SchoolHouse Rock Live

What a great afternoon we had yesterday! Thanks to free tickets from the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee we were able to see a sensory-sensitive performance of Schoolhouse Rock Live yesterday at Nashville Children’s Theatre.

It was actually our first time going to the Nashville Children’s Theatre, so we didn’t even know where it was located. Fortuantely, it was quite easy to find. And, it’s behind the Howard School Building, which is where Kalonji and I were married :-)

Nashville Children’s Theatre

We saw Schoolhouse Rock Live! (which, until the show actually started, I had in my mind we were going to see a live performance of School of Rock – shows how much I was paying attention! )  I’m not the biggest fan of Schoolhouse Rock, but Kalonji is, so it made total sense why he snatched up the tickets after getting the email about it.

It was great too! The performance included many Schoolhouse Rock songs – including a few that I even knew.   I think my favorite was 3 is a Magic Number. Just something about the music.  The sensory-sensitive aspects of the show were a great accommodation – they didn’t ask fussy children to leave the theater proper, loud or surprising moments in the performance were preceded by a red glow light.  At one point in the performance, they even threw balls into the audience for everyone to bounce around. I don’t know if that was specifically a sensory adaptation, but Q loved it! I almost got hit in the head with one of the balls :-)

Mr. Morton was the closing song and I’d say I may have to start liking that one too.

Kalonji’s favorite Schoolhouse Rock song is “I’m Just a Bill.” He loves that song.

It was a great show. And the cast signed autographs afterwards

pic is blurry, but Q waits for an autograph

I have to say, I may be a fan of Schoolhouse Rock now :-)  Many thanks to the Autism Society for providing the opportunity. We are so grateful for having them as a resource, not only for our serious needs, but for the fun ones too!

A Glimpse Into My Job

I have a very interesting job.  And, trying to explain what I do is not always easy.

By training, I am a medical librarian and work at a major academic medical center. I also have a degree in public health.  My official title is Health Knowledge Information Specialist. I relish in the fact that I have the opportunity to be involved in so many different types of projects at my job and the bulk of what I do on a day-to-day basis is project-based work.  There are so many ways to to provide information science and knowledge management in a health sciences environment and we do many interesting and innovative activities – including conducting major research initiatives. Conventional, we are not. :-)

We have a recently published paper in the Journal of the Medical Library Association that describes how we strategically align our work to the core missions of our medical center. I love this mandala my Director created that visually shows how we focus our work around what the medical center is striving to accomplish.  Click on the image to see it larger.

mandala

 You can read the article online at PubMed Central for more details.  #lovewhatido

 

 

Visit to the Adventure Science Center

We had another visit to the Adventure Science Center today.  Kid admission was free all day today and there was a Mini Maker Faire on the premises.  I was not familiar with the Maker Faire before – it was cool – a day of “creative making” and various projects.  We learned a lot from our visit.

waiting to get into the Adventure Science Center
Q pulls up a car!
Kaleya is a little suspicious of that dinosaur
it takes teamwork
blurry pics but i loved watching them come down the slide in the Adventure tower
they did not want me to take this pic :-)
steampunk something? not sure what this is?
star wars replica

Celebrating a Birthday

Yesterday, Kaleya and Q and I took a trip over to Fannie Mae Dees Park (aka Dragon Park b/c there is a big dragon sculpture on the playground to play on) to celebrate the 7th birthday of a family friend. We are a single car family and since Kalonji had to report for reserve duty this weekend, we took the bus. I had not realized it, but this was Kaleya’s first time riding the bus – she was so excited about it!  We had a fun day!

the bday girl opens presents
lining up at for the egg race
the finish line is ready for them
the bday celebration crew
Q in the mouth of the dragon sculpture
Kaleya in the mouth of the dragon
more play on the dragon sculpture
I also captured a video of Q rolling down a hill – loved hearing his giggle as he came down. :-)

Am I A WordPress Addict?

image from http://giftofweb.com/wordpress/

Oh boy – this is great! ManageWP posted a list of 34 ways you know that you’re a WordPress addict. I would say I qualify since I’m a hardcore WP evangelist and rock it as much as I can for my genealogy purposes. I’ve done webinars about it – with another talk coming up in October.  Here is their list, with the ones I can admit to bolded.    #17 in particular gets in my craw! (as Kalonji would say…)

  1. Your RSS feed has more WordPress blogs in it than any other.
  2. You have Chrome Sniffer installed just to see if websites you visit are running on WordPress.
  3. The last thing you check before you go to bed is your WordPress dashboard (complete with comments and analytics).
  4. The first thing you check in the morning is your WordPress dashboard (complete with comments and analytics).
  5. You’re subscribed to http://make.wordpress.org/.
  6. You stop looking for plugins to solve your problems and start developing them instead.
  7. You can’t code plugins to solve your problems so you pay someone to code them for you.
  8. You refuse to travel to locations without wi-fi.
  9. You find yourself contacting other webmasters just to find out what plugin they’re using for a particular function on their site.
  10. You pre-ordered a WordPress 10th Anniversary t-shirt.
  11. You have to contact us to get custom pricing for your WordPress website management needs.
  12. You’ve written diatribes about the WordPress WYSIWYG editor.
  13. You’ve reacted in horror when someone has told you that they use the WordPress theme editor.
  14. You know who Matt MullenwegMark JaquithVladimir Prevolac and Joost de Valk are.
  15. You cringe when someone spells WordPress with a lowercase “p”.
  16. You have had to get up in the middle of the night to write a blog post that was running through your head.
  17. You feel a rush of irritation when someone refers to a blog post as a “blog”.
  18. You’ve developed a ridiculously basic plugin despite your non-existent coding skills.
  19. You check out our Themes of the Month posts every single month even though you’re not looking for a new theme.
  20. You check out our Links Mashups posts even though you are subscribed to just about every WordPress blog on the planet.
  21. You spend hours choosing between two plugins when the difference between them will barely make a difference to the user experience.
  22. You chastise people for using fake WordPress logos.
  23. You’ve heard of ManageWPWordPress SEO by YoastAkismetDigg DiggEdit Flow andVaultPress.
  24. You consider the discovery of What the File one of the highlights of your year.
  25. You love a plugin that’s only been downloaded a handful of times and make it your job to promote it to the world.
  26. The word “jetpack” makes you think of a plugin rather than flight.
  27. You delete a plugin on principle because it creates an unnecessary top level link on your WordPress sidebar.
  28. You spend more time talking about WordPress than you do working with WordPress.
  29. You dream about meeting Matt Mullenweg.
  30. You act like an excitable schoolgirl when a popular plugin developer responds to your email.
  31. You travel to another country just to go to a WordCamp.
  32. You’ve never even considered using another Content Management System.
  33. You can create a child theme in fifteen seconds flat.
  34. You create a new blog just so you can work with a theme you like the look of.

Well, 18/34 — slightly over half of them.  Can’t say that qualifies me, but it sure sends me in that direction doesn’t it! LOL.  Awesome list indeed! Can I add one more?

#35 – You start teaching your kids WordPress so that they can help you manage all your sites.   Yep. Miles is learning it this year. :-)

11th Grade Planning Completed

Whew! It’s done! I’ve just finished planning Miles’ curriculum for this year. He’s now in the 11th grade.  For the most part, I’ve gone with curriculum that’s already put together from the upcoming Time4Learning High School classes, along with a few Coursera courses thrown in. Also, this coming Spring we are aiming to have him take his first class at our local community college to start introducing him to engineering principles since he wants to be an engineer.

I’ve not ever publicly posted our homeschooling plans, but I’m in a sharing mood so here goes….

English (1 credit)

  • We will use the new Time4Learning High School curriculum for his English. More details on their website. This is the first year that Time4Learning is doing high school, but we’ve used their materials for the younger kids in the past so are very interested in what they’ll do for HS. We will also have Miles do extensive reading throughout the year of non-fiction and fiction books, as well as grammar review throughout the year to supplement.

Algebra II/Trigonometry (1 credit)

Chemistry (1 credit)

World Geography (1 credit)

Nutrition (.5 credit)

  • For nutrition, which will provide Physical Wellness credits, we have chosen two Coursera courses. One starts in September; the other can be done at any time. They are “Economic Issues, Food Choices & You” – which is a 10-week course and then “Nutrition & Physical Activity for Health,” a 7-week course. Miles had followed along with part of a Coursera offering before, so he will be familiar with the overall format and structure.

Fine Arts (.5 credit)

  • We will have Miles do two more Coursera offerings and these are just cool! The first one is Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative.”  This is a 7-week course that is about multiplayer online games. I’m personally excited about this because it’s taught by Vanderbilt professor Jay Clayton. I work at Vanderbilt and read an article about his in real life course several years ago and how popular it was amongst the students. This should be fun! Miles will also take “Comic Books and Graphic Novels” – a course that surveys the history of American comics and  graphic novels. These should provide a fun diversion to his more routine subjects. :-)

Web Design (.5 credit)

  • I will be ensuring that Miles learns HTML, CSS and WordPress this year and is able to create websites using WordPress. I’m a huge WP fangirl and have used it already for more than 80+ websites. So.. his instructor will be ME. :-). And, we already have two real-life projects identified for him to work on that will give him practical experience. Then, I may have him help me with some of my genealogy sites as extra practice (evil grin).

Technical Graphics (.5 credit)

  •  Because we think it will be good for him to start exercising more independence, we really want to enroll him in Nashville State Community College courses. Tentatively we have one identified that teaches computer drawing skills — something that could come in handy in engineering right? Then, next year, we can have him do more there.

In addition to these, we’re going to make sure he gets plenty of standardized testing practice in, as well as the real tests. These will include the ACT, SAT, the PSAT, and SAT Subject Tests. Given his homeschooling, I’m a little unsure how colleges will consider him, so we want to position him well so that he has at least those under his belt. Plus, the state of Tennessee gives free money for going to a TN state school with certain score requirements on the ACT (which Miles already meets).

Of course some of this will get refined throughout the year, but I am very glad to have mapped out the bigger picture. Here we go with another busy school year!

Update: I’ve discovered a blog hop thanks to Richetta, so I’ll make this post count as my post for “Curriculum Week” as part of the Not Back To School Blog Hop.


image credit: back to school by Flickr user jesuscm