Here are a few short films and YouKu discoveries my students have shared recently.
Musings and chronicles on life, work, film, culture, politics, etc.
19 Apr 2013 1 Comment
For the first time the university sports day was mandatory for teachers. The pain of having to be up and ready by 7:20 am so we could wait in the cold was eased by new flashy, cool jackets.
In the past, this was a chance to travel without being part of a holiday hordes. Some colleagues did go out of town this afternoon, but I’m going to the International Kite Festival an hour or so away from here in Weifang so I stayed put.
11 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
Cartoon + Narration with a British accent = Fun and memorable
(Though kids not everything in school can be fun.)
08 Dec 2012 Leave a Comment
It’s exam time and final essay time and I’m drowning in paper. What a horrible feeling.
As I go through each test or essay, I start with so much hope. A ten percent of the time I’m rewarded, but often there’s no magical change. The same perfunctory responses. I think by the time they’re finished with high school they’ve been so conditioned to think that’s what school is for that that’s all ninety percent of them can do. There’s a lot of “heavy lifting” to get them to move beyond the standard.
21 Nov 2012 Leave a Comment
By John Green, a novelist you can trust. Everyone’s got 12 minutes for some history, right?
15 Nov 2012 1 Comment
As part of a unit on travel, I had my students make restaurant review videos. Each group had to choose a restaurant and review its foods. Here are some of the results:
There were 15 groups and not one tried a foreign restaurant. Jinan has Italian, Thai, Western and French food. I had hoped they would, but I didn’t insist on that. Where’s the sense of adventure?
Well, they do eat donkey, snake and cicadas here so I can’t say people aren’t adventurous eaters.
02 Nov 2012 2 Comments
This week I’ve got to hand in a Library Science 501 assignment that’s driving me crazy. We have to compare and evaluate the Amazon, Open Library‘s and the university’s two search interfaces using Toni Morrison‘s A Mercy and The Filter Bubble. It requires painstaking examining and documenting. On top of that figuring out how to get every little detain into a chart is no mean feat. It’s exasperating and driving me crazy. I’ve allocated an hour a day for the last two weeks. I’m almost done and will be so glad to be finished.
Ugh! How I dread the hour a day I invest into this project.
I’m much better suited to designing projects, writing or analyzing broader ideas.
14 Sep 2012 Leave a Comment
Years ago I read a story in the Chicago Tribune about a Chicago Public School teacher who reprimanded a student for not having his homework or not paying attention in class. She hadn’t been sarcastic or unprofessional in her choice of words, yet the boy felt embarrassed in front of his peers. I think we can all remember times when we did or didn’t do something in school and we got called on it. We were in the wrong, but it still felt bad.
This boy sought revenge. He wasn’t going to let this incident go so he took a hammer to school and when he had an opportunity, he hit his teacher again and again. This Chicago Public School teacher suffered permanent brain damage. Her family lost the woman they knew and had to adjust their lives as a family who’s father is a cop and he’s been shot or beaten. At least though, the police officer would have been trained and armed to defend himself.
Do you see why I side with the Chicago Public School teachers as they strike for a professional wage and object to accountability standards that are unrealistic given the challenges they face? Before the Chicago Public Schools test out merit pay and such new measures, Skokie, Glenview, Evanston and Waukegan and other communities with fewer challenges should see how it works first.
It does look like the parties will soon make a deal. I don’t think missing a week of school isn’t educational. I think, if they examine the situation, older students will certainly learn something quite important.
12 Sep 2012 1 Comment
I think last time I was here in the fall, I arrived later in the semester because I don’t remember seeing the freshmen marching all around campus. I had been told they begin college with a couple weeks of marching, but I hadn’t actually seen it.
Students report at 6 am to begin their day of marching and continue, with breaks till nighttime. Men and women all must march and shout. It’s said to build character. Given some of my more unruly, immature students, I’m not sure it works. If only I could send them over for a tune up.