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Author Topic: It's the fault of Slashdot
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 16, 2006 11:40      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CommanderShroom, well, it's a good thing this is a very mixed crowd, then, huh?

/me leans forward, cupped hand to ear

Thank you, Matias! This is a real friendly group from what I've seen so far.

MoeMonkey, are you a professional geek, or is your content area something like Social Studies or English, in which case, like me, you're an amateur geek?

I think I vaguely remember something in the heading that said "Explain how you got your nickname." I had a boyfriend whose family was from New Jersey, and his mom used to call me by my given name but it always came out "Amander." So, it got shortened, and that's where I am now.

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Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stormtalon
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Icon 1 posted January 16, 2006 12:31      Profile for Stormtalon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I keep up with my Bulgarian fairly well. Helps that my ex-wife is Bulgarian, and we talk quite a bit. I suppose I'm what you'd call "functionally fluent." I can keep up a decent casual conversation, but when stuff goes into the more technical or culture-specific, I start to get lost.

As for the drop-kick, well, I have a former English professor to thank for my having travelled in the first place. I'd recently graduated college and was unsure what to do next, when the following conversation took place:

Her: "Say, I got this e-mail from a program to teach conversational English in Bulgaria for a year. All you need is a bachelor's degree. Interested?"

Me: "Hmmm. Sure, what the hell!"

Six weeks later, I was on the ground in Sofia, the capital, having flown there on a one-way ticket.

(Handy travel tip: a one-way ticket is a good way to make sure you don't chicken out once you get there.)

[Big Grin]

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Posts: 73 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 16, 2006 13:04      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moe Monkey:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
...I'm a professional Sudoku solver m'self...

Hey, neat -- I've gotten pretty good on the amateur circuit, any tips for going pro? [Wink]
1. Get some sudokus.
2. Be in a job where there's often no real work to do.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10705 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 16, 2006 16:26      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stormtalon, are you saying that you met your wife in Bulgaria? Or did you have the bizarre experience of going and teaching there for a year, then coming back and meeting/marrying someone from Bulgaria?

My dad worked evenings as a corrections officer and got a LOT of reading done in his 32 years of employment with the state. I wonder if he would have liked sudoku, too...

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Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted January 16, 2006 20:53      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mander:
MoeMonkey, are you a professional geek, or is your content area something like Social Studies or English, in which case, like me, you're an amateur geek?

I teach science, so I guess that makes me a professional geek, although I've been accused of being an "arts fanboy" on a few occasions.

TFD, given your second requirement for turning Sudoku Pro, I guess it'll have to wait for retirement... [Frown]

Posts: 145 | From: The couch in the living room | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stormtalon
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Icon 1 posted January 17, 2006 08:09      Profile for Stormtalon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep, met her while I was over there, and no, wasn't one of my students. Kind of a long, odd story, really.

As a side note, in the town I was assigned to, I was only one of three native English speakers around. One was a hysterically sly British lady who taught in the other school in town, and the other was a fellow from Tanzania. I had rather little choice but to learn Bulgarian in order to navigate the town.

Stormtalon's helpful travel hint of the day:

When planning on living in a different country for any extended period of time, there are two critical portions of the native language that you need to learn before anything else:

1) Food names, so you know what it is that you're ordering at a restaurant or buying in the market.

2) The number and money names, so you know how much you're going to be paying for that sheep-stomach soup you just ordered....

[Big Grin]

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Posts: 73 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 17, 2006 09:17      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm....Sudoku...haven't done that in a while. Curse you folks for reminding me about it. [Wink]

/me just downloaded this months sudoku.com contest page, and printed it up @ 250%. I guess I know what I'll be methodically working on over lunch today.

(I did it once before, and I'm happy to say I got it right the first time, but it took me awhile to get into the groove of it.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9345 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 17, 2006 15:22      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stormtalon:
Yep, met her while I was over there, and no, wasn't one of my students. Kind of a long, odd story, really.

