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05/31/23 09:12 PM #12705    


David Mitchell

I don't know about the rest of you, but I just don't think we get enough news about Harry and Meghan, William and Kate, and the rest of the Royal Family.

Don't you all agree?


06/01/23 12:29 PM #12706    


Janie Albright (Blank)

Dave, you think you are getting too much news about the royals? This is just for you. wink


06/01/23 07:49 PM #12707    


David Mitchell

Gee!  Thanks Janie

06/02/23 12:39 PM #12708    


John Maxwell

It's nice to know that there are funnybones out there that enjoy a good tickle. Of course no one can account for sticks in the mud. Just finished a short book from John Cleese about creativity. Good stuff. Still working at Henry Ford. Been presenting in the printing office. They have an 1858 model of the Washington Press.
We use a rubber based ink, that takes a day to dry. We hand out copies of the stuff we print to the guests. There are quite a few criteria to fullfil before the press prints exact copies. The hardest is getting the ink thin enough to be consistant. Who knows which decade had the most daily newspapers established in America. One of the things I've discovered was that the small print shops that dotted the countryside were just as plentyful in the big cities, dispite having a major newspaper. The shop in the neighborhoods were mostly printing in a foriegn language. The shops were started by immigrant entreprenuers who fullfilled the desire of the neighborhoods to get both local news and the news from the old country. The beauty of this, I believe, is that everyone, regardless of their native toungue, they all got the news the same way. Out in the rural areas they got the local news and ads plus a boilerplate was usually provided by the big city newspapers covering national, international news and advertising. When Franklin invented syndicating, he would print the writings of the time on one side of his paper and print copies to send to all the colonies. I always wondered how everyone got on the same page re the revolt. Next up Armington and Sims, incubator for the Military Industrial Complex. Its a cool story.

06/02/23 04:32 PM #12709    


Joseph D. McCarthy

Professor Mike.  The Wall Street Journal had a very interesting story, in today's edition, regarding the way to combat "AI" on final eams.  A number of professors are using a 2000 year old method.  ORAL EXAMS.

What is your take on the subject?



06/02/23 05:07 PM #12710    


David Mitchell

Great thought Joe.

How would the students hide their lack of study from that? 





Your prior post reminds me in a small way of a film about 3 years ago. It was called "News of The World" starrring Tom Hanks and a 10 or 12 year-old German girl. He makes a living riding around West Texas after the Civil War, carrying newspapers from the big cities. He organizes audiences who each pay a few dollars to sit in the audience while he reads them the various headlines from the rest of the world - news they would have no other way of hearing. I know it seems like an odd premise for a story, but I was caught completely by surprize by it.     I loved it!

And the the little girl, who only has about 10 spoken lines in the entire movie, absolutely steals the show!

06/03/23 03:57 PM #12711    


Michael McLeod

Joe. Thank you! I will track that story down. Yes, oral testing is one way of doing it but that requires a subjectivity and on-the spot judiciousness. A class on writing doesn't lend itself to yes or no answers or the ability to think in real time - that's the gift of writing, it's the product of you spending time to mull things over. A lot of klunky students are more comfortable on the page than in person - in a way I'd call myself one of them.  I'm not saying I won't try that approach, though. It might just be that the wsj story convinces me it will work.

In the meantime I have been thinking this over and developing strategies, one of which was suggested by my significant other and I'm assuming is paralleled by the wsj: simply make them write in class. Write in class to a specific assignment I will provide at the beginning of that class. collect the papers at the end of class.  Make their grade in the class rely much more on that in-class writing than on the final paper. 

In the past I have operated in reverse. I had the students develop a term paper with feedback from me along the course of a semester.  I did have them write in class but I gave them a break by saying if you can improve over the course of the term and prove it with your final paper, I'll weight that accordingly. I'll reward you for your progress. Good students loved it, and I could see that they did improve. Shitty students slogged along and cheated at the end.

 It's easy to spot them but hard to prove. The ai writing looks like it was written by a straight a but utterly boring and unimaginative student with zero personality. 

Anyway: This time around their grade will depend much more on supervised, in class writing. 

By narrowing the focus of assignments - whose subjects will be a surprise to them - I'll  make it much harder for them to concoct an "A as it AI" paper.

I've been told canvas can be of help - canvas is a grading/turn-it-in system - but haven't found out how. I'll be checking in with other profs this summer about that and any other ideas. 

