Archive for the 'Blogging/TMS' Category

TMS is the Featured Blog at Thursday Thirteen!

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

I’m so excited! THE MEDIAN SIB is the “old-timer” featured blog at the Thursday Thirteen hub!  This week’s Thursday Thirteen was my 33rd one!  That makes me 1/3 of the way to a hundred.  YEA for TMS!

The Thursday Thirteen meme is a fun way to get to know other bloggers.  I’ve only missed a few TT’s since I started joining the weekly fun.  I look forward to it every week.  It’s fascinating to read the other blogs and see what topics everyone has chosen.  The creativity and fun of the other participants always inspires me.


If you don’t participate in Thursday Thirteen, I encourage you to click on over, read about it and join in!

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To Blog or not to Blog? That is the Question!

Monday, October 16th, 2006

This morning while reading The Cotillion email, I saw that Kathleen of Right Wing Sparkle has decided to quit blogging.  As I read her last post, I found myself agreeing with her.  What use is blogging anyway?  I’ve gone through so many stages of blogging: I’ve loved it, hated it, tolerated it, been frustrated with it, felt driven to do it, have been offended by it, laughed at it, and had fun with it.  Some posts take hours of tedious work.  Others write themselves in minutes.  When I think of what I’ve written, I’m proud, ashamed, embarrassed, happy all at the same time. 

One time I got so frustrated at what I perceived was the futility of blogging that I started deleting posts, and I deleted about 30 posts before I realized that I didn’t have to delete anything - I could just stop writing.  And so I stopped – for about a day.  Then I was back at it – minus about 30 posts that are gone forever.

When I think about the blogs I read regularly, 99% of them are blogs that I agree with politically or philosophically.  When I DO read blogs from a liberal perspective (which is not my perspective), I refuse to comment.  My comments won’t change anyone’s thinking, and it would only cause hard feelings. 

Then there are the idiots that make blogging a pain – the people who create commenting spam and email spam.  I wonder if there are truly people left on earth who still fall for all those stupid ads and get-rich-quick schemes.  Does anyone still click on links embedded in comments? Apparently the answer is yes because despite the spam blockers I put on the comments for THE MEDIAN SIB, dozens of spam comments still get through to my “comment moderation” page each day.  I then must spend time classifying them as spam and deleting them.  And idiots are still using my web address to send out spam to others.  So each day I must deal with numerous “returned emails” from spam sent from my web address. 

It’s easy to get caught up in traffic – how many people visit THE MEDIAN SIB each day and how many people comment.  My competitive nature kicks into gear, and I want to write about something controversial in order to get more hits and more comments.  Then I have to remind myself that increasing traffic is not my purpose here.

It comes down to the question of whether or not THE MEDIAN SIB makes a difference or serves a purpose.  And, for me, it does.  I know I won’t make a difference it anyone’s thinking.  Sometimes I might provide new information or a different way of looking at things.  Mostly, though, my blogging is for me.  It makes a difference to me.  It’s a form of journaling and communicating. It helps me work through my ideas and thoughts.  It helps me solidify my thinking. 

We don’t have the opportunity to sit down and discuss all our thoughts and opinions with our loved ones.  When I’m long gone, there will still be THE MEDIAN SIB floating around in cyberspace with my words there for my children and grandchildren to read, if they’re so inclined.  Thus, it is also a way of documenting my life.

Greta, at Hooah Wife and Friends wrote this:

“We are all stumbling through life, just some of us do it on a blog, out loud, for the world to read.” ~Greta~


 Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy also talks about how the world needs more Sparkle.

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What about spam sent via my domain?

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

I keep getting email about emails that have been returned as “undeliverable” – and each time the email in question is from my domain. For example, it might be or – always some random combination of numbers and/or letters followed by my domain name. Obviously someone is sending out spam supposedly from my domain. I double-checked my account and there is only one email account associated with – mine.

I’m definitely NOT knowledgeable about how this works and how to stop it. Any suggestions? I hate for people to be getting spam and thinking it’s from me. I also hate for spammers to be using my domain’s name. Is this a virus? or what?

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Blogging and the LA Times

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

In perusing my site meter last night, I saw several hits from The LA Times. The LA Times? Why are people coming to my blog from there? So I clicked the link and found that the LA Times online had reprinted an entire post of mine – along with a typo (which I have since corrected on the post) – and with links to The Median Sib. It was on their schools/education page. For posterity, HERE’S the link to the article in The LA Times. It has only generated a couple dozen hits since yesterday. But still it’s nice to have a little publicity.

