Teachers Reading Tweets About Themselves!

I found this on YouTube. It’s priceless. I have read tweets about me. Some folks can be cruel. Now the teachers get their turn.

These teachers are from Los Alamitos High School. They’re reading tweets about themselves from their students. Please share this with your teacher (and student) friends.


I Am The Punchline To An Old Joke

There’s an aphorism which begins, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach teachers.”

That third one. That’s me. I’m the punchline. I’m about to teach teachers.

It’s an interesting project with UC Irvine Extension. As some of their instructors begin to teach online they face a challenge. How do they adapt to the differences a video camera brings?

We all think there’s a lot of low hanging fruit where small changes will bring large results.

I’m producing a video for the teachers. It’s a how-to of best practices and FAQ answers–a hand holder to help instill confidence in front of the camera. If it works they’ll become more effective reaching students via screens.

I think I can make a positive contribution.

Things You Can Learn From Clouds


I’m going to put on my science teacher hat for a moment. I saw something cool. You might enjoy understanding what’s going on.

An hour ago I propped my tablet against the bathroom window to take a timelapse movie of the clouds&#185. The sky was filled with beautiful puffy cumulus clouds. On a realtime basis they were majestic and seemed to hover in place.

Not so when sped up by a factor of 150 (that’s one shot every five seconds). Now the sky is turbulent. Roiling!

Gil Simmons, who I used to work with at Channel 8, calls these COW clouds. COW for “cold-over-warm.” I’ve also heard the effect called “self defeating sunshine.”

There’s a larger than normal vertical temperature gradient over SoCal today. Earlier this afternoon the temperature dropped almost 10&#176 Fahrenheit between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. That’s the cause for the clouds–the cold-over-warm.

Later tonight you’ll have to climb from 4,500 to 11,000 feet for that same drop.

Since warm air is more buoyant than cold, it rises and condenses forming clouds. This warm air moving toward the cold is called convection. It’s how heat moves when you put a pot of water on the stove.

If you look carefully at the very top of some of the lower clouds in my timelapse you’ll see the convection in action. The clouds grow upward looking very much like the bubbles of water rising in that hot pot of water!

If it looks like the clouds are moving multiple directions at once, you’re right.

There is wind shear overhead. As the clouds gain altitude they move from a southwesterly flow to northwesterly. It was even more pronounced earlier today. That shear adds to the convective cloud buildup. In fact wind shear is a major factor we look at when predicting severe storms.

Too much for one day? I’ll stop now.

The atmosphere is amazing when you watch it up close. There is so much going on and explanations within the laws of physics for all of it.

&#185 – Try as I might I can’t figure out how to keep the Nexus 7 camera from refocusing from time-to-time. That’s why the shot goes out-of-focus a few times.

Our Loss Is North Branford’s Gain

He also seemed a little too handy to be a teacher. I guess that’s my hangup. Aren’t they supposed to be all thumbs and nerdy?

My trip from the studio to our new control room pases through what’s left of our old control room–the ghost of television past! There are wires poking through the floor, a bank of now worthless black and white monitors and not much more. Yesterday while walking through I noticed a man dismantling the console where the director and producers used to sit.

“Scrapping it?” I asked?

He looked up from beneath the beaten console, then stood up to shake my hand. It was Joe Tenczar a teacher at North Branford High School and presumptive winner of any Mike Rowe lookalike contest.

Joe proceeded to tell me about the program at NBHS where students were learning to edit and produce their own newscast.

He seemed like the kind of guy you’d want to be a teacher. He was motivated. He saw purpose in what he was doing. He was genuinely pleased with his impact on young lives.

He also seemed a little too handy to be a teacher. I guess that’s my hangup. Aren’t they supposed to be all thumbs and nerdy?

It’s just a piece of old beaten up furniture Joe carted away with Phil Zocco’s help, but now I’m happy for it. It’s going to serve a higher purpose.

Hey North Branford, treat it well.

Talking To The Teachers

And, of course, the folks there live have no idea what’s going on television… until the two meet and I’m speaking to both audiences at once.

I emceed for the Connecticut Association of Schools tonight at the AquaTurf in Southintgton. I know I’ve written about this before since it’s my 14th consecutive year as emcee. This dinner is all about awards for exemplary programs from elementary schools across the state.

