Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Another extraordinary book by Peter Godwin, the author of When a Crocodile Eats the Sun. I was so mesmerized by that book that I read this, his previous book. This tells the story of his growing up in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) against a background of terrorism and a country beginning to fall apart. A page turning thriller. I can't get enough of this story. I've just requested his third book, the one between these two, called Rhodesians Never Die.
A few jokes for ya and a some interesting facts.
An Irishman and an American were sitting in the bar at Shannon Airport."I've come to meet my brother," said the Irishman. "He's due to fly in fromAmerica in an hour's time. It's his first trip home in forty years"."Will you be able to recognize him?" asked the American."I'm sure I won't," said the Irishman, "after all, he's been away for a long time"."I wonder if he'll recognize you?" said the American."Of course he will," said the Irishman. "Sure, an' I haven't been away at all".
The Doctor was puzzled "I'm very sorry but I can't diagnose your trouble, Mahoney. I think it must be drink. ""Don't worry about it Dr. Kelley, I'll come back when you're sober." "Did you hear that Flanagan invented an invisible deodorant ?" "No, what good is it ?""Well if you use, you vanish and no one knows where the smell is coming from !"
The Doctor was puzzled "I'm very sorry but I can't diagnose your trouble, Mahoney. I think it must be drink. ""Don't worry about it Dr. Kelley, I'll come back when you're sober."
Before invention of the thermometer, brewers used to check the temperature by dipping their thumb, to find whether appropriate for adding Yeast. Too hot, the yeast would die. This is where we get the phrase " The Rule of the Thumb"
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender used to yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. From where we get "mind your own P's and Q's".
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Dianna Topper, a Lansing Eastern teacher eloquently laid out the case that there are many factors in the "failing schools" equation. Some of her comments:
Unfortunately it is not schools that fail, it is people.
Teachers fail when:
-they cannot utilize the educational tools they know need to be used because they don't "fit" with one-size-fits-all curricula imposed by the school districts, the state, and the federal government
-they are not allowed to demand excellence from students
School districts fail when they....
-hamstring a teacher's classroom effectiveness by refusing to remove disruptive students
-allow students to ignore policy and parents to circumvent it, all the while holding teachers responsible for enforcing it
-choose not to listen or act upon teacher's concerns and solutions regarding student skills, behavior and attendance
Parents fail when ...
-attitude and behavior are not addressed outside of school
-they do not make sure their child is in school on a regular basis and timely basis
-they keep children home unnecessarily, or when vacations are routinely more important than being in school
Politicians fail when they...
-expect all children to learn exactly the same things in exactly the same amount of time
-expect schools to remedy all the disparities and shortcomings of society
Society fail when it...
-pays only lip service to the importance of education
-focuses attention on what's wrong, only with schools, and students take no ownership of their role in the problem
Students fail when they...
-don't appreciate what a gift education is
-have been raised to expect continuous entertainment, not effort
-have no concept of hard work
-believe that just showing up is enough and not showing up is no big deal
-believe the responsibility for success is not theirs.
Richard Trainor, the president of the Mount Pleasant Education Association writes:
Congratulations to the " dictatorintendent" of the Lansing Public Schools. His plan for your high schools will likely have many consequences. Unfortunately, many of them are likely to be less than positive.
Lansing parents should expect the following "improvements"...
-an exodus of your best young teachers, who read the action and the false statements of the dictatorintendent as a message that Lansing is not the kind of district to which they should commit their lives' work unless they enjoy being thrown under the bus when times are tough
-departure of good senior teachers
-a concerted effort by districts to head hunt those displaced
-students go in distress because their favorite teachers are gone
-teams and clubs are put in turmoil as teachers are shuffled like cards
-buildings end up with administrators who know less about their staff than they do today
No one wants students to succeed as much as teachers. No one does more daily to that end.