Lego

I am a Lego artist. An AFOL. An Adult Fan of Lego. Lego nerd. Lego geek. Brick builder.

(Begin Brag)

I have been fortunate to have had my work displayed at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA), Columbus’ Science museum (COSI), Cleveland’s Science museum (GLSC), Cleveland’s John Hopkins airport, and Cleveland State University’s Rhodes library,  just to name a few. I also have work on permanent display at five different Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditoriums around the world. I’ve also had some amazing press including two articles in the Washington Post, Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, Ohio Magazine, Wired.com, two live performances on WKYC-TV, CNET, The Westchester Journal, PR Week, Cleveland Magazine (I was named one of Cleveland 30 most interesting people of 2006) etc. etc. etc. Shows. Conventions. School talks. Lectures.

See my work here (Lego landmarks) and here (Lego mosaics) or here (New Stuff)

Or see my two most famous Lego creations: The Taj Mahal (used at the main prop for an independent Australian movie entitled TAJ. And my Lenticular mosaic of Batman morphing into the Joker

(End Brag)

Question #1: Am I bringing Lego with me? Do I plan to build while I’m overseas?

Unfortunately I’m not bringing anything with me. I need to pack light and space is at a premium. ☹️

Question #2: Do I plan on visiting any Lego stores, Lego parks, Lego discovery centers while I’m overseas?

While not a priority… perhaps.

Question #3: Do you plan on visiting any Lego landmarks that you’ve already built?

YES! Here are photos of my Lego landmarks that I hope to see. Can you name them all?

Keep a door open and the light on

Today was the last day of work for teachers at my high school. Teachers are not due back for ten weeks; sometime in the middle of August. For the next two and a half months we can urinate when we want, take more than 22 minutes to eat lunch, not have to eat lunch at 10:30 in the morning, not police kids in the hall, not grade 80 of the same exam, etc.  Some folks travel, some take classes, some work other jobs, some just relax. I plan on relaxing. My travels do not officially begin until the first week in August, but my first flight (to Europe) is three weeks earlier in mid-July. (Sort of like the repositioning of a cruise ship… more on that later.)

I’ve been cleaning up my class room every day after work for the past 6 weeks. Ever so slowly going through fifteen years of materials, books, binders, papers, tests, posters, folders, workbooks, notes, etc. It’s amazing how much one teacher can accumulate. Some stuff I threw out, some stuff I brought home, but the majority is carefully stored away in drawers and boxes awaiting my return. Please keep a door open and the light on. I will be back.

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We’re a small 9-12 high school (about 500 students total) in the Eastern suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. The district consistently gets great scores and ratings due to the amazing teachers and staff. And the math department is no exception. I’m one of six math teachers at my school where we manage to offer fifteen different courses ranging from Algebra to Statistics to Calculus. My “Leave of Absence” status holds my job open for me for when I return the following year. The district is in the process of hiring a replacement for the year.  Please keep a door open and the light on. I will be back.

I suspect that my year off will put some added pressures and responsibilities with the department, especially the department chair who is picking up my multivariable calculus class. Thank you all. Have a great summer and wonderful school year.

Here’s the crew.IMG_3001

(Back off!!!  No!! You may not move into my room while I’m gone.)

Itinerary

The map above is not my path around the world but Phineas Fogg’s path in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. For starters, Phineas Fogg circumnavigates the world by traveling eastward. I will be traveling westward.

The itinerary (as of 5/26/17):

July                  France: Paris. Belgium: Antwerp, Brussels. Netherlands: Amsterdam.

August             Indonesia: Bali.

September      Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto.

October:          China: Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an.

November:      SE Asia: Thailand: Bangkok. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam.

December:      Australia: Sydney, Melbourne. New Zealand.

January:           China: Hong Kong.

February:         China: Hong Kong.

March:             Zambia, Namibia, Malawi, Madagascar.

April:               Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania.

May:                South Africa.

Some activities that have already been planned include:

  1. Working with a climatologist on the glaciers of New Zealand.
  2. Working with a behavioral scientist at a chimp sanctuary in Zambia.
  3. Working with specialists at an Artificial Intelligence company in Hong Kong.

ToDo & ToPack

Here is my To Do and To Pack lists.

To do:

Renew my passport.

Secure time off from work.

Vaccinations: Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Meningitis.

Prescriptions: Cipro, Doxycycline, anti-diarrhea pills, malaria pills.

Copies: Passport, wallet stuff, prescriptions, other important papers.

Visits: Doctor, eye doctor, dentist, car maintenance.

Remember to tell people that I’m leaving.

To pack:

Technology: Laptop, external hard drive, noise-canceling headphones, earbuds, backup phone battery, tripod, camera, jump drive, cables, dongles, IPad mini 4, iPhone, plug converters.

Clothes: 7 to 10 days of clothes, toiletries.

Shoes: Waterproof hiking shoes, 2 pair of sneakers, flip-flops.

Coats: Fleece, sweatshirt, raincoat.

Other: Swiss army knife, lock, flashlight, extra glasses, bug spray, sunscreen.

Backpack.

 

cartoon_pack

Pedagogy: The method and practice of teaching

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

-Pablo Picasso

Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity” is the most watched Ted talk with over 45 million views. Ken Robinson wants to transform (not reform) our educational system. Our current educational system is based on a 100+ year-old industrial/factory worker paradigm and has transformed very little over the years. The classroom your child sits in, the classroom you sat in, the classroom your parents and grandparents sat in, has varied very little.

So I’m going to do something different.

I’m going to let the curriculum be driven by the interests of the student.

I’m going to let the curriculum be determined by the places we travel to.

More to come

Exam

Simplex, Complex, Multiplex

One of my favorite science fiction authors Samuel R. Delany used these terms: simplex, complex, multiplex, in his 1966 novella Empire Star, to denote/delineate various types of civilizations, societies, and thought processes.

So here we go.

Simplex: I’m taking a trip around the world!!!

Complex: A family of five (husband, wife, and three children ages 7, 11, and 13) are taking a year off to travel around the world. They have hired me to accompany them on their journey as a teacher/tutor/mentor and to “home school” their children as we travel.

Multiplex: Of course I’ll need to report on my day to day adventures. But at this point, I’m still six weeks away from leaving on this epic trek. We’ll need some background: How did I get this job? What preparations were needed to make it happen? How did I get time off of work? What are the pedagogical/educational goals? How will I implement learning and growth? What are my personal goals for the year? What do my family and friends think? Etc. So…. over the next six weeks, I hope to talk about all of these in separate (multiplex) responses.

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80Daze

I have always believed that the first movie I ever saw in the theater was Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. I can clearly remember myself, 7 years old, begging (and begging and begging) my parents to take me to the movies.

I can vividly recall the experience:

I remember that there was a tall man seated in front of me and that I needed to switch seats with my father in order to be able to watch the movie. And that I still needed to peek through people’s heads to see even a part of the screen. There was the smell of popcorn. Staying out late. The crowded theater. The movie itself which sparked my imagination. Etc. Etc.

Hence the blog’s name 80Daze. With the play on words with days/daze.

And of course, none of this could possibly be true as the movie was released and in theaters a good 4 years before I was born. Eleven years earlier than my memory so vividly recalls.

That’s the problem with memory.

But I still like the name.

And there is another reason for choosing the name…

640px-Around_the_World_in_Eighty_Days_map.png