Archive | April, 2012

So much for my 21st Century Classroom

23 Apr

I really try to make my class enjoyable.  I lecture with as much vim and vigor as I can muster.  I am a bit loud at times.  I try and teach like a story teller.  I am also a geek, which I have mentioned here a time or twenty.  It is just the nature of the beast I guess.  I love toys. I love computers.  I love technology.  Being in a 1:1 laptop school makes it SOOOO much easier for my inner geek to come out and play.  I have so many cool ideas and I am trying very hard to move away from relying solely on traditional assessments and including more projects that can be included in their e-portfolios as we move on in journey as a 21st Century School.  


So, I have been toying with a Social Media project for a bit.  I settled on Twitter, because it is the least threatening format of mainstream social media.  I got all the kids set up, had them lock their accounts, stressed that they should only included the kids in that class, not even in my other sections.  Everything seemed to be going so smoothly when I left work on Friday.


Sill rabbit, you know there is always as SNAFU.


The panicked emails started coming in on Saturday.  Twitter was suspending their accounts.  

WHAT???  It is a THEOLOGY class!  What could they be posting to get their accounts suspended?!?  The emails just kept coming in.


I spent the weekend trying to figure it out.  It hit me this morning, 6:45, as I looked around my empty (well, aside from the 4 stooges) classroom.  They didn’t do their homework.  UGH!  See, this is what happens when you don’t do your homework.


I asked the kids to have their accounts set up when they came in to class on Friday.  About half did not.  So, we set them up in class. Because they were all set up from my class, I am certain that I multiple accounts being created from this IP address, sent up a BRIGHT RED FLAG for the Twitter Geeks and they suspended half of my kids’ accounts.  UGH!!!


And the thing is, the project relies on the social part of social media to be successful. <sigh>


So, we are posting on the hum drum boring old Moodle forum until we can get this straightened out.  Hopefully Twitter will hear our pleas and reactivate the kids’ accounts – FAST!  Wish us luck.


Happy Monday! 

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American Hero Clothing

13 Apr

When J decided to be a firefighter, we  – as a family – totally supported him.  We put life on hold, embraced the career change, the kids surprised daddy on his first shift – Halloween – dressed as mini firefighters, rearranged holidays – you name it, we probably did it.  All for this crazy fire life.

I caught some heat from some feminists on my Facebook, you can read about it here – http://mfdwife-toohottohandle.blogspot.com/2011/01/fire-family.html .  I do identify myself as a Fire Wife.  The Fire Life rules our life – when we can celebrate holidays and birthdays, when someone can get to conferences, what to do if there is a sick kiddo, how many activities can be scheduled for the kids on any given day – all determined by the Red, Green, Blue schedule.  it is nice to find fire clothes that are not made for a small man.  T-shirts that are not smaller versions of my husband’s – always a plus.

A fellow fire wife posted a site that will probably get me in trouble – http://www.americanheroclothing.net/#! .  On her blog she bragged about the shoulder tote she was reviewing – very cute and practical, but I am just not a tote or purse kinda gal.  Might be good for traveling with all by geek gadgets, but not really a day to day item for me.  BUT, what jumped out at me were the tank tops.  In the summer, I live in tank tops.  And the racerback tank tops are perfect for my summer runs!  I am SO excited!

Now, truth and accuracy, I am writing this post as part of a giveaway that Val is doing on her blog http://firefighterwife.com/ . But, none-the-less, I am ordering a few of those tank tops.  Anything catch your eye??

Home

13 Apr
I find myself thinking about home.  Where is home? What makes a home?  Defining home. I have decided the old cliche is true.  Home is indeed where your heart is.
 
Last night we went to a tiny UCC church for a concert for the annual Lakeland College Choir tour, which now includes the band.   And it was like being home again. Seeing all of the kids (and WOW do they look young…maybe I am just old) running around before the concert.  A couple playing on the piano before the concert.  We have all been there.  Four years of choir tours. Blizzards, bad lasagna, making the Mitchell Park Domes come alive with sound with an impromptu concert, crossing the border before passports were needed,building lifelong friendships, staying up so late watching the sunrise just to sing early in the morning and of course – choir tour romances.
 
Ahhh, I had one of those.  A choir tour romance.  It seems there was one every year.

