Friday, May 2, 2014

Was kümmert mich mein Müll von gestern?

On the topic of being willing to upgrade with updated data:

Was kümmert mich mein Müll von gestern?

                                     -Albrecht Goetze

“What do I care about my garbage from yesterday?” as described by Elizabeth Wayland Barber in Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years. 

Each new fact discovered made the picture necessarily look a little different, and he was quite happy to let go of old, outmoded views—the garbage—and move on to a new vision with a joyful laugh of discovery. (299)

Barber, E. J. W. Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early times. New York: Norton, 1994. Print.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

QotD : Rilke, via Potok

The text of Chaim Potok's The Gift of Asher Lev is prefaced by a quote from poet Rainer Maria Rilke:
Surely all art is the result of having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quote for tomorrow, from Veronica Roth:

I don't think books have ever solved my problems or made my decisions for me, but they bring me out of myself and make me ask myself questions, and that's life altering enough.

Roth, Veronica. The World of Veronica Roth's Divergent Series. 1st ed. New York: Katherine Tegen, 2011. Print. (Page 11, end of first paragraph: worth reading!)

Friday, October 25, 2013


From the introductory praise pages for Focus by Mike Schmoker:
Let's focus on making this a nation of readers and the rest will follow.
~Carol Jago, Past President of National Council of Teachers of English (@CarolJago) 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lesotho, 1988; To see things as they are

Inspired by The Atlantic: Andrew McCarthy's interview with travel writer Paul Theroux. See "I Hate Vacations" for the edited transcript online.

I had the great pleasure of traveling in Africa in 1988 -- in Johannesburg and across Lesotho. In Theroux's latest book, The Last Train to Zona Verde, he says "The window of Africa, like the window on a train rushing through the night, is a distorting mirror that partly reflects the viewer's own face."

Among the things that meant the most to me on that journey twenty-five years ago was the openness of so many of the people I met. For the few hours I spent in apartheid-era South Africa, a surprising number of people asked if I were American -- something about the way I interacted in a marketplace. In Lesotho, people in Maseru, in the village I visited and in the highlands were exquisitely kind. Women taught me the proper wearing of the Basotho blanket for an unmarried young woman, and taught me to balance water on my head to carry for cooking and bathing. Instead of greeting by asking one another how we were, we used the traditional Sesotho , which relates to where we were. How are you?/fine translated roughly as Where are you going (or coming from)?/A little ways down the road. Hello [Lumela] literally means Believe, and the other common greeting, Khotso, means Peace. The language differences, even more than those of Malaysia or other places I'd visited or lived, made me question my daily assumptions, and the generosity of the people made me question my good fortune.

PT: Everyone needs encouragement. I think you need someone to say, at some stage, particularly someone not in your family, "I read you" or "I saw you onstage"--whatever it is. "Good going. You've got it."
AM: Who did that for you?
PT: V.S. Naipaul. He said, "You'll be fine."

This post started out as a simple Quote of the Day from the close of McCarthy's interview with Theroux in The Atlantic [emphasis mine]:

"PT: ... To see things as they are makes you free--to see things as they are, not nostalgically, not as you wish they were. Just to see them."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's quote of the day from les Mardistes:

From the Stéphane Mallarmé page on Wikiquote:
  • Degas was discussing poetry with Mallarmé; "It isn't ideas I'm short of... I've got too many" [Ce ne sont pas les idées qui me manquent... J'en ai trop], said Degas. "But Degas," replied Mallarmé, "you can't make a poem with ideas. ... You make it with words." [Mais, Degas, ce n'est point avec des idées que l'on fait des vers. . . . C'est avec des mots.]
    • From Degas, Manet, Morisot by Paul Valéry (trans. David Paul), Princeton University Press, 1960.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quote of the Day : from MacDonell's Essential Documents for School Libraries

"Schools that have a culture of learning are places where being a student is a source of satisfaction and joy, because real learning is a pleasure. Good schools become great schools when the focus of education is not on right or wrong answers on tests, but the ability to think and judge for oneself. Students and teachers alike can discover the power of a free and engaged intellect. This in turn will transform their idea of education from something that happens only in schools to something that is a natural and necessary part of living in the real world" (MacDonnell 76).

