Sunday, November 13, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition + Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition:

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition 


Man, I just can't. I've been reading election-related stuff all week, and either you have, too, or you have given up. Either way, you don't need any more. So let's just take a break, for a few moments, before we wade back into it again.

Gunhild Carling is a musical prodigy from Sweden.

Genius duet between Astaire and Eleanor Powell, the unfairly forgotten Queen of Tap. Fun to watch Astaire work on equal footing with a female partner. "Begin the Beguine" is one more superior song by Cole Porter.

Sorry-- no video, but the performance is too good to pass up. Another genius love song from Cole Porter, who was, of course, gay. Funny, but his love songs have worked just fine for heterosexual wooing, too.

Bill Robinson was just one of many great American performers whose career was held down by segregation and Jim Crow. Shirley temple movies became one of the main ways that white audiences learned about him. But this scene, and others like it, were cut in the South because audiences didn't want to see Robinson and Temple hold hands.

Rita Moreno is one of the only twelve EGOT winners in the world, and this clip never gets old. It's a simple throwaway bit, and yet she manages to sing and act the crap out of it.

Linda Ronstadt was a pop queen back in the day (still love her Pirates of Penzance work). Her great-grandfather was a German engineer who moved to Mexico and raised a family there. Later in her career, Ronstandt embraced the music of her heritage. Sadly, I learned while sifting through her clips, Ronstadt retired from music because of Parkinson's

Admit it. You used to listen to this all the time. I am not generally a huge guitar fan, but Carlos Santana is the shit, and he makes the thing just sing. In the hands of anyone else, the lick that anchors this tune would be just a strong of notes. And the solo-- it's a treat to hear someone really turn it out like this for a simple Top 40 hit.

Cab Calloway was rock and roll before it was rock and roll, and whenever I want to cheer up, I go back to Nicholas Brother clips.

I'll be back next week with real reading to do. In the meantime, hug a loved one and gather your strength.
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Special Take a Breather Edition:


Uganda Shuts Down For-Profit Ed Provider
We can get so focused on the USA aspects of reformsterism that we forget how much privatization is being exported. Take, for instance, the export of some of our worst, most developmentally-inappropriate ideas to schools in Ecuador. But one of the thriving edu-exports has been the business of selling school-in-a-can t9o nations in Africa. Bridge Academies are one such edu-business , founded by a no
Principled Bullies
At the end of this seemingly endless week (perhaps it just seems linger because I've spent so little of it sleeping), what I most treasure are people of principle. And I'm going to ask you to do something for me here, because if you get mad and check out in the middle of this piece, you are going to miss the point. One of the most striking and disappointing things about many Trump supporters has b

NOV 11

Education's Trumpian Crystal Ball
Today's new cottage industry is Trumpian predictive activities-- what will he do, what will happen next, what will he decide about My Favorite Issue. This is a bit of a fool's game-- on the one hand, Trump has told us pretty clearly what he's going to do, and on the other hand, this is a man who feels no particular obligation to think about what he says before he speaks or stay true to it once it

NOV 10

Will Trump Kill the Core
Apparently one more side effect of Trumpocracy will be the revival of half-baked, ill-informed writing and bloviating about Common Core. Let me do my part to add to that. Trump has, of course, promised to rid the world of Common Core, even though he has no idea what it is, what's in it, how it works, or how it is implemented. This may well actually happen when pigs fly. But this is the perfect cue
The Racist Dinner Party
Many of my Trump-voting friends are genuinely baffled and upset at being called racist, sexist, bigoted by association. "Really, not about race," they say about their vote. Let me try to explain, as I often do, with a story. You are an American of Ostrogoth ancestry. You and your wife and children are going to a neighbor's house for Thanksgiving dinner. You're pretty pumped. Out on the sidewalk yo

NOV 09

A Lesson from 11/9
I am still crawling out of the festering dung hole that is the 2016 Presidential election. There is an awful lot to unpack and learn and understand going forward. But there are good lessons from last night as well: * In Massachusetts, the charter school early Christmas bill that was supposed to open the floodgates to endless charter paydays-- well, that bill was squashed like a bug . Gov. Charlie
Making the Team
I only recently encountered this article from back in February, but it has really stuck with me. It has nothing at all to do directly with education, but it has everything to do with education. Charles Duhigg's "What Google Learned from Its Quest To Build the Perfect Team " was part of a package of articles about "reimagining the office," but there is of course a whole world of teams, including th

NOV 08

Teaching in Trump's America
And let's face it-- we had to face the prospect of a Trumpified America whether he won tonight or not. Now it's just that much more real, more powerful. And I still have to go to school and teach in it (especially now that my retirement fund is worth about $1.50). I teach 11th grade English, which means it's my job to teach about American literature and the culture that it reflects. This has alway

NOV 07

Democracy vs. Money
Perhaps the most striking thing about the many, many elections going on around the country (honest, the Presidency is not the only thing up for a vote) is the huge amount of money being invested in so many of these races. * In Massachusetts, an extraordinary amount of dark, out-of-state money has been spent to open the market for more charter entrepreneurs to come in and make a buck revitalize edu

NOV 06

Digital Natives Are Lost
I have had this conversation a thousand thousand times with people of my own generation, people who don't actually work with students. They will be going on about their own computer illiteracy and waxing rhapsodic about the super-duper skills of the young generation, the digital natives. "You don't understand," I'll tell them. "The vast majority of my students don't know jack about modern technolo
ICYMI: Almost Election Day (11/6)
Good lord, this ugly mess is almost over and we can move on to the ugly aftermath. In the meantime, here are some things to read. Don't forget to share the ones you like-- remember, only good content can drive out bad content. 

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