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Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things I Learned From Hosting the Carnival of Education

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006


On Wednesday I hosted the Carnival of Education. It was quite a learning experience – a GOOD learning experience. Here are 13 things I learned:

1. There were way more submissions for the carnival than I thought there would be.
2. It took me approximately 8-10 hours of work to get the carnival ready to be published.
3. I am a visual, hands-on learner as evidenced by the fact that I had to print out every single submission so I could read it and highlight what I wanted to quote in the carnival. I just couldn’t organize it all online.
4. There are always people who don’t follow the directions for submitting posts for the carnival.
5. There are a LOT of wonderful blogs out there that I wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for the carnival.
6. I proofread and proofread and proofread again, but there were still mistakes found after the carnival was published.
7. In this week’s carnival, there were two incorrect links that I didn’t know about until commenters told me.
8. Both incorrect links were because of errors on my part, and I corrected them as soon as I knew about them.
9. Just because a person is a teacher doesn’t mean that person can spell. One submission had a really good quote, but I didn’t use it because there was a glaring spelling error in it, and I didn’t want to link to a spelling error in an education carnival.
10. Some people submit material for a carnival that has nothing to do with the topic of the carnival.
11. Most people wait until immediately before the deadline to submit their posts.
12. Hosting the carnival more than quadrupled my traffic for the day. Actually it quintupled (is that a word?) my traffic.
13. Hosting the carnival was fun, but exhausting. I hope to host it again, but not for awhile.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Carnival of Education – 85th Edition

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006


Welcome to the 85th edition of the Carnival of Education. It’s my first time to host the carnival, and I’ve had a blast reading all the submissions. Education bloggers are a diverse group! Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who are so passionate about the world of education.

Now let’s get on with the show!


What goes on in our classrooms? Why do we teach? What are the rewards of teaching? We’ll start off with an “editor’s choice” post from THE SHREWDNESS OF APES. Ms. Cornelius found out that when a child told her, “Wow, you know what? I learned something!” it wasn’t what Ms. C had intended.

Mamacita at Scheiss Weekly has no doubt who has and who hasn’t a valid excuse for being late. She mentions a “mean streak”, but I don’t believe it for a minute.

Michelle at Texas Ed has some ideas that are helpful when it comes to geography.

Don’t use a laser pen in class when IB a Math Teacher is there.

You’re in the middle of a lesson, and the intercom interrupts your class. A student has early dismissal for a dentist appointment. You have to deal with not only the interruption but with providing make-up work. Mr. Lawrence at Get Lost, Mr. Chips writes:

I think this reflects the attitude many parents have towards school: it’s just an inconvenience that gets in the way of the various other commitments we have in life.

Muse at me-ander just wants some RESPECT from her middle school students.

I thought that my students would behave better if they knew that I could actually throw the ball into the basket.

We’ve all heard about the “can do” spirit. La Maestra at California Livewire talks about the first weeks of school and Confronting the Culture of Can’t Do.

Anonymous Educator knows just how to handle students who ask for extra help.

I remember long, long ago – very long ago – when I had the same realization that History Geek had recently.

. . . it didn’t really occur to me until this past birthday that “I’m one of the grownups now.”

Enjoy it, History Geek. We go from the energetic young teacher to the wise veteran (i.e. old) teacher much too quickly.

Do you know the teacher union representative at your school? Dr. Homeslice asks:

Is your building union person a soldier or a diplomat? Both? One more than the other? How does it work for them? How are they regarded?

He adds:

I have learned the virtues of a closed door conversation.

It’s a balancing act. Read to find out how Dr. Homeslice manages it.

What do you think about group work? Hate it? Love it? Right Wing Nation has “Navigating the Group Work Maze.”

If part of our mission is to prepare students for work after the university, collaboration is a must, since most will be working in groups when they get jobs.

Denise at Let’s Play Math presents us with a challenge: Can you and your students make up some original math problems?

Sage Advice Needed” for La Maestra at California Livewire. What do YOU think is the most commonly asked question in the classroom?

My offering from The Median Sib is entitled “What Are Parents Thinking?” Sometimes I just don’t believe what parents tell me.


One of my favorite quotes for this week comes from Here in the Bonny Glen. This poignant post is another “editor’s choice.”

You seldom do know that the last time is the last time when you’re living it. Later, when you realize, it smacks you in the heart.

She’s writing about a special homeschooling time, but all of us can think of some last times that we didn’t know would be last timesl

Is it “Overreacting or Plausible Fear“? Teaching in the Twenty-First Century wants to know.

If your child is learning Latin, Trivium Pursuit can help.

