Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles from April 2016

  1. Surprisingly good television these days

    Should I be posting a knitting update? Probably. But I wanted to tweet some thoughts about The Magicians, and Orphan Black, and Supergirl, until I realized I should really just expand them into a summary of my thoughts about television shows! So this is a round up of some (not all) of the TV shows I’ve been watching regularly over the past few months.

    Magic Sucks and You Suck Even More, Quentin

    I didn’t really enjoy The Magicians in book form. The books are clever in a postmodern, hipsterish way—almost too clever. I get why other people like them, but they weren’t really for me.

    So I’m surprised to say that I very much enjoyed the first season of the TV show! In part, it’s because the plot has deviated in interesting ways from the books: the broad strokes are there, with most of the major events intact, but they have been altered for the pacing and atmosphere of the visual, episodic medium. I find the whole art behind adaptations fascinating, and I’m always pleased when writers manage to adapt a book for TV or movies by remaining true to the themes and spirit of the…

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  2. Algorithms are not the answer

    Oh, look! It’s another article about discovery vs rote math! Here we go again….

    I thought I had solved this back in 2011 (twice!), but apparently a couple of people in the world didn’t listen, so now here I am, back at it again. It seems like every five years when the latest round of test scores shows that the sky is falling we’ll be doomed to have the same arguments over and over about how to teach, and in particular, how to teach math. It’s tiresome. I’ve only been a teacher for four years, and I’m already tired of it.

    Let me qualify that statement of fatigue: I never tire of talking about how to teach. Education is serious business, and having a healthy debate over the best and most effective strategies is important. I am not out to label anyone in any of the camps as wrong or extremist in their views, and I believe that most of the participants in these discussions genuinely want what is best for our children. When I say that I’m “tired” of this discussion, I’m not here to say, “I’m right” (even though I am) and, therefore, we should shut down…

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