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San Clemente, CA, United States

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Change? Nah.

I keep reading how teachers are incorporating new technology into their classrooms to help engage their students.  I-Pads , I-Phones, I-Whatever....

I fundamentally disagree with this approach.

Kids like cartoons.  Should we only show them cartoons the rest of their lives?   Some people would say yes if that is how the person would pay attention best.  But we limit the person by being so one dimensional.

Exactly the opposite is true.  People need to learn how to learn in any environment.  By playing to the child's current environment, we don't help...we hurt.  We need to be saying "this is how you are going to be delivered material, find a way to be successful".  Why?  Life is why.  The job you ultimately get may not give you the information you need to be successful in "a way that engages you".  (that was supposed to drip with sarcasm)

Here's how I use technology to help students learn in the way that they best learn.   I use a colored piece of chalk. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Coffee Mug

One of my students gave me a coffee mug as a Hanukkah gift.  It's one of those message/motivational/funny/picture of a puppy mugs that I hate.  This one says, "Be the change you want to see in the world".... Ghandi.   Whatever.

Then I hear Michael Jackson singing about the same thing.  "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and change."

I'm getting soft but all of a sudden I can't stop thinking about this concept.  It's me that needs to change.  I need to be the change I want to see.  I need to make this world a better place.

I have to stop bitching about things and do something about them

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Dear UCLA,

Once again you blew it.  Nah, not on the football field or basketball court.  You blew it when you denied admission to one of the finest young students I've ever had the pleasure to teach.

You see, she's really smart, extremely hard-working, kind, sweet, and a young woman of good character.  I get why you wouldn't want her at your school.

As a freshman in high school, she was already two years ahead of her classmates mathematically.  All she did in high school was handle Accelerated Algebra 2 with Trigonometry, Honors Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB, and AP Calculus BC.  It's getting clearer and clearer to me why she couldn't possibly be a Bruin. 

Outside the mathematics classroom, she took 7 other AP classes.  Too few?  Sorry, she was trying to balance her 4 year varsity tennis schedule with her hours of volunteer work in the community. 

I get it.  You are already on record stating you don't want California kids in their own state university.  You want out-of-state kids so you can get the more than double out-of-state tuition.  You want international kids so that you can charge them more too.  Why would you possibly want a young woman who has grown up dreaming of wearing the blue and gold?   Why would you possibly want a young woman who is classy, well-spoken, mature, funny and composed when you could bring in a kid from Egypt or Saudi Arabia or some other country.

4.5 GPA, ridiculously high SAT scores, hours of volunteerism and community service, and a person of great character.  DENIED!!!

Strike one.