Day 2: CMK 2011 – Inspiration and Renewed Enthusiasm


Well, our hotel is a happening place. When we arrived, a dance competition was just finishing up, and now we have the band Kiss in concert across the street at the arena (I wanna rock and roll all nite). I seriously feel in need of a jumpsuit. It seems like at least the road crew is staying here as the were multiple buses in the drive earlier, and all kinds of matchy matchy shiny suitcases in many sizes have been coming in on the luggage carts. Top it off, the Eastern Division of Double A Baseball is having its all star game at the local stadium tomorrow. Did I mention this place is happening?

And we aren’t flashy, but we are pretty awesome in our own way.

Today Jonathan Kozol spoke. He was nothing short of inspirational. He talked about the soul sucking atmosphere of the public school system in the United States today. He believes that we are in the midst of a very successful recapturing of education by the most conservative minds in the country who do so with the most utilitarian goals. He passionately defended Dewey’s ideas of education through experience and the cultivation of independent thinking in the face of a resurgence of the theories of (the thoroughly discredited) BF Skinner.

But he is not disillusioned or laboring under the idea that it is futile to teach. He reminded us that, “Teaching is one of the best two or three ways to spend your life.” He added that, “I think it’s a beautiful profession, a wonderful way to serve the world,” but that he hoped to not encourage anyone boring, only people “that I’d want to sit next to on a flight to Los Angeles.”

We worked on our projects today. I had a change of plan. I was planning on switching to MicroWorlds and the logo programming language to create the tessellated patterns that mimic the tiles that I saw in Islamic Spain. But Artemis Papert and Brian Silverman arrived and I was reassured that it was possible to do what I wanted to do with Turtle Art. So with renewed enthusiasm I worked on my project to relative success. I managed to create a shape, repeat the shape, and understand the relationship of the shapes to each other on the xy plane. I’d say: success.

See, more complicated and much less trial and error. I’m learning.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenny says:

    Turtle art is what I spent all day playing with at the Constructivist Celebration just a few weeks ago. I’m so sad not to be there learning along side you! Thanks for the posts – I’m so glad to be able to at least connect with CMK this way.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      We miss you both! There are a couple of folks who have returned from last year, and it’s nice to reconnect. I’m enjoying Turtle Art. It’s a nice balance of hard stuff and good, easy fun. Like Goldilocks, I’d say it was just right.

  2. hi,
    You mentioned in one of your post how its important to document ones learning. What has been the most effective way for you to document your learning? Im curious to what you have found that works the best for you. I am trying to target in to how i can best learn and document my learning better.


    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Oscar – I find that this blog has become the place that I document my own learning. When I travel, try something new, see something in a new way – learn – I tend to blog about it. I process things in words, and writing about my experiences tends to help me untangle my thought processes and put things in order.

      I think it depends on you. How do you organize your thinking? With images? With words? With artifacts? There are ways to document for these and other ways.

      Good luck, and thanks for reading and taking time to ask a question.

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