BLURT thread

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Re: BLURT thread

Postby EsBe » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 am

I went to one of those schools for pre and kindergarten. Alas, I'm about as well rounded as a triangle. :)
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby chrismachine » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:57 am

The main problem with the Montessori thing is the lack of understanding of competition and ranking of achievements etc. It's obviously something you learn later in life anyway, but kids have a profoundly enhanced view of fairness, and this can really set that tone in a bad way if you start someone in an M school and later move them, or if most of their friends do not go there. Unless the kid basically is friends with their family, that aspect can be hard.

As far as being challenged at school, look at your governments curriculum documents. That will help you decide where she fits. Even if you don't have her moved, if your system has any similar rules to our province, you can create a personalized plan that puts different requirements in place. In Ontario, this is a legal document. If you don't have anything like that, you can see if they would use our model if you would like.
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/el ... ep/iep.pdf (general info)
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/el ... esguid.pdf (implementation guide and examples)
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:57 am

EsBe wrote:I went to one of those schools for pre and kindergarten. Alas, I'm about as well rounded as a triangle. :)

What I meant to say but did not fully articulate for fear of ranting, is that the kids I've met who went to Montessori schools could be both creative and analytical. There was a little five year old boy who came to his first day of childcare at the center where I worked early, and was very confident and communicative around adults. We got out the Lego bricks and he was very strong in his imaginative play. Then he saw that one of the toy firetrucks had a broken ladder, so he spent a good five to ten minutes trying to fix it. I've rarely seen such a mix of creativity, verbal/interpersonal, and problem-solving skills in a child so young. This makes me think that at his school the kids were encouraged to explore all areas of learning, rather than just one which they showed particular aptitude in. In my brief experience of public school I was good in all subjects, but they decided to only put me in one advanced section and it had to do with math. I suppose that's because math is considered more practical or legitimate by some people than the arts. Anyway, once my mom started homeschooling me I was able to focus on my creative interests in addition to math and science, etc.

chrism wrote:the lack of understanding of competition and ranking of achievements

I don't think that competition is necessarily a good thing, as a basis for schooling or anything else (such as global economic systems, for an off-hand example). I myself am a competitive person, but that's only a personal preference.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby badplantmommy » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:52 am

Where's Fan?
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby MysticalDescent » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:41 pm

jvcc wrote:My first day of teaching was pretty terrifying. I felt like I rambled a lot. But after a solid half a day of reflection I've decided that people will invariably be bored hearing about syllabuses and that even veteran teachers are nervous on the first day. This conviction will carry me until Wednesday when I teach again, after which I shall assess my performance and revise my mollifying platitudes.


I am late with the teaching anecdote.

A long, long time ago, a former teacher of mine was in the midst of completing their teaching qualifications and was at the stage where they were having to teach lessons for a high school class under observation. In what I think was one of the very last observed lessons, the teacher chose to do an experiment that is apparently no longer taught, or at least performed in front of classes, related to the 'Monkey and the Hunter' experiment. Basically, you have some sort of ball bearing inside some sort of ball bearing firing device and a little metal sheet a small distance away. The idea is that you fire the ball bearing horizontally towards the metal sheet, while simultaneously allowing the metal sheet to fall under gravity. The ball bearing then hits the metal sheet with a satisfying ping, if done correctly. Anyway, the whole lesson was going pretty swimmingly and the experiment went without a hitch. The ball bearing was fired and a satisfying ping was heard. The teacher the looked up to the assessor to see if they approved, only to find out that the ball bearing had rebounded off the metal sheet and hit the assessor square between the eyes, briefly knocking her out.

Said teacher turned out to be the best dang teacher I've ever had.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:23 pm

MysticalDescent wrote:
jvcc wrote:My first day of teaching was pretty terrifying. I felt like I rambled a lot. But after a solid half a day of reflection I've decided that people will invariably be bored hearing about syllabuses and that even veteran teachers are nervous on the first day. This conviction will carry me until Wednesday when I teach again, after which I shall assess my performance and revise my mollifying platitudes.


I am late with the teaching anecdote.

A long, long time ago, a former teacher of mine was in the midst of completing their teaching qualifications and was at the stage where they were having to teach lessons for a high school class under observation. In what I think was one of the very last observed lessons, the teacher chose to do an experiment that is apparently no longer taught, or at least performed in front of classes, related to the 'Monkey and the Hunter' experiment. Basically, you have some sort of ball bearing inside some sort of ball bearing firing device and a little metal sheet a small distance away. The idea is that you fire the ball bearing horizontally towards the metal sheet, while simultaneously allowing the metal sheet to fall under gravity. The ball bearing then hits the metal sheet with a satisfying ping, if done correctly. Anyway, the whole lesson was going pretty swimmingly and the experiment went without a hitch. The ball bearing was fired and a satisfying ping was heard. The teacher the looked up to the assessor to see if they approved, only to find out that the ball bearing had rebounded off the metal sheet and hit the assessor square between the eyes, briefly knocking her out.

