Episode 2

September 22, 2023


Owlcast 65 - The no-show Show w/Michael Januzzi

Owlcast 65 - The no-show Show w/Michael Januzzi
ACS Athens Owlcast
Owlcast 65 - The no-show Show w/Michael Januzzi

Sep 22 2023 | 00:20:59


Show Notes

Today's show is about being resilient to.... a no-show. Usually, there's a carefully prepared discussion, with a pre-arranged guest, over a topic that has been carefully selected for an intentional result. Today's show is the exact opposite. Sometimes an ad-lib dialogue proves to be more interesting and the result more entertaining. Michael Januzzi assumes the role of co-host and the discussion goes to another level.  

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: So we are in the middle of September and we're trying to record for this week's outcast. And we had a no show. So I'm stuck here with seven microphones and Michael Januzi who just stopped to see if his project is ready. So I guess, Michael, we have to say something interesting today because people are expecting to hear something really interesting. And due to the no show, I'm left with nothing. So please help. [00:00:44] Speaker B: One man's tragedy, there's another man's treasure. And today we'll sneak in and get a little treasure because we talked about what could a long form podcast be from a student's perspective? How can we get them to be at this table? [00:00:57] Speaker A: And we had them this morning and they were here and we had them with Rosalind Wiseman in the Morning with this author who came for this past. [00:01:07] Speaker B: Week mean Girls author. [00:01:08] Speaker A: That's right. Not the mean girls. The book that she wrote inspired Mean Girls. So we had to be very specific because writers are very specific in what they say. So, yeah, we had them in the morning. That was a very interesting situation. We're going to air this podcast later on. But today we were supposed to talk about something completely different and either something more important happened or it was fate because you came in and you are one of the people that I really enjoy talking with. And you have some very interesting stories that come through your classroom. [00:01:52] Speaker B: You're teaching 10th grade combo as well. [00:01:55] Speaker A: As tok okay, let's bring it down to reality of audiences that are outside our realm. What is the combo in this case? [00:02:05] Speaker B: Well, the big driving question is how does literature through poetry, novels bring to life historical events bring to life human experience, psychological experience, the experience through economic conditions. So all of those then social science topics because the other category is history. But within history you have sociology, economics, psychology. So what we try to do is bridge how can literature bring characters to life and then how does the historical context of what we're reading then give deeper meaning to the text that we're reading? And then all of that being helping us to decipher how we should be living and what is a right way, a wrong way? How can we start to judge what government actions take, what we should do individually, what our ethical systems are? So it's a big, big class all through American history, from pre revolution all the way up until Cold War and beyond and beyond. [00:03:03] Speaker A: So this is your first year, you're teaching first year, yeah. So what is your impression up to now? [00:03:08] Speaker B: The students know these little pockets of American history that I'm not even aware of. The first day example, they were the Perry riots. Like the first day of class, we're talking about what we're covering general and a student raises their hand. We'd be covering the Perry riots in this class. I think in 1950s, and we had to which riots were these? Just to even clarify which particular riot this was and then wanting to know, are we going to cover the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s? This is the first day of class, and they're already aware of these important pockets of American history. So it's nice to see that they're so engaged day one. [00:03:48] Speaker A: And what do you think is the biggest challenge for you? I mean, you have been in the school for what now? Four years. [00:03:53] Speaker B: Four years. [00:03:54] Speaker A: There you go. I remember. [00:03:55] Speaker B: I'm getting up there. It's good memory. [00:03:57] Speaker A: Not even five, though. You're into your fourth year almost. So the seven year is the issue. [00:04:04] Speaker B: That's seven year itch yeah, that's why they call it so I'm dating ACS. The seven year. [00:04:08] Speaker