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Friday, November 25, 2011

Let the Turkey Carcasses do their work!

I could not pass up the two turkey carcasses, they were begging to be made into soup. This house is going to smell good all day.





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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Learning to say no...

Clearly I have issues with the word no. I cannot say it when it matters. I cannot say it when I am already overworked and stressed. I need to make this word my new best friend.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pearl's Oyster Bar

I love taking my friends and family to the Redding Market Terminal, but some places are better to visit on a food crawl than others. I am an oyster lover, so Pearl's was definitely on my to-eat-at list. I assumed that since they were famous, they cared a bit about their product and offered up famous-worthy fare. Unfortunately, the oysters were very small and contained a green slimy rim inside- they don't really clean out the shells. Now there are purists out there that will argue with me about the slime, but as I wasn't sitting right on a dock or boat, it seemed out of place. The soup was decent, bu nothing to write about.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Bishop

The Bishop (The Patrick Bowers Files, #4)The Bishop by Steven James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Well, this book was total guilty pleasure, as a result I did not use my time as wisely as I could this weekend. I have never read a Patrick Bowers Mystery, and I appear not to have read the first books, so I have to go back. It was a very good read, I give it five stars and would have given it more if I could. An interesting book all the way through, combining family dynamics, serial killers, virtual lives, and a corrupt government system. You know, our usual everyday problems. I was kept guessing for a long time, and I appreciate that in a mystery, as many red herrings as the criminals were supplying to the FBI, the author Steven James was supplying to the reader. Consequently, I was almost able to get to the end of the book before all the disparate pieces came together. It would have been so easy to to assume other endings, which is a testament to the author. I appreciated the inclusion of Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Dolye. It appears that there was a debate within the the story, and of course I sought out my edition of Hamlet right away to compare my thoughts to James'. I can hardly wait to get back to the library for more...



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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Techy Things Teachers Should Try: My Avatar Editor

Techy Things Teachers Should Try: My Avatar Editor: "My Avatar Editor is a free online site where you can create and edit avatars. Gender, height, size, hair and eye color, along with other ph..."

Crashers

CrashersCrashers by Dana Haynes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


WOW! Could not put it down! incredible and dangerous implications for the technology we unthinkingly use everyday. This was a cliffhanger- all the way through, with nice little dalliances into romance and matters of the heart- Plane crashes, huge investigations,FBI, NCIB and more. I especially like the way the investigation played out in the timeline from initial crash point. Reading about the underpinnings of our investigative bodies and how they manage a scene was a big draw for me. I like knowing how things work...



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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead (Armand Gamache, #6)Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


At first I was confused, I got characters mixed up and had to go back a few times to straighten them out in my head; it was well worth the effort however. Louise Penny managed stories within stories, some critical, others secondary but no less important for the characters involved. The humanity each character has makes me want to go back in and find out more about each of the people who made this book such a rich reading experience. They are all flawed, have feelings, histories and messy lives where they are sometimes forced to make difficult choices. I have not read much about Canada, in particular I knew next to nothing about Quebec other than what my school textbooks taught us about trading. I come away after reading this piece with a glimpse of a world unexplored and a need to know more. Chief Inspector Gamache is a man to follow, so I will be looking for him among the stacks.



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Monday, April 18, 2011

Good Friends on Good Reads!

Last one is a rotten egg!
No seriously, the last one is my epal from Guatemala
My epal from Guatemala is finally on Goodreads.com.  I am thrilled!  With all the social networking going on out there, I cannot seem to get my friends to join easily. I know we all read books, maybe they don't all read as voraciously, but they do keep up a respectable pile by their beds.  I have sent out invites a few times, and they slowly trickle in. After a whole year, I am now up to a whopping seven friends.  Ugggh!  I hope if you are a reader, you will take the time to participate.  I have found some good books my friends have suggested to me this way, and I always know what they are reading.  I LOVE talking about books more than technology.  I tell my students about this web 2.0 tool, I want them to track what they are reading while they are young.  Hopefully it will stay free as they grow up.  Yeah Goodreads.com.

Epsilon System Hacked: Has Your E-Mail Been Stolen?

I know mine must have been, I received eight different emails from various companies that my email information was exposed due to the Epsilon hacking incident.  I wonder how many of you got that same message? United retail group, Best Buy, Target and College Board all sent me Epsilon warning notifications in one day.   We use a specific email just for any online transactions, but it doesn't help.  Ultimately, we cannot have a throwaway email.  We actually need some of the  information companies send when we buy stuff online.  For instance, at the Apple store, they email us our receipts, well, I need those receipts.  I need the entrance ticket to the SAT test for my daughter, I need the concert  tickets and boarding passes.   There has to be a secure email associated with my banking and shopping where I can receive notifications if there is a problem.   This past month, I have received three emails from friends that were clearly not from them, they were hacked and now I have changed all my passwords again in case they start getting some from me.  I send out  quite a few emails, I know that may be weird in this world of texting, but it is how schools get work done.  I do not need people scared to open my emails. I have  eleven email accounts and have started just opening them all on my phone, rather than on my computer, I can handle a virus on my phone easier.  The sprint store is closer than the Apple store. Haha!   Meanwhile, I just keep changing my passwords and trying to stay ahead of the hackers.

techtocktoe: Epsilon System Hacked: Has Your E-Mail Been Stolen...

techtocktoe: Epsilon System Hacked: Has Your E-Mail Been Stolen...: "I know mine must have been, I received eight different emails from various companies that my email information was exposed due to the Epsilo..."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bananas Freeze Beautifully!

My sister told me to freeze the bananas!
I have been chucking out dead bananas for years that were just ripe enough for banana bread, but too ripe to eat.  If I didn't have time to make the bread, out they would go.  Now I know to just chuck them in the freezer.  After 2 weeks I have enough for a few loaves of bread.  The family loves it, I don't have to throw anything away and I don't feel guilty buying bananas a few times a  week.

I always add extra bananas to my recipe.  The secret is to add two more than they ask for in  a recipe and leave some nice chunks- don't over-mix if you want moist bread.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is Your Apple Cozy? You can help out.

My apples are super cozy thanks to a local crafter who showed up at knitting last week.  She is looking for other crafters to benefit Emmie Mangione at a Spring Festival Fundraiser.

 It will take place on Saturday, April 30th,
10am-3pm at the Marlton Assembly of God
625 East Main Street in Marlton.

If you are a crafter and want to book a table to benefit Emmie, call 609-980-2240.

 Emmie is a young lady from Marlton, NJ with DiGeorge Syndrome.  She is in need of a special wheelchair with shock absorption to prevent fractures.  Her family also needs the family van adapted to accommodate the chair.   Emmie has four siblings and has been through so much, seven  open-heart surgeries, several strokes, a cardiac arrest and continuous spine fractures. You can meet Emmie at her website.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

After Ever After

After Ever AfterAfter Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Late effects- I never thought about them before. We have a teacher in our town who has been fighting her battle with cancer for the last two years. We are all focused on fundraising, getting her well and into remission, but we don't think about the after, when she may lose her career and not have control of her body again. All those poisons may help her turn a corner, but they may also devastate her golden years. As a follow-up to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, Sonnenblick tells the other part of the story, what happens to people after they "make it." The long-term effects on family, friends and finances still lurk in the future...

Moving on with a life that was once ruled by cancer can be as uplifting and as heartbreaking as the progression of the disease itself.