Nothing could be odder than Steen's date (sorry, dude, but it was funny...maybe not at the time, but wow!).

quote:

As a side note, in the town I was assigned to, I was only one of three native English speakers around. One was a hysterically sly British lady

Ooh, I wanna hear more about this!!


quote:

1) Food names, so you know what it is that you're ordering at a restaurant or buying in the market.

What? Sausages made of tripe don't delight you?

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Roses are #ff0000, violets are #0000ff; all my base are belong to you.

Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 17, 2006 15:26      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moe Monkey:
quote:


I teach science, so I guess that makes me a professional geek, although I've been accused of being an "arts fanboy" on a few occasions.


Yay! Science! What flavor? MS or HS? Are you satisfied with your lab or do you feel much of what you need mysteriously shows up in the budget as new bleacher seats?

I'm a big fan of Alexander Calder, myself.

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Roses are #ff0000, violets are #0000ff; all my base are belong to you.

Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted January 17, 2006 18:55      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mander:
Yay! Science! What flavor? MS or HS? Are you satisfied with your lab or do you feel much of what you need mysteriously shows up in the budget as new bleacher seats?

I teach HS science, physics and chemistry. I'm not a big fan of our current chem lab as it is long overdue for a renovation (going on perhaps 30 years old or more) -- ventilation is poor and the school was originally constructed as open concept, so the classroom next door gets all the noise and fumes. Guess where I teach?!

Budget is always an issue, but I don't feel we're particularly hard done by. The distribution of money seems pretty fair -- we're an academic school with a pretty rabid sports program, so everyone gets their share.

Posts: 145 | From: The couch in the living room | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 17, 2006 19:34      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Guess where I teach?!
Oh man, I suck at these kinds of questions.... I always feel inadequate, like there is some hidden piece of knowledge that I should have picked up and didn't.

The only open design school I've ever actually seen in person was .... in..... the Ithaca area.

Otherwise I'd have to guess Long Island or California. Maybe Washington, one'a those more progressive states.

Open concept....yeesh.

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Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stormtalon
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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 08:36      Profile for Stormtalon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mander:
quote:

As a side note, in the town I was assigned to, I was only one of three native English speakers around. One was a hysterically sly British lady

Ooh, I wanna hear more about this!!

She was a late-middle-aged gal, mid to late 40s, as I recall; she once showed me a pic of her daughter who was about my age. More than slightly cynical, she was, too.

The most memorable piece of advice that she gave me was, "You can't spend a year in another country and not bonk at least once. It just won't do!" She practiced what she preached, too. How do I know? Well, being that I was one of only two other native English speakers in the entire town, I wound up being the one to hear about her love life. With the gossip network around the town, if she'd told her local colleagues, well... the THREE guys she was juggling at the time would have found out about each other. I also distinctly remember her saying, "I love being the older woman. I get to train 'em in right!"

quote:

1) Food names, so you know what it is that you're ordering at a restaurant or buying in the market.

What? Sausages made of tripe don't delight you?
Sausages, I could probably live with. Boiled tripe soup -- now that's just plain nasty. The funny bit is, I'd written that advice as part of a series of articles I sent back to my college newspaper as slightly tongue-in-cheek travel advice columns. Well after I'd written that, and on what should have been my last day in the country (my departure ended up being delayed a week) we stopped at a small roadside cafe for lunch. I ordered a soup -- "shkembe chorba" thinking I was going to be getting the bean soup I'd found I liked so much. Nope. Sheep-stomach soup it was. I looked at it, tasted it, shuddered and thought, "Damn. Hoist by my own petard."

'Course, that was small-time strangeness, compared to the train-trip from Hell I took while I was over there....

Stormtalon

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Posts: 73 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stormtalon
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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 08:41      Profile for Stormtalon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mander:
quote:
Guess where I teach?!
Oh man, I suck at these kinds of questions.... I always feel inadequate, like there is some hidden piece of knowledge that I should have picked up and didn't.

