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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


Fred Hass over at the Fireside Favorites discussion mentioned this site as one of his favorites, The Boston Globe's The Big Picture. At first I was just giddy from the quality and size of the photos... this one, of an archeological site in the  Sahara, caught my attention first:


Then, as I went back to the site today and looked through The Year 2008 in Pictures, it struck me how many were about war, from guns to bombs to bow and arrows- astounding. So much of the world, and so far removed from my day-to-day life.

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Wow, those are striking thanks

Thanks for posting about this. I put all 3 up on our Practice page (under Presentations), last week. Just an example -- I'm always putting up good stuff but sometimes just don't get the chance to tell members.... I read the Boston Globe, almost daily. Mostly for James Carroll -- the best commentator / editorials around...

Yes, so many about war. I wrote a commentary on one page, about a child in Iraq, killed from U.S. air strikes. Makes me ashamed to be human, or even western.... # 34 in one of them.... We also have to say a prayer this season for all the journalists (and photographers I include as journalists), being killed in even greater numbers every year. Not just by the seeming "bad guys" either. There was one picture about the Fadel Shana, a Reuters camera man killed in cold blood by Israel. We also didn't hear much about the others wounded / killed with him.... This was my own "rubicon" in 2008. That and the death of the great journalist Kapushinsky. Ryzard was incredible and he made the world smaller, if not better for me......
This should be necessary viewing in ANY high school curriculum.

David :))))

How early in the morning will I have to get up to beat you to the worm? Good thing we both like to share. What I am amazed at, with you personally, is how much you can seek out and absorb- not me, not even close, not ever. Do you know the Rothke poem with these lines: I wake to sleep/ and take my waking slow/ I learn by going where I have to go...
That's the speed I have always lived at, and much of the time, still protesting, no mas! I respect the ability to take in so much, and I also can't personally imagine it. AND, the best part for me, I LEARN from what you do- I would stop still in my tracks if I had no stimulation like this.

I never feel personally ashamed when I look at images of war. I'm not sure why. I feel astounded, and always immediately grateful that I have not had to live through it. And if the image is graphic enough, the gut reaction of horror, turning in my stomach, and empathy for the pain, but no personal guilt.

I also get overloaded pretty quickly with any series of images, especially when not fully grounded in context. One of the things I like about the big picture site is that there is a short background paragraph describing each photo. And even then, I just realized as I revisited the site before writing this response is that I had only gotten through part 1. The photo that struck me most, I think, in the lot (I did not see all of the most graphic ones, by the time I realized I had to click to get the image, I was about done for that "session" with looking) was this one, of two Kenyan tribes fighting with bows and arrows. I viewed it after viewing several images of war with the technological edge, and I thought, people will do it with whatever they can, at it's heart, it is not a matter of technology, though technology exponentially increases the destruction of it.

Maasai warriors cover a battle field as they clash with bows and arrows with members of the Kalenjin tribe in the Kapune hill overlooking the Olmelil valley located in the Transmara District in Western Kenya on March 01, 2008. The Massai, the Kalenjin and the Kisii tribes have recently clashed over ongoing land disputes that erupted after botched local elections during the general elections held in Kenya in December of 2007. Over twenty warriors from the tribes have been killed in bow and arrow battles near the borders of these tribes in the last couple of months. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images) #

I think I don't feel a sense of personal shame because I am female. I give birth, and I bleed every month as part of being able to do so. Something that, for all of our societies "openness", all of the graphic sexual components in modern cultures, is still not a really acceptable topic of discussion- why not? Why is what my body does (and my gender) so taboo? Why can't women claim a sense of happiness and pride and wonder at our menstruation? Why is it considered something to be hidden, maybe even a little gross? Why is it so incredibly private, why do the words make people feel uncomfortable and shy? What happened to my fertility goddess?? :) I love men. I love the way we are similar, and the way we are different. I love the dynamic and the dance between genders, and I think one of the most beautiful things in the world is a good man, like a great gift to the world. But, when I see too many war photos, or hear you guys go on and on about this battle or that, and who is/ was responsible for what war or domination when, I want to yell, go beat yourselves bloody, just leave us alone! We only need a few of you, realistically, to go on.

