Avatar of Animus

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To the Last Oval Avatar of Consummate Greed, Corruption and Power on the Occasion of his Swearing Out:

Hail to the Herald of Ignominious Infamy!  
Harbinger to 50 States of Grim!
Hail to the Horse’s Ass!  Ringmeister to Caligula’s Pony Show,
Riding Knee-Deep to His Offal Office!
Hail to the Exploitive Expletive in Infinite Towering Regress!

You have been planned for.  You have been expected.  Humanity has been waiting.  So, on your mark, get set, get ready – go!  Do your worst (your best is far too much).  Do your undoing!  We are already quantum leaps beyond.

Some say you sought this Office to pull off the “ultimate heist” of the land – but we all know that’s not “huuge!” enough for you.  That could never really compensate for well —you know.  So, have at, snatch away.  Snatch all you can; run amok, all you like. Just know:  We’ll be watching, witnessing, everywhere, because there’s nowhere left to hide.  We have been waiting for this time.

May you draw deep and cull the poison reflected within ourselves, suck out the paternal patterned paradigms so long used to squelch the best we have within us. So, on you go, Mr. Imperium, build up that wall. “Ich bin ein Berliner”—whoopsie!  Wrong laugh track.  (Who’s paying for this, again?)  Just Know: the snatch you grab may prove your own / may prove your undoing / may grab you by the throat with lipstick lesbian Sense8 kisses, and defib your deliverance – clear! – deep down into your withered gaze.

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Why?  To blast open a vision that even you can’t deny:  that you were right, all along, that you are the only one here!  All of this is for you! All of this IS you. All that is about to be done and undone is done to you by you. All that will be felt, that will be harmed, that will shake awake, is in fact, the last stage seeding, necessary shock for our body politics’ awakening —

(Shh, the dragon is sleeping!)

All this, one day, will be experienced intimately and directly by you.  Because “All is One”. Because WE are you.  You think you own the House?  The House of G–?  The House of the People?  The House of Everything?  Time owns that lease, Mr. Grate America, and lends only to itself.  It’s patiently impatient in its endless expansion—Oh, but Pardon us, Sir, you have been planned for.  Plans are made for you.  Eternity owns the White House, Il Duce, the House and the High Courts, Il Dalek  /  The House always wins  /  the odds even out /  The Worst shall be Last, and the Last shall be Wurst, and the —

(Shhh!  The baby is stirring!  The baby is kicking!
The baby is kicking you into tomorrow!)

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To the Avatar of Malice,
of Disingenuous Dry Rot Neo-Nihilism:

Eternity owns the House, Mr. Chancellor! And all your hotels and casinos on your Lego Boardwalk Empire / And Atlantic and Pennsylvania Avenues, too. (Have we got a railroad for you.) Eternity owns the Justice, too, by the way. More than you could ever pack.  So don’t worry, help is coming — Time is catching up to you. More than enough time to re-start the heart after so long a spiritual arrest. Fear not, Mr. Grinch! Here come all the Christmases you’ve been missing —

Hey, Mickey, it’s Plutocrat!—Wow!  And with such big pants on fire to fill! Pardon us, Sir, but your high office seems to be sinking.  Care for a lifesaver? They’re winter-discontentment / fresh from the heart of Goldman Sachs of shit / perfect for speeding your race to the bottom feeder frenzy.  Not to worry, your Maleficence, Your Executive Branches have Monsanto miracles seeping in, even as we speak. Swampalicious, isn’t it?  (And they say water is a human right.)

What’s that?  It’s all gone wrong?  Can’t take the heart of Hell’s Kitchen?  Well, perhaps you should have ordered yourself out.  At least others are having to pay for it, isn’t that nice?  Isn’t it fun when you pay with other people’s lives? —others you’ll soon come to know every bit as you.  Because there’s nobody else out there, Mr. Palpatine.  Nobody else in here, either.  “All is One”.  Just us chickenshits, really.  It’s all “me, me, me”, Agent Smith. (My, but we love ourselves, don’t we?).  So, scream louder.  Hate bigger.  Maybe you’ll finally wake up.