A: Yeah, you're in the fourth. So you have three more. [00:04:10] Speaker B: That's right. [00:04:10] Speaker A: Okay, so count until the seven. [00:04:13] Speaker B: I have a calendar at home. [00:04:14] Speaker A: Okay, so after these four years, where your capacity was much different, I mean, you were in the studio, right? The writing studio. You were doing the capstone project. Are you going to be involved in the capstone project this year? [00:04:28] Speaker B: Not this year. [00:04:28] Speaker A: Not this year. [00:04:29] Speaker B: Not this year. [00:04:29] Speaker A: But you were telling me last year with, I believe, Lenny Ceretis, right? We had this discussion last year. So this is quite a transition for you. Tell me about this. I mean, this is something that I've not been in the classroom as a teacher, but I've been there and looked at the discussions that I'm talking about, the combo class. Did you talk to the teachers that used to do the combo class before you go to the classroom? [00:04:59] Speaker B: Yes, and I'm very lucky because there are teachers with 13 years, nine years of doing this exact course. Even Dr. Nelson was doing it for 20 years before. [00:05:11] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:05:12] Speaker B: So the curriculum is already it's this beautiful sort of skeleton, but it's always evolving. It has an amazing base, and then you can add in a different poem or deliver in a new way. Like we just introduced a novel, but instead of having maybe a PowerPoint or something, we open up the thing and have stations. Kids walking around and looking at images and looking at themes, but they're writing on the walls and then they're discussing each other and then might lead to a debate. But so how can you deliver the same content in a new way for each teacher? Because there's four teachers each one. Some people have lecture style, some people have a group project style, some people have a sort of humor style. Some people have a more serious style. So there's all these different ways and these different personalities in the room bring out other kids to see that they can also bring out the personalities. So it's nice to have two people constantly moving around and engaging, but except. [00:06:06] Speaker A: The content, if we put it aside, it's also the delivery and tell me about what you were asking me before about how to use annotations on the green screen. [00:06:16] Speaker B: Exactly. So I was thinking, because we're just starting this novel, and how can I use because I want to use, like, Ed puzzle, and how can I get kids to shorten it five minutes? They're at home, and I want to get my face in front of them as much as possible. [00:06:33] Speaker A: Okay. [00:06:34] Speaker B: For ego reasons, of course. [00:06:36] Speaker A: You have a nice beard. [00:06:37] Speaker B: Why am I here? I look good, so I want to show it off. But how can I get them to do these little bite sized lessons instead of coming into class listening to me? Then they might be able to do it at home. So what I thought was, if we're introducing an annotation style, I didn't know I wanted to put an image of an annotated page from the book, and then it's me like a weatherman. I don't look this good. [00:07:00] Speaker A: Maybe to be you have to have the moves. [00:07:03] Speaker B: My hips? [00:07:04] Speaker A: No. In order for you to be a weatherman, you have to have the moves and be able to point exactly where the sun is and where the weather system is moving. And I'm moving my hand now. It doesn't show. [00:07:17] Speaker B: It's a podcast, not videocast. And to not get out of breath while you move, still be able to talk. [00:07:23] Speaker A: Right. [00:07:23] Speaker B: It's a physical game, the media studio, but have the picture, and that way they're seeing the underline blown up. They're seeing the highlight blown up. They're seeing what letter you use to annotate the author's style or the vocabulary or the quote that you like and why. And I think this would just be more engaging. Even if you played in class, you being on the screen while in person as well, it's kind of breaking a wall of sorts. It's strange. Therefore, it's engaging or at least funny or interesting. [00:07:49] Speaker A: And why not suggest it to the students to do exactly and say, you know what? I don't want to see any PowerPoint anymore, or Forget the branding. Any slideshow. I don't want to do any slideshows. So find a way of showing me what you learned, but on a more creative way, on a more out there way. We had so many ideas here that we have students come and they try to produce. Okay? It doesn't matter how well they do it. It's a matter that they go through the process of thinking in a creative way, in a media literate way, how to project their learning. So imagine what the impact is going to be if the teacher starts doing it and says, you know what? Today no slideshow, guys. Let's watch, or let's do it at the studio. And you bring students, and I'm giving you ideas, and this is something you have to start writing. [00:08:55] Speaker B: You can't hear the scribbles happening at our meets. It reminds me last year with the Ted Ed club. Truly, they're middle school kids. [00:09:02] Speaker A: Right. [00:09:02] Speaker B: So at the end of the process, we bring them in here and just the recording when they leave, they have. [00:09:07] Speaker A: This extra confidence, a little energy, because. [00:09:11] Speaker B: There'S lights down on them. It's intimidating for adults to be in front of a microphone in front of lights. [00:09:16] Speaker A: You don't seem intimidated. [00:09:17] Speaker B: Well, we went back to the ego thing, but I agree. If you can get kids even book trailers, right, you can break them up, too. I mean, Doc Johnson talks about this all the time. [00:09:29] Speaker A: We have the middle school book club, or however they call it, that they come and they actually perform from a book. [00:09:36] Speaker B: What do you mean? [00:09:38] Speaker A: What I'm telling you exactly. [00:09:39] Speaker B: Come out of the book? [00:09:40] Speaker A: No, they perform from the book. They actually reenact the book. [00:09:45] Speaker B: Do they rewrite or they rewrite? They just reenact what's happening in the scene. [00:09:48] Speaker A: Exactly. Instead of reading in the classroom in middle school, I'm talking about so these are things that they can do. And if you give them the opportunity to liven it up and wouldn't that. [00:10:01] Speaker B: From where we said in the beginning, if our focus is not just English and history, but English and social sciences? [00:10:07] Speaker A: Right. [00:10:07] Speaker B: If I can see someone doing something, it's easy for me to notice the group dynamics, the character psychology, the body language. I can't see that in a text. I can imagine it. [00:10:18] Speaker A: Right. [00:10:19] Speaker B: I can then analyze it with a teacher or classmates. But if I can get there faster, I think video does that. You can get to learning faster, especially if you see it modeled. So this is definitely something that I want to do. [00:10:31] Speaker A: And in the sense of you talked about group dynamics and stuff, and I know you're a political animal yourself. Okay, how do I say that? In a nice way. How does that jive with what you do now? You see a bunch of students. You see groups of students, and I'm pretty sure through also the discussions we had with the author earlier today, there are a lot of things that students can come up with to either disrupt or build something from these group dynamics. Do you try to capitalize on that in your class, or is it something that you feel it's a little bit disruptive when you I don't know if you understand my question. [00:11:17] Speaker B: I can try to answer it, and. [00:11:18] Speaker A: Then we'll see if it's if I understand it? [00:11:21] Speaker B: Maybe my answer doesn't fit your question. [00:11:22] Speaker A: It's also Friday afternoon. I don't know. [00:11:25] Speaker B: I'm physically here, but mentally somewhere else. Anyway, yeah, you have to tell me the place exactly. We're there both right now having a coffee, at least in one way, going back to Annotations, for an example, if in groups and the students are reading a novel about prehistorical pre revolution America, okay. As one of the components of Annotating, we want them to try to think about how a character or a theme or a quote reminds them of a modern day example happening now that could take the form of anything, right? And that could lead to something maybe that's radical or disruptive or controversial. So we welcome it. We want to try to build that in to get each kid who knows Greek history, they know Greek politics, they bring in a certain party or someone. [00:12:14] Speaker A: Sorry, do we need to leave? They're closed. Just for the record. Lights on us. [00:12:18] Speaker B: The lights came down. [00:12:21] Speaker A: Okay, thank you. [00:12:24] Speaker B: I thought it was going well, but. [00:12:25] Speaker A: I yeah, I guess they're kicking us out. [00:12:27] Speaker B: I don't know. [00:12:30] Speaker A: Where's the broom anyway? [00:12:32] Speaker B: A fake broom being done, which also it's a podcast. No one can see. [00:12:36] Speaker A: And now, you know what? She doesn't realize we're recording this anyway. So I guess from what you're telling me, it's a lot of different things happening in the classroom. [00:12:48] Speaker B: But we want students to engage and also we're teaching them content, but don't we want them to also understand how and practice the skill of interacting with each other? How do you listen? [00:12:59] Speaker A: Right? [00:12:59] Speaker B: How can we model that? How do you share a point without being too confrontational, saying your point strongly, but can you back it up with evidence? Can you bring people into your idea? Are you seeking understanding or are you simply trying to be the loudest voice? [00:13:15] Speaker A: Right? [00:13:15] Speaker B: We do want this sort of clash to happen in the class because schools are society. [00:13:21] Speaker A: And if I take it one more step forward, which has to do with the actual physics of listening, the actual dynamics of listening to someone talk, they have to start thinking, why this voice that I'm listening to? It's angry or it's trying to be convincing or it's removed from the conversation. When you listen to media, these all play a role, and it's not easy to understand unless you actually do it. Right now, I'm trying to be as convincing as possible, and I'm talking right on the microphone. [00:14:04] Speaker B: And the hands are moving. [00:14:05] Speaker A: And the hands are moving, but it doesn't matter because nobody sees it. But you describe it. That's good. [00:14:10] Speaker B: But your tone became a little softer. [00:14:12] Speaker A: That's right, a little bit. [00:14:13] Speaker B: I'm trying to convince you I feel more comfortable. [00:14:16] Speaker A: That's right. [00:14:17] Speaker B: I'm becoming a bit more relaxed. [00:14:19] Speaker A: But then if I try to be a little bit more confrontational, I move back from the microphone and start shouting. And that is what's going on. When they listen to maybe some YouTube movies or podcasts that are the shouting ones, I don't want to say names, and then they're coming and they say, I want to do a podcast like this. I'm like, why? Because it sounds fun. How do you define fun for you as a listener? Not as a background noise. [00:14:49] Speaker B: But even on that, I think it's even good if a student wants to say logos, pathos, ethos, and they say, I want to do an emotional speech. I want to exemplify how anger can persuade and does persuade. [00:15:03] Speaker A: That's right. [00:15:04] Speaker B: And actually, it's not about conflict resolution. The loudest one is the one with power. [00:15:09] Speaker A: Right? [00:15:09] Speaker B: And they want to show that and see if they could do a campaign or get kids. I think if a kid came and was interested in that, I would say yes. So to that end, you can be as open as possible and show kids those that's not just doing again, maybe a PowerPoint on rhetorical devices. That's getting kid to say, can you convince ten people to buy X? [00:15:31] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:15:31] Speaker B: Go give a speech in the media to whatever, however you want to deliver. Or you guys use Logos, you guys use Ethos, you guys use Pathos. Go, real life example. You write the script. [00:15:42] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:15:43] Speaker B: You think of the product, you use GPT, right? You do it. And then we'll understand the process because it's the process rather than the actual. [00:15:52] Speaker A: So what's exciting this year? What are you looking forward to? [00:15:55] Speaker B: You know what this maybe sound like teacher nerd example. [00:16:00] Speaker A: I don't think you are one. [00:16:01] Speaker B: I'm definitely not one, unfortunately. I wish I was more intellectual than I am. [00:16:07] Speaker A: Come on, don't put yourself down. [00:16:08] Speaker B: Well, you did it first. So you're the host. Use the power of the host chair to diminish me and then ostracize me. [00:16:17] Speaker A: I cannot ostracize you. You are in the studio. [00:16:22] Speaker B: Unbelievable. Okay, so what's exciting as a team for writing? How often can students communicate clearly in written form and even orally, how they are as writers, what their process is in approaching writing, or each writing they have? Are they really reflecting? For takeaways my process, I stayed up too late and it was this. Or I'm noticing that I don't write structured enough, I don't have a clear, my hooks are consistently poor, whatever it might be. There's this amazing tool. We're going to use it for the whole year, connected to action research as well, to get kids to create my journey, my story as a writer. So each assignment they have it's built into the class for feedback. So that way you understand the process where you say, how did it go? What was your approach? [00:17:14] Speaker A: So built in peer review. [00:17:15] Speaker B: Built in peer review and reflection. Before you get your grades, how did it go? Then get your grades, then look at patterns of the whole class, then talk amongst your groups so they're even talking to each other about them as writers. Then taking what the feedback was from the teacher to look for actual takeaways. My teacher said this and that's important to me. Then even at the very end, which is a very cool part of it, you name it at the very end of the year, you name your story. And students have cool ones of it's. Blueberry Muffin, it's Sisyphus, it's I'm terrible, whatever it might be. Each kid that title alone, these two words. Three words. They have this narrative of where they've been going. So I think those processes are cool because within that, students take ownership over what they do. [00:18:07] Speaker A: It seems to me you're building a book club. [00:18:10] Speaker B: Yeah. We're going to come in the media studio. We're going to bring books to life. Get a book club. [00:18:14] Speaker A: Be my guest. Yeah, be my guest. I mean, we've been talking about this kind of projects forever. But you've never came that far. [00:18:23] Speaker B: Well, I come and then I get ostracized. [00:18:28] Speaker A: So finishing up because we need to go, they're kicking us out. [00:18:32] Speaker B: You can do it in the dark. [00:18:34] Speaker A: You think so? They're going to come and mop now. Any interesting book you read over the summer? [00:18:42] Speaker B: I read for Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky, which that's deep. I had read a beach reading. I like to get real existential on the beach. It's a short book because it goes so deep into this stream of consciousness that everyone has. But how do you corral all of that thinking to find the meaning? And I find that process very fascinating. [00:19:07] Speaker A: And I like, did you finish the book? [00:19:08] Speaker B: I finished the book, yeah. [00:19:10] Speaker A: How many pages? [00:19:11] Speaker B: I don't know. It's not even 100. It's a short book. [00:19:16] Speaker A: It's the annotated version. [00:19:18] Speaker B: I annotated mine. I'll come to the studio. [00:19:20] Speaker A: Come to the studio. I'll be like, it on the green screen. Exactly. [00:19:23] Speaker B: And then I'll do a pathos. [00:19:27] Speaker A: How many characters in the book? How many characters? [00:19:29] Speaker B: One. I mean, like, one main one. [00:19:31] Speaker A: So it's you just do it. [00:19:33] Speaker B: I'm coming. [00:19:33] Speaker A: And then you'd show them in the classroom. You say you want to do it like this from now on. [00:19:38] Speaker B: I've recorded. [00:19:39] Speaker A: Not dostoevsky, though. [00:19:40] Speaker B: Hello, students. I have the next hour as me recording Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground. [00:19:45] Speaker A: It is you. But you have to also give the notes. You also have to give the mic to the students. [00:19:50] Speaker B: I could use GPT to make my own Notes from the Underground. Like, you could feed him insights of who you are and say, write it in this style. [00:19:58] Speaker A: That's a very creative use of GPT or any kind of large language models. [00:20:04] Speaker B: It's like your own psychotherapy. It's not a bad idea. Should put in all these things, you know about yourself. Put into like write a story. [00:20:10] Speaker A: Yeah. Hey, siri, give me a story about Michael and stopping by the phone. Just woke up. [00:20:20] Speaker B: I don't believe that. [00:20:21] Speaker A: Let me shut it down. Okay. Mr. Januzi, thank you so much for stopping by. I don't know what I'm going to do with the no shows from now on. So you're probably going to be on call. [00:20:31] Speaker B: They're banned. [00:20:33] Speaker A: Have a great afternoon. Have a great week. [00:20:35] Speaker B: Thanks for having me. [00:20:36] Speaker A: And we'll talk soon. [00:20:37] Speaker B: Have a weekend. [00:20:40] Speaker C: You are listening to The Owlcast, the official podcast of ACS Athens. Make sure you subscribe to the Owlcast on Google Podcasts. Spotify and Apple podcasts. This has been a production of the ACS Athens Media Studio.

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