Badgermama Liz tells us that “It is not cute. It is not right.” in “I’m not buying it, and I’m not selling it.”

For a little levity check out the “Musical Accord” contract at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

Kelly at Pass The Torch has found that email makes life easier for parents.

Coach Brown TIVO’d the news one evening and heard a mother talk about the use of cell phones by students. He writes:

It could have been the most naive thing I’ve ever heard on public television.


Do you remember the news story about the retired teacher who died and left 1.3 million dollars to her school district? Well, Nina tells us how to retire rich on a teacher’s salary. And it doesn’t have anything to do with marrying money or robbing a bank either.

From Get on the Bus, Scott writes:

Teachers, take a look at what Thomas Allor is doing and how much he is making and then try to tell me he’s not a genius.


Steve Hargadon discusses OpenOffice via an interview with

“Whoever decided upon these two books ought to be shot,” writes Chanman of Buckhorn Road in “Adventures in Textbook Adoption.

Textbook Evaluator writes about “The Quest for the Holy Grail: Which instructional materials will raise student achievement?”


One of my fellow Cotillion ladies, CaltechGirl at Not Exactly Rocket Science, writes about the gender gap in science. Wait. Is there a gender gap in science?

One thing the study doesn’t seem to consider is that women often PREFER to opt out of the higher academic jobs because of the demanding schedule. We CHOOSE to remain in a comfortable lab, where our schedule is more flexible, we can work with the people we choose to work with, and we have time to be ourselves and actually SEE our families.

This is the elephant in the living room. Academic Science has many of them.

The Education Wonks discusses a disturbing case involving trust. This is another “editor’s choice” post.

. . . when it comes to their students, both administrators and teachers need to be trusted with the truth.


Pre-K is a subject that’s widely discussed. Ryan at edspresso discusses how Pre-K is structured in the U.S. He writes:

It seems to me that one of the main goals with designing any sort of pre-K solution should borrow from the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.”
. . . when government asserts itself over parents in choices concerning very young children, it intrudes on fundamental family decisions.

And Spunky Homeschool talks about homeschooling pre-schoolers.

Mark at Thespis Journal writes that:

. . . we often have the problem of running to jump on the caboose of the latest “educational fad train” and never finishing the trip. . . . We need to stop running to catch the caboose, and be proactive in addressing the most over-riding educational concerns in our building.

Darren at Right on the Left Coast tells about a math professor who was suspended because of a test question.

The Other Districting Problem” is discussed by Matt at Going to the Mat. He writes about the effects of re-drawing school district lines.

Another “editor’s choice” is Joanne Jacob’s post, “Second-Time Success,” about students who repeat a grade. I remember professors teaching that retention is NEVER a good idea. Now it seems they could very well have been wrong.

NYC Educator discusses “The War on Terror Victims.”

Check out NCLB: Let’s Get it Right where there’s a photo of a FEMA-supplied housing unit for teachers.

In an attempt to get “the best and brightest teachers to return to New Orleans,” New Orleans is giving teachers. . . a large walk-in closet to live in.

It’s a soapy subject when Eduwonk talks about how Secretary Spellings compared No Child Left Behind to Ivory Soap, saying it was 99.9 percent pure.

And edspresso has something to say about “Weaver and Spellings on NCLB.”

Phil for Humanity wants to Stop Pork Barrel Politics and see some progress made on Recycling Landfills.

Margaret at Poor, Starving College Student knows exactly who should run for office.

John Dewey is No Mr. Miyagi, according to D-Ed Reckoning.

What do you think about diversity? Right Wing Nation declares that Diversity Destroys Education.

EdWonk writes about a teacher who was fired for telling parents the truth.

Oklahoma lacks specialty teachers, and wonders why. Ms. Cornelius is here to explain.


Patricia at a better you blog writes:

If you act in business as your elementary teacher trained you, you will never advance.

Click the link to find out what creates success.

Andrew at The Current Events in Education suggests the following for class discussion:

Pose the following scenario to students: “You go home from school today and find out that comptuers no longer work. You come back to school the next day and find that computers still don’t work and will never work again.” Ask students to consider what they’ve lost? Ask what might be lost throughout the world.


At Discource about Discourse, there’s a discussion about developing and writing blogging rules for students.

Did you know that there was an article in USA Today that highlighted teachers who blog? Some of our Carnival of Education folks were featured. “Teacher Blogs” by Mark at Thespis Journal tells about it.

You know how you can spend HOURS writing a thoughtful, well-researched post, and no one makes a comment. Then other times you dash off a post in a couple minutes, and you’re flooded with comments. Margaret at This Week in Education discusses “What Prompts Readers to Comment.”

