03 December 2007

Monday Miscellany: Diamonds or Pearls Before Swine

My six-year-old boy got into trouble at school the other day (he's been doing that a lot lately). After talking to the teacher, his mother asked him, "Did you hit a little girl on the rear end with a ruler?" His reply, "No, she's the tallest girl in class."

Every year I give a test on which I assess student learning concerning the 1820's-1850's. Every year my students jumble the events of the Mexican War and the Texas War for Independence into an incomprehensible mash of historical nonsense. Every year I try teaching it different. I finished grading this year's test last night. It was no different. Also, note to self: make sure to explain to high school juniors that the Underground Railroad was not "like a subway."

The CNN presidential debates have been awful. It makes me embarrassed to teach US Government. I could understand MTV asking "Boxers or Briefs", but "Pearls or Diamonds?" At least we have had some good discussion topics. Most of my students recognize how inappropriate many of the questions have been. I think the YouTube debate format was insipid, but YouTube has become one of my favorite teaching tools. Need a video to demonstrate Ben Franklin's Glass Armonica?...here it is! Need Pearls or Diamonds question and answer?...here it is! Need James K. Polk by They Might be Giants?...here it is!


1 comment:

JP said...

Fascinating juxtapositions. Can you trace the path of your son's intuitive leap?