jhawkmamax2 (Donna Kirk-Swaffar)


Comment history

Topeka lamp post falls onto Lawrence police vehicle

It's not on the state assessments, therefore it is no longer a subject (or a predicate or even an indirect object) of discussion in the English classroom. At least not where I work now.

June 27, 2012 at 8:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Students sharpen German language at KU

Ahh, back in the '80s I went to German Field Day at KU--my first real visit to the campus. Sounds like even more fun now.

Oh and pretty sure that you meant "oral" here: "The day launched at 9 a.m., and activities included aural and written competitions,..." I'm sure they did have to listen, but they probably had to speak to win. I wonder if they still do extemporaneous speaking--that was the toughest for me. Pick a topic out of a hat and get 5 minutes with a dictionary to get ready to talk about the subject in front of the judges.

March 4, 2012 at 7:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter grades giving way to ‘standards-based’ marks in Lawrence schools

Oh wait, that's too high. I wouldn't want the other commenters to think that their contributions were less than "S" and get low self esteem.

September 6, 2011 at 8:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Town Talk: UPDATE Santa Fe drug development firm moving to KU; New wage data shows we all should have been doctors; salary info Lawrence teachers already have noticed; more construction for Kasold

They actually don't get paid for not working, their checks just get spread out over 12 months if they request it so they still have a level paycheck in the summer. And grading papers doesn't happen during the paid school day--that's when the TEACHING takes place. Teachers grade and make lesson plans and prepare materials largely on their own time (one hour of plan time isn't enough), both during the school year and on those undeserved breaks. And teachers are lucky to get a 25 minute lunch. Most of the teachers I know have at least one summer job and take extra duty during the year. What is not clear in the story is if that is take home or gross pay. Because KPERS takes a chunk out, as does health insurance and taxes. Not sure why some people think that teachers are where we should be cheaping out. We trust our kids to them for 7+ hours a day. We better hope we get more than we pay for.

September 1, 2011 at 11:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Borders store in downtown Lawrence to close by end of April as part of bankruptcy; 27 to lose jobs

Wow, that would surprise me. I can't remember ever going in there and not seeing a substantial number of shoppers. Topeka doesn't have the strong independent booksellers like Lawrence has.

February 17, 2011 at 8:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bullying drives former Baldwin student to take her education home

" i remember back in grade school at the little rural school i went to, every frickin' day the kids made fun of a little girl who was over-weight. every day! i never joined in on that. it's cruel, it's stupid & it's immature."

Agreed. How many of us felt content as kids because we didn't join in? But how many of us as adults realize now that it was our responsibility (within the realm of personal safety) to STOP the taunting? Part of solving the bullying problem is moving the good kids (who are in the majority) from being merely bystanders to being positive contributors when someone else is being bullied. Not joining in is easy. Sometimes standing up and protecting someone who needs help is hard.

At an institutional level, the bullying policies I have seen seem to be pretty ineffective (I work at a junior/senior high and have kids in grade school). The change has to start at the individual level, because the schools just don't seem to know how to handle it effectively.
Adults have to model for kids that we value standing up for others and will not tolerate personal cruelty. Because no matter how many times an adult intervenes, that intervention will never make as much difference as it would coming from a peer.

"Be the change that you want to see in the world." M. Gandhi

December 15, 2010 at 10:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence native shares economic woes as star of WEtv reality show 'Downsized'

I watched this the other night. It is a blended family, not a wholly biological one. The night I watched, the boys were working on a job site with dad (private contracting job) and the girls and mom tried cleaning houses for money for the first time together. They also suspended their cable service on that episode, and it does appear that the kids have had to give up extra activities like baseball. The kids were also seen taking flyers for dad's construction biz door to door and trying to shoot a homemade video commercial to put on the internet.

They still have a huge and well-furnished rental property, so it's not like they are out in the cold. They keep talking about "borrowing" from the kids, so there must be some sort of savings there.

Granted, this is an hour out of two or three days, so who knows what they aren't showing.

November 30, 2010 at 10:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )