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September 2012

August 2012

Convocation 2012

I liked it better than events we have held in the past.

I remember three things at AAC, but we might have only physically gone twice:

Female superintendent driving a bulldozer to jail – though it took a few months.

A really bad motivational speaker.

A really good kid motivational speaker.

For me, traveling to those things were a mess.  The easiest was when I took a Dallas County Bus.

This time, we took a Dallas County Bus to a Dallas facility, Ellis Davis Field House, one much nicer than Loos near the house. .  Started out with a flash mob that the Superintendent joined, and then an okay multimedia presentation by the man, featuring the man and his favorite film clips.

I finally figured out his age.  He’s the same age as my husband, so he graduated from West Point as the first class of women entered.  I would have in the second class had I accepted my appointment.

I thought it would be more fun rocking a blue uniform with a pencil skirt on Tuesdays and Thursdays and letting the Air Force pay for me to major in Computer Science at University of Southern Mississippi.

Rather than crashing in a plane myself, one of the upperclassmen I dated failed to learn to fly, crashing in a training mission.  Always makes me sad to think about it, because Tim really wanted to be a pilot.  Sucks to fail.

Then again I crashed a bicycle through the windshield of a car, not near as exciting and I did walk away, sort of.

Any way, hoping the presentation is online as we will be looking at copyright and fair use next week and examining it would be a fun exercise.

By the way, I also stick to things a bit longer – over 10 years at Texas Instruments as a Systems Analyst and 20 years as a DISD teacher.

Speaking of which a former student and former teacher at my school, walked up to me and said she couldn’t believe I was still there, I drug her over to my principal and told him to tell her to stop, she was being rude.  She also did it to one of my coworkers who has been there longer.

Changes in #GHC2012 Expectations

Seems the high school teacher day won’t be held this year as in year’s past, which was the main reason I went last year. 

However, it wasn’t the part that charged my batteries so much. 

The good news:  I was able to change my plane reservation without costing any money (in fact, I have a credit with the airline now, of less than $40.00).

I am able to stay one less night in the hotel, saving almost $200 in expenses.

I’ll plan all that once we get past this first week or two of the school year.

Our First Day Back

Wasn’t bad.  They made an effort at modeling good teaching.  I still think it would have been better if they had emailed them in advance, but the copies were still warm when we got them.

Our library chairs are really great for the first 20 minutes.  Not so much after.

Probably better than any other set of mass chairs in the building.

My room is still a mess. 

Contractors ripped out three of the Ethernet ports (do we still call them that?) and I can’t figure out how to get them fixed.  I’ve got to get a long cable for that work station and I think I’ve given those all away.  Or get them repaired.  STAT.

Two of my CS classes are overbooked according to Gradespeed. 

Diabetes Dog is unofficially approved, and man do  I need heard.  Four days without her have been hard on me, even though I keep the meter close to hand and stick to Slimfast without her.  Hopefully she’ll be with me soon.

Oh yeah, and having trouble sleeping, and all the websites I need to prep are down.

Now I understand why I am so upset about my room

My favorite young teacher at school (I think it’s year 5 for him <giggle>) emailed me and told me my room still looked like a train wreck.

It hit me.

My room looks exactly like my guest room did after they pulled the truck out of it.  Well, no broken stuff, but wires every wear and construction dust.

No wonder,  I’m upset and in tears every time I see it and think about it. 

PLUS, it isn’t fair I can’t get in and work on it and other people can theirs.  <pout>


They are still working on my room.

So far, all I have been able to do is to take a load of stuff, and drop it in my closet.  I haven’t been able to set up my desk – in fact to do some work today, I had to borrow an assistance principal’s office.


Though we aren’t getting paid to work.

An Unexpected Ass Kicking | Blog Of Impossible Things


  • Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
  • Do things that have never been done.
  • An Unexpected Ass Kicking | Blog Of Impossible Things


    Even if the story isn’t true, its an awesome story, and a good moral.

    Lots of good stuff in it.  I like tablets, and I like my phone, but the guy is right, I can’t really create things with them.  However, I can create lots of things with my computer.

    I spent the summer creating an awesome course, and I hope my students agree it’s awesome and learn how to create awesomeness with it.  I hope the other teachers take my vision and run with it and get their kids to create awesome with it.

    In other words – I can’t wait until the new school year!

    Why I am going to GHC12 @GHC

    For years I have wanted to go to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  I've been a Syster for over 10 years.  However, its during the school year and it's expensive.

    I've applied for the high school scholarship three times and finally got to go last year.  Man was it worth the time.  I came back enegized and ready to change the world.  In fact I immediately decided I was going for the whole experience this year, and paying for it myself.

    I still don't know if I get to go to the high school day yet, but I have it on my interary.  I'm scheduled to leave on Tuesday night and come back on Saturday.

    Even set to take my diabetes alert dog -- have blogged about that on the diabetes blog.

    Can't wait!

    Fixing Teachers?

    After talking with a younger teacher last night, maybe I still need to be working on fixing teachers.

    I’m designing a new computer science course for the district based on the new TEKS called Computer Science Fundamentals. 

    My focus on the course is to have students develop research skills to learn about computer science.  For example, the first unit is “Acceptable Use Policy”.  Rather than tell the student how to behave, I want the students to learn how to behave on the internet by researching what the repercussions of bad behavior are.  So within the whole six weeks, they have to learn how to do internet searches, evaluate web sites, and make their own web pages. 

    In none of that, do I want the teacher to spend an entire class period talking to students.  Maybe having an conversation with, but I don’t want the teacher to be the main focus.

    He’s not comfortable with that yet, and doesn’t know how to do that.

    How do we teach that?  Well, for one thing, we stop doing that at staff development’s!

    Why Educators Should Spend 15 Minutes a Day on Social Media


    "I love what I do, and in order for me to continue to grow and do the best that I can for kids, I have to make myself carve this time out," Marten said.

    Why Educators Should Spend 15 Minutes a Day on Social Media


    What she said – I agree.  My biggest problem is that I am the only person in my building who teaches what I teach.  There is no other person in the district that teachers the same mix:

      • AP Computer Science
      • PreAP Computer Science
      • Computer Science Fundamentals
      • Game Programming
      • Web Design

    In fact, I’m piloting Game Programming so I’m the only one doing it.  So I have to have go to Social Networking to find other people who do it to share and get good ideas.

    And since no one else in my building is doing it, I at least have to pick up the phone or easier yet use Messenger to talk to the other people in my building.

    So yes, I’m stuck with doing any type of interaction long distance and social media is the easiest.  Especially twitter as most of the rest is blocked.