Tuesday, April 28, 2009

be careful what you wish for ...

Yikes! What the hell was I whining about last week!

It's been like 90+ flippin' degrees since the weekend and we're dying slow, sluggish, brain-fried deaths around here! I can't believe I was complaining about the cooler climes just a week ago! The weird part is that we were getting 99 degrees reported on our local bank signs and out west their getting pummelled with several inches of snow. Wacko, I know!

And the truly sucky part is that it's supposed to drop again (into the freakin' 50s) by Thursday! I simply have no idea what to expect any more. I just need to get over the fact that I'll need to continue rotating between my winter and summer wear for the next couple of weeks and forget ever getting my internal temp regulator sorted out.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

where's spring?

I feel like I'm never going to experience nice weather ever, ever again!

I got two -- count'em TWO -- beautiful days this month and the rest has been like a scene from Blade Runner (a dreary post-modern nightmare with lots of rain, wind and perhaps psycho androids lurking around corners!).

I've been sick and tired. But mostly sick -- a dysentery kind of sick -- that leaves one desperate for some kind improvement.

And it really doesn't help that the weather really sucks!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

whoo wee! where'd the week go ...

Wow! I totally blew off my customary "beginning of the week" post [*I must have been sleeping at the wheel or forgetting to drink my coffee or not getting enough sleep or completely knee deep in other stuff]

ooo ... ooo ... pick the last one! please, please ya gotta pick the last one!

Yep folks, knee deep in other stuff.

I've been baking like a shackled slave in the kitchen everyday; I think I'm breaking a world record with how many sticky buns I can crank out in less than a week. With such tremendous success at my daughter's "snacks by the tracks" fundraiser last Saturday (and the numerous compliments regarding my buns!), I just couldn't disappoint this weekend's post office crowd and potential fund raising contributors by not showing up with the "goods".

And in addition to all of that, I had an unexpected conversation with the boys' 8th grade teacher regarding the final geography unit and that had me dusting off my old GGS notes and doing some major tweaks to my proposed Guns, Germs, and Steel curriculum idea.

So for your viewing pleasure (and because it represents what my brain's been on for the past few days ... beside brown sugar, cinnamon and fast-rising yeast!), my proposed pitch of how to teach 8th graders Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel:

GGSGeography Lesson summaries

An actual story of global conquest:
  • The famous battle at Cajamarca – Peru in 1532
  • Why was it the Spaniards conquering the Incans and not the other way around?
  • It was a conquest based on willingness, ability and necessity!
What it takes for man to survive:
  • Man’s basic needs
  • The need to travel in order to fulfill those basic needs
When man moves from surviving to thriving:
  • Hunter and gatherers become settlers – the rise of nations
  • The good (innovations and discoveries in the arts, science mathematics, astronomy and architecture to name a few), the bad (political systems, social hierarchies, introduction of rich vs. poor), and the ugly (dictatorships, spread of disease, and war)
  • Ultimate motivator in developing societies was the desire for more – more wealth, more stuff, fame and glory!
What in the world does geography have to do with all of this?
  • Moving in the right direction – longitude and latitude and having the right climate
  • The shape and terrain of continents – allowing people and ideas to move
  • Having the right stuff – access to valued and usable natural resources
Back to the people:
  • How food helped change the world
  • How disease helped change the world
Looking at the connections:
  • The theory of how people’s natural wants and necessities had such global effects
  • The example of Europe
Playing the game of Global Risk:
*student assignment

[and kiddos, if you're lucky and I remember, I'll post the longer teacher version with the cooler notes so we can *discuss* this stuff!]