Barefoot in Transylvania
Nov 15th, 2007 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

I had the unbelievable opportunity to attend opening night of the new Mel Brooks musical on Broadway: Young Frankenstein. My brother has his first Broadway role, in the ensemble, and he is the understudy for Dr. Frankenstein. He had the dubious experience of performing the role nine times during previews, when the principal, Roger Bart, threw out his back.

Amidst the flurry of activity on the red carpet, and movement about the orchestra, we had the chance to hob-nob with some stars. I got the chance to meet a personal favorite: Ina Garten. She and I spoke for a short bit.

What I’ve always admired about Ina is the unique twist her Food Network show takes. She tells a story, and the basic premise is that she is preparing for some event with friends or family and you are watching. She never throws to commercial – she never references TV, it’s just an evolving story that we are given eyes to watch.

Since each show is a story, she often talks about the evolution of her recipes or how to effectively produce her product: i.e. the recipe or the party. This leads me to think about exertise and the role it plays as a person completes a project.

I am duly impressed by her production staff’s and her creativity. What most interests me is that they have taken a novel approach to programming an instructional cooking show. What’s interesting is that I think this is the most important finding of my study. The novel approach to a problem. Problem finding seems to be so important to novel thought. The best do it well.

Thoughts and things at Chapter 4
Nov 3rd, 2007 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

So I have not posted in a while because most of my reflection has been concentrated on actual writing. I gave Ralph my Ch 1 & Ch 3 completes and my Ch 4 as it is. It is exciting to put the ideas in an organized fashion, but more exciting to see that this blog has really framed the entire work. The ideas really have developed and matured here. I see how the coding has focused on my major ideas.

Although I don’t think I’ve found anything that I didn’t know, I think many things have been brought into focus for me. Those reminders of how research works and how the science fair works. There are some trade secrets that people have to be willing to accept. My interview with Bob really brings this to the forefront:

F: I have to tell you, just from a personal perspective, it took me until the last three or four years to realize that and internalize that myself. I know I did a lot of projects where students were doing excellent technical projects, testing mussel tissue from this marsh or that marsh and so we’re looking at the phenomenon and doing really technical work, but not really doing anything novel or innovative with it.

B: And you come away saying, “we’ve been had.” I say, “I hear you.”

F; But for me, doing this for a number of years, it was finally that realization for me that too, maybe I have to shift a little bit with my kids and get them to not just do excellent, superior, technical work, but to start coming up with new, innovative ideas.

B: I think the reason I succeeded as well as I did in my career, is that I would bring to these things, the new twist. And leading my group, over the years, what I would bring to it was not the grunt and grind, because I had people that were far brighter in terms of cranking the stuff, but were not the idea people. So you would say, here’s the way we’re going to do it, and then you’d be off and running. You need a source of the spark of the idea.
P.S. My last post was about coding of data. . . . After adults and documents another 10,000 lines of text. Total? About 22,000 lines of text coded. Wowwy caazzowwy!
»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa