Log in

No account? Create an account
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-07-08 05:09
Subject: [links] Link salad wakes up, wishes it had not done so
Security: Public
Tags:art, culture, food, links, personal, politics, process, publishing, tech, weird, writing
Jim Van Pelt (and Blondie) on Reader Expectations — Good stuff, Maynard.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves — Another interesting squib from Science In My Fiction.

Jeff VanderMeer on the future of publishing

Tin House-gatePolyphony had exactly this problem. (Via Scriveners's Error.)

Almost the Fried Olives of His Dreamsshelly_rae with the fried olive report. Mmmm.

The Mark of a MasterpieceThe man who keeps finding famous fingerprints on uncelebrated works of art. Or maybe not. Forensics in the world of fine art. (Via danjite.)

A Call to End Teacher Tenure — I had a very unpleasant experience with overt and unrepentant abuse of tenure that nearly stopped me from graduating with my B.A., so my feelings about this kind of issue are rather mixed. (And yes, the piece is talking about primary and secondary schools, not higher education.)

Kitchen appliances that bite — More weirdness from Dark Roasted Blend.

Solar Impulse plane starts 24-hour test flightThe aim is to assess whether the plane can fly in darkness. Um... (Yes, there's more to the story, but that cutline is ridiculously funny to me.)

Put Away the FlagsRemembering Howard Zinn on July 4th True patriotism doesn't require a yellow ribbon on your SUV.

Palin and Mondale — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison with an odd (to me, at least) but interesting piece of comparative political analysis.

?otD: What price glory?

Writing time yesterday: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (fitful)
This morning's weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 4/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, emotional turmoil)
Currently (re)reading: God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert

Post A Comment | 9 Comments | | Flag | Link

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2010-07-08 13:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Right, I forgot that economics is the only thing anyone researches.

When all you've got is a hammer, everything starts looking like nails... Freakonomics seems to have jumped the shark lately, and I think this is one of the causes; economic arguments apply to lots of things other than finances, but eventually one can run out of valid candidates.

-- Steve does think that "teacher tenure" is an oddity, coming as he does from an education system that doesn't have it... but thinks that eliminating that won't be a magic bullet cure for the problem of bumbling teachers, given the number of incompetant twits he encountered going through primary and secondary school.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-07-08 13:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Truthfully, very few of my primary and secondary teachers were bumblers. But then I went to a variety of private schools, attending public school (in the USAnian sense) only for 1st and 7th grade.

So maybe there was selection bias...

University, on the other hand, was filled with oddballs in teaching positions. Some of them brilliant, and some of them, frankly, not.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-07-08 15:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The real reason for tenure is political protection of free speech. Even with tenure and union support, k-12 teachers can and are fired for offenses that would scarcely raise an eyebrow in other industries (such as pictures posted online with a drink in hand--on your own time! "Morals clauses" are unwritten but do exist).

Tenure is no protection if an administrator can allege insubordination (and insubordination in Teacher World is direly, drastically different from Real World. Any critique of upper management is insubordination that could conceivably be considered a fireable offense). Additionally, parents and students can and do embark on personal vendettas against teachers which may be unjustified.

Tenured teachers can be disposed of in a flash if an administrator is sufficiently inclined. Unfortunately the usual targets aren't the incompetent (who usually know how to keep on the good side of the administrator) but the effective teacher who stands up to the latest fad that doesn't work and objects to strategies that don't work. The reality is that so-called reforms are usually nothing new--just a previous fad that has been slightly reworked. I've worked with 30 year teachers, and can't tell you the number of times that one of them has cut through the hype and BS to point out that said technique is little different from something they've already seen in two or three forms before, didn't work then and is unlikely to work now.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2010-07-08 13:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There seems to be a bit of reading comprehension difficulty at media bistro. Tin House is asking for a bookstore receipt, not receipt proving Tin House was bought. I also find this a playful solution to overwhelming slush piles.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: talekyn
Date: 2010-07-08 14:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I find myself buying far more literary magazines than I actually end up reading. I've got a subscription to Tin House and to Glimmer Train, and I regularly pick up Ecotone, Zoetrope All-Story, The Strand and Realms of Fantasy at the bookstore, along with any other short fiction magazine that a) catches my interest or b) looks like a market for my work. I hadn't heard about Tin House's "receipt" policy, and I can see how easily blown out of proportion it gets when people don't actually go to Tin House's site to read their exact language.

Still, I've always believed in supporting the markets I might be submitting to. It's good karma, if nothing else.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-07-08 15:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"It's a lousy war, kid... but it's the only one we've got."

I'm amused by the idea of square hardboiled eggs. What fun for making deviled eggs with.
Reply | Thread | Link

Twilight: Daria
User: twilight2000
Date: 2010-07-08 16:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
While I know you (and others for that matter) have had the occasional really ugly run in with bad tenure situations, the problem from the other end is that teachers who don't have the protection of tenure can be easily fired for having an opinion that disagrees with anyone - the principal, the board, the ptsa - hell, one loudly outspoken parent.

Tenure, like unions, has it's issues - but exist for a reason - if you want teachers to be able to explore unpopular ideas (like say, science) with their students, then tenure is a REALLY important piece of that.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: e_bourne
Date: 2010-07-08 18:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My teachers were nuns. Some were good, Some were excellent, a couple were cruel. Austin's teachers were normal people, and the same seemed to apply.

I'm pretty ignorant about teaching. I know I'd be awful at it. Still, it seems to me, if we want excellence in teaching, we should pay for it. No one wants to pay for it. Which I think is stupid. If we don't educate for excellence in K-12, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. I don't know how much I care about college if we don't manaqe really good to excellent K-12, and we don't. We suck. If we don't care enough to educate well the next generation, there is where our future ends.

And that is all I know about education.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: daveraines
Date: 2010-07-08 20:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know about incompetent teachers, because I was one. HS English, grades 10-12. One of the biggest favors anybody ever did me was my supervisor saying, "this isn't working out." I answered, "I know. Tell you what, if you won't contest unemployment comp, I'm out of here."

Good teaching is *tough*. I say, first get a good teacher, then grant tenure.
Reply | Thread | Link

my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances