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Justin Schwamm
Attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lived in Hope Mills, NC
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Justin Schwamm

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+Brendan Riehl I'm glad to report that the mysterious site issue is fixed, so you should be able to take a look at the Tres Columnae Project and our approach to Latin any time.  It was great to talk with you yesterday!
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There was something about Ms. X's comment ... something so smug and self-righteous and judgmental.  That particular Ms. X doesn't usually sound like that; in fact, less than five minutes earlier, she'd been talking about how she needed to be flexible with a current class because her students were so able and so eager.  But as soon as she saw the pizza boxes, everything changed.

http://wp.me/pJRHq-1ja or http://joyfullatinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/beautifully-prepared

And of course, if you're a student in Ms. X or Mr. Y's class, everything changes when the gold stars and homework passes and other "motivators" get distributed, or when the Special Celebration is held and the other extrinsic motivators are employed.  It all got me thinking about a favorite quote, which led to another quote by the same author, which led to today's blog post.

What do you think? +Laura Gibbs +George Station +Donna Murdoch +Debbie Pribele +Roger Travis +Emily Lewis +Diana Campbell +Gerol Petruzella +Roz Hussin +Mike Trainum +don arnoldy +Alison Burek +Brendan Storming +Mark Poole +Meg Tufano +Maureen Devlin +Mary Ann Reilly +Pam Moran 
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+George Station +Laura Higley - I am going to be thinking about all the senses of realizing things ... and about pizzas that are, and are not, just pizzas ... for quite a while!  Thank you!
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+John Kellden +Brendan Heidenreich +I. Robitaille +Mark Poole and others will probably be interested in this great piece by +Gideon Rosenblatt ... a piece I'm really glad I read before I went out (as I plan to do this afternoon) to see about engaging some folks with a project I've been working on.
 
Bridging Online and Real-World Engagement

Back when I used to run a mission-driven engagement consulting shop, I developed a framework to help our clients more effectively engage their constituents. Our clients were mostly nonprofit organizations, though I now see that the model could be useful for a much broader range of mission-driven business and social enterprises. 

One of the key goals for this framework was to bridge technology assisted, online communications aimed at increasing reach with the more personal and face-to-face kinds of engagement that most often result in real world impact. 

For this reason, this framework isn't based on transactional thinking. It comes more out of a community organizing model, where the upper levels are more about developing people and their ownership and leadership of the mission. My work on this model helped me eventually to see the importance of pushing power, pushing value creation and many other critical organizational functions outside the traditional boundaries of the organization. 

This is the first time I've shared this work publicly since setting aside that work on engagement consulting several years ago. I've intentionally not modified the core ideas from the original model, as I fear that digging back into this again might become a very large project. I share it here, in the hopes that it will be of use to people thinking about engagement and the connection to real-world impact. 

#engagement   #mission   #socialenterprise  
The Engagement Pyramid is a framework for building relationships and engagement for mission-driven organizations. #engagement #mission
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... and then this "just happened" to show up in a FB share.  Did we talk about it last week when it was originally published?
Why haven't education reform efforts amounted to much? Because they start with the wrong problem, says John Abbott, director of the 21st Century Learning Initiative. Overhauling the educational paradigm means replacing the metaphor — the concept of the world and its inhabitants as machine-like entities — that has shaped the education system, as well as many other aspects of our culture.
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So ... when you look at a group of people, what do you see?  An undifferentiated mass?  A bunch of unique, perhaps ultimately unknowable individuals?  Examples of particular types?  Every year or so, I re-read Gilbert Highet's book The Art of Teaching, and I'm always struck by one chapter in which he says, in essence, that teachers "have to" see most of their students as examples of a type.  I disagree with him ... but I hadn't realized how much I disagree, or why, or why that's important, until recently.  Something about a small triumph in class, plus further reflections on the "Back to Basics Reminders" from Monday and a New Thing that came Tuesday or Wednesday, helped me see something I'd never seen before.

http://wp.me/pJRHq-1j3 or http://joyfullatinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/individuals-or-examples/

