Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gutenberg v. E-book in Book Evolution

      I was astonished — actually, no I wasn't — when I read Robert Pinsky's review of The Book in the Renaissance by Andrew Pettegree (Yale University Press) and how identical the evolution of printed books was to the evolution of e-books.  See what you think; here is an excerpt from the review:

     "Apparently, it took decades before some people figured out how to make money from this remarkable invention. For decades after Gutenberg, it was not even clear that print would become a success. How do you market books? How many should you run off at one time? Piracy was a problem, as were texts changed, mutilated or combined in unauthorized editions. Many printers were ruined, trying to exploit the new medium."

Friday, August 27, 2010


     I've been thinking a lot about grandparents and the role they play with their daughters and sons and grandchildren; and I came across this absolutely beautiful Grandchildren link.  Take a few minutes and read a few of these.  
     By the way, you don't have to be a grandparent to appreciate these precious notes.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Race to Nowhere

     Here is another documentary on education in the U.S. that will be released the end of September, "Race to Nowhere."  Very different from "Waiting for Superman."

     See what you think.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Waiting for Superman

     On Monday, I am going to see the preview of what may be a revolutionary film on education.  "Waiting for Superman" is a documentary about the state of education in our country.  Here is a quote from the advance information:

"Waiting for 'Superman' examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories – from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find lasting solutions within a broken education system.
The documentary features leaders in the field of education, including philanthropist Bill Gates; Geoffrey Canada, President of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Washington, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee; and Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Founders David Levin and Mike Feinberg. Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend composed the film’s end title song, 'Shine'."

     Take a minute to view the trailer; I believe it is a movie we all must see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


     What impressed me most about visiting our third President, Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, was when the tour guide — a guy that could have come straight from central casting in Hollywood — said that Jefferson taught himself to be an architect and devoted his life and house-building resources to building a home that was dedicated to education.  The structure was not as majestic as I had pictured in my mind, yet it’s breathtaking view of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, which he founded, was impressive.
     If you visit Monticello, try to go in the spring, and make sure you have a meal at Michie’s Tavern and try the fried chicken; the establishment is truly revolutionary with wholesome, southern cuisine.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Chicken in Brooklyn?

     Brooklyn gets lots of recognition for all kinds of activity, but here is one to top the list.  Daniel Pinkwater's newest children's book Beautiful Yetta the Yiddish Chicken is a delightful book for both children and adults.  To hear Pinkwater and Scott Simon read from it, listen to this NPR Weekend Edition Saturday clip
     Jill Pinkwater, wife of Daniel, is the illustrator.  In case you did not know, Daniel has authored over 80 children's books.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writing Resources

    This summer our faculty and staff are reading William Zinsser's book On Writing Well.  It's one of those books that helps you learn that maybe there's more you need to learn about writing before you write your next piece.  To supplement Zinsser's good advice, I am clicking on The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and "Grammar Girl" podcasts.  Check them out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Curriculum + Wiki = Curriki

     Reading "$200 Text Vs. Free. You Do the Math." in the "Bright Ideas" of the Business Section of the Sunday Times, I discovered Curriki. Here is their mission:
     "Curriki is more than your average website; we're a community of educators, learners and committed education experts who are working together to create quality materials that will benefit teachers and students around the world.
     Curriki is an online environment created to support the development and free distribution of world-class educational materials to anyone who needs them. Our name is a play on the combination of 'curriculum' and 'wiki' which is the technology we're using to make education universally accessible."
     Check it out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cash You . . . Spend or Save?

With school ended for the year and the summer solstice only days away, things begin to calm down for teachers.  For a brief moment, there’s not so much going on, with more time for relaxation and thoughtful reflection.  When that happens, I think one’s easy-going demeanor passes on to the people around and enables them to profit from one’s disposition.  Such was the case one recent Saturday while I was “relaxed,” taking my mother grocery shopping—a one-hour, weekly event that she loves and holds dearly . . . click here for more