Bearing Witness

[Content warning: This blog contains discussions of bullying.] Nathan Phillips says Covington Catholic teens were disrespectful after investigation clears them (USA Today) One of my primary motivators as a teacher, and something I repeat to myself every day I teach, is that I need to be the kind of teacher for my students that I needed when I was younger. This would be a difficult enough task on its own, but as I’ve often pointed out, anyone who gets into teaching because they think it will…

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City Permanence

Recently, I loaded up the busiest intersection near my old house on Google Maps and went into street-level view so I could have a first-person Google Street View of it. As much as I recognize how every corner of that intersection has changed over time — although the Internet has been failing me in my attempts to photographically prove that some Toledo staples of my time, like Centre supermarkets and Gastown gas stations, existed before they were driven out by bigger competitors — part of…

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Watching As It Happened

Polar vortex death toll rises to 21 as US cold snap continues (BBC.com) I kind of get the old stereotype about older women who watch the Weather Channel non-stop, but I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable about it because, for much of her life, Mom was one of those women. After we first got cable television, news and information shows quickly became Mom’s go-to when there wasn’t anything else on; she kept the living room television tuned to either Headline News or the Weather Channel…

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A Stand in the Snow

Polar vortex to bring prolonged, life-threatening cold outbreak to midwestern US this week (Accuweather) I’ve been thinking lately about how I’ll probably have to write a multi-volume memoir when the time comes for me to do that, simply because I have far too many bad memories indelibly stamped into my brain to just gloss over those events in a chapter or two. I’m guessing that I’ll need at least one whole book to describe all the horrible teachers I had when I was younger, and…

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When Play is Too Much Work

One of the things I loved the most about classic console video games was the “second quest” feature that many of the best games had. The original Super Mario Bros., after you beat it for the first time, then proceeded to offer you the chance to go through the game all over again, and even though the levels were laid out in the exact same way, the enemies were changed to make the game even harder to get through. Back when programming space was extremely…

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