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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 23, 2006

monday night gurga

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:05 pm

the sky black with stars–

coyote tracks up and down

the frozen creek




coyote moon sn




everyone asleep

except the one sleeping alone–

distant train whistles





night sounds–

I put another blanket

on the sleeping boy




his side of it.

her side of it.

winter silence



 Lee Gurga from Fresh Scent (1998)   


                                                                                                                                                       oil can



monday miscellawnea (self-discipline edition)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:00 pm

Yes, it’s a slow news day.  But here are  a few nits worth



blackboard abc


It’s often a cheapshot when someone complains “we didn’t

need a study” to confirm fact X or theory Y.  But, I am

amazed that two research psychologists thought they

were adding useful information to our nation’s efforts to

improve education with a study on how self-discipline

affects academic achievement.  As the Washington Post

reported, on Jan. 17, 2006 (with no note of irony), the

team of Angela L. Duckworth and Martin E.P. Seligman


“Underachievement among American youth is

often blamed on inadequate teachers, boring

textbooks, and large class sizes. We suggest

another reason for students falling short of their

intellectual potential: their failure to exercise

self-discipline. . . .  [emphasis added]


“We believe that many of America’s children

have trouble making choices that require them

to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain,

and that programs that build self-discipline may

be the royal road to building academic achievement.”

Go here for the full study: “Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in

Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents,” Psycho-

logical Science, Vol. 16: 12, Page 939  (Dec. 2005).


D&S believe you can teach self-disicpline, but many experts

are skeptical about that, and about just what they were actually

measuring in their study. (see the Comments at the British Psy-

chological Society Research Digest weblog, Dec. 9, 2005).

The WP says Duckworth is teaching her 4-year-old daughter

self-discipline and delayed gratification at home, by allowing

her only one piece of Halloween candy per day. 


                                                                          blackboard abcN


Our two cents: (a) yes, of course, if your work more at some-

thing, or show up at all, you’ll almost always do better; (b) SD

won’t beat IQ in an environment where virtually everyone has

self-discipline; (c) SD beats IQ at many schools because the

academic standards are so low — learning a few facts that you

wouldn’t know without studying earns you good grades; and

(d) the Halloween candy meanie is creating a Candy Sneak,

and maybe a Candy Addict.


microphoneG Our local public radio station usually has intelligent news

copy.This afternoon, however, talking about real estate prices in

one community, the announcer twice said [close paraphrase]  

If you sold your house there, now, you probably couldn’t

afford to buy another one.” 

Am I missing something?  Didn’t the seller’s house also go

up in price, before he went to buy another one down the street?

Copy editor, where were you?  Anchorperson?



wolf dude  Blawg Balawney:  I was pleased that Jonathan B. Wilson included
our essay “let’s make the word ‘blawg’ obsolete” in Blawg Review #41
today.  However, Jonathan, like the Editor of Blawg Review last week,
seems to confuse “the rise of blawgs by lawyers wishing to promote
their practices” with an increased acceptance of “blawg” terminology. 
As we said in our update to the Essay, “Perhaps, they both attended
the Strawman Night School of Legal Advocacy.”

Thanks to Kierkegaard Lives for culling our anti-“Blawg” Essay

from the Blawg Review #41 list.  And, thanks for highlighting the 

existence of Patriot Search — “A search engine that works much

like google but has the added advantage of sending your personal

information directly to the government for their perusal.”




MichiganG While we’ve been fretting over little things,

Ed Markowski has been living and breathing sports — from

football, to basketball, to baseball and more:





   i’m just happy

        somebody cares






                the roar of the crowd

                    through a transistor radio…

                     summer solitude










                                 last second field goal

                                      my bookie

                                          wins again











                  momentum shifts

                     to the bookie







rain delay

the length of the lines

at the stadium restrooms





long rebound

crossing mid-court

she crosses my mind







Indiana farm

one tractor

three hoops





nude beach
the jet ski instructress
tells me to “concentrate”


“rain delay” – games (pawEprint 78, Nov. 2004) 


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