Friday, June 7, 2013
With picnic kit pattern included (of course, because who doesn't go on a romantic picnic in their cool, double poncho?)
This might be the scariest pattern yet; most men I know would disapparate immediately if faced with the prospect of wearing this in public.
However, it would make a great Halloween ensemble.
If that's totally your thing, find it here.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
My son has been reading since he was three, and he said last night that he feels that there is too much emphasis on reading and writing and not enough on math in American education. He thinks we’d do better with a more balanced approach. He got an almost perfect score on his SAT and was a National Merit Scholar Finalist (the only one from his high school), so he might know something about this subject.
I've been thinking about education a lot, since I’m a former teacher, and also since I started my edX class on The Greek Hero. I’d never taken an online course before. (I went to Berkeley when the internet was but an infant).
If you’re not familiar with this subject, Bad Mom, Good Mom had something to say about it earlier this week,and I strongly recommend that you read the links in her posts.
There are some people who think that online education is the future. These people may be right that there will be more of it in the future, but while I have been enjoying my class, I do not think it would be a good idea to move all of our education to this platform.
People are very much the same now as they were in Ancient Greece. We like to think that we've improved and grown and changed, but as I see it we haven’t changed much in the way that we learn things. The best way to teach a child to read is to read to him or her and discuss the reading. When I taught high school kids who had trouble reading, amazingly enough , that was still the best way. No one had done this when they were small, so we had to make up for lost time, and read slowly together. I got such a feeling of satisfaction when they would start to catch on and figure out the trick. Reading is more difficult than you think - if you don't learn it when you’re small, it’s as if you're trying to read a foreign language; which in a sense you are.
Which brings me to online learning: it’s the worst way to learn something if you know nothing about the subject. If you were learning a foreign language, or calculus, or anything that a little interpersonal interaction would be helpful, online learning is not the answer. It’s great for people who already know how to learn, but for anyone else, it’s the second best option.
The problem - the really smart people of Silicon Valley are trying to monetize education. Since they are Really Smart People, the kind of people who, like my son, got perfect scores on their SATs and started reading when they were three, and corrected the tests for their third grade teacher, they do not know how difficult it is for some people to learn. They might not know what it’s like to try to learn under trying circumstances: parents don’t speak English, their family is on food stamps, they have a part time job, there is no place to study...circumstances that the RSP might not consider when they make their grand educational plans. They see State educational budgets as a resource to harvest. They aren't considering the human costs of one size fits all education. If we have a permanent underclass of uneducated people in our country, we all lose. It isn't saving money to cut costs on education - it costs us all money. But money isn't the only thing to consider - we’re losing brilliant kids - kids that might have made a great contribution to our world. And you know the saying, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”.
Don’t let your State Representatives try to sell you this as a “better” way to learn. It’s just cheaper.I don't think MOOCs are the answer for education. For lectures for enrichment, I can see their place, but they can't really replace one on one teaching
Devoting huge portions of our educational budgets to MOOCs is a mistake.
I can already see what will happen - small states will close satellite campuses, have those students do online learning and go to secure monitored place to take tests. It's clear as day that some states are desperate to save money any way that they can, so they will sacrifice learning.
Our educational system will become even more unequal than it is now. This is the exact opposite way to solve the problem of inequalityThere’s politics involved - some want to eliminate teachers, close schools, raise tuition, lower taxes. There's a lot riding on your voice in this matter.The future of all education, not just online, is up for debate. I've already written to my State Representatives. Don't wait - as the MOOC people say, the future is now.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
People who are not actively creative always seem to treat creative types like they are some kind of mutant creating army. “Where do you get your ideas?” , they ask, sometimes a little snarkily or they will say, plaintively, “I’m just not artistic”. They’ll say, sometimes belligerently, “Where do you find the time?”, implying that if only they had a few extra minutes a day, they too would be doing artwork, but they are too busy and very important, thankyouverymuch, not lazy and lolling about paintingsewingcookingdreaminslacking like the somewhat suspect artistic types.
I used to actually try to explain where I got my ideas when asked, until I realized that this was a rhetorical question: they did not really want to know. Very rarely in those pre-internet days did I meet a kindred spirit who were really and truly interested. ( It’s no fun feeling like a mutant; in self-defense I’d say “From Target” or a museum, as if ideas weren’t everywhere available to everyone, if they would only look.)
One Sunday I was looking at Karen’s blog and she had a link to this skirt.
It was Jean-Paul Gaultier's Spring 2013 Collection, and it was the Most Beautiful Skirt I had ever seen. I loved the colors the patchwork, the fabrics...I thought, "I could do something like that." That’s where ideas come from. They come from other ideas. It’s like a chain reaction. That’s why you shouldn't hoard ideas, you should try them out, use them, do them, set them free. I realized that I could do something like this skirt, but it wouldn't be like his skirt, it would be mine, my view and my art, because my ideas would grow from his ideas and interpret them into my art language..
I totally love this jacket:
After studying it, I realized that is is a simple jacket and I could totally re-create a version of it.
And now you'll know where I got my idea.
P.S. I confessed previously to loving reader comments. I also love bad reviews. If you like them too, read this one. My favorite lines:
Maybe the overwrought Real Housewives "vibrancy" of this presentation was the latest manifestation of that impulse. Or maybe it was a canny acknowledgement of the fact that, right now, there is a couture client somewhere in the world who lives for a gold python trenchcoat.
I would like to note that I see the python trench coat is a "statement " about Veblenesque goods, Mr. Cranky Reviewer. It's Art.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Details here, pattern, of course here.
I can't enter because Little Hunting Creek is one of the Sponsors! You could win a $100 gift certificate to The Little Hunting Creek Company! You could win your choice of Colette Patterns, Indygo Junction Patterns, Amy Butler Patterns, Vintage Patterns, quilt Patterns, Interfacing, tools...all sorts of cool stuff.
Check out the details here, and then start sewing!