Friday, October 22, 2010

A Busy, Busy Week

It's been a busy week. I finally completed and submitted my third manuscript of the year for review for publishing in the TESOL journal. TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is the international organization for anyone interested in working with students who are English language learners (ELLS). I also had a paper on the same subject accepted at the TESOL conference in New Orleans in March.

Yesterday I was invited to join the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council. This is a volunteer position with quite an extensive time commitment; minimally 4 full-day conferences a year plus committee work. I need to find out more about the organization before committing to it. There is still so much advocacy work to do in the field of special education especially at the high school level where students with special needs still do not receive the same opportunities to have "rich and interesting" learning experiences as other students do. The Life Skills curriculum comprising things like making beds, shopping and cooking still tends to dominate the high school experience for students with special needs which is quite depressing. As important as these things are they are more the responsibility of the family rather than the school.

My first webinar has been postponed indefinitely which is a relief. Trying to work out exactly how these things work is quite the challenge so to have as much time as I need to get a handle on things is a great help.

Next Monday I'll be helping out at a statewide conference on teaching math to students with special needs and on Tuesday, November 9 I present a paper at the annual ATMNE (Association for Teachers of Mathematics in New England) in Nashua, N.H. All these things are very typical activities of college professors everywhere and are important ways that we enhance our own teaching as well as our academic fields in general.

It's also been a busy week for Andrew Jumonville, one of my brothers-in-law who's commissioned life-sized bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, Jesse Fell and David Davis will be unveiled outside the Center for Performing Arts in Bloomington, Illinois this weekend. Andrew has a great sense of humor and if you look closely you'll see that each of the three men in the statue is making rock, paper, scissors with one of his hands. You can't see it in the picture but there's also the word "rabbit" and a bee in the hat you can see. The picture shows Andrew in front of the statue outside the Bloomington Performing Arts Center in Illinois.

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