• My past blog posts

  • Pages

  • Some of my online bookmarks at Delicious

Working with Colleagues is Fun!

I always enjoy working with colleagues.  It’s even more fun when they are not from my department in my high school (Science, Chemistry).

This time, I had the pleasure of working with some of the members of the English department.  I know most of them quite well, but rarely get the chance to work with them on a professional level.  I was asked to serve as a judge for the ‘Twitterary Contest’.  Every year, the English department encourages students to contribute works to the annual Literary Journal.  This time, a new category was created: creative tweets, tweeted to the Massey Literary Journal twitter account.

We were asked to rank them according to two criteria: creativity and content (there was a bit more to it than that, but not important for this blog post).

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Not only was it fun to read the tweets (and see what creative high school students can do with 140 characters), but the fun I had with my English department colleagues was, well, fun!

Here are the ten tweets that we judged to be the best of those submitted:

A change in my ‘reading for pleasure’ habits

Like so many other people, I enjoy reading for pleasure.  My favourite topic is science fiction.  I also ‘listen’ for pleasure, borrowing books on CD’s from the library and listening to them while I do my morning exercises.  I rarely buy books, I borrow them from my local public library.

Earlier this school year, I had an interesting experience in my classroom that changed how I borrow and read material from my library.  In my grade 12 chemistry class, we were going through the introduction to quantum mechanics section of the atomic structure unit.  I like to add information from one of my favourite science authors, Brian Greene.  He is a theoretical physicist who has a knack of explaining some of the more esoteric topics of quantum mechanics and string theory in a way that makes it accessible to us non theoretical physicists.  He has also helped create NOVA science episodes based on his first two books, ‘Elegant Universe‘ and ‘Fabric of the Cosmos‘. I enjoyed his first two books so much that I bought them (a rare occurence for me).

While scanning his website, I noticed that he recently published a new book, ‘Hidden Reality’.  I couldn’t wait to get a hold of that book.  As my students were working hard on problem questions at the time, I took out my trusty iPod touch and searched my local public library’s mobile website for the book.  I didn’t know that, by default, this site returned results for only their ‘digital’ library.  My library had an e-book version of Brian’s new book.  In about 4 clicks and less than 30 seconds, I had an electronic copy of the book on my iPod ready to read (I had it fully read in a week!).

Since then, I do almost all of my reading for pleasure digitally through my iPod touch (it also helps me get my money’s worth out of my new bifocals!!).