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A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Lantern

These pictures are shot from angles I was not privy to, alas we arrived too late for choice seats. I should have driven into the city the way I intended, over the Ben and through the woods... but I took the Walt Whitman, and we all know how long-winded he can be. Just saying. The largest cast I have ever seen at the Lantern Theatre Company's yearly Shakespearian production did not delight as much as their Hamlet or Richard the III. Considering it was a comedy, I thought I would enjoy it more than the amazing tragedies I have seen by this theatre company. For all the costuming (which was highly unusual for the lantern) and large cast, it was the small moments that made this production work. Wall for instance, fittingly played by Mark Cairns, who also played Snout and Mustardseed, carried a large portion of the comic relief on his shoulders. I hope to see more of him at the Lantern. Our beloved Benjamin Lloyd made a reappearance and his resounding bellows as Bottom brought life to a production that can be a drag, no offense William, but it is not one of your best plays. The staging was particularly good, staying true to the company's sparse style but offering moments of magic with the fairies. I did wonder at the costuming though, I could not fathom why Mary Folino would have chosen linen of all fabrics for Helena and Hermia. I kept imagining the frantic ironing that needs to take place to bring those mangled costumes back to life. When I write mangled, I mean it, these actors commit fully to every fight and struggle, shedding and tearing at one another's clothes. I only hope that they had a few spare outfits, or they will never make it through the run. As costuming goes, in some areas it can detract, but with performers playing double and triple roles, I can understand the necessity. I need to see this play staged by other companies to make any true review because I never warmed up to the main characters at all, and I am not sure that I am supposed to. Puck (Dave Johnson) stealthily stole this production out from underneath all other players. I found myself watching his face above all others. It was me watching him, watching the action... hmmmm what does that remind me of?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I have officially exceeded my cognitive load


Who knew learning spanish numbers 11-20 would be so stressful for me? Perhaps this is the way our students feel everyday. We should slow down- wish we could, we shoud have more fun- wish we could. It makes me reflect on how busy we all are and how Sundays aren't sacred anymore and how much we need to project a balenced mood in our classrooms. In this class I am taking right now- there is a lot of pressure, there are many intelligent people who constantly keep us on our toes. The stakes feel high, otherwise, why would I be worried about ten little numbers? I was though, and so grateful for the handout- or I would have failed. I guess I need more time (as our students frequently do)with concepts that challenge me.

 I need a break, Seriously!

Connectivism Lesson quiz

Research Reflections



I was grateful for our time last week with the librarian. It reminded me of how much my students enjoy a guest speaker.  Although we had taken library tutorial last semester, I definitely benefitted from the reinforcement and I was glad she reminded us to remove the "Noise Words." Since we are doing so much research right now, this was just-in-time learning.  I also benefitted from the folder conversation. I finally found out what went wrong in 2005, during my senior seminar with Professor Tompkins. All my Northrop Frye research disappeared from my folder after a long night of research and I had to do it all over again. The discussion of  the Interlibrary loan (ILL) was lively, especially since one of our classmates is so far away. I hardly think it would be cost- effective to ship books to Panama, but it is nice to know we can get what we want when we are on campus. I did take advantage of this on a number of occasions and was happy with the result.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love, Honor and Betray

Love, Honor, and BetrayLove, Honor, and Betray by Kimberla Lawson Roby




I am sure there is a market for this type of book, but it is not me. I just picked it up on my weekly run through the library, I think I liked the pink dress.
What a mistake, after the first chapter I thought, "hmmmm", then by the second, I knew it was a trashy sensationalist novel that was not for me. If you are into serial adultery set against the backdrop of a church, by all means, pick up the book yourself. I drove it right back to the library and threw it into the book return with a thud of satisfaction. I think the thing that bugs me most is that there is a market for books where people are selfish and lie and cheat on one another. It reminds me too much of the poor friends I have on the other side of that selfish behavior, the kids whose lives are changed as a result of the deliberate "mistakes" their parents make. It goes on my digital shelf of "Awful books I will not finish reading." I couldn't give it less than one star, I am sure the author worked hard on it, but I wish her thoughts took a different direction.