(Shhh, the baby’s kicking!  The baby is slashing / is lashing out!  
Be careful, the baby has Truth in her eyes!)

Well, there’s no stopping her now. The baby is ripping out our hearts to tear at the infected Wall you built around her womb.  The one you sought no futures in, the one you expected others to pay for— your daughter’s coming due, with a vengeance!

Sir?  Yes, we know, Sir, the people are revolting— ha!  That one never gets old.  You’re right, again, Sir!  But you really should stop looking at Russian porn during Defcon One, your Watergate’s about to burst, the contractions are closing in.  And everywhere, everywhere, guess who’s coming for dinner?  What, not hungry?  Just Deserts, then?

Can’t you see, Mr. Premature? Not even a day begun, and already, here she comes! Here comes the new Boss (not like this old toss). Try not to look her into the eyes, Mr. President— “trust us“,  you’re not ready. You’re not ready to not be the only one – well, are you, Herr Donald, are you?

But then, that’s why we voted for you, isn’t it?  To concentrate the power, to concentrate the blame, to concentrate the hate, so we could concentrate the poison, and alchemize a cure. So, take your bow, Mr. Avatar, you’ve played your part brilliantly, Congrats.  Now, take a hike, it’s our turn.

It’s time, People, it’s time — it’s past time— so wake the fuck up, it’s time!

Vote for Self.  Vote with feet.  Vote daily.  Vote for Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love!  Vote the hell out, through every breath in, vote your heart open, through every birth pang felt.  Vote your conscience to divest yourself of hurt and hate — like a feather is being weighed against your soul.  Vote, in every act, to unite “self” with Self, to love neighbor as thyself – to unite blue with red, and honor all the missing rainbow hues.

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Send your molecules to Washington!
Wake your Self up! 

And still, you think Nobody’s coming, Mr. Predictable?  Still, you think Nobody cares? There’s no time to a bake cake, Sir, they’re already at the Gate. No, they’re already here! Well, you’re right, there’s nobody out there, after all, nobody else, but you. You here, and you there —and there, and there, and there — tens of thousands of millions of “you’s”.

Self”-determination, isn’t that what we Americans always say?  Isn’t that our highest ideal, lip-service, the American way?  Well, we’re sorry, Mr. Teabag, but you’re fired!  Really, your work here is a disgrace.  A masterfarce, mind you, but a race to the bottom is not where we’re headed.  You must want to be very alone, right now.  Again.  Well, too bad.

Because the Self is never alone, Sir.  Not even for you.  That’s what we’re trying to tell you. So, thank you, if you got that.  Thank you, if you’re waking.  Thank us, for rising to the need.

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Hail to the Towering Inferno,
the Atomic Avatar, the Atavistic Anima,

Herald to the End of Single-Minded Consciousness! *

*(On the Occasion of Little Nero’s Birthday Pizza Party).  The Party after the Republican Party (“a Republic, if you can weep it”).  The Remnant Requiem after the Democrat’s kick-ass demise.  Well, here comes something new.  Something revolting. Something worse than we ever thought possible.  Something— apparently needed— to make way for something so much better.  So, no, Mr. Führer, it’s not a mandate, it’s not a populist putsch, nor demagogue’s delight.  It’s a spiritual (r)evolution.  So, thanks, Donny.  Thanks for playing, thanks for sharing.  But your four minutes are the fuck up.  Now, we all know how late it is.  Thanks to you, all beds are burning, there’s no going back to sleep, now.

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To the Last Avatar of [t.b.a.]
at the Dawn of the Deadly Infamy:

We, the People, still live in the creed of our founding.  We put you on notice, that while the American dragon may have been sleeping, she is awakened.  She already is great; she doesn’t need your “saving”.  Our freedom may be rattled, but it shall not perish from the face of the earth. Not while we are here.  We are prepared.  We already are you, everywhere. “All is One”— e pluribus, unum — whether you know it, like it, or not.  Tread softly, where you dare.  But don’t tread disgrace on thee.  Best stay put, there’s no point in going anywhere, your ouroboros deliverance is on its way, is ravenously ready.  So, buckle up.

