Thursday, December 3, 2009

It is that time of the year! Click and play...

I suggest to the delight of your colleagues that you just leave it running on your office computer when you are away from your work station...

Play it loud!

Rising education cost, cuts prompt Sac State protest

Students unhappy with how state budget cuts are affecting their education -- and pocketbooks -- protested today at Sacramento State University, drawing further attention to what they consider an erosion of their university experience as costs continue to rise.

The protesters, many dressed in funereal garb, held what they called a mock funeral to symbolize "the death of California's commitment to the affordability, accessibility and quality of higher education."

Check back at for further coverage of today's demonstration.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): GOP Spending Their Time Putting Together Obstruction Manual Instead of Health Reform Proposal

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): GOP Spending Their Time Putting Together Obstruction Manual Instead of Health Reform Proposal -- BuzzFlash News Alert

Fink - Sort Of Revolution

Milton Nascimento - Tudo o que você podia ser

Tudo Que Você Podia Ser
Milton Nascimento
Composição: Márcio Borges / Lô Borges

Com sol e chuva você sonhava
Que ia ser melhor depois
Você queria ser o grande herói das estradas
Tudo que você queria ser
Sei um segredo você tem medo
Só pensa agora em voltar
Não fala mais na bota e do anel de Zapata
Tudo que você devia ser sem medo
E não se lembra mais de mim
Você não quis deixar que eu falasse de tudo
Tudo que você podia ser na estrada
Ah! Sol e chuva na sua estrada
Mas não importa não faz mal
Você ainda pensa e é melhor do que nada
Tudo que você consegue ser ou nada

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How I feel about this place...

Had this taped to my desk for years... 'jus say'n

Lula to "Gringos": Spare Us Your Advice (Translation: Ryan Croken): "At the summit of Amazonian countries, which took place in Manaus, Brazil, on Thursday, Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva announced that he was not open to receiving advice about the preservation of the environment from 'gringos,' and stated that Brazil has plans to increase development in the Amazon region."

Read the Article

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Restructuring" the CSU or Wrecking It? -- A CFA White Paper

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December, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

On every one of our campuses, we are seeing signs of a profound change in the mission of our California State University that is being implemented from the top under cover of the economic crisis.

The CFA White Paper-"Restructuring the CSU or Wrecking It?"- is our effort to make sense of the big picture swirling around us. (click here to read) We hope you will read it and discuss it with colleagues on your campus and among the communities served by the CSU.

Every day, we encounter new evidence that the changes being made are not intended to help weather the economic crisis, but rather to make the CSU smaller, more elite, and structured to serve the strict needs of corporate interests rather than the broad interests of a participatory democracy.

At the CSU Trustees' meeting in November, CFA President Lillian Taiz and other faculty members as well as staff and students spoke to the Trustees about the issues we address in this paper. As usual, each speaker was allotted only three minutes in which to frame and analyze the "restructuring" process underway.

After listening to the speakers, the chair of the Board's only comment was to chastise the speakers for taking too much time-instead of the allotted 30 minutes the public comment lasted 50 minutes. Clearly the Chair regards the "public comment" period as an annoying legal requirement rather than a meaningful opportunity to hear from the public who have a stake in the future of their university.

The executives and Trustees of the CSU are rapidly reducing the number of students in the CSU, in order to address the state funding shortfall. They have furloughed employees to save money and raised student fees by one-third this year alone. They are preparing to slash entire academic programs, to destroy remediation programs, and to move courses in unprecedented numbers to the more expensive "self-support" operation.

They have done all this without any public discussion at the Board of Trustees, with the legislature, or with the communities our institutions serve.

CFA believes that the drastic change in the mission of the CSU moving apace on our campuses deserves public dialogue, analysis, and debate.

As one piece of the conversation, we offer this paper. And we call once again on the faculty, staff and students of the CSU to step forward. We are the ones who must stand up for the CSU.