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Thursday, March 3, 2011

"The Tenth Song"

The Tenth SongThe Tenth Song by Naomi Ragen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Surprise ending and I won't spoil it here- though it did seem a bit rushed. There was build-up but it never actually had a satisfying crescendo. That said, or in this case written, this is the first book I have read by Ragen and I may go back for a second helping because of the simple truths that she reveals. We can surround ourselves with people we think we need approval from, but none of that really matters. Reading the passages about the relationship of Kayla to her mother Abigail reminded me of how we don't always have to have expectations of our kids- we just have to enjoy them.



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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwall

Port Mortuary (Kay Scarpetta Series #18)Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The most disjointed book by Cornwall that has ever come out. It is a fascinating story, but too much. It is hard to feel for the characters because they all veer on the side of being too flawed at this point, almost like a mid-life crisis. The demons of the past have cropped up in so many stories, now the past IS one of the characters. Fielding's past was de rigueur, as was the recent Briggs connection. Unfortunately, the whole locked box/apatheid story could have been a completely different narrative; too many elements all crammed into one made it a convoluted and tangled mess.

I am not used to being disappointed by this particular author and everyone knows I am going to snap the next novel up, but I can not help but point out that I was at times frustrated by the pace and the enormity of detail that all takes place in a two-day period. I do believe the assumption that Scarapetta could go from a pcp-induced rant to being able to sift through data and remains without sleep or food is expecting too much. I want to be clear, each story line and detail was good, just not this particular amalgam in a miniscule time frame. It would be nice to stay within the realm of possibility and not be removed from all the action at the same time. Expecting us to believe that Marino, Lucy and Benton and other staff would knowingly allow so much to go awry in Scarpetta's absence is not bearable either. She was blinded on such a monumental scale that we lose faith in the character. It may also be time for Scarpetta to be able to work a crime scene or case without being in physical danger or under threat herself. The helicopter inspection didn't really connect to anything later in the story. It was setting us up for Lucy to be in danger ...and then...fail.



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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rest in Peace

The Word "said" lived a long and busy life, gracing the writing pieces of novice writers world-wide. Although he was just a simple word, many people adopted him and used him on a daily basis. Unfortunately, "said" tired and overused, gave in under such intense pressure and gasped with one last breath, "Please forget me when I'm gone."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tech Quiz

We were asked to post our quiz results here, and for now it will clutter up my blog. While not immediately valuable to me, I did see that some people in our class learned how to grab an embed code for the first time to post various assignments and assessments to their blogs. I can see the value in this when working with my own students and asking them to post their results. This works only if the quiz locks them out after the first try and if the students are comfortable posting their grades in an online forum. Hmmmmmm... food for thought. I am conflicted because I KNOW that I have students that would be horrified and some students that wouldn't care a whit. I know I took the quiz a few times just so I could post my best score. If the quiz is being used to LEARN, and not as a FINAL assessment, it could be valuable to post the score certificate, such as " When you score an 80 or above, post your quiz certificate." Another observation I had is that I would ask students to use their first names or nicknames so their full names would not be published on the certificate.

Bit of a control freak here

I now have a direction for our lesson, but I am not inspired to write much about it here yet. I am still digesting this upcoming lesson for tonight's class, it should be interesting to create a pln graphic using only text. I was a little confused by the directions because we were supposed to be able to work on something we wanted to work on, but if we are in groups maybe we will be arranged according to the topics we selected. Anyway I created my own for tonight in case we have more rough snowstorms- here it is.


Perhaps I need some coffee to get motivated- I was up all night waiting for a snow day to be called or not called for kids and myself- amazing that I can never sleep when a snow day may occur. I am glad my partner and I got together for our project- I always feel unsettled with things that are not certain. I get anxious, just like the snow day thing. I guess I am a bit of a control freak. Since many people in class exhibit these tendencies- because we prefer to work alone rather than give up control, I thought I would share this picture...
I hope they are all headed in the same direction...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Who wants to follow them?

