Thursday, December 11, 2008

The BHS Teacher Study Group, meme tags, and solipsism

Solipsism (a great word, and one I saw recently on another blog) reigns in December--the world shrinks to what I hold in my head. Since I fear the shadows, I pretend they do not surround me in December.

Still, business goes on, and I manage to pretend I have some kind of grip on reality. I can still tell time. I can still tie my tie. I can still recite a lesson.

In the meantime, I let important stuff slip by. A blog hardly replaces pen on paper (but then again, pen on paper hardly replaces a quill on parchment).

So a few notes to a few people who might be peeking here:

BHS Teacher Study Group
Melissa Mergott is a teacher at Bloomfield High School. Like most large high schools in America, teachers live in fiefdoms called departments. We rarely cross over our moats to the castles in the neighborhood, and as a result we talk about "the math woman who coaches softball" or "the shop guy who looks like Walt Whitman"--we vaguely know who we are, but we know each other's names about as well as most suburbanites know the folks who live 3 blocks away.

Melissa has started the Bloomfield High School Teacher Study Group. We meet 2 or 3 times a month. We're trying to figure out what works, what doesn't. We're going to observe each other. On Monday Melissa single-handedly got 3 more teachers onto the blogosphere.

I have no idea where we're going to go, but I find this all very exciting; teaching is a craft, a marvelous craft worth studying, a craft that mixes methods and mysticism and hard work.

I get to hang out with a few other teachers crazy enough to give up time become better teachers. It beats complaining in the lounge.

Horseshoe crabs

Jessica Pierce is a baker and artist and writer in Atlanta. Don't worry, she's not the kind of baker or artist or writer who will hand you a business card telling you she's a baker and an artist and a writer. (She might give you a robot card that looks suspiciously handmade.)

She sends me bunnies. My students know her bunnies will help them through tests. Even 14 year old boys who weigh over 200 pounds. My bunnies are multiplying. Thousands of young adults in Bloomfield know about her bunnies.

I collected a few horseshoe crab shells--not horseshoe crabs, that's illegal here, but molts. I planned to paint them gold and send a few out. I haven't done it yet.

At first I thought it was sheer laziness, but now I realize it's because I am not convinced humans have come up with any pigment that can improve upon what they look like now.

So I'm going to send just plain ol' horseshoe crabs. Once I find a box....

Meme tags

I'm not sure what a meme is, and Wordle is new to me, but I have been tagged twice this week by bloggers I admire, Clay Burrell and Lucy Chili.

I told them both I will do the wordle thing and post it here, and I will.

As soon as I have a few moments to play with it.

I had a few moments:

To the Heath Family

A great man died this week. Brilliant, accomplished, a star to those who keep track by measurable accomplishments. And that's all pretty cool.

Still, I wanted you to know what I heard most. He was kind. "The kindest man I ever knew."

I'm not likely to ever be President or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a movie star or even a local hero. But even if I were, I cannot imagine anything I'd want to hear more at my own wake than those words.

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