Cory Roush

Dissonance and tension plus reflection and resolution equal intellectual growth

Flypaper, or the column without a unique title at this time

Throughout the week, I often find myself reading something and thinking, "Gosh, I wish I had someone who cared enough about this to share my interest and enthusiasm!" (I'm often surrounded by 9 year-olds or colleagues who are equally burned out by the end of the school day and can't form complete sentences. And I'm counting myself in that group.)

But rather than keep all of this inside my head, I'm borrowing an idea I found in the latest incarnation of The New Republic: Flypaper, where various editors and contributors share random tidbits of information they found while reading books, newspapers, magazines, etc. in each issue. The point is to share the things I've been reading and to get some comments out of my head so that I don't have to keep bothering my parents (or dog) with them.

On second thought, it sounds like the better idea would be to get some friends. But that takes time, and clipping some articles into Evernote and dropping them onto my blog seems like it'd be easier. Without any further ado, here's my Flypaper...

Why you hate the sound of your voice, from NBCNews.com:

“When [someone] listens to a recording of their voice speaking, the bone-conducted pathway that they consider part of their ‘normal’ voice is eliminated, and they hear only the air-conducted component in unfamiliar isolation—what everybody else actually hears,” says Dr. Chris Chang, an otolaryngologist at Fauquier Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants in Warrenton, Virginia.

An ironic start to this series, as I'm certain there are a few people within earshot who also hate the sound of my voice. But I've been recording some of my students reading aloud and playing it back for them, and it's a joy to see them struggle to understand why they sound so silly.

Chinese education: The truth behind the boasts, from BusinessWeek.com:

While my students are stumped by the unfamiliar voice coming from the MP3 players in their hands, their Chinese counterparts are supposedly crafting rockets, hologram projectors, and laser-firing satellites to be placed on Jupiter when they figure out how to land there and colonize it. But if pundits and CEOs want to claim that the rest of the world is outpacing us in math and science and the Chinese are the only ones who know how to fix a broken education system, you might want to share this nugget of truth:

The reality is China’s students receive educations of greatly varying quality. Their parents often pay a lot for it, depending on where they live [...] The annual education expenditure per middle school student in 2010 in Beijing totaled 20,023 yuan, more than six times the 3,204 yuan spent in the poor province of Guizhou.

Rural families pay up to 2,000 yuan annually in education costs [...] To secure desks near the teacher, families pay 300 yuan per month, says Liao Ran, who runs programs in Asia combating graft for Berlin-based Transparency International. While a few years ago the youngest students almost all went to school, now as many as 900,000 6- to 8-year-olds drop out every year.

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