After tonight's lesson in class, I  am so much more aware of how the stakes have risen.  A perfectly executed lesson is a hard act to follow.  I particularly noticed how the assessment quiz related to the instruction and with the flashcards. The end result was tied in with the actual lesson, and if I took more time I would have aced my quiz, as it was I got a 60% because I kept selecting what I would do rather than what Gagne would do.  I would dissect at least part of frog to gain student attention rather than show a video clip, but that is just me.
I already have too many flashcards, but I can narrow them down to 10  assessment questions easily.  In fact, I think I may have already done this without knowing.  Let me explain, the quizlet application creates quizzes as well as flashcards- so I really just have to copy and paste 10 of the best into proprofs or word.  I can see if I can use quizlet to give me a link for others to take the kind of quiz I want them to take. Of course, Brian was going to do that part so we may have to shift roles yet again and trade jobs. We will see. I was so glad Dustin and Erin used the notebook software, not only because it is my favorite software and so much fun, but because it worked in WIMBA!  Finally, something works in the Wimba window the way it is supposed to. I learned some new things tonight about teaming up in the wimba environment.  Clearly the chat window was always being monitored by at least one of the presenters.  They handled the whole environment very well.  The bell ringing and little horn were nice touches.  I am glad Dustin and Erin used the people in the room to their advantage to assist them in making it such a great lesson.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday

 My husband is having a birthday and that day is special enough for me to splurge on the most fantastic cupcakes that exist.  I will share some of them here with you in the hopes that someone inspired  enough in your area will make these mouth-watering treats for YOU.
The flavors are divine and fit for the angels.
The shop has a wonderful baker who lives- GASP!- 6 blocks away from me.  Thank goodness her shop is out of town or I would weight 300 pounds.  I do not eat sweets often, I prefer carbs- all carbs- all the time, but these creations are good enough to make me turn a blind eye to macaroni and feast on sugar! 

Can you just die looking at them?













Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I have to remember to put it all in one place!

Theory presentation notes:
A jog may work,  I have been using Tolis' tool since last semester with a vengeance!  Here is a sample of some jogs I have created for various content areas.  I think for Brian and I, we may have to put everything in one place to present.  We run the risk of people running ahead- but it will save time in opening files and avoid the whole sharing nightmare that I had before in Wimba.  Last semester, I pre-loaded a powerpoint- and then once I hit the archive button,  it wouldn't load properly in the screen.  I hate the lag of presentations in total share mode, it just gets annoying for me.  Therefore, I must stick to my guns.  Other questions remain--- what lesson to teach?  Which Synectic strategy to use?  I do not want to over-think it, nor do I want to leave anyone confused as to the application of Synectic theory.  Last semester was definitely simpler, but I am grateful that Brian and I do not have to present first.  I made the powerpoint too long last semester- so I am glad Brian will do our digital summary.  He is bound to get right to the heart of the theory.

Reflection on class:
I was kicked out of wimba a few times- that means Brian and I each have to have total access to everything we are creating- so we have a back-up plan.  I felt bad for John and Ryan, because they did not have the benefit of watching some of us struggle last semester with Murphy and his "anything that can happen, will happen."  I thank them for paving the way.  Can't wait for next week, the avatars are my favorite elements of the presentations so far.  I want puppet avatars.

School Tech: 6 Important Lessons From Maine's Student Laptop Program

School Tech: 6 Important Lessons From Maine's Student Laptop Program | Diigo

Since we are involved in the Talent 21 grant in NJ, I thought I would share this article.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken Marsala

To prepare chicken tenderloins or thin breasts, pound flat and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge in flour and then egg, then sauté in oil and butter 4 minutes each side.

