Blogging here lately
achydad.com about being an older father
Vlogging here lately
Youtube.com/c/calebjc reviewing things in my house and about parenting
Just back from visiting our most excellent faculty member, Lucie deLaBruere’s Create, Make, Learn week long workshop. She had 30+ K12 teachers, 19 of which are getting Marlboro optional credit, studying all day, all week, up a Champlain College and The Generator. Champlain College folks were doing Creating with Chrome when I was there. Here’s some photos of what was going on at the two strands at The Generator.
April 30th, Caleb
It was definitely a life changing event for us. And a life creating one for Shaw. For me, witnessing that much pain, physical intensity (to the breaking point and beyond) blood, gore and exhaustion, while at the very same time knowing it was welcomed, purposeful, and as natural as can be, was one of the more humanizing events of my life. Shaw is sleeping and not crying much. So far he’s pooping, which is key because it means he’s nursing effectively (even if we can’t tell at the time). Laura made it to the porch today for 2 minutes before back to bed. We’re feeling very supported by family and friends.
May 1st: Laura two days later, worried about a burp, but worried that she’s too worried: “I don’t want you to choke on your own spit up, is that so wrong?
You laugh, but I’m trying to find in this damn book where it says how to keep him alive at night. Are all my fears unfounded since I can’t find them here?”
April 28th, Caleb: Pre labor snuck up on me, but Laura knew at morning Yoga “something was happening”. Laura: Those lower ab cramps were back with a vengeance by mid-afternoon. Kam stopped into the porch and witnessed me “having a moment.” I still wasn’t ready to get psyched because I knew from Anji that they could go on for another week. I don’t remember the sequence of events well, but I felt like I wasn’t able to get anything done, including make lasagna. I finally gave up after cooking the pasta halfway. Then I went to bed and waited for Caleb to finish making it and bring it to me. But…She felt more strong pushes every hour, then more often, until about 11pm when she was in bed moaning every 5 or 6 minutes with contractions around a minute. I felt during the afternoon that she was just getting ready to maybe go into labor. Then it hit me when she started long, loud hummms and moans and chants of “I’m relaxed, I can do this, I want this, I’m relaxed, i’m open, open, it’s Okay, the baby will come, hummmmm, hummmmmmmm, hummmmmmmmmm”. We called the Doula, Libby who was here about 11pm.
By 3 am the moaning and loud with contractions that were a minute or two long, every 2 to 3 minutes, for half an hour. I had taken an hour nap 1am-2pm. Libby sat with Laura who liked all fours and then finally in bed on her side. Laura would go limp between contractions and sleep sometimes for 5 minutes. Laura says: “I had heard that the laboring mom should “rest” or even SLEEP between contractions, but thought, “I’ll believe that when I see it.” Well, it truly does happen. I felt like I would put my head down and no sooner would be up again omming. No idea that five whole minutes would have passed.” We were nervous that Libby wasn’t in charge of calling of midwife and instead asking us if we wanted to call her. How would we know? But she was on it when it was time and said to call.
Anji and Lucina arrived at 3am. Laura was full in the ommmmmm zone.
They checked in on my smart phone contraction timer logs. They checked in with Laura, watching her and asking her questions. They disappeared and let Libby and I continue to help Laura. We set up the tub. The shower thing didn’t fit, and I cursed myself for not testing it early, despite being told it would fit the shower. I used the sink, which we had tested, and prayed silently that it would have enough pressure to push water up the stairs. It did! We filled the tub. Laura got in and for 1.5hrs slipped in and out of the world. She ate a little Yogurt, continued her sipping water with a straw, had some honey, and Ensure we had lying about, even though it was strawberry cream flavor and sucked. Great to have the Ensure! Used it for days after for calories with no chewing, something Laura was insistent on.
Then the bathroom and pushing labor. Lunging in the door frame. Screaming in my face. Crying. No drugs though, not even a peep from her to have any meds or make it stop. She was in a “bring it on” mood mostly. Anji had a mirror and was watching every contraction. Then it was obviously getting long after two hours of all fours on our thick wrestling style stretching mat. We moved into the bedroom. She couldn’t make it on the bed and had a lot of pushes on the edge of the bed, forcing Anji with a mirror almost under the bed. I could see the mirror. It was intense. The head and hair were there, then gone, then there, then gone, then a little more then gone. On the bed, back down, the midwives insisted. Laura had hated this position from the get go, or the idea of it with no leverage and being “squishy” and would not do it, but it worked for a while. But it seemed to fade then. Then the midwives got noticeably agitated and Anji said “OK Laura, you’ve got to push and get this baby out. I’m going to tell you what to do, and you’re going to do it.” and she would flip Laura on all fours, and then back on her back, and see what worked. The Olive oil came out. The fingers reached inside and pulled. Then a moment and Anji said “episiotomy” to Lucinda. A little sewing scissors came out and snipped. Blood.
