Monday, December 10, 2007

Agony and Ecstasy

So, the agony is in all the shortfalls one has regarding actual instruction and affect. The ecstasy is the good stuff (though the agony has its place in that queue). I'm doing a day long workshop tomorrow on aspects of Adobe CS3, an opportunity located by my Technology Director and supported by my school administration, and I'm reeeeeallly excited to be going. We just purchased Adobe CS3 and I want to know how to lead my teachers to places where they'll use it.

Today (the Ecstasy) I facilitated a fabulous interactive videoconference offered by the Vanderbilt Virtual School, a program about classical music featuring a chamber orchestra called Alias. Wonderful. Marvelous. Underappreciated and underutilized by the tens of thousands of classrooms across the nation that might have benefited from the chance to ask questions of professional classical musicians: The agony.

This week, my kids are all creating holiday cards for homeless folks and retirement village residents who may otherwise not receive anything loving or celebratory from friends or relatives, since--guess what--there are a lot of our fellow humans in the world who have neither. This will be facilitated by technology (.jpg files created in Powerpoint and the freeware Drawing for Children program) and by the local radio station Mix 92.9. I only hope they will utilize our kids' work even though some of it may not fit their "Christmas" mold. Our kids, in our eclectic, diverse, odd, inclusive, wonderful, one-of-a-kind independent school, will be creating "Holiday" cards. Sure, many will be Christmas cards, but we will provide Kwanzaa, Diwali, Hanukkah, and other cards as well. By the end of the week we'll have over 300 of them that I'll print and deliver to the station. Wish us luck. In the long run, of course, it's all about the process, now, isn't it?

Today I also witnessed and archived some fabulous presentations from the freshman class at the School for Math and Science at Vanderbilt, using ustream.tv, and I hope that those experiences will inform my presentations in San Antonio come summer, at NECC2008. Wish me luck.

Peace to you and yours as we barrel into the holiday season. Remember balance, and strive, ever, for that.

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