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Happy Birthday Aldo Leopold – 

Considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology and the United States’ wilderness system, Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. Among his best known ideas is the “land ethic,” which calls for an ethical, caring relationship between people and nature.

I grew up hiking, camping, backpacking in the pacific northwest and didn’t realize the significance of Aldo Leopold until much later in life. In the early 2000s I was fortunate to be able to take a trip to New Mexico and hike in the Gila Wilderness Area and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area. Both were championed by Mr. Leopold, with the Gila being created in the first batch of wilderness areas in 1964. The one named after him came along in 1980. 

It is, to me, one of our strengths as a nation. The outdoor areas we choose to protect for the natural life that exists in those places and for our enjoyment is something I am grateful for.

i run:
*to feel better physically and mentally
*to challenge my body
*to achieve goals
*friendship and comraderie
*to meditate
*to think
*to be outdoors
*to explore new places
*to keep perspective

Last night the kids and I ran in the “1st Run” 5k here in town. It was a great way for us to start off 2018, with both Nora and Jonah running the whole thing. Nora’s goal was to literally RUN the whole race, without walking which she did. Jonah ran a fast 9:34 pace which helped him take first place in his age division. 

I also acquired a cool little “scratch-off” calendar for the year put out by Tracksmith in New England. It’s a “No Days Off” calendar where for each day of running you scratch out the day and beneath the ink is a word which will make up a complete story as the year goes by. Now, I don’t plan on literally taking no days off from running as that is not how my body works, but I’m looking forward to scratching off the dates as this year rolls by. 

Happy New Year!

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Settling for Scores

Why are schools still judged by the results of standardized tests?

The link above takes you to a review of a book, “The Testing Charade: Pretending To Make Schools Better,” by Daniel Koretz written by Diane Ravitch in The New Republic. I found this worth reading and it reminded me of the testing frenzy that existed when I taught in K-12 in Virginia between 2004 and 2009.

This quote, near the end of the article is what spoke to me:

Education is a developmental process, a deliberate cultivation of knowledge and skills, a recognition of each child’s unique talents, not a race.