Any Morning

Just lying on the couch and being happy. Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head. Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has so much to do in the world. People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget. When dawn flows […]


I don’t recall many of my college successes with great clarity, but I do recall my few failures. Two in particular stand out: both D’s on short papers because “the assignment was not addressed.” One was for a course on art in New York City, where we were to pick a work that moved us, […]

Shut Up and Sit Down

The Arlington (NY) Central School District, after declaring a snow day because it was snowy, sent parents a note regarding the possibility of intentional student absences on two days in particular: walkouts are planned for March 14 and April 20. The organizers * of the local events know that civil disobedience bears accepting the consequences. The […]

The Water the Frog Boils In

The last few days I’ve been watching presentations from LISA and Velocity on the difficulties and rewards of the cultural transformation needed by a lean, agile DevOps practice. It’s pleasant to be reminded of the range of interests of those in this field; I dislike falling into caricature. So while I generally enjoy John Naughton‘s writing […]


Yesterday I asked, what about the world beyond the virtual? Computers didn’t have, for the longest time, sensors. Their only interaction with the world was through input devices such as punch-cards, then later keyboards and mice. They only knew what they were told. Many have a variety of sensors now: antennae, gyroscopes, cameras, thermometers, and so […]

Great Scientists

A friend of mine posted a Carl Sagan quote that reminded me of something. Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact. A few years back we saw Fourth of July fireworks from […]

Time Enough

Apparently President Obama remarked on education yesterday. For decades, Washington has been trapped in the same stale debates that have paralyzed progress and perpetuated our educational decline. Obviously Washington hasn’t been involved enough in education, so he proposes more interference. The specific policy proposals are not horrible, except for the increased Federal interference in a […]

Four Years Too Many of College

Is a four-year college degree excessive for most? Charles Murray, writing at Cato Unbound, thinks a bachelor’s degree is unnecessary for most professions, has little bearing on success in a field, and suspects that college attendance rates are artificially high. Cato has structured the Cato Unbound journal as a series of dialogues. The response from […]

Summer School

There’s been some concern among the professional educators about skills lost over the Summer since I was a small child, and that concern has not abated. Well, duh, of course some children are not as proficient in September as they were in May: they didn’t practice those skills for three months. I’ve not practiced differential […]


(yeah, they’re learning [PowerPoint] in second grade). Don’t you think that simply provides additional, obvious, evidence that school is intended to prepare you for life in a factory cube farm?

Are Guidance Counselors Superfluous?

The Arlington Central School District sends out a newsletter every now and again — oddly enough around budget season. This time it includes a piece titled “Arlington’s Investment Paying Off,” which discusses how additional guidance counselors have dropped the student to counselor ratio from 375:1 to 210:1. Now, three years into the plan, our commitment […]