Tuesday, October 27, 2009


after 5 or 6 terrible podcast trials, i happened upon ari tuckman's more attention less deficit. based on the book of the same title, he offers 10-15 minute snatches of pointed, clear, and useful tips for managing (or making sense of) adult ADD.

i'll post the list of podcasts to avoid along with some tips from a trusted ADD source. in the meantime, spend some time with dr. tuckman and his extensive archive of excellent podcasts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ADD & Loving It

in my hunt to find podcasts and an app for the iphone, i came across this documentary: ADD & Loving It.

it's funny, informative and offers a positive angle, which is invaluable for me. the more positivity i can throw at this disorder, the better. i hope you enjoy it.

shifting gears

the student teaching is long over. even graduation was months ago. now, the fork. not sure if the next step will be teaching. or office jobbing. or entrepreneuring. or...

what i do know is that ADD will be a big slice of life no matter which prong i choose. inconveniently, my diagnosis came long after graduation. even a few months earlier and so much would have been different. best not to think about it now. it is what it is.

with the shift in life comes a shift in blog. i'm working through scads of information on ADD and trying to make sense of it all. here, i'll share and maybe cut down on some of the work you're doing to make sense of adult ADD, yours or your partner's.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wordle of this Blog

Thinking about some ways that I could use this in the classroom...
This comes from the excellent website: www.wordle.net

Monday, September 15, 2008

The days...

Are stacking up. A good cry and some effort to refocus can do wonders for a (student) teacher's resolve. 
Today's lesson was better than last week's lesson and tomorrow will be better still. Lessons will be posted soon. We're reading Antigone... slowly, but surely, I'm getting ideas.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pre-Semester Reflections...

... as requested by JC and LM.

As an exercise for my Methods class, I was asked to reflect on four questions. Here are my responses (with minor edits and amendments):

1. What do you think you will be naturally good at in this work?
Using my Summer School teaching experience to inform this reflection, I feel that I have a natural, non-judgmental and approachable teaching style that allows me to truly meet student where they're at. Also, it is in my nature to constantly reevaluate policy and protocol to ensure fairness. I work hard to use culturally relevant teaching methods and to create lessons and activities that are engaging beyond the text (connections! connections!).

2. What do you most look forward to teaching in the subject matter that you will teach? Why?
I am most excited to foster personal connections with the texts that we'll be reading. I am a strong believer in active reading, that reading is more than lying on your bed letting words pour over you and I think that it will be a lot of fun to bring world literature to life in the classroom, whether we're debating the fate of Mersault while reading The Stranger or listening to music from South Africa as we read Things Fall Apart. I also look forward to working with the students on media literacy, though I admittedly don't know exactly what that will look like yet.

3. What fears do you have about this experience?
I am afraid that the students will hate me (I imagine one or two will, of course). I am also afraid of the cafeteria (I have always been afraid of cafeterias). I am afraid that I will unintentionally hurt/offend a student, but hope that if that happens we can mend the wound and learn from the experience. Also, (per my dream the other night) I am afraid that I will oversleep on the first day and show up in sweatpants (I am only partially kidding here). I am also acutely aware of what I am wearing, whether my tattoo is showing, if I have the same scarf/shirt/shoes as one of my students. These superficial fears come from conversations with students, which fueled my naturally self-conscious state. 

4. What skills, habits, behaviors, and attitudes do you think you'll have to really work at?
I think that I will need to work to curb my sarcasm as I am sensitive to the ways that can be interpreted. I will need to be vigilant when it comes to time management and studying, reading, grading, planning, etc. in order to ensure that each class (I'm taking or teaching) is getting enough attention. I will also really need work at planning ahead, I like the security that comes with foresight and planning, but sometimes struggle with actually planning. In the same vein, I have already been working to establish strong organizational systems for myself to help me find things, stay focused, feel in control, and even reflect/process.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Give and Take on Caufield

This evening, while poking around my Google Reader, I came across this article in Good Magazine:
Anne Trubek on Why We Shouldn’t Still Be Learning Catcher in the Rye

Naturally, I was intrigued and so I read the piece and continued on to the comments where I found the following:

I first read Catcher in the Rye three years ago when I was a freshman in high school, and I honestly believe that Catcher in the Rye is far more appealing to adolescents than any of the books that you have listed.

No other book can resonate with so many adolescents. Look at the books in your "revised syllabus." The characters of these books are "Dominican adolescents," a "teenage outcast" who falls mute, "two eighth-graders in a Columbine-style school massacre," a daughter who must deal with "life on the road," "a scholarship boy with literary ambitions," etc. How could any of these characters be 'relatable' to a wide range of teenagers? Having experienced the displeasure of reading these books, and others like them, I can firmly state that none of the characters within them resonated with me, or the majority of my peers.

Holden's problem is simple. He isn't ready to accept the world for what it is. That is the essence of adolescence, and the reason for his timelessness.

As I moved on to the next article in my RSS Feed, I felt that gnawing little compulsion to respond and decided that I've let enough of these comments by in my life and I can spare the few moments to tell this commenter what I think. I am sensitive to the fact that he is an incoming high school senior.

I would like to comment on this statement:
The characters of these books are "Dominican adolescents", a "teenage outcast" who falls mute, "two eighth-graders in a Columbine-style school massacre," a daughter who must deal with "life on the road," "a scholarship boy with literary ambitions," etc. How could any of these characters be 'relatable' to a wide range of teenagers?

To respond, none of the identities listed are any more isolated or less relatable than that of a privileged white man. In fact, I would argue that the alienation felt across identities of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and even environment makes these characters more relatable and even challenges readers to connect with characters on a number of levels.

I appreciate that you spoke to your personal experience with these books and with Catcher in the Rye, but I would also say that the conflicts in these other books are no less universal than Caufield's.

I am grateful for a few suggested alternatives to Catcher in the Rye as - while I acknowledge its importance - I am also sensitive to the importance of having diversity among the authors and characters represented in any English literature curriculum.