Thursday, January 29, 2009

the naked divide

I'll tell you about yesterday. How a student overheard me talking to another teacher about 'sexting'. About how this student rolled her eyes. How she noted that 'sexting' seems to be something adults are all up in arms about. So I presume she is fine with the notion of sending naked images of herself to friends, and of friends sending nude images to her. And she responds:
It's just so interesting that adults have a problem with it. That it's all over the news.
And if I were in her shoes (if she wears them), I'd point to this site and I'd have no choice except to agree with her. We're teaching about abuse, about manipulation, and violations of privacy, but we're overlooking the ones disrobing with glee, who digitize and transmit their privates with no sense of the word privacy.

They are voluntary participants in a network of naked transmissions, and we're powerless against a naked divide that we can neither mend or clothe.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

all sextd up and no one to phone

Teens are sending nude images of themselves via their cell phones. Maybe you know this already. If so, you recognize that sexting is better than texting, and way, way more enjoyable than texting-with-benefits.

But there's a downside. According to an ABC news story:
In Alabama, authorities arrested four middle-school students for exchanging nude photos of themselves.
Reminds me of middle-school, when I traded my Candy Maldanado card for a Dan Quisenberry and my friend and I wound up violating a bucketful of MLB proprietary guidelines and next thing you know, we're both under arrest, splashed across television screens, plastered all over local and national papers, mired in ignominy and embarrassment.

Thank goodness we didn't have cell phones.

Monday, January 26, 2009


An email from the yearbook:
According to legend, Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in six words. The acclaimed writer’s response was, “For sale: baby shoes, never used.”

Here’s where you come in. The yearbook staff would like you to compose your own six-word memoir, to be featured along with your picture in the 2008-2009 Retina year book. It can be about your own life, your experiences as a teacher, and your time at Springfield, or anything you want.
"Could be worse, could be raining." - Igor

"I tawt. I taw. Puddy tat!" - Tweety
Need to trim my list (below), select one that deftly captures, evokes. That, in six glorious words, exudes marketability. Something Hollywood folk would green light and plaster on 16oz fountain drink cups.
Rainbows flow from me like syrup.

Don't judge anyone on six words.

Everyone breathing? Congrats! Here's your diploma!

Fragments are for grammar. Not experience.

Pregnant teen. Adoptive parents. Hilarity ensues.
I think one of them would make a great movie. Though, I'm not sure about the fountain drink cross-promotion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

of an english exam unfinished

Finals here today, so I hope you studied, because if you neglected to prepare, you may find yourself storming out of an exam room exclaiming:

The teachers is here's not preparing us is all!

And while you may say something a bit different, you'd be hard-pressed not to agree with the fact that when it comes to grammar, this student's invective may be spot-on.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

with or without you

Goodbye,'Whopper Sacrifice'.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Mark's first snowman.
  • Snow, from car windows.
  • Facial features, courtesy of refrigerator.
  • Arm (just one), yard detritus.

Friday, January 9, 2009

phew! he said 'university'

Thank goodness. For a minute there (literally), I thought we (read: high schools) would have to change.

Just for poohs and chortles:

Good message, timely, no doubt. But everyone 'learning' outside - on the train, on the roof, in the kitchen - seems, oh, what are the words here?


ijohnpederson...thank you. You inspire me with your embedding.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

hammock 2.0

The camera is connected. The dialog box reads, 'Found new hardware'.

I'm in a read-aloud mood:
Found new hardware.
And a student across the room asks:
Did you just say 'Found new underwear'?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

OTC irony

Sudafed PE is an over-the-counter cough medication. It's readily available at all pharmacies and grocery stores. It costs about seven dollars. If you're a fruit-flavored soul, grape and cherry flavors have been provided.

Three months ago, Sudafed PE would glide down the check-out conveyor alongside its good friends, Oreos, butter, and okra. It felt equal, like it belonged. The cashier would scan it with the same indifferent celerity she used on every other product. In short, Sudafed PE felt like part of the grocery family.

But the silent sense of acceptance and equal treatment it basked in no longer exists. Today, Sudafed PE, an over-the-counter, grape or cherry flavored cough suppressant, can not glide over the scanner with roller-coaster glee. Today, the cashier holds it up, looks at the customer wanting the medicine, and asks for identification. Because today, the supermarket needs to make sure that the customer is of age. The customer needs to be older than 18. The customer, in the scanning eyes of the supermarket, needs to, at the very least, be chronologically old enough as to convice the grocer that he is beyond the adolescent stage where Sudafed PE is truly medicinal, not recreational. In short, Sudafed PE is a quick 'high' and the supermarket wants to cover its cough-suppressant ass. It does not want to contribute to an escalation in OTC drug-abuse.

Sudafed PE is a cough suppressant that is available in two flavors, grape and cherry. It costs about seven dollars.

Your supermarket may card you when you go to purchase it. The supermarket is being proactive. The supermarket is 'fighting the war on drugs'.

But the boy bagging the groceries, well, he's a student at a local high school. He offers to take my bags out to my car.

Does he want my Sudafed? Is he looking for an easy high?


Because as we're walking through the parking lot, he's laughing at the new 'carding policy'. And I'm laughing as well. Because in our conversational silence, we both know that Sudafed PE is not the recreational drug the market seems to think it must be. We both know that weed is the culprit. We both know that weed is pervasive. And we both know, though we'll never share this thought out loud to one another, that he's earning eight dollars an hour right now and he's stoned out of his gourd.