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Showing posts from December, 2012

These Are The Gun Arguments That Are Bunk

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Given the mass gun shootings of the last year and in the last decade, the discussion around guns continues to circle around without actual meaning or purpose.  Over the course of conversations with people, I find myself getting to the point where I start to roll my eyeballs when I hear certain faux-arguments.

To be clear--not just because I feel obligated to say it or else be disregarded as a "anti-gun" person and because I actually do believe it--I do believe people should have the right to reasonably arm and protect themselves including guns from realistic and recognizable threats.  I go back and forth about owning a gun myself--not because of any ethical issues about ownership or protecting myself but because that would also entail proper care of the weapon and regular practicing with it (which for those who know me, know that I already do a billion things--adding to the mix can be challenging).  That is, if I were to be a gun-owner, I would want to make sure I could be a…

Shootings, Troubled Boys, and System Failures

I hesitated a lot in writing this.  It leaves the door open to be directly or indirectly judged and devalued.  Some might view it as sensationalizing the tragedy for my own gain or trying to garner attention away from it.  What follows is me sharing what is extremely hard to share because there has been no space for these conversations in our culture.  I make no claims to be or to know Adam Lanza; after all, in the end I didn't do what he did.  But in my adolescence, the impulse was palpable though the opportunity wasn't.    

As early as ten years old, I experienced suicidal fantasies; that was also the year of my first attempt.  I tried to electrocute myself (in rather pathetic conditions in hindsight).  I would try two more times in the next six years; once with a knife and once with pills.  I mired in a depressive suicidal slump for seven years of my life during which nary a day would pass where I didn't think about death; mine and at times, others. 
One day, a neighborho…

Recent Letter to the Editor: Response to violence requires honest discussion

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So here's a recent letter to the editor that I fired off in response to an editorial earlier this week (Our View:  School shooting defies understanding).  I have a lot more to say about the event than what's in these 300+ words, but I'm waiting to hear back if another site or publication will be taking it up.  In the meantime, to get a sense of where I am with all this, try this one:

"To the editor:  If the Newtown shooting “defies understanding,” then you haven’t been paying attention. The motivations may never be fully realized and yet the ways in which help could have been afforded to Lanza or the signs recognized are numerous. However, in a self-reliant “we must be free at all costs” society, it’s up to you to take care of you. That doesn’t work out so well in reality; it didn’t work out for Adam Lanza and it didn’t work out for the community of Newtown. It won’t work out for future episodes of this show."


For the rest of the letter, follow on through to the Sa…

And That's a Year

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So today marks the one year anniversary from when I started in my full time position as Coordinator of Instructional Design at North Shore Community College.  To say the very least, it's been an absolutely wonderful year.  As I told a colleague this week, it's a year later and I'm still excited every day to go to work.  It's rewarding as much as it is (mentally) exerting.

I don't hesitate to count my blessings in many regards with this position.  I have a great team of colleagues who are also insightful (equally if not more so), enthusiastic and genuinely caring.  I get to work with an amazing group of faculty who continually teach me great things that I'm then able to share with other colleagues or my students.  My work involves thinking, learning, and sharing and for a nerd like me--that's paradise.  I feel supported and valued in myriad ways from the minute I was into work till well after I leave each day.  I don't mean to brag or ramble on; but in lo…

If Teaching Online Is Easy--Are We Doing It Wrong?

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I have heard many people (including myself) claim that teaching online is easier.  When I inquire further, the person often highlights the fact that he or she can do it in their pajamas and even when he or she is sick.  However, I also hear from people as they talk about how much less work they have to do and this worries me about the nature of online education and the value of it.

When someone teaches a face to face class, they have a level of accountability and investment that has a strong possibility of being lessened in the online environment and I guess my concern is that many are offering a lesser quality product than their face to face counterparts.  There's a disparity here that's not really being acknowledged in online learning.  This isn't true of all faculty for certain, but there are faculty that conduct themselves this way and it worries about the nature of online education.  The following are some observations and concerns about opportunities and problems with…

Interview with Dan E. Burr, Artist of Economix

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A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to interview Michael Goodwin, author of Economix.  In this follow up interview, we get to hear from the artist of Economix, Dan E. Burr.

Lance:  How did you get into comics and what are some of your favorite past projects?


Dan:  I was exposed to both comic strips and comic books from a very early age. As a small child I lived with an uncle who was older than me (but still a kid) and I looked at all the comics he bought and brought into the house. He also liked to draw (as did many of the members of my family) so I was very naturally following the example I saw.

I'd have to say I've enjoyed (almost) all the past projects I've been involved in. Some of those include:  Kings in Disguise (graphic novel), a story for Graphic Classics:  Ambrose Bierce, stories for Grateful Dead Comix #3, 4, 7, & Vol 2, #2, and stories for DC's The Big Book of Series, including Freaks, Thugs, Losers; Martyrs, Bad; Weird Wild West; and The 70's.

Lance

Tales of Running: My First Relay

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Yesterday, I participated in my first relay race; The Mill Cities Relay, which pulls together racing clubs from all over Massachusetts, New Hampshire and elsewhere for a 28.9 mile race in 5 legs.  I actually had a great time and scored a personal best in terms of my distance and time.


After the 30K I did in September which was hosted by the North Shore Striders, I decided to join the running club.  I hadn't heard much from them since joining and hoped by spring that I would make it to their practices and trainings that they run. However, just before Thanksgiving, I got an email asking if I wanted to join a relay team for the club at The Mill Cities Relay.  I figured why not.  It would give me a chance to do something with the club, meet some other people in the club, and nudge me to do another race in December since I need nudging to run in the cold.  They have me a list of the lengths for the legs of the race; several were 4-5 miles, one was 9.5 miles, and a 2.8 (or so).  I said …

Recent Post on LETS Blog: Interview with David Weinberger

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Several months back, I had the pleasure of reading David Weinberger's book, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room.  (You can also find it in the Noblenet Library System to borrow, here). Rather than go on and on about the book, which I easily could, I lucked into the chance to interview him for this blog. Following up on his book, I got the opportunity to hear David speak and even the opportunity to interview him.  For more details about David, you can check out his brief bio on the Berman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

For the full interview, click through to the NSCC LETS Blog.


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