User talk:JimmyButler/Archive 24

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Scotch bonnet, Semicassis granulata article, a shameful mess

Hi again Jimmy Butler, I just wanted to let you know that I left this message for the students who are tacking this gastropod article. I must say that the work on the bog turtle article came together beautifully. The work on the Scotch bonnet article is a whole different story though. Here is what I said:

"This article has been through several stages where virtually the whole thing was a really shameful mess, an embarrassment to Wikipedia, and currently it is still is unacceptably riddled with all kinds of different errors. The WikiProject Gastropods editors who have been keeping an eye on this article over these weeks that this AP Biology assignment has been in progress, well, we have only left it the way it was out of respect for the educational process that is supposedly going on here, otherwise we would have been implementing a slash and burn policy on a lot of the content (which of course we could not do without simultaneously fixing the article up using our own labor and information we had researched and found.)"

When an article is being worked on, during the time that its accuracy is seriously flawed, the article should not be up in article space! It should be kept in user space (a subpage of one of the users) and worked on there until the information is reliable enough to go into the encyclopedia, and only then should it be put up. "

In addition, Project Gastropods editors have left numerous notes to the AP biology students in the reviews of this article, but our notes and offers of help have not been replied to directly, no thanks have been offered, and many of our suggestions have been ignored, brushed aside or dealt with by simple deletion of material."

This has been a very disappointing and frustrating experience, and I for one would not want to repeat it next year or any year in the future."

Invertzoo (talk) 15:27, 10 January 2010 (UTC)"

All I can say is congratulations on your brightest and hardest-working students Jimmy. You have my sympathy when it comes to the less motivated or less able ones!

Best to you, Invertzoo (talk) 15:50, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your nice note. Oh yes I am sure there was some wonderful work all things considered, and no question it was/is an intense learning experience for all of the students. I did not check the other topics, apart from bog turtle, which was excellent. Perhaps I should not have been quite so brusque in how I felt about the process for the Scotch bonnet article, but I wanted that particular group of students to know they had flubbed the process pretty badly as far as I was concerned, despite the fact that two of us from Project Gastropods did offer to help them with it and indeed tried to help them from the sidelines. We also did try to make sure we didn't just wade in and simply "take over" the article. It's not easy to be a good teacher, I know that first hand, and I think you probably are one. So anyway, I guess the whole process ends on Friday. Good luck and best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 03:23, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks again. Yes, absolutely, you are right that failures can indeed be a learning experience, in fact I always say that we don't learn very much at all if we don't make mistakes. Mistakes are very valuable precisely because we can learn the most from them. I am sure that this group thought, "An article on a seashell, how hard could that be, right?" And indeed writing a simple stub article on a sea snail species is often not very difficult at all. But getting enough decent reliable info together to get a Wikipedia stub article on a snail species up to the quality needed for GA status, well that can be really quite hard, even for us. (As yet the Gastropod project has only four GA status articles out of 6000, and no FAs yet at all, although to be fair, we have been putting most of our efforts into getting better overall coverage, rather than upgrading individual articles.) I am not sure whether this particular article should actually be reverted back to a stub or not. There are a few OK things in it now, and it has improved over how it was last week, when I was really tempted to take it back to a stub because so much of it was so very misleading! However, even now a fair amount of it is still taken from rather poor quality sources, or from the Invertebrate Zoology textbook. Snek and I were going to wait until the AP project is completely over, and then "attack" the article with a massive clean up. I have made myself unpopular enough with the comments I have already made, so I would rather not be associated with any more steps in the negative direction. I am sure that the overall effect of your AP Bio Project this year has been a positive one, both for your students and for Wikipedia. All good wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 21:22, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Help with dermatology-related content

I am looking for more help at the dermatology task force, particularly with our Bolognia push!? Perhaps you would you be able to help us? I could send you the login information for the Bolognia push if you are interested? ---kilbad (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Scotch bonnet, Semicassis granulata article, a shameful mess

Hi again Jimmy Butler, I just wanted to let you know that I left this message for the students who are tacking this gastropod article. I must say that the work on the bog turtle article came together beautifully. The work on the Scotch bonnet article is a whole different story though. Here is what I said:

"This article has been through several stages where virtually the whole thing was a really shameful mess, an embarrassment to Wikipedia, and currently it is still is unacceptably riddled with all kinds of different errors. The WikiProject Gastropods editors who have been keeping an eye on this article over these weeks that this AP Biology assignment has been in progress, well, we have only left it the way it was out of respect for the educational process that is supposedly going on here, otherwise we would have been implementing a slash and burn policy on a lot of the content (which of course we could not do without simultaneously fixing the article up using our own labor and information we had researched and found.)"

When an article is being worked on, during the time that its accuracy is seriously flawed, the article should not be up in article space! It should be kept in user space (a subpage of one of the users) and worked on there until the information is reliable enough to go into the encyclopedia, and only then should it be put up. "

In addition, Project Gastropods editors have left numerous notes to the AP biology students in the reviews of this article, but our notes and offers of help have not been replied to directly, no thanks have been offered, and many of our suggestions have been ignored, brushed aside or dealt with by simple deletion of material."

This has been a very disappointing and frustrating experience, and I for one would not want to repeat it next year or any year in the future."

Invertzoo (talk) 15:27, 10 January 2010 (UTC)"

All I can say is congratulations on your brightest and hardest-working students Jimmy. You have my sympathy when it comes to the less motivated or less able ones!

Best to you, Invertzoo (talk) 15:50, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your nice note. Oh yes I am sure there was some wonderful work all things considered, and no question it was/is an intense learning experience for all of the students. I did not check the other topics, apart from bog turtle, which was excellent. Perhaps I should not have been quite so brusque in how I felt about the process for the Scotch bonnet article, but I wanted that particular group of students to know they had flubbed the process pretty badly as far as I was concerned, despite the fact that two of us from Project Gastropods did offer to help them with it and indeed tried to help them from the sidelines. We also did try to make sure we didn't just wade in and simply "take over" the article. It's not easy to be a good teacher, I know that first hand, and I think you probably are one. So anyway, I guess the whole process ends on Friday. Good luck and best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 03:23, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks again. Yes, absolutely, you are right that failures can indeed be a learning experience, in fact I always say that we don't learn very much at all if we don't make mistakes. Mistakes are very valuable precisely because we can learn the most from them. I am sure that this group thought, "An article on a seashell, how hard could that be, right?" And indeed writing a simple stub article on a sea snail species is often not very difficult at all. But getting enough decent reliable info together to get a Wikipedia stub article on a snail species up to the quality needed for GA status, well that can be really quite hard, even for us. (As yet the Gastropod project has only four GA status articles out of 6000, and no FAs yet at all, although to be fair, we have been putting most of our efforts into getting better overall coverage, rather than upgrading individual articles.) I am not sure whether this particular article should actually be reverted back to a stub or not. There are a few OK things in it now, and it has improved over how it was last week, when I was really tempted to take it back to a stub because so much of it was so very misleading! However, even now a fair amount of it is still taken from rather poor quality sources, or from the Invertebrate Zoology textbook. Snek and I were going to wait until the AP project is completely over, and then "attack" the article with a massive clean up. I have made myself unpopular enough with the comments I have already made, so I would rather not be associated with any more steps in the negative direction. I am sure that the overall effect of your AP Bio Project this year has been a positive one, both for your students and for Wikipedia. All good wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 21:22, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Help with dermatology-related content

I am looking for more help at the dermatology task force, particularly with our Bolognia push!? Perhaps you would you be able to help us? I could send you the login information for the Bolognia push if you are interested? ---kilbad (talk) 23:39, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Time up?

Hi Jimmy, I just wanted to check and see when the official time period for the AP Bio Project is up. Is it over at the end of today, or not till Monday? You said the class ends this coming Monday, so I was not sure. Best wishes to you, Invertzoo (talk) 16:55, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Signs and symptoms

Having gone through the GA review on Hypertrichosis I have come to realize that WP:MED does not have a formal recommendation on structure for pages pertaining to signs and symptoms. I am thus trying to put something together and would appreciate any input. [1] BTW looking at the page on hypertrichosis it is well done.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:21, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Bog Turtle

Hi Jimmy! Great AP Bio Project with your students - I'm happy to see someone doing this. I helped a couple of your students out with the Bog Turtle article and just threw in a few facts and references. Hope this helps. Your students are doing a great job. I've seen your comments posted on some of my earlier wiki posts - when I first started I was kinda defensive about stuff, but have cooled off as I learn the ropes. Lately I've been working on ecology and I'm looking for some feedback/editorial help in that section if you are interested. Take care!!!Thompsma (talk) 22:29, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

I saw that you had listed it for a GA review. Hopefully you will find an editor that can give it a thorough review. I've been dorking with a review of the Intro to Evolution - ran out of students articles to grade. It has the potential to be good; however, I'm very disappointed that it appeared and was accepted without any scrutiny... its not that good. No doubt I'll step on some toes before its over. It is virtually impossible to not become emotional when you invest time and deep thought into a subject. Criticism to the content can't help but be taken personally. My students thought that was a bit nerdy - until their efforts came under the microscope. What can you do!? I guess just remember that everyone has the same goal and attacks on the article are just that and nothing more. Of course - I blocked my own account for a year so I could cool off - no role model here. The bog turtle and Pudu Deer are our best hope for FA... I'm not sure where to go with this second semester since the others fell a tad bit short of our goal. Of course we appreciate all the help we can get. I'd be delighted to read over the Ecology entry; however, my editorial skills are rather primitive and I'm the classic biology teacher (know a little about a lot of things but a lot about nothing. Cheers.--JimmyButler (talk) 00:45, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Keep me informed on the online wiki projects - I really enjoyed helping out and have great hope for the Bog Turtle article. It is a great article as it is. I'm planning to do my thesis research this upcoming spring. I will have three study groups - group one will learn about ecology through outdoor education, group two will learn through a combination of museum/live specimens in cages, and group three will be doing an online learning approach. I am thinking of wikipedia for the third study group. As an educator, you might be interested in: [] - you will enjoy reading it if you haven't already. The intro to evolution article needs some professional help. I am really knowleagable about evolution, but would find it hard to write the introducatory fundamentals without getting overly technical. I think I managed to strike a good balance on the ecology page and I am hoping that it could be nominated for FA status. I like the seashell idea. You might be interested in reading Geerat Vermeij's book "Priveleged Hands: A Scientific Life" as an inspirational story. Vermeij was a blind palaeontologist who studied sea shells through his career. I also put Long-toed Salamander together - but it needs some work to get up to FA status as well.Thompsma (talk) 01:41, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Library classification of Ham et al.