Said teacher turned out to be the best dang teacher I've ever had.


In essence you think I should attempt to knock out my superiors, then?

I've taught Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so three classes so far. Things went better after the first day, but I don't feel I've done spectacularly well. The problem is that I only had a week of orientation prior to the first week of school, and the orientation itself focused more on pedagogy or going over university rules than showing us what to do in class. I'm not being observed either.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby ntw3001 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:43 pm

jvcc wrote:In essence you think I should attempt to knock out my superiors, then?


Yet another parallel between teaching and boxing. Are they the same thing?
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:38 pm

Class went excellently yesterday! I gave them M&Ms.

Driving home from campus I was stopped at a crosswalk when a guy--he looked like an undergrad student--started crossing the street, stopped, looked at me, did a chivalrous bow, and continued to cross the street.

One of the PhD students in the English Department at my university hosted Shakesbeer at his apartment last night. It involved other grad students drinking and reading Twelfth Night together. I was Malvolio. We made it to the beginning of Act 3 when the drunkest of us opted to play on a playground next to the guy's apartment instead. I played the fork out of that playground.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby chrismachine » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:07 pm

Any question I may have had about whether I'd have been better off to try and be a professor has been reopened right there, lol.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:14 am

I shouldn't be allowed to have the internet when I'm drunk.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:24 am

Yar, me hearties! Ye scallywags better be parlayin' in the speech o' the buccaneer this day, or it's to th' briny deep wit' ye!
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby PonderThis » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:31 am

The new rule is if you talk like a pirate you have to act like a pirate. So go illegally download something, ZP! :mrgreen: :n/
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:59 am

Waaaaaaay ahead o' ye, thar, matey. I be watchin' Adventure Time lately, with Finn and his YELLOW DOG!
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby sum yun gai » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:58 am

oh, did i miss "talk like a hollywood douchebag" day? that's too bad....

also, i'm having a really tough time believing that there are so many people who still *like* mitt romney. maybe they're only voting for him out of irony. ZOMG! mitt romney finally found a way to get hipsters to vote for him! :shock:
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:57 pm

It's probably the "he's not Obama" thing that most people go for, since Obama has apparently done a bad job.

I heard an analogy recently that I thought I'd share here:

A plane takes off bound for Disney World, and people are pretty excited about where the plane is going. The pilot, however, starts to have a little too much to drink up in the cockpit, and starts trying to do a barrel roll. When the flight attendant notices that the pilot is no longer fit for duty, she decides to ask the passengers if anyone can fly. A man stands up, and identifies himself as Mr. Obama, that he has a pilot's license and plenty of experience with slightly smaller jets. He makes his way to the cockpit and takes over, only to find that the numbers 1 and 3 engines are on fire and that the jet is losing fuel fast. Getting his bearings, he sees that they are nearing the waters off the coast of New Jersey. Praying that they make it, he manages to wrestle the plane into position and notifies the attendants to prepare everyone for an emergency water landing. Coming in hard, he skims across the waves, the fuselage bucking with the sudden deceleration, and manages to bring the plane to stop on the beach, half-buried in the sand. He checks in with the crew, and they report that there's some injuries, some requiring emergency staff, but nothing life-threatening. He's breathing a sigh of relief when an attendant radios back, stating, "Mr. Obama, the passengers all seem to think you're a terrible pilot, because we were supposed to go to Disney World and instead you brought us to New Jersey."
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby MysticalDescent » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:48 pm

*generic regional joke about them preferring to crash in a horrible fireball than go to New Jersey*

If only I knew anything about New Jersey that wasn't in The Sopranos.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby EsBe » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:18 pm

Wow, lot of Six Flags haters on that flight. ;)
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Skimba » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:26 pm

EsBe wrote:Wow, lot of Six Flags haters on that flight. ;)

Seriously. GTFO, go to Great Adventure! Make a couple days of it! Don't leave your windows down through the safari though.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby ntw3001 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:01 pm

MysticalDescent wrote:*generic regional joke about them preferring to crash in a horrible fireball than go to New Jersey*

If only I knew anything about New Jersey that wasn't in The Sopranos.


I believe New Jersey and Essex are essentially interchangeable.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby ntw3001 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:36 pm

sum yun gai wrote:also, i'm having a really tough time believing that there are so many people who still *like* mitt romney.


Yeah, I thought the leaked videos were pretty damning but they don't seem to have put much of a dent in his support. I mean, I haven't seen the whole thing so maybe the quotes are out of context, but:

“All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”


So this is a candidate who has somehow acquired the belief not only that a Government has some core duty besides ensuring the welfare of its citizens, but actually that that very duty is some kind of odious burden, laid upon the leaders by an idle, grasping populace. And are those citizens in some way not entitled to those things? I don't see how people can seriously entertain the notion of voting for a candidate who views the demand for 'food, healthcare and housing' as some kind of lazy, childish whining.

