Showing posts from March, 2009

The Evils of the Disintegration of the English Language as Brought About by Texting

Thx. G2G. LOL. ROTFL. OMG. Don't you hate texting lingo? Call me old-school, but I do. I can understand it (I knew every single one that I listed, for instance), but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with it. As they say, know your enemy.

What's wrong with abbreviating words to save time, some ask? It's more than abbreviating words to save time, in my opinion. It's slowly chipping away at the very foundations of the English language.

Besides, any one who has enough time to type out thousands of text messages a month--and "For a teenager to send thousands of text messages a month is not unusual," said John Johnson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless (Washington Post)--could be spending their time more constructively, by volunteering at a soup kitchen or finishing homework.

For someone who doesn't even have a cell phone, I might seem a little too zealous about getting people to stop using text lingo. Why am I so fired up? It's all about writing. Tee…

On Teaching and Learning

By teaching, I think that I have cultivated a deeper awareness of learning. As I say at the end of my "kid's eye view of the classroom" professional development sessions for teachers, "Only when we know how we learn can we really know how to teach."

I see manifestations of this when I teach writing; I remember that I learned through imaginative, creative exercises, not a list of boring instructions. As a result, I try to apply the same principles--the importance of using creative exercises to teach a seemingly boring concept. One example of a typical type of persuasive test prompt is "During independent working time, your English teacher frequently plays soft, calming music which you would like to change. Write to convince your English teacher to play the kind of music you prefer as background for independent working time." Some argue that a "realistic" prompt is good practice for kids to use persuasive writing for something practical. But my…

Discrimination Against Short-Statured Persons in Public Places

Discrimination Against Short-Statured Persons in Public Places
(as experienced by the author)

Recently I have had my rights compromised. The unfortunate event occurred at Costco in Kirkland, WA. Being in close proximity to our house, Costco is one of many food-shopping destinations that we patronize. One of our favorite parts is getting samples from the many tables set up around the store. Actually, that’s what my sister and I spend the majority of our time in Costco doing. Sadly, Costco seems to enforce a hideous rule which does not allow children to get samples without parental accompaniment. I thought originally that this rule was created perhaps because the Costco administration was worried about allergies, but I suppose not, for when I went to get a sample of sweet potato French fries from a table, the grouchy lady (who, my sister noted with obvious glee, was of Asian descent) handing out samples said, “You need your parents!” I said that I didn’t have any allergies. She responded,…

Poem Written with Videoconferencing Students in Pennsylvania

Here's a poem I wrote with videoconferencing students in Pennsylvania. I'd like to thank Carol, who pointed out that I originally spelled Pennsylvania incorrectly.

The poem below was inspired by the Plato quote (yes, they were smart kids to choose Plato!) "It is a common saying, and in everybody's mouth, that life is but a sojourn."


Life is a journey
On a very bumpy road
There's nature--trees and flowers
Rushing rivers and deer
Exploring, sometimes with fear.

Your guide is very trusty
(Made up of your dreams)
You may try new things along the way
Such as elephant polo
And a food like yogo.