August 2007 Archives

Graduation. It’s an iconic scene. It’s the same everywhere. A universal passage of sorts. I experienced my sixth graduation from Camp El Valor, six graduations in three years. And now my summer job is over. Graduation. It is always so final. A coming of age ritual that symbolizes the end of something and the beginning of something else. The graduation for the second half of Camp El Valor brings a bit more symbolism for me. Another summer gone; my favorite job of all time over again for another year. I hope not forever. The August graduation symbolizes back ...


Institutionalized discrimination. What is it? “If a particular group is disproportionately absent in comparison to the pool of those possessing the relevant skills, discrimination is occurring even if it is impossible to document specific individual instances.” – Jo Freeman Have you noticed that minority students are disproportionately absent from high school graduations across this country? It is a fact that Black and Hispanic youth are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to drop out of high school. In 2004, 12 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Hispanics ages 16 to 24 had not graduated from high school, compared with 7 percent ...


Today at Tech Camp, my friend/colleague told me her story. She is taking a serious pay cut to switch from public schools to museum education. A $14,000 pay cut. She told me she loved the kids but couldn’t deal with the crazy administrative rules that, I believe, stifle the true art of teaching. A few things really summed up her five plus years as a public school teacher, but one story stood out in her mind above the rest. My friend was evaluated for her performance in her Kindergarten class. She was a first-year teacher at the ...


Two weeks ago, I was on vacation in northern Minnesota and I was in the country. Midway through the week, we were running low on necessary vacation beverages, so my husband and I drove 30 miles on dirt and paved country roads to the nearest convenient store. While in “town” at this shop, we took a few moments to watch FOX-ified CNN on the television that hung prominently in a well-viewed corner. (Note: Over the bar.) I learned three things in less than 10 seconds. The Dow had dropped by 300 points, Lindsay Lohan was off the wagon and, horror ...


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