And thanks again for your suggestion and your interest. Honesly, I'm mortified by this - also pissed off. I'm not a full time teacher, just a practitioner trying to share the tricks of the trade,  but I do take pride in it and by golly I'm gonna get to the bottom of this latest pain in the butt. Teachers of every ilk gotta stick together these days, particularly down here. 


06/03/23 09:06 PM #12712    


David Mitchell

Mike and Joe,

I vote for the "in-class" writing sessions.

Both of my daughters and my dauhter-in-law have been teachers, albeit at grade school levels. My oldest was one of you egg-head English Majors (from John Carroll) who avoided getting a degree in education and swore she would never want to be a teacher. Low and behold she took a part time job in a public school in East Los Angeles, teaching inner city Latino low income kids and fell in love with the kids. It led to a full time job in a school in East L.A. where she taught one same group from kindergarden through third grade. Why she took a job she thought she woudl hate, I'll never know, but she loved it and stayed for four years (until the politics of the LA school system drove her crazy and she quit).

She made the kids write in class every single day - and then had as many as possible read their short papers in that same class. The kids grew to love it. Some parents (low income Hispanic with two rival gangs located at each end of the block next to the school) even commented on how much their kids were looking forward to school each day. Sara (my oldest daughter - Watterson about '91) made the whole idea a fun challenge, praising the kids all the time for how well they were doing and how fun it could be to get up and be recognized by their clssmates.

Sara taught in a parallel class with an other a class, taught by teacher who was a 25 year veteran Hispanic lady who hated her job. Her kids were seldom assigned to write anything. 

After 4 years with the same kids, Sara's class showed a steady increse in academic scores, while the older lady's class flat lined. On her final day several of the mothers cried and one of them tried to block Sara's car from leaving the parking lot. She had to get the principal to intervene so she could drive home to her apratment over in South Pasadena.

So much of our attitudes toward education tends to look at it as a chore, something to be dreaded, or at best, tolerated instead of enjoyed. I think this is something Sister Constantius (and a few others) were able to get me to realize. 


P.s. Bragging just a bit:

(My youngest - Megan - Watterson about "94) became a Montisorri teacher in Portland Oregon and later moved back to Cincinnati (she was a Xavier Alum). She spent a few years teaching in a Montisorri inside the University of Cincinnati Medical School. The kids were all handicapped. It was both a real Montisorry School and a reasearch project for the U.C. medical school at the same time. 

06/04/23 08:27 AM #12713    


Michael McLeod


Joe and Dave: thanks for the feedback.

I know I have said this before but I am - I just love teaching. I'm at the point in my life when it's a joy and a responsibility to share what I learned in 50 years of banging my head against the keyboard. And I feel embarrassed and hurt at being undercut. It's almost like walking into my house and discovering that a thief broke into it. 

This against the backdrop of education being under seige and subject to politically oriented censorship in this state.

So I really appreciate your responses for the sentiment as well as the strategy.

And Dave I have never met your daughter but I'm proud of her just the same. My significant other is vintage Montessori, with deep roots in the tradition as it has evolved on this side of the pond, and she astonishes me with her practice and her grasp of its core humanist principles.

06/04/23 12:55 PM #12714    


David Mitchell


I know wev'e gotten a bit off topic, but just to add a bit for you --

I have visited both of my daughters classrooms (years ago - they have both moved on) and had different but wonderful experiences in both.

My youngest - back in her Portland Oregon days (before Cincinnati), showed me her Montessori classrom and all the physical "hands-on" devices they employ in the classroom. It was quite a revelation - very logical and very intuitive. I never got to see her handicapped Montessori classroom at U.C.

And I visited my older daughter in East L.A. while the kids were there in a class session. I was pleasantly shocked to see their high level of engagement and enthusiasm! 


06/04/23 09:47 PM #12715    


John Jackson

Last night at a nearby live music theater I saw Natalie McMaster (Scottish style Cape Breton fiddler) and her husband Donnell Leahy (Irish fiddler from Ontario) but their 17 year old daughter Mary Frances (oldest of their seven kids) stole the show.  I’ve never cared all that much for Irish-style step dancing but…


Natalie is usually front and center but here she just takes a back seat to her (equally talented) husband and daughter.



06/05/23 08:02 AM #12716    


Michael McLeod

ok between that and my morning coffee I'm ready to charge right into the work week thanks John.

