Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Week 15 Lesser Known American Revolution Battles

Many students are taught about the same main battles of the American Revolution such as Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, Saratoga and Yorktown, but many are not taught about other smaller battles. These are just as important and can be very interesting to learn about. Here are 13 lesser known Revolutionary War battles linked to additional information.

Battle of Valcour Bay, Summer---1776

The Battle of Ft. Washington, November 16, 1776

Battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777

Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777

Battle of Paoli, September 20, 1777

Battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777

Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777

Massacre at Wyoming, 1778

Battle of Kettle Creek, February 14, 1779

Battle of Camden, August 16, 1780

Battle of Hobkirks Hill, April 25, 1781

Battle of Ft. Griswold, September 6, 1781

Battle of Eutaw Springs, September 8, 1781

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Week 14

Who is the artist of this lovely piece?

Hints: a famous artist colony, Rome, government service.....

Last week's explanation regarding the Polly Cooper shawl can be found HERE

Happy Fourteenth!

On this day in 1993 the Lord blessed my husband and I with a baby girl.

There never was a child who moved as much as Dear Daughter while their mother carried them. She moved constantly. She turned, she punched, and she stretched. She MOVED all the time. She wanted out and by the time her birth finally occurred I wanted her out too.

Her movement didn’t stop at birth either. She moved constantly flinging her arms, being vocal, and her legs moved all the time too. It was chore just to dress her. You would get one arm in and while you worked on the other she would work a leg loose. Patience….I guess that was the lesson I was to learn with Dear Daughter. I’m still working on it, but I have learned to let her BE sometimes.

She began to stand early and would hold to to her playpen and squawk at us as we went about our daily activities. As she began to take her first steps she was so independent… if you attempted to put your hands on her to steady her she would turn red in the face and scream at you like you had injured here in some way. Her first sentence was, “I dood it MYSELF!”

Sleep? The kid never slept. Her Dad and I still wonder about vampire tendencies because she appears to need no sleep. As a toddler we tried an organized bedtime, but she’d be up in no time playing or going about her little business of tearing the room apart, and I’d end up close to having a heart attack I’d be so upset with her. I finally gave up, put up a baby-gate, told her goodnight, turned up the baby monitor, and went to bed. In her own time, in her own way she would eventually crawl up in the bed and go to sleep.

I guess you could say she is a lot like me in many ways. That’s why she can infuriate me and amaze me at the same time, I guess. However, unlike me at fourteen she chooses a path and doesn’t let her peers influence her. She has her own mind and she uses it. I admire that most about her.

Back in pre-school she came home one day so upset. It seems the class had been discussing their birthdays and where everyone was born. When Dear Daughter told her classmates many did not believe her. The teacher had a problem believing her too. The reason…..Dear Daughter was born at home. Yes, it was planned. Yes, it is what I wanted, and yes, it was an incredible, wonderful experience. Dear Daughter was born early on a Saturday morning around 1 a.m. I got up, took a shower, and put on my pre-pregnant jeans and off to the hospital we went. The midwives who assisted us wanted me to be checked just in case. By Tuesday of the next week I was back on a normal scheduled including going to the grocery story and I even vacuumed a floor. Homebirth is not for everyone, but it was for me.

Dear Daughter walks by the spot where she entered the world several times a day. I did end up getting with her teacher and letting her know that Dear Daughter was not confused about being born at home. Later when she reached elementary school there was no confusion as I was the PTA president at the time of her birth. The principal at the time had been at the school simply forever and it was a very nice loving community of students, parents, and teachers. After Dear Daughter awas born Mr. M. would simply grab her up everytime I entered the building and would go on “walkabout” with her to show her off. Later on as she was a toddler I would be busy speaking with the school secretary or a teacher about a PTA matter and Dear Daughter would sneak off. I would find her on the floor of the principal’s office playing with blocks, in the media center moving the books around, and there was one particular fifth grade classroom where she had her own corner and would walk in without saying a word, sit at her desk, and get busy with the business of learning. She was the school mascot. Once she actually entered the school as a student we all had to work together to get her to understand she no longer had free reign over the entire building.

As a toddler Dear Daughter was my assistant as I owned my own business doing legal research. She would go around with me to various courhouses in the Atlanta area where we would look up this and that. She was pretty good, but she always wanted to know when we would break for lunch.

One of Dear Daughter’s greatest assets is she is a great friend….not just to kids her own age but she has friends of all ages including many of the elderly at our church. We generally have to wait an extra 20 minutes for Dear Daughter to go around hug people. I’m glad she is comfortable with people other than her contempories and she seems to understand that these people love her and are there for her if she needs their guidance.

Tonight we will take Dear Daughter out for dinner and celebrate her special day. This year we are bringing along a special friend….yes, a boy. They’ve known each other since they were five, met at church, and have a great friendship. While we will have great conversation and great food one thing that will probably be missing from our birthday celebration is the “Happy Birthday Song”. You see….we were never able to sing it to Dear Daughter. She would get mad, red and in the face, squall, scream, and just get plumb ugly about it. She was the same way about Santa Claus as well. I have pictures of several years of Santa with Dear Son, but NONE of Dear Daughter.

Well, like I said she does make her own independent way in the world.

Dear Daughter... Dad and I love you very much and wish you a very happy birthday!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Nathanael Greene: Adopted Southern Son

Earlier this week I showed students a map of the 13 original colonies. The map showed southern Revolutionary War battle sites with names but no dates. I asked students, “What do you notice about this map?” Some wanted to know where the map title was. This is a good sign as I’ve trained to look for the title first. Many wanted to know where Lexington and Concord, Long Island, Trenton, and Saratoga were. Those sites have become old friends to my students as we have spoken about them, seen images and primary sources from those battles, and drawn scenes depicting the events over and over for several days. Through a series of questions and answers students finally decided that for some reason the focus of the war moved to the south. “Why?,” I asked, “Why would the British decide to move south?”

Some of the responses included the south had more open land for easy movement (pretty good deduction for a 9 year old, if you ask me) and there was an idea about dividing the colonies (also a good deduction). Finally, someone came up with the idea that the south had many Loyalists. Perhaps the British thought they would be in friendlier territory there. Later when students picked apart the content in the textbook they discovered that Cornwallis and the other British officers felt they would be in friendlier territory if they headed south. For the most part they were correct. Students brought up the fact that the southern colonies were newer and it would make sense that they would have more Loyalists there.

One of the things they didn’t anticipate was General Washington’s top man heading south as well in 1780. Nathanael Greene a former iron maker, blacksmith, and Rhode Island legislator became Washington’s most trusted man. Time after time he had success when he commanded Boston after the British left in 1776, when he defended New York, participated at Trenton, Brandywine, Monmouth, and Germantown.

During the southern campaigns Greene also acted as Washington’s quartermaster and often used his own funds to pay for the army’s expenses. Without winning a major battle Greene waged a campaign against Cornwallis that ended up liberating Georgia and South Carolina from British control. Greene’s creedo was “We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.” Using misinformation and taking advantage of the large numbers and heavily laden British troops Greene criss-crossed his way through hard backcountry territory. Basically he wore the British out. Greene’s men could move faster due to low numbers and hardly any equipment at all. A long list of resources for Greene and the southern campaign can be found here.

After the war the state of Georgia was so grateful to Greene and since he had depleted his own fortune fighting the war they awarded him a plantation called Mulberry Grove near Savannah. The property had once belonged to Royalist Lt. Governor John Graham. The estate had been abandoned as Graham left the state and Greene set about making the rice plantation fruitful again. He and his wife, Catherine Littlefield Greene also began building a summer home on Cumberland Island they would name Dungeness after a hunting lodge that had been there previously. Unfortunately Greene died of sunstroke in 1786, but his wife continued building Dungeness and soon the tabby house was complete.

Greene was originally buried in Savannah’s Colonial Cemetary but his remains were eventually moved to Johnson Square where a monument is erected there in his honor. Greene’s son, who drowned in the Savannah River, is buried along with his father. Greene Square, also in Savannah is named for Nathaneal Greene.

Greene’s death wasn’t the end, however, to the Greene contribution in the Savannah area or in the south for that matter. It was a tutor by the name of Eli Whitney that invented the cotton gin as he watched the production of cotton at the Mulberry Grove plantation. Later the summer home on Cumberland Island was finally completed and the family moved there full time in 1800 when Mulberry Grove was sold because of mounting debts.

The Greene home called Dungeness had four stories above the basement and had sixteen fireplaces. Some sources indicate the Greene family cultivated olive trees, fig, date, palms, coffee, guava, lime and pomegranate. In 1796 Mrs. Green married Phineas Miller and they along with her children lived on Cumberland for many years. Some sources indicate that it was during this time period Dungeness was the place to visit for the major social events in the surrounding area.

The only building remaining from the Greene version of Dungeness is the gardner’s house. Built around 1800 it is the oldest structure remaining on Cumberland.

The house played a part in the War of 1812 when Admiral Cockburn of the British army (he’s the one who burned Washington D.C) occupied Dungeness. Members of the Greene-Miller family still living at the home were told to stay upstairs while their “guests” took over the main floor as headquarters. Much of the surrounding grounds were destroyed and the cotton was seized. The date was January, 1815. Admiral Cockburn was aware a peace treaty had been signed but, until he received “official” word he went on with his fun.

Another Revolutionary War connection with Cumberland Island and Dungeness is General “Lighthorse” Harry Lee who served under General Washington and was father to General Robert E. Lee, came to recooperate at Dungeness. His injuries had been received while defending a friend who had opposed the War of 1812. He died on March 25, 1818 and his remains were interred for a time in the Greene family cemetary. The headstone still remains at the Greene family cemetary on Cumberland, however, Lee’s remains were moved to Washington and Lee University in 1913.

Greene-Miller family members retained the home until it burned. Later Thomas Carnegie, brother to steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, built his own version of Dungeness on the same spot. You can read some more about it over at my site Georgia On My Mind.

National Parks Service Virtual Exhibits

Some national parks have placed parts of their collections on the web. These are great links to use with students or for self-amusement.

The original list can be found here.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Booker T Washington National Monument
Legends of Tuskegee: American Visionaries

Canyon De Chelly National Monument
A New Lease on Life: Museum Conservation in the National Park Service

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Eleanor Roosevelt: American Visionary

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Florissant Fossil Beds - paleontologic database

Ford's Theatre National Historic Site
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Fort Pulaski National Monument
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Fort Sumter National Monument
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Frederick Douglass: American Visionary

George Washington Carver National Monument
Legends of Tuskegee: American Visionaries

Gettysburg National Military Park
Camp Life: Civil War Collections from Gettysburg National Military Park
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
National Park Service Museum Collections: American Revolutionary War/Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

Harry S Truman National Historic Site
Harry S Truman: American Visionary
The Many Hats of Truman
The Truman Car

Home Of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site
Eleanor Roosevelt: American Visionary

Independence National Historical Park
National Park Service Museum Collections: American Revolutionary War/Independence National Historical Park

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
A New Lease on Life: Museum Conservation in the National Park Service

Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park
A New Lease on Life: Museum Conservation in the National Park Service

Manassas National Battlefield Park
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Morristown National Historical Park
National Park Service Museum Collections: American Revolutionary War/Morristown National Historical Park

Richmond National Battlefield Park
Symbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
A New Lease on Life: Museum Conservation in the National Park Service

Stones River National BattlefieldSymbols of Honor: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
Legends of Tuskegee: American Visionaries

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
Legends of Tuskegee: American Visionaries

Valley Forge National Historical Park
National Park Service Museum Collections: American Revolutionary War/Valley Forge National Historical Park

Yellowstone National Park
Thomas Moran: American VisionaryYellowstone's Historic Vehicle Collection

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Polly Cooper Shawl or How One Bit of Research for One Meme Morphed Into a Second Meme

Last weekend I was multi-tasking by looking up important women who took part during the American Revolution. I knew it was going to be a busy week since I was hosting the Education Carnival. The purpose of the research was to update a list of important people for students to complete a biography project and to compile a Thursday Thirteen list for this week as well. Well, as many of you know the carnival ended up being rather large, and I’ve been sick all week. I’ve also taught every day since it is near impossible to actually obtain a substitute when you are sick. I never actually got the list of 13 women up because I decided to allow myself to take a day off from posting. I hope to share it later.

During the search I saw the name Polly Cooper on a list of Revolutionary War women and I was intrigued. I interrupted Dear Hubby’s television viewing by saying, “Hey, did you know you had a relative who did something important during the Revolutionary War?”

“Ummmm…really! How do you know?”

So I clicked on through and the research for my Thursday Thirteen suddenly became a picture for Wordless Wednesday. The whole story just tickled my fancy. It’s not well known, and it is also on the periphery of one of the lowest moments of the American Revolution.

Valley Forge.

Last week my students learned about General Washington’s winter quarters outside of British held Philadelphia. We discussed the three D’s of the pitiful conditions at Valley Forge----desertion, disease, and death. Though General Washington begged Congress for needed supplies they had no money. Sources indicate George Washington called the conditions at times “a little less than famine.” Another source states Washington conceded, “If the army does not get help soon, in all liklihood it will disband.” By February, the weather was a little better and by March, Nathanel Greene was appointed head of the Commissary Department. Some food began to reach the soldiers camped at Valley Forge, and of course, the military began to receive training from Baron Von Steuben.
So what does a shawl have to do with Valley Forge? Was it used by a soldier’s wife to cover the sick, the dying, or the dead? Was it something one of Washington’s officers used to tie about his waist….a present from a lovesick girl back home?

The shawl was a present, but not from a girl back home. The shawl was presented to Polly Cooper, an Oneida woman, and it was presented by Martha Washington or a group of Valley Forge officer’s wives depending on the source you view.

The Oneida nation headed by Chief Oskanondohna (Skenandoah) at the time had heard of the plight of the Patriot soldiers at Valley Forge. The tribes had long been successful traders and farmers and were one of the few tribes that allied themselves with the Americans. Many fought at various battles for the cause of independence. At Chief Oskanondohna’s (Skenandoah’s) urging some tribe members began to walk the 400 mile journey to Valley Forge carrying close to 600 bushels of dried corn. The soldiers of course were starving, and if they had eaten the corn without the proper preparation the corn could have swelled in their stomachs and caused them to die. Polly Cooper was one of the Oneida women who journeyed to Valley Forge and stayed in order to cook the corn properly for the soldiers and to help in other ways.

From an account by William Honyost Rockwell (1870-1960), an Oneida leader and descendant of Polly Cooper

So the wives of the officers invited Polly Cooper to take a walk downtown with them. As they were looking in the store windows, Polly saw a black shawl on display that she thought was the best article. When the women returned to their homes, they told their husbands what Polly saw that she liked so well. Money was appropriated by congress for the purpose of the shawl, and it was given to Polly Cooper for her services as a cook for the officers of the continental Army. The shawl is still owned by members of the Oneida Nation, descendants of Polly Cooper.

So, where is the shawl exactly? An article from CNY Business Journal (1994) explains that a Key Bank branch holds the shawl for its owner, Louella Derrick, in a safety deposit box when it isn’t on display.

The CNY article goes on to mention three mysteries remain about the gift of the shawl. The first mystery surrounds a missing bonnet. Apparently there was also a bonnet bought along with the shawl, however, family members do not know its whereabouts. The second mystery involves the shawl’s fabric. The CNY article makes note that the shawl is 62 inches on a side and is in fine condition. People who have been able to feel it state the fabric is similar to silk or fine horsehair, but it is neither. A team of Syracuse University anthropologists tried and failed to determine what it is. The third mystery involves how much the shawl is worth. The shawl’s owner states, “We know it’s valuable, but we don’t know how valuable.”

The Oneida Nation site states the shawl is one of the oldest relics of the Oneida people. The site goes on to say of the shawl:

It also symbolizes the relationship between the Oneidas and the United States. In times past, any agreement of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) was accompanied by a gift; usually it was wampum but it might be an animal skin or textile also. The gift was tied to the words of the message and the object underlined the truth and importance of the words. so it is with the shawl. As memorial to the American acknowledgment of Oneida help and sacrifice, the Polly cooper Shawl testifies to a pact of the Revolutionary War in the traditional Haudenosaunee way.

So, why don’t more of us know about this story? One website gives this possible explanation:

From The Oneida Indians of Wisconsin:

The contributions of the Oneida in early U.S. history have been largely ignored in history books, possibly because much of the history of the Revolutionary War was compiled in the 1830s at a time when the Indian nations were being "resettled" under the barbaric Indian Removal Act. Giving them credit for help with the Revolutionary War was not politically expedient

Today the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian has the entire fourth floor set aside for the Oneida Indian Nation. One of the main features of the exhibit is the statue “Allies in War, Partners in Peace”, which depicts George Washington, Polly Cooper, and Chief Oskanondohna and commemorates the bonds between the Oneida Nation and the United States. The statue details and the symbolism used within the entire piece and is absolutely amazing. This page at The Oneida Nation gives more detail about the statue and the many icons found within it. For example, the wampum belt that George Washington is holding symbolizes an agreement between the U.S. and the Oneida Nation, and acknowledges that neither will interfere in the internal affairs of the other.

Go here for a 7 minute movie from The Oneida Nation about Polly Cooper.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Education Carnival: Edition 107

Welcome to the 107th Carnival of Education! There are over 50 exhibits for your viewing pleasure here at the carnival. I’m honored to be able to host for a second time here at History Is Elementary.

There is something here for everyone and more. I’ve tried to organize submissions by topic as best I could in no particular order. Unless clearly labeled otherwise, all entries were submitted by the writer’s themselves.

If you have a website and are interested in hosting an edition of The Carnival Of Education, please let The Edwonk know via this email address: edwonk [at] educationwonks [dot] org.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about last week's midway over at The Education Wonks. As always, links to the midway are much appreciated while trackbacks are adored. Visit the Carnival's archives here.

Next Week's Carnival midway will be hosted by Dr. Homeslice. Writers are invited to send contributions to: drhomeslice [at] hotmail [dot] com, or use this handy submission form. Submissions should be received there no later than 9:00 PM (Eastern) 6:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, February 27 , 2007. Please include the title of your post, and its URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open next Wednesday morning.

Let the free exchange of thoughts and ideas begin!

I’m taking some liberties here by linking first to my Wordless Wednesday image. Each week I post an image from history and invite others to guess what it might be or what it might be about. It’s proven to be a great way to educate others about the interesting little nooks and crannies of history. Click on over and give this week's image a whirl.. I usually publish an explanation post by Friday.

Teacher Certification, Qualifications, and Professional Development

Dr. Homeslice has been busy reading through the 200 page Aspen Report, and wants to let us know that HQET Is a Four-Letterword.