Click here to read the white paper. It is also accessible from the front page of the CFA website

The officers of the California Faculty Association:

Lillian Taiz, President Andy Merrifield, Associate VP North
Kim Geron, Vice President Dave Bradfield, Associate VP South
John Halcón, Secretary Jonathan Karpf, Associate VP Lecturers North
Peter Kreysa, Treasurer Elizabeth Hoffman, Associate VP Lecturers South
Cecil Canton, Associate VP Affirmative Action

Rain Shower / Pancada

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Morning at Coyle Elementary

This morning I spent the morning with a great student teacher in her third grade class... her student Caleb showed me a drawing he was working on of a giant duck he called Duckzilla (I tried to get him to throw it away and make a Beaver... but alas... he has been cooped by the dark side). Another little girl waved me over and wanted to show me how she signs her name in cursive...

oh yeah...

From JMG: The Decade From Hell

Dubya, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, Wall Street. TIME Magazine gets it right when they call the aughties "the decade from hell."
Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era. We're still weeks away from the end of '09, but it's not too early to pass judgment. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever you want — just give thanks that it is nearly over. Calling the 2000s "the worst" may seem an overwrought label in a decade in which we fought no major wars, in historical terms. It is a sadly appropriate term for the families of the thousands of 9/11 victims and soldiers and others killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the lack of a large-scale armed conflict makes these past 10 years stand out that much more. This decade was as awful as any peacetime decade in the nation's entire history. Between the West's ongoing struggle against radical Islam and our recent near-death economic experience — trends that have largely skirted much of the developing world — it's no wonder we feel as if we've been through a 10-year gauntlet. Americans may have the darkest view of recent history, since it's in the U.S. that the effects of those trends have been most acute. If you live in Brazil or China, you have had a pretty good decade economically. Once, we were the sunniest and most optimistic of nations. No longer.
On the gay side of the decade, it was a mixed bag. We gained marriage rights in seven states, but then lost them in two. In 31 states bigoted bans on same-sex marriage were passed, but a handful of states enacted some other recognition of gay relationships. Hate crimes legislation was finally passed, but other critical LGBT rights issues remain mired. Gay people have never been more visible, but our enemies have never been more emboldened.

We must all work together to ensure that 2010 ushers in a decade where complete civil equality for LGBT people exists at every level of government. Can you imagine the day when we can finally retire the entire LGBT civil rights movement? Dare we dream of a life without opinion polls, ballot drives, fundraising, and election night gut-clenching? Could the next decade be the one in which we can happily ignore the hatred of the Christian right and the vile actions of the likes of Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, and Peter LaBarbera? I think it's doable. It's going to get even uglier, I fear, before it gets much better. But I also think there's a very good chance that ten years from now, we here on this here website thingy might look back with fondness and pride on "the Gay Decade." Make it so.

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Courtesy of JMG

LB, a star math student interviewed me for another class

Interview Essay

I interviewed Mr. Daniel Orey my LS7A math teacher before class at 1:15 in Lassen Hall on October 29, 2009. For the past 11 weeks I’ve been attending Mr. Orey’s math class. Math is my worst subject and it always has been. I literally hate it, but somehow over the course of this class he has made me finally understand these subjects I’ve been struggling with since middle school. On my last two tests I received A’s! This is a miracle in my world. Orey’s joking personality and helpful presence really shows his students he cares. I knew I wanted to interview him from the beginning to see how he became this great teacher he is today.

Before I interviewed Orey my assumptions included that he was from a large town because he seems really comfortable with diversity and interacting with his students. Past majors could have been business or something related to math. I figured he has a master’s degree at least, being as intelligent in math as he is and as a person. His past jobs in college could have been at a restaurant or office job, the usual for college students. Perhaps even a math tutor for other students, which may have also been how he became a professor. I think his interests may include reading and a sport of some kind, maybe basketball because he’s tall or running. I’m not sure if he wants to keep doing his job here at Sacramento, but I’m guessing he does. He seems to really enjoy what he does.