Pick you up at:  hate.  Deliver us from:  evil.
Surge Prices:  will apply.  Driver:  Rula Day.

Remember, Avatar, and rejoice:  We owe it all to you.

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Continue reading “Avatar of Animus”

Is Beethoven Decomposing? — [Oh no, Mr. Bill! It’s Computational Thinking Time!]

Week 8: Computational Thinking

Hmm, this one’s definitely needed. It’s just sooo handy. Then again,got a couple dozen hours to spare? Good, well, double that, and you might come around to what’s needed for the “advanced beginner” stages for this kind of thought. Just don’t forget to practice. Because you’re going to forget a lot. That said, it’s not that hard to pick on up, again.

So, what is computational thinking, anyway? We asked that, in class. Is it an NFL Ref, measuring the needed yards for 1st Down? –Sure, why not? Is it that awful experiment we all once did, baking that cake with metric measurements – but only after we converted them from the “English” (American) measuring system for tablespoons, teaspoons, cups – into cc’s, liters, etc.? (I wouldn’t eat that cake if I were you). How about getting across the Bay Bridge, before the toll goes up at 3:30 pm, and calculating the time to get there (with Google Maps, of course!). Yes, yes, and yes. Except that was the easy part. Soon, I must demonstrate this concept with an exercise with Excel spreadsheets. Goodbye, cruel world.

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Want know more?  Well, geek out!  You’re in luck.  This man’s journal article should give you plenty to compute on:

“Computational Thinking with Spreadsheet: Convolution, High-Precision Computing and Filtering of Signals and Images” by authors Soman, Kumar, Soumya, and Shajeesh

Webquest Weebly: More tools, more dilemmas

Webquet has plenty of ways to keep classes motivated.
Webquet has plenty of ways to keep classes motivated.

Week 7:  October 15th, 2014

Uh-oh, it’s “Show and Tell” time, again. Remember that activity? How fun it could be, back in primary school?  Well, here it is, again!  And it’s so fun (and occasionally, so odd )to have it take center stage in our classes, once again. Then again…those teachers did use it for a reason.

This week, our professor, Doctor Merchant, has highlighted two new ways to assist us (well, assisting teachers) in making quite some powerful impressions –Weebly and Webquest.  Unlike last week’s “PowerPoint  v. Prezi Smackdown”, these tools are quite different (don’t let the “W’s” fool you).

Webquest is a means of generating classroom (or??) interest in a subject, by encouraging groups of kids / learners – or individuals – to “quest” through the Internet for various aspects of a given subject. It’s all able to be moderated by classroom instructors, of course, with lots and lots of customizable parameters.

Weebly for EducationMeanwhile, Weebly is basically the easiest blog creation tool out there. Great for classroom use, probably less so for my needs, or say, a professional blogger, since the features are pretty minimal. But kids definitely seem to love it – which means, they’ll use it. And really, isn’t that everything?

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Click here to see student / teacher Lauren Tant’s tutorial, “Utilizing a Webquest in the Classroom”

“Present Arms!” Presentation Smackdown: PowerPoint v. Prezi

Week 7:  October 12, 2014

This week, we covered two heavy-hitters in presentation software for classroom use: PowerPoint and Prezi. Both are amazing, with all kinds of options and customizable features – yet, truth told, both can be pains in the neck.

For me, the old standby still remains “PowerPoint”. Sure, Prezi entertains, but there is something about the “gimmicky” nature of all the motion that goes on between images / slides. It gets distracting, after a while.  Not to mention that unless you pay a hefty fee – anyone can steal your classroom kids’ ideas (or yours).

CertainlyPPR VS PREZI, Prezi was a game changer.  Meanwhile, PowerPoint hasn’t exactly been idle. Faced with this new upstart competition, they’ve taken on the challenge, expanding into all kinds of subtle features never seen before. Both, however, take a decent investment in time to master. But they payoff, in powerful, clean presentations can be huge. Of course, neither guarantees success. The rest of the job is up to me.

