Friday, October 9, 2009

Jumping Through Hoops
© George E. Duckett 2009

I have written this book with the hope it will be an inspiration to any one who is currently, or has been, the subject of abuse or neglect as a child and who is suffering, or has suffered, through a poor primary and secondary education to find if they can survive and turn the tide of defeat into a rewarding and fulfilling life by realizing that theirs really some one out there trying to get you and they are not a figment of your imagination.

I was born in the first half of the 20 th Century. As a young child I experienced the latter part of the Great Depression and World War II. As a boy, the Korean War. I served my country in the US Army during the Cold War, Cuban Crises, the Moon Landing the assassination of an American President and the war in Vietnam.

I saw an American President resign his Office in disgrace. The Berlin wall come down with the end of the Cold War. There have been so many other small wars since WW II, I have lost count of them and have no idea who won any of them, if there is ever a winner of any war.. Then we had the Golf Wars, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now in the first half of the 21 st Century the 9/11 bombing of the Twin Towers that officially opened the War Against Terrorism that is in reality, the Jihad, a Holy War in the eyes of radical Muslims. I see the War Against Terrorism as World War III.

I was born during World War II and it looks as if I will die during World War III. To the best of my knowledge there has been a war going on some where in the world for my whole life time.

My feelings are reflected in the words of the song, *Where Have All The Flowers Gone, “When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?”

*Words and music by Pete Seeger

I have finished the first draft and it is now being edited and proofread Its a matter of going back over things and adding to the information that's there. I'm trying to find photos that will help tie the story together that is difficult when most of the people I knew that had any have pasted away years ago. The ones that may still be living are nowhere to be found. I estimate I'm about 50% finished with my story

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Up Date

Just A little note to let any one that is following this Blog that My book is coming along I'm now up to chapter 8 in the draft form. That covers a period from 1938 to 1977. That only covers my first 30 years there's still a 40 years to go yet.

Parts of it are hard to write about as they are painful and do require some deep thought as to weather I want to tell about it or not.

At This stage I'm not sure as to how I will publish it I'm thinking I'll do it as an E-Book. I'll just have to wait and see.

Any one that may be interested can find some old pictures of me and my wife Mary on my facebook at:

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Recently as I was going through my old files, I came upon an paper I wrote for an English class in 1970. I can't remember what the assignment was other then to write about how I felt about attending college.

I'm included it in the introduction of my book, Jumping Through Hoops, as it is important to me today as I write an account of my life, as it was when I originality wrote it. The Assignment, as best as I can remember, was to say on one page how I felt about starting college.

At the time, I was 32. I had just left the US Army in Auguast of 1969 after 13 years and was trying to come to terms with life as a free man.

The only thing I can compare my life as a soldier to, during the cold war, was being locked away in prison. The difference between us and criminals were, they had a better life style in prison then many of us had “protecting our country.”. For the most part convicts had only two to a cell with a TV if they could afford it, all we had was cramped living conditions, many times only two feet between bunks and no TV.

As a matter of fact I think the criminals got a better deal when they left prison then separated or returning service men and women did by the public we were fighting for. When they left prison Exconvicts had, if they wanted, support services not available to ex-servicemen and women.

In addition to the poor lifestyle I had lived for 13 years, I had experienced a very poor education and had left school when I was 17 years old, to join the army, as a means to escape the torment from teachers and school bullies. So here I was, a 32 year old man starting college with a poor educational background and scared to death I was going to fail.

The short peace that follows reflects how I felt at the time.
This is the assignment that I did for English Composition 101 class in September 1970.It was the first “A” ever, I got for an English class.


The Cubbyholes Of My Mind

In my mind I find a long, dimly lighted hallway, with cubbyholes of varying size on both sides. By the doorway it is clean and well kept. As I venture in further, it gets dusty. The holes are barred with cobwebs and the lighting is poor.

I enter into the hallway with new information. What do I do with it? Where do I put it? How do I sort it?

First I have to clean out the dust, unbar the holes, change the lighting so I can begin.

Now every thing is cleaned, the cobwebs are gone and bright lights are installed. I'm ready to store the information where I can find it.


There is always confusion when I begin. I start sorting everything that is already there and take a thorough inventory:

What Do I do with all the junk I find? Throw it away?


There is no junk! Everything I have learned has meaning. All the Information, all the experiences, good and bad, are important. I need them to learn more.

Do I just Keep them separated from the rest?

No, as I learn new things I'll put them in a different place,then go back to my old experiences, combine them, and store them with the new. I will be much wiser for it.
In the beginning I will spend a lot of time thinking and asking myself if it is worth it, do I really want to do this, do I want to go on?



The only difference today from what it was in 1970 is that the hallway is longer and now it has little rooms off to the sides with much more information storied away in them. Some of the rooms have been closed and locked for many years and the keys have been misplaced.

