Marking up a text for comprehension

Reading mark-up diagram.
Because students occasionally ask me how I mark up my text for reading comprehension, I have created a page with a brief diagram with the marks that work for me. It is here. LINK TO READING MARKUPam.html

NPR Obituary of Zinn Enacts Double Standard

Letter to NPR Ombudsperson. Contact her here: http://help.npr.org/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=5670&task=ticket

It was unbalanced of NPR to "rebut" Howard ZInn's legacy without doing the same for other controversial figures on the right.

Horowitz's statements don't reflect the balanced conscience of a conservative or the measured estimate of a historian. He is a media showman and NPR bought his snake oil.

You ruined your segment with his commentary, and you further confirmed the sense that some of us have that you are interested only in "fake balance" and not news or commentary based on merit.

Read the FAIR account, here: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4009


Beware University Technologists who are "Here to Help"

At a recent seminar on teaching, one guest from CU Online actually said, and I'm paraphrasing (but accurately): "let students bring laptops to the classroom; let them surf the web; let them twitter about your lecture while it's happening!" I think his point was to have teachers begin to accept laptops in the classroom, but he went way beyond that.

Some of us teachers looked around in disbelief. But these CU Online people are the priests of technology, and this is their business--but their business is set directly in opposition to what we believe it means to develop a mind and a socially conscious intelligence.

In short, professors: watch out for the technologist on your very own payroll. They know not what they're saying, and they're saying it in training to your faculty.


Writing a Memo of Understanding for a Nanny

Writing a Memo of Understanding for a Nanny

Here is the MOU I created to create clear communication between us and our nanny. Hope it's helpful to some people.

Memorandum of Understanding
Between: ____________ and PARENTS
This document specifies the terms of the  care arrangement between _________________ and the parents, NAMES of their two children.

o   To be cared for: NAMES
o Other children who visit will do so only with advance notice of and approval of nanny. Compensation will be adjusted for additional children (see below).

o        Typical care: feeding, clothing, changing, entertaining, etc.
o  Occasional housework related to day with children-e.g., tidying up a play area, bedroom, or kitchen-preferably involving children in cleanup if possible.
o      Fall 2008 NAME Preschool:
o      Occasional driving/escorting as needed
o Taking NAME to Paddington every ____ at _____ am/pm
o    Laundry-occasional, related to children's care.
o        Medications when necessary

House rules
Naptimes/Bedtimes- we prefer the kids both nap during the day and that activities be scheduled with these times in mind:
   NAME goes down for 1 nap a day, typically around _____.
NAME goes  down for 1 nap a day, when possible, around 1  p.m.
Obviously, there will be exceptions to these guides, but this is our ideal.

Discipline: we want our kids to avoid settling conflicts with violence-physical or verbal. They need to find ways to settle differences by working out solutions, if possible.  Discipline of our kids should never be corporal-no spanking or swatting, for instance. Time-outs are acceptable, but they should be administered sparingly. We wish to discuss discipline incidents and methods as they happen with the nanny.

o     Days/Times:
o    none on Tuesday (no TV day)
o    we would like to add a second day during the M-F week with no tv
o       no more than hour per day
o      We dislike TV because it creates a reliance on external stimulation
o    TV content:
o    specific programs only; preferably shows without violence
o      Thomas the Tank, Caillou, Little Einsteins, Baby Einstein, and other videos and dvds around the house are ok.
o  absolutely no commercials and no channel surfing

Meals: much of the time we will have meals almost ready to go in the fridge; often, we'll have the makings for simple meals (like grilled cheese, etc.). Occasionally, eating out is ok.
o       Noodles and Co., Qdoba, the Perk Hill coffee shop are good options
o     We strongly prefer NOT to go to fast food such as McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc.
o   the emphasis is on healthy food options and a simple restaurant atmosphere

Hygiene: hand washing after playing outside if
o       they're about to eat
o   really dirty
o   after bathroom
o if sick

o  Areas not allowed: utility closet in basement
o  cabinets where there are  breakables (such as in living room) or valuables (jewelry box).
o      there are no guns or weapons in the house.

Emergencies-Dr. NAME (pediatrics NAME) is our kids' doctor. More information will be provided.

Contact Information
Full contact information (phone numbers, email, etc.) will be exchanged so that all parties can contact one another as quickly as needed. Contact info for backup people (pediatrician, neighbor, relative) etc. will be provided as well.
On average, care for at least ____ hours per week and no more than _____ hours per week will be needed. A daily schedule will be discussed and agreed on at the start of employment and revised as needed.
Particular weeks may vary due to vacations, illness, etc. and these changes will be discussed with as much advance notice as possible. In the case of vacations/days off, notice of at least one week will be expected.

Transportation: still to be revised

Use of car to transport child: this will vary from day to day. Most trips will not be more than 2 miles. Depending on the day, we'll alternate whose car (the nanny's or parent's) will be used. We will provide car seats at all times. We will reimburse for gas etc. for longer trips taken in nanny's car.

Rate. There will be two rates of compensation. During training/familiarization, when assisting either another caregiver or a parent, pay will be $ 10 per hour; when standard, autonomous care begins the starting rate will be $14 per hour. Partial hours will be pro-rated. This rate will be subject to increase at the discretion of the employers.

Vacation/Sick leave We cannot afford to pay for vacations or sick leave. If something unusual or long-term occurs, we will want to discuss it and try to work something out.

Additional children. If additional children join NAMES for the day, and no additional caregivers come with them, an increase to the hourly rate that is mutually acceptable to all (including nanny, additional parents/guardians) will be provided.

Additional expenses. Parents will provide funds for any food/drink, entrance fees, and other costs associated with any outings taken by nanny/children. If long distance driving is involved (e.g., over 20 miles), compensation for gas will be provided.

Pay period. Payment for care will be given every _____ weeks on the ______ of that week. Payment may be made in cash or check.

Taxes-for social security and other taxes relevant to domestic employment will be deducted. We use software called Nannypay and nanny will provide information needed by that software so we can generate an accurate paycheck.

Period of Employment
Start/End Dates: Employment will begin on  August 18, 2008 and end on TBD. It is understood that some variation about the exact end date may occur, and parties will communicate about exact end date as it approaches. Termination: Either party may dissolve the arrangement if things are not working out. A minimum of two weeks advance notice of termination seems reasonable.

Contingencies and Communication
Changes to schedule, sickness, number of children, and other unexpected events are likely to occur. As much advance communication about these changes will be helpful and is expected.

Signature of Involved Parties
I attest that I understand the above description and that the terms are fair and accurate. I will abide by the agreement as stated and if necessary will seek to modify elements of the agreement through discussion and with a reasonable amount of advance notice.


_____  Date  ______________________________ ______________________ (nanny)
_____  Date ______________________________ NAME (employer/parent)
_____  Date ______________________________ NAME (employer/parent)