06/05/23 02:47 PM #12717    


David Mitchell


I think I have about 6 nieces in Columbus who all were in step dancing groups for years. 

I have wondered if it was an ancient Celtic thing, and if so, could it have been a "decendant" of the Austrian "slap dancers"?  

Skip forward to about 55 seconds on the timer of this video. And don't miss the last part - "slap dance fighting".  I first saw "slap dancers" in the summer of '65, (junior year) when I spent about 9 weeks living in Salzburg.


(BTW, it was the same summer they had released "The Sound of Music", shot in and around Salzburg, one of the most picturesque cities in the world.)


06/05/23 03:29 PM #12718    


James Hamilton, M. D.

John J. and Dave M.,

Since you OLP grads have introduced the topic of international vigorous folk dancing, how about a trip to southern Italy where the Tarantella dance originated. It has a very interesting medical history that you both may want to explore. I believe Chuck Mangione had an album by that name.


06/05/23 10:48 PM #12719    


Michael McLeod

I know we're keeping politics at a distance here,but this is a fairly tepid observation: I don't see pence as the long shot for the nomination that he's being portrayed as being. 

There's something awkward with that sentence but I'm  off duty.

Just seems to me he'd be a serious candidate with a good chance of winning.

There's a humorous observation about him in the Times today in a story about his electoral viability: "He has presidential hair."

Not sure how widely know  it is but when the secret service tried to evacuate him for his own safety on Jan 6 he refused to leave the capitol. That took guts.


06/05/23 10:58 PM #12720    


David Mitchell


What weird name for a dance - named for tarantula (spiders), or rather, the disease received from a tarantula bite.




Back to Austrian Slap Dancing for a moment, here is a brief tour of the central "old city" of Salzburg, Austria, home of Mozart and the huge annual world wide Mozart Music Festival (and my home for the summer of '65). Just about every prominent building, statue, and fountain is lit up for the entire month. You might recognize a bit of this from the movie. The Castle in the background is Schoss HohenSalzburg, built in about 1,100. Salzburg ("Salt town" or "Salt city") was a strategic Roman stronghold for it's salt mines, which are all around Salzburg.

The second photo is taken looking across Mirabel Gardens up at the distant Castle. You might recall a scene where Maria and the Von Trap children danced up and down those steps. I walked through that park often.

The third photo is a bunch of my classmates walking up to the overlook at the old Cafe Winkler, a scenic outdoor restaraunt that has been torn down in place of an art museum. I seem to recall a scene from the movie up there too. The man in the white shirt and dark hat was OSU German language professor Harold Lentz, who, along with his wife, organized and lead our trip.

(I think we were about 60 college kids and 40 high school kids. We lived with locals - my 4 "roomies" (2 college - 2 High school) had an almost invisible widow apartment owner, so we didn't get any "family connection". She put out breakfast rolls and jam and coffee and tea in the morning, and would then disappear for the rest of the day. My roomie, a kid one year older from Mansfield Senior High turned out to be one of the neatest parts of my summer. We had a ball together.)

(I had just learned from my uncle how to use a real camera - my dad's old  35mm 1953 Kodak Retina II-a. A couple of us had fun using our cameras at night, guessing at varoius timed exposures of those lighted buildings - using a tri-pod and a shutter release cord. They came out pretty good.) 

Note: that last shot if one of the worlds least known "slap dancers" in his "lederhosen". 



06/06/23 04:53 PM #12721    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

If you have 30 minutes to invest in reviewing a video, I am looking for some honest. respectful feedback on the User Forum.

06/06/23 07:58 PM #12722    


Mark Schweickart

Today, June 6, is not only an anniversary day to proudly reflect on America's part in D-Day,  but sadly it is also an anniversary day of something not to be proud of--the day 55 years ago when Bobby Kennedy died from his wounds suffered the day before. Here's a song I probably have shared with you before. It began as a musing on our relationship to icons of the past, and whether we should venerate them as giants on whose shoulders we are privileged to stand, or if they were more like us and beset also with frailty. I picked a few personal favorite characters -- the poet Lord Byron, the Roeblings who built the Brooklyn Bridge, and RFK, who in his early political days was disparaged as being hard-eyed and somewhat ruthless. However, Bobby's character quickly won me over to the point that this song became an admiring tribute to him, and an expression of the loss I felt back in '68, and still think about on this anniversary of his passing.  

