Gaaahhh my mind is on fire

Although, it could be the coffee ice cream I ate earlier this evening.

It really is on fire, though, filled with thoughts about learning and life. I’ve been re-listening to a podcast from “On Being” of an interview with Adele Diamond for, like, the fifth time in the last month. So, so much important stuff in this about education.

It’s about executive function and its importance in learning, and how best to develop it. It has science and yoga and art and physical fitness and the Dalai Lama and just everything. If I ever get another degree, it’ll be in this area. *waves his hand back and forth to cool off his brain*

I want to put ALL of this into my chemistry classes, but don’t know how to fit it, and still fit chemistry in.

My first goal is to try to fit in Stephen Covey’s talking stick(though it’s not really his, I know). I want to use this in my UCONN chemistry class on Tuesday to talk about the results of the first quiz, which was on summer work and, though I’m only halfway through grading it, is a mixed bag. I am thinking of putting up the class results as a histogram, and just having the students talk about what they think and notice. I’d like to extend this to talking about the assigned reading over the weekend, too. It would send the signal that everyone is responsible for doing the reading. Everyone would get the talking stick (in reality, I’ll be using a stuffed mole left by my predecessor – it’s a chemistry joke) at some point.

I think this would be an authentic college experience, because many college classes (except general chemistry, alas) are run this way. My big concern: time. Do I have time to do this? Will it’s value outweigh the investment? I’m already a little behind the eight ball in terms of the syllabus, even though it’s only been two days. I can’t help but think it would benefit the students (all really good students) more than lecture style.

I’ve never done anything like this in my class. If you have some ideas or tips, please comment!

I’m also thinking about starting to use the talking stick idea to facilitate advisor group activities. I have a new homeroom of first year students, so this would be the time to do it. We have a goal setting advisory coming up Thursday, I think. My concern is that one student in my homeroom is high functioning autism. How do I modify for that? I’ll ask the para in advisory for her opinion, since she may know the student better than I.

I’m pretty sure there was more in my head a while ago, but I think this will do for now. It’s 2am. Dude needs sleep. I think I need to choose a more boring (boringer?) podcast to drift off to.


Experiment #2 Jump roping

I’ve decided to try the 30-day jump rope challenge ( I plan to track how things change over time, so I can show my students what five minutes a day can do. I hope it does something.


My current jump rope stats:

PR: 52 jumps without missing. I just started learning this last year, but haven’t been practicing regularly.

Most common: 18-22 jumps, with lots of 1’s and 2’s.


We’ll see what happens!


Pickle redux

I found a recipe I likedĀ I used less salt, and made only one quart. They came out nice. My first batch was too salty, but I think I mixed up two recipes. C’est la vie.

At some point, i’d like to try a sweeter recipe, which my family would like better. I’m thinking beets (I found out you can pickle them raw), Maybe with some ginger.