Comments of skimmerduk (18)

Comment on post Software development tools I'm grateful for:

People who are grateful for good documentation!

Signed: A Tech Writer

Comment on post link bankruptcy:

I think that analyzing teacher impact on student achievement is a really good thing that is undoubtedly painful but also essential for effective education. If teachers are allowed to attribute poor student performance to five billion external factors over which they have no control, then it ultimately makes their job seem futile. Teachers need to believe that their instructional efforts do have consequences, and really the only way to internalize that is to see it in some concrete, verifiable way.

I do have a question about the value-added approach in this article, however. Since the percentiles used for comparison seemed to be based on district norms, doesn't that mean that, for one teacher's class to improve, another teacher's class must inevitably do worse? This seems like it would give you a way to rank teachers across the district in comparison to each other, but if all the teachers were actually effective (i.e. all their students were learning something), it wouldn't actually indicate that anyone was doing a BAD job; just not as good a job as someone else. I've obviously never been too comfortable wrapping my head around these kinds of things, so this really is a question rather than a challenge.

Comment on post don't mess with my machine!:

Poor, well-intentioned coworkers who'd never be so dumb in real life...I bet you were mad at them all day ;)

I dreamed last night that I avoided four large-scale wrecks (flipping semis, wrong-way cars, etc.) in action while driving somewhere. Then I had to abandon my car and find a gas station from which to call Jonathan since I left my phone in my car. Then I forgot where I left my car. Then I was glad I'd left my phone in my car so I could call it, but I realized I probably wouldn't be able to hear it ring. Which was true.

Comment on post hello married people/people who know about weddings:

Actually, the Salt Lick has a mansion under its control. Nice place, maybe recommendable, but a little hard to find at night. Also, they obviously serve Salt Lick barbecue, which is quite yummy, but also messy for a formal occasion (although that obviously doesn't keep people from doing it).

Comment on post attention world:

I can do it! My friend Margaret pulled together a wedding in two months, although it lacked certain components of a typical package. However, you're not doing anything crazy, so if you can book the date you want, you should be fine.

Incidentally, one thing to consider about May is that it's graduation season. I don't know if you're direct friends with upcoming graduates, but some people (i.e. me) might have graduations that they're supposed to be attending. I don't know if that adds another dimension to considering people's travel plans...

Comment on post hello married people/people who know about weddings:

Jess and Wong were looking into the Driskill, and their prices apparently take a big jump at 100 people because that's when a bigger room is required.

Comment on post hello married people/people who know about weddings:

I went to a wedding at the Barr Mansion four years ago and enjoyed myself. It was in the "Artisan Ballroom" which is not connected to the mansion. It did feel kind of rustic, but not in a run-down kind of way. It definitely had a different feel from regular ballrooms with its timbered ceiling vaults and impressive glass wall in front. The food was good, too, and they apparently bill it as "conscious cuisine," an organic alternative.

Comment on post tv stuff:

Mm, I don't know that I'd call such people idiots. I think each of us has our own set of issues about which we care enough to have researched and developed well-informed opinions. For these issues, we are readily able to denounce propaganda that contradicts our beliefs. However, I suspect we all have a separate set of issues that we have not encountered too personally and therefore have not given as much thought to. These are the things that we may not be consciously prepared to identify and hence ignore (i.e. don't question or even pay close attention to) in the news or media. Our ideas about them, then, are more easily formed slowly and subconsciously by outside influences instead of internal deliberation. These are the things to which we might be more easily desensitized. So, in this paradigm, while an action tv show could indeed influence your opinion about torture, it's not such a conscious decision. It's certainly something to guard against, and pursuing informed opinions should always be an ongoing process, but I'm just saying that experiencing subconscious/emotional influences is a common human experience and doesn't automatically qualify you as an idiot. It just affects people regarding different issues.

Comment on post is it Saturday yet?:

Sadly, I'm not quite there yet. Not that I won't get there, but I feel obligated to inject a disclaimer for the elementary grades, or maybe even just the primary grades...

I think it takes longer to develop Pedagogical Content Knowledge when 1) you're responsible for ALL content areas, not just one, and therefore 2) you don't get to repeat/practice your lesson or versions of your lesson several times a day, instead having to develop completely different lessons and routines for all those time slots. Thus, four years into it and I'm only now settling on the best structures for teaching reading, and this is the first year that I've had the freedom to teach math every day (crazy, I know), so I feel like my routines there have a lot of room for improvement (even though teaching math is definitely my strength).

So here is what I have to say (not that I haven't said it before): teaching IS hard, and you have to know so many things (as L enumerated) to do it well. Thus, it is very deceptive that so many teacher education programs make becoming a teacher so easy. I think this somewhat explains the high turnover rate within the first 3-5 years; you don't REALLY know what you're getting into, and it takes at least that many years to start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Comment on post politics, whereslunch, magazines: an entry in three parts:

My vote for Newsweek is surely rooted in the same kind of irrationale you describe. However, I've at least tried reading Time and liked it; it just didn't overwhelm my Newsweek allegiance.

Comment on post probably not worth a whole post:

It's a good picture. In addition to the benefits of yelling the alphabet, I think the play also taught me how a kindergarten teacher should dress...

Comment on post the syndrome that has no name:

Aww, I'm sorry you're sick! Did you rule out strep (white splotches are not necessary!)? I hope it's not, as I would then feel responsible (they told me I wasn't contagious!), but if it is, the medicine has a fair chance of wiping it out in a day. But then you might feel well enough to see people, thereby perpetuating the problem ;)

Comment on post my problem is...:

Tee hee...I have an equal yet opposite problem. When I'm experiencing something lovely, I almost inevitably focus on the impermanence of it all (i.e. its inability to be captured) and start worrying that the pinnacle of the activity has already passed, thereby almost ensuring that the pinnacle HAS already passed because it's hard to have the best moment of the evening when you're analyzing whether the current moment is the best moment of the evening. I hate being analytical.

Comment on post two weeks to yuma...i mean austin:

I can vouch for such things, especially now that I realized I'm the relevant Sarah :) Hi Laura!

Comment on post two weeks to yuma...i mean austin:

And to be most clearest, the US-75/Indian Nations Turnpike route is only the faster way back from BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma, not necessarily anywhere else in Oklahoma. I can vouch for the stupidity of I-35 across the Texas/Oklahoma border, however. It's stupid.

Comment on post starcraft, buying stuff:

I completely understand your point...the daunting trick of trying to make a gift special somehow. Back before I mysteriously lost the ability to manage my time, my approach was to find or make something representative of our relationship as a memento to certain shared experiences. Such things never ended up being super-useful or expensive and probably only appealed to the sentimental types. Furthermore, ideas for such things get more elusive after you've known someone for more than a couple gift-giving holidays AND are only achievable in the first place if the relevant relationship is close enough to actually have significant shared experiences. Otherwise, I've never been a very good gift-giver :)

Sooo, if focusing your thoughts during a shopping trip is your way of achieving the same goal of specialness, I think it's more admirable than weird :)

Comment on post weird week:

bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong!

Comment on post (no subject):

Rainbow Brite is spelled correctly...good job!

And Jem! She's truly outrageous and beautifully bold! I'm glad someone's keeping her alive...

This backup was done by LJBackup.