Thursday, October 20, 2011

Merge Early

merge early, expect

sudden slowing or

stopping, watch for

I am a poetry addict, but not a poet. And I look for it everywhere. Recently, this ghosted up on my computer when I opened it up. I thought someone had sent me some poetry, or perhaps had begun writing a poem on my computer. I was mesmerized. Watch for what?

When my old power book finally got it's systems in order, I recognized Chongo's driver's ed program on the screen. The ordinariness of its intended meaning took all the lovely excitement from me.

Except for the part that didn't, the part that still linked to the almost poem, that kept remembering -- all day -- expect sudden slowing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dinner Party conversation

A kindergarten teacher I know went to a dinner party with some of her banker husbands colleagues.

"So what do you do?" She was asked.
"I'm a kindergarten teacher."
A silent pause followed. "Well you can always move up, right."

Have you ever tried teaching kindergarten?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The educational value of the "The Simpsons

My kids have been watching The Simpsons for several years now. It's not always appropriate, but it's always funny, often educational and sometimes even "educational." We limited them to one show per day, not because of time but we just figured that was enough "education" for one day.

I'm sure more than a few thesis have been written about The Simpsons and their commentary on culture, politics etc. -- and my kids are the stellar examples of that Simpson influence. They've seen most of the episodes by now covering references from Nixon's Watergate to Shakespeare. Often, in the middle of a dinner table conversation we turn to explain something to the kids and they say "oh, we know."
"Really?" I'm always surprised. "Where did you hear about that?"
"The Simpsons."
It's an invariable answer -- I've heard it so much I'd roll my eyes if I wasn't so impressed with how complete the education is. Granted it's a superficial, humorous version of events or works, but what they know works like a hangar for the rest of what they learn on those subjects. It means they can sit at the dinner table and not be lost around adult conversation. I'm convinced it makes them more savvy in their understanding of our culture.

The other day Maia rattled of a speech from Macbeth. "Where did you learn that?" I asked.
"The Simpsons," she said. I rolled my eyes. "Well, I heard some of it on The Simpsons, and then I found it online and memorized it."

And isn't that the best thing an educator can hope for? When students learn enough on a subject to so thoroughly peak their interest, that they go out and deepen their understanding on their own.