“Like” it or “React” to it?

During Lent & Passover, we are mindful. On that, this question is why do we or why do we not “like” a post vs “love” it? If we leave our fingers a little longer we “react” with love or something more than “like”....❤️ ⏱ Is it bc of time? Seconds spent on spreading ❤️ love and ❤️ the accompanying ❤️ endorphins are well spent. 

Mindful moments made easy. Comments go beyond. FB made a shortcut to show emotions. We can tap a bit slower & help somebody feel a little better & have a mindful moment for goodness and goodness’ sake. ❤️๐Ÿ’•❤️๐Ÿ’•❤️๐Ÿ’•❤️๐Ÿ’•❤️ 


Movie Review: Justice League (2017)


I didn’t get to see DC’s Justice League at a movie theatre for many reasons. I finally saw it and I found Justice League very disapointing! This is my review of why the first live-action Justice League movie did not live up to my childhood and adulthood expections...

The plot is flat and tiresome....there was way too much time spent on the death of Superman! Brooding, whining, and no connections in those sequences. No images of hope until the last few minutes of the very hyped up film. Actually the time investment on hopelessness is the opposite of the Justice League and what it stands for. I gotta go on... it’s riddled with vague character development. On that... I believe it was a poor choice that the central character was just Batman. Sadly, Batman is unlikeable and delivers cliche lines. But, that Mercedes is sick! In that one scene I liked when Barry Allen asked Bruce Wayne “What’s your superpower?” To which he responded with honest cocky delivery... “I’m rich!” Yes!!!! But, for the rest of the movie, Batman’s guilt and desire to make amends isn’t characteristic of who Batman is and this character is not written or directed as it should be. Ben is better than that, but he needs more to work with.

Then...there’s Wonder Woman who is supposed to embody female empowerment, but she does pretty much the opposite, what!?!?! It didn’t connect to her glorious movie at all. Why? I grew up wearing Wonder Woman underroos until they made me wear a braw. I looked up to her as I look up to Gal. Speaking of... Gal: I love you, kween! You are such a great choice for Wonder Woman. Love yourself, girl! They didn’t do your character justice. Pun intended.

The central plot is in building a team of reluctant superheros who can’t seem to do anything without the leadship of Superman?!?! That’s ridiculous and lame! Then, once this team comes together, the first order of business is to bring Superman back from the dead. Uhhh, necromancy, wuh huh, gross, just weird and wrong! Mission accomplished but he is not even Superman and then he only acts like Superman for 5 minutes which is of course just enough time to swoop in and save the day..... making every other hero look like an effin’ amateur. I can’t!

So... Let’s discuss the villain... The Big Bad antagonist just isn’t interesting, or fun to hate. He has no good lines and he isn’t scary. Well, actually, there were likeable moments of the film  about his past; the memory sequences showing Steppenwolf’s backstory are quite beautiful.

Other highlights...The Flash is funny and true to his character. He pulls it off and I want more of him. And... To a lesser extent Aquaman does hold my attention well, but he doesn’t have enough lines and his scenes don’t further the plot forward enough.

The Bottomline: I find it ironic that the central focus is team building but doesn’t make me believe in teamwork. In the end, the movie merely suggests a future organization which will be called the Justice League. I wanted to see the JLA in action. Not the meta teamwork angle of JLA, the team itself promoting “truth, Justice, and the American way.” We need superheros because they bring us hope. The movie demonstrated the void of hope many people feel today anyway and that’s why I wanted this to be a different movie altogether.

Ok, I didn’t just find it boring, I thought it sucked! (By the way, this review is coming from a person who didn’t hate the Daredevil movie with Ben & Jen.) I could go on but I just committed an act of overkill like the movie did with the “death” of Superman. 

P.S. I already bought first showing advance tickets to Avengers: Infinity War which comes out on April 27th 2018. It will go down in history as the most expensive movie ever made. Disney gave it a billion dollar budget. One billion dollars! It’s got everyone who matters from Marvel. I know it will live up to the hype!


Am Ode to the NRA

There is tragedy and sorry doesn’t say it, 

neither does anger or amazement. 

No prayers. 

No letting it be. 

It’s too much...not enough....personal and sadly even with real faces, the crime is still faceless... 


