Friday, April 07, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
I have just finished my classes AND my week. Although I like my classes – and my students – it always feels good to reach the end of a week. But then, this is the case for most people; it is certainly the case for all sane people.
It would not be that easy to describe why I like my classes. There is not really much dialogue or discussion, but this is very very common in Micronesia: students would rather have their toes pulled out of their feet one by one the speak out in class. Mind you, it has been a while since I have pulled any students toes off. It is a shame, but the legal systems of most countries do tend to make such things difficult.
One thing I like here is the basic ‘niceness’ of most – if not all – of my students. It is not that my students are wimps; there are some pretty ‘tough’ people here by any real standard. Anyone who will dive outside the reefs – in waters full of sharks (and BIG sharks) – at NIGHT, such a person is definitely not a wimp. I have been in waters with sharks around; I have never liked it, but I have done it. But going out at night – when the water is BLACK (‘Black’ may be beautiful, but Black dark waters with BIG sharks around sure ain’t) – no way baby.
My students are quick to smile and laugh; which they have to be if they laugh at my jokes. They love stories. And, best of all, it is easy to create a family like atmosphere in class that makes ‘teaching’ – what of it I can accomplish – a series of peaceful happy moments.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I vaguely remember something I read in my freshman sociology – can it be 40 years ago – about how, in life (especially as we get older) there are more and more elements and forces in our lives which are working with the persistence and irrevocableness of incline planes, each trying to consume all of our free time and energy.
Anyway, I have been over consumed by many things for the last six months.
One thing I have recently been trying is WIKIs. If you aren’t familiar with these, a WIKI is an ultra simple web page. The wiki I am using is “pbwiki” at http://www.pbwiki.com/. As advertised, it was ultra simple to set up and to use. I have tried many times to set up a wbpage, but this is the first one I have going.
My first one is com-whiteboard (http://com-whiteboard.pbwiki.com/). I make no claims for my first wiki site: it is really super simple and definitely nothing special. It is used with my students at the college where I work on one of the Pacific islands in Micronesia. It has been very useful with them and a good training aid for me.
The advantage of this is that it has been ultra simple to set up and maintain.
- The next wiki I hope to start will be a school newspaper. The advantages of using a wiki for this are:
- Cheap, you don’t need paper
- Freeform, you can set up your wiki so that anyone from any computer can add to it. Since it is freeform, it should be almost completely “maintenance free.” Since students can add whatever they want from any computer, there is no need for meetings, committees, planning, or supervising.
I will keep you posted on what happens with it.