Bowl. Interestingly, the game before marked an unbelievable comeback against Green Bay – a team who had won against Dallas on a questionable call by an official late in the game – yet Dallas won its previous game against Detroit on another questionable call by an official. Oh well … all is over.

For those who didn’t notice, this post is a milestone post.

Amazingly, the previous post marked the last act of Life: The Musical. Many thanks for the great songs!

I’ve decided on the next musical, which will probably start sometime in March. To order to see what my readers are anticipating, I invite you to answer the question on my first poll!

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an Explore post will appear. Wonder what person, place, or thing will serve as the highlight.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s an outstanding satirical flowchart about vaccinations (but not from The Onion).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man figures he has two more bites or roommate’s leftover before it is noticeable
Pope nervous for annual performance review with God
Neighbors come together to watch BMW owner struggle in snow
Man wistfully looks around website he hasn’t visited for 30 minutes
Venus added to registry of historically significant planets
Fingerprints on Lombardi Trophy to be used in dozens of criminal investigations

Interesting Reads
A 2014 article about politics and the Affordable Care Act
A bit of history about US government’s budget
Are swing states disappearing?
Surprises on Uranus?
Texting and head positions affecting the neck and spine
(Infographic) 50-years of financial engineering

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Red Day, Working Naked Day, Waitangi Day, Canadian Maple Syrup Day, Lame Duck Day, Doodle Day, Pay a Compliment Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day 6-8, Girl Scout Cookie Day, Monopoly Day Give Kids a Smile Day
  • (Sat) Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Ballet Day, Pinocchio Day, Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Girls & Women in Sports Day, Leadership Success Day, Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • (Sun) Laugh and Get Rich Day, Autism Sunday, Boy Scout Day, Opera Day, Man Day, Fly a Kite Day, Molasses Bar Day, Marriage Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. The first is an unused song from yesterday’s Life: The Musical, and the second is a classic blast from the past. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Life: The Musical – Act 17: Remembrance

The Story
Life: The Musical is an original aFa production is a journey featuring songs of about life. Each act features an aspect of life as a theme with music supplied around that theme.

Program (Past Posts)
LifeTheMusicalAct 1: Life
Act 2: Born
Act 3: Names
Act 4: Young
Act 5: Dream
Act 6: Teens
Act 7: School
Act 8: Adulthood
Act 9: Work
Act 10: Play
Act 11: Hope
Act 12: Love
Act 13: Positive Emotions
Act 14: Negative Emotions
Act 15: Growing Old
Act 16: Death

Act 17
Life … the time for the living to live. One’s life starts when one is born. Shortly thereafter, we are given something that stays with us no matter where we go – a name. Immediately, we are nourished, so we grow physically, mentally, and emotionally from babies into young children … and that’s when we start to dream about our future life. Growth never stops, so from children we move on as teens .. but school is still much of life at this point.

Eventually, we move into adulthood as women and men with many things going on in our life. Whether its work, play, or family, life can be complicated, so many times we hope for the best. Maybe above all else, people desire love, and go through many ups and downs in that quest.

No matter the situation, human encounters also provide a wide-range of emotions over a life with ups and downs. Time marches on. Although one gets older with each day, one grows old … and then, whether expected or suddenly – the last breath is taken – life as we know it is over, but one lives on in the memory of others.

Act 17 features songs with memory, memories, remember, remembering, remembered, or remembrance in the title.

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement
Ladies and gentleman, all we have to say is welcome to The King singing Memories.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 123

Hump Day is here! Hope your week is going well so far.

Cincinnati has been cold this week, but we avoided the latest winter storm. While we were on the light rain side of the front, a more than foot (31+ cm) of snow and a fierce wind pounded my sister-in-law cross-state in Cleveland. Then again, is see that Boston has had 47 inches (120 cm) of snow in the past 10 days.

Now that was one crazy ending to the Super Bowl, which meant cheers for Audra and Mo, but tears for LB, Danica, and Christy. Even more interesting if one examines the important of events in the playoffs.

I’m in the process of learning to use Google Docs for conducting a survey and examining the results. For those who can volunteer less than a minute for five questions, please complete the short survey here. IF you get an Error on submission, please tell me in a comment and identify your answer to the cartoon question. This information will help me determine if your response arrived. Thanks!

Reminder that the next post is last act of Life: The Musical (Act 17) featuring songs with memory, memories, remember, remembering, remembered, or remembrance in the title. Show time is Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

For this week’s mid-week boost of satire, I’m using The Onion’s archival vault to for a journey through each year of school. As always, for those desiring a challenge, make your own satirical headline from the words in the headlines below the image. For those desiring an extra challenge: develop a headline that has nothing to do with school/education. My Combo is at the end (for those who dare to look, which is done at the viewer’s risk).

Have a good rest of the week.

Kindergartener being groomed for line-leader position

First-grade teacher apprehends mysterious coat-room urinator

Second-grade music student goes nuts with cowbell

Third-grade teacher sighs, then helps lost cause with long-division problem

Fourth-grade teacher to polish speech that it’s not third grade anymore

Everyone still remembers time you threw up in fifth grade

Group of sixth grade boys discover pile of naked women in wood

Seventh-grade life science class grossed out by having to dissect horse

Eighth grade reading list heavily favors stuff that sucks big time

Ninth grader thinks Romeo and Juliet might just be her favorite play

10th grade class watches Ben Hur for two weeks

High school junior wishes they are a senior

High school couples prepare for post-graduation breakup

My Combo: Juliet to polish nuts of naked Romeo in woods