Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mild update

Ah well, it's been one of those weeks of oddities. Like watching Kirk Cameron argue, with a colleague, make the case for the existence of g-d using bananas and constant appeals to intelligent design. Sigh. I believe in the Noodly Appendage, myself. G'head - google it. Have fun with your intellect today.

This week, I have been enjoying myself rather a bit too much by driving around St.Kitt's with my Sens flag happily flapping about. I thought about putting a picture of the Leafs playing golf, but I figured that would definitely shorten the lifespan of my own flag. People down here don't have much of a sense of humour. Leafs fans particularly.

Heh, heh. Anyway, my television is waiting for the game, and my fingers are crossed that the signal will hold out. See, I hate cable. I hate paying for things I won't use, generally, and cable channels I don't really use. I'm a TVO, CBC kinda gal. Just need my Corrie St. my murder shows, and my hockey. But I have gremlins in my tv when it comes to the CBC channel here. They know exactly when there's a Sens game on, or a Corrie show, and phissttt - there goes the signal.

And trust me, it is not fun being the only Sens fan in a hotel down here (you have to go to a hotel because the sports bars will only show a Sens game when it's against the Leafs, and well, that's not happening anymore this season).

So wish me luck with the signal. The Sens can take care of themselves. Usually.

End of first period update: insert every bloody expletive you can think of....miserable gremlins...off to hotel...effing Niagara...love the score so far

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I am so not going to be responsible for this one...

Uh uh. No way. You and you alone will have to accept responsibility for the hours wasted watching the videoclips and laughing your ass off.

Ready?

I warned you, though.

Go here: Ezprezzo.com

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blow me down...

...and call me a flat pancake!

From the NYT:

"ROME, Jan. 18 - The official Vatican newspaper published an article this week labeling as "correct" the recent decision by a judge in Pennsylvania that intelligent design should not be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution.

"If the model proposed by Darwin is not considered sufficient, one should search for another," Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, wrote in the Jan. 16-17 edition of the paper, L'Osservatore Romano.

"But it is not correct from a methodological point of view to stray from the field of science while pretending to do science," he wrote, calling intelligent design unscientific. "It only creates confusion between the scientific plane and those that are philosophical or religious."

The article was not presented as an official church position. But in the subtle and purposely ambiguous world of the Vatican, the comments seemed notable, given their strength on a delicate question much debated under the new pope, Benedict XVI.

Advocates for teaching evolution hailed the article. "He is emphasizing that there is no need to see a contradiction between Catholic teachings and evolution," said Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, professor of biology at the University of California, Irvine, and a former Dominican priest. "Good for him."

The NYT article goes on to note that L'Osservatore Romano is widely seen as representing Vatican views, as it's the official newspaper. Which is different to say it reflects church policy, but draw your own inferences.

The Noodly Appendage wiggled in approval.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Another lesson learned

This one goes into that little pamphlet mothers could write to pass on to their daughters:

Any woman thinking of getting married should, in all instances, ensure that the cost of the wedding be equal to, or more, than the cost of the divorce.

Those divorce costs are usually fixed, and it's kind of a pain in the ass to spend all that money to rid yourself of a bad case of lingering faulty judgement. You find yourself thinking of those vacations that could have been taken with that money, the cute little boots that you'd reluctantly put back...you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It wasn't even Friday, or the 13th!

Sigh.

Teaching is a profession fraught with difficulties sometimes. Such as, that time when (because you believe in authentic materials in the classroom) you tape a key video segment that lectures on WWII at the general level (taught by an award-winning lecturer that your students fell in love with) to WWII at the individual level (done by an incomparable advocate for the beauty in life), which also has the perfect interviewing techniques already covered in class, and which, in your enthusiasm for donating money to TVO, having just taped said segment, and anxiously awaiting the next installment of the current Brit show you are watching, whilst talking to the lovely woman volunteer on the phone, you promptly hit record so's not to miss your Brit show, taping over said perfect piece of of video of WWII at the individual level.