It’s nice to stop and meet some teachers who are still fired up about what they do and who they can mold their students. It would be nice as a parent to get to choose you child’s teacher so you get one of these. You’re not always this lucky.

At one point during the program I am both emceeing and presenting the weather. No matter how many times I do it that part is nerve racking. I’ve got my little earpiece plugged in while I’m speaking to the live crowd. And, of course, the folks there live have no idea what’s going on television… until the two meet and I’m speaking to both audiences at once.

I used to stay until the very end, but now with our 10:00 PM news I’m back earlier–leaving before the program is finished.

Happy Anniversary WPIX

There’s a special, scheduled for 9:00 PM, which I will be recording. But, there might be as much fun with the shows leading up to the special!

After the Phillies win, Helaine decided to watch the Mets/Padres game on WPIX (aka CW11). A few promos ran for next Saturday’s “WPIX 60th Anniversary” broadcast.

There’s a special, scheduled for 9:00 PM, which I will be recording. But, there might be as much fun with the shows leading up to the special!

12:00 PM – The Little Rascals

Teacher’s Pet (1930) Jackie plans practical jokes on his new teacher, Miss Crabtree. 30 mins

12:30 PM – The Little Rascals

Mail and Female (1937) Alfalfa is president of the He-Man Women Haters Club. 30 mins

01:00 PM – Abbott & Costello

Getting a Job Lou visits an employment agency. 30 mins

01:30 PM – Abbott & Costello

The Actors Home Bud and Lou perform “Who’s on First?” 30 mins

02:00 PM – The Three Stooges

Gents Without Cents The boys hit on vaudeville. 30 mins

02:30 PM – The Three Stooges

A-Plumbing We Will Go Plumber Stooges flood a garden party. 30 mins

03:00 PM – Superman

Crime Wave Public Enemy No.1 starts a crime wave. 30 mins

03:30 PM – Superman

The Perils of Superman A lead-masked man sets death traps for the reporters. 30 mins

04:00 PM – Get Smart

Mr. Big KAOS’ Mr. Big threatens to destroy all cities. 30 mins

04:30 PM – Get Smart

A Spy for a Spy KAOS plans to swap the chief for a missile-detector. 30 mins

05:00 PM – My Favorite Martian

My Favorite Martin A reporter pulls a Martian from a crashed spaceship. 30 mins

05:30 PM – My Favorite Martian

A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine and Peaches Martin is smitten with a striptease artist. 30 mins

06:00 PM – I Dream of Jeannie

The Lady in the Bottle An astronaut frees a 2000-year-old genie. 30 mins

06:30 PM – I Dream of Jeannie

Tomorrow Is Not Another Day Jeannie gives Tony the next day’s newspaper. 30 mins

07:00 PM – The Odd Couple

Password The roommates appear on “Password.” 30 mins

07:30 PM – The Odd Couple

My Strife in Court Felix and Oscar are charged with ticket scalping. 30 mins

08:00 PM – The Honeymooners

Better Living Through TV Ralph and Norton do a live TV commercial. 30 mins

08:30 PM – The Honeymooners

The $99,000 Answer Ralph tests his skill in a pop-music contest. 30 mins

I remember each and every one of these series and the individual episodes. Growing up, Channel 11 was the station for kids shows. Officer Joe, Captain Jack and Chuck McCann all hosted shows on WPIX.

Those days will never return.

Born To Be A Ham

I was surprised, and pleased, to see Stan Horzepa mentioned my blog in his weekly “Surfin'” feature on the American Radio Relay League’s website.

I’ve been a ham for nearly 40 years. Outside of family, it’s the longest running constant in my life.

My “Elmer,” as hams call their mentor or teacher, was Bob Semensohn. I have no idea where he is today. I remember little about him, other than he played piano and was helpful in my passing the exam.

Things have changed now, but you needed Morse Code proficiency to get a ham license back in the late 60’s. I started with a Novice license and then moved up to my Advanced.

The Novice exam was proctored by a fellow ham. The Advanced meant a trip to Lower Manhattan and the FCC office in the Customs Building, right near where the World Trade Center would later rise… and fall.

I thought it was cool to go, because I got to take the morning off from school.

I easily passed the written test and prepared for the Morse exam. I sat alone at a wooden school desks – one of a few arranged in a line.

A punch tape ran through some sort of mechanical reader to produce the code. It began – “dit dit dit dah, dit dit dit dah, dit dit dit dah.” Three “V’s,” the universal letter group sent for testing and setting up equipment.

As the real text of the test began, I started to write. The Morse was being sent at 13 words per minute – basically, a character every second. And then, it happened.

From the Hudson River, a block or two away, a ship’s horn sounded. It was loud… and I was already nervous. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I missed 15-20 seconds. Just as important, it threw me off my rhythm.

To pass, you needed to copy one straight minute of the five in the test and I did… but barely. But the test didn’t end there.

The final step was sending Morse code. A simple key was bolted to the table. The examiner, a cigar chomping Mr. Finkleman, stepped up to listen.

I was so nervous, I couldn’t send cleanly. My hand was shaking… and it was the hand that was supposed to tap out letters.

Finkleman looked down and told me to head to the hallway and get a drink from the fountain. The hall was poorly lit, drably painted and had linoleum tiles. There was no confusion that government offices occupied this building.

When I walked back in, he asked me to send, “Federal Communication Commission.” I was still nervous, but I began to tap out, “dit dit dah dit, dit” and he stopped me. I had only sent “fe.”

“You pass,” he smiled.

It probably wasn’t a big day for Mr. Finkleman, but it sure was for me! Nearly 40 years later, I still remember it as if it was yesterday.

Old Photo From Junior High

While I was cleaning this past weekend, I came across a bunch of things I hadn’t seen in a while. That includes the attached photo.

I am not the shortest boy, but pretty close. I am one boy left of center in the front row.

As far as I can remember, I was in the 7th grade a Campbell Junior High School (JHS 218) on Main Street in Flushing, at the time. A teacher at the school, Frank Skala&#185, organized student trips. These were organized by Mr. Skala (back row, farthest left) and weren’t ‘official’ school trips.

This trip was to Cape Cod. It was the first and only time I’ve been to Cape Cod! As you can see by our clothes, it was off-season.

Here’s what I remember from the trip – nothing.

Actually, I take that back. I remember going to McDonalds. That was significant, because it was my first McDonalds and my first ‘fast food restaurant.’

A few things to note:

Look at the hair! What were they thinking.

Whe was the last time you saw that many 7th, 8th or 9th graders dressed in jackets and ties?

Look how few adults there were for this many teens. I was too young, stupid, innocent, to be a problem. I assume I was an exception in that regard.

I wish I could remember anyone shown. I don’t.

I think the guy to the right of Mr. Skala is the bus driver. Another teacher from the school (who wasn’t on the trip) has identified two other teachers pictured. Even after reading their names, I don’t remember them.

I was only in this school two years, still shouldn’t I remember somebody… anybody?

&#185 – If I knew how to get in touch with Frank Skala, I’d send him this photo file. He was very active in the teacher’s union. He’s probably retired now. I know he is a community activist in Bayside, NY. I’m usually good at this, but I can’t find an email address for him or a website for his organization.

School Days

I went to speak to a local elementary school today. I don’t usually speak to schools. My appearances are mostly associated with charity work.

In this case, my next door neighbors children go to this school. How could I resist.

This was an older school. Though a parochial school, it reminded me of PS 163Q where I “served” second through sixth grade. Don’t confuse ‘older school’ with ‘old style’ school . They are different terms.

However, this school was both! I don’t consider that to be bad.

The kids were very attentive and asked good questions. They weren’t scared to participate. I liked that.

There was one kid in the front who needed to be tied down for his own (OK – for my own) good. There’s at least one in every class. I was it in my school.

When I do these school talks, we always suck eggs into Snapple bottles. The kids love it. They like it even better when a teacher, Sister Pia in this case, holds the bottle.

We never had fun people stop by when I was in elementary school. We had a dentist… once. He told us you needed to use ‘elbow grease’ when you cleaned your teeth. One girl (I remember her name but won’t put it here) raised her hand and asked where elbow grease could be bought.

Connecticut Association of Schools Dinner

For the past 11 years I’ve been the emcee for the Connecticut Association of Schools Elementary Program Recognition Banquet. That’s a mouthful. Eleven years and I still can’t fully remember it without looking at a piece of paper.

It takes place at the Aquaturf in Southington where teachers, principals and other educators feast on prime rib. Year after year they continue to serve the largest portion of prime rib I’ve ever seen.