What do y'all think? +Laura Gibbs +George Station +Donna Murdoch +Debbie Pribele +Roger Travis +Emily Lewis +Diana Campbell +Gerol Petruzella +Roz Hussin +Mike Trainum +don arnoldy +Alison Burek +Brendan Storming +Mark Poole +Meg Tufano +Maureen Devlin +Mary Ann Reilly +Pam Moran 
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+Justin Schwamm They're diminishing it because they are taking responsibility for the students' achievements.  My husband's method (if you want to call it that) (and he only has taught graduate students except as a TA at Princeton (graduate) (so same thing)) is, "I TEACH, YOU LISTEN AND MEMORIZE!" And so the students, who had only had multiple choice tests up to that point (which is crazy for a 500-level course) staged a protest!  Literally, with signs.  And they told other students if they did not join, they would beat them up (really!)  THOSE students got into trouble with the campus police.  But you see the point of all this:  where did the learning go?  My husband already knows his stuff and has a Ph.D. to prove it, so HE has done the learning; what about those students?  What did they "learn" from getting all those D's and F's?

I don't know all of what they learned.

But one student (an F) came to my husband afterward and said, "Thank you.  You are the first person who has treated us as if we are getting ready to be experts in this field and required us to do our own work, follow up on your lectures by reading the articles to which you referred, like professionals do. We have been fed pablum, and that's a terrible feeling."

OK, my point:  yes, my husband did teach them as if they were professionals.  And that's all he knows how to do and that's "fair" where he comes from (Georgetown and Princeton).

BUT, you and I are teaching younger minds, most of whom have not even FOUND that they HAVE a mind yet (my favorite comment:  "I have been an A student all my life since Kindergarten and this is the first time I have ever had a thought.")  We are respecting them by being honest with them, as our real selves.  You might know Latin, but that is not what learning Latin is really about (as you well know).  It's about learning to think.  Period.  

And we are ALL students in that class!  And we ALL need motivation and mutual respect and all the things you are bringing in to your joyful Latin atmosphere.

There is one caveat though:  we are also The Buck.  As in "Stops Here."  We are RESPONSIBLE for how these students are introduced to learning; and how they feel about themselves when they leave us.  Enthusiasm is indeed a gift from the gods.  And it is our duty to share it with our students so they, too, can be visited by the divine flame of the desire to learn.

(Man I hate it that such a bad LMS stole that phrase.)

Anyway, the key in your Situations is that you are sticking with, hanging with, these kids.  You are committed to them.  Surely they are given super-sized energy from that!  ;')  And you are also receiving their projections onto you ("The Teacher," "The Shit-Kicker," "The Boss,") from their other experiences in school.  Getting around a projection is a really hard job, the hardest maybe.  (I pray for President Obama a great deal.)  But being conscious is the final, inside and outside the class, job of being The Teacher.  

May learning happen for all!
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Justin Schwamm

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Dragonflies ... and dandelions. They're interesting metaphors for  post-industrial organizational structures, and I can't stop thinking about them this morning.  What insights do they bring you as you think about their relationships to joyful learning communities and to factory-model schools and other organizations?

http://wp.me/pJRHq-1jd or http://joyfullatinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/dragonflies-and-dandelions/

+Laura Gibbs +George Station +Donna Murdoch +Debbie Pribele +Roger Travis +Emily Lewis +Diana Campbell +Gerol Petruzella +Roz Hussin +Mike Trainum +don arnoldy +Alison Burek +Brendan Storming +Mark Poole +Meg Tufano +Maureen Devlin +Mary Ann Reilly +Pam Moran 
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+Justin Schwamm   I like dragonflies, but dandelions, not so much.  I built our house so that we have nothing to paint (except the front door), nothing to rake (who cares about leaves in the woods?) and no grass to cut or gardens to weed.  I buy pots of things when (ever!!!!!) it gets warm enough and enjoy them on my deck and that's it.  (I had a half acre garden in my last house, and, before that, my first garden, the soil for which probably cost as much as the house ;')).  So, what I do this time of year is kill stuff:  put Preen on the gravel driveway; later will put this amazing poison down in the "backyard" (the part of the yard I keep covered in landscaping carpeting so that nothing grows (otherwise, we end up like Sleeping Beauty)).  

Procrastination has never been one of my (many) vices:  someone (a teacher) said to me, "Be nice to the person you're going to be tomorrow."  THAT made sense to me, 'self-interest, rightly understood' (Rousseau?).  Might be worth a try.

