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C'est la Z

Tag: misc

Election Thoughts - feeling hope but still concerned

I don't usually talk politics on this blog but it is the news of the day. We truly are at a turning point in this country and we should all be concerned with the road we take. Yesterday the media outlets called the election for Biden/Harris. It's not over but I thought this would be as good a time as any to share some thoughts and more importantly concerns.
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53 trips around the sun

In the 10 plus years of this blog I've never done a post on my birthday. Okay, maybe I've written one on my birthday but never talked about it. Why this year? No particular reason. Maybe because I'm getting older. I'm 53 today. Devorah will turn 54 in a month - from there one year until she can retire. I can follow a year later. I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing but it's nice to know that in two years I'll have a lot of options on the table.
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Unplugging with Bob Ross

It's been a long year since March. Many of us have not really been able to leave NYC for a variety of reasons - financial, professional, or family to name a few. Other than a couple of small escapes in the last two weeks we've been home and working from home in our Manhattan apartment since this all started. Early on we didn't get out much and we still aren't and that does take its toll.
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Scared teachers can't teach and scared students won't learn

I've been reading a lot of takes on NYC schools reopening. We've had daily conversations about it with our summer teachers but conversations abound on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else. Many salient points have been raised - given the DOE's track record, can they make things safe and will they? Can they be trusted? Given that any policy needs all players to follow the rules - students, teachers, and staff how can that ever happen?
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PSA on CSTA (NYC)

Just a quick public service announcemnt. Up until now CSTA-NYC has been using Meetup to organize and advertise events but now they're moving over to using the CSTA site as their platform. If you're a CS teacher you should be a part of CSTA. There's both a free tier and a plus tier which costs $50 a year. I've been a plus member since that level became available.
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Supporting Our Students

Austin Cory Bart put together a great post about supporting Black students in CS1. Cory asked about this on the SIGCSE mailing list and in his post he both breaks things down and shares all the resources that he compiled from the ensuing discussion. There's a lot of good stuff both in the post and in the links but there's a lot to get lost in. As teachers we can sometimes affect change at a department or school level but we can always make a difference in our classes and with our students.
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Teachers and Police

Teachers and Police It's been an ugly few days but perhaps in some ways a hopeful few as people have been making their voices heard like never before in my lifetime. We've seen and endless stream of videos of peaceful protest and far too many instances of police officers overstepping their bounds. I keep hearing about violent protesters but those videos seem to be avoiding my feeds as are the videos of law enforcement going after the looters who are a separate group from the protestors.
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Before condemning try walking in their shoes

I've got some CS Ed stuff I want to write but can't bring myself to writing about it today. I rarely post outside of my wheelhouse - CS, Education and the intersection of the two. I don't really think I'm qualified to say much about the current crisis. The out of control police, racism, class warfare, a failed government not only at the federal level but also in New York city and state but maybe I can share something worthwhile from my narrow experiences.
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My Covid-19 Journey (so far)

I haven't been posting much over the past couple of weeks and that's partly because we've been under the weather. Yep - Covid-19. First things first - we're all either recovered or well on the way. I thought I'd write up our experience as it might be useful for others who are going through similar. This disease is weird and seems to affect people differently but three of us followed a similar path.
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Email or USPS

USPS is in financial trouble. That's been pretty well documented recently. Most reasonable people will recognize that the USPS is both an important service and while it receives no taxpayer support would be profitable were it not for the GOP imposing unfair and unrealistic pension funding requirements in 2006. Although I'm an ardent supporter of the post office and feel that privatization of such an important intuition would be criminal today I want to talk about some small repercussions of so many things going to email rather than snail mail.
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