Recently the key for one of the rooms that has been locked away for the last 30 years Has been dropped into my lap. The opening of that door is the catalyst for the writing my auto biography. As strange as it may seem after all the years that have passed some one contacted me and we started doing what we should have done some 30 years ago, Communicate!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Short Bio

My name is George E Duckett

I currently live in Tingalpa, Queensland, Australia.

I was born in Highland Park a suburb of Detroit Michigan USA in November of 1938.

My father was in the Army and served overseas in WWII and the Korean War.

We moved many times and I went to many schools until he settled us in Sonoma California in 1950 when he was on his way to to Korea.

I left school at 16 to take an Apprenticeship as a Loft Rigger at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in 1955.

I joined the Army and spent 13 years in the service from 1956-69. I served overseas during the cold war in Korea and Germany

In September of 1970 I enrolled in college. I received my BS (Hon.) Educational Media Production in August of 1973 and went on to complete my MS Educational Media Technology in June 1974 from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). I had a Graduate Fellowship with Department of Educational Media at UNC during my Masters work.

From 1974-78 I was employed as an Instructor in Educational Media, U.N.C., Department of Educational Media. In 1977 I completed Professional Teacher's Education Certification in Secondary Communications with endorsement as a K-12 Media Specialist.

In 1977 I received an invitation from the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education, (TCAE) Department of Teacher Education to come to Australia as a Lecturer in Instructional Technology from 1978-80. My contract with TCAE ended and due to the cutback in funding for education at that time there were no positions open at the college. During this time, 1980-84 we bought a property and built a house. My wife worked and I built the house and picked up work when I could find it.

I decided to go back to TSIT and enrolled in Environment Design. At the end of the first year a position opened in the School of Architecture for Senior Technical Officer and part time Lecturer. I took the position and worked for the school until I was asked to apply for a position as Administrative Officer, Purchasing and Transport, Launceston Campus of the University of Tasmania (UT) From December 1991-January 1994. I started working on a Phd. at UT in 1992.

In January of 94 I took early retirement from UT and enrolled full time PhD by research at Deakin University from August 1993-August 1997. I completed my Research and was writing the dissertation but again severe cuts in in Education left me without a supervisor and I was forced to resign from the program. At the time the Faculty of Education at Deakin, from 1994-97 was cut from over 300 lecturers to about 30 and classes were being offered that had no one to teach them. At that point I felt I was wasting my time and opted out.

I returned to the US 1997 to see what was going on in education there and found they were no better off than we were in Australia. Returned to Australia in February 2000 and found nothing was available in my field.

Although I am now retired I have a background in education and am still interested in its outcome. I would love to do something to help bring education back to a 1st world level. This year 2009 an opportunity once again has presented itself and I'm helping with the development of online tutorials with an online learning program by the California School Library Association 2.0 Team.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To the best of my knowledge I have finished

9:13 Am 10 June 2009  Australian time.

To the best of my knowledge I have finished the School Library Learning 2.0 tutorial. I want to thank Jackie and Connie and all the others I know nothing about for your work on the project...

A big thanks to Jeanne for telling me about it.

It's the first real intellectual challenge I have had since the turn of the century. You are well on the way to developing a working model for online education. With a few tweaks here and there it would make a required course of study at college or university. In addition other units can be modeled after it. I think you have a real winner.


#23 Week 9:

Summarize your thoughts about this program.

At last just about finished! Just this and the end of unit survey to complete and I can get stuck into something else.

First I must say I'm not a librarian' however I did take a few classes when working on my degree in educational media, some 35 or so years ago. I concentrated on the media production and AV side of the library media specialist training. But over the years the little bit of library classes has helped in my research.

I found this program to be exciting and well worth the effort I put into it.

In addition I can see that a lot of time and effort, on the part of the people that put it all together was well worth the time I spent doing it.
I'm envious of those of you who put it together, you had the wonderful tools to do it with the blog, Wiki and all the other tools used to assemble this gem.

When I started on my studies in online education I was limited to working with Golfer, bulletin board's, and email to do all the things you can do now with such ease. When the web browser cane along I thought I had died and went to heaven.
Well I think I have said enough about how great you efforts have been an pass on some of the things need to be looked into.

When I started I ran into a number of glitches that may be due to the browser I'm using. It may be worth a note; if you are using version 8 of Internet Explorer you may have problems with cookies not being excepted from some of the sites and you may need to adjust the settings on your browser to allow for the acceptance of cookies. See Week 5 for what to do about it.

There are also a number of dead links in the week 9 things. Not sure if it is the code or if the sites have moved or been taken down.

Some of the things need just a little more how to do it. Perhaps a help file Or Q &A to help out the people that lack experience working with some of the tools.

I found the blog layout would get a bit boring. It works well for people that have not done any web development and there is nothing wrong with the WYSIWYG. It certainly makes it easer for people to get their ideas into print so to speak. I found some simple HTML tags that work well in the blog, perhaps a thing on using some HTML to dress up the blog would be worth addinga, “If you want to experiment with HTML”, to the things.

And to bring things to the end I must say CONGRATULATIONS to the teem that developed this package I know a lot of hard work went into it.

I looked over the questionnaire but didn't fill it out as I didn't fit into the target group. An old classmate from my college days suggested I try it on for size that I would like it. Well she was right I did like it and hope I can contribute to in in some way. To sum it up in one word FANTASTIC

Pick out your own description from below:

194 words for "fantastic": Barmecidal, Barmecide, Gothic, absurd, adroit, airy, alien, antic, appalling, apparent, apparitional, arbitrary, astonishing, autistic, balmy, baroque, beguiling, bewildering, beyond belief, bizarre, brain-born, capricious, chimeric, chimerical, clever, cockamamie, concocted, conspicuous, cooked-up, cracking, cranky, crazy, crotchety, deceptive, delusional, delusionary, delusive, delusory, dereistic, dream-built, dreamlike, dreamy, eccentric, egregious, enigmatic, erratic, erroneous, exceptional, exotic, extraordinary, extravagant, fabricated, fabulous, fallacious, false, fancied, fanciful, fancy-born, fancy-built, fancy-woven, fantasied, fantasque, fascinating, fictional, fictitious, fictive, figmental, flaky, florid, foolish, forged, formidable, freakish, great, grotesque, harebrained, hatched, high-flown, humorsome, illusional, illusionary, illusive, illusory, imaginary, imagined, implausible, impossible, incomprehensible, inconceivable, incredible, ingenious, insane, invented, irrational, kinky, laughable, legendary, loony, ludicrous, made-up, maggoty, manufactured, marked, marvelous, massive, miraculous, misleading, monstrous, monumental, moody, mortal, motiveless, mythical, nonsensical, notable, noteworthy, noticeable, notional, odd, of mark, ostensible, outlandish, outrageous, outre, outstanding, overwhelming, passing strange, peculiar, petulant, phantasmagoric, phantasmal, phantom, phenomenal, poppycockish, preposterous, prodigious, put-up, puzzling, quaint, queer, quirky, rare, remarkable, ridiculous, rococo, seeming, self-deceptive, self-deluding, sensational, signal, silly, singular, specious, spectacular, spectral, splendid, strange, striking, stupendous, superior, supposititious, temperamental, terrific, towering, tremendous, trumped-up, unaccountable, unactual, unbelievable, uncommon, unearthly, unexpected, unfounded, unheard-of, unimaginable, unique, unlikely, unprecedented, unreal, unrealistic, unreasonable, unrestrained, unsubstantial, vagarious, vagrant, visionary, wacky, wanton, wayward, weird, whimsical, wild, wonderful, wondrous


#20, 21 & 22 Week 9:

Podcasts, Video & Downloadable Audio

#20. Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and sharevideos.

I viewed the Videos:

Introducing the Book
Web 2.0
Library 2.0 Manifesto
March of the Librarians
Jack O'Connell Goes Back to School

Loved them! Great little send up on the help desk.

By chance a few days ago I came across the following video clip and It upset me to no end. How can the police manage to get away with this kind of thing. It shows me that there is still a long way to go before things like I viewed in this clip come to an end.

Once again its a person of color that is beaten and for what we may never know. The man made on hostel moves I could see from the tape and what could he have said to cause that kind of a reaction from a police officer.

What the strange thing is, why would a police officer care weather the man's jacked was zipped or not. Who knows perhaps its breaking the law for a black man to be on the street without zipping up his jacket.

What ever the the reason nothing can justify that attack and arrest of that man.I find that I'm torn on weather I like or dislike YouTube. On the plus side a number of very informative clips manage to find there way into the light of day that might never have made it due to government censorship or some other means of cover up.

On the down side the stupid thing some people do for there five minutes of fame only to encourage others to to the same only to be one up on the other.

Woooooohh!!! there lad Don't get carried away move on to the next 'thing”. Your nearing the end of the tutorial.

As for potential there are certainly a large number of items on YouTube that are worth having in a library blog.

Now for inserting the video into your Blog there is an adjustment you will need to make so that the window will fit into the column of your blog. The with of the column is 420 pixels wide.

The Windows from YouTube vary in width. The original size of the one I inserted into this column looked like this: [object width="560" height="340] To adjust it to fit into the column it was necessary to change the width and hight to; [object width="420" height="261].

NOTE: there two places in the code that need to be changed to work properly.

#21 Podcasts (You don’t need an iPod!)

Problems here most of the links were dead or web pages missing. Can't seem to make any working connections to your recommended links.

Not having sucsess I goggled “podcast” and found a collection at Click on the buttons below to visit a collection of educational podcast and view a podcast on An Introduction to Project Learning

#22 eBooks and Audio eBooks

What can I say? Not being a Librarian I didn't have a clue that any collection of this extent existed, simply for the band width required to download it. What a wonderful collection. I can see that I will be reading and collecting a library I never dreamed I could have to treasure.

I have included links below to eBook sites so that any one reading this Blog will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the collections of clasic books.