Press-Republican

Columns

October 14, 2012

Teaching not so easy: Part 2

Guess what the French word for “paperclip” is? Give up? It’s “trombone” or, to be more grammatically correct, “un trombone.” What a much more imaginative word to capture the shape of what we Anglo speakers mundanely call the paperclip.

The Associated Press recently published a story about the “SpeechJammer,” which was among the 2012 Ig Nobel winners. It’s a device that repeats an individual’s speech a few hundred milliseconds after they’ve said it, and it purportedly completely discombobulates the speaker. It’s proposed use is to warn conference speakers that they have exceeded their time limits. I know this works because when I was a typical bratty teenager, I had the ability to do the same thing — repeat almost immediately one’s speech, which really annoyed the speaker. I quit this practice after my seventh-grade English teacher stopped lecturing, glared at me and slowly said, “Stop that!” I may have been a wisenheimer, but I was also wise enough to know when enough was enough.

Why am I writing about trombones and the SpeechJammer? Because they are both educational experiences that I never would have remembered if I had not agreed to teach the computer ethics and writing course at SUNY Plattsburgh, as mentioned in my previous column. Associative memory is a strange and amazing thing.

I also promised a second part to complete my thoughts regarding this process and so, here they come:

I began preparing for this course several months ago by perusing my last syllabus, which lays out the goals of the course and the scheduled assignments. Fortunately, the textbook is the same one I chose five years ago. Although it is now in it’s fifth edition, the content is pretty much the same, and the ethical theory covered has not yet changed. The supplementary readings were a bit out of date, so I thought I could replace that with readings from the Web. This required reading ethical articles found online.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time