Friday, July 29, 2005


Educational Blogs Matter Too

It's amazing that identified a list of the "best blogs in categories ranging from Art and Literary Blogs, to Small Business, Marketing, Shopping and Music Blogs."

How could they leave off Educational blogs????? Blogs That Matter (see full listing)

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Two Women In Flight

We capped off our Adirondack Mountain vacation with a great treat, which was meeting Marguerite McDonough Jersey (woman in the middle, my mom is to the right of her and yours truly to her left).

Marguerite was introduced to us by Charlotte Defilippo, who my mother and my sister met while attending church last Friday morning. Why her story is interesting is because she was one of the last people to be present with Amelia Earhart before her lost flight, the Maiden Voyage in early July 1937. By the way, there are some very fascinating people who reside in the Adriondack Mountains...hidden treasures.

Marguerite did not disclose her age to me, but Charlotte guesses she's at least 95 years old. She hasn't told her story to any news agency; but was very eager and gracious to speak to my mom, my sister and myself about her encounter with Amelia Earhart and show the original news clippings. Sometimes it pays to be a known newshound or news-pain, depending on who you ask.

Here's Marguerite's story and please keep in mind that Marguerite was around the age of 20, while Amelia was about 40 years old at the time.

"I was on my way to teach first grade at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation located in Bismarck, North Dakota." Before boarding her flight for the Reservation, a ticket agent said to her, "You're going to have an interesting flight. You're the only one on the flight with another lady and it's Amelia Earhart. It's going to be Capt. Bates and Northwest Airways. Amelia and you will be on the flight." This was of course a thrill for Marguerite. "I began to get on the flight and Amelia came from the waiting room in a full length sable coat, with no makeup on, and she, of course got on the plane first."

Captain Bates, [cannot find any info. on him] was the transitional pilot taking Amelia to her destination to meet the experienced flight navigator, Fred Noonan for her trip to circumnavigate the globe.

While in flight, (to drop these two ladies at their respective destinations) Bates received messages of a terrible storm hitting Fargo and decided to land at the Fargot Airport. Bates said, "Would you ladies like to come to my home? We can stay until the weather subsides." Marguerite agreed and said, "Mrs. Bates was very nice with coffee, cookies and two little children, Amelia spoke to no one, except the children and she played with them on the floor with coins. I stayed at the Bates' home for about 3 hours with Amelia."

After the storm subsided, for Marguerite, "it was off to Bismarck and for Amelia it was off to Seattle and San Diego for this new plane she never flew before." Marguerite wished her good luck never thinking the plane would run out of gas. She also noted to me that, "Someone found a piece of her shoe. But, never found her."

This story intrigued me so much because it's one of those "by chance" encounters that doesn't have a proper ending. Here you have two women, going in two very different directions in their lives with pretty much the same goals...Adventure and a New Life ahead. Maybe. That's my interpretation.
Here are more interesting quotes from my interview with Marguerite.
"I noticed most that she [Amelia] was very quiet and private. Airplanes and motors were her love. She kept talking with the captain about planes. She was a quiet person; but her mind was great with the children. You have to keep in mind, a woman wouldn't do this in those days 1935-1937."

"I couldn't believe when I heard what happened to her. I thought, maybe she missed that island and they will find her. Maybe they would have found her. Many years later they found a piece from her shoe. She ran out of gas I guess."

"I told everyone in the world about it. And told everyone in Standing Rock Reservation. I was going to follow her until she got to her destination."

"Amelia and Captain Bates were courteous and polite to me. But they only included me in conversations about the weather. Amelia had very reserved and quiet moments."

Additional link
Looking For Amelia

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Summer Library Visits

Here's my daughter during one of our visits to the Long Lake Library. I interviewed Library Director Emily Farr for the SLJ Virtual Summit Blog.

Monday, July 25, 2005


A True Mother's Story

Here's an inspiring article from columnist Maureen Dowd, A Woman Who Found a Way to Write.

"Mom was not famous, but she was remarkable. Her library included Oscar Wilde, Civil War chronicles, Irish history and poetry books, as well as "Writing to the Point: Six Basic Steps," and the 1979 "Ever Since Adam and Eve: The Satisfactions of Housewifery and Motherhood in the Age of Do-Your-Own-Thing.'"


A Must Taste of the Mountains...Oscar's

No Wonder There Are Bears Up There!

Yummy Oscars!

While I try to unclutter my summer vacation bags with: blog posts, goodies, 1/2 read books, 1/2 eaten chips, bugspray, dead bugs, mildew covered bathing suits, and cooking the best meats in the Adirondacks from Oscars etc., I was struck while reading the AP article Arizona School Will Not Use Textbooks.

"A high school in Vail will become the state's first all-wireless, all-laptop public school this fall. The 350 students at the school will not have traditional textbooks. Instead, they will use electronic and online articles as part of more traditional teacher lesson plans."

Now I haven't been gone that long and it seems like a no-brainer to segue into a text-less classroom. However, we all know schools are the last to change from the Dark Ages...still don't know why.

On another note, it sounds like David Brooks (after reading his NYT's commentary today - Pain, Agony and Despair, Flying With Children) never took a 5 1/2 hour drove in a 2005 Toyota Corolla with two kids (ages five and eight) up to the mountains. It's no easy task I might add; so a plane ride seems like an easy one after our recent least there's no McDonald's every 50 miles in the air. Unless I missed that one too.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


He Did It!

My colleague David Wise is blogging from Mbale, Africa. He's teaching there for part of the summer. Please read his very unique posts.



Whooppee! We're back safely and there's much to blog about; unpacking for now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005



I finally found the Cyber Creek Internet Cafe in Long Lake, NY. What a great addition to the Adirondack Mountains. They charge $5.00 for the first 15 minutes and a free beverage.

I'm enjoying the mountain air and lake but not being by a computer has it's good and "bad-advantages." Tomorrow I interview a librarian at the Long Lake Library. More later...

Oh, in regards to my last post, my brother never made it up. He's doing more promotions for the Hustle and Flow movie.

forgive me for any mistakes, I'm typing to stay under the 15 min...

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Brother Dearest

We are getting ready to depart for our mountains trip and my brother (who is the Street Team Promoter for movies) I hear is driving his Hustle and Flow promotional movie van up with us.


I don't know if anyone has seen vans like this on the roads, but they attract a lot of attention and I'm not sure how this van will play on the thruway or by the lake for that matter. Five hours from now, I'll know for sure.

On another more positive note, I wanted to share my summer reading list, but it's packed already in the car, unbeknownst to me.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Head For The Hills!

Tomorrow, my family and I will embark on a two week vacation through the Adirondack Mountains and staying 2 weeks at a beautiful lake front on Blue Mountain Lake. The good news is, most of my family members will be staying together for the first time in years. But the bad new is, most of my family will be staying 2 weeks for the first time in years.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mother, brother, sisters, nieces, nephews and my own kids. But you know and I know this will certainly be a challenge. We're already arguing about who's getting what rooms and we're not even there yet. How do you say OY again?

On another note, I've been researching information on libraries and internet cafes up yonder to see about blogging possibilities. Stay tuned for the latest edition of....Family Feud. Where's Richard Dawson when you need him?

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Is There An Answer?

As I watch the students gather in the LibraTech center for "summer fun online" I wonder how it will be for them when they return home and hear of the deadly, terror attacks in London.

At this point, I can only express my condolescenes to the victims, the people overseas and at home who have to endure YET another day of inexcusable mourning. "Will it ever end?" someone in her 80s asked me today, after reading of the attacks. My response, "we can only have hope and heart."

Daily Mail Links


Preparing For The Fall

In September, in addition to my normal LibraTech duties, I'm also teaching broadcast journalism to grades 9-12. So this blog will help me plan out the year, with stories like Judith Miller Going to Jail for not revealing and protecting her sources.

