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Alice Kramden

Alice Kramden's Journal
Alice Kramden's Journal
February 8, 2021

Karen Lewis, Chicago Union Leader Who Set Off A Wave Of Teacher Activism, Dies

Source: WBEZ Chicago

Karen Lewis, the woman credited with resurrecting the Chicago Teachers Union and helping to revive teacher unions across the country, has died. . .

Lewis served as president of the Chicago Teachers Union from 2010 to 2018, when she resigned due to health issues. She was diagnosed with brain cancer several years ago. She was 67 years old. Her death was confirmed by the union.

Before becoming president of the teachers union, she was a chemistry teacher in Chicago Public Schools for more than 20 years.

Lewis is remembered as being passionate and outspoken, but also highly intelligent, wildly funny and warm, and someone who always recalled details about people’s lives and asked about them.

Read more: https://www.wbez.org/stories/karen-lewis-chicago-union-leader-who-set-off-a-wave-of-teacher-activism-dies/f8d5519c-f85c-4f73-a264-725157254854

January 31, 2019

New from Margaret and Helen

Regularly checking for something new from them, and today it paid off. Pretty funny stuff:

"...Here we are at the end of my little rant. In this story, I used the F-word.... It’s a word that I had always banned on this little web blog of mine.  I humbly ask for your forgiveness.  But do you realize how hard it is to talk about Donald Trump and not use that word?  It’s god-damn near fucking impossible.  I mean it.  Really."

Much more at:
January 15, 2019

Star Trek compilation

For a laugh: someone put together this video to accompany William Shatner's spoken-word rendition of Common People

January 5, 2019

Surveillance in restaurants? An experiement...

So my hubby and I just got back from dinner (yes, we are OLD farts) at a place someone gave us a gift certificate: Olive Garden. Normally we cook at home, so this was a little treat. On similar occasions, I've had the feeling that our conversations were being monitored--so in the car on the way I proposed an experiment, and this is what we did:

After the server took our order, and we were by ourselves, although nothing was wrong with the water glasses on our table, I mildly complained about the water-- I said, "Something is wrong with this water, I wish we had better water, I don't like how this water tastes." I didn't say anything to the server. Sure enough, in a few minutes (about 10 minutes) and before our food came, she reappeared with two new water glasses.

She said, "Here is some new water for you." Our water glasses were still mostly full, so I said, "There is nothing wrong with our water, why did you bring this?" She said, "Just in case." This restaurant has these electronic monitors on the table where you can swipe your card for payment and view your receipt, and I theorize these may be like Alexa, recording everything in the vicinity.

I would be interested if anyone else would like to experiment with this, or if anyone has had a similar experience.

December 25, 2018

Decreasing our critical thinking

From The Guardian: a long article, but worth it—information on how our brain’s circuitry is adapting to modern reading, becoming more like skimming, and effectively decreasing our critical thinking.


In this hinge moment between print and digital cultures, society needs to confront what is diminishing in the expert reading circuit, what our children and older students are not developing, and what we can do about it.
…research has found that the negative effects of screen reading can appear as early as fourth and fifth grade - with implications not only for comprehension, but also on the growth of empathy.

The possibility that critical analysis, empathy and other deep reading processes could become the unintended “collateral damage” of our digital culture is not a simple binary issue about print vs digital reading. It is about how we all have begun to read on any medium and how that changes not only what we read, but also the purposes for why we read. Nor is it only about the young. The subtle atrophy of critical analysis and empathy affects us all. It affects our ability to navigate a constant bombardment of information. It incentivizes a retreat to the most familiar silos of unchecked information, which require and receive no analysis, leaving us susceptible to false information and demagoguery.

We possess both the science and the technology to identify and redress the changes in how we read before they become entrenched. If we work to understand exactly what we will lose, alongside the extraordinary new capacities that the digital world has brought us, there is as much reason for excitement as caution.

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Chicago
Home country: USA
Current location: Northern Illinois
Member since: Sat Nov 3, 2018, 11:51 AM
Number of posts: 2,093

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