Ryan says, “Part of what is implied with state certification is that it screens out individuals with a criminal record. If districts are going to be saddled with the expense and work of conducting background checks on applicants, then go the rest of the way and let them decide who is qualified from an academic standpoint. It seems to me that, in Arizona at least, the certification process isn't what it's cracked up to be.” Check out Ryan’s Edspresso post titled Arizona Issues Teaching Certificate to Admitted Killer. The former teacher mentioned in the article has responded to Ryan’s post in the comments.

Ms. Q from Teaching in the Twenty-First Century needs your input. Visit her Question of the Week: What would Your Ideal Professional Development Situation Look/Sound/Feel Like?

Politics...That Presidential Election Is Closer Than You Think

Margaret, our Poor, Starving College Student is already gathering data regarding The Education Policy of 2008 Candidates through their websites, events, and media. Good job, Margaret! Keep us informed.

Literature for Students and Adults

The Tourmarm provides a wonderful post called Poetry for School and Soul where she questions, “Are there any curriculum requirements for poetry and memorization anymore? Where’s the poetry in their lives?!!” [referring to students] The Tourmarm remembers her own poetry filled youth and shares how she introduces many of her tours with poetry. This is a new spot in the edusphere and is a must read for us education minded folks.

Yes, Tourmarm, there are some of us who still use great literature and poetry with students. Terrell from Alone on a Limb shares A Poem to Start the Week: Just My Size!

I have a feeling this is going to catch on like wildfire. Dana from Huffenglish asks Could This Be a Meme?

Do our lives provide content for our books? Or is it really the other way around? Click through to the post Booking, a very thought provoking examination from the Autumn Rain at The Autumn Rain.

Is Scrotum a Dirty Word? Ok, now that I have your attention head on over and visit Greg at Rhymes With Right. He provides some commentary on the furor over the Newberry Award winning book, The Higher Power of Lucky, which uses the word on the first page of a book intended for ages 9-12. Should school libraries stock the book? Go weigh in with your opinion.

Parental Involvement

Richard over at Shadowscope provides a parent view regarding our public schools. It’s honest, it’s frank, and I know that many of us on the frontlines feel his pain. Visit Richard at Public School.

Matt over at Going to the Mat gives us a view of what can happen when we have Parental Involvement In VA Schools.

Does a Flower Turn to the Sun? No, this isn’t a science post. Here’s a partial quote, “…parents don’t really have the knowledge to make decisions about the quality of schools.” See how Casey of What Would You Say If You Weren't Afraid? responds to that kind of idea.

Those Lovable Men and Women Involved in Education…Who Are Your Faves?

In honor of Valentine’s Day last week and the fact that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition has debuted, Alexander Russo of This Week in Education provides us with Hot For Education 2007. Click on over and view the hotties!

Half of the Battle is Just Showing Up

S. Richards provides up with two links and these very apt words, “How do you spell absent?
It seems in Scotts Valley, California they are Fining Parents for Unexcused Absences and at the University of Georgia (Go DAWGS!!!!!!!) Athletes Are Being Fined as Well for unexcused absences.
Of Math and Men (and a Couple of Women)

Sometimes the trick to a puzzle is not in the math. The math is easy. The trick is in the visualization. So says Brad over at HUNBlog in his post titled My Favorite Problem.

Ken at D-Ed Reckoning is thinking about Testing Higher Order Thinking Skills. This is a two part piece. Look for the link that will take you to part one.

Denise over at Let's Play Math provides us with Math Quotes of the Week VI to inspire students concerning math and logic.

Did you know that if you teach students that their intelligence can grow and increase they do better in school? Andrea at Wise Bread does, and she wants to share some interesting information with you in her article Mind Over Math Believing Makes it So

Finding Fault

Michelle at AFT over at NCLB: Let's Get It Right is writing about The World According to Dr. Paige. Everything is the fault of you guessed it, teacher unions.

IB a Math Teacher from Three Standard Deviations to the Left fame has written a letter that unfortunately has to be written more and more. Dear Counselor...

Some of us are in the homestretch….others are just about there….Testing

Mister Teacher of Learn Me Good is my new hero! He has aptly voiced his concerns over testing, but instead of just complaining he has some ideas for improvement as well. Head on over and read his epic TESTIVUS.

Discipline and the Two Motivations….Students and Teachers

The British blog, Scenes From the Battleground offers Five Incidents that Didn't Result in a Permanent Expulsion. It would seem that it has become very difficult to get students thrown out of British schools these days, no matter how bad their behavior is.

NYC Educator in response to the non-action of an administrator states, “I am always amazed when people have no notion whatsoever that actions have consequences, and that they’re often within our control. Why such people choose to be school deans baffle me utterly.” Click through and find out why NYC Educator is so baffled in his post Discipline.

I’ve also written about discipline lately at my baby blog Georgia On My Mind by explaining The Problem With Georgia Schools.

Mrs. Bluebird from Bluebird's Classroom thinks she got “some” teaching in during A Day In the Life of a Middle School. Mrs. Bluebird states, “…many people outside of education have no clue what a typical day is like for those of us in the trenches, so to speak…”

The Science Goodess at What It's Like on the Inside is writing about two emails she received from two educators----one at the beginning of her career and one at the end. It should be no surprise The Science Goddess found herself Stuck In the Middle. Should we be surprised that each teacher was facing the same types of problems?

The Hoosier Schoolmaster, Rob, advises us about Another Female Teacher Charged With Seducing a Boy, But Does This Reporting Go Too Far?

Maintaining Your Sanity

Calgon, take me away! Help! I’m surrounded by Jerks! Are these things you find yourself saying more and more? So just Who Pushes Your Buttons? Barbara at HomeBisnessWiz wants to help.

Do you have a talented tongue? Carol, our Median Sib asks Scratch Your Nose With Your Tongue? OH! That Feels SO Good!

Play on words? Check out the offering from Mad Kanes Humor Blog called

The Structure of Education…There Are Several Roads to Travel

Dana at Principled Discovery provides a well written post on her thoughts regarding the centralization of our education system and asks Does America Need A Central Teacher?

Over at JD2718 the topic is charters. Are charters back door attacks on public education? Find out what this educator things as they consider Organize Charters; Convert Charters.

Can/Should schools be run like a business? Nitin at Edpol-Your Education Policy Resource discusses several business practices that could be applied to improving education in his post titled Balanced Scorecard-The Business Solution. I’m already familiar with balanced scorecards, but I’m interested in knowing more about 360 feedback and “Kaizen”.

