Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slice of Life: What does it really say?

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

On Friday night, we went to watch our second daughter's college soccer game. Since it was a Friday night, she opted out of the bus ride back to campus and came home with us for a night. As we drove home, the results from her psychology test posted on-line, and she went through the answers, checking her score. Julia tends to do well, and she came across a multiple choice question she'd missed. 

"Listen to this ridiculous question," she said from the back seat. "How do you conduct a study that looks at the casual relationship between social media use and anxiety?"

She read off the choices. 

"Read them again," I said. I was a little miffed that I didn't know any study that would provide insight on a casual relationship. In face, I had no idea what was meant by a casual relationship. 

Then I thought of something. 

"Are you sure it says casual?" I asked. "Could it be causal?"

In the back seat, Julia started to laugh. "We really do see what we are programmed to see," she said.

She passed me her phone with the question on it. From a letter by letter standpoint, causal is pretty close to casual, but miles apart in meaning.

While this interaction has kept me chuckling that weekend, it has also made me remember how we really do see what we expect or what makes sense to our own brain, as opposed to what's really there. And, I'm sure that more times than we know, students miss questions not because they don't understand the content we're assessing, but because of some other factor that gets in the way. 

Happy Slicing,

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Slice of Life: What happened in Vegas changed my slice

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

I had a post all written and ready to go for this morning's SOL call. I wrote it on Sunday night after spending time with one of my college girls. It's light-hearted and funny and when I went to bed last night, I wasn't sure whether to put it up this morning. And this morning, when I woke up, my heart still ached from reading about the events, from reading about the people, who died in Las Vegas. 

My inbox has emails from Nicole Hockley whose son, Dylan, died in his first grade classroom in Sandy Hook Elementary School. And it has an email from Chris Murphy, our Connecticut senator who argues passionately for tighter gun control laws. And I have a text from another one of my daughters wondering what she can do, allowing how upset she is and how she'd like to try to find some sort of job that positions her to do something. And I don't know how to answer her. 

Today, like a moth to the flame, I am sure I will continue to read about the people who died when Stephen Paddock opened fire on them with one of the 23 guns he brought with him to his room on the 23rd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. I'm not sure why he chose to bring those 23 as opposed to the 19 more guns that remained in his house. I will grieve with their loved ones and I will appreciate the stories of heroism that will emerge and the generous show of humanity that continues to come out of Las Vegas as people donate money, time, food, and blood. 

And in the days to come,  I will continue to wonder out loud and in writing what needs to happen before this country can agree on gun control laws. I believe in the Constitution and in the privileges of the Second Amendment. However, I don't understand, and I don't think anyone will ever convince me, that it should be legal for a single person to own 42 guns. I just don't.

I will save my post about Julia for next week, and I will continue to think about how to answer Clare who wants to do something. Your comments and ideas are welcome. 

Peace to all of you,