Seats still open for “In Their Own Voices” teacher workshop on racism, at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

October 16, 2012

E-mail from the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, with a training opportunity for teachers:

In Their Own Voices workshop

October 20-21, 2012

Arkansas Dept. of Education professional development workshop at Little Rock Central High School NHS

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site invites Arkansas educators and community advocates to participate in a two day workshop focusing on challenging racism prevalent in and out of the classroom and the community. This program, an approved ADE professional development workshop, will bring participants together for an open reflection and dialogue on the effects of racism and the diversity of our own self-understanding. The overarching goal for our In Their Own Voices workshop is to afford our participants an opportunity to identify their own biases and feel comfortable in their space to approach such issues as race, bullying, tolerance and other-isms in the classroom and the community. To apply, please click attachment below and send to Agnolia Gay at agnolia.gay@gmail.com

Registration for workshop

Move quickly! (That’s this weekend.)  If anyone from Dallas is headed up, please let me know.

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School, National Historical Site Visitors Center –  (Photo credit: bigskyred)

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What about National Parks as an issue in the 2012 elections?

October 16, 2012

National Parks really are a tiny part of the federal budget.  Consequently, they get overlooked, and that could be bad.

How are your Congress and Senate candidates standing on these issues?

Romney’s “energy plan” calls for opening up the National Parks for oil and gas exploration and drilling, even the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania  Bet that’s not mentioned by anyone in the debate tonight.

Which one is your favorite unit of the National Park System?  What’s your favorite family story from visiting the parks?  How are you going to vote in November?

Graphic from the National Parks Conservation Association:

Parks in Jeopardy, 2012, NPCA

From the National Parks Conservation Association

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12 million jobs — but not until when?

October 16, 2012

Oy.

It’s extraordinary to consider with just three weeks until Election Day, but Mitt Romney’s central argument to voters has been exposed as a total fraud.

Greg Sargent added, “Let’s recap what Kessler has discovered here. The plan that is central to Romney’s candidacy on the most important issue of this election — jobs — is a complete sham. This is every bit as bad — or worse — than Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, or his vow to cut spending by eliminating whole agencies without saying which ones, or his refusal to say how he’ll pay for his tax cuts.”

Obama’s budget NOW creates 12 million jobs in the next four years, according to projections.  Romney?  He stretches it out to ten years, but reduces the job creation, so it’s 2.5 times as long to get the same number of jobs.  Say what?  Romney’s plan reduces the number of jobs created by cutting the rate at which they are created.

Read more at Rachel Maddow’s blog, with links to the actual studies.  Maddow links to Greg Sargent’s blog, The Plum Line, at The Washington Post. 12 million jobs, Mitt Romney, economy, Bain Capital

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Date coincidences: Happenstance or omen?

October 16, 2012

In the approximately 33 minutes Texas curriculum standards allow to teach the Declaration of Independence, I frequently slip in some biography to help students chunk the knowledge.  Of course, biography for the Declaration includes Thomas Jefferson.  If one talks of Jefferson, especially with limited time, one is obligated to relate the story of the friendship of Jefferson with John Adams, which descended into partisan squabbling by 1796, and outright enmity in the election of 1800.  Then one relates how they were essentially tricked into resuming their friendship, and their correspondence (which makes good DBQs for pre-AP and AP classes), and the always touching story of their deaths, both on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Then a student asks about divine intervention in history.  I explain that history is so rich, one can find coincidences on almost every day of the calendar.  For two examples, consider the births of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, hours or minutes apart on February 12, 1809; the births of Mark Twain and Winston Churchill on the same date (November 30), and their love of whiskey and cigars.

These coincidences often seem eerie, or pre-ordained, and that is enough of a hook to get that chunk of history into the minds of students so they remember them, or to compare the lives or events involved, to sharpen their critical skills.  (Ha!  Then just try to dissuade high school students from the eerie or pre-ordained notion; coincidences?  Not to the non-critical-thinking high schooler . . . or too many voters.)

So I was interested to find, and it made me smile, that Mahatma Gandhi and Groucho Marx share a birth date, October 2 (Gandhi in 1869, Marx in 1890).  That date was also the birthday of the comic strip we know as “Peanuts,” in 1950.  (Does a piece of literature, especially a comic strip, have a “birthday?”)

BLAHS Award, copyright Mark Sackler at Millennium Conjectures

BLAHS Award, created by Mark Sackler at Millennium Conjectures

I learned that following a link to the blog of Mark Sackler, who shares the birthday — exactly with Charlie Brown, and the day with Marx and Gandhi.

Following the link over there, to the Millennium Conjectures™, I also learned Mr. Sackler awarded Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub a BLAHS Award, for having a funny name.

Hey, any attention is good attention, right?

I also found there some hope that, at least in some alternative universe, I might be getting a good night’s sleep.

I wonder whether there is any photograph of Groucho Marx and Mahatma Gandhi together.  (Neither of them seemed to be using their given first name, you’ll note . . .)

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