11
Dec
13

How to Fix a Nonresponsive Smartboard

Teachers! If your Smartboard has trouble tracking your position, especially in only certain areas of the board, and doing a calibration doesn’t work for you, try this:

Take a 3×5 index card (or other thin, stiff paper product,) slide it between the board surface and the bottom frame, and slide it completely across, left to right or right to left. I think this removes accumulated dirt, skin cells, etc., and may make your board responsive again.

Good luck!

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06
Jun
10

Stick a fork in me…

… I think this blog is done.  Johnseeking, signing off.

15
Apr
10

Romney/Palin 2012?

Your thoughts? Seems like it would be a pretty formidable ticket. But could they unseat the incumbent messiah?

CLICK HERE for Boston Herald coverage.

30
Mar
10

Highly Recommended

A conversation with my wife led to a headsmack/”yeah, huh?” moment this morning.

We have a friend who needed me to write a letter of recommendation as part of her application to a math and science teacher training program. I love it when people ask me to do things like this, because I get a big kick out of pointing out things I see in people that maybe they don’t see in themselves.

For an antisocial sort, I’m actually pretty fond of people. On a personal level. (It’s just the GROUPS I don’t particularly care for, I guess. But anyway.)

I wrote the letter yesterday, and emailed a copy to my friend, who seemed quite happy at what I had written about her. And it makes me feel GOOD to make people feel GOOD about themselves. And that’s what I told my wife.

In a moment of sheer, clouds-parting clarity, she looks sidelong at me (in the mirror… still working out the geometry of that one) and says, “You know… you don’t have to wait for someone to ask for a letter like that, or for someone to be applying for something. You could just write one, if you like doing it so much.”

My first instinct was, “Why would I do that? Who would read it?”

Oh yeah… I could write it and give it to them.

So I think I’ll make it my goal to write one “letter of recommendation” a week. And see what happens.

I like blessing people. I like writing. ZOUNDS! I can do BOTH AT ONCE?!?!?

23
Mar
10

Pilot light going out on your water heater? Try this…

About a week and a half ago, our two-year old Reliance 606 gas water heater started… well… NOT heating water.  Turns out that the pilot light (the small jet of gas that keeps burning so it can light the main burner to heat the water) kept going out.

A quick troll of several appliance message boards (read: gripefests) revealed that this was a common problem.  I emailed someone at the water heater company, and got this from them:

Thank you for contacting help@hotwater.com, it sounds as if the flame arrestor on the water heater is restricted not allowing air to flow through the burner chamber. I am sending you a link to a video which will show you the correct way to clean your water heater’s screen and flame arrestor. Simply click on the following link to view the short video (you will have to push the play button “>” for the video to start).

http://www.hotwater101.com/video/gas-filtercleaning.html

If you are unable to play the video, there is also a PDF you could print out or view on your computer. The PDF contains an illustrated step by step instructions guide for cleaning your water heater’s filter and flame arrestor.

Thank you, Technical Support Department

If I can figure out how to embed the video here, I’ll do it later.  But click the link above and watch it.  It seems to have worked.

10
Feb
10

Fear of FAIL… and Why We Need to Screw Up More Often

I’m inspired by a fantastic piece up over at Ars Technica that I just read.  Matthew Lasar, the author, offers a three-page rogue’s gallery of lesser-known inventors and innovators in telecommunications.  All of them failed to capitalize on their discoveries, usually because they were a few decades ahead of their time.

Here’s the article.  (Clicky Readey)

As a teacher, what strikes me the most about this is the alarming trend in child rearing and education to shield a kid’s purportedly fragile self-esteem from the “crushing” experience of failure.

Parents, fellow teachers, and other responsible, compassionate adults reading this: please hear me.  It is MUCH more important that a child learn how to fail and learn from the failure than it is for them to experience success.  To fail to do so is to produce a person with an inflated ego due to an overestimation of his or her own abilities, and to whom the entire concept of “trial and error” is an alien thing.

Perhaps worse still, you deprive them of the thrill of success that only truly comes after repeated, failing attempts.

So let them bump their heads, skin their knees, fail a school paper or project, or even an entire class.  Then be there to help show them the most important part of the process: how to dust yourself off, clean up the blood, accept the natural consequences of your choices, and ultimately try, try again.

27
Jan
10

It was probably a neo-conservative bagel, too…

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9DGA1800&show_article=1




The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
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