Friday, January 18, 2019

Public pride

Tickled to see that one of few menu links at the Afton Free Library home page is for Afton Historical Minutes; the database of weekly articles by Charles J. Decker that our library curated, scanned and posted at the Internet Archive. Proud.

P.S. Learned from one of their board members at our coffeehouse last night that they recently had part of their Afton Yearbook collection digitized! Cool.

Our Winter Coffeehouse

Had a swell turnout at our Winter Coffeehouse last night; teachers, non-instructional staff, community members, retirees, alumni, and walk-ins from Open Pool Night! It ran from 6:30 to 8;30, but we were still talking at 9:30. Plan to do it again in February and March.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snow trek

So I'm closing in on the climax of Dan Simmons's arctic novel, The Terror. I am sharing the exhaustion, hunger, and perseverance of their four year ordeal for survival against the elements and "terror" of that desperate world; in the pit of our own January, no less.

It was with some relief that I stumbled an article in WIRED magazine about an upcoming Antarctic expedition featuring a nifty 3D built and solar powered vehicle, the Solar Voyager. Plus, I like the one of their text subtitles:

Test. Fail. Learn.

Monday, January 14, 2019

My Day

Printed, cut, and displayed two 17x20 posters for Thursday's library coffeehouse.

Sent an email reminder to HS students, staff, and non-instuctional employee about the coffeehouse; with a link to my video about it.

Curated a selection of student artwork; exhibiting them on endcaps and our foyer bulletin board.

Shared a NYT article about "reading the classics" with a HS ELA teacher.

Posted a notice from our Adult Education director to the school's home page.

Helped 7th grade Tech students manipulate their poster designs to PDFs, move them to a share folder, and trim them for taping.

Hosted the Anime Club the last period of the day; leading a discussion to help them determine a focus and purpose. Shared a NYT article with them about a famous Anime director.

Moved Poetry magazines, Yearbooks, and magnetic word bookends to display venues for Thursday night.

Analyzed a student's TinkerCad design: enjoyed his on-the-fly changes and willingness to to adapt his design multiple times.

Listened to a HS student's insightful and questioning discussion of Neal Shusterman's Scythe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


Although this event will be only one small (warm) ripple in school events, I cannot help but think that the thought and skills behind my campaign to #getthewordout would provide a fine internship for an upper level student inasmuch as it leverages writing, design, and the flexibility of digital resources to a purpose; in this case a casual event, but a also perfect fit for sharing a research project.

First, I designed a poster that went through 3 or 4 versions. Once created as a document, I made image and PDF versions of it that became handbills, postcards, email graphics and tabletop displays.

Next, I composed a signed invitation letter to for staff mailboxes. This also went through several edits to get the tone and purpose focused. I composed two versions; one for MS/HS, one for Elementary.
I then created a more contemporary version of the information as Keynote slides, which I exported as images. These became tabletop displays, posters and mini-posters, as well as my screensaver, and foyer flatscreen display.

Then I wrote a script for a short video about what a coffeehouse is. I posted on our website so that I can email the link to students.

In all, it has been an exercise in determining who my audiences are, creating prideful initial documents that I can then output in a variety of formats to become digital and print resourcs that help build engagement for the event.

Imagine a student preparing a research project to share and not just settling for one format, but flexing the digital possibilities with a few extra keystrokes to become so much more.

battle-sweat and bone-houses

Enjoyed this NYT Magazine article on the virtues and possibilities of Old English; especially the of kenning; the mashing of two nouns to create a new one (blood / bodies). It reminds me of Robert Penn Warren inventing words when he need one.

1/10/19 P.S. Cool beans! I dropped off a copy of this article to our MS ELA teacher this morning and he said they had just been looking at antique compound words!

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Sketchbook Project

I am so tickled that my children have invited me to participate in the Brooklyn Museum's Sketchbook Project! I received my sketchbook yesterday and can't wait to get started. My completed sketchbook will be added to the museum's collection of over 41,000 sketchbooks!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"They Shall Not Grow Old"

Got chills watching this trailer. Looks like a well done thing:


A MakerSpace student co-opted the throw-away printer-drum-protector from a photocopier repair the other day into a snowplow blade for his Mindstorm vehicle; seeing in one object the possibility of another. Cool!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Custom holiday gifts

Our MakerSpace is doing a brisk holiday "business" getting students up to speed on the basics of creating objects for the 3D printer. The allure of making a custom key fob for a holiday gift has been a popular gateway enticement.

Friday, December 14, 2018

More than a grade

Students are posting and hand-delivering these handbills about our video project so that more people might view it. It is also a way for my to demonstrate my pride in their prideful work.


