Monthly Archives: June 2010

checking in


for a couple of days, i’ve been locked in a battle… an absolute war, even… with a woman named debra. we’ve gone back and forth, trying to outdo each other in the quest to become mayor of a little square outside the local train station. i admit that i kind of feel some sort of birthright to the space, as i was the one that added it to foursquare, but i guess it’s all a part of the participatory self-publishing culture.

i’m mayor again today, if anyone’s interested.

but i’m fascinated about why i feel compelled to check-in at random places, sacrificing my privacy for some online badges that don’t mean anything. in fact, in the biggest clue that i’m not using foursquare as it was intended, i got the bender badge for checking into this patch of pavement for four nights in a row. something isn’t right.

i’ve been trying to come up with something for our new student orientation in august, maybe using foursquare to check-in and become mayor of different parts of the school and perhaps giving prizes to the mayors. but i can’t help but feel like i’m really reaching here, too addicted to something that really doesn’t have an authentic place in a school. 

still working it out — both my issues and what i might do this august — but if you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to drop me a comment.

where’s the sense of wonder?

i feel like i'm stuck in a little bit of a mental rut at the moment, as i'm more than eager for the school year to come to a close. it's been an exhausting year, and hopefully i'll get to rest and recharge for the upcoming school year. i found the end of this school year exhausting, as i was involved in looking at such thrilling documents as a homework policy, snippets of an accreditation visit report, a continuing scope and sequence review, and the ever popular curriculum map.

what worries me is that i can't wait for the summer because i just want a break. i shouldn't want that, at least not so earnestly. i used to like the summer — it was my lab time, a three-month window to really go nuts with the research and development, the monkeying around with new stuff, the selling new stuff to eager faculty members. but i'm just tired and need a break. i'd imagine this isn't too different from our kids so looking forward to summer — not to explore parks and camps, to try out new stuff, to do something *different* but instead to just get away from regimented study, final examinations, the same old papers and quizzes and deadlines. we're supposed to encourage our students to be lifelong learners. and i feel like i want a break from that for myself, at least for a bit. this is the first year that, professionally, i don't feel encouraged to find something transformative to investigate over the summer, to try and change the game next year, to try and make some brains explode and probably a couple of eyes roll.

i've been caught up with this feeling that, at least at my school, we're not encouraging as much of a sense of wonder as we should. everything is about meeting a deadline, referencing a criterion, keeping to a regulation. i feel like things need a shake-up. our students should be running out of the school doors on the last day to investigate a world of "new," and our faculty should too. instead, i just want a break. 

well… just a little one.