ENDOMETRIOSIS & being half a woman (j/k)

I have never before spoken about ENDOMETRIOSIS online... For those of you who don't know about it, it is a fairly common incurable disease which affects an estimated one out of ten women who may never know for sure that they have it unless they have to have surgery. I've been battling with Endometriosis for 30 years. I've done every surgery and hormone therapy that there is and defied the odds by having two beautiful children. Now this disease has worsened and has become a daily struggle, instead of a monthly one. It's affecting my quality of life as it has advanced to the point of binding organs together, so its time to say goodbye to my reproductive tract, once and for all and cut out all the internal scar tissue.

I'm officially scheduled for the procedure on March 1st, however, I have all my pre-surgery hospital clearance taken care of and my surgeon says I have a chance of getting into surgery this week. That's what I REALLY WANT! Hey, It's Flu Season and I'm first on the waiting list, so... It sounds awful and uncharacteristic of me to wish ill upon others, but I could really use a break. Fingers crossed that I get to have the surgery this week!!!

There is great news here: I don't have cancer as I previously feared and I will have no chance of having ovarian cancer in the future. No more periods, hey.... AND....I do have a caring family and a supportive work family. I'm full of confidence in my doctors and I know this is the best course of action. "This too shall pass." I will go on to live a normal life and things will get even better.

There are many things which will be temporarily put on hold like my doctoral work and my career, etc... And even though it's beyond my control, taking an "incomplete" in my current course makes me feel like a failure. On another bright side, I have a supportive professor who will help me see this through. But, I have to take a whole semester off of grad school and 2-4 weeks off of teaching. I love learning and I love teaching and I don't like the reality of putting things on hold. I KNOW... "health comes first" and my feelings of defeat are irrational.

If you read down this far, thanks for listening! I'm oversharing and being highly emotional, but I needed that. Also, to anyone who clicked on a feeling, thanks for caring! XOXO...


Teacher happy

A student sent this email to me and my partner and it means so much! “I am in your Global History 1 class during 9th period and I am interested in joining the Leadership program in our school. I was hoping if you would be willing to write a recommendation about me as a student, as it is a requirement for the application and would be gladly appreciated. The reason I am asking you, my teacher(s), for recommendations is that I enjoy this class and I feel that I feel you’ve both helped me improve my skills since middle school and I am so grateful for that. The environment of your classroom is comfortable and I admire your ways of teaching... Hope you have a great weekend and thank you in advance for your time."


Growth / Fixed Mindset

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”  Mr. Walden himself had a growth mindset and according to the results of the quiz I do as well.  The quiz results stated that I will continue to grow by learning “techniques to be more comfortable with negative feedback.” I believe that implies that the part of me that could deal with criticism better is the fixed mind part of me.  I wonder what those techniques for being more humble are. Like the former NYC mayor, Ed Koch, with his “How am I doing?” approach to leadership, I solicit constructive feedback regularly. I do not know many teachers who invite administrators into their classes so that they may test out a new technique or unproven teaching strategy, but I do. I am innately reflective of myself and my practice. Thusly, I’m seeking evolution and encouraging it in others; consistently drawing upon my own experiences, mistakes, and the noble truths.

I believe that my growth mindset is a product of nurture and nature. I was born fearless and my inclinations to be a risk-taker were solidified by the first teachers in my home and the teachers I found the most inspirational in school and in life. When Carol Dweck refers to “”the power of yet” it resonates deeply within my rebellious soul. I aim to harness this “power of yet” and instill that within my students.
People with a growth mindsets believe in themselves and do not fear failure; they have an ability to overcome obstacles by working hard and persevering. They take risks and relish the rewards they earn. Those with fixed mindsets have already taken inventory of their skills and intelligence and shy away from opportunities for the fear of failure and embarrassment. (Dweck, 2012)

A person living in a fixed mindset does not take ownership over their destiny and they have many fears and excuses. The mindset of a person becomes transparent when faced with learning a new skill. Having a fixed or growth mindset makes all the difference in the process and the outcome.  The person with a growth mindset is resilient; they are mentally prepared to make mistakes and keep going. The person with fixed mindset gives up and gives in too easily. They have not learned that failure is one step closer to success. Teachers and learning leaders have a tremendous responsibility to encourage the growth mindset. Ironically, an area in which I need to develop more of a growth mindset is in the classroom by enabling student technology usage in and outside the classroom. I have ipads at my disposal, but I’m holding back for fear of poor management. I know there are efficient ways to implement a blended classroom and I am working on it. This is the year…

It is essential that leaders in education utilize creativity and innovation and cultivate a growth mindset. It is a responsibility for learning leaders to be adaptive which more than not requires innovation. With technology we are evolving, expanding access to information, and transforming our reality. The innovative and interactive technology leaders can teach people how to think more creatively. As Ken Robinson said in his 2010 Ted Talk, “life is not linear, it’s organic.” He was referring to the education system as a broken system; one which learning leaders may be able to fix by being creative and fostering creativity. He likened education to farming because agriculturalists optimize land to grow more crops. (Robinson, 2010) Creativity in leadership is un-formulaic such as life and success.

