A Dose of Liberal Political Commentary with a Smattering of Pop Culture.

I teach middle school in real life.

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2012 ThinkProgress Tumblr Honoree



A long trip into the wilderness

tl;dr: This is ShortFormBlog’s last post. I’m going to play with another idea, tentatively called DataSlam, over this way.

On January 1, 2009, I started ShortFormBlog with the hope of building it into a pretty cool place for news, numbers, quotes, blurbs, and a few other things. It was a great thing to work on for a good long time, and it even had some success and a few people loved the dang thing.

But after a couple of abortive efforts to rekindle my personal interest in the site, I think now’s a good time to admit that it’s time to put it to rest. I’m getting older, and I have other things in my life that take precedence (you know, being married and stuff like that), and I admit that it would be nicer to experiment on a smaller scale, just to see what happens next and not force myself to do any one thing creatively.

So this is peace out. But I’ll always remember what became of SFB. You can build something yourself and watch it go somewhere. You can put your heart in things and see it grow. But it’s good to admit when the off switch should probably stay off.

Five sites you should read on Tumblr in SFB’s place:

BrooklynMutt: Peter Wade has been a great friend over the years and a man whose work I greatly respect. He’s always super-modest about his considerable skill. He has no reason to be.

Evan Fleischer: One of Tumblr’s most underrated minds.

PopCultureBrain: Why this guy isn’t writing for Entertainment Weekly, I’ll never know.

Mike Hedrick: A writer whose intelligence and clarity can knock you on your ass. He’s gotten a few bylines in the NYT.

Laughterkey: The best reblogger in the game.

Peace out folks. ShortFormBlog may be gone, but I’m not: I’m going to be playing with a new idea over this way. I’m calling it DataSlam (for now). Consider it my difficult, unformed second album. Old-school SFB will remain up in archive form.

It’s been good. — Ernie @ SFB

End of an era, folks. Ernie is genuine good people, and this platform will be a little less without him and SFB.

To you, sir:

Legitimate end of an era. You’ll be missed, Ernie. I’m so very sad to see you go.

I lost count of how many times we were told be quiet and pay attention. It’s normal to do so – teachers have a set amount of time and we need to use it wisely. But in shadowing, throughout the day, you start to feel sorry for the students who are told over and over again to pay attention because you understand part of what they are reacting to is sitting and listening all day. It’s really hard to do, and not something we ask adults to do day in and out. Think back to a multi-day conference or long PD day you had and remember that feeling by the end of the day – that need to just disconnect, break free, go for a run, chat with a friend, or surf the web and catch up on emails. That is how students often feel in our classes, not because we are boring per se but because they have been sitting and listening most of the day already. They have had enough.

Truly eye-opening read. I’ve been brainstorming for the last few weeks about how to incorporate more movement into my reading class. This only affirmed my students’ needs.

I’m having trouble prioritizing my work week tonight but my lesson plans are finished so at least I’ve done that much.

*Grades are due by Friday and I’ve got a HUGE stack of R.A.F.T. writing assignments to score and give feedback on. (Teaching ALL the 7th graders seems like a cool concept until I begin grading ALL the 7th graders. Sheesh.)

*I have my 2nd observation of this KTIP cycle with my principal on Thursday. Which means I have a separate (pain in the ass) lesson plan template to send out by Tuesday morning. Also, I must deal with the nerves this week because he’s technically never observed an entire lesson of mine since he’s been with us. (The asst. principal handled all of my obs. last year.)

*I need to re-do seating charts. Because they’re all sick of sitting by each other and I know them enough now to not be thrown off by it, I guess.

*On top of all that I have morning and afternoon duty for the quarter beginning this week and I work a basketball game on Tuesday night. :(

So what I really want to do is extend fall break by another week and continue doing nothing. Big sigh. 46 school days until Christmas break.

Maggie died this morning. It’s a weird thing to lose a chicken when you have a small backyard flock. Sad, but not losing a dog sad. Just sort of a bummer and then life goes on.

53 yrs ago today I was released from Parchman Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson for using “white” restroom (via Rep. John Lewis, @repjohnlewis)


This is how I feel towards the people reblogging links from E Online and Entertainment Tonight that feature “Exclusive Footage” on “Amanda Bynes’  Meldown”. They pretend like they care, but she’s just fucking clickbait to them. That’s how you show you don’t care.

(via bapgeek2geekbap)




be the person chris traeger knows you can be


Friday inspiration.

1. Quit falling asleep before 11 pm.

2. Read a book.

3. Catch up on all of the grading I haven’t done in the midst of my work scandal.

4. Organize my KTIP binder.

Two out of my 4 goals are school related which feels really uncool to me.


During Banned Books Week, a special time of the year when libraries celebrate the value of free and open access to information, I had this interaction with a patron:

Patron: “My daughter has to read Fahrenheit 451 for school. Can you tell me about it?”

Me: [short explanation, including that the book is a classic and a main theme of the story is censorship]

Patron: “Hmm. I heard that someone is burned alive in this book. That doesn’t seem appropriate for high schoolers. I think I will call the school and complain. They definitely shouldn’t be reading this book. Thanks!”

(via ashleyeleigh)