Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Happy Fall from Nashvegas, TN

It's been a while since I posted. Wanted to share some developments.

Lee Ann's been workingworkingworking at Tinwings, LLC, her "EEE" (entreprenurial epicurian enterprise), full-bore since well before they opened their storefront at 816 51st Avenue South last spring. Like any startup, it's hard, but perhaps unlike every startup, it's magnificently rewarding for her, her partner Ursula, and for the small but mighty group of workers she's employing, mostly very part-time. She and Ursula are the core of the operation, and they are both working overtime and under-compensated, paying back initial investment with hard hard work. I'm proud of all of them, but mostly so of my dear Lee Ann.

Our house is on the market. I cannot BELIEVE the work it took to get it there, but it's there, and we are living on a stage set, prepping it most mornings to be as ready as it can be and working on a 4 hour notice of showings. We had one over the weekend and another yesterday, and we are optimistic that it will sell soon--it's just a matter of the right buyer falling in love with it the way we did nearly ten years ago. Think good thoughts for us.


School is going great guns, and I'm teaching this semester. It's challenging, and such a learning experience to be working with a large student roll in two courses in two grade levels. Specifically, I'm working with 7th and 8th graders in Social Studies classes, 7th grade World History and 8th grade U.S. History. There are specific challenges I cannot share here, but I will say it's never boring! It's Fall Break at MNPS this week, so I'm killing trees. I printed over 200 pages of .pdf versions of my two course's Keys, in order to save time grading by accessing them without the stages of logging into Office365 and clicking to find the folder, bringing up the file in a viewer, and scrolling or searching to the appropriate assignment or assessment to find rubrics and notes about grading. I can just pick up the hefty tome and move to the page, holding it in my hands.

I'm surprised by all that, but since every day is a learning experience, my preference for a hard copy for this task (not at all typical for me, in any arena) is simply something I'm learning from. I like surprises as long as they lead to improvements in fairness, support, and learning on the part of my students.

A couple of other upcoming things are in my radar. In my volunteering arena, I'm captaining a stellar group of volunteer reviewers who are tasked with selecting a set of proposals accepted for ISTE 2016 in Denver, Colorado next summer--those submitted in the theme of Distance Learning Resources and Open Educational Tools. I've glanced at the 32 proposals we will be reviewing and they look good. I have every confidence in the process ISTE's put in place and we'll get the job done. Yay.

I'm also driving down to Atlanta, GA in a couple weeks to serve on the AdvancED External Review Team for a university down there. This service is one I have done before, in Massachusetts then, but I'm going to be working full-bore from a Sunday evening to a Tuesday afternoon before driving back home to Nashville and back to work Wednesday.

Finally, and actually temporally before the other two, I'll be attending a live viewing of the Democratic debate on the 12th, at Tailgate Brewery on Hwy 70. If you are interested in joining us, fans of Bernie Sanders for President, at 7 pm, go here!
Again, yay. Take care and be hopeful. You might choose, as my dear brother Ed does, to not watch the news. It's skewed toward the trivial and the negative. It's the Roman Colosseum of today. Take care. 


This looks so cool: