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Whens-day Wednesday: Education edition

  • When you want to celebrate your child’s critical thinking skills but pride gets in the way;
  • When you become the object of data-driven decision making;
  • When you can correlate your child’s math skills with not getting what she wants (chart on top) and getting what she wants (chart on bottom);
  • When, speaking of correlation, you can tell which chart was created with more care and detail;
  • When you wonder what your child’s teachers must think of you;
  • When you can’t wait for language arts homework;
  • When you realize that poetry and essay assignments could have unlimited potential for qualitative data ;
  • When you love it all.

Common Core math

Common Core “makeup” math

Teaching Is the Greatest…


One of my parents passed away earlier this month.  Pictured above is a homemade sympathy card from one of my students (I teach a college course on Doctor Who:  “Doctor Who:  TARDIS Travels in General Education).

Teaching & advising have their own priceless benefits & rewards…

8-Track memories of my Dad & the Hag


I first heard Merle Haggard when I was 5 or 6 years old, riding with Dad in the “Lloyd’s Upholstery Shop” truck while he rotated between Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Fats Domino, Merle Haggard, and lots of other music on the eight-track tape player. Haggard’s death in April (also the month of Dad’s birthday) sent me back in time; I found Dad’s eight-track collection and case, with two Hag titles still in there. Dad taught me about life, and the Hag taught me how to reflect on it…

Title video

I shot this video (and chose it for my blog) for a very specific reason:  it captures the spirit of bricolage and multimodality.

The hand you see is one of the wonderful teachers at Sound to Sea; I was a class chaperon for a field trip there.  What you see is the truly talented Miss Lauren writing (per my request) my blog title and name.  It’s not as simple and straightforward as it appears.  Look closer:

She is writing UPSIDE DOWN and from RIGHT to LEFT!  If that doesn’t sound very difficult, take a crack at it and you’ll see just how hard it is.  

I was so intrigued by how fluid and effortless it was for her, and I realized that she was truly creating meaning and communicating via multiple modes and bricolage.

Welcome to “Bricolage…by Doctor Don”

Ready or nobricolage-title-ideast, here I blog…

Welcome to the inaugural post of “Bricolage…by Doctor Don.”  I thought it would make sense for my first post to address the title and my process (so far) for trying to capture who I am and what you’ll find here. At the risk of turning into a dictionary, a few definitions are in order.  All come from my doctoral dissertation:
Bricolage: a nonlinear set of multimodal processes by which [students] adopt and “piece together” from multiple sources to construct meaning.

Multiple modes (modalities): Socially and culturally shaped resources that all of us use to create meaning(s).


I hope my my doctoral dissertation is more than just a one-off academic document.  I really tried to make it reflect who I am and where I come from, the same purpose I have for this blog.


Thinking about a title was an ongoing exercise in brainstorming, word choice, connotations and translation (see picture above).  I wanted “de todos modos” to capture “multiple modalities,” but the Spanish phrase doesn’t translate the English phrase literally and means something quite different.


I am a Virgo, but that went nowhere.  “Subjunctive” works well in several ways (mode, subjectivity) but still seemed a bit too “linguistic.”  I finally went with “bricolage,” which was a key part of my dissertation and really brings together multimodality, multiple interests, and how I (and you) construct knowledge and meaning(s).  (I know that sounds terribly academic; please forgive me.  This will not be an academic site!)


As for the main title, it works (for now, anyway).  Granted, if you say it aloud too  many times, it sounds perhaps a bit too much like a cologne commercial.  (Those at least as old as I am will be reminded of “Brut…by Fabergé.”)  At any rate, as I move forward with my blog and learn and shape its identity and look, that title could change.  We’ll see.
I tried to capture my main interests in the subtitle but had to add “everything” at the end as a catch-all 🙂  My first ideas for a blog title involved a fluctuating (flickering?) acronym:  FLAME.  Look at the subtitle; you’ll see the acronym still holds.  I just thought it a bit too obvious for the main title.


The Cervantes quote on my main page really says it all for me:  “El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.”  Here’s a page that will show what it means and possible translations.


“Doctor Don” is more than an affectation or assumed identity.  I earned my Ed.D. three years ago, and I can only assume that the ease of the “D” alliteration lends itself well to nicknames & monikers.  One person began calling me “Doctor Don”..then another, then another.  What can I say?  It caught on.  It was organic.  It works, it fits, I like it.  Así sea.


Looking forward to where this takes me (and you)…


Doctor Don


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