Well, in case you haven’t heard Steve Jobs has been criticizing our nation’s teachers again. Michelle at Texas Ed: Comments On Education From Texas asks So Who Would Work for Apple?

Jeonjutarheel is a teacher in Korea and uses Skillet Blogging to dish up a little bit of everything. My take on Bigger Lies and Bad Science is this is the negative side of school competition. It just might not be what we think it could be.

So, let’s see…..we’ve looked at centralizing our education system, charters, choice, and schools being run as a business. What’s left?

Missy, a former school teacher, over at Life Without School wants us remind us about The Luxury of Freedom and her choice to pursue a personally defined quality of life important to her as she educates her children.

How We Learn and “How-tos” to Help

Mike at reminds us that talking about loud can be one of the best tools when learning something in his article Talking to Learn. Gee, my students must be learning a lot.

Waskish from Wakish Wonderz provides information on Writing and How to Write Good English

Zantor at the Student Help Forum says Your Writing Can Improve in 2 Simple Steps.

What do you do when something is scarce? Well, you make the most of what you have. John Wesley at Pick the Brain provides 5 Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Intelligence

So what would an 18 year old know about How To Raise Talented Children? Head on over and visit Scott at Dirty Mechanism-Personal Development and find out. It’s a very interesting read.

Joseph at Learn Chinese explains you can Learn Chinese Visually

Teaching Strategies.....Shhhh....Very, Very Quiet Now......Direct Instruction

REACH is a Direct Instruction program that was newly implemented in Ms. Teacher’s school district this year. Read her thoughts on this program and why it's not as effective as it could be in her article Teaching Using REACH Mid Year over at Calfornia LiveWire: Teaching in the Golden State.

Redkudu of Redkudu begins the post Saturday Circular with this statement, “Today’s circular has a focus for once. Direct Instruction. Do you really need an additional teaser?


Miss Profe from It's a Hardknock Teacher's Life is discussing using technology in the classroom and bemoans the fact that so many educators don’t seem to see the value in it. Check out her thoughtful and honest post titled The Same Old Same Old

Mamacita over at Weekly Scheiss says Help Us If You Can; This Could Happen to Any of Us, and Has. Mamacita’s story is one of the reasons why so many veteran teachers hesitate to use the Internet in their classrooms.

EdWonk wants to know, “What can be done to teach students which “voice” to use in their writing?” New techno-speak is causing concern. Click through to EdWonk’s post Students Using IM-Speak 4 School Speak

Have you tried podcasting yet? Elias over at Ramblings of an Australian Teacher has. If you are thinking about exploring this interesting use for technology find out What the Students Didn't Say.

Rebecca Newburn from Information Age Education clues us into another video site your school filter might not know about yet. Rebecca says, “There are some fabulous educational videos on it.” Click on through to Metacafe, An Alternative to YouTube Videos

Sam at Surfer Sam and Friends opines on the Amazing Space at MySpace

Getting Involved----Speak Out, Investigate, Mentor, and Advocate

Jack Yoest from Reasoned Audacity wants us to know Charmaine will be speaking at the Second Annual Conservatives Women's Conference Conference at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 24, 2007. The alert reader will note conservative and Harvard in the same sentence. Who knew? Alert the media.

Lisa at Let's Talk Babies provides advice for Finding the Right Preschool

Melinama at Pratie Place is a mentor to Menticia and, she paints a picture of True Bliss: Space Stations and Number Lines

Royce Wells of Wells on Education has some great advice on Becoming Involved: Joining Your Local Gifted Advocacy Group

College: Degrees to Newspapers

A college degree is just the beginning. Visit Michelle at Aridni to discover Four Things College Grads Need to Know

Ted at Campus Grotto gives us the scoop on Best College News Sites and gives us the Top 10 Best Colleges to Attend based on academic and overall campus resources.

And finally: In the words of the immortal Edwonk this, like most of our journeys around the EduSphere, has been both enjoyable and informative. Our continued thanks to all the contributors whose submissions make the midway's continuing success possible, the folks who donate their time to help spread the word, and the readers who continue to make it A Free Exchange of Thoughts and Ideas.

This midway is registered at TTLB's carnival roundup. See our latest EduPosts here, and the complete Carnival archives (soon to be updated) over there

Wordless Wednesday: Week 13

Focus on the fabric. Not the basket. The time period involved would be during the Revolutionary War.
Now, guess away, guess away, guess away all!
Last week's explanation can be found here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pop Quiz!

Quick! Name the World’s ten largest databases.

List your choices on a piece of paper before you go check out the answers at Business Intelligence Lowdown.

Don’t cheat now….. Just kiddin'.

Hat Tip to fellow Georgia blogger Griftdrift at Drifting Through the Grift.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tag! You Make Me Think!

I was quite surprised this week to be tagged not once but twice for a wonderful honor.

David Parker over at Another History Blog tagged me first for a Thinking Blogger Award. He said all of the blogs he nominated including History is Elementary offer different perspectives on history or the academic life, always with a very human perspective (which reminds me that there’s more to life than history/academic life).

Today I was tagged again by Marc over at Spinning Clio. Marc said in his nominating post :

I love reading the pedagogical insights from this Georgia teacher on such things like the French and Indian War orDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (and here). Other than early medieval stuff, I also have a special interest in American History from Colonial times through the Early Republic and she posts quite a bit about these topics, including a whole bunch on the American Revolution. Finally, her Wordless Wednesday postings feature images of just about anything, most with some historical link. But you've gotta guess!

Gentlemen, you have no idea how much your honor means to me. I am amazed that I stimulate you academic types to “think”, however, as an educator that is my job, isn’t it?

I appreciate your nod more than you could know.

So, now according to the rules, I have to nominate five bloggers whose postings make me think. Hmmmmm……Here’s my list in no particular ranking order.

1. Bibliodyssey Everytime I view the fantastic images at this site I rack my brain trying to think about how I could use them with my students. The images are simply breathtaking and priceless. I appreciate the time it takes Bibliodyssey’s creator to put this blog…….no, actually it’s a piece of art….together.

2. CaliforniaTeacherGuy Everytime I vent or get a little snarky about my profession on my site I visit this wonderful man and he convicts me with his thoughts on teaching and children. I usually slink away with my tail between legs feeling guilty for my ranting and raving. This man really makes me think about what the word “priority” means in education.