To prepare sauce:
Start with a liberal amount of olive oil and one dollop of butter in a heavy skillet. Add 1/4 cup onion, 1 garlic clove (smashed), and sauté.
Add 3 teaspoons flour to make a roux, deglaze pan with 1 cup marsala wine. Add mushrooms and chopped fresh parsley. When mushrooms are tender, add 1 1/2 cups beef broth. Let thicken, pour over chicken breasts.  Salt and pepper to taste.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sticky Lemon Chicken with Champ

Sticky Lemon Chicken with Champ
My husband made this wonderful dish for us for dinner and I had to share. It is Gordon Ramsey's recipe and there is a youtube video that teaches how to make it.  When I came home after a very long Monday, this was a real treat.  We had to eat late as the kids had tons of activities, but it was worth it.  I brought in leftovers to school the next day and I literally had a circle of people around me after I heated it up.  They all wanted some.   In case you want to try to make it, here is the video.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everybody's Different...

During our class tonight, I really noticed how everyone can hear the same thing and come up with a completely different understanding of what they heard.  We all bring our own filters to the table.  People who were familiar with Learning Theory Families knew certain things and the rest of the class played catch up.  The ones who understood the way the product could look or what it should represent, didn't necessarily understand the content.  THANK GOODNESS we had each other.  We all come from different backgrounds and don't all have the same starting point.
  After examining some of the products, I knew we shouldn't have second-guessed our inclination to have some text in the product.  I felt like the link we created for the two families was not clear. Halfway through the exercise- I realized someone else had joined our team, so that was a surprise.  When I tried to load Ryan's PowerPoint, it fragged my macbook and I had to switch to another macbook. I was lucky I had another on hand.  Whew!   I may have to re-download the Office for Mac software because I think my PowerPoint is corrupted.  I have had trouble a few times with it and I do not have time for that in this class.  It just won't do if my macbook freezes up when I open a PowerPoint.  Half the time we are opening PowerPoints.

Our Class- as different as the two sides of the brain
 I was unaware that we could have two wimba rooms, though we can't be in both at the same time.  If we can I haven't figured our how to do it.  I truly enjoyed working with new people tonight. Even though we each brought different understanding to the communal table, I feel like we worked well as a team.  We LEARNED as a team, made decisions as a team, what emerged was our shared understanding or misunderstanding, which is an example of George Siemen's connectivism. Here is a link to a nice Connectivism glossary.

I love pot luck suppers because you never know what you are going to get, and there is always the potential to find a new dish to enjoy.  In the case of this class, the mixture of students who are familiar with each other and the students who are fresh to the group are going to make this an interesting and rewarding semester.  The scavenger hunt activity was fun and we were so careful to leave breadcrumbs.  Consequently, when we opened another group's hunt, we were laughing because they left just the bare bones for clues, and we still found what we needed to find.  It goes to show that one method can be just as right as another, or there is MORE than one way to skin a cat.  I wonder who came up with that saying? Who wanted to skin a cat anyway?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pseudostupidity

"The tendency to approach problems at much too complex a level and fail, not because the tasks are difficult, but because they are too simple." (Elkind)

Trying not to over-think the tasks in front of me, hard to do. I couldn't even make breakfast happen right this morning, burned the wrong sausage- the plantains not ripe enough, not happy with rice cooker, hated the back-up breakfast choices, and over-thinking my schoolwork enough that I don't even feel confident enough to take the syllabus quiz. I should have moved past this stage during adolescence, but apparently, I am still stuck. Sorry for complaining, trying to move past it all. I would help if I chose ONE direction to concentrate on for more than five minutes. I keep going back and forth. You can tell because I am here blogging instead of working.  My process of learning stinks on a regular basis, and today it is just a mess.

UPDATE:
Ok, after a little nap and some amazing macha refreshing me, I have returned to life, though I do not plan on cooking or baking anything until I am sure the curse has worn off. The syllabus quiz was too easy for all the stress I assigned it (I hate timed assessments), and I have looked at many examples of  Synectics.  I am taking it slow, I will get to the personal learning theory papers next after I am done looking at all the synectics examples.  I am grateful that they are all posted for our benefit in the course materials section.  It would be helpful to know which ones were the best- if there was a rating system so we know which are the absolute BEST examples.