Mine was with a quiet guy.  Butterfly city – I never got butterflies.  I had tried to start something with him earlier in the fall, but he had his eyes set on another girl.  One we’ll call “Fish Head” (story for another day). So he blew me off.  Then on this choir tour, it seemed like every time we got on the bus, the only seat open for me was next to him.  Now, I was not looking for romance.  I had just started seeing a guy back on campus.  By seeing, I mean watching hockey in his room.  It was a young relationship, if you could call it that after a week or so.  On tour, I just kept getting “stuck” with this Mr. Nice Guy.  
We started hanging out.  Everyone started to notice.  My own friends warned me that this guy was nice, too nice for me.  I wasn’t ready to settle down, they all told me.  I believe there was a “wild mustang” metaphor thrown in there.  So, I tried to cool things off with Mr. Nice Guy, but somehow we kept getting put together.
Ahh, the memories. I’ll have to dig out the pictures and scan them.  It was long before digital cameras.
Anyway, last night the conductor – a woman who has influenced my life in more ways that she will ever know – dedicated one of my favorite pieces to us, my hubby and me.  It was Biebel’s Ave Maria.  Probably my favorite piece of my college career, maybe top 5 ever.  This piece was even more near and dear to my heart, under the baton of this same conductor.  Against better judgement,she lead a men’s choir of our most amazing friends performing this very piece  at my wedding.  (I’ll have to get it converted to DVD so I can share it!) When she made the dedication to us and shared with the audience that it was from our wedding, it brought tears to my eyes.  I never cry in public.  It was a bit different coming from a mixed choir and of course our guys rocked it even more amazingly.  We were the best, of course!  😀  But, it moved me more than I expected.  

Biebl’s Ave Maria – Miami University Men’s Glee Club

 

I think it was everything last night –  nostalgia, homesickness where we are now and knowing that what we were witnessing was a reminder of where my family got its start.  This choir tour reminded me of our most simplest of beginnings – a choir tour romance that would be over as soon as we got back to campus. However, what no one saw coming is that I might actually marry Mr. Nice Guy,but I did.  My firefighter and I got our start just like these kids. Singing in small churches for our supper. 

Lakeland College 1862 ~ 2012If you are around, there are two more performances –
  • April 13 – First Congregational United Church of Christ, 724 E. South River St., Appleton, 7 p.m.
  • April 14 – Union Congregational UCC, 716 S. Madison St., Green Bay, 3 p.m.
There is also a Homecoming concert on Campus at 3 pm. You will not be disappointed.
To the Muskies reading this, we are heading to the Sesquicentennial reunion this summer, let me know if you are.  After the concert last night, I can hardly wait! 

Home Again

13 Apr

Time to Move On!

11 Apr

I have been fighting with my blog since I upgraded it.  I know better than to be in the first round of upgrades, but I wanted to see what Google was going to make bigger, better and brighter.  So, I upgraded and started fussin’ like everyone on FaceBook after one of their upgrades.  I HATE IT!!

I couldn’t make it work or find help.  So, I took my business elsewhere.  I will post in both places until I figure out how to have traffic forwarded to the new site.  I found some links, but I have not yet had the time to look at them.  So, please be patient with me while I work my way around the format.  I also have to decide on free vs. premium and all that jazz.

Here is the new link if you are interested. https://mfdwifetoohottohandle.wordpress.com/  I have imported everything, but not all posts transferred. Again, be patient with me.

 

Time to Move On!

11 Apr

I have been fighting with my blog since I upgraded it.  I know better than to be in the first round of upgrades, but I wanted to see what Google was going to make bigger, better and brighter.  So, I upgraded and started fussin’ like everyone on FaceBook after one of their upgrades.  I HATE IT!!


I couldn’t make it work or find help.  So, I took my business elsewhere.  I will post in both places until I figure out how to have traffic forwarded to the new site.  I found some links, but I have not yet had the time to look at them.  So, please be patient with me while I work my way around the format.  I also have to decide on free vs. premium and all that jazz.


Here is the new link if you are interested. https://mfdwifetoohottohandle.wordpress.com/  I have imported everything, but not all posts transferred. Again, be patient with me.

The Ghosts of Our Past, Present and Future

11 Apr

I feel like Scrooge. I witnessed my past and my possible future all at once. Our wonderful neighbors have had one of the worst couple of days and there has been nothing I could do, but offer support…and think. Their 20-something daughter is dating a less than ideal choice of man. Anyone that tries to control their significant other in any way, but especially through violence, is not worth a second thought. There was drama, loss, medical care requested and heartbreak. Ultimately, the daughter choose the less than stand up guy over her family.

My heart just hurt. Not only for their loss. Also because I saw myself in another life, with a guy who tried to control my every move. I saw the excuses made for the now scar in my hair line. I saw the arguments over this guy. I saw the betrayal and pain. I saw myself.

And then I saw my girls and my heart just dropped.

I know I can’t control my kids’ choices, I can only help give them the tools needed to live their lives. Ultimately, it is their lives with their decisions to make. I can only keep the doors open and discussions at the time where there is a life lesson to be seen. And pray.

Pray that I have raised them right. Pray that our relationship is strong enough that they will come to me with everything good and bad. Pray. Pray that even when they are wearing their big girl shoes, they will still know they can always come home with whatever it is. Pray that I will have the wisdom to help that at whatever stage of life they find themselves.