Jummy - Elsewhere you ask "Is it formally classified as a science book or is it classified as religion?" I don't think there is much mileage to be made from seeing how libraries classify these books. They are likely to classify them according to the book's "subject" (which in the case of a book called Evolution Exposed is undoubtedly evolution), and not to take account of the viewpoint of the author. It is possible, using classification schemes like Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Classification, to be more specific and express the angle from which a subject is approached (religious aspects of evolution, for example), but this is often not bothered with in practice. And in any case I don't think you're going to get anywhere by wanting to know how a book is "officially" classified. Apart from anything else, it's all relative - the "right" classification for a book is the one that gets it in the right place for the library in question. Incidentally, checking the LOC and BL catalogues doesn't take you very far - possibly because they don't bother to catalogue and classify such trash fully. Disclaimer: in a former life I taught library classification! SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 14:10, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I was so hoping that was not the answer. I was hoping for an institutional decision that might fall my way. Oh well. Can you imagine the heat I would catch if I requested this to be moved to the mythology section.--JimmyButler (talk) 14:29, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd say 239 under the Dewey system. But that's me. :) Auntie E. (talk) 01:38, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Very interesting. The challenges of determining classification of text. Never thought about how much power over information a librarian possesses. In fact, I'm somewhat surprised that has not been the central focus of the creationist movement. A 500 classification implies science whereas a 200 classification defines it as a religion. You had more power than the supreme court!--JimmyButler (talk) 14:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
239 = Christian polemics. Some (including me) might think that very appropriate. The trouble is, though, that (IMHO) good classification practice looks first at the subject (in this case, evolution) and only second at the viewpoint (in this case, deluded, or possibly seeking-to-mislead). So I think, if you were classifying this book for the library, the honest way to deal with it would be to put it (assuming the library in question uses Dewey) somewhere in 576. You might then want to add an extension to the number to signify "crackpot theory" (it can be done, though I don't have the schedules to hand and don't know right now exactly how you'd do that). But it still ends up in amongst the science books. However, local circumstances (e.g. the fact that this is a school library and you don't want to mislead the kids) can always be used as an overriding consideration. So if anyone wanted to say "in this library, it belongs at 239", I would not object. But back to my first point - you're on a hiding to nothing if you are looking for the Official Last Word on the matter! Good luck. SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 14:44, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I would object! Specifically, my object would go: "By placing it differently than other libraries (and the official library of congress designation) you are making it more difficult to find. Your job as an archivist is to make books (archives) easier to find. Therefore such action is directly contrary to the job description. By placing the book differently, you are not only not doing your job, you are un-doing your job! Clearly, that is wrong." Kevin Baastalk 18:25, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Don't let this garner too much attention: if the book finds itself outside the "science" section and overzealous parents find out, I shudder to think of the consequences. North Carolina isn't the best place to call Creationism a crackpot theory, as unfortunate as that sounds. Strombollii (talk) 05:45, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
It was placed there via parent request. I've not the energy to rock the boat and as you say .... I would garner no community support if I did. I once had a church hold a special prayer for my enlightenment. Apparently I'm too thick to get it. --JimmyButler (talk) 03:37, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
the library of congress has for the book's call number: BS659 .H86 2006 The "BS" described the subject and means - no, i know what you're thinking - "B" means "Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion", and "S", the subcat under that, means "The Bible" Under the dewey decimal system that would correspond to 220 ("Religion - The Bible"), but looking at the subcats of that, it's a little too specific, so you'd have to fall back to 200 ("Religion"). From there I'd agree that 239 is the most appropriate, but as long as it's in the 200's, the librarian's doing her job. Am I understanding correctly that your school librarian placed it under "500" something in response to a "parent request"?! She should place books according to their official classification, not according to "parent request". If the librarian is placing books according to "parent request" then why doesn't she just have the parents do her job for her? Besides, that's not her job. she's an archivist. i.e. she should be classifying according to official categorization. I just hope that the teachers don't also teach the subject matter according to "parent request". "well, the book says that 2+2=4, but your dad thinks its 5, so let's go with that." Kevin Baastalk 18:01, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I may have to send a few letters then. It's North Carolina, not Kentucky. Strombollii (talk) 17:27, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

dinosaurs get some color

I see that you're a high school biology teacher. something that might pique your students interest: [2] Kevin Baastalk 17:32, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

A very interesting read. Thank you for your input on the Answers in Genesis Book as well. I've sent a request to the Library of Congress to verify their call numbers on this text. Perhaps they will respond and I can use the document to have the book relocate to a more suitable section. A suitable compromise; removing the book is a draconian response with obvious censorship issues. I've decided that I like the book; since it gives me the opportunity to address the misconceptions. --JimmyButler (talk) 20:19, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Introduction to Evolution

Hi Jimmy - I responded to your message in my talk pages. The revision is better - but it makes another common mistake of genetic determinism captured in the nature vs. nurture debate. We now understand that the environment is not what determines which traits survive, but there is a reciprocal feedback between the environment and genetic expression - see Evolutionary developmental biology and epigenetics.Thompsma (talk) 21:42, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi Again - I responded to your next message and I also modified the lead in introduction to evolution using a combination of what you suggested and some of my own thoughts. I have gone over the lead quite a few times over and would be interested in hearing what you think about it. I think it reads simple and gives a proper description of natural selection, but I am worried that some introductory readers might not understand what a trait means. The rest of the article is actually pretty good and seems not to make the same mistake that was in the previous version of the lead. I was reading a paper this evening on the ideal cognitive model for nature and what this means. Couple the various definitions that are swimming out there in pool of thought with the concept of selection and there is bound to be confusion. I hope I helped out. I may still go in and tweak a paragraph or two, but I really want to finish ecology and get back to conservation biology.Thompsma (talk) 06:19, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

1) Every individual is supplied with hereditary material in the form of genes that are received from their parents; then, passed on to their offspring. 2)Organisms tend to produce more offspring than the environment can support. 3) There are variations among offspring as a consequence of either the random introduction of new genes via mutations or reshuffling of existing genes during sexual reproduction.
Reordering would introduce the term "gene" in the contexts of hereditary material. --JimmyButler (talk) 13:12, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Developmental and behavioural traits are regulated by environmental conditions and like clay they are malleable as individuals interact and respond to ever changing ecological situations. Is there a possibility that a layman might interpret this as Lamarckism?--JimmyButler (talk) 13:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
The modifications you made were great! There is a possibility that it might be misconstrued as Lamarckism. When I werote this I was thinking that I should distinguish genotype from phenotype and put this into context of developmental plasticity, which is what this part of the lead is really talking about. Instead of introducing these new terms at the forefront - the article might be better served if it clarifies this distinction later on when it talks about Lamarck, for instance. Genetic traits are not malleable, only their outward phenotypic expression is which is known as the Central dogma of molecular biology. However, this is not entirely true as there are exceptions in horizontal gene transfer such as the introduction of mutations via viral infection. However, this still doesn't oprate in a true Lamarckian way because these mutations are not a consequence of the organism achieving a better genome by being more fit (in the other sense of the term) - it is a random inheritance. Cultural inheritance, however, has been called Lamarckian in a sense as it bypasses the central dogma.
"To avenge Lamarck completely, this should still be proven that protein-based genetic variation could generate newly acquired inherited traits, which are adaptive and adequate to the inducing factor. This postulate represented a foundation stone of Lamarckian evolutionary theory and was jealously defended by Lamarck’s most fervent followers, such as the notorious Russian biologist T. Lysenko (see [143]). Proof of an adequate inherited adaptive change in protein structure is missing thus far. However, no one can now exclude the possibility that such a proof can be obtained in the future."[3]


"Both Darwinian and Lamarckian modalities of evolution appear to be important, and reflect different aspects of the interaction between populations and the environment."[4]
Hence, it really isn't a bad thing if people start wondering if Lamarck was correct. I've also read Lamarck's Philosophie zoologique, ou Exposition des considérations relatives à l’histoire naturelle des animaux and learned a great deal from reading it. There is too much emphasis on getting people to listen to the dogma and not thinking critically by examining what others had to say about stuff. When you read the original authors you often leave with a very different impression of what they had to say, which is kinda Lamarckian.Thompsma (talk) 16:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually; I really like the lead; it reads better than the fifty other versions that have preceded. I was hoping that you lived in the frozen North with nothing better to do in your snow-bound cabin but give the Introduction to Evolution Article a thorough look over! (My theory as to why so many Canadians edit Wikipedia) I'll let it sit a couple of weeks before I apply for FA. If you should get some spare time - feel free to tweak where needed. Cheers --JimmyButler (talk) 20:25, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Hey Jimmy - I made a recent suggestion in intro to evolution - when you have a chance - I'd be interested in hearing your feedback. I just spent some time in the evolution article - very difficult to make changes there.Thompsma (talk) 18:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Your Wikipedia Project...

It's 2:15 AM, and I'm editing Wikipedia. This has become more a habit than a hobby, and I place the blame squarely on your shoulders. Have you considered starting a cult or something of the sort? You could accomplish so much more than simply getting students addicted to editing an online encyclopedia...Strombollii (talk) 07:13, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Our meetings are every other month on a full moon. I think you are ready to learn the "secret chant".--JimmyButler (talk) 16:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

North Carolina Wild page on the ncenvirothon site

Thanks for your note Jimmy. Could you possibly give me a link that would clarify this? NC Envirothon is a non-governmental non-profit company, and that "North Carolina Wild" page is situated on their website. How can I confirm that "North Carolina Wild" documents are developed by North Carolina Wildlife Commission, a government agency? The only site I can find for "North Carolina Wild" is an on-line store. I also can't find "North Carolina Wild" on the NC site. There seems to be only "North Carolina Wildlife", not "North Carolina Wild" a sort of sound-alike. I expect you are a lot more familiar with all this than I am, so maybe you can point me in the right direction. Thanks. Invertzoo (talk) 15:41, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission produced a series of pamphlets entitled NC Wild providing a synopsis of various animals in North Carolina. They are somewhat dated and have since been replaced with more upscale documents located as pdf files here: [5]. If you notice at the bottom of the NC Wild Document on the Scotch Bonnet used as a reference under Credits:
  • Written by Sarah Friday. Illustrated by J.T. Newman. Produced January 1997 by the Division of Conservation Education, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Sarah Friday still publishes documents for NC Wildlife commission, note the one on Crayfish which authored. Hope this helped.--JimmyButler (talk) 18:15, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
OK, I see. Thanks. I did look at the new crayfish profile. I suppose the name of the department changed between between 1997 and now, i.e. it used to be NC Wild and is now NC Wildlife. Invertzoo (talk) 18:59, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Max Rose Day

Today (3-9-2010) was marked by a celebration in honor of Max Rose, the first student in Croatan's AP Biology Program to reach FA status on the article Osteochondritis dissecans. The moment was marked with drinks, popcorn, and a plant Porno Movie entitled Sexual Encounters of the Floral Kind. Congrats Max, where ever you may be.--JimmyButler (talk) 19:49, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Interest in your AP Biology Project

I noticed your AP Biology student project. What a great idea. I also teach AP Biology (in Bangor, Maine) and would be interested in doing something similar with with my students. Would you mind if I hoped on your band wagon and asked you for advice about it? Earthdirt (talk) 03:30, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Hey Earthdirt! We should form a collaborative group. I just wrote JimmyButler about a similar idea. I'm not a teacher, but I'm doing my MEd degree in ecoliteracy education. Next spring I will be starting my research and would like to involve students in an ecology / natural history wiki project. When I get closer to the time I will be starting this - I will post here.Thompsma (talk) 03:46, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I would be delighted to share my insights; it has been a continuous learning process. The one essential element is involvement of editors outside of your classroom. Without that, it is just another boring research paper. We have been fortunate to have attracted the interest of some talented editors in the Wiki community. From Thompsma's comment above, you are on your way to doing the same. Wassupwestcoast was the key contributor in setting up the project page and establishing many of the guidelines; however, I'm uncertain of his time constraints. Feel free to post here or use the email option. Jbmurray set the standards and his written several commentaries on his experiences; you may wish to review his site as well. Wikipedia:WikiProject Magical Realism Reconsidered --JimmyButler (talk) 16:11, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Jimmy, I am also interested in using Wikipedia article creation as a tool for my musculoskeletal anatomy class. Since I am new at trying to do this, I would like some guidance in ensuring that a good article is produced. I like your project page for the AP Bio class, but am not sure whether I should create one for my class as well. The article topics will all be in the area of musculoskeletal injuries. Thanks! Scholarchanter (talk) 20:35, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

In Line Citations

Okay Mr. Butler, User:Donlammers has come through and provided a couple of beautiful references for two of the PDFs. The citations and links can be found at the bottom of the article under references. One of the references I used to provide inline citations in your new paragraph concerning evolutionary history and the other I used to add some new information in the "endangerment" section. We are still in the process of looking at all the PDFs User:Sasata has sent us...we feel as though we are more than half way through them, the FAC trigger should be pulled fairly shortly!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:25, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Bog Turtle

Mr. Butler, if you've been monitoring the discussion page you will surely have noticed the suggestions left by Sasata. She's been wanting us to do further research on several things from various references. But the ones she provides links to are extremely short and on the most fringe of topics. I asked her for the PDF versions (she offered me access to some off her university server). She said she could give me further links to more extensive articles related to the ones on the old archive page, but that was about five days ago, and I don't think we have that kind of time. Should I go with the general consensus that the article is ready for FAR? Or should I try to keep up with her suggestion?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 20:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Pull the trigger, I see no issue with breadth or depth of research. Issues will come up during FA but this is close enough, in my humble opinion.--JimmyButler (talk) 15:00, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, me and Mary-Beth seem to be in agreement that it's ready for the next step. I'll probably put it up later tonight, thanks for your advice.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:13, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Felt Like There Was Something Missing

Hw-darwin.jpg This user accepts evolution as a biological fact.

