As the school year winds down, I’m looking forward to devoting more time to this blog. I’d hoped to blog daily on lesson plans but I haven’t kept pace in my own log. I’d like to write about how I see the incessant demands of the computer interfere with lesson planning and logging, taking the edge off real planning, thus channeling teaching more and more into the disengaged teacher following the factory model.
Recently I got several references on math anxiety and math phobia, incl a book by my favorite author, Frank Smith. I would like to relate that to the feelings engendered in many students by awkward and insensitive teaching. My youngest grandchild just went through a bad experience with a lousy teacher. Fortunately, the admin backed up the parents but the damage to Logan was done. He has regressed some and clearly suffered emotionally. I wish these “tough” people on listservs would recognize that being tough on kids means being tough on teachers. I remember my grandmother, who went to school in 1880s, talking about fathers coming down to the school and punching the teacher out.
A ton, a ton, I tell you, awaits my blog category on my own language learning. It’s going great and I’m very excited about it, esp with the summer coming up.
Then there’s politics and my forrays into music. Recently, in the last day or so, I’ve posted here on attitudes toward language. My own attitude toward the language mavens is that they need to be called out. I tried calling one out but the moderator didn’t print my post. It’s so odd to me that you can insult people and make academically inadmissable statements as long as you portray yourself as standing up for “good grammar”; but when you stand up for facts, for science, for reality, you’re ajudged harsh and unfair. I caught one maven in the stupidest comment (“who” is the proper relative pronoun for a human antecedent, not “that” – hell, my aunt thought that; it is clearly a baseless rule thought up by social snobs to give them an advantage over people with better things to think about), so I typed up 2 pages from a book titled “Early Modern English” that destroyed that myth. Only a handful of people will read it, of course, and the listserv will continue serving up such absurdities as if they are God’s own truth. What a shame. And these people consider themselves professionals.
The priest at my school is thinking about offering Koine Greek to the faculty next year. I brought him several good books on KG and I hope we can get a class off the ground. I look forward to reading with the theology in mind. I hope you don’t have to be a believer to participate.
One project I’d like to pursue is selecting words from my readings, not basic words nor elevated or rare words, but just beyond basic i.e. not towel nor towel rack but maybe washrag. I’ve already set up a large number of 3×5 cards with basic words (first 2 thousand?); this would be fun as I explore several languages this summer more in depth. I have some tools for doing so (the Brown book on Russian; the Eaton book on English, French and Spanish; etc.) That ought to be fun.
I see two more comments to my Language Attitudes blog entry just came in and I need to get to reading Neruda’s poetry for my book club on Thursday.