Blue Cereal's blog

Blue Serials (2/8/20) - Social Media Edition

 Happy chocolate-covered stuff!

Choco-HeartI suppose this is – by default – the Valentine’s Day Edition of Blue Serials this month.

I’ll be honest. This is NOT one of my favorite holidays. It seems contrived and completely driven by guilt, expectations, and consumerism. It also makes it REALLY hard to get into any decent restaurants for several days before and after.

Blue Serials (2/1/20)

The Way, The Trump, and the LifeIt’s been a weird 2020 so far in education news. As I’m sure you’ve already heard, President Trump announced that starting now, he’s going to allow students to pray in public schools if they so choose. He’s also going to institute a system whereby religious student organizations can meet on school grounds, as long as schools grant that access equitably to all Christian denominations. He’s calling this policy, “The First Amendment.”

You Get Up

Take Me Anywhere

Buck Owens

I was in a band many, many, MANY years ago. We considered ourselves “college alternative” – immersed in R.E.M., the Smiths, the Cure, and MTV’s 120 Minutes. We didn’t actually sound like ANY of them, which was both a glaring flaw and source of inner pride. Originality and Lack of Quality formed quite an edgy Venn Diagram back in the day.

"Have To" History: United States vs. Nixon (1974)

Serious NixonThree Big Things:

1. In 1972, five men working for the Nixon Administration were caught breaking into Democratic National Headquarters. Investigations revealed much wider-spread wrongdoing by the White House – and efforts by the President himself to cover it all up.

2. When it was revealed that the President recorded his conversations, the tapes were subpoenaed by Congress; Nixon refused, claiming “executive privilege.”

3. The Supreme Court ruled against the President, who resigned to avoid impeachment. “Watergate” became shorthand for all things corrupt, especially in reference to major political scandals.

Better Than You Think

Teacher ShameLet’s face it – no one carries around a pervading sense of guilt and inadequacy like teachers. They care deeply, feel strongly, and give muchly – often to a fault. Many of us are able to be professionally developed, pedagogically creative, and politically active, all while scoring way too high on any clinical assessment of personal dysfunctions.

I think it actually goes together – the passion for learning, the tolerance for teenagers, and the emotional mess most of us manage to be. Two sides of the same smashed penny. 

"Have To" History: A Wall of Separation

H2H: Supreme CourtThe First Amendment contains six specific protections, somewhat related, and presumably so very important that they all tied for first when the Framers were debating what to guarantee the mostiest mostest. These are the biggies that squeezed in ahead of militias and quartering of soldiers, and even beat out due process in order of presentation. The right to protest. The right to associate with whomever you wish, including but certainly not limited to political organizations of any and all stripes. Freedom of the press and of speech – absolute linchpins to any nation hoping to maintain the slightest credibility as a true democracy.

But coming ahead of all of them – earning the first two slots in all of Amendment-dom – are the twin ‘freedom of religion’ clauses.

"Flexible"

Flexible GuyThe Offer

Several years ago, I was asked by a major edu-organization for whom I did some work to lead a week-long training in Jordan. Like, the country. In the Middle East. Far away. 

The workshop was for no less than the King’s Academy – a prestigious boarding school founded and regularly visited by, you know... the KING. Like, of Jordan. The country. In the Middle East. Far Away. 

Roe v. Wade (1973) - Written Opinions {Excerpts}

I’ve recently been working on something I’m hoping other teachers might find useful for their own reference or for use in the classroom. It’s a compilation of a dozen or so of the most “Have To” Supreme Court cases in U.S. History – case summaries, excerpts from the majority opinions and periodically from dissents as well, and a few guiding questions over both the summaries and the opinion excerpts.

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