I know : ). Women can be as viscous as men. Women support war too. But not to anywhere near the same extent. And I am talking about my emotional reaction, not my intellectual one : ). Intellectually I know that women must be as great a part of the move for peace as men. I just feel ripped off by it, like there really are better things I could be doing if men would just knock it the hell off. I mean you guys have these beautiful muscles to do good and impress with, and if you claim it, this powerful sexual ability to melt half the human population, and that description doesn't do the sexual power of men anywhere near justice, why do men have to use it for war and rape too? I don't get it, David. I am astounded. And I can't believe that it can go on and on and on, and that we still survive.

Ok, enough. But honest to god, I don't want a man deciding what war photos my daughter needs to view in high school. Bleed for 5 days out of every 28 and be expected to hide that you do it, live with the underlying realistic fear of rape from about 13 to 40 (after that, the fear seems to drop off; we are less likely to be targets, and it is less about sexual domination, and more clearly seen as a violent act, I think, not sure), bear by far the more profound consequences of sex and birth and children... It's just a bit of hubris for men to think they can instruct women on the morality of violence and war. Why don't we try giving women's history (women's daily lives) an equal billing, because the history we are taught is profoundly male, and dominated by male life experiences and views... Give the same time and focus to studying how women, children and families have lived day to day throughout history as we do on war and conquest. Equal time would provide balance, and probably do more for world peace, and certainly be more empowering to high school girls...

Again, I mean no harm towards the male gender, and I know that most men are good and kind and tender. And I admire men's capacity and passion for positive action. It just hit an emotional chord.
I could be suffering from a blind spot here, and I don't mind at all if it's pointed out- I don't get angry inside when I debate/ discuss- just a little passionate (bull headed?) sometimes : ).

I enjoy curiosity and I somehow feel that wisdom can be gained through two doors. 1) Intense concentration, focus and absorption into the ONE. 2) Intense joy, play and absorption from the ONE. Two sides to how we gain a foothold of peace through a connection to life. For the most part, I am number 2. I love being the generalist and this is something we've really lost at this present moment of history. Hard to find a fellow "Generalist". Ian on Fireside would be one for sure. You too!
I really think it comes from my mind loving to connect. I can see the relationship between Beowulf and the Beatles....a kind of bringing together when others (specialist) would separate.

I hear you about the need for women's voices in the realm of "power". But you take the argument a little too far it seems to me. I'm not sure the world would be a better place simply if men would be like women. Or if women had more leadership roles.

On a more practical note, simply having more women in power won't help. They will play as the game has been set up for ages...we also have to change these rules. How? Well, we have to change how we view each other and how we relate to each other. We have to take care of both community and the collosus (the world). Think BIG, act small is my mantra.

I think we also have to change things within our human experience and how our bodies/minds react to the world. We have to in a nutshell, change human consciousness. You are right, it isn't "just" about technology. We fight, it is in our blood. We dominate. We are controlled by our bodies. (Gurdjiief -- he really highlights this and describes it well. I've studied his "thoughts' intensely). We have to rise above this without falling into the trap of creating hierarchy. I really think that so much of what we witness in human history, the evil, the violence and war is but the manifestion of our own inability to transcend our reactive body/mind. We need, desperately need a new awareness . It begins with each one of us, controlling our own selves and creating harmony within.

I don't glorify at all, primitive man or native cultures. This has and continues to be a big wrong. As you also do, I watch, read , a lot about Inuit culture. But so much is over romanticized. They don't really show the dark side. Like these Kenyans, there is. We still so seldom have broken free from the bars of our "cells".

You'd really enjoy the writings of Sam Hamill. A fellow poet who helped create Poets against War and also the fine literary journal Ploughshares. Most of his focus and learning was through teaching for years in the prison system and seeing how men do such awful things to women and how dysfunctional so many men are -- for the most part created by a system that has an interest in creating this level of violence! But he is also a fine scholar and lives in Washington State, quietly these days. We had a short correspondence years ago when I was writing/publishing and he's been a mentor and especially in my own understanding of war but also Asian poetry/thought.

I'll leave you with a poem I wrote years ago, called Food For Thought. (God! one of these days I have to go through the gigantic mound of notebooks and stacks of poems I have....)

Uncle Jacob
forty years kneading dough
after the war
told me
he had found only
two ways of making bread;
the slow bake of philosophy,
the luxury of the rich or high minded;
for the rest, the quick snatch of wonder
between the long steady strokes of the whip.

Then, sternly, his strong hand on my shoulder
he said
"Son, always be on the other end of the whip,
for there they eat not bread but cake.
Living is an affair for those who turn on the overs."
I will love it when you go through your stacks and mounds! Yes, I am a generalist, but in a different way from you and Ian. Not better or worse, I know what I know deeply, but... sigh. I wish I had more of what you two have, also! :D

Like you, I think that women coming singularly into power doesn't make much of a difference, because the leaders, male or female, come up through the same system. I do think that at a certain number, we would reach critical mass, and priorities would make a shift. Even though I can't see the future, my personal experience in my personal life tells me that things would be best with a balance- about equal numbers of men and women, in about equal positions of power. Though a little part of me still says, put more women in, make it safer! Can't help it, it is my experience in the world. Two women for every man, and women stop competing over them. But even though a part of me smiles when I think of that, there'd probably be some problem I can't see from here- probably. Anyway, it's all bullshit, it's not happening soon (and I'm talking worldwide!)

The point I was making in my last post wasn't about that, it was about the whole range of women's experience that isn't even talked about much, never mind given equal weight in our society and our history. And it makes people in general really uncomfortable to talk about. They lash out a little bit, and because of the personal and tender nature of the subject, that's very effective in closing it down. And it gets so lonely, and so disempowering, to have the deepest parts of ourselves something that is hidden away. I get so full here, and there are several powerful rays out of this that can be followed, that it gets difficult to express and still be heard, but it can't be ignored, David, or the next manifestation will be as pointless, too.

Imagine, for example, how it must feel, how it must manipulate the lives and spirits of women, to live in some fear of rape daily. I don't fear it in the same way anymore, and I haven't been raped myself, so it's relatively easy for me to bring up. Fear of rape is part of an older girl and woman's daily life. It's there every time we come home to an empty house, every walk across a deserted parking lot, every walk alone at night. Trying to protect ourselves from it circumvents our lives. Yes, men get raped too, and it is just as devastating, maybe even more because of the implications to his sexual identity and his isolation, but men, like women, almost exclusively get raped by men. And men, even though it is possible to be raped, don't live in the day to day fear of it, it doesn't curtail men's lives in the same way. And this is true the world over. I'm not talking about inappropriate seduction here; or child rape, which is a whole other level of heinous. I am talking about the day to day, everyday, reality of your average woman's life. Something we just live with, and for one in three, it actually happens. What are the ramifications of this? It's got to be pretty massive. And yet the collective effect of rape on women is hardly ever discussed. How do we transform when we haven't acknowledged the complete reality of our lives? I don't think you can just skip over parts... maybe :D I'm just saying that living this way, with the reality of our lives in the dark, is a deep, deep wound in the psyche of women. And an injustice to us all. I don't believe any massive change in consciousness will be good and just without a full acknowledgment of women's lives. And we are no where near that, David, how much play time does it get? How odd am I for even bringing it up, and how quickly do people want to bury it? And this is just one aspect, one part of the unacknowledged in the lives of women.

There are so many different directions I could go off into from here. I'll try one- the way to have more just wars in the US, immediately, is to have (as much as I don't want it) a draft of ALL men and women from (whatever ages they do it), equal numbers in all branches, in all forms of combat. I am sure that most parents of young women would not have put up with it for Iraq- quick end to that war. Only in the most dire circumstances of self defense would the majority of young women do it, or would their families allow it to happen. So the path to less war is not, I agree, in electing a woman leader (though again, I think enough female leaders would shift perspective somewhat), but in having equal participation by both sexes in all aspects of it. And it could be done now, under equal rights legislation.

Just a thing or two more, because it is so easy to be misunderstood. Except for being more generally talkative, I don't think I've ever wished men would act more like women. I appreciate the similarities and differences in male and female sensibilities, and I would not want to see that lost. When in good working order, there is a balance and a harmony that one does not seem to achieve without the other. I also think it is essential for women to develop solidarity with each other, that solidarity is the most powerful agent for change women have.

Well, my husband got the computer out from under me while I was making hot chocolate for the kids, and it has been a few hours since I started this post... kind of lost my place, so I will end it for now. Thanks for the links, David, I always enjoy them, and I honestly think it's a great poem.

PS I do think that there are differences in female leadership... I can't see what all of them would be (since I have never experienced a modern female dominated society) but from my experience in being female and in relating to groups of females, I believe we, when functioning in a same sex group, are less likely to develop as hierarchical a system of power, and also, maybe because of differences in testosterone levels and also differences in communication styles, are less likely to go to war. Children would probably be better cared for at all levels. There would be more effective preventative measures against rape. And if we took this to a world level, I don't think it would be long before some of the atrocities women face, even in situations where it seems now that they participate in these actions, would cease, such as female genital mutilation and honor killings. I don't think women are really morally superior to men, but our interests would be more in the forefront. I think it's a cop out to say there wouldn't be any significant differences, just not true. But, I also know that there are things I cannot see and imagine, and my good sense tells me men are just as essential to the well being of the world as women are, so I believe that a balance is what is truly needed- no domination between people, no domination between sexes, respect all around : ).

Keep that hot chocolate going! Priorities! LOL!

I told someone a story yesterday, on the same note, about Mother Teresa who was at some UN benefit. They made her pheasant for dinner, a really regal affair. When it was put on the table, she dug in like a Neandrathal. No utensils, head down, noises.... everyone was aghast. Mother Teresa, noticing the reaction looked up and wiping the fat off her chin said, "When it's God's time, God. When it's pheasant time, pheasant". -- priorities...

I do think there would be much change with more women in power, leadership. I don't disagree Ellen. But I do think it is more important that we look at it not in terms of biology but mindset. We need a more feminine attitude to conflict resolution, organization, action etc... This is not necessarily a woman only trait. Can be in either sex....

But I stick with the notion that we must change ourselves, our mind's, our view of the world -- or nothing will change. It is about education , not schooling. Educating ourselves out of the programmed ignorance and violence that our youth stamps us with...this is how we might get to the point of the feminine persona being persuasive. I really don't know how to explain it but I think you'd get a little about what I mean from the Ted Talk by Alan Kay. I watched this awhile back and the first part of his talk -- he hits things right on the head with the declaration that "We see not what is but what we are". This is built in and drives us to ruin...Watch the talk, he explains it much better. But the later part is also outstanding in that it shows the power of technology to teach kids, really TEACH so they will learn. Now any 6 year old can understand pythagoras -- and we don't anymore need Piaget telling us we have to wait!

more later, now is my own pheasant time!

For me, you explain it better, David. Though I did enjoy the video, makes me excited about teaching, thinking that the next classroom I have, I want to get $100 laptops for all of them, so we can do some of this stuff : ) Oh, I especially liked the car, and negative and positive numbers... in the past I have explained - # to 4th graders as owing someone money. This is better- no pejorative aspect to the explanation :D And of course, the table illustration is always amazing- how can that be? But it is!

I understand partially what you are saying, here and in Zen and other places, but the philosophy/ world view hasn't deeply resonated with me yet... I keep feeling it as nice, but not enough... and I think that means I haven't really grasped it yet. So I am patient, I read and think a bit and see how it might apply... I look forward to it resonating, then I can say, ahhhh, I get it now :))), and see what it really means to my emotional, deeply personal self :D.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, David. I love the MT story!
Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Public Radio show, This American Life, on Testosterone. The entire program is interesting, but this first story seems to fit especially well in this discussion. The story is about a man who lived, for medical reasons, without testosterone for four months, and how it affected him, especially spiritually, to live without it. Definitely worth a listen through.

I've been playing for awhile with the idea of using stories from This American Life in EFL curriculum; unfortunately, there aren't any transcripts available, so I'd have to type them up myself. I want to make sure it's worth it before I put in that effort : ).
I think this would be allowed under "fair use" guidelines. Here is the relevant section of the Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code. I added the bold face to the comment on educational use:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Blair Matthews said:
What are the copyright rules? Can I download these photographs and use them in class? They would make great discussion topics.

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