“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.”
— Robert M. Pirsig, from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
I understand why a lot of teachers lust after “best practices.” I get why so many of us grasp at supposedly foolproof methods for making students do exactly what we want them to do. A lot of us have been taught that assigning work then rewarding or punishing students according to how they do it is the gist of teaching. (A lot of students, understandably and heartbreakingly, believe those rewards and punishments are the gist and evidence of learning.) From a certain perspective it makes sense for us to seek information about how to reward and punish as effectively as possible. It also, in some ways, makes sense for administrators to dictate practices they believe will create consistent punishments and rewards throughout a particular course, major, college unit, school, district, or state. The actual of process helping fellow human beings learn — as opposed to the process of meaningless, faux-rigorous punishing and rewarding — is a task of privilege that’s incredibly difficult to do well. I know my own version of feeling desperate for some method or approach that just works.
In a letter to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, leaders of two faculty organizations on the Duluth campus call the compensation package of the outgoing system president “excessive” and a “golden parachute.”
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced in July his intention to step down from his position in 2019, saying in a statement that his seven years as president exceeds the national average and the university will benefit from a fresh perspective.
“Quite simply, it is time,” he said, noting he intends to work as president emeritus for one year to continue momentum on the university’s $4 billion “Driven” campaign. The fundraising effort is seeking to raise $1 billion for students, $2 billion for faculty and research, and $1 billion for university initiatives and outreach.
‘Cause I survived the ’80s one time already
And I don’t recall it all that fondly
— Craig Finn
The bemulleted boy in that senior portrait over there came very close to not graduating with his Rochester John Marshall high school class of 1989 mates. One semester more and the rage that had fueled his self-destructive approach to school since 1983 would have elicited an anticlimactic letter explaining why he couldn’t walk in the ceremony and what he’d have to do if he wanted a diploma.
His K-6 career had suggested potential. Then a few months into seventh grade his interest in caring or trying seemed to evaporate. He embodied adolescent apathy. He also transcended it in ways that made very little sense to himself or anyone else. One example: he so bitterly resented being placed into advanced science and English classes (for reasons he could articulate no further than, “I just want to be in the normal classes”), that he intentionally got crummy grades on assignments until people who made such decisions had no choice but to bust him down to non-advanced sections.
At least that’s how I think I remember it. I know he was pissed — furious — about school in general, and still pretty far away from having vocabulary or perspective required to process what he was feeling or why. I know he self-sabotaged, sometimes so willingly it seemed wanton, and sometimes while watching it happen and wishing he knew how to stop it. In those situations, the latter often presented as the former. I also know it’s possible he got kicked out of those advanced sections because he just wasn’t equipped to stay in them. It’s not taking shots at him to say he might just not have been smart enough in ways the classes required students to be.
Spent a few minutes with Google looking for a decent app or website we can direct our kids to for working on the skills and concepts being introduced in the classroom. We are open to a subscription service, but don’t want to commit without some endorsement or referral from a trusted PDDer. Sure, there is plenty out there for free, but weeding through advertisements and such makes it complicated and cumbersome at times – we’d also like to track progress. Any of you using anything you can recommend? Specifically looking for math, spelling and phonics for the K-5 audience.
I’m about to start a new beginning millinery class. We’ll start on Monday, September 24 and go for 6 weeks. Class will be from 6-7:30. We’ll begin with felt, millinery felt, which is quite different from felted wool. Think fedora or cowboy hat. That material, but not (necessarily) that shape. Only softer.
Hey there lords and ladies of the craft! There’s a new series of hat workshops about to blossom. I’ll be starting a second series of beginning hat classes on Tuesday, June 19, from 6-7:30. There will be 6 weeks to the course.
I’ll be teaching a beginning millinery class on Mondays, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., May 7 to June 11 (no class on Memorial day).
We’ll begin with the easiest material to work with: millinery-grade felt. This is not the same process as “felting” a hat. Picture the material used to make a fedora. That’s the stuff. You will learn to make a hat from the very beginning: blocking the felt, to the end: lining the hat. In the middle there are a whole bunch of steps that generally involve a needle and thread and some ribbon. Some proficiency with said needle and thread is helpful but not necessary.
Classes will take place at Otlak Felt Studio in the DeWitt-Seitz building and will cost $150 plus $56 in supplies. You can email me at emily @ moesewco.com for questions and to register. Space is limited, so jump right in there.
I’m gauging interest in the notion (ha!*) of teaching some small classes in millinery — that is, traditional hat-making. Not so traditional that you knit and then felt, but rather the kind that leads to possibly a fedora, but with many other shapes and options.
If I find that there is interest, I will go forth and find an appropriately sized space. You can see my work at moesewco.com, which I just mentioned in another post on a mostly unrelated subject, so please bear with me.
* A notion is a sewing item that is not fabric or thread — like buttons or scissors.
Harbor City International School is 10 years old, young enough to enjoy the wonderment of imagination, and old enough to develop true measures of independence. Our clarity of purpose, our labors toward effectiveness, and our willingness to reflect on our methods give us our identity. As with all great journeys, we have faced, and continue to face, many challenges. Yet, our confidence that we are a valuable resource to the families of Duluth remains undaunted.
I hope posting this isn’t out of line, but my wife told me it was OK. If I’m breaking any rules, please let me know so that I can blame her.
I am an experienced tutor looking for students in the Duluth / Superior area. I have extensive experience with special needs children, especially those on the autism spectrum, as well as those students who just need a little extra help.