Showing posts from July, 2012

Booksmack #1: What's It All About

So I've talked in previous posts about feeling creative and wanting to find ways of expressing that.  This, I think will be my first venture into it.  I call it (though I'm sure it's already named and others have done this), BookSmack.

As we know, I'm an avid reader.  I love reading and read lots. However, I've been careful about how many books I accumulate.  I limit myself as to which books make it into my library on the basis of the following 3 criteria:
I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  It left an impact on me in some profound way.I foresee needing this book in some research capacity.I will use it for teaching.  It's a text I've used or plan to use in the future.But given that I read 200+ books a year and many of them I am purposely choosing for reasons #2 or #3, that means I have accumulated a lot of books (and some awesome bookshelves).  Besides regularly revisiting these books, I thought about how else can I use them.  How can I share their ideas, though…

Recent Post on LETS Blog: Information Redirection: RSS Feeds

“Where did you find out about that?”  I get asked this question a lot about the various links, information, and ideas that I share with colleagues and friends.  My usual and most likely answer (when it’s not Facebook or Twitter) is my newsfeed.    The understatement of the century is that there is a lot of information on the Internet and more and more gigabytes being added every minute.  Finding information is hard and sometimes, it feels like the proverbial needle in the haystack.  I’ve talked before about ways in which you can channel information to you, using Google Alerts, and today’s discussion of RSS feeds is another invaluable tool for someone who needs to stay abreast of information or wants to use the latest information to help inform and shape their students’ experience.  

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Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around andcheck out some of my other pos…

Look What I Made: Tea

This post has been brought to you by Skillshare, Homestead Survival, and Frugal Sustainable.  And by that, I mean these sites regular updates and encouragement to make and to share got me to start trying it out.  And it's kinda fun!
So what am I'm making and sharing today?  Tea.  Really good tea too that doesn't really need anything added to it.  Tea is the major drink of choice throughout the world and has a long history with many different cultures throughout the world.  I was never really much of a tea drinker, unless you could the inundated sugary drinks that come in glass or plastic bottles.  
A year or two back, I was intrigued by the idea of an edible landscape discussed in the book, Made by Hand by Mark Frauenfelder.  I was equally intrigued by Dickson Despommier's The Vertical Farm.  Both of these had me thinking about the ways in which I could make the landscape that I live in, be both useful and aesthetically intriguing.  It would mean not just pouring in time…

Tales from 9 Runs: Run 5: Omigod, I Won!

I totally did.  I managed to be any other runner out there...who happened to be his 30s...weighing about 230-240...and wearing Vibrams.  No one else in this category beat me.  I'm not making this stuff up.  Ok, so there wasn't anyone else in this category of the race.  But that's no my fault.  Clearly, they were all afraid that I brought my A game.  

I apologize for the title of this post and the paragraph above.  I found it amusing and figured I would waste the idea of me winning in this post which someone might perceive as realistic or possible (though it's not), rather than on the big race in September.

Additionally, the gag at the top speaks to a needed mentality that took me a while to attain and I know many other neophyte runners have.  It's called a race and it's a race where I'm likely to come in at less than the 50% mark.  For many, this is overwhelming and if you have the kind of running history that I do--coming in last or near to last i…

This I Believe For Now...

Here begins a new series of posts that I call, "This I Believe For Now..."  In this series, I attempt to express and explain my understanding and approach to certainb topics.  It's not so much justifying my stance as it is trying to explain how I got to where I have taken on that particular world view.  I've purposely included the phrasing "for now" in recognition of several things (which is also indicative of other viewpoints that will be forthcoming).  

I recognize that learning is an act of changing and as I recognize myself as a being continually immersed in learning, then these beliefs may not be entirely sound or the same which I believe at a later point.  I'm not saying I will throw out all my beliefs at every turn, but I want to be open enough to hear, consider, and integrate different ideas.  This is what dialogue, debate, and dissent "should" do, when for too many, it just further entrenches them in their own views.   I fully accept t…

Sure, I'll Do That: Where Volunteering Has Led Me

Volunteering has been a strong part of my life since I was young.  In high school, I volunteered for a summer as a junior counselor at a YMCA camp.  Granted at age 14 and in hindsight, it sounds more like free labor and a summer babysitter for my parents, but it was also giving back to the camp that I had gotten so much out of while growing up (and of course, caused so much trouble at too—which still leaves me to wonder why they thought it was a good idea for me to be a counselor).   In my senior year of high school, my favorite teacher (Mr. Metropolis!) required us to volunteer 20+ hours in his AP US History course.  In volunteering, he required us to keep a log to account for our volunteering and experiences.  Sure enough, while volunteering at one event (which brought me back to my elementary school), I chanced upon a conversation with a woman from a local under-funded pre-school.  My conversation with her led me to volunteer at the school for much the rest of the school year, doin…

Tales of 9 Runs: One Miss--One Hit

So this week I was supposed to run a 5 miler on the 4th of July.  I woke up Wednesday morning and it was raining.  Not hard, but I really didn't feel the need to spend my 4th of July getting soggy.  So I skipped out and did a workout in my apartment (which was substantially more than what the run would have been, so I feel vindicated.  Interestingly though, this will still be Tales of 9 Runs because I'm doing a follow up half-marathon in October--which by the way, I'm doing this with a team and we're looking for additional runners, if you're interested--let me know!  Truth be told, I'll probably do a few more runs along the way.  It's great fun (and still crazy-weird to feel that way).

Beyond the skipped run, I do have good news to report.  Despite my concern about hitting a wall, I had another personal record.  On Friday, I set out and ran 9.4 miles.  I don't want to say it was an easy run--none of this has been easy.  But I felt capable and confident …

Recent Post on LETS Blog: Death by 1000 Clicks with Your Online Content

Click, click, click  goes the mouse.  It’s very simple and small action.  A mere light pressing of a button with a finger.  It brings to mind Staples’ “That Was Easy” giant red button.  Unequivocally, clicking a mouse button for many people is a relatively easy task.  But we should be wary of the fact that clicking the mouse is merely a representative action.  It’s a real-world action that mainfests as input and action within the bits and bytes of a computer.  In older days, clicking the mouse meant to select something.  Later on, the double-click allowed for something to be executed (“opened”) or highlighted.  Over the years the graphic user interface (GUI) known as the mouse has become expansively more useful.

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Tales of 9 Runs: Plateaus...or Calling for Some Running Advice

So I had what I'm starting to think is a plateau in running.  I'm really hoping it's not and that I just need to plan better both with hydration and time of day (avoiding the heat of the day), but I'll throw this one out there to see if I can solicit any advice from the universe at large.

I was trekking along today and making actually good time (9 minute miles) but hit the wall at mile 3.  It was rather hot out already at 9am and continuing on, just seemed a bad idea.  I started to walk back home.  About a mile back, I decided to run at least one more mile.  I pushed myself on this mile and managed to come in under 8 minutes which was probably the saving grace of the whole running today.  But overall, I'm feeling like the 8.4 mile mark has become a wall or plateau that I can't seem to surpass.  I know this has to do with several things that I need to work better with:
Hydration   I'm good with the pre-hydration.  But during is hard.  I hate carrying a water …