Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Classic Whateverness

When I was in college, a friend and I hosted a show on the campus radio station. We called it "Classic Full Operation." Our musical tastes diverged wildly, with only occasional overlaps. our format was quite simple: we alternated tunes, each of us picking whatever we felt like at the moment, often in direct response to the other's choice. It probably was the only radio show where one might here The Grateful Dead followed by Spyro Gyra. Sometimes we mixed it up and had to pick random songs from what the other had brought. Thematically it made no real sense. But somehow it worked. Well, for us; I can't speak for anyone who actually may have been listening.

I bring up that memory because I suspect this post is going to take on the feel of Classical Whateverness. Like a scattershooting piece, I'm simply going to comment on a variety of topics as they pop into my head. Some have been bubbling there for a while. Some are just occurring to me as I write. Don't expect much depth, but perhaps I'll stumble into something thought provoking. So here goes.

The Jeff Bliss video in which he lights into teacher at Duncanville High bothers me on many levels, mainly in how quickly so many have made him a heroic figure. Whether his points are right or not--and I tend to agree with--such petulance isn't the route to improvement....Why do we revel in such scenes? I worry about our civility....Is part of that video's appeal that too many have wanted to say that to some teacher? Sad thought....First trophy in over 30 years, first league title in over 40, couple of runner-up spots, return to European football--and Roberto Mancini is sacked by Manchester City. Yikes!...I've become huge fan of Twitter, and I've become fascinated by all the various ways different people use it and the sub-cultures. I may blog about it at some point. In meantime I hope Nick Bilton's book on it comes out soon....One real danger of Twitter is how easily it can become a self-affirming echo chamber....Also need to not correlate higher numbers with better quality....Best parts: easy connections and vetted resources flowing right to you all the time....I always feel a bit guilty when someone follows me and I don't follow back. But part of how I manage Twitter is by controlled following. That and hash tags....Never fail to enjoy post-series handshakes in NH!L, especially after game 7s. Love that teams can compete as intensely as that and then treat each other honorably....Sometimes the pessimistic bit of me frets we may be more than halfway to 22nd century before we can finally stop using the term 21st century education....Does anyone who's never taught realize how incredibly difficult it is? So when I think of the video mentioned above, I know there could be way too many minute-long clips I sure wouldn't want out there....Finally reading Prof. Cathy Davidson's Now You See It. Sure, I'm part of the choir, but it's still an amazing sermon that I think all should hear....When did I stop listening to music regularly? Was it when I had kids?...Had to stop at a Wal-Mart around 1:00 PM Monday on way to an appointment. Saw at least a dozen school-aged children there. It symbolizes for me that, amidst all the educational rhetoric, a large challenge is getting many people to care and/or see value of school....I am all for schools considering new models and practices, but we need to be wary of celebrating every act of innovation as a great effort. The work is too important to just keep throwing up new stuff and seeing what sticks. I want deeply thoughtful and intentional movement forward....Those who favor year-round school have never experienced the truly good tired of May as a great year winds down.

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