I’m impressed by these teachers, because they’re down there in the trenches. What they do does make a difference, though often they’re only recognized when a parent disapproves of what they’ve done to his child.

Usually I get to do the weather from the banquet hall. We actually pause the program and I leave the podium to do the weather… and pick one teacher to embarrass.

I was called on often enough by teachers when I wasn’t prepared. Turnabout is fair play!

On the way back to work I started to think about my grade school experience. I went to kindergarten and first grade at PS 201. I remember nearly nothing of that experience, except my parents were proud because in first grade I wrote a ‘book’. Sure all my ‘b’s were ‘d’s and vice versa… and it was only a few pages… but it was a book.

I remember a whole lot more about PS 163. It was housed in an old brick building in a quiet neighborhood. The chimney was wrapped with some sort of straps to keep it from disintegrating. To get there, I had to walk two blocks, cross the Long Island Expressway via an overpass and then walk a few more blocks.

I looked upon PS 163 as some sort of prison. It was a very very unpleasant time for me. I’m not sure it wasn’t also an unpleasant time for my teachers, whose lives I probably made a living hell.

Here are some brief bullet points of things I remember.

  • A boy, whose name I still remember and whom I won’t embarrass 40+ years later, somehow came to be shunned by the class. He was an overweight kid, which made his life difficult enough already. There was a rumor he had body odor, or something similar. After he drank at one of the twin water fountains, a student put up a note and we all drank from the other fountain. We were jerks. Can I apologize now?
  • In the fifth grade… maybe the fourth… my mother was called into the school. As I sat on the hard wooden bench outside the office, the principal (an old biddy who even then seemed like a throwback to the prior century) told my mother I had been telling dirty jokes. Mom later laughed it off. Thanks Mom.
  • I once won a spelling bee, possibly my only academic achievement, when I correctly spelled “government.” That it had already been misspelled by a few others made victory that much sweeter.
  • Someone from World Book Encyclopedia came to the school. Today I would look upon this as an unwarranted sales call on little kids. Back then it was OK. She said, “We never guess, we look it up.” I can’t get that phrase out of my mind to this day. I have used it as if it were part of the common lexicon. It isn’t, unless you were in PS163 with me.
  • We never had recess – not once – not ever
  • I never remember seeing a teacher leaving the classroom while it was in session. How did they go to the bathroom?
  • At one short point we played basketball outside. Most of the limited gym classes we had in the school were spent square dancing. “Heel and toe and one, two, three.” The school owned a Caliphone; a phonograph with variable speed capabilities that allowed the teachers to slow it down so even we could attempt to square dance.
  • There were only two male teachers in the entire school. They only taught the dumb kids.
  • There were only two black students: Hubert and Herbert. This was very odd as I lived directly across the street from a fully integrated city housing project. Years later, my mom said the school was purposely segregated. I didn’t know that at the time. It makes me uneasy even now.
  • The library was the size of a closet. In fact, at one time it probably was a closet.
  • We had huge classes with over 40 kids. Teachers were still able to maintain discipline and teach. I am always wary when I hear claims about class size being a paramount contributor to the quality of education.
  • When one girl in the fifth grade developed noticeable breasts, it became a big deal among the male students. It might have become a big deal with the girls too, but I had nearly zero contact with them. I definitely had zero contact with the girl with the breasts.
  • A local public library began having chaperoned afternoon dances. Our principal tried to have them stopped. I’m not sure if she was successful.
  • A dentist came and spoke at an assembly. He said the secret to good teeth was to brush and use some elbow grease. Again, I remember the name of the girl who raised her hand to ask where you could buy elbow grease. I’ll keep it my secret.
  • As far as I could tell, there had been no one in the United States prior to 1900, because everyone’s parents or grandparents or even my fellow students came from the old country… not the U.S.
  • The school had a master clock system. The minute hands moved once every minute, not gradually each fraction of a second. As we approached 3:00 PM, I would watch those clocks and they seemed to slow down.
  • During the spring and fall, ferocious thunderstorms would rattle the school. I have never heard thunder as loud, nor have I been as scared of the weather, as I was then.
  • The art teacher drove a white Cadillac
  • It was rumored the male fifth grade teacher had thrown a ring of keys at a recalcitrant student.
  • The school had tracking – grouping the kids by their academic abilities. I was with virtually the same kids from second through sixth grades. This method has lost favor over the years, but I think it worked in our school.
  • Of all the kids I went to grade school with, in the past year I have been in contact with just two of them.
  • I’m pretty sure I never did homework, nor did I ever study. I am not proud of this.
  • A Former Teacher Finds My Blog

    How do you describe a blog to someone who hasn’t read one? It’s like a diary&#185.