I don't want to discourage my students from entering the field of journalism. But Miller's recent court ruling has left a dark cloud over the field of reporters today. How will they be able to do their job? What should educators teach to budding journalists? To reveal their sources... sometimes?'s a great incentive, "plan on going to jail as a livelihood if you venture into the news 'business'?" That should bring in the numbers.

"Critics point out that even presidents must bow to the Supreme Court. But presidents are agents of the government, sworn to enforce the law. Journalists are private citizens, and Ms. Miller's actions are faithful to the Constitution. She is defending the right of Americans to get vital information from news organizations that need not fear government retaliation - an imperative defended by the 49 states that recognize a reporter's right to protect sources." (courtesy New York Times)

Whether or not we like the press, or agree with their reporting is irrelevant. We need them to tell the truth for citizens of the world. And my fear is that this ruling will become the norm for journalists.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Summer Blues

With all of the bad news happening around us, and in the world, it has really put me in a bit of a funk.

Andrea Elliott and Janon Fisher (from the NYTimes) reported on a grieving mother speaking at a press conference over the loss of her daughter from a drunk driving accident this past weekend. They reported the following scenario...

"As I crawled out of the car, the only thing that was left of Kate was her head," said Ms. Flynn, 36, her voice cracking as her mother-in-law, who sat in the audience, began to sob. "And I took her, just that, and sat on the side of the Meadowbrook and watched at the horrendousness going on around me.

"I sat there for about an hour with her as they cut my entire family out of this crushed tin can," said Ms. Flynn, who lives in Lido Beach. "It was brutal, and I hope that it is as brutal for you all as it was for me. I want everybody to know that. I want everyone to feel our pain and know our sadness."

The grief is probably more than words and I do express my sympathies to Jennifer Flynn and her family

But today reading about how Steve Jobs phoned a grieving father after his son was killed for not giving up his iPod to some thugs made me feel a little better. That must have meant a great deal for the dad. It won't bring his son back. But when pain is shared, it lessens the sting for the moment at least.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Doggie Paddling Through NECC

It has taken me a few days to fully recover from my short stint at the NECC. The oceans of information being splashed about in the exhibit halls and the conference sessions, left me literally...drowning. I liken my own personal experience there as the "tsunami effect". I say this with trepidation because I was awestruck at how much there's left to learn and impressed by what I experienced being that it was my first time in attendance. I had NO clue it was so awesome. If so, I would have taken NECC swimming lessons; the waves were so high.

The tsunami analogy comes from the feeling of being blown away by the waves of information. Then I started my own "poor-me pity-campaign" on how it's virtually impossible for a new blogger to sift through the "goods".

Then I ask, "what about the classroom teachers?" How are they to do the same? My belief is that teachers and librarians have much to gain by attending a conference of this magnitude. But right now, I'm not sure it's advisable. Since I train teachers to adopt technology and integrate it into their curriculum. So I try to think from their vantage point and how this could impact them.

The NECC booklet guide was great. But had so many pages, topics, speakers and great sessions to visit, that it was impossible to see everything. Therefore, how do you choose the right sessions if you're missing another one of interest? Secondly, there has to be an easier way for new bloggers (like myself) to connect with veteran bloggers for guidance (or maybe that's not their role if I'm being presumptuous). I know there were many links available as to where these blogger events and recommended technology sessions were happening; but try finding them, arrgh.

One evening, I spent an hour searching for a "bloggers gathering" that Will told me about. By the way, it was great bumping into Will and I was very grateful to him for sharing this event with me; but to no avail I couldn't find it.

I guess what I want to say is, we have to make it a little easier and not so overwhelming for the lay people in the educational field; so they're are not washed away in the process, never to be recovered again. (my humble opinion and assessments)

Lastly, I would like to thank all of the bloggers there who provided such great information and resources. It is much appreciated.

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