New Years’ re-direction

The revival continues… elsewhere. At least for the next five months, I’ll babble on at Weeding the Collection, locus of the penultimate rantings of a nearly retired public school librarian. I may even figure out how to get my WordPress OpenID to redirect there.

Labor Day revival

May Day, Labor Day – it’s all the same long schlep.

OK, if you’re here to read about my notion of “teacher authority,” start with the words of someone else, my friend and mentor, Miles Myers. He wrote The Problem of Teacher Authority almost 40 years ago. It reads like he wrote it yesterday.  Once you’ve read that essay, come back here. By that time I’ll have posted something more on the topic.

May Day revival

Oh, those not-so-recently noted inter-Tube-ish cobwebs. Time to dust ‘em off for real. “homoLudens redux” it is, only on this iteration no bloviating about digital learning, digital literacies, digital dandiness. This go-round it’s going to be all pre-retirement (I can smell it!) swan songs on the decline of public education for democracy and the seemingly unstoppable assault on our largest remaining public employee unions, with particulars derived from life in San Francisco.

Once more back to the inter-tubes

This old blog has been gathering ethereal cobwebs since the 2007-2008 sabbatical. Time to see if it still works.

Testing LibraryThing widget

Late New Year


A hawk perched for half an hour on the backdoor neighbor’s roof on NY eve. Just before midnight, I climbed Bernal Hill for the fireworks and found them partially blocked by one of the new high rises near the Bay Bridge.

Things in the air often surprise.

Per Petterson in Out Stealing Horses on the topic of New Year’s Eve:

In less than two months’ time this millennium will be finished. There will be festivities and fireworks in the parish I am part of. I shall not go near any of that. I will stay at home with Lyra, perhaps go for a walk down to the lake to see if the ice will carry my weight. I am guessing minus ten and moonlight, and then I will stoke the fire, put a record on the old gramophone with Billie Holiday’s vice almost a whisper, like when I heard her in the Oslo Colosseum some time in the 50s, almost burned out, yet still magic, and then fittingly get drunk on a bottle I have standing by in the cupboard. When the record ends I will go to bed and sleep as heavily as it is possible to sleep without being dead, and awake to a new millennium and not let it mean a thing. I am looking forward to that.

Blogging’s ‘achievement’

Tom Hoffman responds to Paul Allison’s two big questions:

Is blogging a means (or a tool) to achieve other goals (content knowledge or skills)?~~ OR ~~

Does blogging have a set of intellectual habits and skills that are worth learning for themselves?

Tom says the obvious answer is ‘both.’

I’m not sure I agree. The whole “blogging” as a genre idea makes me uneasy for some reason. Maybe I’ll have something to add to the discussion after I re-read Henry Jenkins’ ‘Confronting the challenges of participatory culture’ and then join Paul and Christina Cantrill from the National Writing Project (NWP) for a Thursday morning breakfast discussion about “things next.” Following Mark Bernstein’s experienced advice, two quick comments here from a vacation connection:

  1. Kudos to Tom for the nod at NWP’s technology initiatives, where early advocates of blogging for the teaching and learning of writing continue to work thoughtfully and without a lot of fanfare or self-congratulation to implement this stuff in real classrooms with real teachers.
  2. And speaking of real classrooms and blogging to achieve other goals, I can testify that having a blog gets you, if nothing else, the education discount for Nilaja Sun’s Off-Broadway “No Child…”. I showed up at the ticket office yesterday afternoon without my union card or any other proof of profession. With a little cajoling, the ticket seller checked our school weblog community’s url, selected library from the nav bar and saw my beaming face staring from the blog banner. Voila! 50% off. The show is worth more than even the full price of admission, btw. Sun stuns with her energy, wit, eye for realistic detail, and mind-blogglingly fast changes of character. Yeah, it ended on a note of qualified hope that I found a little precious. We need a k-12 version of ‘The Office,’ a relentlessly hopeless and funny BBC-style drama called “The School,’ to do justice to the working conditions, for teachers and students, inside of real schools. Until that happens, “No Child…” is the funniest, sharpest and most realistic dramatization of teaching that I’ve ever seen on the stage.