Winter Weather Roundup

My university rescheduled today and Friday’s final exams ahead of the winter weather we’re getting–aka we Southerners don’t know what to do with this ice thing you speak of and no one has a large enough city budget to pre-de-ice roads. Oh, and as a campus with just under a 1000 students living on campus but with an enrollment of 7,000, most of those people are driving in from somewhere else, some over 30 miles away. There’s also the fact that FSM is in a valley, surrounded by two mountain-like ranges–the tail end of the Ozarks and the Ouachitas. Getting into town in ice is not exactly easy. All justifications aside–and at a certain point upper admin just had to be tired of fielding all the calls and emails from students wondering what they should do–we’ve essentially got study days. Admittedly, they’re a day after the first finals began, but I’m not complaining. I should be grading, but I took my snow day morning. Here’s some reading to get you through the ice/snowpocalypse. (We get snow tomorrow!)

Fascinating long article on extreme fundamentalist groups and homeschooling.

Interesting mediation on literacy, computer coding, and whether computer coding should be added to the K-12 curriculum. I learned to use Basic in high school, a system I’ve never used since. But I can see how learning html would be highly useful for content creation. I agree with the point that our literacy rates are abysmal and anytime away from reading is probably not a good use of time, but I also think we need students to learn how to make content as well as consume it online. Of course, I struggle to get them to even read basic news pieces online, forget about getting them to understand that a newspaper (print or digital) is made up of a variety of different kinds of stories. And this is on the college level.

New York Mag is moving to a fortnightly print format. Is this end of print journalism? Again? Or just heralding the next wave of digital content production? I’m still reading the Approval Matrix either way, and you should be too.

James Poniewozick’s Top ten list of TV Shows for 2013. The list is good, but the explanatory material before the list is the best. He really detests this part of the job, and the explanatory rationale for how the list gets made, including his responses to the usual complaints he gets are funny. My fav:

Aren’t top 10 lists just shameless trolling for readers? Sure! Also, they’re sort of a lie. Yes, this is, more or less, list of what I thought were the 10 best shows of the year. But I also think a list should be a document in itself–a statement, as a whole, of what I value in TV and what TV did best this year. So it’s, sort of, a list of the 10 best shows of the year and, sort of, a list of the 10 shows that represented the best in TV this year–which are related, but not exactly the same thing.

Such a smart response to our need for best of lists as a form of cultural accounting. But that’s a different post I’ll write after I do all the grading.



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