06/07/23 04:38 PM #12723    


David Mitchell

In case some of you felt something shakey beneath your feet, I think the earth just shifted in the last few days. Not a full blown earthquake, but serious "tremors" in my opinion.



The state of Oklahoma just approved public funding for a Catholic school - first time ever in the U.S. if I am not mistaken. I am among those who are not too favorable to this idea. I always bought into the argument that without government funding, we were also free of government control.   TBC.



Apple finally announced its new "Vison Pro" AR gogles - at $3,500 apiece!  In addition to a scary price tag, I pose the question, "Who needs this?" And will this be just one more technological path to social isolation?


Third (and perhaps most dissapointing)

The PGA (Professional Golf Association) shocked it's own membership with the surprise announcement of a merger with the Saudi Arabian funded LIV golf tour. Showing what unprincipled cowards they are, and what greedy scum bags the likes of Greg Norman, Phil MIckleson and others really are. They seem completely void of any notion that there is a real world outside of their little overpaid sports bubble. Some of their comments defending how "good this is for the game of golf" are embarrassing.

I'd love to know how much the PGA committee members were paid in bribes by the Saudis, who have been paying the "Norman-Mickleson" gang hundreds of millions apiece to play in their tournaments (some of which were played on Trump courses). Yes, I think the term "sports washing" is a pretty appropriate term. 

Meanwhile, Tiger, Rory, and others loyal to the PGA were left stunned as they were caught completely off guard by the announcement.


06/08/23 07:48 AM #12724    


Michael McLeod

Dave. Stop reading the news. As your doctor I advise against it.

I should take my own advice.

One story in the newspaper I used to write for this morning tells me that the oceans are warming at an alarming rate and wildfires are increasing as well, thanks to human caused global warming affecting the air that we breathe and the swelter of our summers.

In other news also that two more conventions have cancelled their plans to meet in my city because of our governor's legislative campaigns against gays and educators. We have become an unfriendly tourist destination, or so being a hot spot in the culture wars can lead people to believe.

And the next page tells me that farmers in my state are losing money because the migrant workers they depend on are frightened to work in florida because of that same governors campaign to chase them away.

To summarize: I'm hot and getting hotter, my current profession is under siege, people are afraid to come to the town where I live, the workers who grow the food that I eat are getting kicked out of my state and oh yes fuggetabout breathing easy.

I believe this is what they call an existential crisis.

Plus I already know they're gunning for Mickey Mouse these days. Disney's too woke for them.

I'm just glad Cubby and Annette aren't here to see what we've become. Our world was so much simpler when we saw it all in comfy black and white.


06/08/23 10:25 AM #12725    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Dave, Mike......perhaps listening to this presentation will take your mind off of the problems of this fallen world, a world that has been through one crisis after another for thousands of years.

06/08/23 11:03 AM #12726    


Michael McLeod

ok fine but I think the whole class should have to watch it. 

06/08/23 04:30 PM #12727    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Don't worry is not a mandatory assignment.

06/08/23 09:37 PM #12728    


David Mitchell


I'm afraid I have been a news junkie all my life.  Before dinner on weeknights, my dad used to sit me on his lap while he read the Dispatch to me. On Sundays after church we would both get down on the living rooom on all fours (me underneath him) and he would read Snuffy Smith, Steve Canyon, and my favorite, Prince Valient to me. 

Years later we would watch Huntley and Brinkley together (on those rare occaisions when he wasn't at the office or hospital till waaaay late) and he would ask me if I understood what they were talking about. He didn't like Croknite very well and definately not Howard K. Smith - who dad thougth was a "commie pinko". Dad was shocked years later when he watched H. K. Smith (on his live broadcast) actually advocate letting General Chiang Kai Shek invade North Vietnam to help us win the Vietnam War.

Watching the news reels of Civil Rights events literally changed my dad from a McCarthy-ite to a much less political person - and turned much more back to just his faith.

He was a bitter anti-Kennedy person, but he personally despised Richard Nixon from his early days as a California Congressman (on the "take" from L.A. Real Estate developers from way back - according to dad's youngest brother who lived in LA from about the late '30s to his death in the '80s.).     

Coming home from Vietnam I became an steady Tom Snyder fan ("ha ha ha") and then became a Ted Koppel addict during the Iran Hostage Crisis. 

I guess I would be considered a "terminal" case.



06/08/23 09:43 PM #12729    


David Mitchell

Whoa! Speaking of news items..........................

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