Dweck, C. (2012). Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve | TED Talk [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve
Dweck, C. (2009). Who will the 21st-century learners be? Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 8– 9.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012e). Promoting a growth mindset [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Robinson, K (2012). Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | TED Talk [Video file] Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution


My Ph.D. path & state education standardization

Which Road Are You On?
I am an ambassador for life-long learning by pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at Walden University. As I strive to be a role model to my children and to those in my sphere of influence, I adamantly believe that blended education is a responsibility for academic professionals. We are curators of curiosity and earners of educational wealth. My Ph.D. path in Learning, Instruction, & Innovation is the embodiment of my passions and shall solidify my personal and career goals.
By necessity, human beings depend on one another. John Donne wrote that “no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” It is as true in 1664 as it is today in 2017 that we need to work together to accomplish great things. A Ph.D. is not just doing independent research, writing papers, literature reviews, and earning good grades. It is also about creating human connections. People who do not experience online learning do not often understand how interactive and human it actually it. Just as in most schools, it is essential to cultivate a network of like-minded individuals in order to excel. Just like a traditional professional degree we need to support one another. For example, the rubric for this foundational course emphasizes the importance of interactive collaboration by weighting the discussions at 60% of the grade. When you have the determination, work ethic, and internal drive in the 21st century you may reach educational achievements utilizing the power of the internet and the logistical luxury which comes with it. However, making these connections virtually does not replace the face-to-face which is why this is a blended program with residential requirements.
As scholar practitioners, we are elastic amorphous segments in a global spider web; we spin a digital brand by how we invest our time. Everything we do in person as well as online becomes our reality. I am building a network in both realms by being present at events, both educational and social, and by nurturing relationships online and in-person. In a 2015 Ted Talk, a cognitive scientist named Donald Hoffman said: “We're inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions. Instead, reality is more like a 3D desktop that's designed to hide the complexity of the real world and guide adaptive behavior. Space as you perceive it is your desktop. Physical objects are just the icons in that desktop.” (Hoffman, 2015) I inferred from his presentation that reality itself has changed due to the digital world so humans must adapt and utilize technology to survive.
My path to earn a PhD in Learning, Instruction, & Innovation is complex. I am of the same mindset of Kent William Thompson who is interviewed in the video from Module 6 entitled: Which road are you on? (Laureate Education, 2014) Just like Thompson, I assert that earning a Ph.D. will prepare me “to think and create new knowledge across a broad spectrum.” I am an open-minded troublemaker and a risk taker with a tendency to speak up for others. This specialty area is both general and specialize allowing me to make constructive waves in the way students learn and in how ultimately teachers will teach.
I have many career aspirations:
·       Higher Education instruction
·       Authoring of books and higher education/K-12 curriculum
·       Digital literacy and public advocacy
The educational standardization case study problem which I identified is an inadequate implementation of educational standards by the state. With the proper professional development of educators, and improved communications to all stakeholders, we will be on the same page and then we can get creative in our execution. Even teachers with the best of intentions are at a disadvantage if they ill-informed. We need to clarify goals and methodologies and provide the space, support, and trust in our teachers. In the U.S., we have an untapped educational opportunity to be innovative and engaging.
One specific way I am able to problem solve this top-down educational problem would be within the Department of Education, Office of Communications. I would expand e-learning, outreach, and state-approved standards-based training. Clarity would be a high priority as we produce, support, and monitor stakeholder training. When I combine my decade long career in media, public relations, and advertising with a decade as a K-12 teacher and a Ph.D. in Learning, Instruction, & Innovation, I will have the expertise to be successful in the path of my choosing.
According to Walden University, the Learning, Instruction, and Innovation specialization will prepare me to “translate creativity into innovative learning experiences…. solutions grounded in principles of brain-based learning.” Borrowing the words of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, ultimately, “I want to work on stuff that I think matters.”
I reviewed Looking Ahead to Your Advanced Graduate Degree information on social change, a determining factor in my decision to pursue my Ph.D. here at Walden. I agree with the 2014 Social Change Impact Report, "change is continuous, and it is important." The Information Age is a turning point in history which we must embrace and innovate. Technology is not the enemy of education. The Digital Age provides an unlimited and evolving medium and I want to be part of what makes blended education successful.
Personally, I feel optimistic being part of a community of those who attend Walden University. As stated on the website, "we believe that knowledge is most valuable when put to use for the greater good." I want to make positive changes by helping others, being a trouble maker and I will be fulfilled by the knowledge and experience I obtain. In my life, I encounter those who do not seek out life-long learning opportunities which is not to say that a Ph.D. is the only vehicle for positive social change. For me, it is a personal choice which began at home and developed in the classroom, by successes, and failures.
My path began at home with my family. My parents valued hard work, cultural exposure, and academic success. My father, an immigrant learned English as a third language. He became an attorney and was a twice elected to the legislature serving as an advocate for education. My mom made sure I received a well-rounded education in public school, religious school and participated in extracurricular activities. She supported my identity even when I was rebelling from her. My siblings enhanced my vocabulary and still serve as role models and confidantes. They all taught me that competition is a good thing, that independence is a necessity, and that nothing gets handed to you unless you work hard.
In my teaching practice, I spend my days with teenagers and it is my professional goal to one day widen that footprint to budding educators by completing this Ph.D. There is also a spiritual reason for this difficult undertaking. I assume that Walden doctoral students are here to be “do-gooders” and practice the concept of Tikkun olam, (pronounced tee-KOON oh-LUHM) which in Hebrew literally means world repair. “Tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice” (MyJewishLearning.com, 2004) Tikkun olam is the Jewish belief that if you make a positive impact on merely one person, you will change the universe. We have a powerful viral responsibility to use our education for the greater good and this is the road I chose…


·      Hoffman, D. (2015, March). Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? | TED Talk. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is
·      MyJewishLearning.com: The Personal Gateway to Jewish Education. (8 June 2004). Overview: Tikkun Olam. http://www.myjewishlearning.com
·      Sandberg, S. (2013). Lean in: Women, work, and the will to lead (First edition.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
·      Thompson, Kent W. Laureate Education (2014). Which road are you on? [Video file]
·      Walden University. (2014). 2014 Social Change Impact Report. Retrieved from https://www.waldenu.edu/about/social-change/impact-report-2014


Clickety Clickett unedited Notes: Law and Civic Education Summer Institute in Manhattan (7/13/17) Fake News / Real Students

       Law and Civic Education Summer Institute                                            

July 13, 2017 

Session I: News Literacy Workshop
Janice Schachter
Center for News Literacy

What is News Literacy? – the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports, whether they come via print, television, the internet or SOCIAL MEDIA (usually Social Media)

In the Information Age, YOU are in charge of determining what is reliable… & what is not.
·       Wikipedia - has nots of sourcing
·       Snopes.com – great fact checking resource, not google
·       Associated Press
·       Reddit
·       Chrome Extension – “Read Across The Aisle” – color codes push “news”
·       Google “incognito” – search not based on previous searches

How do you create a safe space? Where everyone carries around biases, prejudices…
-        Project Implicate – Harvard Bias Study – to find out what your biases are (fun game to show students)
-        Use Ave Q Song – “Everyone’s a little Bit Racist”

Challenges for empowered consumers in the Digital Age:
·                Information overload
·                Speed vs accuracy
·                Blurring of the lines
·                Challenging our own bias

To be Journalism the information has to be:
·                Accountable – can you contact email address
·                Independent from the story – bias, transparency, not written by the source, parent company disclaimer
·                Verifiable – ex. Vice checks sources 3 times and say that on program

What is “truthiness”? (Stephen Colbert)
-        we usually go to sources that align with our own biases

How do we begin to evaluate websites? -  Search Tips
-        don’t go by rank, Clickbait – SEO
-        what’s “trending” doesn’t mean truth
-        look at domain names (its super easy to get a .com, .org, .net)
-        look at date
-        Reverse Image Search
-        Google with word “hoax”
-        How many followers on twitter
-        Use common sense

Deconstruction is Deconstruction:
1.      Summarize the main points, comparing headline of the story
2.     Summarize the reporter open the freezer? Is the evidence direct or indirect?
3.     Does the reporter place the facts, the story
4.     Who, what, where, when, & why???
5.     Is the story fair to the evidence? Is balance called for? What about fair play and language? “Fairness vs Balance" Ex.  Use the word – “said” while writing news stories. Better than  using “claims” or “alleged” or “advocated”as a verb for a quote.

