Someone Needs Lotion and a Pedicure

This is another picture of Myrtle. I’m posting it kind of as a test, to show someone how to blog pictures directly from Flickr. Pretty cool, huh? I’m thinking pink nail polish…

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Direction

I’m not sure what direction to take with my teaching blogging.

I feel strongly that, as a teacher, I should keep a journal. Being a reflective teacher is vital to being a good teacher, and my best reflection comes through writing.

As a teacher, I also feel that it is paramount to keep an anonymous journal. I don’t feel that I can really blog about my teaching experiences in any forum that could cause my students or school – or, honestly, myself – to be identified. I make an extremely weak attempt at protecting my identity on this blog, but I’d in no way consider it to be secure enough for my teaching ramblings.

Additionally, I discovered last year that my default setting was I HAVE NO TIME FOR A BLOG. I don’t think I ever posted anything on my teaching blog, and I went months without posting on this site. Of course, it was my first year teaching. That can be tough.

I’m trying to decide what to do. (And yes, for those of you in the know, I’m also putting my brain into stupid things like blogs for a few minutes because I don’t want to be a resident of my actual life right now. Some people hide in television or a video game; I hide in blogs. So sue me.)

Options:

  1. Post on this website, because one is surely more than enough. Put all teaching entries under password, that will be revealed to family and close friends. DRAWBACK: Can’t share with the online teaching community, which is a major reason for me to keep an edublog.
  2. Speaking of edublogs… start a new blog at edublogs.org, giving myself a fresh start (which seems to help a lot) and a clean slate. Additionally, edublogs tends to be accessible from behind school firewalls, whereas wordpress blogs are not. DRAWBACK: Lose my current edublog’s name, which is particularly important to me lately, but also particularly painful, so maybe I don’t mind if I lose it.
  3. Keep my current blog and try to bring it back to life after a very long dormant period.

Something to think about, anyway…

Curls and Scales

Cute Dog, Cute Tortoise, originally uploaded by Kate & Ryan.

Paisley seems a little concerned by her latest acquaintance, a wayward turtle found trekking across Kit & Wally’s front yard. “Myrtle” turned out to be a female Russian Tortoise (native of the Gobi Desert, NOT the southwestern Idaho desert), not quite full grown – a $120 pet that wandered off, either by accident or at the hands of a fed-up parent. A local reptile rescuer/rehabber fetched Myrtle and took her off to be treated for dehydration and some minor leg injuries.

Meanwhile, Paisley is still trying to decode the information she acquired after studiously sniffing Myrtle’s backside. I reckon she’ll be mulling that one over for a while… 🙂

Some Blogs You Might Like

The Big Storm Picture – photographs from a professional photographer who rides with storm chasers. This one might be my favorite.

Cake Wrecks – hilarious pictures, sent in by readers, of professional cake design gone horribly awry.

Flickr Blog – stories about and by Flickr users.

How About Orange – cute design from a writer who is just a wee bit obsessed with the color orange.

The Secret Recipe Blog – recipes from famous restaurants.

Sparks Fly Up – one of my favorite authors’ blogs. He writes about a wide variety of current events, global issues, literature stuff, and NerdFighters.

Voices – the blog of the Idaho Statesman, with breaking news updates.

Word of the Day – pretty much what it says.

World Wide Words Update – strange, antiquated, obscure, and funny words/phrases explained.

Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Speaks Out

I live in a reverse bubble when it comes to political news. Living with a politics/news junkie, I am often uncertain whether the subjects that populate our conversations are even common knowledge. If what I’m about to say is new information to you, I hope I do a good job of (quickly) explaining it. (I’m not a politics/news junkie, so I’ll be explaining what I know very much from a layman’s perspective.) I also hope you’ll read and share it with others. (In my case, I am passing this along after receiving it from Ryan, who read it on The Daily Dish.)

But first, a QUICK PRIMER about the current state of affairs (skip to the block quote at the end if you’re up on your current events):

Iran’s incumbent president, Ahmadinejad, was going to lose the election last week. (This was known before the election took place; then, as results began to come in, it became official.) This indicated a positive regime change, from an American perspective – and given that the popular vote supported it, the Iranian perspective as well. It is certainly in our best interest for Iran to have a true democracy and for it to look not unkindly on the United States.

