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Musical genius

Yesterday my host family took me along to a concert by the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yaniv Attar, who was essentially being auditioned to become the orchestra’s new conductor. The performance featured an appearance by Sharon Isbin, a classical guitarist, as well. After the concert, there was a reception, which I was able to…

L is for language: teen-speak

Spending so much time with teenagers, both at home and at work, means that I have to keep up with the constant changes in the language that young people use. A few weeks ago, I talked about this with my “extra son,” who is 16 years old and grew up in Ireland. What started the…

D is for derivative (literature, not financial instruments!)

Yesterday I asked my graduating students for suggestions as to what books I should or should not assign to next year’s group. In the course of the discussion one of them brought up Harry Potter. Now, this is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, and this is an English first language class, at higher level—IB courses…

Why I was in Barcelona

Is faith a way of knowing? Should “indigenous knowledge systems” be considered an area of knowledge, like the natural sciences or history? Is a “global impression” model of assessment an improvement on criterion-based assessment? I just got back from a workshop in Barcelona for Theory of Knowledge (TOK) teachers, and these are the sorts of…

Procrastination

Yes, this is an example of procrastination: I’m avoiding what I have to do by writing a blog post about not doing what I have to do. There’s a whole list of things I should do, sooner rather than later. But the most immediate task is the Theory of Knowledge essays I still have to…

It’s all in the wrist

I’ve expressed my doubts about exams before. And here I am, writing this blog entry, as, again, I make my students suffer through an exam. Actually, this isn’t the real exam, but they need to practice it, so that’s what they’re doing. It’s Paper 1 of two papers for the final exam, each of which…

Facepalm

[:en]”She’s a scatterbrain, but what a brilliant teacher!”[:]

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