    Forget all this political mumbo jumbo and the (false) promise of blogs as the new journalism. Blogs are diaries. Some might be political, but many more concentrate on Britney Spears or the emotional traumas associated with high school.

    This is my blog. It concentrates on what’s important to me, without the controversial stuff that would prompt my boss to ask me to stop.

    Here’s where a blog differs from a diary. Diaries are private or only read by a select few. Blogs, on the other hand, are available to anyone, and once indexed by Google, Yahoo, MSN and the rest, become a contextual part of the Internet.

    That indexing is very important. Stupid, insipid things written by me and others… relatively unimportant people, can gain weight when they concern an esoteric subject which isn’t often discussed.

    Take Junior High School 218 Queens, aka – Harold G. Campbell Junior High School. On the Internet, I’m considered a source for JHS 218Q. But how many people care, or more importantly search for Campbell Junior High? So it was a surprise to read the email I got this morning

    I was at the club this morning (Saw Mill River Club in

    Mount Kisco, NY. I prefer the Powerhouse Gym on

    Francis Lewis Blvd. but it is 39 miles away), working

    away on the elliptical when I thought, “Why not go to

    a search engine and type in Harold G. Campbell JHS?”

    So I did (when I got home).

    Your name and the Kennedy assassination article

    appeared. I started reading it when I was shocked to

    see my name. I then read that the day after,

    Saturday, we went to a show. I have no recollection

    of that but if you say it, then I must have gone.

    Here’s that Google link. My website is the second citation.

    The shocked man is my former 8th grade teacher, Harold Friend. He was Mr. Friend then, he is Dr. Friend now. The academic elevation doesn’t surprise me. He was very smart.

    Dr. Friend was mentioned when I wrote about the Kennedy assassination. It was his classroom I was in when we got the word from Dallas.

    How cool to get this email. How strange for him to search the Internet and find someone talking about him. The indexing power of search engines is a luxury of our times that never existed, or was even contemplated, as recently as 15 years ago.

    After reading the email, Helaine said Dr. Friend must be old now. If he was 30 in 1963, that would put him in his early 70s now. Of course he could have been 25, or 45. To me, in the early 1960s, he was old. I was a kid. But, being in his 70s now doesn’t seem to make him as old as it once would have.

    The fact that his story begins in his gym means, however old he is, he’s really younger.

    Once again I have to ask myself, who reads this… and why. I can tell from my logs that most of my traffic isn’t to my home page, but people going to inside pages – archived material I had written about earlier which is pointed at by the search engines. It just boggles my mind that anything I write has any impact on anyone.

    I’m just a guy who likes to write. Like all bloggers, all I bring are my own experiences and insights. It can be read, but that doesn’t make it special.

    &#185 – Be careful on the spelling, because it’s certainly not like a dairy.

    Blogger’s addendum – It has been established, in further communication, that he doesn’t remember me.

    Thanksgiving – Timing is Everything

    Last year, as Helaine and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, we took a few days and went to New York City. We’re close enough (about 100 miles) to day trip, but this was going to be special – and, of course, it was.

    I was about to write how everything went as planned until I remembered a Broadway show that was canceled at the last moment, a less than stellar hotel and a very, very long wait the night before Thanksgiving to see the balloon inflation. It was a wait we finally gave up on, before we got to the balloons.

    The high point was going to Central Park West, just a half block from the Dakota, to watch the famous Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yes, we got up well before dawn and taxied to the Upper West Side. Yes, I napped on the sidewalk, waiting for the parade to get underway. But what a vantage point! And the parade was everything we hoped for.

    Thank God we went last year!

    It has been raining all day today. Right now the visibility is approaching zero over most of New York City and Connecticut. There’s a chance for thunderstorms on Thanksgiving morning and enough wind to force the parade organizers to consider not flying the balloons, or flying them low.

    We really lucked out. Last year’s weather was as close to perfect as is possible.

    I had been thinking about last year and the hundreds of pictures I took. In fact, I was thinking of putting this very entry in my blog. Then, just a few minutes ago, came email which made me know adding this entry was the right thing to do.