 After looking at a few websites that showed "best practices"  I came to the conclusion that it is easy to slap a "best practices" label on anything.  As we have peer-reviewed articles available to us through the library or other internet sources- it would be helpful to have peer-reviewed websites for all teachers to access for any best practices claim. I know there was some talk about an alternate internet of only peer reviewed "stuff"  Forgot what it was called.  Waiting for it... we all know what works BEST for us or for our students, to have websites rated not by number of hits but by scholarship and experience would be amazing (Plus just think of all the jobs that would be created this way).

On another positive note, I  was on EBSCO and realized that some of the articles has associated mp3's what a boon to my tired eyes!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Learning Style

I had to decide what my learning style was, I think this is it.  I like a model, I am not very creative on my own, but I can find applications and tweaks ONCE I have a model.  Tonight's class was good, some fresh faces and lots of familiar faces as well.  Brian is mine, hopefully he and I have fun discovering Synectics, I have NO idea what that is.  Sounds fishy to me.
The syllabus is a furry, smelly beast right now that I have not yet made friends with. I know once we start rolling,  it will stop having eight heads and a thousand claws, but I also know it will be a lot of work in a very short period of time.  So enough of my jawing, I have to get back to work.  Honestly I do.  My readers need to ready themselves to read another smattering of weekly class posts interspersed with my real life, my non-academic life, which fits into like TWO hours of my day, when I should be sleeping, or showering or something extremely creative or fun.
My Learning Style
I have planned some fun in the next week and then officially my life is over until this class is behind me.  I will be done by Easter break, that is a blessing because I plan on visiting some friends far away. I posted a plea for an epal from Paris, France, I will have to see if I get one. I need one for this course, so if you know anyone, and DRINNE, I am sure YOU do, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Time

Bridge

NYC ##

Meditation

So thankful for my home right now

My home may be small, I may have one bathroom, but I have a place to go every night. I am so sad for the family from my school who lost their house today. I can collect clothing and gift cards to give them, to replace some of the things they have lost. However, I cannot give them a place to go tonight, and for the coming months, that they can call home. There is nothing like the feeling of pulling into my driveway and having my home waiting for me. Just imagining how they feel is depressing beyond words. If you care to help, I will update this post with an address where donations can be sent.

A Skull in Connemara | 2010/11 Season | Lantern Theater Company


A Skull in Connemara | 2010/11 Season | Lantern Theater Company
I cannot wait to see this Saturday night with my daughter and her friends. I will review after the show and update you here.

UPDATE:  Ok, we saw it and laughed our faces off. There are times NOT to read a play ahead of time, and this was one of them.   I think I still have bones in my hair, and now I know there should not only be a warning about possible smoking on stage, but a directive to PLEASE WEAR GOGGLES to this show if you value your eyesight just the tiniest bit. Since it is an extremely small, black box theatre, everyone got hit with a bit of skeleton.  After all, they have no room left in Connemara, so we may as well take the remains home with us.
Jake Blouch was a true delight as Mairtin, he was a fresh face to the Lantern Theatre Company and I hope they bring him back for more, once they fix his skull and clean him up a bit.  Completely engaged in his character, his lewdness and moronic demeanor kept us alternately gasping with horror and hilarity, especially when he became particularly intimate with a pair of skulls. Stephen Novelli was equally impressive and also new to the company, I plan on following his career  to see what else he shows up in. As the play progressed, his character (Mick) was pulling on our heartstrings one moment, then shocking us with his swaggering show of bravada and might in the next.  I could not believe I was seeing the same Jered McLenigan I saw in Taming of the Shrew and Henry IV Part I.  I do believe it is time for him to update his program photo, I didn't recognize him either time, he is good at either not looking like his picture, or else the extremely short haircut was throwing me off.  McLenigan's too-tight, too-short pants reminded me of Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury.  He was also quite adept at strutting around the stage playing Thomas Hanlon, the man we LOVE to hate because he is just that good at being a nasty bugger. Ellen Mulroney's back was to us most of the play, which I think is an oversight in blocking, normally the Lantern manages those bits more effectively, so I don't feel up to giving her Maryjohnny any kind of review.  I could not see her face.  Trust me, the merest expressions on the other three actors would carry this show even if the script wasn't as hysterical as Martin McDonagh could make it, with the digging up of one's own wife and all the bones being flung about. The choice of actors is a triumph for director Kathleen MacMillan. I only hope they don't run out of bones before the end of the run.  It is a shame it is only a three-week run, I would LOVE to go back and see it again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Are you on the lam?