By Caleb Clark, 2008. 3rd Edition, updated and expanded. Written by Caleb while he was a Hollywood P.A. Caleb’s personal site.
The University of Central Florida bought 500 copies for their film program. Used at a workshop by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers.
Line Producer Alton Walpole recommends it. It is required reading for Lisa Cook ‘s classes at University of Central Florida’s film program. Michael Fischer uses it in his advanced film production classes at Burlington College. The Texas Film Commission also likes the P.A. pocket handbook.
Submit your review or comment to the Author at “calebjc (at) well (dot) com” or post a review on Amazon.com
List of US State Film Commission Sites. State film commissions alphabetically.
List of world wide Film and TV Commission Sites. From the Producers Master guide, in publication since 1979.
Film Commission List By Country. By the web site New Zealand Films.
Media-match.com. Entertainment job site for freelancer and employers.
FilmStaff.com. Crew placement service site for entertainment jobs.
ProductionHub.com. Film, TV, video and digital media job site.
EntertainmentJobs.com. Entertainment job site.
How to get a production internship. From about.com. Internship sites at NBC, Time Warner HBO, ABC
InsideHollywood.info. A site by 25+ year industry vet Alicia Hirsch. Includes “ask a veteran” service and an e-book.
TheFutonCritic.com. Site that tracks TV productions that have been approved for production.
PA Bootcamp. Two-day intensive training programs taught in Los Angeles.
How I got that first job in Television. A PA’s personal blog. Includes journal from the set, and office PA for a day.
Work as a PA article from Monster.com job site.
So You Wanna Work in Movies? General site by successful cinematographer Oliver Stapleton
So you wanna be a TV Production Assistant? General info from soyouwanna.com.
How to get a job as a TV and/or film extra? From essortment.com.
Film Production IQ Test. Online test by Brian Heath, IFP Chicago member photographer.
Film Crew 101. Lighting tech. Peter Clarson’s manual on set etiquette from 30 years in the business.
Short video of a PA talking about what they do. From howstuffworks.com
Wikipedia PA entry.
Wikipedia History of Film. Know from whence we came…
Production Lingo. Old school film talk, but still relevant.
Association of Independent Commercial Producers
The Anonymous Production Assistant blog.
Hearts of Darkness a filmmakers apocalypse (1991): This is my favorite movie about movie making. It is about one of the most famous location shoots of all time, the making of Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola in the Phillipines in the late 1970s. It is an extreme example of what it can be like on a set to be sure, but all movies have a bit of what you’ll see happening here. Movie making is always an adventure and story unto itself with interesting characters, drama, comedy and intrigue. There’s not much about PAs directly, but you can see the PAs in the background if you pay attention.
Burden of Dreams (1982). From IMDB.com, “A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively driven director. Not only does he have major casting problems, losing both Jason Robards (health) and Mick Jagger (other commitments) halfway through shooting, but the crew gets caught up in a war between Peru and Ecuador, there are problems with the weather and the morale of cast and crew is falling rapidly. Written by Michael Brooke.”
State and Main (2000). Nice little comedy about a film crew that goes to Vermont to shoot a movie. Directed by David Mamet.
Hijacking Hollywood (1997): I haven’t seen it, but I hear it’s about a PA.
The Production Assistant (1994): A funny 1 minute short featuring a PA.
UPDATE: This trip, but not the contract, got canceled at the last minute by the Government. I blaming spies…The contract is virtual now, and going great!
Wow! I’m heading out early this week that I’ll be doing instructional design and training in Cairo, Egypt May 12th-19th! I’m working for World Learning on a USAID program, in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Education, (MOE).
The project is called The Education Consortium for the Advancement of STEM in Egypt or (ECASE).
This contract is to assist in a small part of the much larger porject. I’ll be collaborating with World Learning, the STEM school teachers, and the MOE to design and create three MOOC-type online courses in Schoology.com for 10th and 11th graders, and help train content developers.
I’ll blog as I go when I can!
As an experiment I gave micro quadcopter flight lessons to kids this weekend at the Champlain Mini Maker Faire. I learned a lot. My back is sore from picking up crashed drones ever 10 seconds for two days because it was a very popular booth! The lesson I learned (perhaps a life lesson) was, “When in trouble, turn off the motor; and fall gently to the grass, then get back up and try again.” In other words, resilience, persistence, and the practiced discipline to avoid uncontrolled crashes that prevent trying again, in favor of controlled crashes your craft can survive unscathed.
Link to Slideshow
On breaks, I managed to get some video to test the craft’s camera. With a lot of crashes, I ended up with shots of a rocket launch, lake views, inside flights, and in-tent flights of the Northern New England Drone User Group next to my table.
The micro quad I used for this test is about the size of my hand. It’s safe since its blades spin in place if they hit skin, leaving only a sting. And it had prop guards and I stood right next to the kids with my hand near the throttle. They cost about $70 (including an HD camera now, which amazes me). Here’s a great unboxing and review of the model I used: Unboxing the Hubsan X4 H107C v2 HD. Considering it’s cost and size, and that is it designed for mostly indoor use, I think the video is remarkable. But the site is remarkable too!
The experiment worked. Kids lined up both days. It was very exhausting, since I was the only one manning the table both days (note to self). I’m still sore from running around finding the crashed copters in the grass every few minutes. It took me a day and half to realize the kids loved finding the crashed copters…duh…
The kernel I found to the teaching was helping these young new pilots turn off the motors and have a controlled crash before they had an uncontrolled crash. Controlled crashes are when you stop all the motors and the craft tumbles out of the air. This little copter doesn’t usually get hurt if it lands from any height on grass. It’s spars have break away parts that clip back together and it’s very light. It does get hurt in high speed crashes with the motors grinding the props into the ground.
It takes a lot of practice to fight the human instinct to power up when the craft starts to get in trouble. I saw almost 100% of kids and adults power up whenever the craft got out of control or near obstacles! And everyone, even ace pilots, get in trouble. Human nature though is to save the craft and keep it flying. But, powering up almost always leads to higher speed crashes, often with the motor on causing the props to try to spin the grass, on fingers, rocks, dirt, etc. Even worse, after a crash, our instinct is to rush over to the downed craft. Rushing over to a downed craft often makes one’s hand slip on the controller causing the motors keep on struggling. This then was our challenge, to practice fighting on initial instincts.
We only broke one craft in two days of flying, and that was because it hit a metal bar on the tent roof at just the wrong angle at full speed and I wasn’t quick enough to stop the power that one time.
Most people quickly break small RC copters and miss out on the joy of flying. I hope now there are a few more folks you there who can control their crashes, try again, and slowly near to fly in interesting places and ever higher.
Generally – A great state! I find myself amidst the voluntarily lower middle class. My friends and colleagues are mostly relatively happy hippie-ish democratic liberals who are into protecting the environment, education, local community support, and healthy living. There are also lots of retired folks, republicans, a few rich, a more poor. There’s the few homeless (more in summer) and those suffering visibly from psychological issues and drug and alcohol abuse.
The tone I experience here is somewhere between New Hampshire’s “Live Free, Or Die” independent, self-sufficiency, and the West Coast’s hippie-dippie liberalism and innovation.
Under that, I sense a deep commitment to community, family and education that crosses political lines. Most Vermonters I know seem to be able to agree on being there for one’s neighbors, supporting good public schools, farming, effective social programs, healthy local food, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.
Finally, it’s a very small state, less then 700,000! So scale back the numbers in all your factoring.
Just finished a week long 3D printing workshop with 8 middle school students grades 4 to 7. We met 8:30-11:30am each day and used a single brand new Afinia H480 3D printer. Our main tool was Tinkercad.com. We explored Autodesk’s Meshmixer the last two days.
Here’s a video of unboxing the printer, with some printing thoughts. Below that is what I learned from the week.
Here’s what I learned from the experience.
Folks have been asking me what I think it takes to make a Makerspace.
The short answer is people. The right person can make a space successful for very little money. Conversely, a lot of money can go to waste on equipment if the wrong person is running the show. I think the person needs to be have “EdTech” type humanizing technology skills and the ability to use social media and media production to constantly market, document and publicize activities in the space. More support for the people aspect of Makerspaces is here: MIT FabLab Foundation, scroll down.
In terms of equipment, here’s my rough thoughts below, as of the publish date only. Check with me if it’s after that, things are moving fast in Makerland!
(Prices assume 10-20% education discounts on sites, just ask and use your teacher work email).
A computer that has, or can install and use:
Today is my last day of a fun week working with 50 teachers at the Create Make Learn 2014 intensive. We’ve been spending all day at The Generator makerspace in Burlington, VT, and at Champlain College (including a mid day walk break for lunch in the cafeteria!). We’re all working on the maker basics, Arduino based electronics, 3D printing, laser cutting, soft circuits, toy hacking, as well as video green screens. Documentation below: