Tuesday, July 31, 2007

History of Photography

Paula and I went to see the American Photography exhibit at the newly renovated and expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art here in KC this afternoon when we were done at the National Archives.

Very interesting daguerreotypes and how they fit into the larger history of photography. Because visual history is so integral to what teachers do, we'll heavily integrate this and other great expertise Paula has to incorporate more visual history into what teachers already know how to do successfully with their students.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 30, 2007

Amazon kerfuffles the market

Amazon continues to amaze everyone except Jeff Bezos. This article in USA Today explores how Bezos' strategy to make the customer first and foremost brings the bigger rewards.

I encourage students to use them given that they provide more jobs in Kansas with their Coffeyville warehouse than our university bookstore who, because of its corporate ownership, focuses on the used book market and still takes weeks to get books in for students when it just doesn't take that long.

I have tried out the Amazon Prime approach to the faster shipping but found it all depends on what and how many you are ordering for it to work. Mr. Bezos only has control over so much.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

I made it another year. I wonder what next year holds in store????

Friday, July 27, 2007


One more big project is off the table - a few more to go before vacation. I can't believe school will be back in session in less than a month. I have a feeling that this fall will go even faster than sabbatical did.

I still haven't made it to the pool yet this summer . . . will have to work on that.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Waking up to Mr. Redbird

I finally made it back to the farm for a few days. About 6am, I kept hearing something like a 3 stroke hammering outside. It was a bit scary to wake up to that given that there should be no people close enough to the house to be making that noise. When I went into the next room which seemed like it would be closer to the noise and had a window, I saw Mr. Redbird, once again, trying to get in. The little guy is tenacious but, after more than a month of this, it's slowly slipping into the arena of "not very smart." There he goes again - back to the kitchen window where I usually don't have a shadow down.

Two deer were out last night when I arrived - I had to stop to make sure the second one wasn't going to try to follow across the driveway and hit me. Then I saw them this morning- they are quite spectacular - the white tales are especially dramatic in the more earthy tones of the farm morning.

The approach to weed control I used on the driveway seems to be working and with some minor follow-through (less than 2 hours) today, I should be able to be mostly finished with that for the year - that's about two months of work savings. And, the weed control stuff we're using around the house is also helping although the ground cover is not quite where it needs to be to get that where I want it to be - but that will change in the fall with one more attempt at planting.

It's been unusually cool in the mornings for summer - esp. late July - and I plan to take advantage of that. I have some poison ivy that I "caught" in town and not here - that has been the case the last two times. So, I will obviously be especially vigilant on that.

I also have several projects and a vision statement to work on today. A friend is coming out so that we can do some collaborating and just have company while we work and enjoy the farm before the new academic year begins anew.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Horizon

There are some interesting possibilities on the horizon and lots of things to consider. It will be interesting to me to see what actually develops. Sabbatical has been more than fruitful and I am excited about the options ahead of me - especially for publication and additional interaction with colleagues across the country.

It was very satisfying to finish our first TAHPS institute. By incorporating what we have learned from all past TAH grants (as well as my involvement in/interaction with others throughout the country), more of our goals were achieved in Year 1 - which means we can reach even higher in Year 3. There is real commitment evident on the part of the teachers - something we haven't had from the majority of the group since Project eHIKES. The MA work tied them together and only part of this group is doing that but the group work and expectations of performance made all the difference. Next year will be even less stressful given that they will know more about what to expect from their work with us.

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Last Day of TAHPS Institute

I can't believe it's already our last day for our summer institute. This has been a great group and I'm looking forward to working with them over the next 3 years. Today teachers are presenting about PowerPoint, attending Gilder Lehrman Institute summer seminars across the nation, and the states assessments that will be given to students this spring.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TAHPS Institute Week #2

We're off and running with the second week of the teacher institute for TAHPS. We did economic history yesterday and today we're moving to the Harlem Renaissance.

The teachers were great at digging into technology yesterday - we did Google Docs and Picassa in addition to the blogging they are already doing. They already got into Second Life - at least the intro video from YouTube.

Today should be fun with all the media stuff Cary is going to show them.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

TAHPS First Week Institute

We finished a successful first week of our institute. Everyone is getting to know one another and they all worked really hard this past week. For the most part, they are diving right in and making the most of the opportunity.

We spent 3 days at the Liberty Memorial and then traded off days at the Eisenhower Library and the National Archives in Kansas City. I think this group will make the most of the online resources available from the National Archives. We'll also have more regular interaction with them online as we incorporate more group projects online via Google Docs and through other forms of social networking.

I enjoyed sleeping in my own bed last night. Most of all, I"m enjoying time with Shadow. I've structured the institute so that I'm not so overwhelmed for two solid weeks and yet we're getting the same type of measured responses we need for grant documentation to the federal government.

Next week, we'll primarily be in Topeka with a one-day visit to the 18th & Vine Museums and to see Eric Langhorst. Meanwhile, it's time to wash the car and mow the lawn once the dew dries off. I may even make it to the swimming pool later today.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sad Day


Teaching American History with Primary Sources (TAHPS)

We've just started our fourth Teaching American History grant with teachers that are primarily from northeast Kansas. We're at the Liberty Memorial for 3 days and the teachers are enjoying their Gilder Lehrman Institute on the Cold War with Professor Thomas Heinrich of Baruch College and Mike Fienga of the New York City Public Schools.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I was able to wash the car this morning and mow the back part of the yard to be gone this week and next. It was just too hot outside to do more.

Iced Vanilla Latte is my new drink and I've finally gone to our local Starbucks.

Tomorrow it's off to get started with teachers again.

Summer is in full swing.

Labels: , , ,

1408 trailer & video clips on Yahoo! Summer Movie Guide

1408 trailer & video clips on Yahoo! Summer Movie Guide

This looks interesting . ... and John Cusack is a definite plus!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mr. Redbird is still here

Now that the waters have parted, I was able to get back out to the farm.

I was waiting for a repair person when I kept hearing something bang against the kitchen window. Mr. Redbird is back. Poor little guy is determined- it's like he's taking a running start at it and then sits on the window and tries to figure out why he can't get in. He worked on it for several hours today - even after I went out to chat with him about how he wasn't ever going to get in. I just hope I don't find him dead on the deck - poor little guy.

I finished the BIG project yesterday - just in time to go to dinner and watch fireworks. Today I was able to get quite a bit of work done on a syllabus (or at least course planning) and then this evening was quite productive outside with the weedeater and the sprayer for the weedkiller. I bought a little Black and Decker battery-powered sprayer - it's been great! I'll work outside again in the morning when it's cool. Now that it has quite raining every day, summer really is here.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Let Freedom Ring!

2007 Kansas-Oklahoma Flooding Slide Show

The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO - 2007 Kansas-Oklahoma Flooding Slide Show

Monday, July 02, 2007


Where did the weekend go? Am almost done with the big project.

Caught up with colleagues long-distance today. Paula gave me a hard time about discussing the weather too much but then dovetailed it into a discussion of environmental history.

So what about visuals of the latest weather?

Labels: , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]