I don't want to be all prObama (please retain this pun for your files) because, aside from that fact I ain't well-informed, I gather there's a good number of genuinely valid complaints against his government too. But US politics seems to be so cartoonishly partisan that it's next-to-impossible to find trustworthy sources debating either side. And being native to the part of the Internet one can find without specifically looking for right-wing political discourse, I don't hear much bad about Obama. The most reasonable commentary I've found has been an article in The Atlantic explaining why both candidates were completely awful in marginally different ways. The UK media are notoriously biased, but at least they're cynical. UK political commentary disagrees over which politicians occupy which specific point on the sliding scale of slimy self-interest. US commentators seem to be torn over which candidate in each and every election is privately bent on obliterating Western civilisation for motives that Lex Luthor could pick holes in, and which is an Earthly Archon of benevolence, wisdom and truth.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:52 pm

ntw3001 wrote:
MysticalDescent wrote:*generic regional joke about them preferring to crash in a horrible fireball than go to New Jersey*

If only I knew anything about New Jersey that wasn't in The Sopranos.


I believe New Jersey and Essex are essentially interchangeable.


What about New Castle?
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Judas Maccabeus » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:42 pm

ntw3001 wrote:So this is a candidate who has somehow acquired the belief not only that a Government has some core duty besides ensuring the welfare of its citizens, but actually that that very duty is some kind of odious burden, laid upon the leaders by an idle, grasping populace. And are those citizens in some way not entitled to those things? I don't see how people can seriously entertain the notion of voting for a candidate who views the demand for 'food, healthcare and housing' as some kind of lazy, childish whining.


Well, aside from the sadly not-insignificant number of people who think the core duty of the government is to go away - not out of any philosophical devotion to anarchism or anything, but just because "the government is bad!" is a cultural meme in significant parts of the United States - those who actually put forth a coherent view would put it that the core duty of the government is protection of property. Naturally, the more property you have, the better this sounds, and the people with the most have the most money to promote their view of things. The final bit to complete that quote is that those same people are also promoting the "Just World" view - that good and bad fortune is a result of a person's own actions, basically the common misunderstanding of karma. So if those people are poor, clearly it's their own fault and they wouldn't be if they just worked harder.

EDIT: Note, of course, that Romney's also spoke out for openable windows for the (pressurized) cabins of passenger aircraft, so, maybe expecting too much coherent out of him is a stretch.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby EsBe » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:45 pm

ntw3001 wrote:But US politics seems to be so cartoonishly partisan that it's next-to-impossible to find trustworthy sources debating either side.

Thank redistricting committees for that. When you remove the need for candidates to have a broad appeal (by redrawing district lines to exclude a certain party) you end up with a system where the de facto election is the primary, because there aren't enough opponents to realistically win in the general election, so the candidates compete over who's more conservative/liberal instead of who can win over the most center/independant voters.

Extrapolating from where we are now, at some point the district demographics will become so monolithic that candidates in the Republican primaries will be denouncing public education as a socialist threat, and candidates in the Democratic primaries will be calling for all guns to be melted down into sex toys for use in mandatory gay marriages.

Personally, I can't wait. That's gold for comic writers right there. :)
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:31 pm

I hope teaching goes well today. I have a cunning plan to make it easier on myself. Updates will follow.

On an unrelated note, I'm probably going to go on for my PhD. My original plan was to get my MA and try to find a community college teaching job. Now my plan is to get my PhD and try to find a community college teaching job.

Unrelated to the unrelated note, I'm quite possibly busier than I've ever been, but becoming a graduate assistant at my university has been a great change in my life (aside from the nearly unbearable stress of teaching undergrads). I've made a lot good friends among my coworkers.

Related to the note unrelated to the unrelated note, I'm barely talking to my mom now that I've moved out of her apartment. It's such a relief to not have to think about her illness, in particular to not have to see her and how different she looks from when she was healthy. I'm worried that I've accepted this as a legitimate alternative to dealing with her disease in a psychologically healthy way.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:07 pm

For a while there I was quite disillusioned with teaching this semester because of the soul-sucking nature of having to deal with the first year composition program directors and my university's English Department in general. And yesterday I had a meeting with a student who generally challenges my authority in class and complained because he thought he deserved a higher grade on an assignment.

But last night I got an email from a student who asked if I could help proofread a paper of hers for another class. I'm not sure if I'm technically supposed to (ignorance gives me plausible deniability in case I'm not), but symbolically her gesture is very important to me. It shows me that some, or at least one, of my students trust in my ability to give advice on how to write. Or she senses my overeagerness to be of use to my students. Either way.

My neighbors must have made doughnuts, because the smell of them has permeated the air of my apartment and now I'm hungry, dammit.
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