Skip to main content

Defying gravity

Andrew Campbell always encourages me to think about things, no less this time an utterance I boldly share from his Facebook timeline.
------------
Prediction: Your TL will be full of reaction to the horror of the shooting in #Orlando insisting things must change. Nothing will change
------------
Andrew, you're wrong. 
And you have to be wrong.
No, we're not going to get a rational approach to gun ownership in the US, no we're not going to remember that personal choice in religion stops at the end of your pew or prayer mat, or that engaging in political hate is any better than any kind of hate.
But I'll give you one change, Andrew.
I'm moving "gay" from the last in the list of descriptors to the first.  I always thought that being a learner, a teacher, a mathematician, a motorcyclist, a Canadian, an auxiliary Constable came before defining myself by who I chose to love.
But these fifty people were killed because of exactly that.  Now,  they were likely not going to be mistaken for living the kind of "gay" life that I enjoy ... They were enjoying what most people associate with being gay and where I utterly fail ...  Loud and expressive, dancing to music I've never cared for, worrying what they wore, gossiping about celebrity.  They were likely fabulous -  the gays the media celebrate, not the quiet, invisible gay that disappear into the heterosexual majority. But they were also learners, had jobs, helped others, had people care about them, and cared about others. But being gay was enough to kill them.
So I'm putting gay first.  And I'm going to work on fabulous. We lost fifty lives full of fabulous and I'm going to do my best to make it up to them, and for them.  I was once told by an administrator to keep my gay under wraps at school, that it was only for my personal expression on the weekend (like all my heterosexual colleagues do).  But in accepting that request, I did a disservice to my students and my community, I failed as a learner and teacher. By not clearly expressing who I am, I allow everyone off the hook...  They don't have to confront their homophobia, their fears, their assumptions and their prejudices.
This is career limiting and this puts me in peril in half of the countries of the world; this means people judge my statements and my actions on anything through a pink lens. So be it. 
You can choose your religion, you can choose your political ideology, you can choose what you say or do, but baby, I was born this way.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Escape Room / BreakOut in OneNote

[[Part 2 of this article is here: Link] ] So when I was visiting  Anna in Edinburgh  during March Break, she showed me how she used Password-Protected OneNote sections within the OneNote ClassNotebook to help students check their work -- she set the password to the correct answer, so they knew they had it right when the Section opened up. I figured I could use this for Math Review, so I set aside a couple of hours (turned out to be 3 hours but a fair chunk of that was solution-time) the other night to put an Exam Review together for my Grade 10 Mathematics course.  I pulled together as many multiple choice questions and short answer questions on the topics as I could Google and tried to balance each Section with a mix of topics and then threw in a couple of pop-culture questions, too.  The students worked on the problems in each section and used the answers as passwords to unlock the next section until they got to the Prize section. Result?  Near total continual engagement

So you want to hack your OneNote Class Notebook

Taking a brief break from my "Getting Started with OneNote Class Notebook" series (you can start that one here )... This is a little advanced so if you're not comfortable setting permissions inside of Office365 you may want to avoid this.  Or set up a Class Notebook to play with so that it doesn't affect any existing Class Notebooks.  Yeah, the latter is a good option. One of the great powers of OneNote is that you can do some really neat permissioning of the Section Tabs. When the Notebook is created, of course, it gives you an "open permissions" on the Collaboration Space and student-read-only on the Content Library.  And then each student space is wide open to each individual student. But we've found that occasionally you want to mix up the permissions a little.  For example, you could create a space in a student section for your private notes that the student couldn't see, or maybe you want a tab in the Collaboration Space that students cou

Desmos, OneNote & Replay

So using Desmos activities are a great way to encourage exploration and discussion in math class -- if you haven't tried them, I encourage it.  They're collected at  https://teacher.desmos.com/  But ... Desmos doesn't give you quite enough.  It doesn't have a way of capturing the work that the student does within their space, and it doesn't allow for annotation of class contributions as we come together to discuss.  Well, not surprisingly, OneNote comes to the rescue.  Using the Windows shortcut Windows-Shift-S it is really quick to snag the Desmos screen and pop it into a waiting OneNote page.  From there, we can grab our pen and (using wireless projection) talk about what all the different responses mean and where to go from there. (An aside : one of the nice features of Desmos activities are the way you can hit PAUSE and it will pause all the screens of the students working.  I always give them a heads up "10 seconds to pause..." and it's refr