Special Education Today Newsletter 1(30)
What happened when it snowed here?
Hello, yes, yellow happiness!
And welcome to the 2022-01-10 issue of the newsletter for Special Education Today. Remember when “turning 30” was a milestone in life? Well, with this issue, SET turns 30..uhm, issues...probably won’t make 30 years unless someone picks up the slack, ‘cause I’d be well past 100 years old then, probably even a worse typist!
Frequent readers will likely recognize the organization. It includes (a) a few house-keeping notes, (b) a listing of the measly recent posts, and (c) a little bit of ignorable commentary.
Here’s hoping that
SET begins an uptick in subscribers something like the cases data about SARs-CoV-19 these days. Wow, are those numbers (whether cases, hospitalizations, or other metric—thankfully not deaths!) accelerating!
Thanks to those of you who corresponded, read posts, commented, and ticked the “like” buttons. Clay K. and Tina C. (who are part of the gang known as “The Usual Suspects”) didn’t volunteer as often for interrogation this past week, but I appreciate their appearances any time.
Let me also recognize some folks who open these damn e-mail messages frequently...like 100s of time! Stacy T, Ed M, Cynthia O, Ed P, Clay K, Tina C, Esther L, Shanna H, C. Edge, Deb Z, Katie H, Ronnie D, Peggy W, Ed S, and many others! Thanks, y’all!
Thanks, too, to family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else who has connected via Twitter. About two years before I retired (reitrement = ~2017), as I mentiond, I bailed on most popular social media, but I didn’t delete my Twitter accounts. So, you will not find an account for me on FB, LI, IG, TT, and etc. I appreciate the efforts some of you make to publicize SET on those media (I’m looking at Clay K. and Michael K.). Look for SET, please, on Twitter at @specialedtoday, @johnwillslloyd, & @spedpro.
The Past Week
Since the last newsletter, I provided only two posts this week. Weak unit, I know. Sigh.
Dear John: Letters from Angela—9—Would a trip to an amusement park with your fiancée be fun?
Azrin & Lindsley studied whether children learn to cooperate when it is reinforced—Would you be surprised if it worked in 15 min?
Friday Photos...missing, sigh. Bad editing.
This coming week, those of you who check will find new articles about various topics in the magazine, inlcuding the missing Friday Photos. Perhaps most significantly, if I can bring myself to write it, I’ll post the last message in the series about Angela.
It’s great to know that some readers are finding posts informative. Please comment and respond. And watch for that photo feature. Keep the feedback coming, please.
First, allow me to ‘fess up’ to my slack. I didn’t get the Friday Photo feature done. It’s coming! (Reminds me of the long wait we folks in the C’ville area had while Bodo’s Bagels was opening it’s first store here. There were huge banners—maybe 2-ft-tall letters—hanging across the front of the building that said, as I recall, “Bagels are coming!” When you visit C’ville, btw, make sure you go to Bodo’s, which now has multiple locations scattered around town.)
One of the excuses I’ll employ to explain my lax work ethic is that we had sneaux this past week. There were two storms. The first one was more serious because it was more intense (maybe 6-8” in 5 hours?) and the snow was heavy (as in weighty). I shoveled it off our drive and the sidewalks...and then a city snowplow driver pushed it back onto the sidewalk. Sigh.
I was bummed, but I wasn’t irritated. I was disappointed. I saw it as a failure of my educational instruction. Why didn’t her-his teachers (some of whom I “trained”) prepare the driver to consider the consequnces of his action?
The stuff that snowplows push is heavier and huger than the original. Pat calls the chunks “oversized watermelons.” Anyway, I got to shovel three times for two storms (second storm much lighter). Those upper-body workouts were on top of my usual exercise...and they reminded me of the storms in the late 70s and early 80s when I created horrific back problems for myself. But, worthy of note: I used my snowshoes to walk for a serious workout immediately after the first storm.
Some folks have wondered why I write dates in the format I use. There are two variants: day-month-year which I use for human readable dates and year-month-day which I use for machine readable dates. Both ways honor the same logic: ordering designations or labels in sequence. When I write the (human) date for this newsletter, it goes from smallest (day) to largest (year): 10 January 2022. When I write it in machine-friendly form, 2022-01-10, it goes in the reverse order. Why do I order them differently? Because I want honor the way machines sort things. Here’s what would happen to three files sorted by name, under my machine friendly convention:
But, if I used a popular naming system, say, they might be ordered quite differently. They’d be sorted by month!
Now, consider coding the date by day first, which makes a hash of the months and years.
I haven’t reported all possible permutations here. Consider omitting the leading zero on months and days that are represented by single digits. But, for entertainment value (and more helpful discussion), I recommend consulting the work of one of my favorite cartoonists, Randall Monroe; somewhere in his massive oeuvre is a cartoon on this topic. But, read his work just for the fun of it. (The cab of my truck is plastered with tiny sticky words he sells on his Web site’s—https://xkcd.com—store, such as “More Magic.”) [Note, I get no benefits from mentioning his site.]
As I reported last week, I started reading a book by Rutger Bregman called “Humandkind: A Hopeful History.” One night this week I awakened, concerned that I had misspelled his name in last week’s newsletter—phew! It was correct. Editor’s paranoia? I’ve only gotten a little farther in the book this week (too much time shoveling snow?). In the chapters I read this week, he has discussed a for-real story about teens marooned on an island and the development of cooperation over human history, including pre-history.
Now, please remember that I have my usual wishes-hopes for all y’all: Stay safe, take care of each other, and (especially) teach your children well.
John Wills Lloyd, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, UVA School of Ed & HD
Co-editor, Exceptional Children