Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oh, that actually has a name?

This afternoon I was scrolling through my RSS reader, and one feed caught my eye: Are we doing anything today?
Every year my students read All Quiet on the Western Front. I force them through the process of a Quaker Read then into developing a poem from lines culled from the chapter. It takes a couple of days of work, but looking at the poems and listening to their comments makes the effort worthwhile.
A Quaker Read?

Perhaps I've been out of the classroom too long, but I had no idea what a Quaker Read is.

From a webpage at Seattle University, Reading Response and Discussion Strategies, we learn,
Quaker Read
Readers fist select a significant passage, line, or phrase from the reading. Then, seated in a circle giving no explanation or rationale, one student reads his/her selection aloud. In no particular order, another reader adds his/her selection, and on and on. The key is to listen and consider how your selected passage connects to (or even contrasts with) the passage read. Remind students that lulls, pauses, and repeated passages are fine.
Oh, it has a name...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I'm not worth 6 Round Trip Tickets?

Shri Diwa International School
Originally uploaded by Mun Mun
Well, okay, that's not quite true.

I applied to The Haidho American School in Sarkhan; they'd advertised a need for a counselor and an English teacher. (And, yes, Haidho is the fictional capital of the fictional country Sarkhan in The Ugly American. I've changed the names to protect the innocent; as I'm the guilty one here, we will not bothering adopting a fictional pose and personna.)

Here's what I received back from my initial e-mail:
Dear Peter:

I have just spent some time reading through your website, enjoying reading about your career and your many accomplishments. In so many ways, you are the kind of person I'm looking for to join the staff of Haidho American School but I have to be quite honest with you that it would be a real strain for us to hire a faculty member with a spouse and four children, delightful as I'm sure they are. Finances are a big part of it, I'm afraid, since we would be committing ourselves to six RT air fares every year plus a much larger apartment (probably 4 bedrooms) than we normally use for faculty (apartments here in Haidho are going for about $1,500-1,800/month for 2-or 3-bedroom flats).

In virtually every other aspect, HAS meets what you're looking for in an independent school and more and, like I said, you meet what I'm looking for for this vibrant school.

With every best wish for you and your family for the New Year.


Bill Clinton
Haidho American School
A couple of days later, and I'm still not sure how to respond. Frankly, in a country like Sarkhan, I might end up as a geo-bachelor, as Jennifer isn't really intrigued with the idea of living in a third-world nation. Well, that and the fact it's actually 7 roundtrip tickets as we have another child in the oven.

I've done this to myself, but that is a totally different post on a totally different blog.

I'm tempted to right back that while I understand that finances does come into play at some point, it ought not be the starting point. Finances is merely one component of all that makes up a deal and is negotiated.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another "alternate" sport: Extreme Sledding

Originally uploaded by wme91988
Who'd have thought? Sledding. To the extreme.

We could have races, long and short courses.

And hang out by 55-gallon drums with fire inside; and drink hot chocolate.

And race. With clocks. The real deal.

We wouldn't call it "Extreme Sledding." No, a name like that could bring too much focus and attention. Just call it sledding and join the National Interscholastic Sled Racing Association, or NISRA, and show everyone pictures of snow sledding in Vermont.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More fun with Ask Vox

What is Peter Stinson looking for in a school community?

Blogging from "an undisclosed location"

Dissertation Run
@ University of Sussex. By rokou.
While I ought to be working on the dissertation. I ought to be wrapping up the literature review and methodology chapters this weekend. It's not going as well I has I had hoped.

As such, I've decided to create systems to hold myself accountable. The first step in making me accountable is to post my work online; let people see were I am and how much I've done and the like. I'm writing in Google Documents and have enabled publication allowing the most-recently-saved version of my ongoing work will be available for everyong to see. In progress.

To honor completion of my dissertation, rather than run naked through the streets, I'll cut my hair and trim my beard... or maybe even go back to looking like a bowling ball. {{Sidebar: When I went through the Coast Guard's Search & Rescue School, I received an award: "Most Looks Like a Bowling Ball."}}

If you'd like to see my up-to-the-minute work and progress, join me. Read, critique, and comment here on this post.

Crossposted at Tidewater Musings.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A little fun on the Internet

Well, are you?
Originally uploaded by windbourne
Slip over to Ask Vox, and ask it who I am. Type "Who is Peter Stinson?"

What do you think?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

When does the compromising start?

Abandoned bikes
Originally uploaded by oliva732000
I've been tracking the jobs posted at the NAIS job site. When something looks of interest, I then look to see if the school meets my criteria. Today I decided that even if a school doesn't meet the criteria, I'll not automatically trash thoughts of serving there.

Next, I'll be nuking the thought of having any criteria...

Quidditch, Dodgeball, and Ultimate Frisbee: Coming to a campus near you

Starting Line
Originally uploaded by plagueoftruth
I recently read about the Muggles Quidditch, sponsored by the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association, at several New England colleges. I thought, "How cool is that?" And then, today, I discovered that dodgeball is actually a sport with a national association; not the American Dodgeball Association of America but the National Amateur Dodgeball Association; or try the National Dodgeball Association.

Why do I mention this here? Well, I'm thinking that these non-traditional sports (and the more I think about it, these really do qualify as athletics) -- which would also include Ultimate Frisbee, Frisbee golf, and Footbag (which, in my day, we called "hacky sack" -- are actually sports which are life-long sports and which don't need a tremendous outlay for equipment. I think we often don't give non-traditional activities much in the way of real look.

I suspect their are other areas we give short shrift to also because they are not traditional. Would a school that was not willing to try alternative sports also be less likely to try and teach to all learning styles? Or, perhaps the school would be less likely to teach to the whole person?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another presence on the Web

New Credentials Page
Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse
After consideration, I have nixed my wiki-based credentials package and built a cleaner package using Google pages.

Any thoughts or feedback from the blogosphere?