But maintaining a joyful community?  That's a whole other thing:  I told a friend yesterday that, in my entire life, I was never able to have everyone happy at home at the same time.  No matter WHAT I did!  (In the classroom, yes; but I think that's because it was for one or two hours, not an entire day.)  So, sometimes I have to let people just be unhappy for their own reasons and maintain my own equanimity.  Enjoy the day, all that.  

Right now?  I'm enjoying the trees!  In a week, I will say goodbye to the purple mountained majesties (The Cumberlands) and say hello to hundreds of Oak trees.  

That is a lot to be joyful about.
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One Ms. X had medical news that, from most people's perspective, would have been upsetting ... but she was a lot happier than she's been in a long time.  Another, who might seem a lot more fortunate and more successful to an outside observer, is weighed down with worry and concern.  As I thought about the two of them over the weekend, and as I participated in the Twitter chat that directly inspired today's post, I kept thinking about the connections between happiness, success, and joy in my own life, in the shared life of the "Latin Family," and in the lives of so many people I know and care about.

It's a complex picture, but some themes are beginning to be clear.

http://wp.me/pJRHq-1j8 or http://joyfullatinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/happiness-success-and-joy/

What do you think? +Laura Gibbs +George Station +Donna Murdoch +Debbie Pribele +Roger Travis +Emily Lewis +Diana Campbell +Gerol Petruzella +Roz Hussin +Mike Trainum +don arnoldy +Alison Burek +Brendan Storming +Mark Poole +Meg Tufano +Maureen Devlin +Mary Ann Reilly +Pam Moran 
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http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy

In the talk, Dan Gilbert puts forth the following counter-intuitive finding, "...  a year after losing the use of their legs, and a year after winning the lotto, lottery winners and paraplegics are equally happy with their lives."
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It hasn't been an easy spring for Ms. X.  I knew she wasn't feeling well, but I wasn't sure if it was the Fairly Serious Thing that she's dealt with for years or the Really Serious Thing that scared all of us a few years ago.  It seems to be the Fairly Serious Thing, and so Ms. X had a Scary Appointment on Thursday to talk about options and the future.  But Ms. X was happier, more at peace, than I've seen her in a long time, and we had a great talk about lots of things on Wednesday afternoon.  And that talk, plus a whole bunch of other conversations, got me thinking about perspectives and options, and about how easy it is to get into a rut and assume there's only one option, or none at all.

Reading Joy Inc. has helped me with that, too, but I want to finish the book before I say too much about that.  And I know I "never" include videos in blog posts these days, but when this one "just happened" to show up and I "just happened" to watch it ....

http://wp.me/pJRHq-1j5 or http://joyfullatinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/perspectives-and-options/

What are your perspectives, and what options do you see?  +Laura Gibbs +George Station +Donna Murdoch +Debbie Pribele +Roger Travis +Emily Lewis +Diana Campbell +Gerol Petruzella +Roz Hussin +Mike Trainum +don arnoldy +Alison Burek +Brendan Storming +Mark Poole +Meg Tufano +Maureen Devlin +Mary Ann Reilly +Pam Moran 
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+George Station "just happened" to share this link in a comment on a post by +Liz Stevenson ... and as I read it, I realized it was deeply connected with the conversations +Brendan Storming +Mark Poole +I. Robitaille +John Kellden and so many others have been having about alternatives to factory-model, just-in-case forms of learning.

Thoughts?
Sherry Turkle famously argues technology has begun to overtake our attention and time, which has led to increased physical isolation and shallow online interaction. She contends, in a community-starved world, we need...
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I still think there is a place for assessment, but I'm thinking it would be more 'hands-on' in the future.
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It's Thursday, so it's time once again for another Episode of "Corgito Ergo Sum" ... and +Emily Lewis and Megan and I hope your day is trouble-free, even though it looks like Junius and Bridget might "just possibly" get into some trouble ....

http://corgito.trescolumnae.com/wp/episode-22/
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Education
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Teacher Certification, 1991 - 1992
  • Carleton College
    Classical Languages, 1986 - 1990
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Male
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Long-time high school Latin teacher and founder of the Tres Columnae Project
Introduction
Builder of Joyful Learning Communities, primarily for learning Latin, since 1992

Paterfamilias, or something like that, of the "Latin Family" in its various incarnations in southeastern North Carolina

Slowly moving from working within the system to building a new, better system
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Hope Mills, NC - Sanford, NC - Chapel Hill, NC - Northfield, MN - Knoxville, TN