3. From the Trenches of Public Education Dennis Fermoyle is my hero! I am quite sure if he and I taught in the same building he would be my mentor and we would have a fantastic time planning engaging activities for our young people to experience history. Dennis makes me think. Even though we agree 99% of the time he makes me confront an issue and I often have to leave his site and ponder over it a couple of days before I can return to post a comment. He is also my muse as he often fires me up about subject and what I end up wanting to say is too long to post a comment with.

4. Shrewdness of Apes Ms. Cornelius makes all of us think about school issues, current events, and life in general. She’s a prolific blogger and never holds back. You don’t leave her site and wonder, “What’s she really thinking?” I’d love to get in trouble with her during a mind numbing faculty meeting.

5. Weekly Scheiss Mamacita always makes me think about real life away from the classroom, and she reminds me that there is a lighter side to all of the heaviness of my profession.

Okay you five people who make me “think”….tag, your it! Now you have the right to place the thinking button your site and you need to post a list of 5 who make you think. Don’t forget the rules.

An Influential Table

When attempting to learn more about certain figures in history I find it helpful to look at the people who were involved early on in the life of the historical figure. For example, I believe many historians would agree that Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, had an unbelievable influence in his life. Lincoln himself said so.

The man featured in this week’s Wordless Wednesday had great influence over one of our Founding Fathers….some might say our greatest Founding Father…Thomas Jefferson.

My focus this week was Francis Fauquier who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia from 1758 to 1768 due to the absence of Governors John Campbell, fourth Earl of Loudoun followed by Sir Jeffrey Amherst. This was a normal practice as appointed governors rarely ventured over to the colonies. During his administration Fauquier dealt with the French and Indian War and subsequent Indian raids on the frontier. Fauquier was successful because he often ignored orders from London in order to effectively address the issues of Virginia. Even though he had sympathies with the colonist he dissolved the House of Burgesses after they issued a resolution regarding the Stamp Act.

Fauquier was exposed early on to great thinking as his father, Dr. John Francis Fauquier travelled from France to Britain to work with his friend Sir Isaac Newton. By the time Francis was in charge of Virginia’s government he knew all the social graces of the time, he was an academic, an amateur scientist, musician, and had inherited a modest fortune at twenty-three. He also drank sometimes to excess and loved to gamble and attend the races.

By the time Fauquier was in charge of Virginia’s government his children were grown. He and his wife enjoyed many social occaisions such as lavish dinners and concerts in Williamsburg, and they were known to invite many of the young men and professors from William and Mary to their levees.

Some of the attendees were Dr. William Small, a teacher of Natural History, George Wythe, an attorney and law professor, and their student protégé Thomas Jefferson. At these dinners Jefferson enjoyed the company of three of Virginia’s greatest minds----Small, Wythe, and Fauquier. It makes one wonder if Jefferson had not been invited to these dinners would his thoughts have taken a different turn later on.

In February 5, 2000, Timothy J. Sullivan, William and Mary’s president stated the following in a Charter Day speech:

How fortunate for humanity was Small’s success in instilling that spirit in his young student. He opened Jefferson’s mind to the wisdom of Bacon, who proclaimed the universal power of reason and to the compelling claims of Locke, who argued with cool reason and crackling passion that only the consent of the governed legitimizes the exercise of public power.

Small saw to it that Jefferson’s education in state craft was not limited to books. He arranged for Jefferson to be invited to small dinner parties hosted by Governor Francis Fauquier and often attended by George Wythe, the Colony’s most brilliant legal mind. The lively political conversation at the Governor’s table taught Jefferson to appreciate the complexities the ironies and the absurdities from which the art of governing in his or any other age can never be separated.
When Jefferson chose the law, Wythe succeeded Small as friend and mentor. Like Small, an intellectual child of the Enlightenment, Wythe taught Jefferson to revere Lord Coke, whose life vividly and whose commentaries powerfully taught the supremacy of law, supremacy to which even a king must kneel.

History is testament to the transforming power of William Small and George Wythe, that hot summer day in Philadelphia when his colleagues, and I think destiny, summoned him to give eloquence to their convictions, persuasive power to their inward confidence and wings to their sacred honor.

It is clear that Small and Wyeth provided the tutelage while Fauquier provided the stage for Jefferson to practice his lessons while engaged in lively conversation.

Eventually Virginia named a county for Francis Fauquier carved from the lands of Prince William County. I find it ironic that I began this essay with a reference to Nancy Hart Lincoln and I’m ending with another. You see, Fauquier County, named for a mentor of Thomas Jefferson is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln’s mentor, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She was born in Fauquier County in 1784.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Bit of This and That

I’m perplexed….The Tour Marm over at The Educational Tour Marm is posting historical images under the title Figure It Out Friday. There is a particular one that causing me to stamp my foot in vexation. Go see if you can figure it out here…. Also the Tour Marm’s most recent Wordless Wednesday shows three people getting off a train and she want’s to know who one of those people were connected to. See it here and take a guess.

I love having new reading material…the 48th History Carnival is up over at Aardvarchaeology. Martin R. has done a great job. Go forth and learn.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Please Stand By While I Have a Personal Moment

Wow, knock me over with a feather! Dear Hubby came in bearing candy heart gifts for Dear Daughter and I and then handed me a lovely red bag filled with red tissue. Inside I found this THIS lovely ring, so….what else could it be on Valentine’s Day but 13 things I like about my new ring:

1. I’ve gone completely silly over it, and couldn’t stand not making a record of receiving it.

2. The yellow stone is a citrine surrounded by diamonds. You can find out more about citrines here

3. It was a complete surprise. I love to be surprised!

4. You notice it. It can be seen across the room. Ok, I know that sounds stuck up, but I like large pieces. I don’t have too many real honest-to-goodness items, but the one or two I have are hefty.

5. The lovely color matches our cat’s fur. (I told you I had become silly, didn’t I?)

6. Did I mention it’s big?

7. It’s sparkly!

8. It distracts me something terribly as I type….and we all know I type a lot.

9. It was a pendant. Dear Hubby had the jeweler rework it into a ring. That makes it sooo special!

10. Now I have an excuse to take the time to go get my nails done.

11. Now I can go buy new outfits to match it……

12. Hmmmm, that leads to shoes……

13. I’m loved. Dear Hubby took the time out of his busy day to work with the jeweler to fashion my ring.

Thanks for being patient with me as I bask in the sparkliness my life has become.

Did I mention it’s simply loverly?

