Summercore Alum 2006 Blog
an on-line diary of my adventures in NYC
posted 1/1/2006

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Hi 2,285 Summercore Alums from 1985-2005 (21 years) and other friends and colleagues ... here comes yet another annual BLOG at ... Steve

Steve Bergen
click for previous BLOGS: Jan 1, 2003 | Feb 2, 2003 | April 1, 2003 | May 24, 2004
facepaint section

CIO, The Chapin School (100 East End Avenue, New York, NY 10028)
co-director, The "Summercore" Teaching Company

This is yet one more reminder that we are now enrolling people for Summercore 2006 in TWO sessions, July 24-28 at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg FL and a week later July 31-Aug 4 in Danbury CT at The Wooster School. See for more details. We are also considering doing one more Summercore on the road this year, so if your school is interested, please contact me ASAP. The only other summer week that is committed is the last week of June when we are heading to Portsmouth Abbey School in Newport RI. If interested in Summer 2007, click here for the 2006 and 2007 calendar.

Topic One: Still Can't Get the Boston Globe Blues

All is well with us as we head into 2006 ... Lynne and I continue to drive back to Boston most weekends and get 48 hours to catch up with Boston sports via the radio, television and of course newspapers. It is amazing that you cannot buy the daily Boston Globe in NYC except at a few stores around Grand Central and Penn Station called Hudson News. Within two blocks of our apartment, you can find daily newspapers from 33 different countries of the world but no Boston Globe! Finally, we have found one store that sells the Boston Globe on Sundays only. It is amazing how much New Yorkers dislike Boston ;-)

We are now investigating Slingbox which is a new and exciting technology that might allow us to watch Boston television on a laptop in NYC. We already can listen to a Boston sports radio (WEEI) which now streams most broadcasts. The Slingbox hooks up to a television in our Lexington house and then sends what it is watching to our computers in NYC. You can control the channel you are watching with computer based remote software. By the way, there was a major explosion in 2005 in Lexington when a gas company messed up and a house two miles from us just collapsed in 33 seconds.

Topic Two: How to Deal with E-mail Addresses on the Web

I finally have a good understanding of how to post e-mail addresses such as on the Web and not increase the amount of SPAM added by spiders and spambots that gather e-mail addresses from Web pages ... one method of course is to post the e-mail address on the Web as SB at CSTOREFRONT.ORG and to figure that the reader will be clever enough to to understand that AT is to be replaced with the @ symbol. The other better way is to encrypt the info with invisible codes. The Web site of for example allows you to type in whatever text you want and converts it to ASCII codes, which you may recognize (A=ASCII code 65, B=ASCII code 66, and so on)

Topic Three: Customized Memory Sticks for Your School

Advice ... if your school does not have institutional memory sticks ... this is a great win/win thing ... the company I use is wonderful and they will use your school colors or school logo ... they sell in lots of 100 ... the name of the person I have dealt with for 4 years is Kenny Avera with contact info below ... Kenny actually got a hit off Bronson Aroyo when they were in a Little League tournament as teenagers!

Kenny Avera, Account Executive, Global Channel Solutions, Inc.
2665 Pine Grove Road, Suite 400 Cumming, GA 30041 Phone: 678-947-0993 x 16 e-mail:

Topic Four: Got the No Teenagers Blues

Our son Sam is 21 and 5 months away from graduating from Conn College ... our daughter Sarah is 26 and is in her second of three years at law school ... the two of them remain avid Patriots fans and constantly call up Lynne on Sundays after each Brady touchdown!

Sam worked for the Knicks yet again this past summer as an intern after spending a "semester abroad" in Washington DC ... one of his highlights there was when Lynne's famous first cousin Jay Sekulow came to speak to Sam's class at American University and brought

  • Tom Ashcroft with him as a surprise guest ... Sarah will be working this summer at a law firm in Philadelphia where she will move to Summer 2007 ... she has already decided that she will become an Eagles fan ... this is fine with us as long as the Eagles don't face the Patriots in the Super Bowl ... speaking of Super Bowls, I am convinced that the Patriots will beat the Colts and go on to win their third consecutive Super Bowl. My doorman Eric is the one consistent person who will listen to and join me in singing the songs ... click here to listen to us sing "Money in the Bank" recorded after the Pats won their second consecutive Super Bowl in Feb 2005.

    Most of you know this story already, but on 10/20/2004, a Chapin trustee called our tech office stating that he was very upset with something on our Web page and requesting that I call him back right away ... it turned out that he was just making up a story to get hold of me ASAP and that he had two tickets to give me for GAME SEVEN of the Red Sox/Yankees American League Series ... I proceeded to call up Sam at Conn College and told him that regardless of the papers or tests, he should get down to NYC since 20 years from now he was not going to remember the consequences (regarding tests and papers) but that he will always remember GAME SEVEN ... I had done the same thing in 1969 when I was at Clark University in Worcester MA and flew down to NYC to see the Mets win the 1969 World Series after my friend's father had given him two tickets ... yes, I was a Mets AND Yankees fan in those days ... ... anyway, Sam took my advice and we went to the game together, had seats right behind home plate and watched as Johny Damon (now known in Boston as Judas Damon) hit his grand-slam home run ... we were there at midnight after the game for an hour when 3,000 Red Sox fans stayed after the game to celebrate!

