Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday at school -- June 13, 2015

Evening sky, with eucalyptus and cypress.

At 7:45 p.m. in LA (6:45 p.m. Alaska time) the temperature was 66.6 degrees. It was 74.4 degrees in Anchorage. That will teach us to leave Alaska in the summer. And the forecast for the week is noticeably warmer in Anchorage than in the not-so-sunny south.

Not so many photos because I spent much of the day in class -- which is why I'm here of course. In the morning the librarian told us about the magic of the library. They will deliver, to Anchorage, any book in any one of the thousands of libraries, public and university, that belong to the online World Cat. It has about 2 1/4 billion holdings (granted, several dozen of them are Wuthering Heights in various formats), in 485 languages. Sounds like I will have a hard time posing an unfillable request (not that I will any time to try such a frivolous search).

The next class focused on how to design an online course, starting with the history of teaching -- first came the Lyceum (335 BCE), in which teachers walked around with students, and the idea was to gain wisdom. 1500 years later (1096 CE) came the Oxford model, in which teaching was secondary -- students came to hang around the wise professors, because they embodied knowledge. 500 years after that came Harvard, the American model, centered on training people for professions -- this is the model most often seen today. The newest model is Phoenix, focused on turning out graduates trained to serve the needs of specific markets. It's somewhat discredited as a learning/teaching model, but the more successful of today's colleges and universities (including Antioch) have adopted many of the Phoenix ideas, including online learning.

I walked down the hill to the Sprouts grocery store to get lunch, and back up the hill -- bit of a trudge but worth it for the fresh air. The route between our hotel and Antioch at the top of a hill is entirely made up of streets that are a minimum of six (sometimes eight) lanes wide with few pedestrian crossings. They are lined with corporate office buildings, some apartment buildings behind walls, the Westfield Mall,

and that great Sony lot with concrete stories waiting to be told.

Jacaranda tree's flowers on the sidewalk.

I checked in with the orientation for Antioch's literary journal, Lunch Ticket, along with 40 or so other people -- very popular opportunity to get credit for some required classes. Later, learned how to use the printer in the computer lab, and finished off the afternoon with the most popular lecture in the past two days. Kyle Sawyer spent a couple of hours with an intensely engaged room full of students and faculty talking about diversity and change. It's just not the college lecture that we would have had in the mid-1960s.

Late afternoon sun on the Antioch courtyard.

There are a few of these wicked looking trees around, with big thorns growing from their trunks. I haven't identified them yet.

Here are the leaves for the thorny trees. Anyone know what they are?

The glass buildings are good for reflecting the trees and surroundings.

Roses are everywhere, thankfully.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting thing I learned recently about Oxford and similar institutions of the time in France and Italy was that students couldn't be prosecuted for a crime, even rape or murder, unless caught in the act. Perhaps modern universities could offer that as an extra inducement? Include it in your plan for an online course?