Fond Farewell

Teachstone Farewell ClockWednesday, September 29, 2010 was my last day at Teachstone. Although I worked mostly from home, it was a great place to be —friendly folks, a flexible management that played to my strengths, and a supervisor who knew me well enough to know how much I’d appreciate a clock made from a computer hard drive (thanks, Lauren!). I received a very nice send-off pizza party replete with kind words from remote staff posted in a scrolling slide show. My heart was warmed and I felt appreciated. Alhamdulillah. Now it’s time to get down to the happy business of heading up and moving out!

Check out the cool stuff at Stuff Made From Stuff.

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Status Update

I just got word that my visa paperwork is making it’s way through the final stages on the Indonesia side and that I should receive the “visa telex” by mid-October! I also received my first funding installment from Georgetown and the contact information for the folks at my host institution… so it’s really happening… YEAY!

This news couldn’t have come at a better time, for as I hear about all the activities of my fellow Fellows already in-country, I’m feeling quite “left out” and eager to catch up.

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My eagerness to depart knows no bounds, but it can be diminished through distraction. And The Mother has brought down an old something of Grandpa Kelley’s that does just that: The Mighty Dymo M-10 embossing tool… HUZZAH!

Dymo M-10

Here’s another ELF blog for the round-up: Exile.

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Web Reload

It’s been three hundred sixty-seven days since I swept away the sands of my former web presence. Thanks to a bevy of inspiring blogs by my new friends and fellow Fellows in Indonesia, I am moved, once again, to document a few of my activities and to reflect upon life around me.

At the moment, I am utterly preoccupied with returning to Indonesia. My contract term begins November 1st—I wish it were sooner!

Here’s the FAT ELF* blog round-up:

* Flexible, Adaptable, Tolerant English Language Fellows

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Web Overload

Like a Tibetan sand mandala, I’m wiping away my web presence… GOODBYE.

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The Highlands Come to HTFS

Mr. Martin HatcherMr. Martin Hatcher
We had a special guest today in my “Ethnoexperimusicology” class, Mr. Martin Hatcher of the Capital Region Celtic Pipe Band! Mr. Hatcher gave a wonderful demonstration of the Great Highland Bagpipes. In class, he began with an explanation of his parade regalia and then went on to show the students, up-close, all of the components and their respective functions as he discussed the history and use of bagpipes. We then went outside (the pipes they be loud!!!) for a demonstration. We got to hear how bagpipes were tuned and played. Check it out (click play button below)…

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The Third Jihad

A documentary that claims to “Expose the War the Media is Not Telling You About.”

The Third Jihad

We know that socio-political issues are never “black & white.” For me, the murkiness of the waters of Islam in society seems to stem from the conflict between the ideological and religious ideals to which I strive to adhere, and the inevitable contamination of deen by fallible humans struggling to make sense of it all.

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Skills for Success

Edutopia, the “tangible embodiment” of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, has an interesting online community section called Sage Advice. Here, readers (typically teachers and administrators) respond in 25–100 words to hard questions on what works in public education. For example, this month’s question is, “What is the most critical skill students should master to succeed?” I submitted the following response:

Ultimately, the most critical skill set students should master is how to take responsibility for their own learning. This includes effective searching, critical thinking, and developing learning networks. Success in life is greater than academic achievement alone. Being responsible for one’s own learning is critical to that greater success in that it includes the development of constructive social skills.

What would YOU say?

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I’m Bored…

HTFS: Week 3 — I suppose that some of the proclivity to boredom among teens is inherent to the age. After 14 or 15 years of life, the world is not quite the captivating spectacle of new and mysterious phenomena it once was, and for most the habit of being proactive in occupying the mind to avoid boredom has yet to form.

In the context of a so-called democratic free school one might expect boredom to be at a minimum. However, not infrequently do I hear, “I’m sooo bored!” In a public school where students have little choice in what and when they study I expect such sentiments since coercion breeds, among other things, boredom. But when one is free to pursue one’s passions at will there remains no excuse for scholastic boredom.

I wonder how much of this is just teen spirit, or a part of the “deschooling” process some of the students are still going through, or simple ignorance of the vast opportunity that comes from this enviable amount of freedom. I’m sure it’s all of these things and then some. In any event, it is my challenge to convert boredom into exciting curiosity… I think I can, I think I can :o)>>>

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Painting 6 Wilbur

It’s been a while since I last ran the Gawker (click on the image)… Gracias por la sugerencia, Senor Esteban ;o)>>>

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