    By the way, Sarah and I drove cross country this past Memorial Day weekend ... my cell phone in 2005 now gives me wireless Internet to my laptop ("best technology ever") and so I created this BLOG as we were driving

    Topic Five: Some Chapin Web Pages You Might be Interested In

    Topic Six: A New Vocabulary Word (for me): Pestilential

    We conducted two Summercores this past year in Texas, one in Houston and one in Dallas. When I told a friend that Lynne and I were heading there twice, he commented that "Houston is so pestilential" and so of course I had to look up the word. Once I learned the meaning, I decided to write a song that my doorman Eric generously recorded with me! Here is a picture of the bug in our hotel room in Houston

    Topic Seven: Heading to Chicago

    I am heading to Chicago on Friday 1/27/06 to do a talk for heads of schools at ISACS. As a result, I have decided to create a Web page that pulls together a number of the issues of the last few years ... if you are involved in technology leadership at your school, you may well find the resources and links there to be useful.


    Topic Eight: What It Is Like to Lose a Bet to Yankees Fans in NYC

    So this year, I lost a major bet on the Red Sox/Yankees in terms of the final weekend and the American League East ... the bet was originally with the Class 6 Dean but it was made in front of the 59 Class 6 girls (most of whom are Yankees fans) ... the Class 6 Dean has gotten tired of me saying "Plan B" and so my losing the bet meant that i had to go 30 days without saying that phrase ... I was excellent for the first few weeks but in late October, I slipped during class and the girls starting cheering "30 more days ... 30 more days ... 30 more days" ... in order to get out of my obligation, I agreed to have my face painted with Yankees face paint
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 and one movie

    Topic Nine: A First Class Strategy for Wikipedia

    I have become a big fan of using this year in my classes since it highlights the + and - reality of information on the Web. After listening to Alan November at Mohonk on 11/11, I decide to see if I could create a Wikipedia-like First Class conference. Below are screen snapshots of how I do this at Chapin.

    Topic Thirty-Three: Larry Bird Turns 50 This Year!

    In case you want to get Larry a birthday present, he turns 50 on December 7th 2006 ... I received this present from a colleague at an Independent School and I have decided I want to be buried in all the 33 T shirts I can accumulate over the next 33 years ... in one of the funnier stories of the year,
    Oct. 20 2005 (Bloomberg) -- A 27-year-old man demanded extra prison time because he wanted to honor his basketball hero, Larry Bird. A lawyer for Eric James Torpy reached a plea agreement with Oklahoma City prosecutors for a 30-year jail term on two charges of shooting with intent to kill and one count of a weapons violation, District Court Judge Ray Elliott said in a telephone interview. Torpy then insisted on getting 33 years to match the uniform number Bird wore when he led the Boston Celtics to three National Basketball Association championships during the 1980s, Elliott said. The judge on Oct. 18 accommodated his request. "He told his attorney that Larry Bird was his long-time hero, and that if he was going to go to prison he wanted to go down with that number," Elliott said. Under Oklahoma law, prisoners must serve 85 percent of their sentence before being eligible for parole, Elliott said. Torpy understood that and told his lawyer that it didn't matter, the judge said. "In 26 years, I've never seen an individual request more time," Elliott said. "They're generally begging and pleading for less time. But he was as happy as he could be." Bird, a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player who is now an executive with the Indiana Pacers, didn't immediately return a message left at his office. "Maybe Bird will autograph a jersey for him," Elliott said. Source: aPPJhZuJHzU8&refer=us
    ... you can read about more Larry Bird trivia stuff on my Web page.

    Happy 2006 everyone ...

    p.s. since everyone makes fun of my palm pilot systems, I found it very comforting to read the article "Meet the Life Hackers" in the New York Times magazine section 10/16/05 by Clive Thompson.

    "In late 2003, the technology writer Danny O'Brien decided he was fed up with not getting enough done at work. So he sat down and made a list of 70 of the most "sickeningly overprolific" people he knew, most of whom were software engineers of one kind or another. O'Brien wrote a questionnaire asking them to explain how, precisely, they managed such awesome output. Over the next few weeks they e-mailed their replies, and one night O'Brien sat down at his dining-room table to look for clues. He was hoping that the self-described geeks all shared some common tricks.

    He was correct. But their suggestions were surprisingly low-tech. None of them used complex technology to manage their to-do lists: no Palm Pilots, no day-planner software. Instead, they all preferred to find one extremely simple application and shove their entire lives into it.

    In essence, the geeks were approaching their frazzled high-tech lives as engineering problems - and they were not waiting for solutions to emerge from on high, from Microsoft or computer firms. Instead they ginned up a multitude of small-bore fixes to reduce the complexities of life, one at a time, in a rather Martha Stewart-esque fashion."

    click for previous BLOGS: Jan 1, 2003 | Feb 2, 2003 | April 1, 2003 | May 24, 2004