I think the answer he's looking for is "In that classroom next door where all the fumes wind up."

[Smile]

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Those who are easily offended should be.
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Posts: 73 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 12:14      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mander:
The only open design school I've ever actually seen in person was .... in..... the Ithaca area.

If by "open design" you mean there are no walls between spaces... I've never seen such a thing, but apparently the city I grew up in almost built such a thing. They had the land and the state was set to foot something like 75% of the bill, but the district bailed at the last minute. Good thing, I say. How can you really learn in such an environment? (Fill me in, Moe!) Anyway, that was back in the late 60's, early 70's, before I was born, or when I was very young. I suspect mind altering substances had something to do with the design process. They finally did build a new high school, on their own dime. It opened this past September and my younger brother got to try it out for a couple weeks before my parents moved. We almost had a clean two-generation sweep on the old HS, for what that's worth.

Ahem. Anyway, that's all the rambling I have for now.

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Ugh!

Posts: 1759 | From: Ithaca, NY | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 12:30      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the answer he's looking for is "In that classroom next door where all the fumes wind up."




 -

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Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 12:35      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[/QUOTE]If by "open design" you mean there are no walls between spaces... I've never seen such a thing, but apparently the city I grew up in almost built such a thing. They had the land and the state was set to foot something like 75% of the bill, but the district bailed at the last minute. Good thing, I say. How can you really learn in such an environment? (Fill me in, Moe!) Anyway, that was back in the late 60's, early 70's, before I was born, or when I was very young. I suspect mind altering substances had something to do with the design process. They finally did build a new high school, on their own dime. It opened this past September and my younger brother got to try it out for a couple weeks before my parents moved. We almost had a clean two-generation sweep on the old HS, for what that's worth.

Ahem. Anyway, that's all the rambling I have for now. [/QB][/QUOTE]

The school was slightly outside of town, an elementary dealio, and I was there for a foreign language conference. One of the other attendees who had worked there at one point said the building had originally been an open concept, but after they discovered it wasn't conducive to learning, they put up cinderblock walls ("Ugly!" he said).

The library in that building was almost smack-dab in the middle.

There is a very good possiblity that I am just mixing up my facts, too. Those neural pathways get all tired the older you get.

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Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 17:09      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A belated welcome to you, Mander.

I also work in higher education, though I work in the physical plant, AKA maintenance. It's a smaller private institution, so they don't have the luxury of paying professors who don't do the work themselves, though.

Out of curiousity, do you generally teach Castilian Spanish or the Latin American dialect?

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 18, 2006 20:49      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi!

I'm a lab rat. I'm a grad student in biochemistry, so my university pays me like an employee and then kicks me around like a student. Actually, now taht I think about it, the university doesn't pay em a dime. First my advisor was paying me from his grants, and then I won a training grant so now the NIH pays me. Yet I am still a university employee. Hmmm.

I sometimes wonder where I fit onb the geek spectrum. I'm a more of a biogeek than a computer geek, and turning into more and more of a crystallography wonk by the day. I get along equally badly with PCs, Macs, and *nix boxes. Seriously, I crashed a SGI by closing a text editor. I do enjoy command lines though. And I get to play with liquid nitrogen and some really cool toys. [Big Grin]

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Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 19, 2006 04:55      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sxeptomaniac, I teach what I was taught, Latin Americanized Spanish, using my borrowed-appropriated Argentinian and Dominican accents that overlay my French accent. Overall, 'my' students seem to happy with the course. I take a non-textbook storytelling approach.

Xanthine, well, are you having fun doing what you're doing in that netherworld between full employment status and unpaid wonk status? The toys are almost worth it, but I'm not sure you can eat crystalline structures (unless we're talking sugar, huh?)

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Roses are #ff0000, violets are #0000ff; all my base are belong to you.