Did I mention I love it? :)

Carnivals, Carnivals, and More Carnivals

The 106th Carnival of Education can be found here. I waded in a little bit this afternoon. It appears to have some really great posts. I can’t wait till the weekend when I’ll have time to get totally submerged in the education blogosphere.

Next week the education carnival will be hosted here at History Is Elementary. Get those submissions in early!

The Georgia Carnival will be up again over at my baby site…Georgia On My Mind this Friday. Submissions are due by 6 p.m. tomorrow night.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Week 12

There are very few cyberspace images of this individual available....yet he had an important job during the American Revolution. What did this gentlement do? Which future president did he influence?

Look at his shirt cuffs.....I bet those were very inconvenient as they drug across a freshly written page.

Have fun guessing! The explanation will be up Thursday.

Still wondering about last week's boot? Find out more here.

A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and Thou

When I was in Joy Fulton’s literature class at Woodward Academy we chewed up, digested, and spit out many or the world’s best known bits of prose. One that I remember quite vividly was The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam. In my young romantic mind I could see myself with the love of my life on a beautiful blanket in a forest setting while we broke bread, drank wine, had a fantastic conversation, and gazed longingly in each other’s eyes.

Of course, even back then Dear Hubby and I spent many of our dates in some of Atlanta’s finer restaurants while our friends were satisfied with McDonalds. The love of my life and I knew the food was important, the wine was a wonderful addition, but it was “thou”---the person we were with and our conversation that made a memorable meal. However, this post really isn’t about my adventures through Atlanta’s main dining rooms…..I have a presidential purpose here.

You don’t want to miss the rest of the story so go on over to American Presidents where I have posted about Thomas Jefferson, the Galloping Gourmet of our presidents.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Benedict Arnold's Boot

Last Wednesday's wordless post was an image of a monument that stands today on the battlefield at Saratoga. The monument is a boot with no inscription at all. This is understandable since the monument is in recognition of an injury Bendict Arnold, a name synonymous with betrayal, received during the battle of Saratoga in 1777.

Georgia state standards mention Benedict Arnold by name so he is definitely someone I bring to the forefront during our exploration of the American Revolution. I generally bring him up by asking students, “What’s a Benedict Arnold?” I generally have five or six hands go up, and usually they all know that the name refers to someone accused of betrayal. Having gotten that out the way we begin to wonder why an officer in the Continental Army could be accused of betrayal, and if he did betray the Patriots what could have caused him to do it. After brainstorming and listing our ideas on the board I show students the same image I posted for Wordless Wednesday. Students have some of the same reactions many of my readers did….it’s a boot, why a boot? Perhaps it’s a fire hydrant, and finally….what the heck is that?

Benedict Arnold had accumulated several daring feats during the early battles of the war. He played important roles at Ft. Ticonderoga, the fantastic invasion of Canada including the siege of Quebec, and the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776, followed by the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.

The Battle of Saratoga is another important event the Georgia standards highlight so I try to meld the two…..the battle and Benedict Arnold… together in my lesson. Ben Franklin and others had been in France for awhile before the Battle of Saratoga attempting to gain an alliance with the French government. The Continentals needed French money, soldiers, ships, and guns to help them wage war on the British. The French had hung back, however, from making a decision because they weren’t so sure the Continentals had what it took to defeat the British.

The Battle of Saratoga was a huge victory for the Americans and was the turning point the French needed to finally agree to an alliance. Benedict Arnold was one of the key players in the victory at Saratoga. One of his soldiers wrote later, “He was the very genius of war.” During the Battle of Freeman’s Farm Arnold’s leg was gravely injured as he attempted to lead an attempt to block British forces, and matters didn’t improve when his horse fell on it. His leg was ruined, but he would not allow it to be amputated.

Students generally are surprised and confused that Arnold eventually hatched a plot to virtually hand over the Hudson River Valley to the British. Many question why a valiant soldier would do such a thing. There are reasons for it, however. For one thing he probably wasn’t too happy to know that his efforts to win the Battle of Saratoga resulted in a French alliance. Arnold hated the French. Many sources indicate the hatred stemmed from the French and Indian War when during the Battle of Ft. William Henry a large number of prisoners were set upon by Native Americans who were French allies while the French regulars simply stood by and did not attempt to stop the carnage.

Arnold also had his feuds with the Continental Congress over expenses and promotions. It seems they never fully recognized any of Arnold’s exploits and continually passed him over. Problems between Arnold and Horatio Gates kept Arnold from getting the recognition Arnold and others thought he deserved following the Battle of Saratoga. During the invasion of Canada Arnold nearly bankrupted himself by paying for many of the army’s expenses. He was constantly rebuffed when asking for repayment. By this point he was also facing corruption charges from some of his actions at Ft. Ticonderoga. Students quickly realize Benedict Arnold was not a happy man as far the Continental Army was concerned. I make no attempt to excuse Benedict Arnold’s actions. My purpose at this point of the lesson is to get students to analyze the actions of a historical figure.

After the British were removed from Philadelphia Arnold was installed as the Philly governor. He became very involved in the social scene while he was court-martialed by the army for malfeasance. He also married Peggy Shippen who had been courted by British Major John Andre when the Redcoats held the city. If that name sounds familiar it should. It was Andre who was involved in Benedict Arnold’s betrayal. Andre was caught and executed by the Americans. Arnold was able to get away and lived the rest of his unappy life in Britain.

I end my lesson by circling back to the beginning. We look back at the brainstorm list student’s responses created. We analyze where students got it right and mark out the incorrect items. I then ask students to summarize what they learned in the lesson by writing a few lines in their notebooks. For those that give me a puzzled look I restate my directions differently by giving them an exact prompt, “The most important/interesting thing I learned today is…..”

I’m inviting you to do the same thing in the comments. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Man Who Garners Respect

Happy birthday to my dear father who is 78 today.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has every said a negative thing about my father. People may not have agreed with him for one reason or another, but I have never known anyone who didn’t respect him.

For years he was a manager for a lumber company and had many employees and many different customers from the construction industry. I hung out around Dad’s business as a child and picked up early on that my dad was a respected man who demanded excellence and fairness from everyone around him because he believed in giving those same things himself.

Recently when Dad was in the hospital I spoke with many of his friends who came by to check on him and it was evident how they hold my father in high esteem.

Dad taught his two daughters many interesting things. I appreciate each and every one of them. I know how to paint a room, install insulation, run wire to a circuit box, apply tape and mud to a sheetrock wall, and check my own oil. I can plant and hoe a garden. I know how to walk behind a homemade sled and pick up potatoes as they rise to the surface of the rich red earth.

