22 August 2006

Windows everywhere

It seems that as Vista approaches, Windows is inserting itself everywhere through the Windows Live interface.  One can even access a blog through Windows Live, as I'm doing now.  I'm not sure what has become more pervasive: Windows or the government.

16 August 2006

Hoya makes the world better

Tonight I watched Charles Gibson on ABC News tell the world how my classmate, Dikembe Mutombo, had built a hospital in DR Congo (formerly Zaire) in honor of his mother. I remember at my graduation from Georgetown's School of Languages and Linguistics how my grandfather had gone up to the herculean basketballer to congratulate him on his success on the court and in his education. Peeved would hardly begin to describe my emotion when I had wanted my grandparents to focus on my academic achievements. But in the end, I see how much Dikembe Mutombo has done for his home country, for the image of the NBA, for the reputation of professional athletes, for the betterment of humanity. I'm proud to have shared a classroom with him, proud also to call myself a Hoya of the Class of '91, proud to live on the same planet. Congratulations, Congo, on your new hospital.

13 August 2006

Airport security

After watching news events unfold over the last few weeks--Iraq, Lebanon, Britain [pick a website, any website]--I find that the pundits, politicians and podcasters have reveled in the FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FUD] that makes for great ratings but little useful information. In a report on local news in the Atlanta area, a soundbite hit the proverbial nail on the head for me: authorities need to be looking for dangerous people, not potentially dangerous things. Denying a baby it's pacifier, keeping a teenaged boy or girl from his or her iPod--now that's crazy. I understand security, but I don't understand paranoia.

06 August 2006

La rentrée / Back to school

Tomorrow begins another year of teaching. This will be No. 12 for me. I am getting older every day. Yikes! For the first time ever, my schedule is simply chocked full of students. My day has no room for planning as I am on an extended schedule...for the entire year! The good news is that I have 6 students going all the way to French V. I may very well get that AP class next year. In the meantime, I'm going to have to stay on top of my lesson plans, so that I don't get overwhelmed. Fortunately, only 3 out of 8 of my classes are comprised of students completely new to me. The rest are all students matriculating to the next level of French studies. Being the only French teacher at my school, I have the great advantage of observing students as they mature and another in developing a strong teacher-student bond with them. It's going to be a very good year; I can feel it.