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supaboy
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Icon 1 posted January 19, 2006 11:35      Profile for supaboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moe Monkey:
...the school was originally constructed as open concept...

The high school I went to was also "open concept". Fortunately, there were partition walls up between all the classrooms. Unfortunately, every classroom was triangular, which puts some constraint on how well you can accomodate a given number of students.


quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
And I get to play with liquid nitrogen and some really cool toys. [Big Grin]

Are they cool before or after the liquid nitrogen? [Smile]
Posts: 1767 | From: Columbia, SC USA | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Scubbo
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Icon 1 posted January 19, 2006 13:21      Profile for Scubbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi Mander!

I'm also a newbie (although you seem to have thrown yourself into the boards far more quickly than I!), so in as far as I'm qualified to say it; welcome to the boards!

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Posts: 64 | From: Englandland | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted January 19, 2006 16:06      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Scubbo, nice avatar. We should form a club or something.

With respect to the whole open-concept thing, I think the original idea was to try to break down the metaphorical walls between subject areas (e.g. "What do you mean we have to use good grammar in our lab reports, this isn't English class!") and promote more cross-curricular thought. Unfortunately, someone took it all too literally and built the schools that way without actually changing the curriculum to suit the new digs -- teachers were still assigned discrete groups of students parcelled into particular classes for particular subjects. The only difference now was that if your English lesson was boring, you could always bend an ear to the Social Studies lesson that was being held next door. You can imagine how well it all works.

Our school has undergone several renovations, and the open concept floorplan is almost completely gone, except in the Science department, where we have a number of shared labs that still open into each other. And my classroom, of course.

Posts: 145 | From: The couch in the living room | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted January 19, 2006 16:08      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nice sig, Scubbo -- one of the lines I use with my Chem students is "Never anthropomorphize atoms, they hate when you do that!"
[Smile]

Posts: 145 | From: The couch in the living room | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mander
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Icon 1 posted January 19, 2006 16:34      Profile for Mander     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
...promote more cross-curricular thought [...] you could always bend an ear to the Social Studies lesson that was being held next door. You can imagine how well it all works.
It sounds so nice, very Waldorfian (Waldorfish?), but not such a good adaptation. Trying to encourage free and spontaneous thinking while rigidly adhering to public school rules regulations... ugh.

I have to say that I am always extremely disappointed with curriculum alignment. There's a lot of lip service paid by admins, and when I try to make steps to do something with another teacher, I hear "It's not covered by the Regents/the proficiency exams, so I don't have time to teach it." There's so much that can be done with history, math, science, art, music, drama, in my content area but No Child shall be Left Behind (thank you President Shady Texas Superintendents Misrepresenting and Falsifying Information!)

quote:

Our school has undergone several renovations, and the open concept floorplan is almost completely gone, except in the Science department, where we have a number of shared labs that still open into each other. And my classroom, of course.

I can only imagine how chaotic (and smelly!) that must be at times.

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Roses are #ff0000, violets are #0000ff; all my base are belong to you.

Posts: 34 | From: Upstate New York | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Scubbo
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Icon 1 posted January 20, 2006 00:07      Profile for Scubbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Whoops, sorry about the avatar MoeMonkey.

quote:
Originally posted by Mander:

I have to say that I am always extremely disappointed with curriculum alignment. [...]There's so much that can be done with history, math, science, art, music, drama, in my content area

<<Puts up hand>> Me too...the only teachers I ever remember having any respect for, I never remember them actually "teaching" the subject per se. Every lesson would start vaguely anchored in something we were meant to be learning, and by the end we'd come away a little the wiser on the physics of telescopes, the make-up of a cow's stomach, the philosophy of apostrophes and what they'd had for lunch that day.

(And on a side note; does anyone else sense a song germinating in the rhyme "philsophy of apostrophes"? Any gifted filkers on the forum!?)

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Information wants to be anthropomorphized.
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Posts: 64 | From: Englandland | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged


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