    Dear Geoff,

    I’m an English teacher at an International School in Venezuela, and this week I’m teaching my students about American Thanksgiving customs. I was thrilled to find your pictures of the parade! There are tons of great shots of the balloons, floats, bands, clowns, etc. I’m showing your slide show to my students — it’s the closest we’ll be able to come to watching the parade.

    Thanks for making these excellent pictures available.


    Erin Balcom, ESL Teacher

    Morrocoy International School, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela

    That’s very cool. I feel lucky to be able to share my experience with these students so far away. To a kid, what could be more attractive about the United States than Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

    This year Thanksgiving will be a lot more quiet – we’ll be home. Actually, I’ll be at work for part of the day, but will go home and have dinner with Steffie and Helaine.

    In the time since we went to the parade I have pondered whether this is better left a once in a lifetime experience or if we should do it again. I’m still up in the air. It doesn’t make a great deal of difference because even if we had plans now, the weather would have canceled them for us.

    Mme. Gobstein and the Rest of My Educational Life

    Back when I was a student at Harold G. Campbell Junior High School (aka JHS 218Q in Flushing, Queens) I took French. We learned using new multimedia course from ALM, often sitting in little booths with headphones. This was the early sixties mind you, multimedia was a word waiting to be invented.

    My teacher was Mme. Elaine Gobstein. Mme Gobstein had the unenviable task of trying to motivate my classmates and me into learning French. I freely admit I was less easily motivated than most.

    I floated through the first marking period, getting a courtesy passing grade, though I was doing failing work. I kept up the pace into the next report card, this time getting the failing grade I so rightly deserved. It was my first time failing a subject and I was crushed.

    I’m not sure who initiated the conversation between Mme Gobstein and me, but we had one. She told me the only way I’d be able to pass was by participating every day and doing well on the final.

    So, I did.

    I had my hand up for every bit of classroom participation. I’m sure I was a pain in the ass, but I did what she asked. And, when the final came around, I got an incredible mark (considering). My mother remembers it to be in the 90s. I think it was in the high 80s. It makes no difference now, over 40 years later, but when my report card came… I had flunked.

    As strange as it may seem, my mother and I have talked about this more than once over the past few years. She says in today’s environment she would have gone to school and pleaded my case. Back then, you accepted the teacher’s decision and my 55 stood… and is probably buried somewhere in the NYC Board of Education archives on a faded Delaney card.

    It’s possible Mme. Gobstein thought I had cheated. I had not. Maybe she didn’t think my spurt in the last grading period overcame my earlier work? No sense asking. After hundreds, maybe thousands of students and four decades gone by, she can’t be expected to remember.

    It doesn’t really matter, except I thought she had made an offer and I had delivered my end of the bargain.

    Like I said, it’s over 40 years later. I harbor no ill will toward Mme. Gobstein, who was probably a good teacher with a recalcitrant student. Still, even now it hurts.

    So, what brings this up? Well, I’m rounding the home stretch at Mississippi State University and taking quizzes and tests on a regular basis. From time-to-time there’s a grade I disagree with – but now I make my case.

    The latest came today with a test in Synoptic Meteorology II. I was pleased to have gotten 100%… except when the result came, it was an 80%.

    If I was back in Mme. Gobstein’s class during the first marking period, I’d have written it off. But now I had vetted all my answers. The problem is the questions!

    I know that sounds strange, but here’s what I’ve found out about multiple choice tests (and that’s what these are): They are more difficult for a professor to write than questions for a test answered in sentences or essays. The instructor has to be very diligent, making sure he doesn’t inadvertently say the wrong thing – making an answer correct only if it is not read thoroughly.

    In fact, the more you know – the harder you study – the easier it is to find fault in the questions.

    My concerns today had to do with a formula which didn’t exactly match the one in the text and a the interpretation of a sentence.

    I am confused by a few of the questions in quiz 2:

    Which of the following is a description of precision

    a. Measurements that produce the same result for a given repeated


    b. Hitting the same point every time (“bulls-eye”)

    c. Multiple measurements which read the same, but are not accurate

    d. All of the above describe precision

    You said ‘c’. I answered ‘a’.

    From the video outline:

    4. Precision

    An instrument


    I was sound asleep when Steffie walked into the bedroom. She leaned down to wake me. I sprung up – as if I had been launched.

