In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity.

A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.

Hitler’s repertoire of topics, Mr. Ullrich notes, was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, “it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences” with “repeated mantralike phrases” consisting largely of “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.”

Sound familiar? I’m more than a little bit nervous about this election…

Warnings of conspiracy stoke anger among Trump faithful




Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


Social Media Book: Reflection #1

Technology, especially social networking, is changing the way we connect with others and interact with our world. Social media, as defined by Junco (2014), are “applications, services, and systems that allow users to create, remix, and share content” (p. 6).  It seems natural, especially with the current emphasis on constructivism and connectivism, to incorporate these technologies into our learning environments. However, the educational system as a whole has been reluctant to fully embrace the use of social media.

In the first section of Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs, Reynol Junco (2014) introduces various social media platforms and examines their use by students. The text is based on research and provides a thoughtful critique of some of the misconceptions of social media use by students. At the time the book was written, Facebook was the most popular social networking site for students followed by Twitter.  Both sites allow users to connect with others, but the affordances are different: “Facebook is used to maintain social connections with family, friends, and people with whom users want to keep in touch, while Twitter is used to follow conversations, topics, and people of interest” (p. 6).

One of the key points I’m learning in our exploration of social media this semester is that no one platform is right for everything.  According to Siemens and Tittenberger (2009) the steps to choosing an appropriate technological tool include the following:

  1. Clarify the learning intent. What will the student be required to do/demonstrate/produce at the conclusion of the lesson/module/unit?
  2. Evaluate media affordances. What is possible with different technologies, given the current context.
  3. Select media based on availability, expense, time, expertise, and general considerations (p. 22)

Junco also addresses the importance of making informed decisions about the tools educators choose to incorporate. First, ask yourself “What is my goal?” (Wiley, 2014). Once you determine what you want to accomplish and how you are going to evaluate it, choose the tool that best supports that goal. As he points out, social media may not be the right choice.

FYI: Check out Rey Junco’s blog, Facebook and Twitter


Junco, R. (2014). Engaging students through social media. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. ISBN-13: 978-1118647455  ISBN-10: 1118647459.

Siemens, G., & Tittenberger, P. (2009). Handbook of emerging technologies for learning. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba.

Wiley [Wiley]. (2014, August 19). Engaging Students through Social Media Junco 978111864745. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgAnEzVd1wE.



Butterfly had a softball tournament in Ruidoso. It was a lot of fun! The boys rarely want to tag along when she plays, so it was a treat to have them all with us. Bleu bought himself a camera, so he spent a lot of time taking pictures/video. We both took pictures of the flowers by the creek (above) to compare.  I like that he is getting into something that has brought me so much  joy over the years.

We took a ride by Bonito Lake. The last time we were there (June of this year) it still looked pretty bad from the Little Bear Fire. The rains we’ve had have done wonders. It didn’t look like the same place!

Continue reading “Ruidoso”

Black and White

collage-bw-mesquiteLight is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.  Louis Aragon

The Egg


One of the things that I’m loving about homeschooling Echo is that we get to do projects together. His science class is conducting an experiment using an egg to investigate permeability of membranes. Basically, the idea is to dissolve the shell while leaving the membrane intact. The photos above were taken on four separate days: the first three soaking in vinegar and the fourth soaking in plain water. The plan was to take measurements of the egg every day, changing the liquid each time, to determine whether the egg would grow larger or smaller.

It was the end of the day and we were all tired. The only thing Echo had left to do was measure his egg and replace the plain water with salt water. Mike and I ran to the gas station for some drinks for dinner and left Echo to finish up the measuring on his own. We had done it together four times, so I was confident that this was a task he could handle.

*five minutes later*

We walked in the living room and it was immediately obvious that something had gone horribly wrong. The stench of vinegar was overpowering, tinged with rotten egg and something else… something horrid. Echo showed us where the egg spilled on the table. Apparently, Luna (Butterfly’s puppy) had jumped up and tried to lick the egg, nicking it with one of her baby teeth.

Mike started dry heaving and went straight outside. Obviously, I was going to have to help Echo clean up the mess. “But where is the egg?” I asked. Echo just pointed at Luna. She was sitting on the couch and, as if on command, threw up the rotten egg and vinegar mix. Echo ran out of the room gagging and I was left to do the dirty work alone. By the time I found something disposable to clean it up with, Luna had eaten half of the vomit. She moved down a couple of feet and promptly threw it up again. Nice.

Once I got the living room habitable again, I asked Echo what he learned from the experiment. I was expecting something about the egg getting ‘squishy’ or figuring out why it got bigger. His answer was a little more practical:

Dogs and science don’t mix.