Nov 12, 2007

Formaldehyde among friends, Horse-fetching, Part II

This morning, I put feed in the trough, and low and behold... No Daisy. Well, I had a pretty good idea where she was, so this time, I just opted to wait until I got home to get her out of the trees.

This time, however, she was standing in the creek bed, where a limb the diameter of a penny, a nickel at best, had fallen across her back. Goofy horse was perplexed and wouldn't move. Well, at least, not without some "coaxing" from me. I simply pulled her halter until she took the step she neded to get out of the crek and leave me in the dust. She ran for her trough and hit the water bucket.

At least there were no additional wounds this time... And, I'm starting think it's a form of exercise - trapse through field, duck under branches, pull on horse, find way back up hill, repeat every other day....

I wrote a letter to the folks on the Megaconference list, expressing my gratitude and feelings on Megacon. I'm sharing it here because.. Well, I want to:
Megaconference IX was the first Megaconference in which I have participated. I had no idea what to expect, but even if I had set some expectations, they would have not even come close to what we witnessed on Thursday.

I had students from two different school districts come to the event, and they were amazed by the presentations and by the fact that they were watching and talking to people from all over the world. Many of the students had never seen distance learning or video conferencing prior to participating in Megaconference. Their "world view" has been changed forever. I am in a very rural part of Arkansas, which says a lot, because Arkansas itself is generally rural. Many of the students get trapped in their own minds that life beyond the borders of their own towns, counties, or even state, is something they will never experience. Megaconference showed them just how big the world is, and yet how close the world can be.

They were the ones who came up with their own "signature sign off" during roll call (Yes, they were the "Yee-Haw!" group!). Several commented on the excavation project in Egypt and watching other students from around the world sing, dance, and share. In fact, there is a very good chance that a group from my area will want to present at next year's Megacon because of this experience. How incredible is it that a group of students has gone from sitting in their own classrooms to wanting to present on a world-wide scale in the matter of a few hours spent in a video conference!?! All tolled, I had about 30 people at my site throughout the day. Statewide, Arkansas had more than 130 people at various sites participating! Most of these sites were taking part in magacon for the first time!!

My wife and two children came in late to the program, and they witnessed the live performance of the Dance Academy. Do you realize the impact something like that has on a FIVE-YEAR OLD!? The impact it had on all of us watching??

I believe that so many times, we get wrapped up in the technology of things, and we can forget the wonder, amazement, and the curiosity of it all. Sometimes, there is novelty, sure, but beyond that, beyond the "oohs and ahhs" of the technology itself, you have cultures exchanging thoughts and ideas, sharing similarities and exhibiting differences. My Twelve-year old son was enthralled with the piece on a day in the life of school in Taiwan. When stories of Burma came on the news, my children instantly made the connection to the Monks and to Zoya Phan's telephone call and watching Thelma Young talk about the situation. And, as someone commented during the conference, it was so good to hear of the positive things coming out of Pakistan for a change. It was good to hear positive things coming from sites all over the world.

The whole experience opened the eyes, ears, hearts and minds of people all over the globe. I am so thankful I was not only able to participate, but to share the day with students and family. I am looking forward to next year's conference for sure!

Thank you to Bob and everyone else who helped put this together!

In a previous post, I discussed my errant DVD burner. Well, I decided to buy a new one. Afterall, the latest, greatest model was only $30 or so online. I waited a few days, and there was a package at the door. I was pretty excited to finally start burning some Digital8 and Mini-DV movies onto DVD! I opened the packaging only to discover that, in my infinite wisdom, I had ordered a SERIAL ATA burner! Now, my motherboard has SATA, and my power supply supports SATA. The problem? I have no SATA data cables laying around!! So, I had to order some of those. I was expecting them to come in over the wekend, but they didn't, and of course today is Vet's Day, so no mail... That's what I get for trying to go on the cheap and fast...

My brother-in-law works for FEMA at the trailer traffic jam in Hope. He said he is barred from working on the trailers that have been recently found to have twice the legal amount of formaldehyde in them. MSN has a story here, but really, what's an unhealthy dose of formaldehyde among friends??

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