Daniel Orey, 54, was born in San Jose and raised in the small town of Grants Pass, Oregon where he attended high school, which he enjoyed and his goal was always to leave town and attend college. He liked diversity and learning about other people’s cultures, but his town wasn’t exactly diverse. He attended first Oregon State, then New Mexico State, and lastly the University of New Mexico. His major was architecture until it was closed, and after switching around for a while from political studies to business and he then became interested in teaching. From there he enrolled into a teaching program because he had always liked tutoring. Orey always enjoyed math throughout his school years, yet his hardest class was accounting. He accumulated a BA in education, a Masters in curriculum with an emphasis in math and science, and a doctorate in multicultural education. There were multiple jobs he had, working at first a garbage truck company in Josephine County, then a forest service fire fighter and also in a grocery store. As for college, his activities were limited because he was an RA in college and was always busy putting together dorm activities and running clubs, so there weren’t many sports played or parties occupying his time.

Now Daniel Orey is a core faculty member at Sacramento State doctoral program and enjoys teaching math to the students which he appreciates so much. He expressed that his job allows him to do amazing things and meet wonderful students. He respects the system at Sacramento State as well but does wish that they would stop beating up on the students, teachers, and families with all the budget cuts, furlough days, and raises in tuition. He wants to keep working at Sac State for the time being, but would like to one day move to Brazil and teach math at a university there.

A typical day for Orey includes going to the gym in the morning, meeting with teachers, writing in his office, teaching students, and then going home to relax with his partner. His son has grown up and is now out of the house so it’s pretty quiet at home. His interests are now working in the garden and weeding, traveling, reading (travel novels in particular) and working out at the gym. He still has a core diverse group of friends from college, which he considers family, who he sees on a regular basis. He has no regrets in his life except he wishes he could have traveled more if he had had more money and not let his friends influence him as much, but basically he covered his goals in college and life. His advice to college students today is to get involved and be aware of what’s going on in your community and the news because together we are strong, divided we fail.

Some of my assumptions were correct, while others were challenged. I was right about him starting as a tutor, which led into his teaching career focus and one of his interests being reading. He also liked math throughout his high school and college days, which I had figured considering he’s a math teacher presently. I was wrong about him being from a large town, though he did express he wished he had grown up around more diversity because his town didn’t have much, which was one of the reasons he wanted to move. He has a PhD. not just a Masters, which doesn’t surprise me much. His jobs differed from what I had assumed originally, instead of a restaurant job or office occupation he worked in a forest service and a grocery store. While he didn’t play sports in college, he does work out every day now. It did surprise me that he wants to one day move to Brazil and teach there because I thought he would want to stay here. I think it is a very interesting and excellent goal for him to achieve in the future.

I enjoyed interviewing Daniel Orey. It made me learn a lot more about my teacher, but also how paths in college can lead you to many different occupations, but your true passion will always shine through in the end. I realized switching majors is common and makes me wonder if I may in the future change mine as well. I felt closer to him because I know more about him and my reactions were limited because class was at 1:30, shortly after the interview. We were laughing by the end and I thanked him for being so helpful and polite. I’m happy I got the chance to interview a teacher I respect so highly.

A Notice from CSUS CFA

Please join us for:





Please come to support our students. Encourage your classes to come to get involved with others who are serious about addressing the effects of budget cuts on the CSU. A good number of students are working hard to have meaningful and energetic action. They are working to build support and organization of the students on our campus.

CSUS LECTURERS will be gathered to support students and to voice their concerns at the rally.

Bring your students, your creative signs, and your sense of outrage.

Unite with your students and colleagues to support the CSU!

In Union.

The Capitol Chapter

Middle Class Grows As Brazil's Economy Surges

The cruel joke about Brazil was that it was the country of the future — and always would be. But now, Brazil is meeting its potential like never before.

Click here to make the jump to listen to the story.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.