The state-run news media called his opponent, Mousavi, to let him know that he was going to win and that they were about to start reporting this. News about Mousavi’s impending victory got to Ahmadinejad and the country’s religious leader, the Supreme Leader. (While Iran is, on the surface, a democracy, it is a practical theocracy. The Supreme Leader, a religious cleric selected by peers, and somewhat analogous to the Pope, is the real head of power in the country. For example, while the United States picks its presidential candidates through a series of public elections, in Iran the Supreme Leader selects the candidates.)

The Supreme Leader then released a statement asserting that Ahmadinejad was, in fact, the clear victor. Iran is a modern country, and its people knew that this result didn’t add up. Mousavi’s supporters – who very much constitute the majority of the population – began protesting and rioting. In response, the government shut down EVERYTHING. They shut down the internet, cell phone towers, television, radio – you name it. They didn’t want the rest of the world to know that they had, effectively, stolen the election. The one thing they failed to shut down, at least initially, was SMS. News leaked out. The revolution, to quote many, was Twittered.

Remember the television footage of the enormous Obama rallies that took place before our election? Well, now imagine that there are snipers from our military sitting atop buildings around one of those rallies, shooting haphazardly into the crowd. Real bullets, not rubber ones. The country’s major university was attacked; shots were fired through dormitory doors. Students and professors have gone missing, been arrested, or left campus in protest or in fear. Because they make up a large portion of the protestors, young people are being subjected to terrific violence.

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri was once next-in-line to become Supreme Leader of Iran; he was forced to resign in 1989 for privately criticizing the current regime’s political and social stances. To quote View from the Occident, Montazeri “is widely respected and is one of the most senior, if not the most senior, religious scholars in Iran. He is also the leading ‘dissident’ scholar who has suffered for his principled stands against state power.”

Today, Grand Ayatollah Montazeri released the following statement (as translated from the original Persian):

In the name of God

People of Iran

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from any social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government’s officials to bond with their people.

But unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and to counter people protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientifics.

Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you :

1- A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress all critical views. I fear that this lead to the lost of people’s faith in Islam.

2- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

3- I invite everyone, specially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues in calm, and not let those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

4- I ask the police and army personals not to “sell their religion”, and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before god. Recognize the protesting youth as your children. Today censor and cutting telecommunication lines can not hide the truth.

I pray for the greatness of the Iranian people.

 

May reasonable, rational, and fairer minds prevail.

 
Image Credit: Andrew Sullivan, designed for Facebook profiles

Buying, Playing, and New Arrivals

Right now, I would REALLY like to buy this. I love it to death. It’s perfect for my bike.

Instead, I think I am going to go buy a push broom and some groceries. Meh. Also perfect for a bike is fuel for its rider, right?

 

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In other news, I am apparently going to be playing percussion (cannot, in good conscious, call myself a percussionist, even now) for the Meridian Symphony Orchestra! La sorella has been playing horn for them for a while; I had expressed mild wistfulness about playing with an orchestra up until their May 12 Young Artist competition concert, when the sheer beauty of the music collided with my desire to play just as they began advertising for some more percussionists. (Dude, that’s a long sentence. Yikes.)

I went to their rehearsal last night, and talked with the director afterwards. We agreed that I was not what he was looking for in the whole “able to play snare drum with any confidence whatsoever” category, but as it turns out, he was also looking for someone to play mallets. Piano background to the rescue! I’ve been playing primarily mallets in ACCB this past year, and while I’m certainly not up to par with someone with any actual training on mallets, I’m not bad. I’m a good reader and, more  importantly, I have a good sense of internal rhythm.

 

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Teh intranetz are a weird and wonderful thing, wherein you can grow to feel acquainted with someone even if you’ve never  spoken to one another in person. I am one of roughly three gazillion people who feel inexplicably friendly with Heather Armstrong (a.k.a Dooce) despite being fully aware that she has no idea that I exist.

Despite that, I feel moved to welcome her latest masterpiece, Marlo Iris Armstrong. Congratulations! (Cute baby pictures if you follow the link.)

 

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And yes, Jessica, I’m writing. Teh blogz, they warm up le barrette and il cervello. And if a small portion of that creative energy is expelled in surreptitiously using Babel Fish to affect a familiarity with Italian nouns, well – nyah. 🙂