I figured I would send this your way, your user page seems to need it!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 01:30, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Evolution is JUST A THEORY ... ask anyone in Mississippi.--JimmyButler (talk) 02:11, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Right, right, the way, the second wave of commentors/opposers have arrived :-(--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 19:58, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
It may feel that way, but you're into the endgame now. Just fix up the few outstanding issues that have been conveniently summarised for you, and you could have your FA tomorrow. Trust me. ;-) Malleus Fatuorum 20:22, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
That sounds perfect! The only ones I see left unfixed are the concerns about the distribution map, but I have put in a request to the map department to alter the map according to the image offered one of our most reliable sources.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 21:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
It's pretty easy to edit the map. What do you want it changed to? Malleus Fatuorum 21:26, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
As per the comments, I think it should look more like the one in the following article:
However, I have just messaged User:Jappalang asking if these images are public domain (what do you think)?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 21:43, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm no copyright expert, but it's worth a shot. If Jappalang thinks it's OK then you're home and dry; if not then I'll edit the map, which seems to be missing a few populations in any case. Malleus Fatuorum 21:55, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Jappalang appears to be on some sort of leave of absence. There's also some continued discussion on the review page. If it's as easy as you say it is... the change would be a huge help (it might also be a nice break from all the copy-editing!).--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 22:02, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, I'll knock something up asap, if not in the next hour or so then definitely tomorrow. The two maps do seem quite different though, for whatever reason. Malleus Fatuorum 22:48, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed they do. Thanks so much!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 22:56, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've uploaded my version of the map and it's in the article now. If it's still not right just let me know. I couldn't quite make sense of the top of the source map – I'm no expert on American geography. You need to take a look and check/correct the description of the source on the image page as well. Malleus Fatuorum 23:54, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Wait, where is it? I see the other one in the article.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 02:16, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe you haven't refreshed your cache? File:Bog turtle distribution map.svg is the map now in the article. Malleus Fatuorum 02:27, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, gratitude!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 02:39, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, not to be annoying, but can you take that distribution marking out of the very top left corner (Michigan I believe)?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:53, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
No problem. Malleus Fatuorum 00:30, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:44, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Done. Malleus Fatuorum 00:48, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
 :)--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 21:28, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Another Reference

Mr. Butler, there has been some commenting regarding why there have been so many bog turtle taxonomic changes. Long story short, I have been directed here by User:Sasata, it seems like an excellent source, but it's rather me at least. Mind telling me what you think of it?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:14, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Here is an excellent link defining the primary difference between monophyletic vs polyphyletic. To be honest - I've not familiar with the taxonomic groups they are tossing about in the article; thus they lost me somewhere around line #1. definition We can put our collective brains together in class and see if "clarifies" the taxonomy issues. I'm inclined to think you've covered this turtle well beyond the level of encyclopedic and currently run the risk of wading into original research or at least "beyond relevant" to the typical person wishing to understand this little beast. Trust me - someone will eventually show up requesting a detailed DNA sequence for each and every chromsome before it meets their approval. The banker horse article is the best FA we have because it is "short and sweet". --JimmyButler (talk) 12:46, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Quite right, I'm just going to wait for this to sort of blow over. I think the taxonomic history info in the article more than suffices for an encyclopedia.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 01:47, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


Since you made some of the same points at the FAC and the talk page of Bog turtle, and the issue is broader than just this article, I thought I'd best respond here.

Wikipedia is a reference work: it should be a place where one can get virtually any piece of information one wants. Perhaps a student will do a project to compare chromosome numbers in different species of turtles. Yesterday, I wrote in Transandinomys bolivaris that the first upper molar is broader than in a related species, T. talamancae. That is pretty technical information, but perhaps tomorrow someone in Panama will find an isolated rodent upper jaw in an owl pellet and he'll be able to find out which species of Transandinomys he has using that information.

Now, I also understand that your students have done a tremendous amount of great work already and I seemed to come there with my comments just when the finish was near. I'm sorry for that; I try to review all biological articles at FAC but don't always have time for it. Ucucha 13:56, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

We clearly disagree - at least in philosophy on the role of Wikipedia. I do not think it was ever intended to be an all inclusive data base of knowledge; but rather a summary accessible to the average reader. In some cases, minutia may be farmed out to sub articles; in some case it is best left to research in more advanced journals. Someone seeking information on molar size would be better served elsewhere - the excessive technical trivia merely discourages the reader. Are you suggesting that an article should summarize all current research in field? I typically remain silent in my student's efforts; my reaction here has nothing to do with disappointment nor frustrations; but rather a departure in ideology which I felt needed addressing. I'm in fact encouraged by your feedback, appreciative of the intent and in some cases supportive of your suggestions. I frankly would rather see the article fail the FA attempt than see it morph into the all too typical over-indulgent thesis. Hopefully my student will address your concerns adequately to gain your support without this happening.--JimmyButler (talk) 15:55, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Exactly what it was intended to be I could hardly say, but the quote under Jimmy Wales#Role suggests at least something close to what I wrote. I think the word "access" there is important. To keep to the molar example, this information was buried in a 12-year-old, 300-page technical paper that, although accessible online for free, would be hard to find for someone who doesn't know where to search; now it is in an article of a few pages in one of the most widely read websites of the world, and someone who wants to know more can still look up the citation and read the source, while someone who doesn't want to can skip to the next section.
I'm sure we'll be able to talk out the specific issues on the FAC and the article talk page. Ucucha 16:17, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
To be fair, I agree with some of the suggestions offered. For me, this has always been about making the bog turtle article more helpful to the average person seeking information on the species. I fear that the inclusion of all the suggested information will make the article utterly unreadable and cumbersome to someone looking up the information. So, I guess my partner and I have a decision to make: leave the article as is (informative, well-written, and helpful to people interested in the turtle), or add in all the technical details, making it a mess to read, and getting a brown star placed in the upper right corner of the page.
I will continue my efforts, but I must say, the list of comments on the talk page was discouraging at best (to all parties involved).--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 19:32, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you are creating a false dilemma there. Adding more information will not make it less informative, should not make it less well-written, and probably will make it more helpful to people interested in it, because they get a more complete picture. At 20 kb of readable prose, the article isn't that long, and many of the omitted points I noted really aren't technical (like the size of the nest). Ucucha 22:21, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
As a fan of your class' work, I want to offer my sympathies for the difficulties faced in the FAC process. FAC has gradually evolved into very challenging process, particularly for the academic topics. I go through it regularly with my lemur articles; and looking back, I realize that some of my first FAs (e.g. Ring-tailed Lemur) are in need of serious attention.
FA status is a very important thing on Wikipedia. The vetting process is intended to work out all the kinks, and the expert reviews that Ucucha offers are critically important. I just wish there were 10 more users like him to do this work full-time. However, is the bronze star worth it? For your class, probably not. I cannot emphasize enough how much everyone in the biological WikiProjects appreciates your collective contributions, but it may be asking too much to have budding AP high school students push through a rigorous FAC when they could be writing 5 to 10 GAs instead. And as I've pointed out on your project page, there are many, many basic biology articles that are at Start or Stub class. To put it bluntly, the core material of your AP Biology class is completely lacking from Wiki. You guys have the textbooks and I'm sure you could find more in your school library. Please, please, please put it to use and give the rest of us die-hard FA-producers the core biology articles we need to reinforce work. And if you want to pop out a few articles on some random, cool species on the side, have at it. There are millions and millions of species on earth, and only a handful have Wiki articles rated above Start class. I'm not trying to tell you what to do—just emphasizing the important roles your students could potentially play.
In short, keep up the good work and keep your chin up. If FA is no longer a viable option for your students, then simply give Wiki a bunch of GAs instead. That in no way degrades the value of your work. Your collective contributions are always welcome and desperately wanted. It's just a question of what you want your hard work to go towards: complete comprehensiveness and a little bronze star on a couple articles, or a much larger number of comprehensive articles that will impact a much larger audience. – VisionHolder « talk » 21:39, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Haha (don't mind me, i'm just laughing at what my teacher is going to say to this...)--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 21:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Speaking only for myself Visionholder, if I were in NYMFan's position I'd find your comments to be patronising, insulting, and complete and utter bullshit. That's just my opinion of course, your mileage apparently varies quite considerably from what I'd regard as being "collegial". Malleus Fatuorum 22:02, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
It wasn't intended that way. I just remember my days in AP Biology and if I had aspired to writing FA articles on Wiki, it would have been asking a lot. That's not to say they can't or shouldn't do it. And that's my point. If they want to aspire to write FA article, then by all means, go for it! It's a frustrating process, and you have to deal with that. But if it's too frustrating and seen as too much work, then there are other constructive avenues that the students can take. (I don't want to see the class give up on this project due to frustration.) There are many challenges in life, and you can rise to a challenge or move on to another one. But it is a serious question: If the FAC process is too demanding for the students, then would it be more beneficial to them to write multiple GAs? The question can have a yes or no answer—I'm not the teacher or a student, just an outside observer and supporter. But the question can also have a "fuck you" answer. But as they say, "Vulgarity is a crutch for inarticulate fuckers." – VisionHolder « talk » 22:52, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Visionholder, don't apologize now, you have no idea what you just did.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:29, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Why do I have this feeling that you're saying that with a devilish grin on your face? O.o – VisionHolder « talk » 23:32, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
You'll see once User:JimmyButler reads this. And by the way, it's not that we are frustrated with the process, it's that we don't agree with the changes that several editors want to make to the article. Addressing the issues has not been a concern for this group (something made evident by the host of "supports" on the FAC review page).--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:35, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Each reviewer brings their own talents and resources to the table in a FAC review. Ucucha and Sasata are very well-respected reviewers of biological articles. My own lemur articles often get quick supports from many reviewers, with only minor comments, and then get ripped apart by these two (and a few others). You take it with a grain of salt and make the changes as best you can. You ask for help when you need it. And you also challenge the request when you feel it's over-the-top. The community of reviewers will usually support either you or them. Are they (and myself) overly demanding? At times yes, at times no. The reviews are done to make the articles the best they can possibly be. It's easy for an article to become overly technical, and the line between "too general" and "too detailed" is finer than it sounds. Some of the information is very much needed—clutch size, egg size, etc., etc. Others... well, let's discuss it. But what you are going through on this FAC is normal. Please don't take out your frustrations on the reviewers. They're taking time away from their own writing to help you create the best article you can. – VisionHolder « talk » 00:01, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

... And each reviewer brings their own preconceived ideas about how they would have written the article, or some minutiae that really must be included to meet the "comprehensive" criteria. I'd suggest that you, Visonholder, think very carefully before pouring any more of your cold water on what is actually a quite excellent article, FA or no. Malleus Fatuorum 00:25, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
So the previous decision still stands: leave it as is (well-written, readable, and concise) or continue adding information until it enters the abstract (p.s...."taking out [my] frustrations" (talk) 00:29, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Per my review: "Very nice improvement on this article! I'm glad to see these class projects continue. ...the article looks very nice." In other words, we're in agreement on the quality of the article and the entire collaborative project. I was not trying to "pour cold water" on the article, just trying to help cool off the heat from stress over the review process. Again, I'm sorry that my intentions were misinterpreted. Admittedly my comments were not worded appropriately. – VisionHolder « talk » 00:38, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I hate to disappoint my students; they expect, no doubt, a dissertation in response to this rather interesting series of perspectives. However, Malleus has summarized it all too concisely. Complete and Utter Bullshit.
  • The bigger issue: How did a divergence of opinion over how much is too much, get changed into such a bizarre string of commentaries? What does that have to do with whether AP students should attempt the FA process? NYMFan69-86 conveyed to me that: Much (not all) of the list provided by Ucucha, he perceived as being excessive and irrelevant. His thoughts were, the information applied to a relatively small number of turtles in relatively isolated populations. I agreed, a single text to which Ucucha created his list was an assemblage of "field research" and not meant to be a conclusive summary of behaviors in the species as a whole. Simply because a observation is included in a source, does not necessarily constitute a need to include the information in Wikipedia; nor should it be a deciding factor over FA status. I did review the list provided by Ucucha and many of his examples were isolated incidents or were merely in-field observations.Ucucha went through a single source and listed information that was missing in the article without seriously considering its relevance to understanding the topic. We have major disagreement on what information should be included in Wikipedia; he apparently thinks everything in print, where I see its purpose (as an encyclopedia) as summarizing the major points. This difference in perspective, I hope will not go beyond that. Certainly I've not, until now had any reason to question the motivation of the oppose as being anything other than an authors best effort to produce the best article possible. It now seems that any challenge to their perspective is assumed personal. More importantly, our different views are completely and totally irrelevant to this class project. It is dreadful that this divergence in view has lead to the characterization of my students as being too immature to handle the emotional challenges of the Fa process. I'm truly humbled by the arrogance. I'm also stunned that one author has taken it upon himself to establish the format for FA and is confident enough to assume, if information is not structured in a manner they determine worthy, then the article is deficient. I now question the bias behind the critique. If the goal is to establish criteria for FA based on a single authors perspective, then the FA review is tainted. If the goal is to generate a list of omissions without specific consideration of each issue or creating such a list simply because it is in one source but not included in Wikipedia, then there is a risk of obstructionism, rather than a serious attempt to improve. More importantly, if the goal is to prove that Wikipedia should be left to the experts such as Ucucha and VisionHolder « talk , which can be implied the comments on my talk page, then I can only hope that the grotesque bias is not factored into any decisions over FA status. I will encourage my student along with the help of the class to again - seriously consider each and every concerns raised by Ucucha. It would be very easy to transfer the information from that source to Wikipedia to appease him- if FA was our only goal. We could easily copy paste endless paragraph describing "scute arrangement". However, if omission of bits from the list is agreed upon - then there will be a reason behind the failure to include - not merely editorial laziness or the immaturity of youth. I feel that the FA moderator should be made aware of this thread; since , unfortunately the motivations behind opposition may be clouded by bias toward the students themselves. My personal offense and the assault on the abilities of my students; however, may be the motivation for entertaining such a thought. Malleus do you sense a bias here that might merit the need to share this thread with SandyGeorgia, or is such drama irrelevant?--JimmyButler (talk) 13:08, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
You know, this is really starting to piss me off. I've apologized for my poor wording and have emphasized that this was not intended as an attack on your students. Your students are more than capable of creating a FA. They can if they want, and if they're willing to go through the process, regardless of how ridiculously difficult it can be, then I strongly encourage them to. I have praised you for supporting them. Your claims that this is a "personal attack" and stating that I feel FACs should be exclusive are the biggest wads of bullshit in this whole discussion. I was simply trying to say that if the process is so upsetting that your students will lose heart, then consider encouraging them to aim for creating multiple GAs rather than one FA. It was just a friendly suggestion, not an ultimatum or an expression of my superiority. FAC is not an exclusive process, but it is a stressful one. I never claimed to be an expert, but I am willing to push through the process regardless of the challenge. Please accept my apology for the misunderstanding. – VisionHolder « talk » 13:49, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
You are now implying that I think high school students incapable of creating an article that would meet the FA criteria? Nonsense. They are probably about as young as I am (I'm a college freshman, and skipped a year back in elementary school), and from all I've seen are entirely capable of creating a well-written and broad article. So far, our disagreement has been over what should be the scope of a Wikipedia article. I see your opinion (and your students') as a reasonable one there, and I hoped that with some further discussion we should be able to come to a consensus on what points from the source I cited were and were not too technical. Sure, not everything from that source should be in our article—I never claimed that. But at this moment, the Wikipedia article says that males exhibit aggressive behavior towards each other and unlike Ernst and Lovich does not tell that females show similar behavior. That's an omission that is in no way technical or obscure. Ucucha 14:02, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

  • Reply to JimmyButler: I would be very surprised indeed if SandyGeorgia was not already aware of this developing situation, so I don't think there's any need to specifically draw her attention to it. I share the analysis you've laid out above, and I really do think that your students have coped admirably with what has clearly become a rather frustrating experience. Visionholder expressed himself poorly, and unfortunately is still coming over as arrogant, but best to put that to one side and ignore it. The real issue is how to move forwards. What needs to be done now is to go through every point Ucucha has raised and either deal with it or provide a clear explanation of why you refute it. Clearly a lot of the material being pointed to as missing is too detailed for a general encyclopedia article, and ought not to be included, but you need to make a clear statement in the FAC so that the FAC delegates can make their own minds up about the rights and wrongs of the case. It's not Ucucha's decision whether this article gets promoted or not, and even if he maintains his opposition it's not necessarily a problem so long as the points he raises are dealt with, even by disagreeing with them. I'm pretty sure I've had FACs promoted even when there was some opposition. What SandyG and Karanacs will be looking at is whether the opposition has any real merit or not, which is why you need to help them by being clear and explicit about why you may disagree with some of the issues raised. I'd really encourage you and your students to stick with this; tell them it's character building or something. :-) Malleus Fatuorum 14:35, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Wow, Malleus... if you can't accept an apology and assume good faith, then I guess I was wrong to ever support you. I guess in addition to being an arrogant prick, I'm also a poor judge of character. Maybe I should have looked closer at your repeated "lack of civility" and "personal attack" complaints on the Admin Noticeboards first. – VisionHolder « talk » 14:59, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I've never been interested in apologies, and your comments simply serve to underline the truth of what I was saying about your arrogant behaviour. Too many people assume that WP:AGF means "switch off your brain and suspend all credulity", but I don't have to assume anything to see the evidence of your ongoing "I know best" attitude. Malleus Fatuorum 15:54, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
WP:AGF is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow. The above discussion brakes my heart. How about a quick work-through and responses to each of Ucucha's items. Yes, will be edited in; no, too detailed; no, not generally established knowledge ... Maybe Ucucha would then agree to the large majority of these evaluations. --Ettrig (talk) 14:29, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
That's what I hope we'd be able to do. I'm sure we'd agree on many, if not all, points (there are a few we already disagreed on, like karyotype, but I am willing to give in if consensus is against me). Ucucha 14:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Apology accepted regarding core topics and class projects - too many hours of monitoring student efforts has left me hyper-sensitive. Regarding content inclusion: Perhaps Ucucha might consider reviewing the list of concerns one more time to be certain the content proposed is best included. I trust NYMFan69-86 will make his best attempt to address them. Meanwhile I will keep my fingers off the keyboard and allow my students to "build character" per Malleus suggestion. --JimmyButler (talk) 15:47, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy to (it'll have to wait until tomorrow, though—I have some studying to do). However, in many cases it appears that though the detail in Ernst and Lovich is much too much for this article, their text can still be helpful in adding useful details. For example, the article currently states that the bog turtle is omnivorous. Ernst and Lovich have nearly an entire page on diet, including many details that don't belong in this article (like the berries in the stomachs of New Jersey turtles you mentioned somewhere), but do include some fairly important points the article doesn't include: additional food items (like crayfish, salamanders, millipedes, spiders), prey preference (mostly carnivorous, apparently), and ecological properties of prey (mostly terrestrial). When I say "EL09 has more", I don't mean "you should have every detail they have", rather "there are probably some points in their text that are worthy of inclusion". Ucucha 16:38, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I whole-heartedly agree that Ernst and Lovich is an excellent source with important information, I was just convused about some your advice when you started suggesting things such as: "mating usually occurs in the afternoon," "a record of a captive producing two clutches in a single year," and "more details on the plants in its habitat," things which, mind you in the right context, just seem utterly unimportant. Again, rest assured that I am willing to work with some of the things on the list (and all concerns on the FAC review page will be dealt with ASAP).--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 17:19, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── NYMFan69-86, I'm not serving as an excellent role model!!! Your restraint is admirable; I hope you continue to focus on the article and allow those of us with too much time on our hands to bicker over philosophy and social injustice. The suggestion by Ettrig to address each and every concern is advisable. (As he stated) - That does not mean you have to include its content; however, I also recommend being specific as to why you did not. Ucucha will revisit the list tomorrow and perhaps be more specific with their concerns. We disagree on philosophy, but I doubt not his sincerity and passion. We knew it would not be easy - nonetheless we became perhaps "over-confident". It will be tedious; but in the end the effort should prove rewarding and the article better for it. At the very least you're getting one heck of a GPA boost out of this - the community can hold me to that. Let us know if you need help - there are many here who are interested and are pulling for your success.--JimmyButler (talk) 17:50, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Indeed the goal is in sight, just a few more obstacles. Thanks for the emotional boost, mine and my partner's work will gladly continue.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 17:57, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


I thought you might be interested in this initiative by Wikipedia - [6]. Cheers. Remember (talk) 14:08, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Kudos to you and your students

Hi, I've been watching the Bog Turtle drama unfold over the past weeks. I commend your openess to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool: I've found a great deal of value in doing so. Also, I believe the culture here is important to understand, for the students as well as their teachers. There's much to be learned from the truly spectacular editors and also much to be learned about finishing a project, completely. Good luck to you and the kids/students (and good luck to them on the AP Bio exam next week?). You might be interested in the article Harlan Hanson - as an innovator in education, I think he'd approve. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 15:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh yes... the stresses of high stakes testing; to which I see you are familiar. Perhaps a fellow teacher or student? Yes, I am very proud of my students and their efforts to improve. I am especially proud of the Bog Turtle and loggerhead turtle efforts; although the latter may actually be too high profile to nominate FA. I fear, I've not been the best of role models there; especially, since the most important aspect of this project hinges on the involvement and courtesy of editors such as Ucucha and VisionHolder. Student interest rises dramatically when someone provides feedback on their efforts - even if it is a list of concerns. If I'm not careful, I may chase them all away - then where will I be? I often ponder why differing perspectives so often escalate; I'm convinced humans need visual reinforcement when communicating to "fill in between the lines"; otherwise we tend to assign emotions to the text - that in this case I completely misread. As you stated - immersion into the culture of the community is a major part of the learning process. It gives the student a real opportunity to develop the skill necessary to interact with intelligent and passionate people and of course the egos that we all bring with that! Thank you for the support although I claim no credit - this opportunity to share the responsibility of education with the world was just too obvious to pass up. Eventually they will grow weary of us, until then ... cheers! --JimmyButler (talk) 16:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Not a student, which makes me the other. Generally using Wikipedia is frowned on in academia, but in my view, it's a vibrant collaborative writing community, and I think that assignments such as yours will soon become commonplace. A few of my students took up my challenge to create a Wikipedia article as an end-of-semester project, but nothing as impressive as what yours are achieving. Don't worry about chasing away editors: my sense is generally people are supportive of this effort. Unfortunately my discipline isn't biology, otherwise I could have reviewed the article. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 17:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


Ucucha is now a supporter!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 19:48, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

And it just got promoted—congratulations! Ucucha 22:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Well done everybody. Graham Colm (talk) 22:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
From me as well; great job! Malleus Fatuorum 22:11, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Awesome!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Reflecting back to the first edit...[7]; yes awesome indeed. --JimmyButler (talk) 03:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations indeed. I was wrong to give up on this in October. You have worked much and well, and learnt a lot on the way. --Ettrig (talk) 09:36, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Your students may help and benefit from this

Hi, Jimmy. I saw your name at Malleus' Talk, then remember why :-) I think editors and Wikipedia want to work together, but Wikipedia's rules and standards usually look complex to new editors. So I'm working a side-project User:Philcha/Essays/Advice_for_new_Wikipedia_editors to help new editors. I'm trying to look from the pov of the new editor, and to present relatively simple techniques and tools that I hope will help new editors in well over 90% of the editing situations in the 1st year. I'd be grateful if you or your students could comment at User talk:Philcha/Essays/Advice for new Wikipedia editors. --Philcha (talk) 22:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Hello there, I am a current student of Mr. Butler. When I first started the project, I was overwhelmed by all the different quarks of Wikipedia. In short, this article would have helped me a lot back then. I think it would be great if perhaps next years students were (for maybe homework) assigned to read your article. :)--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 13:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi, NYMFan69-86. It would be great if you and your fellow students could contribute, to make the job easier for your successors. I understand that you have other demands on your time, and may not be able into great detail. I think at present the main issues in my project are: --Philcha (talk) 14:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm trying to present it from the point of view of an absolutely new editor interacting with WP for the first time. Is that the right objective? If so, am I getting it right?
  • Have I missed anything that a new editor need? Or anything that's superfluous or even wrong?
  • I'm thinking of changes the phrasing from the usual WP rather formal style, for example "The editor should ..." to a less formal style, for example "You should ...", to make the new editor more relaxed.

Hi, JimmyButler. I've left a message at User_talk:Philcha#User_Guide, as there's a bit of a thread there. --Philcha (talk) 18:22, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

One for you too

WikiprojectBarnstar.png The WikiProject Barnstar
Thanks for your help in making the loggerhead sea turtle article FA. This is also for the success of our wikiproject. Vancemiller (talk · contribs · count · email) 01:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually, if you look at it, 4 FAs going solo vs. 2 FAs from four people... Also a smaller class, so percentage-wise it's better. Vancemiller (talk · contribs · count · email) 01:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
And another one for JimmyButler - this is exactly what Jimmy does.
Compass barnstar.png The Guidance Barnstar
This is exactly what you do Philcha (talk) 22:52, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
This has been a year of extremes. Some of the top ranked seniors contribute nothing or non-sense and take a massive GPA blow; meanwhile, a few sophomores address issues in an FA process even though the grading period closed nearly two weeks ago. In the end - two very fine articles on turtles. Why turtles? Because they are... I'll need a summer break to contemplate this! Great job guys!--JimmyButler (talk) 15:48, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Motivation Award Wikipedia Motivation Award
Awarded to Mr. Butler for all of his help with our turtle articles! NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

"Why turtles?"--What!!! We should all take a moment to reflect on what turtles have given us: car wax, tasty soup, and their shells make good ashtrays. After all they've given us, the least we could have done was spread the knowledge surrounding them. Everyone have a great summer. :-)--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
JimmyButler commented "the top ranked seniors contribute nothing or non-sense and take a massive GPA blow".
I thought he aslo had make a longer comment on the GPA disappointment and suggestion that confidence was a big factor, by I can't find this now - was I dreaming? --Philcha (talk)

Main page for Osteochondritis dissecans

I case you missed it, Osteochondritis dissecans finally shown on Main page as Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 18, 2010. Whilst I'm not familiar with the overall outcome of the other students' works, pleasing to see where this finally got to :-) User:FoodPuma whilst not a regular contributor these days, nevertheless managed to acheive something even I have not. David Ruben Talk 03:55, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

As a fellow educator, I laud the impact you're having on your students and the world. The current (today) Featured Article is just one manifestation of a long-term investment you've made in your students' lives. Chapeaux! -- Scray (talk) 20:32, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh my! How very exciting. I think I can track him down at UNC - (Chapel Hill). Perfect timing to inspire my new group. I've only 8 this year... I think in part due to the challenge posed by the Wikipedia Project. The dynamics of this challenge are very interesting; so many fear having their efforts come under the microscope of the online community. In a generation of techno-savvy teenagers; you would think this assignment would appeal to them. Yet, even the majority from last year took the blow to the GPA. User:FoodPuma made it look so easy! Yes indeed - I'm very proud. --JimmyButler (talk) 21:55, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
8!!! That's it! What did our class say to the rest of the student body?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 22:13, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Considering the money saved on tuition - it should have been positive. However, the fluctuation is primarily due to the shifting from 12th to 10 grade - which has cycled in way that all the potential seniors took it two years ago; while the 10th graders have come to the realization that it is course that is best saved until after chemistry. There may have been some whining negative press out there - god knows, some amongst you made editing Wikipedia sound like chiseling out the 10 commandments! Should I give those 8, automatic A's for showing up? I truly hope there is some talent; I'm very excited about this year's project now that the grading kinks have been worked out.--JimmyButler (talk) 22:36, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
There certainly is excitement from me as well. Taking AP Biology during high school (whichever of the four years one decides to do so) is definitely a smart, yet commitment-heavy, decision. Hopefully all eight students have decided to take the class for the right reasons and will take the project seriously. It may be forward-thinking to say that all the kinks have been worked...I'm no teacher but I would imagine that each group of students presents their own challenges.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:13, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
True, if not grading - some other issue will arise that requires adapting. I actually have the time this year to tackle an article myself. Perhaps I can serve as a model for the others - at least offer a new dimension to the experience. Worst case scenario is I end up with a block or two! I wonder is V. would do the citations for me???--JimmyButler (talk) 00:58, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Haha, I'm sure he would if you asked. What takes him five minutes takes us three hours!!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 15:01, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Your AP Bio Project

I just wanted to tell you i just stumbled upon your AP Bio project again. As a high school student its encouraging to see other students doing something positive on wiki. I see far too many of my class mates only vandalizing this place. cheers --Guerillero | My Talk 21:07, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Bog turtle on main page

Bog turtle was on the Main page on Wikipedia:Today's featured article/August 30, 2010. Wooh!!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 00:31, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Congratulations! I see it is holding up well to the heighten scrutiny that such exposure provides. This should be noted on the project page. --JimmyButler (talk) 14:00, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! By the way, where are the new editors?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 15:17, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, the debate rages on.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 15:43, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Bapst 2010 Project

Thanks for the friendly kick in the pants on the AP project page, I responded some there about the state of things. I hope it will inspire my students a bit this year, competition/collaboration always helps at this level. I'm definitely going to try again this year, and soon, for a reborn-2010 project - though the scale is immense with 40 students and not a little daunting. I'm thinking of groups of 6 or 8, do you think that will be to many? I'm afraid it will be, but 5-7 articles sounds more manageable than 10 for me or for recruiting mentors. Any advice is welcome. Earthdirt (talk) 23:58, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Why reinvent the wheel -Ummmm a collaboration perhaps? --JimmyButler (talk) 12:06, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Please email Philcha

Hi, Jimmy. You may wonder what's going. The short answer is WP politics. If you want to minimise impact on the work you and NYMFan69-86 have done on my pages, please email me. --Philcha (talk) 01:46, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Special:EmailUser/Philcha--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 20:04, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


I wish you luck in another year of the AP Biology Wikipedia Project! I will be here to help and guide students as much as possible. However, my help may be more limited than I had originally hoped, considering I have 4 AP classes.--TimHAllstr (talk) 04:29, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Mauritian Tomb Bat

Mr. Butler those pictures on the page it won't let me upload them because they don't have the right liscence and the i even emailed the author and he gave me explicit permission. He also gave me a good reference tool and say any help he can give he would love. He is also not from America so we are officially breaking down barriers. But i was wondering what i should do. --Jraffe0404 (talk) 15:06, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Uploading pictures can be a complicated process. Its easiest when the owner uploads and cite as their own work with an agreement to unrestricted use. You may inquire if they are familiar with Wiki's imagine repository and would they consider uploading. If they don't wish to be bothered with the technicalities, then you may do it on their behalf; however be very diligent in crediting their work. Review the method outlined in wiki-Commons for assuring proper licensing procedure and follow it explicitly. Familiarize yourself with the various licensing agreements to ensure the proper "release is selected"". Cross the t's and dot the i's. When that fails, put out an all call on the 2010 project talk page for help. There is always a way! --JimmyButler (talk) 01:22, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
The easiest way in this case would be to get an email from the copyright owner saying that (s)he agrees to licence the image under a Creative Commons licence, say 3.0, and then send that to OTRS. Malleus Fatuorum 13:28, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Hey Mr. Butler, I found some references, but I am not exactly sure how to put it on Wikipedia, like how to site it, or what to put...?--Kimberly fitzgerald (talk) 21:40, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Something you should probably see

I encountered this article in some of my work recently. Its current state is beyond pathetic (last edited about 8 months ago, completely without structure...not to mention no references) Perhaps a future work of the Wikiproject?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 02:00, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

An important concept; poorly presented. Perhaps I will adopt this one and attempt to lead by example. I'll need to investigate the specifics of the term to see if it is broader in scope than I've been taught. Lately I've been obsessed with our new digital / video microscope, making video records of local pond critters. Makes me feel like a real scientist! --JimmyButler (talk) 15:03, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Closer examination - the article describes allopatric speciation, which I feel is the same; hence the redundancy is unnecessary. I would recommend a merge or in this case a delete with a redirect to allopatric. The separation of a population by geographical barriers is the definition of the term. The process of speciation that follows, as a result of this separation, is what the article attempts to explain, which is already covered in allopatric speciation. --JimmyButler (talk) 19:01, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the delete and redirect method is the best thing to do, if we can get a discussion about it going. As I understand it, the two are synonymous...or at least, geographic isolation leads to allopatric speciation (its article isn't too great off either, yet it's of "high" importance). A video microscope? Cool, wish I could have been around to see that.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 22:15, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


The merge has been performed, now a proper article can be written.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 18:59, 10 October 2010 (UTC)


[8] --NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:38, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Not much happening so far...

I've been peeking at the crew's edit counts I mean, I know edit count doesn't tell the whole story, but when, after a month and a half, no one's cracked sixty and one's number is 5 (4 on user pages and 1 on talk pages), I'm concerned. What can be done? It seems to me like they just don't know how to use Wikipedia yet?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 02:18, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I am contemplating, perhaps Vance can come in as a guest. First, he can demonstrate that it can be done, and perhaps staunch the fear of editing - if there are any. Second, he can share his portifolio on the Loggerhead- which represented "A" quality work. Third, he can relay the seriousness of which I take this and how dismal an experience it will be to sit in "the room" with nothing to share but a smile. If you recall, there were a significant number in your group that took the "F" - so many tears. I'm also concerned that a late start on a hard to research topic will translate to "I looked and couldn't find anything" - at least that will be the defense at the parent conference! Yes I hope "THEY" are reading this - but I'm not certain "THEY" are even monitoring the talk pages. Which one of "THEM" will step it up and make this happen(?) and YES - I have no problem failing all of "THEM" if no one elevates their game. --JimmyButler (talk) 01:06, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Failing everyone and letting them serve as an example? Harmful for the project in the short run (no quality work to show for a years worth of time) but, perhaps beneficial in the long run (as perhaps word about how serious a project this is will reach subsequent classes). Vance sharing his insights and portfolio is an excellent idea...peer pressure tends to make kids do strange things (...preaching to the choir...).--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 03:24, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Might I suggest something? Perhaps an impromptu "quiz" grade based on edits? I.E. you walk into class Monday, with the dictum that, as of Thursday, you will be grading their individual edits as a quiz grade. It may at least be amusing to see the sudden flurry of edits... Of course, I was one of the worst procrastinators in my class.Strombollii (talk) 05:03, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Also, have you had much parental fallout over the wiki project? I know it keeps coming up...Strombollii (talk) 05:04, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
A quiz grade based on edits... genius. I can see the horror on their faces now!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 15:10, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
The goal of course is not to make an example of them; however, I don't want to sugar-coat my response if they fail to address this project. Parental concerns are typically postmortem. If they get all A's; then everyone will be happy - if not - then I will be required to explain why. What I have yet to see this semester is a User:FoodPuma or User:NYMFan69-86 which can serve as an example for the others; hence the need to find Vance. Otherwise - the defense at home is "but mom - everyone failed!"--JimmyButler (talk) 19:06, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Currently, I am very busy in fourth period, however I will probably be able to come in as soon as marching band season ends (November). Until then, I will try to work with the people who actually make edits. If you can get them to make a few edits, maybe we can keep them online. I am willing to make tutorials, explain how to do things, etc. All the students need to do is ask. — Vancemiller (talk · contribs · count · email) 15:27, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry! I'm about 230 miles west freezing my a** off. Perhaps by Thanksgiving break I can visit and rile them up...but until than, Vance is more than capable.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 23:15, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Education news

UC Berkeley students help improve Wikipedia’s credibility. More education info here. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Nice read - The same motivation and inspiration that drives us here at the high school level. I tried to communicate the value of these types of projects to our technology guru's at the state department. To my disappointment - they've not responded. My hope is to someday work in concert with other high schools either in collaboration or friendly competition. Perhaps they are out there; but no one seems to be interested at the pre-collegiate level.--JimmyButler (talk) 01:41, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that is why I thought the article could be of use to you. UC Berkeley has a certain credibility to it and to present evidence that they are doing it may open some doors. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 02:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Ever since the start of this semester, I've given thought to trying to start a "wiki-club" or something here at UNCG. The problem lies, as always, in generating interest. Perhaps I could take the idea to a well respected department-head...I don't know. Croatan collaborating with other highschools would be excellent...imagine a world in which no AP Biology student has to write a research paper (...alone at least...)!!! NYMFan69-86 (talk) 02:35, 13 November 2010 (UTC)


Hittin' them hard with the reality stick, eh?--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 15:34, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, JimmyButler. You have new messages at NYMFan69-86's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 17:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


Little tunny reviewed. PR on either one will yield many content-related questions (inclusion of more "stuff" probably). Hope they're up to the task, fingers crossed.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 20:13, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Another questionable article

Genetic isolate--no sources, perhaps another merge with Allopatric speciation(?). It discusses the organism (the 'isolate'), but I'm not sure that deserves it's own article.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 04:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Also see this (Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Turtles) for an interesting discussion.--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 20:52, 21 December 2010 (UTC)


Greetings to you too! Hope you have a good one. And keep working on that Wikipedia article about yourself. SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 10:03, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Turtles

Well, it's been done. There's already been some discussion about how to reach out to AP Biology teachers!--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 17:31, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Need bodies

We have "plum" turtle articles that would be fun (and useful) for a student (or students) to take to GA. Looking to get a slew of GAs done. Got any resources to spare? Suggestions of how to advertise in general? We can set up a little architecture or process or something. (I mean still people get to learn by doing and no way we can make it completely cookie cutter, but we can have some "help".) Thoughts?TCO (talk) 05:18, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Work is getting done

There has been some edits lately, eh!? As I said on the project talk page about a week or so ago, I think to motivate the students to edit (in addition to what TCO said about getting them excited, more smaller grades should be given for their work, rather then one huge final grade. The latter is more of a collegiate thing, but this is an AP class so... NYMFan69-86 (talk) 18:53, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

The weekly requirement is key. Even in college, I learned way better from teachers that required homework, had quizzes, etc. The tendancy to have a midterm and a final be the only grades is more about taking load off of profs than about helping the students learn. Even old adults learn better with frequent feedback. Your weekly requirement is the key piece of the puzzle.TCO (talk) 19:18, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think this might be a step in the right direction. I may approach it next year by having the students follow a format similar to what is happen now for the first semester so they gradual immerse themselves into the process - then devote second semester to one or two articles. Perhaps general edits to reptiles, then adopt one or two specific titles (the salt marsh turtle?). Thank you for the guidance. --JimmyButler (talk) 12:52, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I think that would be an excellent way to do it. Come second semester you'll have them addicted! And I'll be here by then also (there really should be a wiki rehab...).--NYMFan69-86 (talk) 19:26, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
There is program that blocks access to your account. A self-imposed ban of sorts. I actually took a year enforced break after the Introduction to Evolution diabolical.--JimmyButler (talk) 19:43, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Rules are...guidance...

for other people. Face-wink.svg [9]

I look forward to the Diamondback terrapin; with so many premier examples of turtle articles to serve as our guide - it should be a rewarding experience for all involved. I'm making it my mission to find one - I have seen them at night while floundering. A terrific map; how challenging would it be to modify it to serve as the "standard" template for range maps for other species? --JimmyButler (talk) 23:27, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

1. DBT would be fun. Especially go find some park ranger or the like and do some collecting or photography in the field. Maybe learn about the tidal ecosystem in general.

2. Go for it, man! I hope you figure it out for the kids. You are such a good guy, they are so cool, etc. I kinda think that your idea of general contributions for a semester and then article work is the way to go. I would actually give them individual articles. I think a lot of the hesitancy is people "mom and popping" it. Like in volleyball, where people let the ball fall in between them. There's enough group work the first semester or even with the intrinsic structure of the Wiki. You can let them know what each other is workin in, keep a log of it or something. Allows them to help each other (ad hoc) or even just a bit of (gentle) peer pressure to perform. Like in the work world, when I have a team, I like to make each of them give a presentation to upper management (drives work)! It's life. They're coming into adulthood.

3. On the map, use whatever works. We actually got one (gentle) disagreement that we were not following the "rules". I think Wiki in general can be sometimes too simplistic on rules. It's a two edged sword. Certainly some rules are helpful, especially for people learning things. That said, I see things here that are clearly "off" wrt to real publications or real science (like the confusion of footnotes and endnotes). For a student, just learning to do ANY kind of footnotes or ANY kind of heirarchical essay arrangement, teh Wiki is a clear step up and useful. But just would be wary of following everything I do, if I'm pushing the boundaries, etc. Or getting too caught up in the minutia of format disagreements when there are soooooo many clear needs to be done on an article like DBT just in terms of basic content elaboration.

In terms of tactics for something like box turtle, the base map would be helpful, but need addition from lower in Mexico (to Yucatan). For DBT, you may be able to cut some of the west and Canada. Actually, my dirty little secret is that finding people that are good and are sympathetic and then being nice to them is key. There is just soooo much work to go around, that even if you are program managing these articles, finding ways to get experts involved and not learn everything yourself is key. IOW, kiss Fallshirmjaegar's butt and get him to help on the map (whatever format it is, e.g. Galapogaos was different than picta). You or your student still needs to be in charge of the process and know the range inside and out. FS can help a lot on format and production, but it needs a team to really get it right. And readers WILL notice if the text and map (and even refs) disagree. So important to be anal about consistency.

P.s. Go turtles! (that's a muscular looking UMD symbol)! (I admit to being intrigue enough to want to taste one as well...just curiousity...)


Could you give a review of state reptile please? TCO (talk) 04:05, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

check out this picture of the "plum"

[10] TCO (talk) 22:11, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Darwin section in Galapagos upgraded

Implimented your recommendations. Check it out. TCO (talk) 20:49, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

FAC Closed on Introduction to Evolution

Since the Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Introduction to evolution/archive1 has been archived (that is closed right?), do you think that I should try and address the issues brought up in the review, fix them, and attempt to put the article back up in 1-2 weeks (or as soon as I have everything done)? I was kind of surprised at how fast it was closed and archived, but I have never done one of these before so I do not know what the typical time span is. Also, one of the comments in the FAC recommended it go up for peer review again. I don't really think that would be necessary, because most of the stuff that needs to be immediately addressed was already brought up in the FAC nomination. Do you think it would need to go up again? Thanks for letting me know. --M rickabaugh (talk) 01:10, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Mark, perhaps we have offended someone with power - not sure who? FA typically remains open as long as the concerns are being addressed. Do not renominate - it will not go well. I have left messages on the talk pages of those who opposed requesting that they monitor our efforts to correct the problems "off the record". At such time they feel confident with a support hopefully they will inform. I will copy-paste the FA page to the article's talk page and we will address the concerns there. Sorry - don't be discouraged.--JimmyButler (talk) 02:53, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Hey guys, perhaps I can shed some light here. While good work is often accomplished at FACs, it's important to keep in mind that the purpose of an FAC is to identify featured articles rather than to produce them. When opposes trickle in, it's easy enough for the delegate to simply say "well, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and wait until this is addressed." However, several editors showed from the very beginning that there were significant issues with the article. In my opinion, there's no need for an immediate renomination nor for an official peer review. Just ask the editors who commented (such as myself) to have a look when you think you've addressed everything, and maybe try to find one uninvolved editor to take a look as well. I've gone ahead and moved my comments to the article talk page; I'll try to help you guys out however I can. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 03:01, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you have offended anybody; getting an article through FAC is a challenging task and the article needs to be in top form to survive. Let me know when you want some feedback. Regards, RJH (talk) 14:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
The other issue is that FAC's been quite backlogged and short of reviewers lately, so the delegates are quicker to archive a nom with multiple opposes. That's why this went so quickly. Nikkimaria (talk) 14:54, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Noted. It just seemed a tad abrupt... it closed as the concerns were being addressed. Few articles are promoted without extensive editing for it is at this level that they receive intense scrutiny. The concerns raised here were relatively minor. The lead - the biggest challenged has been reduced. The prose has been subjective to exhaustive review and should be exceptional. The criticism centered around the newly added section on genetic drift. Thus I assumed the vast majority of the article was sound. I am wondering if there was some aspect to formatting (perhaps citations) that caused for an automatic fail? No matter. This is a better approach - a sort of practice FA without the intensity and harshness that often befalls articles of this nature. Thank you for your willingness to provide feedback. Hopefully all of your concerns will be addressed. Cheers --JimmyButler (talk) 15:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you for your work on the lead and the remainder of the article. However, when I read it, I still keep stumbling over the sentence that reads, "The biodiversity of life evolves by means of mutation, genetic drift and natural selection". My first concern is that the jargon term "biodiversity" is partly redundant with "life". It could just as easily say: "The diversity of life", yet mean the same thing. Second, it is introducing terminology that has not yet been explained. I think the reader needs a transition to indicate that this will be clarified later in the text. For example, "The diversity of life evolves through interacting processes termed mutation, genetic drift and natural selection." But it is your call, of course. Thank you. Regards, RJH (talk) 17:54, 10 April 2011 (UTC)


Hey Mr. Butler!
Long time no talk, huh? I thought it appropriate to message you on here rather than email you since this is the first time I've logged on in... I don't remember when! I hate to say it, but after glancing over the most recent Wikipedia project (and your "show at own risk" aka the piss bucket) I'm extremely disappointed at what such a promising idea (I think at least) has come to. I don't have much time to write at the moment, but I'll try to get in contact with you in the near future (have a developmental biology exam tomorrow morning and I've started work in a metagenetics lab... researching plants no less - yuck! - so that takes up most of my afternoons) and maybe brainstorm some solutions to the problem of getting your students motivated to work on these articles. I know that it can be extremely challenging to spend hours editing when the article is of little to no interest to one's self, so perhaps that is where we could start. I'm also willing to offer my services to any of your future students, however limited and haphazard my schedule is. Any ways, off to read about xenopus/chick/mouse embryos!

Best wishes, Max Rose

Hey Mr. Butler!

Kitten (06) by Ron.jpg

I hope you like cats. Wikipedia = the new facebook! Yaaay.

