What I Learned This Week
April 30, 2013Posted by on
I did finish reading Quiet, but I kept reading it in settings where it was inconvenient to take notes. This is not intended as a thorough review, but as a note to myself should I look back in a year or two as to why I only wrote chapter reviews through Chapter 6.
As I recall Cain told more about synergies between introverts and extroverts. She told of ways that members of one group could train themselves to act like the other as needed. Her emphasis was, of course, on introverts given the nature of the book.
I have put some ideas from this book into practice. For instance, I am using more activities that resemble think, pair, share to give all student a chance to be reflective before moving into groups. I am reminding myself to ask students to commit to an answer in writing so that they are more likely to share once they do move into a group or whole-class discussion.
April 2, 2013Posted by on
On field the Twins might simply be the overpaid remnants of good teams from a half decade ago with a AAAA supporting cast. But, the Twins know how to build and run a ballpark.
I visited the Twins-Tigers game for Opening Day. Since it was a last minute decision I flew in and out the same day. This was no problem. Target Field is at one end of a light rail line. The other end of the line is Mall of America. Near the Mall of America end it passes through the two airport terminals and a couple of hotel-rich stops. In fact my family is visiting Minneapolis on spring break. (I know- aren’t they hipsters visiting a colder city during break.) They were able to bring a bag from the hotel to me in the terminal. I checked it to Detroit for them and then we went to the game.
The last two rail stations before the stadium have lots of restaurants from which to choose. If you don’t mind a walk there is a lot of shopping along Nicollet Mall (a street) as well. The Twins did not sell out Opening Day. Nonetheless they did have a big crowd. Despite this the wait for most concessions was short. The exception seemed to be the donut line. Twins fans like their donuts, I guess. Restrooms could easily be accessed within a couple batters. There were none of the over one inning lines you see in Detroit on the busiest days.
The best feature was that the Twins train their ushers. The ushers stop fans from walking to their seats except between batters. I had an aisle seat with home plate on the aisle side and I did not miss any game action. Perhaps Comerica could try this instead of training ushers to dust seats for tips. Heck, in Comerica I’ve had the usher seat people directly in front of me during at bats. When fans violated policies at Target Field the ushers politely corrected them. Two fans brought beers into the family section. They were quickly asked to step to the concourse to finish their drinks. No fan had to bring it to the usher’s attention. No one got upset. The fans got to keep their drinks. The other fans got their alcohol free section.
I had to leave before the end of the game to catch the last flight to Detroit. This was probably for the best since the Tigers pitching triedto leave the game early, too. The train ride to the airport is only around 30 minutes.
Overall I thought stadium operations were great. I’m not as fond of the look of the stadium as others. It seems really crammed into a small lot. This is because it is really crammed into a small lot. It was clever design, but that doesn’t make it seem spectacular to me. And the part that looks skewed on TV in the highest right field seats looks just as disruptive in person.
I’d say Target Field is worth a visit. I probably wouldn’t go in April or September though. http://www.kttc.com/story/21842589/2013/04/01/twins-open-2013-season-coldest-ever
March 29, 2013Posted by on
It is of course somewhat arbitrary to just look at Opening Day rosters. You could just as easily look at the roster after game 107. Still, it is fun to watch the evolution of a team over time and while Opening Day Rosters are easy to get, game 107 rosters would take some effort. Here are the last 3 Tigers’ Opening Day rosters. The colors in 2013 show how many seasons in a row the player has been on Detroit’s Opening Day roster. Green shading indicates 3 or more years. Yellow shading indicates 2 years. Orange shading indicates that this is the first year. The colors in 2011 and 2012 just match 2013, they do not refer to prior years.
I added Smyly at the end in 2012 since he was named the 5th starter, but was not on the Opening Day roster because off days allowed the Tigers to use 4 starters for a couple trips through the rotation.
Here are the 2009 and 2010 rosters if you want to go further back.
March 1, 2013Posted by on
Here are my notes from Day 4.
February 28, 2013Posted by on
I liked a couple of sessions today. I have notes on all of them.
February 27, 2013Posted by on
The Dan Apple session ended up being useful. I post a link to my notes mostly as a reminder to myself and in case any HFCC faculty want to ask me about it.
