. . . love, elizabeth

There’s no other way of saying this: Brussels is a weird city. It’s not a place that is on every traveler’s to-go list when spending time in Europe, but it is in a country that I wanted to spend a little time in, so I made a quick stop there during my spring break Euro trip, and I’m glad I did!

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Femme Vitale

Lately, I have been extremely discouraged by what I believe are very critical challenges facing my generation. One of the primary challenges I see is the crippling amount of debt accumulated by the average American college graduate in times of intense competition for work. In this climate in which individuals step out into the world with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, the dream of owning a home can seem impossible, even with a decent job. Furthermore, the prospect of taking on a huge mortgage, working for years just to pay off the interest, and paying off the home just in time for retirement  is not especially appealing. Because we live in a society that is becoming more and more nomadic, and because children rarely choose to live where they were raised, working an entire life just to pay off a mortgage does not, in essence, better the next…

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The Unknown Job Applicant

If you’ve been out of work for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage: “Job hunting is a full-time job,” or some variation of it at least. I’ve been thinking about that for the last few days, and while I understand the sentiment, I think the analogy is wrong.

You see, if job-hunting was an actual job, you’d get paid for it, and I don’t know anyone that gets paid to look for a job. The relationship between job-hunter and job-hirer is not that equitable; it’s much more like trained-monkey performing on the street corner and passer-by.

If you’ve been to almost any city, you’ve likely encountered a busker or two, performing for tips in the busiest parts of town. Sometimes they draw a crowd, many times they do not. Sometimes a passer-by will drop a few coins in the busker’s hat, many times they don’t. That’s…

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Werewolves On The Moon

In the light of recent terrible events the debate about violence in film and censorship has arisen again. The British press has been full of stories about the BBFC, and commentary on the subject of censorship in general. So with that as background, here are my thoughts on the problems that any, hopefully, developed society should have with censorship. Before we start, for the most part, I am not pro-censor, and to some extent that does colour my viewpoint, although I do feel some sympathy for what is an often untenable position.

This is the first time I’ve attempted an essay, and it is very long. Apologies in advance.

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The Second Coming of Microsoft

Silicon Spatula

For years, Microsoft was regarded as the elephant in the computer room.  It was big, it was boring, and it was impossible to go one conversation without begrudgingly mentioning the computer behemoth.  But now, with the meteoric rise of Apple, things look a little different – and possibly more favorable, for the world’s largest software company and its decisive push into hardware.
For nearly ten years, Apple has had a lock on hardware, creating gorgeous aluminum-and-round-edged devices that impressed techies and average users alike. Apple excelled at crafting dependable software that worked with – and only with – their devices.  And in quick succession, Cupertino pushed out the iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad – each one not so much inventing a field as re-imagining it, tying it into Apple’s expanding, if heavily curated, ecosystem of music, TV, movies and apps.

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Backpack and Boots

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Yes. Go ahead and do it. Get the Eurail pass and see this continent by train. Oh, this little slip of paper makes the world seem so small. For a brief moment I considered going to London to see the closing ceremonies. For a less brief moment I pondered a detour to and through Croatia. For a long moment I considered Warsaw, but concluded I didn’t have the time. I am, however, grateful for the opportunity to dream. This pass makes it all possible.

I hopped on a train around noon and sped off across the south of Germany to the hills of Austria. Beautiful scenery pulsed in waves up and down as our train cut between hills at a blistering pace that made the whole thing look and feel like a well-paced movie. I spent about four hours reading but at least another two tracing the horizon with my…

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Sturm und Mom

Check out this awesome article at the Wall Street Journal about bragging and social media (like, maybe, the Blogosphere would be included?)  Are We All Braggarts Now? – WSJ.com.

As Elizabeth Bernstein writes,

Changes in parenting style also play a role. Nowadays, every moment—first day of school, exhausted nap in the back seat of the car—is documented. The problem is that these shared moments can easily come off as crowing about how great Mom and Dad are to have raised such an adorable kid.

We’ve become so accustomed to boasting that we don’t even realize what we’re doing. And it’s harmful to our relationships because it turns people off.

Read the rest here.  I remember 25 years ago, being told by an older co-worker to “never say anything negative.”

People don’t like downers, she said.  If you say something, make it positive.  If someone asks how your…

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Leadership Day 2012: Equipping Administrators To Better Understand K-12 Online Learning

Virtual School Meanderings

Well, it is that time of year again. The time when my CASTLE colleague Scott McLeod posts an entry on his blog Calling all bloggers! – Leadership Day 2012.  There is no specific theme this year, there isn’t one most years if memory serves me correct.  But as usual, Scott provide a general overview of the purpose of today (i.e., blog about whatever you like related to effective school technology leadership), and then posts a serious of questions to get the juices flowing.

This year, I’ve chosen to focus on the question:

When it comes to P-12 technology leadership, where do we need new knowledge, understanding, training, or research?

And, as per the theme of this blog, I want to look at that question through the lens of K-12 online learning.

The easy answer to the question is simply to say K-12 online learning in general. At present, K-12 online…

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