Spunky Home School has announced a “Capture the Educational Moment” contest for bloggers. Click the link to check out the guidelines and prizes.

That wraps us this week’s Carnival of Education. Thanks for visiting, and a special thanks to EdWonk for asking me to host it. It has been fun!

Next week, the Carnival goes home to The Education Wonks. The deadline for submissions is: 8:00 PM (Eastern) 5:00 PM (Pacific) Tuesday, September 26th. Submissions may be sent to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. Contributers may also use Blog Carnival’s handy submission form

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My One-Year Blogoversary

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

On September 17, 2005, I started The Median Sib. It’s hard to believe it has been one full year. Here are some stats for The Median Sib’s one-year birthday:

Number of posts: 716
Number of comments: 1330
Number of hours spent writing posts: ?? (lots more than one would guess from the content)
Number of readers: it varies from 50 – 200 a day – depends on what I write – not a lot readers by many standards, but I’m fine with my numbers. I’m not out to win a popularity contest.
Most comments for one post: 164 (my first post about Mary Winkler got a lot of people riled up!)
The category I write the most about: “That’s My Life”
The second most popular category: “Politics”

Important things that have happened in my life since I started blogging (implying NO correlation between blogging and the following events): I sold my townhouse, I moved in with RT, we picked out the plans for our dream house that we hope will be a reality soon, I joined Curves, I was invited to join The Cotillion, my granddaughter started kindergarten, I celebrated my 57th birthday, RT and I went to Alaska and got married.

Congrats to me for one year of blogging, and here’s to a second year. May it be a year of love, fun, insight, and peace.

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Travelogue Coming Up – Stop by often to vicariously enjoy the trip with me

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Okay.  I admit it.  I’m obsessive-compulsive at times.  Well, most of the time.  I just finished writing posts for the days that I’ll be gone to Alaska.  And my wonderful sister, Beth (Blue Star Chronicles) will post them for me each day.  I will be back in person on September 6th or 7th – depending on when I get around to logging on again after getting home.

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Busy Times

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Sorry that I haven’t been posting much lately.  My life is a little hectic, to say the least.

(1)  School started two weeks ago, and I’m busting my booty at school.  Even though I don’t have my own class of students, I’m giving reading assessments to kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, helping organize reading buddies, keeping the leveled book room and professional reading room up to par for the teachers’ use, writing the newsletter, and working on a couple of volunteer programs. Plus, the past week I’ve been getting things ready for my almost two-week absence.

(2) RT and I are leaving on Monday for our 10-day trip to Alaska.  We both have been busy working out all the arrangements for that – flights (a total of TEN flights in all!), lodging, fishing guides, car rentals.  And we had to plan alternate arrangements for some of the flights inside Alaska since the weather is a major factor this time of year. Three days of our time there will be as part of a photography group at Denali.  So we’ve also been busy getting cameras and photos ready for the trip.

(3) RT and I are getting married a week from tomorrow (September 2) in Denali – on the Alaskan tundra within view of Mount McKinley, and I’ve been also busting my booty getting things ready for that – picking out rings, re-sizing rings, picking up re-sized rings, deciding I didn’t like the original ring I selected (it didn’t look right with the engagement ring) and taking it back and picking out another one.  Making the arrangements for the marriage license and ceremony has taken quite a bit of work, too.  It’s going to be a very informal wedding – we’ll wear hiking clothes (packing space is at a premium) and we’ll be the only ones there except for the commissioner and maybe a couple witnesses which I think are required by law.  No reception or music or anything else.  So you wouldn’t think it would take much planning.  And I guess it hasn’t taken that much time – just making sure everything is handled to get the out of state marriage license, and we have to write our own vows since we won’t be using a set religious ceremony.

(4) It has been amazing how the story of our engagement and wedding has caught so many people’s interest.  I’ve had lots of people tell me that when they heard about it, it brought tears to their eyes, and I guess our story IS quite unusual.  My mother tells me I should write a book about it.  I don’t think it is THAT unusual, though.  Our story is a testament to “true love conquers all” . . . or something like that.

We’ll be back in town on September 6th – and soon after that maybe I can get back to regular blogging. In the meantime, keep coming back, and leave a few comments.  I don’t want to lose all 7 of my regular readers.

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Statistics: What do 42 out of the last 100 visitors to THE MEDIAN SIB have in common?

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Forty-two of the last 100 visitors to THE MEDIAN SIB have one thing in common.  Any guesses?

Here it is:  They arrived here as a result of an internet search for information about the Winkler murder case. 

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