Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Mashup

Things in Charlottesville are hopping.  In a few short lines here is what is going in.  We got new desks.  After 3 years of trying new desks have arrived and we even got chairs, once we tracked them.  There's a great deal more to the story but new desks are great and we are happy.  Hopefully the students are as well.

In class we have hit our stride.  We both agreed that after parent conferences you settle into a little groove and the groups seem more comfortable with you, as you are with them.  The chaos of the start of the year has dissipated and students are still energized.  It is a great time for learning and as the weather changes we just try to tap into that energy and help them learn. 

Speaking of learning  The Teaching Underground is now 2 years old.  How'd we miss that?  We turned two years old and we missed it.  We feel bad.  No cake, no candle, nothing.  It was October 1st 2010 when we started this little venture and we have come a long way.  But we are still "stuck" in the basement.  Oh well there are far worse fates.  Life goes on and so will we.  Please don't hold it against us and please no gifts.

"The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire..."
The Cavalier Football team is 2-4 and their practice facility caught fire in what some are calling a metaphor for the season.  We lost to Duke.  Again!  But have faith in Coach London.  As a Cavalier fan, you must never be short on faith.  Faith and patience.  And take solace in the fact that Virginia Tech also lost which has helped us avoid the taunting of our government teaching basement colleague.  Mr. Turner also got lucky and defeated my team in Fantasy football...barely.  I blame Drew Brees and Marques Colston who each had about 10,000 points. But he might be wise to remember this: When you lose you should say little.  When you win say even less.    Karma is always watching

Not exactly connected to Karma but maybe to the same part of the world His Holiness the Dalai Llama is visiting Charlottesville this week.    We extended a lunch invitation and we'll wait and see if he is able to accept.  It was rather informal and if he can't make it we'll understand.  Maybe he'll just catch up with a few of our past blog posts.  The Dalai Llama is among the most admirable person in the world and those fortunate enough to have met him seem better for it.  Given the chance for a private audience what would you speak to him about?  Makes you wonder doesn't it.  One thing for sure is that he seems to value education and on that we can all agree.   Our hope is he has a wonderful visit.  This is his third time he has graced our community, the first since 1989.   One of my favorite quotes attributed to him is "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

Busy as we are teaching and working with our current students we haven't had as much time to get our thoughts together for new blog material.  But one unique thing about this time of the year is the reappearance of some former students as they have a brief break from college.  I sat with one at the home football game on Friday and our conversation ranged from the Higgs Boson to cross country running and even the merits of marching band uniforms.  Another student I saw this morning is enrolled at the Naval Academy at Annapolis.  He was always a little ahead of his peers but when I first saw him this morning at the other end of the hall I thought "what is the admiral doing here?"   He seemed more mature than I will ever be and certainly wise beyond his years.   I also ran across another past student at the grocery store and he told me stories about his "crazy roommate".  Normally these tales are rich with hyperbole but based on what described I think his roommate is actually crazy. Finally one sent me a kind note recalling a lesson from 8 years ago as she prepared to write a college anthropology paper.  Really?  Sometimes you just have to saw "wow."

I also came across this movie trailer which sort of makes you say "wow", in a completely different way.   

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