Imthebombliketicktick (talk) 14:39, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

As an educator

you might understand why Miss Little was going to fail me 6th grade because I did not get through the spelling book, part of the requirement for passing. As an educator you will probably also understand why Miss Little, realizing that if she did fail me, would get me for another year, passed me anyway. My spelling still sucks, so thanks for backstopping me at Douglas Tilden. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 18:46, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

I had a student fail my class five times. I guess he was Curious George and I was the man with the yellow hat.--JimmyButler (talk) 12:16, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

There are (opinion) many worse role models. Carptrash (talk) 14:34, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

I took a moment to lurk on your page... the interviews were very insightful. I try to "warn" my students of the politics and personalities of Wikipedia; however, until you invest yourself into an article, it is difficult to understand. I will share the video and your insights in class. Also... it was Mrs. McGowan... a wretched old lady in 7th grade screeching "a rat" "a rat" sep a rat e. It is the only word for which the spelling I am confident.--JimmyButler (talk) 16:26, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

You found my secret life. How about George Evans Old Grandmother Rode A Pig Home Yesterday? Sill with me after half a century (or more). Carptrash (talk) 16:28, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Project Discussion Page

Hello Mr. Butler, I have just one question about the Project Discussion page. I added a section on it because I needed to get in touch with all class mates at once. I hope that it's okay that I edited our page! If you like I can take it down and post it elsewhere. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marissa927 (talkcontribs) 00:53, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the Project Discussion Page is the appropriate place to discuss issues regarding the project. All of you are monitoring it via your watchlist... right~?--JimmyButler (talk) 21:13, 10 October 2011 (UTC)


Hey. I'm glad to see your class's project is moving along well. I made a change to your class's talk page banner and removed the thumbnail border to streamline it like most other banners. If you disagree my change was for the better then just revert me. Also, If you would rather there only be one template with variables to just change the year portion let me know. Ie: {{Template:APBiology|Year=2011}} I would be willing to code that for you. cheers --Guerillero | My Talk 05:25, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your time and effort. My skills are limited... usually consisting of copy/paste - what I want then tweaking so my info fits. Primitive at best; thus, your improvements are more than welcome. If we can get a version of the template that has a date variable that might eliminate the need of generating a "trail" of templates through time that too would be appreciated!--JimmyButler (talk) 11:52, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I am testing out the 2010 set right now. and its looking good so far. --Guerillero | My Talk 20:51, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
The template is good until the fall of 2014. In addition I worked the FA template into it. I am going to write up the documentation tonight and that should tell you how everything works. Thanks for letting me do this. --Guerillero | My Talk 04:05, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I saw where you were required to make adjustments on numerous location, no doubt much time and energy was invested. For this we are grateful. --JimmyButler (talk) 11:43, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Diamondback terrapin

Hello. Sorry to hear the diamondback terrapin is not suitable for the students task. It's rare to find duplicate topics on Wikipedia and less so with lots of references. Earlier this year, I did a shortlist of potential turtle articles that would be good GA candidates. The list was/is

I understand that many of those topics will be over sourced already to be suitable for student work, but maybe some are suitable such as Florida softshell turtle, Blanding's turtle and Yellow-bellied slider. Those three are all North America turtles and would seem on the face of it appropriate candidates for student work. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 20:45, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I will recommend that the student review the list. The advantage of the turtle theme is the concrete examples for FA. There also Ernst - a definitive resource on the subject.--JimmyButler (talk) 19:20, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Ernst's books "Turtles of the United States and Canada" and "Turtles of the World" are great. Sadly I don't have access to either copy myself. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 19:53, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Spotted eagle ray

On another subject User:Marissa927 has said that for the spotted eagle ray lacks enough resources/references available for a credible GA. Is this your view or hers? I somewhat feel it's possible to get it to GA, but not to FA, I could be wrong and of course the AP Biology course has a different purpose then a Wikipedia GA. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 20:44, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I did a scholar search with Google. It turned up some informative books. If the article is comprehensive and represents the information that is available, then I am fine with the outcome. FA is not the end goal, but hopefully the outcome of a quality portfolio. I suspect we will advance only one article of the four from each group. I think they should stick with it.--JimmyButler (talk) 19:18, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, seems User:Marissa927 has decided to continue with it. I've found a book from 1953 called "Fishes of the western North Atlantic, part 2", of which pages 453-461 deal in detail about the spotted eagle ray, pretty decent source even if some parts (naming, conservation) are dated. Together with the IUCN source, meeting broad coverage seems straight forward. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 20:11, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

AP Biology 2011 Navigation and latest edits

I have created the navigation box above. It's called {{AP Biology 2011}}. You may like to use it yourself and share with your students. I leave that up to you. Of note is the latest edits option at the bottom. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:20, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

This is SO cool, very nice SunCreator. NYMFan69-86 (talk) 21:31, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
I have changed my topic to Hippocampus Reidi, or the Longsnout Seahorse (which actually is different from the Long-snouted Seahorse, or the Hippocampus guttulatus). How do I edit the display you made for jimmybutler to add my new page? I don't want to lose help! Thank you.(LittleCass 17:20, 27 October 2011 (UTC)) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Littlecass (talkcontribs)
Click the e buttion, in top left with v.d.e to edit the template. Simply replace 'Long-snouted seahorse' (about 12th line down), with your new subject. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:45, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! (LittleCass 20:36, 31 October 2011 (UTC)) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Littlecass (talkcontribs)

My bite can often be worse than my bark

I'm amazed you haven't warned your students off me, as my bite can often be worse than my bark. ;-) [11] Malleus Fatuorum 02:33, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Bite?.... I've convinced them that's the nature of "peer review". If they have self-esteem issues they are definitely in the wrong place. Lord knows I have been humbled on many occasions. As all ways... thanks for making this project a bit more exciting. --JimmyButler (talk) 11:47, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
As you obviously know, I've been looking at two of your students' articles at peer review, the ray and the quoll. I've corrected bits and pieces on both, but I'm conscious that the body of the work ideally ought to come from the students themselves. So I just came by to say that if you think I overstep the mark as to what they should do or I just do, or you think I treat any of your students a little too roughly, just say so. I'm not the ogre I'm painted here. Malleus Fatuorum 02:16, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion for intermediate early phase

If you continue this good tradition with article writing, one suggestion for intermediate tasks would be to add something to Croatan High School and Newport, North Carolina. For example, both articles have a severe lack of illustrations. --Ettrig (talk) 11:45, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it is rather sad. The school and county have informative sites; however, Wikipedia still comes up on a general google search. Honestly, you would think the computer tech experts at central services would be all over that. I will bring it up, although I am anxiously awaiting efforts on their adopted topics.--JimmyButler (talk) 22:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
At this stage, I find this class more vigorous than the predecessors. Congratulations! --Ettrig (talk) 14:39, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
There may be merit to the incremental approach or perhaps last years tragic outcome serves as a catalyst. Who knows, but I agree, they seem to be investing that highly valued commodity.... time! --JimmyButler (talk) 00:17, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Richard Dawkins

Hi, read your user page, and in fact Dawkins had a username here and did edit for a bit but not very sucesfully. Factoid for you from the endless amazing world of the web, and best. Ceoil (talk) 02:36, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

On Wikipedia, all are created equal. For experts contributing to an article, this view may prove problematic. Consensus building requires patience, which I suspect would be a challenge to those accustomed to their views carry weight because of a title. Thanks for the info. --JimmyButler (talk) 00:17, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Hes a very cranky individual at the best of times. I like his work and have read most of the books, but...not a man I'd go for a pint with. Ceoil (talk) 10:15, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Have you seen this?

If you get a second, this was a pretty interesting read. --Yohmom (talk) 18:12, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

A second? ... lots of opinions to be found there. I read enough to have my feelings hurt. Although who are all these high schools, I would love to network with them. Other than our brief encounter with JBMurray, its been rather lonely out here--JimmyButler (talk) 20:22, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I find that page extreamly sad. I have a tremendous amount of hope wrapped up with students. Also, I do not get the point that using the community's resources is "trampling" the community. The only people who can write a GA or FA with no outside assistance have gone through the process 5, 10, or 15 times. (Quoll's GA review was picked up a day or so ago. You couldn't ask for a better reviewer.) --Guerillero | My Talk 00:09, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Hang on man!

I was looking for your email to send you a message. Please don't be down. I think you make a perfect balance of student/teacher/Wiki interests. And just make it work. Love the comments on page about helping the kids, but not doing all the work. Love how you don't ask people to change Wiki policies...just interact nicely.

And I think you do a great job of coaching the kids. they are all extremely pleasant in demeanor (not fresh or cheeky or cynical). Actually they are cute as kittens!

Don't sweat Sandy. She's about 90% right in terms of WMF (they are charging off, messing things up...and a lot of THEM lack editing experience's Dilbert stuff). That said she also is doing nothing pro-actively to grow her shop and seems resigned, perhaps even invites being smaller and smaller. Finding reviewers is not THAT hard. Every editor of a science magazine pulls it off. Yeah it is work to do a good review (or a copyedit). But putting in the content is a heck of a lot of work too. definitely more than doing a review.

You are doing fine, man. Just keep up with what you are doing. I find that with Sandy it is easier if you just don't bother trying to convince her. Do what you think is good and right, how you think is good and right. And don't search for some validation. She will leave you be. She has people that are way more diametrically opposite to her views.

(For administrator Material Scientist, yeah...I said I would not IP edit, but this was an emergency. Have to reach out when someone good is feeling down. If you need to block my IP, block it. Or if you need to unblock TCO, unblock TCO. I just couldn't let Jimmy feel like this. He needs to put his email on his page. hint hint.  ;))

P.s. Go turtles, go elements. (talk) 23:37, 19 November 2011 (UTC) TCO (soon to have a blocked IP)

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I've dappled in Wikipedia long enough to know all editors are not created equal, especially in their influence over policy and procedure - so I will tread lightly in the political arena. Passive Aggression - ummmm a very dangerous game for me to be playing. I was surprised, that all did not share in my pride for student accomplishment - especially the first FA, which was in fact a medical article written by a brilliant and obsessed student who is now in Pre-Med at a top university. I can't image what is going to happen on our first FA attempt this year - should we be brave enough to attempt one. However, there are solid points to both perspectives with educational projects such as this. I can see the challenge if indeed, teachers are dumping large groups with a demand to attempt an FA. Clogging the system; especially in the back-logged GA and FA would be most frustrating. I've given it thought and have decided to modify my project to reduce that concern. I plan to add one hurdle before attempting GA, which will be a Teacher Review. It can come before or after peer review - no matter there. However, before overwhelming the system, I can at least weed out some of the more obvious non-sense. Checking for alignment of references, reasonable citation format, adequate content, copy/vio, and accuracy of content - the things that go beyond grammatical concerns. This should eliminate the concern that I am pawning off my responsibilities. The only down side to this is of course, a college professor with a large class can not do this - and have a life. However, there is the option of forming groups and reducing the number of articles. Also, the portfolio approach we use allows students to make an "A" without attempting either GA or FA. Grading the effort, not the product eliminates the weakest from throwing a "hail Mary pass" in hopes of a touch down that will never happen. Also, they understand that if FA is achieved on the backs of others, then it adds nothing but negatives to the portfolio. All that said, I need to remind myself that the time I spend politicking, is time that could have been spent editing - remind me of that next time you see the fur flying! Cheers. --JimmyButler (talk) 21:51, 20 November 2011 (UTC) PS, I went to preferences, inserted an email and checked all the relevant boxes; hopefully I am now available via email.--JimmyButler (talk) 21:51, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

GA does not have much backlog for the natural sciences. You're fine there. (talk) 06:33, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Oh No! Nerd Talk!