February 26, 2013Posted by on
I’m traveling to a professional conference this week, the National Association of Developmental Education. Since I have a fair sized gap between my last class and my flight departure I decided to catch up on some professional reading in the Mathamatyc Educator.
Before I get to that I wanted to point out I learned to keep my lounge passes on me. I could be using free Wifi in a comfortable chair in a Lufthansa (same alliance as United) lounge right now instead of typing on a phone at a gate. I also wanted to express sympathy for the couple from Tampa that has already been delayed two hours by Spirit for an equipment problem. If they are delayed much longer they may get a Michigan weather delay, too.
I read an article by Vaninsky that makes the point that using technology frees up working memory so that deeper problems can be considered. This isn’t new to me, but is a good reminder on one of the better ways to integrate technology in a lesson. Some concrete examples would have helped the article.
Teeguarden gave some examples of more authentic applications for an algebra class. I already use some of these ideas. The article would make a good introduction with concrete examples for a teacher ready to move beyond the textbook.
Yuan and Baishanski told of how computer mediated software could be improved to ask more how questions and to allow authentic interaction, rather than mimicking and checking. I hope their article motivates some publishers to upgrade software in the ways they indicate.
I read some other articles that I thought less useful as well. One talked about the Korean education system. Americans aren’t tough enough for that anymore. I may edit this post if I find any more useful ideas before my plane leaves.
February 24, 2013Posted by on
Cain’s sixth chapter wandered a bit much for me. She first wrote of the complementary personalities of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt.
She wrote of Elaine Aron, who reframed high reactivity as sensitivity. Aron’s work finds sensitive people are more likely to be philosophical, or spiritual. They describe themselves as creative, or intuitive. They dislike small talk. They notice subtleties.
Cain writes of how highly reactive people may actually be thin skinned. They are more likely to blush. They have higher skin temperatures when exposed to new situations than low reactives.
Cain writes about how high reactive/passive animals and low reactive/aggressive animals might complement each other. They can maximize reproductive chances in different climates. Having watchful animals can help a herd survive. The reactivity seems to be inherited. Guppies that go from pike infested waters to pike free waters slowly become more outgoing. Guppies that enter pike infested waters become more cautious over just a couple generations.
There is even more in the chapter, for instance a few paragraphs about Al Gore and a few about Cain’s husband. At the end Cain makes the point that at a camp for introverts she misses extroversion. The anecdotes from the chapter were supposed to tell of how balance between introverts and extroverts brings strength to a group. I guess in hindsight I see this. I had trouble seeing the theme as the chapter developed, however.
February 16, 2013Posted by on
Gymnastics meets are a good place to read since often your child’s team will not be in a rotation for an hour or more. I read Chapter 5 of Quiet. It talks about how to overcome your natural introversion when needed.
First Cain discusses how, despite outward appearances, brain scans still show signs of highly reactivity or low reactivity in adults. She cites studies that show that introversion and extroversion may just be people seeking their preferred level of stimulation. For instance when given a chance to set headphone volume when working introverts chose a lower level. Moreover when either introverts or extroverts had to work at a noise level the other group preferred performance decreased.
Cain then makes a metaphor with a rubber band. You can stretch your native personality type, but always prefer to return to the original setting. She closes the chapter by discussing a desensitizing approach she used to conquer her fear of public speaking.
February 10, 2013Posted by on
Chapter 4 deals with nature versus nurture. Researchers can tell at ages as young as 4 months which children will be highly reactive and which less reactive. Highly reactive babies respond with stress to new situations. Highly reactive children are more likely to be introverted. It may be that introversion just indicates more sensitivity to environment. Up to 50% of introversion may be based on hereditary factors.
Cain tells of Dobbs’s Orchid hypothesis. Many children are like dandelions and will do well anywhere. Others, including highly reactive children wilt easily, but under the right conditions grow strong and magnificent. This seemed a weak metaphor to me since that kind of variability could apply to any population. Cain backed it up by citing some research and by noting that 1/4 of the highly reactive children suffer from social anxiety disorder. In summary children who are highly reactive do better than average socially in a nurturing environment and worse than average in a stressful environment. This may be related to the length of an allele that helps produce serotonin.