Digitizing some posters for a colleague so that we can post and celebrate the student work in a variety of ways.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

They just DID it!

Twenty seconds before the end of the period, two 6th grade students walked up to a stack of masking tape and transformed it into a car.  MakerSpace magic!

Monday, December 10, 2018


Another reason:

Another reason:

Another reason:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Capturing the flow 

Capturing the moment or the flow 
doesn’t really characterize
whatever it is that I’m part of —
that we’re part of or pass through
or happen in or with or despite. 

So I make these line drawings
which tick along as I make them
and as I tick along. They don’t capture 

anything as it is or was, yet neither are they 
wholly independent of what happens
with me in this flow. 

I work on them until they are right,
until they are something on their own. 

It’s not enough that they might be 
representative of something I know, they 
need to be a new thing —
with the proviso that they include 

the familiar, the mysterious, and the beautiful - 
with fine sensuous lines like Rico LeBrun used 
and that Picasso wrestled with & romanced
in the line likenesses he loved —

little realities that spin on the page
so that they are as difficult to completely know 

as any part of the flow — this art that we are. 

June 2, 2010

Thursday, November 1, 2018

It only takes a second ...

... to communicate with the folks who depend on you.

Getting the Word Out

Took an "on location" photo of some new arrivals to add to my grade 7-12 email.
Then made a library foyer display using the "new shipment" boxes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Field Hockey Having A Banner Year

Our varsity Field Hockey team won the Sectional title and is heading to the regionals! To celebrate their accomplishment I drew this banner on the library bulletin board. Go Knights!
Used my nifty geometric crayons from many moons ago!

Friday, October 26, 2018


I designed this graphic for the Class of 2025's fundraising effort to purchase a Gaha Ball pit for our school community. T-shirts are on sale!

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Printed Word

I enjoyed this long cover article in Harper's magazine (print), The Printed Word in Peril by Will Self. I did lots of underlining of choice paragraphs, shrewd insights, well-turned aphorisms, and several observations that he does a much better job of stating than I do. Much of what he says resonates to me as a reader, a librarian, and as a human mindful of, but not crazy about, the march of change.

I do believe his closing paragraphs to be sincere little surprises for him, as when he writes:
It was only when finishing this essay that I fully admitted to myself what I’d done: created yet another text that’s an analysis of our emerging ­BDDM life but that paradoxically requires the most sophisticated pre-BDDM reading skills to fully appreciate it. It’s the same feeling—albeit in diminuendo—as the one I had when I completed the trilogy of novels I’ve been working on for the past eight years, books that attempt to put down on paper what it feels like for human minds to become technologically transformed. I felt like one of those Daffy Ducks who runs full tilt over the edge of a precipice, then hovers for a few seconds in midair (while realization catches up with him), before plummeting to certain death. Look down and you may just see the hole I made when I hit the ground.
*"I referred above to “bidirectional digital media,” by which I mean 
the suite of technologies that comprises the wireless-connected 
computer, handheld or otherwise, the World Wide Web, and the internet. 
Henceforth I’ll abbreviate this term to BDDM."

Reflection piece

This article in the New York Times, How One Journalist's Death Provoked a Backlash That Thousands of Dead in Yemen Did Not is an "interpretive" piece that really provoked some reflection and that I think might provide an important discussion in the classroom. It describes the psychological experience of the "collapse of compassion"; how we are more susceptible to being galvanized by a single death than by the thousands of deaths in a natural or humanitarian disaster ("That is why news coverage of a famine or a flood will often highlight the story of one victim.").

It might be effective to take a short/long review of history and identify landmark events where such single deaths moved society to action. A dozen come to mind.

The article also talks about a "dynamic called common knowledge: A group becomes much likelier to act against a transgressor when each individual member knows that every other member knows about the transgression. This creates a perceived social pressure to act." This provides a strong rationale for supporting our school's efforts to develop strong small-group relationships with students to mitigate things like bullying.

Outreach revisited

Happy to report that we have loaned 8 books in the two weeks since we set up a display in the staff room. Have been switching out about 6 titles every few days.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Very cool!

Temperature-sensitive librarian cooling of with windmill/fan designed from scratch by Nathan H.!

What's new at ACSLIB

Have our Recent Arrivals queued up on the foyer flat screen..along with a teaser of ebooks and audiobooks! Plus, I emailed a video of the slideshow to students and staff.

Plus, placed my first order for OverDrive ebooks and audiobooks; using some of my $1000 prize credit:

Wednesday, October 17, 2018