Nmeumonic Device for evaluate sources: I-M-V-A-I-N
I -  Independent vs. self-interested sources
M - Multiple sources are better than single ones
V - Verifies vs. Asserts
A - Authoritative vs. Uniformed
I - Informed vs. Uniformed
N - Named vs. Unnamed

“Freezer” – did the reporter go as far as they do reasonably what they should have down?
-        Phrase related to the reporter that went to the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina b/c he heard people were murdering each other and they said the bodies were in the freezer, but he didn’t check the freezer and it wound up being incorrect

“Third Degree” – was a tactic used by NYPD to get confessions, lashing, torture

-        Phrase is used in a milder manner today

Special Guest Star:
VP of New York Bar Foundation
Mr. Ellis Mursky

Session II: Student Voice in the Digital Age
“Lessons from the Constitution & the Courts”
(Teaching history through case studies)
David Scott, Coordinator
Project P.A.T.C.H.

Video Presentation: (15 min)
A Tribute to Dr. Isadore Starr: “The Founding Father of Law-Related Education”
-      “The law is here, there, and everywhere.” – Isadore Starr
-        All students should graduate high school with an idea of what is:
-        Liberty, Justice, Property, & Equality – revolving around Power
-        Joseph McCarthy – created an atmosphere of fear & teachers were afraid to teach “controversy”
-        Articles re: teaching controversial Issues though studying supreme court decisions in public education: Social Education
-        Pioneer of Civics Education
-        Mock Court is great in the classroom taking on arguments

First Amendment freedom of speech, it’s a limitation on governmental power to censor you from expressing yourself, not a license to say whatever you want.

The 14th Amendment – as a teacher, we are upholding the rights and responsibilities as written the constitution
Another law to look up - 42UC1983

Landmark Student Freedom of Speech Supreme Court Cases

1. Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District (1968-1969 decision)
-                Free Speech precedent- First Amendment Rights were infringed upon
-        Decision: Student speech cannot be censored as long as it does not “materially disrupt class work or involve substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others.”
-        Students have inalienable individual rights
-        Mary Beth (7th grade) & John Tinker (10th grade)
-        Parents were civil rights activists and dad was local pastor
-        Plan was to wear black arm bands to school protest the Vietnam War
-        Also supported Senator R. Kennedy’s call for a Christmas moratorium of fighting
-        Has been cited in over 1000 court cases
-        Majority Opinion says: “It can hardly be argued to that either teachers or students shed their constitutional rights to freedom or speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”
-        U.S. Supreme court only takes 100 cased per term and took the case
-        The “Tinker Test(check this)
o   material disruption of class work
o   substantial disorder
o   invading the rights of others

There is a direct line of Civil Right Movement to laws regarding Students with Disabilities
2. The Fraser Standard
Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser (1986)
-        Fraser gets suspended for giving a sexualized campaign speech for VP of HS as a senior
-        ACLU lawyer - Now a Speech and Debate Coach
-        Applied Tinker Test – but added that free speech in school is protested but couldn’t be “vulgar, obscene sexual innuendo”
3. Morse v. Frederick
-       “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”
-        Argued 3/19/07 - Decided 6/25/07 – Juneau, Alaska
-        Students were permitted to leave class to go to a “school-sanctioned & supervised event” to watch the Olympic Torch pass through town
-        18-year-old student Joseph Frederick was late for school that day. He joined his friends on the sidewalk at the event. He saw it on snowboard and thought it would be funny.
-        He basically made the first amendment for the punchline for joke
-        Different Viewpoints:
o   Advocacy of illegal drug use not protected
o   Political speech remains protected
o   Justice Thomas wanted to reverse Tinker

4. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
-        She tried to write an articles on (1) teen pregnancy and (2) divorce
-        Principal pulled the articles
-        ACLU lawyer sucked and evidence was left out, so she lost

*CONCLUSION: Internet Free Speech cases have never heard by Supreme Court: The courts have decided that the internet can build a nexus which is accountable to the Tinker Test
- Layshock v. Hermitage School District (PA) - Internet Based Free Speech, didn’t make it to
- Doninger v. Niehoff
-    Student made a slanderous posting on community blog which leads to suit b/c principal wouldn’t endorse/sign off on a candidate running for student body president to serve on student government 

DASA statute does not grant additional power to schools to oversee bullying – DASA says the school must:
-        report bullying and take steps to
-        fight it
-        have a component in school to combat bullying

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” - Uncle Ben Parker to Spiderman

Dave Scott’s Closing Thought:
“If we empower our students to use their voices responsibly, they can do great things!”