Bermuda Nonplussed

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Vocab of the Day:
Nonplussed: definition here.
courtesy of Angela

I almost spilled the beans on some exciting news. Thankfully, I was notified that I shouldn't post about it until next month. <phew> That could have been less than ideal. Well, more like "premature," but still... it sounds more impressive if related to the end of the world rather than "leaked" information.

Today we had some downtime, so we watched a show on the Discovery channel about the Bermuda Triangle. In the show they demonstrated that a large release of methane could produce a bubble of water that could sink a ship. Also, if the atmosphere composition is made up of as little as %1 methane it can cause a combustion engine to stall out and more methane can seriously tweak with a plane's instruments and lift.

All fascinating stuff.

But rather than telling me all about it in ten minutes--as they easily could have--they spent an hour (42 minutes + commercials).

And that got me thinking about education philosophies and attention spans. I hear a lot of complaints that kids don't have long enough attention spans due to television. But if your programing is intentionally designed to keep people watching for an hour--irregardless of content--then kids are trained not to have short attention spans but to expect redundant information. In fact, I was surprised how little real information was dispensed each segment.

And that got me wondering if classroom education has been informed by this.

How much information is really shared each class period?

It does vary by class, but I've sat in plenty of classes and seminars where the teacher/presenter was more interested in passing time than passing on beneficial information. Honestly, I've been nonplussed by some educator's lack of interest in educating their charges.

May your homeschooling experience be nothing like that.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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  1. Mrs. C

    Way to make me dazed and unable to process information through the rest of the post.

    Leaking WHAT information??? Every time you do that, I think you're going to go get the kids!! Quiiiit!


    PS. Have been browsing the choosing Sonlight forums and finding it interesting, thanks for the tip!!

  2. Mrs. C

    OK, got some time to READ THE POST carefully without substituting my biased guesses LOL.

    You are RIGHT. I've seen this phenomenon on PBS all. the. time.

    AND in public school, you can finish the curriculum a month or so early with a certain teacher, and then it's "review" forever because she can't go on to the next grade...

    Since purchasing Singapore math I am seeing NO fluff. *whew* Sometimes we take a day off and do something else b/c it IS very intense.


  3. KarenW

    I just spent 12 weeks teaching kindergarten in the public school. Actual teaching time in a 6 hour day. Not much. I am glad my kids are home and that I am now home with them!

  4. Heather

    interesting. And you are very right. The average class time is spent mostly on passing out and handing in papers, not on actual instruction.

  5. Luke

    Mrs. C, you are hilarious! The "secret" is Sonlight related. When we go to get the kids, I will blog about it loud and clear. There will be no guess work required. My guess is that I'll say something like, "We're flying to Kyrgyzstan!" or, "We're off to get our childrens!" or, "At long last: Kids!" ...and then you'll be able to read all my followup posts about how hard the process is, and how I'm struggle with post-adoption depression and struggling through adjusting and stuff. It will be very, very clear. I want you to be able to rejoice (and pray) with/for us during that exciting/crazy time.

    Glad you are enjoying the Singapore Math and the Sonlight forums <smile>.

    Karen, what a great blessing you have to spend time with your kids. I'm always glad to have my observations affirmed by experts <smile>.

    Heather, hmm... you're right. Handing out papers is a major time killer. I hadn't even thought of that part. Great point!

    Thank you all for taking the time to comment!


  6. Lisa

    Hi Luke, I left a query over on my comments for you! The road of home school is a steep learning curve - for everyone involved!
    Lisa :0D

  7. Luke


    Your Blogger profile is not enabled, so I don't know which Lisa you are. I also don't know which blog is yours, or which post to which you are referring.

    Please feel free to email me or whatever, but let me know your question so I can give it my best shot <smile>.


  8. agentlejoy

    Yeah- I especially love the crummy cable shows where the entire content of the actual show is included in the commercial for the show. They say, "Coming up next: Orangutans Attack!" and they show all the good cuts from the next segment of the show. They show this "Coming up Next" clip about three times as they cut back and forth to commercials, and then the segment itself doesn't have anything new to show. Well, except the cuts for the next section coming after the commercials...

    With the new policy of showing each commercial about thirty times in the same show, my brain feels like it's being slowly melted to component parts. I fight this by doing complicated crochet work while watching "educational" shows. I figure if I look at the screen for five seconds out of every minute, I'm not missing anything.

  9. Luke

    Angela, you crack me up. So very true <smile>.