MacDonell, Colleen. Essential Documents for School Libraries: I've-got-it! Answers to I-need-it-now! Questions. Worthington, OH: Linworth Pub., 2005. Print.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Robert Scoble curates FB lists with tech insight

Scobleizer himself answered a question on Quora about how he discovers what's coming (like 3D printing and socially-contextualized curation). Turns out he curates his lists on Facebook because they don't have the same limitations as Twitter and Google+. Maybe it's time to buy that stock, now...

Read Quote of Robert Scoble's answer to Technology Trends: Why do I always feel like I’m too late for all the startup trends, how can I be at the front of the trends, executing? on Quora

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday morning with print sources in the physical library

I picked up a volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography to look at for classification, because I've got them with the literary criticism but haven't relabeled them from collected biography. Then I looked at OCLC's Classify service to survey how others have classified them, and at the WebDewey reference service to confirm [© 2012 OCLC. Domestic and international trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. and its affiliates]. The Notes for Table 3B have the following (sometimes OCLC cracks me up):
    Sometimes aspects low in the priority listings can be expressed only by means of standard subdivision notation from Table 1. In the example above of a critical appraisal of later-20th-century American fiction about ocean travel by women, use notation T1--082 from Table 1 to express the aspect of women: 813.540932162082. For another example, use 808.83935820973209034 for a collection of 19th-century fiction of several literatures about urban life: 808.839 (collection of fiction from more than two literatures displaying specific features) + T3C--358209732 (theme: urban life) + T1--09034 (standard subdivision for the historical period of the 19th century). In the priority listing, theme comes before period; and once the theme has been expressed, there is no way to express the period except by use of the standard subdivision.
So when we get one of those (a collection of 19th-century fiction of several literatures about urban life) I'll print the label
so that perhaps the numbers will retain their meaning for me, if no one else. School Library Journal and my state-level librarians' listserv about both talking about the future for the Dewey Decimal Classification system in schools. I'm not ready to ditch it, but it does seem rather complex sometimes. I suppose that's what happens when one tries to systematically classify all human knowledge.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playful learning... can we compete playfully?
Seniors shared this site today. The sample text is taken from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. The online touch typing training site is funded with sponsored links -- for example, their hyperlink for the title goes to an Amazon UK page with a referrer code. [Mine goes to the free ebook on Project Gutenberg.] I noticed my typos related to my free-associating through the text while I was transferring it, remembering the first time I read the book, and what it was like to have horses visiting daily while I lived in bluegrass country, and how Sewell's first-person narrative made it easy to be the horse. I looked at the webpage source code to see if I could tell how Dave Bartlett was generating the samples (public domain ebooks, for example), but I don't yet know how to view the PHP that generates the page.

While learning a little about that I discovered from the History page of the PHP Manual the following:
Created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, the very first incarnation of PHP was a simple set of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) binaries written in the C programming language. Originally used for tracking visits to his online resume, he named the suite of scripts "Personal Home Page Tools," more frequently referenced as "PHP Tools."
At Version 3.0 "it was renamed simply 'PHP', with the meaning becoming a recursive acronym - PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor."

Source: Professor David Lavery's blog at

Back to my question, because I first saw the typing speed test through the lens of playful competition. I said to someone a few hours ago something along the lines of I need to get a good sleep tonight because I'll need my sense of humor for the pep rally. I want to be part of a culture and school climate that support mutual respect, trust, and kindness while still allowing contests where not everyone has to get a trophy to feel okay about themselves. I expect to keep exploring as part of my community how we explain that and how we foster that culture and climate.