Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day #26

Professional development today. It was a bit dry, but it was useful, because it dealt with assessment. I fucking hate grading and all that jazz, and I'm glad to be at a school where grades are regarded as a necessary evil rather than the be-all end-all of education. We assess for learning as much as possible before doing assessment of learning, and grades are done with the students rather than done to them.

Yeah, it sounds good, but it's beastly hard to do. It's all part of teaching the intrinsic value of learning and excellence, rather than rewarding or punishing with grades. And yet we still have to report whether or not they get what we teach. So we're spending a couple of days working on how this happens at our school. And a lof of the process is still up in the air, so we're working on hashing it out.

What does one do after a day of such work? One walks across the street from school and drinks a few down with co-workers. The staff and barflys had very complimentary things to say about the school since we took over, telling us that the kids were much more respectful now and the environment around the school was much improved. Good to hear!


Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Mylarhotep and, like you, I am a former world traveller, olympic athlete, philosopher, teacher (well, actually just a certified baby sitter), artist, musician, political commentator, book critic, theater critic, scientist, mountain climber, astronaut, etc., etc., etc. As the years have gone by and I have been involved with the endless spouting of huge quantities of largely useles information about every topic under the sun, I have noticed that my wife is also spending much more time travelling. I also enjoy attacking people I do not know and ideas I that I either do not understand or do not agree with from behind a phony screen name because, as everyone should know, I worked at a library and know everything there is to know already. I do not let the fact that no one seems to care enough about my posts to make any comments slow me down either. Ever since my second hemispherectomy, the ideas for more nonsense just seem to flow more freely than ever! I know how you feel ahout that drink after work too. Let me tell you my secret. I get drunk before I enter the class, and have since noticed a real change in my students grasp of various subjects. Perhaps, when you get back from yous next Lunar Mission, you would like to join me here in Seattle. We could talk shop and I could slap you around town and show you our beautiful Aurora Bridge, before they install those annoying fences that prevent inspired people like us from base jumping without parachutes (it is second only to the Golden Gate Bridge in this sport which is gaining renewed popularity with truly intelligent people like us).

Keep up the good work,
Yours truly, Mylarhotep

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention, in addition to how much I admire your seemingly magical powers of communication, how helpful it would be if you were to use expletives more often as it really "dresses up" your work.

Nyarlathotep said...

Aw, Mylarhotep, I find sarcasm delightful, particularly when I am its target. So kind of you to deliver a fine digital dressing-down from across the USA.

Had you looked again at the original post which caused you such consternation, you'd have seen my immediate apologetic response and promise to fix any factual errors given new information. This might have prevented your adorable hostility.

I should point out that Grof's book does not describe you as a paid participant, and that since your work is included amongst the work of his patients (many of whom were painting their psychedelic experiences) my inferences about your role were perhaps understandable. I tried to Google you to find out more information at the time, but found nothing under your name. I'd hoped to link to a site because I enjoyed your drawings. I mean this sincerely and without snark: I did not mean to impugn your reputation in any way, and I actually do find your work quite beautiful.

I apologize that my little blog which nobody reads or cares about shows up so high on Google searches for your name. I have fixed the blurb about "The Adventure of Self-Discovery" so that when you search for yourself online you can find only the Truth. At least someone looks for you online.

I am glad that after 84 years you continue on a path of spiritual self-discovery. Since you are exactly twice my age, and at least twice as wise as me, I will take as exemplary your behavior. You are obviously an individuated and healthy soul. Thank you for your suggestion that I commit suicide in Seattle, though it's not necessary to travel so far. We have the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which is quite suitable for the task. I also appreciate the fact you consider me a certified baby sitter. I just baby sat 75 kids in the woods at a character-building camp for a week. I will continue to teach them finger painting, and Language Arts, French, and Social Studies as well. I will also continue to spew useless information on this site, information which is no where near as useful as the musings of the creator of the Milky Way Galaxy or the elves who crafted Excalibur. These, of course, are ideas I don't understand. Not, by the way, because of a double hemispherectomy, but rather because of Appalachain in-breeding and Mad Cow disease. Oh, and booze, and lots of drugs. And for being one of the handful of people who reads Stanislav Grof.

And fuck yeah, I love expletives.

Anonymous said...

settle down, you two.
:) jv

Anonymous said...

Well, it would appear I have been exposed. Yes, I am indeed Guenn Cole (a.k.a. Guenn Eona Nimue). Your powers of deductive reasoning must be formidable for you to have so quickly concluded that there was a connection between those two comments.

You are quite welcome. Any time you feel the need, just let me know if you need a further sarcastic digital dressing-down. I am adept in this form of therapeutic counseling, and will happily accommodate you at any hour of the day or night.

I did look again at your original post, and very much appreciate what you said there, thank you for your consideration of an old woman’s feelings.

I am also flattered that you enjoyed what you saw of my work. If you would still like to see more of it, you are welcome to visit my website (The Gallery). If you had any doubts as to my mental condition, viewing my site will certainly convince you of my instability.

And do not assume for a moment, Geoff, that I do not admire your noble occupation as an educator. There is nothing more important than the proper education of the ever burgeoning numbers of children as the world continues to fall apart around us with ever increasing rapidity. I have always believed that.

I did not really mean that about committing suicide (unless you really, really want to). I am suicidal but I am also a chronic procrastinator, a combination that has served me well and might work for you too.

Now, when it comes to lots of booze and drugs, use caution my son, you are young and I would hate to see you jeopardize your career by killing someone. Promise me that there will be no more driving on a suspended license, and no more driving while intoxicated, OK? By the way, have you paid that fine yet? Civic responsibility is not something to be taken lightly. Set a good example for all those children you are teaching who, before you know it, will be all grown up and marching off to war.

Yours in Light, Guenn

Nyarlathotep said...

Thanks Guenn. I felt guilt after typing my rejoinder last evening, and should have deleted it because the only soul I like to judge these days is my own (that hasn't always been the case). But here we are at a better place and I'm pleased with that.

I'm not sure I understand the driving on a suspended license, or DWI comments, however. I'm not down with such behavior at all. And there are no fines hanging over me (though my heart, unfortunately, is not light as a feather).