My baby enjoying my old woobie
Those of you close to me know that I love my woobie, I am like Linus, I carry it around the house and it gets beat up.  I have had my latest one for almost ten years. My woobie was left behind on our family vacation to comfort my dogs.  We were going away for a week and I felt awful about leaving them in a "Doggie Resort."  Even thought the place was nice, the staff were friendly and it was all clean, I know that my dogs are used to comfort.  They loll around on couches and rugs all day, not hard concrete floors.  Even though the cage was the size of my tiny kitchen, where my dogs typically spend their days when I am at work, I couldn't relax.
My husband came up with the brilliant idea of leaving them my woobie.  I have been asking for no less than five years for a new one and each Mother's Day, Valentines Day and Christmas Day passed by with no new woobie in sight (Birthdays are for big-ticket items like couches and vans). My husband promised I could go out and get a new one if I gave mine to the dogs.  I dropped my babies off with my woobie and KNEW that it could never grace my bed again after living in a Doggie Motel.

My Temporary Woobie
We came back from vaca and I FORGOT I had no woobie to sleep with.  IMAGINE!  My husband gave me his blanket, which I hate, but he slept with a little kid's blanket until I could get a replacement.  After a few cold nights I stopped by my local quilt shop to select one.   I will not mention the name of the shop until the mystery is solved, but here is my new Flannel Quilted woobie.  It took a few minutes to decide from what they were WILLING to sell.  I picked the better of two evil patterns. I got the granny one instead of the great-granny one.  Actually, I chose the thicker of the two because it is so cold right now, but it will never work for the summer months.  I really wanted the ones hanging on the ceiling (they were so amazazing) and will have to wait until they run out of the fabric that they used for them.

So I am announcing that is is my temporary woobie. I prefer one with many piecings and a gentler design with GOOD color choices.   Here is the strange part of my story, I wanted to photograph the women who made my woobie; one jumped right in and the other was strangely reticent.  She would only show the side of her face and I assure you, she is quite pretty, not deformed at all.  I know I take a bad picture, but I would never hide my face on a creation photo.    Truly weirded out now, I wonder what the deal is. Is she on the lam? Did she kidnap her child and run away?  Is she in the witness protection program?  Hmmmm.  I feel a little bad speculating like this when she could just be shy, or maybe she hated the quilt she made.  It's a mystery...
She almost wouldn't take the picture

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Monday, January 3, 2011

It's all who you know

Biggest Hit Day Ever



Thank you David Pogue, you brought my obscure blog over 5,000 hits in one day.  You tweeted my post to your over 1,328,181 followers, and I was famous for my 15 minutes (My brush with fame). You also have me tweeting again after a little hiatus.  I have forgotten how much information and how many cool people I met on twitter. New items I learned from twitter this week: how long the lines were are SeaworldDelicious is up for sale, and people get real sappy around the holidays. Mr. Pogue, since you were so generous with me I will re-post your latest book here in hopes that anyone reading this will run out and support your latest endeavor. 
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