Of course, the exact nature of the 'fraughtness factor' is that this mistake must NOT become evident until the next morning, when you are in the class, teaching the students and the tape is rolling.

So we did something else.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hmmm...

Random thoughts...

David Byrne's been playing Missy Elliot all month. Damn. Fuck. Damn. Like that girl. Stumbled across her tv show before this little dip into her world.

I LOOOOOVVVEEEEE her style!

You have a few more days to check her out. But not around the kids - those lyrics are X-fucking rated. Whoooo. But bloody effective. e.e. cummings fades into the dust against Missy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Horn tootin'

Well, you'll have noticed my posting has been spotty. Don't recall if I shared with y'all the fact that at the end of the summer, I was teaching overtime, and then - stopping for a breath of a week - began teaching again in the linguistics department.

And then, my teaching load there changed by the day and hour, with me finally being the instructor for a course I'd never taught, in a context I'd never taught. Nerve wracking to say the least.

What got lost in the shuffle was how terrible the one, intensive English contract ended. The simmering conflict over methodologies, and teachers-as-robots/students as miserable SOBs vs teaching-as-facilitating/students are learners with huge stores of knowledge to be acknowledged, exploded. Oh yeah. Reduced me to tears of frustration. And a shouting match with one of the coordinators (she in favour of turnitin.com) where I ended the "conversation" by saying that if teachers are doing their job, there's no need for such a service, and that said service was immoral. And the bitch yelled at one of my students! OOOOOHHHHHH! You know me, she's lucky I didn't deck her.

Anyway, one moment of vindication came at the closing ceremonies, where all the teachers were called to accept some little token of appreciation. There was polite clapping for the teachers until my name was called - at that point the room broke out into yells and cheers, and loud 'woo hoo'ing'. That was sweet.

Sweet too to get the results of the teaching assessment today. It's divided into two categories, one dealing mostly with instructional materials, student self-assessment, course expectations. On the scores where you'd expect to see a dip in numbers because I was teaching using a different methodology (mine, not theirs), there was one - to be expected. I wasn't rote teaching, and that was the expectation. On the whole the numbers were satisfying, though frustrating because of events out of my control (i.e. low scores for the textbook being useful - no shit! The texts were crap!)

When it came down to the numbers for the teacher though (helpfulness, class interesting, clear explanations, encouraging students' questions, making them feel comfortable) the numbers soared. Across the board.

So I did my job, and it worked. I valued the students, and they got something out of it. Validation. I've never given a fuck about the administration, or the politics of brown-nosing, I care about teaching and learning.

There's an extra sheet where students comments are attached. They were positive, but one made me laugh my ass off, and I thank whichever student wrote it. S/he wrote, using that expressive succinct language we talked about in class: "The University must keep her."

Funny, then, that after my batailles with the other teaching staff, I was declined employment in the unit for the fall term, eh?

I'll take my sweet satisfaction of a job well done where it matters most - from my students.

So sorry...

Guess what happens when you suddenly find yourself teaching a 4th year bilingualism course, when you last studied that topic, ohhhh, 12 fucking years ago?

That's right, uh huh. No life. Sorry.

By way of apology, and to spread the word (via BBC6 - that radio station ROCKS! and Moby's blog):


____________________________________
woman kicked off southwest airlines flight
Oct 07, 2005 - New York City

a woman who was wearing a t-shirt with pictures of bush, cheney and condi rice, and with the slogan 'meet the fockers' was kicked off of a southwest airlines flight.
let's just get this straight: she was kicked off of the flight FOR WEARING A T-SHIRT THAT THE STAFF FOUND OFFENSIVE.
you know what?
i find southwest airlines offensive.
i do hereby encourage you and everyone you know to boycott southwest airlines.
spread the word.
-moby


___________________________________

P.S. his bit on who has/hasn't served in the US military pretty nifty too.