I can operate a tractor, a riding lawn mower, and a golf cart (complete with a brick so I can accelerate evenly). I can can and freeze any type of vegetable you can think of. I can read a map, navigate all 40 plus versions of Atlanta’s Peachtree Street, and I have a fairly keen sense of direction thanks to Dad’s driving instruction.

I adore Dad’s sweet side. He always took up for his daughters even while acknowledging our faults. During her highschool years Dear Sister was accused of calling her Spanish teacher a bitch. Dear Dad was called to school to meet with the teacher. He assured the teacher he would take care of the matter and that Dear Sister would offer up an apology. He made sure Dear Sister made good on the apology, but he also admitted to her that after meeting the teacher that she was a bitch. I knew of the teacher years later and would have to say Dear Sister and Dad were right.

Growing up Dad had some colorful pet names for us that I won’t repeat here. Thought we acted as if they bothered us secretively we enjoyed the way the names made us special in Dad’s eyes.

I appreciate the fact that Dear Sister and I could not date until we were sixteen. We didn’t miss out on much now that I look back on it.

My father is a thoughtful, careful thinker. I can remember a few times when it seemed like Dad was doing something on a lark, but generally you found out on down through the road of time that he had had a plan all along. You never really know what the plan is, but one thing is for sure….Dad always has long range plans for everything. While Dear Sister seems to have taken after Dad I tend to be the more impulsive and compulsive one.

My father is firm in his convictions and people know what they are. If he thinks you’re wrong he’ll tell you so and why. He’s never one to shy away from a discussion. I am in awe of that. I just want everyone to make nice and get along.

I think it would be honest to say that I have a certain amount of fear where my father is concerned. I believe that a certain amount of fear is a good thing between a child and parent. I’m not talking about the kind of fear you feel because you think you’re going to get beaten or verbally abused. I’m referring to the kind of fear that makes a person want to achieve, the type of fear that motivates someone to strive to be the best they can be, a strange type of love that at times grips you so hard with fear that you can’t help but do the right thing and yet it provides security. It becomes ingrained to the point that you have no choice to do anything else. My father is capable of instilling that type of fear in his children, their spouses, grandchildren, and a myriad bunch of neices and nephews. You can’t be in my father’s life and not at one time or another say to yourself, “What would he do or say in this situation? What would he tell me to do?”

In the community where we grew up Dad knew many, many people. He was always telling us when would would leave house, “Now you do the right thing, because I’m peeking around the corner.” He meant it because if we did anything he would know it from somone. We also heard, “I’ll whip you even if you’re 49 years old.” Well Dear Sister no longer has to worry about that, but I still have five more years to go!

Many years ago Dad had a young teenage employee who decided to squeal his tires in the parking lot. All the young guys thought this was great fun until they notice Dad crossing the parking lot with a rake. He motioned the young squealing tire guy out of car, handed him the rake, and walked off without a word. The young man meekly got out of the car and replaced every piece of gravel where Dad had it. It wouldn’t have even occurred to the young man to argue with Dad about it…..he instilled fear.

I used to go on little outings with Dad to different places. I remember being at a mechanic shop one time where a group of young men were acting their age…they were laughing and throwing around some colorful language. I still remember the sharpness in my Dad’s voice as he reminded the young men that his daughter was present and they needed to watch their words. That action made me feel so loved and protected.

I believe one of the best ways to get respect is to show it. I came to this conclusion early on as I watched my father interact with his father, step-mother, grandmother, and other aging relatives. Dad spent the first half of his retired life taking care of aging relatives. Dear Sister and I got a taste of what he went through when our mother was in a nursing home as we took turns. Dad didn’t have anyone to take turns with and he went every day….sometimes twice a day while his father was still alive. Later, he and my step-mother repeated the process with his aging aunt who had no children. My father endured this process of daily visits for years with a fortitude that I don’t’ think I could muster. I admire him so much for modeling for my sister and I what it means to respect your elders.

Finally, I’ll end Dad’s birthday tribute on a humorous note….As I’ve stated before I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have high regard and respect for my father….any human that is. You see many years ago soon after Dear Sister was married she and her husband acquired a sweet little dog. Nikki was part Pomeranian and part Poodle. He was little, cute, and cocked his head so sweetly. He was my sister’s baby for years until Dear Niece was born. Nikki, the dog. received Christmas presents and my mother referred to him as the Granddog. One evening my father and the dog were in our driveway. I watched dumbstuck as the sweet little granddog trotted over to Dad and politely hiked his leg and peed all over my father’s shoes.

I heard Dad quitely say, “Damn.” Dad always knows the right thing to say!

Happy birthday Daddy. I love you!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

559 Front Pages From 52 Countries!

My neighbor down the road, Ralph Luker, from Cliopatria (he picked up on this from Talking Points Memo) has given us a wonderful resource tip with a link to Newseum.

While the website has lots of interesting things to explore I'm most excited about their newspaper front pages.

I’m already thinking about how I can use this fascinating resource. It would be interesting to use different front pages to show how stories are reported from region to region, from country to country, and from paper to paper.

This would also be a great resource for current events assignments.

Anna Nicole Smith Has Died

Ok, I know this isn't a topic I ever post about, however, this story just kept getting stranger and stranger and now.......she's dead. Absolutely shocking!

The few times I've seen Anna Nicole Smith interviewed lately she has hardly been able to keep her head up let alone say a few words. It's very evident there is a whole lot more to this story than what has been published so far.

Look for everyone involved to have a book deal......

Well, I guess comparisons with Marilyn Monroe were appropriate.

See the breaking story here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thursday 13: Version 13 Top Architectural Sites

Yahoo is reporting that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently named the top 150 architectural works across the United States in conjunction with their 150th anniversary in 2007. The top sites were chosen from a preselected list of 248 structures in a poll conducted by market researcher Harris Interactive on behalf of the AIA.

Here are 13 minus 3 of the top architectural works from the American Institute of Architects’ list:

1. Empire State Building

2. The White House

3. Washington National

4. Jefferson Memorial

5. Golden Gate Bridge

6. U.S. Capitol Building

7. Lincoln Memorial

8. Biltmore Estate
Vanderbilt Mansion

9. Chrysler Building

10. Vietnam Veterans
I tried to find a link to the entire list,
but couldn't. I'd like to see what else is on it.