WPMU Easter Egg

So I’ve installed WPMU on one of our externally hosted servers and with Jim’s patient assistance have been trying to get it in shape. One of the things I needed was the theme editor. So I was going through the steps to get it installed and things are looking good when . . . I hit the theme editor tab and the video below happened1. In all honesty, the first time it happened it scared the hell out of me. I frantically thought of all the vague warnings I’d received, reconsidered what I’ve done with file permissions, wished I’d backed things up 2. I’ve since been wrestling with the .htaccess file and other fairly dreadful nerd stuff. Unfortunately, this server is running both PHP 4 and 5 and has some custom .htaccess stuff set up to password directories down the line. This has led to all kinds of hassle for me (and as a result hassle for Jim 🙂 who has insisted I blog about the easter egg so he can reblog it3). 1 and happened every single time I hit the theme editor tab 2 and then realized I already had 3 Isn’t the Internet a weird place



I found out this morning that one of my former students, Hakeem Witcher, probably shot and killed another boy on Friday. I taught Hakeem and his sister. I knew their little sister. I knew their mother. I called her all the time. I spoke to her when she’d pick them up from school. I remember trying to help her when she asked what to do one night. She was overwhelmed enough to ask for help from some stupid first-year teacher who didn’t even have kids of his own. After I left New Bridge, I saw his mom a few more times. She said Hakeem was up in New Jersey with his dad- that she just couldn’t control him. It didn’t sound good. At some point I saw Hakeem as well. I can’t recall exactly where or when now. He’d started to harden some, a hint of a mustache growing on his face, but that kid who really wanted to please was still there. He wanted to know why I left New Bridge. I probably said something about money. It’s an easy cop out. I really just remember how much I liked Hakeem, how much I hope that there’s still that reachable core of good in him. I know there’s a poor boy who’s dead here and family that’s grieving for […]

Zombie Vocabulary

So in the theme of restrictions creating creativity and my own desire to be doing things more directly related to the classroom- I have decided to start Zombie Vocabulary1. I’ll take a few words from Merriam-Webster’s word of the day and create a zombie2 themed use of the word that I’d use with my students (if I had them). So to start things off here’s facetious– WOD from Oct. 14th. 1 Why zombies? I like zombies and I like the CC zombie pictures available in flickr and saw so many I wanted to use that I needed to make a reason to use them. 2 I may switch from the zombie theme if it gets boring so other theme suggestions are welcome.

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

[cue Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On”] For those who haven’t already counted me out, now’s the moment you’ve been putting off for months.  I’ve enjoyed my erratic posting on Bionic Teaching over the past couple years.  Tom, thanks for letting me ride along with you for awhile.  I’m continuing my professional development work at Varina High, but I’ve decided to dedicate my personal time to other explorations and exploits.  You can find me at my newly renovated home, Cynical Idealists.  Expect nothing less than what I’ve always provided:  Everything from the heart, and nothing on a timeline. -Jim

WordCampEd 2008

I got the opportunity to go to WordCampEd at George Mason this Saturday. Special thanks to Dave Lester- our host and the organizer of the conference (blog and twitter) It was pretty interesting to me in a couple different ways. One, I got to meet (in some cases just sit in the room with) a lot of interesting people and add their various feeds into my aggregator. There’s something interesting about these type of conferences. There really small and intimate. They are full of people who really want to be there, and that are passionate about the topic. Two, I’m really convinced that HCPS needs to go to the WPMU model. We’ve got all sorts of schools doing their own thing with tons (relatively) of individual blogs. This means individual updates, individual theme uploads, individual plugin uploads and most importantly no community outside the school and little interconnection within the schools between blogs. I think that’s what most people don’t get. In my opinion, Jim Groom has done such interesting things at UMW because he has worked hard at connecting the individual blogs, at creating community. He makes comments, he brings key posts to the forefront for attention. He’s made a unified whole. That’s where the power is and it’s interesting power because it’s exponential. We saw evidence of that […]

DIY Doctorate?

1 I’m looking at doctoral programs and not really finding what I want. I see lots of things that will lock me into what others think I need to know, lots of chances to end up stuck in a program I hate. I’ve had a number of people say to me “It’s not the program, it’s what you put into it.” Yeah, I know but, you see, this program is going to take time away from what I’m already trying to learn, so it needs to be worth it. I’m going to have to do whatever work they require no matter how useless, mundane or repetitive it may be. I already did that to get a master’s degree2. I got some good out of it but there was lot of wasted time and energy3. That’s time and energy I could have used to do things on my own, to learn things. What I want to learn about is that area where design, cognitive science, advertising, data visualization, gaming (mainly ARGs) and education overlap. Where’s that program? Who would let me build that program? I don’t care about EDD or PHD or whatever. I just want a few people around to help guide me and talk about things. I want the stupid letters checked off so they don’t stop me from […]