    “The alarm is beeping,” she said.

    I was groggy – after all, it wasn’t 10:00 AM yet. I walked down the hall to the panel for our alarm system. The LED readout and another light were flashing. From inside the box came, “beep.”

    I turned to Steffie and asked if the power was out? I guess I wasn’t very lucid if I had to ask. It was off.

    Back in high school I had a teacher, Mr. Temes, who complained that his Brooklyn neighborhood of Manhattan Beach was connected to the power grid by a piece of zip cord. It sometimes seems the same here.

    We had been hit by moderately powerful thunderstorms overnight, with torrential downpours. But the power worked then. We didn’t lose the juice until it was sunny, dry and warm.

    I reset the alarm system and went back to the bedroom. As I put my head on the pillow I stopped to listen to the silence.

    We live in a world with so many little noises generated electrically that it’s easy to miss them. But you really do hear the difference when the power’s off.

    Every electrical appliance with a transformer is vibrating a little when it’s plugged in. Refrigerators cycle their compressor on and off. The pump to pressurize our well water kicks in. There was nothing.

    Well, actually, that’s not so. There was mostly nothing, punctuated by yet another beep every few seconds. Years ago we had bought a cordless phone with a great feature. So you don’t take it too far from its base, it beeps when it loses contact with the mother ship.

    Every time the power fails, it beeps incessantly.

    I was first made aware of the little noises we always hear when I read “The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium : An Englishman’s World.” Robert Lacey, the author, talked about the things we’d notice that were different back then, and noise was high on the list.

    Before I fell asleep I picked up my cellphone (which now works at home) and called Helaine. She was out shopping. We are so totally dependent on electricity that until recently neither of us carried a key to the house – depending on the garage door opener and then security system protected interior doors.

    Luckily, before she returned the power problem was fixed. I knew it when I heard a small motor kick in and the sound of a little extra water streaming into our toilet’s tank.

    Connecticut Association of Schools

    I did the weather live from the AquaTurf Club in Southington, site of the Connecticut Association of Schools Program Recognition Banquet. That’s a mouthful. Basically, schools from across the state are cited for specific programs they devise. Then, all the ideas are presented in a booklet so each school can adopt the best ideas.

    It’s good to see these teachers and principals let their hair down for an evening.

    The AquaTurf is well suited for this kind of affair. It is huge and the service is excellent. I’ve been doing this particular program for 10 years and the banquet hall looks as fresh and well kept as the first day I went there.

    The specialty of the house is a Fred Flinstone sized piece of prime rib. It’s an Atkins orgy on a plate! Some day, I expect to arrive only to see cows marching in a picket line out front.

    The first few weather hits were easy, out on the porch behind the dining room. The setting is beautiful with a small lake on one side and a waterfall on the other.

    I’m sure there have been dozens… more like hundreds of brides photographed here.

    Though the weather featured thunderstorms, I was in tight contact with the station, knew what was on the radar, and had no trouble keeping up. In a more volatile situation, I would have handed the weather duties to someone standing by at the station.

    For 6:00, we moved inside. This is probably the strangest live shot I do all year, because I am doing the weather and emceeing the ceremony, all at the same time!

    I start on the dais and then, as the time draws near (wearing a wireless microphone) walk to the camera position… but I’m still emceeing. I try my best to keep the audience attuned to what’s going on and in a good mood… and then, we’re on-the-air.

    When the weather is finished, it’s back to the dais and on with the show.

    It doesn’t sound like it should work, and maybe it doesn’t. I’m in a bad position to make that judgment. But, they ask me to do it that way every year, and I’m glad to oblige. It is as close as I come to juggling on TV.

    On my drive up, I called my mom and asked her what she remembered about my elementary school days. I was expecting to hear about disappointing parent-teacher conferences, or the time the principal of P.S. 163Q, Mary M. Leddy, called my mom in because I was telling dirty jokes. Instead, she remembered the book I wrote while I was in first grade and how the principal and my teacher made a big deal of it – going so far as to hold my book up in front of the assembly. I actually remember that too.

    I told that story to the assembled crowd tonight. My point to them was, nearly 50 years after the fact, my mom remembers, as do I, the encouragement I received in the first grade. Teachers have incredible impact on our lives, and I’m glad I helped celebrate them tonight.