Mr. Butler, I was so graciously given an article on the quoll that I can show you today in class. I got through the first page with a bit of a struggle, but still managed to take good notes. Then, the second page came along. It's like reading alien. So many technical terms are used I can barely understand the point that they are trying to get across. If you could look at it today, that would be amazing. thanks! :) Savetheoceans (talk) 13:27, 22 November 2011 (UTC)


I thought you may be interested, if it's not been mentioned already, that your class seems to be mentioned on page 88 of this opinion piece. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 18:24, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

I think the appropriate response is "w00t". Der Elbenkoenig (talk) 02:07, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
I was a high school wrestler. Team had t-shirts made up that said "It is better to have wrestled than lost...than to have played basketball." Of course, given a lot of us were shorties...  ;) RetiredUser12459780 (talk) 02:43, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
  • You were doing fine until "your timing was impeccable"; that one's likely to come back to bite you in the butt, so you might want to come up with an explanation sooner rather than later. JimmyButler, are we here to work transparently towards improvements to articles, or to promote individual egos and agendas behind closed doors? I know where I stand, and so does anyone who has ever worked with me. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:11, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
I've read my response above with care. Other than my own criticism of my passive aggression - referring to my posting on the talk with FA and GA list and the subsequent banter - a bit arrogant on my part, I see nothing that I intended to be harsh. Appreciation for the moral support at a time that I was clearly disappointed by lack of positive response by such an influential editor is what I had hoped to convey. Their encouragement was truly "impeccable timing". That is my explanation; which I gladly share in order to diffuse any misconception of what I might feel or think. My agenda was to seek solutions to the concerns you raised. That should be apparent from the dialog on Mike's page. If you see insult within my post, I am truly sorry. I didn't read any insult into the assessment of your views of Wikipedia and Education Projects that was posted by others on my page. Nor anything wrong with suggesting in the post what you make clear above - people know where you stand and you are not the type to be underhanded ("nothing to fear"). We will be pulling out of Wikipedia in January. I will remain off the discussion pages and focus all my energies on the student's efforts. For many reasons (not specific to this current concern), this is the projects last year. So please accept my apology and I will soon drop off the radar. --JimmyButler (talk) 07:40, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
On a more positive note, and the reason I crawled out of bed at 2:00 AM. I had a stroke of brilliance - that damn ego. I was thinking of adding a section on the Project Page where students post what they have learned from copy-edits by others. Malleus has endless list of C/E and I'm not certain the students are reviewing them adequately. Therefore, the students have to add tips to a special section on the project page, where they state what they learned along with posting the differences. For example.
  • All scientific names must be in italics, as I learned here: (link to difference in the actual article). (name of student).
  • There should not be a space between the period and the reference code. It should be this.<ref.... Not this. <ref... (link to difference in the actual article)(Name of student)

If the student has a history of numerous copy edits on their article (most do); then the list has to reflect that. If they fail to do this, it will be obvious in the interview. "You have 28 edits in a row by editor Malleus; yet you've identified nothing on "The List" so that others can learn from your mistake. This = massive point deductions. "Oh they were just careless errors". Which I would respond "Gross negligence - forcing others to clean up your mess... point off" I'm thinking to not include rephrasing, as technically there is no error there, rather a matter of the best way to express an idea. But grammar and errors in Wikipedia Policy should definitely be listed. The outcome - maybe - would include: 1) A reduction in repeat errors. 2)The obvious gain in knowledge by the student 3)Evidence to the collaborators that there hard work is not in vain and we take their effort seriously 4)A reduction in careless mistakes - such as spelling errors. I am certain the students would rather get it right the first time to avoid their having to edit "The List". I suspect this would be even more effective at the college level as a Teacher Tool - assuming they care about their grade and ego.--JimmyButler (talk) 07:40, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, I'm mostly concerned that your response to me asking for some hard data (numbers, ratios) on how to make the dysfunctional parts of the program function better was to say to TCO that you had no idea how to make collaborations work better. I only asked for data :) It's not really that hard, is it, to give us data so we can determine if the other classes are overstretching? No, the students generally don't review and don't engage-- I just finally went ahead and made the corrections myself to klazomania after offering to help and not hearing from the students for nine days, knowing they are likely to procrastinate and expect me to be available to help when I'm skiing next week (students being students). So, how did you get compliance from your students? I imagine being actively engaged with them (and not having hundreds of them at a time) has to have been a factor. There are ideas you can contribute that will help guide the WMF away from whatever it is that is going wrong, and TCO's efforts to undermine good writers on Wikipedia certainly won't help improve matters. You are the one who said it was "your dream"-- if that's the case, you can bring more to bear on the topic. From my point of view, every time I engage outside of top content, I encouter trolls, bottom dwellers, POV pushers, and the generally clueless about how things work on Wikipedia, so I don't pretend that students expanding stubs will typically make it to the FA or GA level, but I still think you should be in a position to contribute some helpful ideas so the WMF will get themselves back on track and stop creating so much work for the rest of us. But TCO seems determined to hurry along the downfall of the working parts of Wikipedia, so it won't matter much in the long run anyway-- we can just abandon the thing to the bottom dwellers now :) Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 07:59, 24 November 2011 (UTC)


I replied to your notes at my talk page, but wanted to add a comment about indenting -- it's something I see very experienced Wikipedia editors get wrong, and since I saw your indents not working properly I thought you might like a bit of technical info on how it works. When you indent with asterisks and colons, the display software expects you to exactly duplicate what the previous editor did, and then put either an asterisk or colon next. For example, if a comment in a thread starts with ":::*", then you should indent your comment with either ":::*:" or ":::**" depending on whether you want a bullet or not. If you do anything else the software gets confused, and you may end up with multiple bullets. The software also forgets about previous indentations if there is a blank line, so if you're in the middle of a conversation don't put blank lines in to separate paragraphs -- that can mess up the indenting too. I hope this is useful; and thanks again for sharing your experiences at my talk page. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 04:05, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

A good day for Croatan

Your students have had a good day, two GAs. Whatever you decide to do with the project next year the content they've provided with your encouragement will remain for the long-term benefit of others. Malleus Fatuorum 19:51, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, in both cases I feel the reviewers were extremely talented and the GA designation has merit. They were somewhat disappointed that this is the end of the line. My work schedule is all consuming and I am now hyper-sensitive to the need for me to monitor students efforts on Wikipedia. FA efforts would require more extensive monitoring and I fear we may serve as an example of education projects gone wild if the students push without maximum guidance. They could pursue such a goal on their own time - but without the grade incentive it is unlikely. I would like to think the "Teacher Review" and the "Listing of Errors from c/e"; will help in reducing the amount of trash that shows up for GA and thus the amount of time wasted by those willing to help. Time will tell. --JimmyButler (talk) 20:28, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it's unfortunate that you feel you've got caught up in a spat over educational projects that had absolutely nothing to do with the way you were running yours and everything to do with the swamping of the project by completely unmonitored students chiefly from India; anyone looking at the record of achievement of your AP Biology students could hardly fail to see the difference. As for FA, even I (there's arrogance for you) sometimes think that's a mountain too craggy to scale, and I've written more than a few articles that I will never take to FAC because I think they're good enough, fit for purpose, and there would be rapidly diminishing returns. Anyway, I'll miss you and your students next year. Malleus Fatuorum 22:05, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I'm having to return to teaching driver's education next semester, which adds six hours to my work day and kills my Saturdays. I actually agree with Sandy, if the teachers can not invest the time; then it is unfair to place the burden of over-sight on the community. If the planets are in alignment - I plan to retire in June. I really would like to lay the ground work for our AP English teacher to pick-up and improve where I left off; with a similar setting, manageable class sizes and the same type of students I work with plus the added bonus of being able to spell! I would love to work with such a group from my home, by the fire, in my slippers, and a mug of ale. --JimmyButler (talk) 23:47, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Jimmy, thanks for the note on my talk page. I agree with Malleus; I've much less knowledge of the work you've done than he has, but he's right that all the complaining you've run into was not (or at least should not have been) directed at you. Your classes are a model for how these things should work. In fact, you're a better model than jbmurray, since in his case he ran into a gaggle of content editors looking for someone to help. You had no such organized posse, but the talent you attracted to help you is a credit to you and your students. I'm very sorry to hear you're not going to be back next year, and I hope you can make it back here in the future, with or without your students. Thanks, too, for all the helpful comments on my talk page; I still have hopes of persuading the WMF to modify their plans for the USEP, and the more you can help inform those of us who hope to debate those plans, the better off we'll be. Thanks again. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:56, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
The projects going great. Most students are doing much excellent work. There is not a requirement for a teacher review, this is really not necessary, the GA process always copes because it is scalable and at this point there is no backlog in any topic areas. The FA process may not, but pandering to the odd comment about review I think is an over reaction. Yes, an extra review is nice but not necessary and it would be good to step back and not overload yourself as a teacher. Burnout is more an issue then some minor wiki drama. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 13:22, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

I think I support the teacher review. I am paid to monitor student progress - it is part of the job description. It is not an option for a large class; however, "dumping" large groups (even if they are well-behaved)is a legitimate concern to those that sponsor education projects. It also resolves some of the concerns raised by parents over student's success depending on support of others. The students accept the out-come, parents are more apt to challenge grades. I can now provide a concrete example where I was directly involved. I do tend to look for ways to appease, I hate confrontation; however, I hope I'm not pandering, but rather adapting!!--JimmyButler (talk) 02:16, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Hog Island sheep Teacher Review

Would you Teacher Review Hog Island sheep? It's been PR'd by one person, and I addressed most of his suggestions. Der Elbenkoenig (talk) 16:12, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Consider it done... no really ... it's done.--JimmyButler (talk) 20:21, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
A couple of things are also on the PR. --Yohmom (talk) 01:34, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Teacher Review Please

Would you please Teacher Review the Greater Scaup? With the guidance of Malleus, the reference section has been sorted out. I also added the new range map and a few pictures.--Haydenowensrulz (talk) 00:14, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Take a look at....

this month's queue for the mainpage, specifically December 2.... ;) Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:39, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

From our first year; thanks for sharing. Macaroni Penguin--JimmyButler (talk) 13:00, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

meta thoughts on GEP, educators using Wiki

I left a post here with some thoughts on educators on Wiki. [12] Love to get your feedback and interaction. My thoughts are more from talkpage stuff and the interactions I've had with you and NYM. You have great experience (and I know you have shared it...just trying to squeeze a little more).

TCO (talk) 02:42, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

P.s. You have 2 GAs so far. IEP with 800 kids, produced one. I do think GA is not an unreasonable aspiration. Malleus is amazing and probably needed for FA to have a chance. But for GA, I think your students, you, augmented by "lesser Malleus's" can get 'em done. -TCO

I read the page. I assume this is the project in India which generated the backlash over Educational Projects in general. I shall re-frame from comment there, I think the quickest path to burn-out is involving myself in what amounts to Wikipedia politics. I do agree with your post, that it is best to be selective when developing such partnerships. In that regard, I'll take it a step further by saying the optimum alliance may not be at the college level. College students are the ultimate procrastinators and college professors (in general) are focused on research and publishing; thus students receive minimal assistance and over-sight. AP classes and other such honor courses at the high school level are typically monitored by instructors whose job is only to teach. I can't see college professors investing hours on a student assignment, much less monitoring an individual student's progress. In fact, I doubt that many know the names of their students. It's the nature of that level of academia and class size. At the high school level, we not only know them - we are held accountable for their success or failure. The Wikipedia Project is merely shifting the hours grading traditional papers to monitoring and grading Wiki-articles. I think the WMF is courting the wrong group. I guess they suffer from image insecurities (Wikipedia edited by high school students). They both over-estimate college students and under-estimate the commitment of high school teacher's to engaging with their students to assure a general sense of success. There are at least a dozen teachers at my school who could repeat my efforts with even greater success. They would just need initial guidance on expectations of the members of education projects. For example: Topic selection, as you pointed out, is an area where the experience of editors involved in such projects would be valuable. What to avoid, what areas generate the highest amounts of collaboration, etc. For Education projects to be successful, they need clear guidelines defining the role of the teacher and students specific to this unique form of collaboration. Anyway... I told my students that we should stay off such discussion pages and focus our energies on improving articles.
I have asked this question several locations and have received no answer. Are there other high school teachers doing anything similar? What a thrill it would be to exchange experiences and insights.--JimmyButler (talk) 23:43, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Someone should have been on a plane to go and pick your brain, years ago. (I mean literally. [Well, the interview travel, not literally opening up your skull.] In the corporate world, I would just do it. Beach is still warm for another few days.) They could talk to you, talk to some other teachers, talk to some administrators and the NEA/AFT/AP providers and just scope something out. Then pitch it.

I think topics like AP Bio, AP Art History, AP History (but emphasizing micro topics and geography), not calculus, MAYBE Chemistry would be very amenable to a mass program. The learning is NOT on the actual topic so much. But that the student learns how to do citations and not plagiarize and organize thoughts and write a bit and work with adults and all. It is really around the "doing the research paper", not so much the course material content (but we find a way to make it related). And it doesn't even matter so much if Wiki emphasizes some subjects more than others. As the idea is participation and if you get a kid from AP Bio...and he sticks, he may write about other topics later.

Yes, I agree there is a false glamor of college students and perhaps even more enjoyment in flir...socializing with older young adults (the whole fluffy Campus Ambassador spokesmodel buzz). But I think their program would have more impact if they tried to grow something off of what you have done.

Yeah, stay out of the Wiki politics. I feel bad enough as it is for what has gone down. You are a trooper.

TCO (talk) 23:53, 4 December 2011 (UTC)