a physical facelift to mirror a pedagogical shift…

Never, never, never believe any war <construction project> will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter.
Sir Winston Churchill

Incredible progress was made on our new media center over the summer and going into hurricane season we are on schedule (and budget).  This is an amazing feat anywhere these days and on an island famous for “island time” and its laid back atmosphere this success is a testament to our school engineer Rafael Piña.  Of course there are an incredulous amount of people working on this project at all level who equally deserve our thanks – gracias.

Of course schools are not about buildings and never should be.  This construction is well timed as it is accompanying our community’s better understanding of the role of technology in every aspect of education.  There can be no question that the pedagogical face lift that is being constructed in classrooms, labs, moodle rooms, staff meetings and in the teachers’ lounge is the most important aspect and the central focus of the technology department – but we won’t object to a state of the art new facility to call home.

Construction continues:

“It amazes me that most people spend more time planning next summer’s vactaion then they do planning the rest of their lives.”
– Patricia Fripp

Well summer must be upon us, and it seems just in time. My NetVibes shows a significant fall-off in ed tech writing and i know my mind is also looking to the long lazy days of summer. Kitesurfing, reading, playing with my family, visiting my family, reading some more … oh boy now i am really getting excited.

Some new videos will be being posted on the school’s youtube channel in the coming days as i get the time so please check it regularly. For starters here is a little walk down memory lane for the class of 2008 aka Tenacious – congratulations and all the best to all of you as you move on from CMS.

The fruits of the first middle school digital arts elective are here. – WOW!
Third graders made some good friends this year!

I may get you one more of these before the summer but progress will continue:

may 26, 2998
(see the progress thus far)

img 1: the bulletin board outside of the elementary library; created by Carmen Rivera.

a little catching up…

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.”
– Leo J. Burke

First and foremost Ella is wonderful and her sleeping and her incredible mother really don’t have me as sleep deprived as the above quote may lead you to believe (personal blog).

Staff appreciation week kicked off today, i feel extremely lucky to work with so many talented, kind, professional and caring people. I found this video very powerful so i thought i would share it with everyone who puts up with me here at work:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/hKRgLvmamUY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Ok i do need to do a little catch up:

HeartCare Dominicana
It makes be incredibly proud to work at CMS when the school smashes the headmasters challenge of raising enough money to provide 4 children with surgeries and medication (320,000 pesos) in raising 410,219 pesos! More then 5 children will literally be given life thanks to your generosity.
Huge thanks to Annikke Olson and the entire team responsible in putting on a great week of activities for a great cause (wiki site).

Construction – marching forward (4/18/2008)

Junot Diaz – the pulitzer prize winner is going to be here on the 30th and you can watch his presentations through a combination of the Carol Morgan School channels on Ustream.tv and YouTube. Don’t miss the chance to hear Junot speak and watch him work with Carol Morgan high school students. I will be giving more details about times and happenings on this blog sometime this week.  (Junot at Google – language advisory)

Junot Diaz, Pulitzers, Heart Care Dominicana & Construction…

“In some ways I think that this book waited for me to become a better person before it wrote itself”
– Junot Diaz on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

It isn’t everyday you get the opportunity to meet a Pulitzer prize winner, it also isn’t everyday that he comes to do a workshop at your school. This novel was bounced around in Junot Diaz’s head for more then a decade and last night the jurors confirmed what anyone who has read the novel already knew – that the time spent polishing and perfecting was all for the betterment of the readers’ experience. A couple of months ago we reached an agreement with Junot Diaz to come as our artist in residence. Last night he was awarded the Pulitzer for Fiction. What an opportunity for the students! Something tells me the students who get to work closely with Junot will have the opportunity to learn about patience, revision and not settling for anything but their absolute best. Pending approval from Mr. Diaz we will look to broadcast some of his time on Ustream and on CMS Radio so stay tuned – i will put more details up here. (New York Times article, Slate interview).
On a personal note not only am i happy to see this award going to a Dominican but also my book club read this book in December and the discussion was one of the best that we have had.  When i asked one of the more well read members of the group to comment (for this blog) on the committee’s selection of Oscar, he responded with this:

The choice of Oscar Wao for the Pulitzer for fiction evinces a sensitivity for the peculiar by the Pulitzer nominating committee at Columbia (they chose Middlesex, too!). Oscar’s skewed narrative structure, delightfully esoteric pop-culture references, and hipper-than-thou wordplay cast it as a somewhat unlikely recipient for what will now assuredly be even wider appeal than it has achieved up to this point. The book’s increasing success is a great endorsement of the level of literary appreciation in the states right now. 

If you have yet to read it, go out and get it.

As for this week we have kicked off Heart Care Dominicana week. Last year we raised just less then 300,000 pesos this year we have a school-wide goal of 320,000 enough to provide 4 lifesaving surgeries to children in need. Our high school students have a wonderful service based relationship volunteering at the hospital but this annual even literally saves lives and is the stuff that makes a school community proud of its students. This student created video was shown at the launch assembly yesterday:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/8SDE-IYBDtY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

follow our progress through this page on our HighSchool Wiki

Wow lots going on here…and all the while construction of our new media center continues:

April 7, 2008

img from: http://www.republicaupdate.com/images/2007/09/03/junot_wao_cover.jpg