Saturday, March 31, 2012


Linda Ho- You are as articulate as you are wise my friend.

At its most extremes, I do not think rationality can co-exist with unyielding loyalty. Despite my doubts and preferences for "sanity," I unconsciously respect/admire those who possess that irrationality.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Brainstorming Beauty

I shot this photo with my phone camera, so I apologize for the blurry perspective.

That day in class, my senior 3 students had finished reading seven articles in a synthesis unit about beauty for the AP Language and Composition exam.

We were struggling to find the definition of ideal beauty.

Your contributions to the dialogue are welcome.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sweet - Bitter

The great moments of heroism and sacrifice are rare. It is the little habits of commonplace intercourse that make up the great sum of life and sweeten or make bitter the journey. - George Orwell

Father forgive us for what we must do. You forgive us and we'll forgive you. We'll forgive each other until we both turn blue, then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven. - John Prine

Liberty and Social Anarchy

Lady Liberty

[I think differently about these concepts in China than I did in the United States, but that's probably not surprising.]

The passage is taken from 'The Rule of the Road', an essay written by a twentieth century essayist.

A stout old lady was walking with her basket down the middle of a street in Petrograd to the great confusion of the traffic and with no small peril to herself. It was pointed out to her that the pavement was the place for pedestrians, but she replied: 'I'm going to walk where I like. We've got liberty now.' It did not occur to the dear old lady that if liberty entitled the pedestrian to walk down the middle of the road, then the end of such liberty would be universal chaos. Everybody would be getting in everybody else's way and nobody would get anywhere. Individual liberty would have become social anarchy.

There is a danger of the world getting liberty-drunk in these days like the old lady with the basket, and it is just as well to remind ourselves of what the rule of the road means. It means that in order that the liberties of all may be preserved, the liberties of everybody must be curtailed. When the policeman, say, at Piccadilly Circus steps into the middle of the road and puts out his hand, he is the symbol not of tyranny, but of liberty. You may not think so. You may, being in a hurry, and seeing your car pulled up by this insolence of office, feel that your liberty has been outraged. How dare this fellow interfere with your free use of the public highway? Then, if you are a reasonable person, you will reflect that if he did not interfere with you, he would interfere with no one, and the result would be that Piccadilly Circus would be a maelstrom that you would never cross at all. You have submitted to a curtailment of private liberty in order that you may enjoy a social order which makes your liberty a reality.

Liberty is not a personal affair only, but a social contract. It is an accommodation of interests. In matters which do not touch anybody else's liberty, of course, I may be as free as I like. If I choose to go down the road in a dressing-gown who shall say me nay? You have liberty to laugh at me, but I have liberty to be indifferent to you. And if I have a fancy for dyeing my hair, or waxing my moustache (which heaven forbid), or wearing an overcoat and sandals, or going to bed late or getting up early, I shall follow my fancy and ask no man's permission. I shall not inquire of you whether I may eat mustard with my mutton. And you will not ask me whether you may follow this religion or that, whether you may prefer Ella Wheeler Wilcox to Wordsworth, or champagne to shandy.

In all these and a thousand other details you and I please ourselves and ask no one's leave. We have a whole kingdom in which we rule alone, can do what we choose, be wise or ridiculous, harsh or easy, conventional or odd. But directly we step out of that kingdom, our personal liberty of action becomes qualified by other people's liberty. I might like to practice on the trombone from midnight till three in the morning. If I went on to the top of Everest to do it, I could please myself, but if I do it in my bedroom my family will object, and if I do it out in the streets the neighbors will remind me that my liberty to blow the trombone must not interfere with their liberty to sleep in quiet. There are a lot of people in the world, and I have to accommodate my liberty to their liberties.

We are all liable to forget this, and unfortunately we are much more conscious of the imperfections of others in this respect than of our own. A reasonable consideration for the rights or feelings of others is the foundation of social conduct.

It is in the small matters of conduct, in the observance of the rule of the road, that we pass judgment upon ourselves, and declare that we are civilized or uncivilized. The great moments of heroism and sacrifice are rare. It is the little habits of commonplace intercourse that make up the great sum of life and sweeten or make bitter the journey.

Adapted from an essay by George Orwell

Monday, March 05, 2012

Journalism Resources

Journalism - AP 3 Resources/Assignment

Source 1.
Moyers, Bill. "Bill Moyers: "Our Democracy is in Danger of Being Paralyzed"." Democracy Now. Democracy Now, 24122004. Web. 5 Mar 2012. .

Source 2.
"Mission, Philosophy: College of Arts and Sciences." Our Philosophy of Journalism Education . University of South Florida. St. Petersburg, Florida. Online Reading .

Source 3.
The Story of the Three Little Pigs:

Source 4.
Rusbridger , Alan. "Guardian Newspaper Blog, Editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger Explains the Thinking Behind the Guardian's 'Open' Approach to Journalism."Guardian [London] 29 02 2012, blog page. Web. 5 Mar. 2012. .

The Guardian’s Three Little Pigs Open Journalism Campaign

Source 5.
Society of Professional Journalists Online, High School Essay Contest 2011: Topic- Why is it important that we have news media that is independent from the government?


First Prize, $1,000 Scholarship to Erin McDonough of Bishop O’Connell High Schools in Arlington, Va


Second Place, $500 Scholarship to Shaj Mathew of Huntington High School in Huntington, Md.


First of all, why pudding?
I was a private chef for a young man, and he asked me one day to make pudding, and I said, "Okay, I can do that." So I make him pudding, and he loves it. He gives it to his friends and family, and they love it. And I kept getting requests to make pudding. So one day as an off-handed joke, I said to him, "This is just like crack. I should just sell it."

Clio Goodman, Pudding Chef, On Opening Her Shop Puddin' By Clio
Huffington Post, March 5, 2012
Lori Fradkin

About Me

My photo

What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.