Time for a little “Inspiration” (a.k.a., “Better Grokking, with Concept Maps”)

Week 6:  October 5th, 2014

This week was all about the ways that using visually presented information can deepen connections and comprehension for students. As you might guess, chief among these was “Inspiration” software, which, although I’ve encountered some in my other ITEC classes, we got to see in more depth, during class.

I’m glad I re-visited the site. Originally, I had been trying to do Concept Maps (and even my blog) with my iPad. Sure, you can do it, but some wheels don’t need re-invention. The Web-based version seems to work much better.
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An online version of the concept map I made (pictured below) is available here:

I think this idea of visual concept mapping just might come in pretty handy!
I think this idea of visual concept mapping just might come in pretty handy!

The Little Red Schoolhouse Gets a Fresh Coat of Cyber: Tools and “Cools” for Invigorating School Curricula with 21st Century Technology

Little red schoolhouse in meadow on misty morning
Little red schoolhouse in meadow on misty morning

Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I’m Robert Ford (a.k.a. “SpikeyGuy”)  and this blog started as a part of my Instructional Technologies / Master’s in Education program (known as “ITEC”) here at San Francisco State University.

Instructional Tech covers the gamut, ranging from corporations to churches, schoolrooms and investment clubs and hospitals and the army, facilitating information exchange and knowledge acquisition in more and more new ways, all the time. It probably then comes as no surprise that ranking high among the various skills entrusted to Instructional Designers is simply being able to carefully listen, and accurately assess the key needs required to meet a desired learning outcome.

Depending where we come in this often iterative process, we do this in a number of ways, from a variety of process-related, systems and learning-theory comprehension, to “Needs Assessment” and front-end analysis tools, even conducting usability studies on what’s been employed to date – all to zero in on what can work best for a given learning situation.

From the sum or parts of these, the Instructional Designer then works with key departments, Administration and Teachers to create whatever module or unit of instruction is found to best meet the learners’ needs. Software employed by Instructional Designers can range from the traditional, “bread-and-butter” standby’s, such as Photoshop and Camtasia, to sound and video editing software, motion graphics design, creation of “Moodles” and other LMS’s, along with Camtasia, blogs, and much — much more. In fact, the field of Instructional Technology is so relatively new; many of the industries that need us most haven’t even invented job titles for us, yet.

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But they are quickly coming to see just how indispensable Instructional Design done well can be, and nowhere is this more true than for those who are busy retooling the “Little Red School Houses” of yesterday into sophisticated, connected learning-generating dynamos, capable of launching 21st century students into orbits and horizons barely dreamt of, even a generation ago. In fact, part of my ITEC 815 class’s stated intended “learning outcomes” is to help me know how to successfully evaluate, plan and design technology applications, and gear the right ones toward specific instructional goals: designing, with teachers and school administrations, the best strategies and materials for the needs presented.

I wonder how good their Wifi is?
I wonder how good their Wifi is?

It’s a truly an exciting time. In fact, it’s only now slowly dawning on me just how exciting, and how life changing for so many, this kind of work can be. For those working with computers in general, this certainly is an amazing time. But for those who can use their skills toward making real, and lasting, difference in the lives of tomorrow’s generations – well, it doesn’t get any better than that.

So, join me along this journey, documenting for you and myself, a bit of that excitement, as I take on what’s “out there”, what’s possible, through the skills learned here with ITEC 815: “Integrating Technology into School Curricula”.

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Curious what other takes on the traditional or modern interpretations of “The Little Red School House” look like?  Click “History Girl’s” link, below, for impressions on where we’ve been, and the second link on “Visioning”, for some turn of the ’90’s early predictions at where the “Little Red Schoolhouse” is going.

The “History Girl New Jersey”‘s video tour of the Little Red Schoolhouse in Lyndhurst, NJ

“Visioning the Little Red Schoolhouse for the 21st Century”