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Memories of the Green Bay Packers at 92 (and in the Super Bowl); Jerry Bonk (dad) at 80; Richard Bonk (bro) at 46; and other cold January news...
Monday, January 24, 2011
Some January news (it is PACKED):

It is January 25th, 2011. I am about to post about news related to my Web course and videos for teaching online and then I remember that the clock has just pushed past midnight. And now it is my brother Richard's 46th birthday. More importantly, it would have been my father's birthday as well. He would have been 80. Dad (Jerry Bonk; also Jerome Anthony Bonk or JABO) died of pancreatic cancer back on July 27, 1995 (the same day that the Korean War Memorial was dedicated in father fought in the Korean War and my son Alex is from Korea and many of my closest friends are from Korea)...That was 1995, but it seems like just ysterday.

I did not cry much as his funeral as I had to give the eulogy. It was a poem about his life and his grandkids. But I am crying now as I did not realize that it was his 80th bday until a minute ago. A moment of sadness.

My father was a caring, brilliant, and funny person. He worked very hard to raise 5 children. More specifically, he worked for AT&T in Milwaukee his entire life as an engineer and later an accountant (my former profession). He went to night school at Marquette to get his degree. He was happy when I decided to leave West Virginia University in the summer of 1992 and come to Indiana University since the School of Education (where I now work) had significant funding from AT&T to be a demonstration site for technology in education. The building opened up (came on-line) when I arrived in late August 1992. It is still a rather fascinating place in which to work. Now more than 18 years later, it has had some remodeling during the past year to make it even better. It is a fun place to work.

Back to my father...What my dad (Jerry) really liked was football; and the Green Bay Packers were his team (and mine). I am sure he loved the outcome of the Packer-Bears game yesterday (21-14 Packers) from wherever vantagepoint he had. We watched the Pack win the first two Super Bowls in the front room of our house back when I was quite young. And a year or two later, he took me to a game at Milwaukee County Stadium (which was a few miles from our house) in the freezing cold; this was decades ago when they still played in Milwaukee and had Carole Dale at wide receiver, Ray Nitschke (#66) at middle linebacker, and the fantabulous Bart Starr at quarterback. There is no way I could go at such temperatures today--I shake in the cold too much.

Getting tickets was a rarity (it still is, by the way). When we could not get tickets and they were playing in town, my dad (i.e., Jerry) would take me to a pub a few miles west of our house in West Allis, Wisconsin (head down Cleveland Avenue a few blocks and then take a left on National Avenue a few miles over to neighboring New Berlin (where my great uncles once had farms side-by-side). This was way out actually and near the city of Waukesha. It was high up on a hill so that they would get reception). My best friend in the old neighborhood, Mark Perry, read this blog post and just sent me an email. He thinks it was Prospect Hill Tap or Pub and I think he is right (Google says it is at 19745 W National Ave; still there perhaps after all these years and a YouTube video I found has people playing acordians there just like my father would have). Not sure if that is from the pub but you will get a sense of the place. (Thanks least your brain cells are still intact unlike mine!)

I remember one game sipping some 7-up or sprite at that pub and a rookie named Travis Williams from Arizona State returned the opening kick-off 87 yards for a touchdown. After three more scores by Green Bay, he repeated the feat again (after the Cleveland Browns had scored) wtih an 85 yard run for a TD. It was 35-7 at the end of the first quarter on way to a 55 to 7 Packer victory. I think that was the first time it ever happened and I was able to see it sitting there in the pub. This was November 12, 1967. Two months and 2 days later, the Packers would beat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II 33-14 (January 14, 1968). My father was extremely happy with each score.

A few years later, my dad would install his dream...a huge residential TV antenna tower (in cement) so that we could pick up Packer games from across Lake Michigan. This was well before cable TV and now Direct TV. I think my dad would spend a hour or so positioning the antenna in a certain direction to pick up the game. And when he did get it in, it was often quite fuzzy, but we did not mind and would watch it. No high-dev (HD) TV stations back then. To get these games, I think dad would try to get Muskegon, Michigan, though sometimes it was Traverse City (Note: back then the games in Milwaukee were blacked out...they were definitely not on Chicago TV unless it was Da Bears in town). This was such a super structure, my friends and I used to climb on it. I am surprised none of us ever fell off and died. But it was useful for avoiding getting tagged or tackled.

Well, nomatter that silly tower (which by the way, no longer exists), dad would definitely have watched the big game this past Sunday. And he would not have been alone despite the weather best friends, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, and I would have been there to watch it with him. Many of them looked up to him as their surrogate father. Undoubtedly, he would have had a smoke and a beer or two or three or four near the end of it. But he would have been happy and so would all of his kids. A game of pool after? Of course!

It was a quite memorable game. Let's hope that they can beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl in two weeks. Happy birthday Jerry Bonk. It is not everyday one turns 80 and your team is headed to the Super Bowl.

And my brother Richard (Bonk) has been texting me all day yesterday and today so I know he is happy too. Happy 46th bday Richard. Perhaps you can once again find some Super Bowl tickets, but this time take me richie Rich.

====================================== I should post what I intended to post tonight and go to bed. online R685 course this spring on my World is Open book and the Web 2.0 is now 51 pages. My goodness. Everything is a hotlink. Check it out. I mean at 51 pages, can pretty much count on everything to be there. At the same time, in 15-20 months, it will be long past its prime.

There is a tad more department (Instructional Systems Technology) published a news story on my 27 videos on teaching online (e.g., planning for an online coure, using blogging and wikis, giving feedback, handling plagiarism, creating community, etc.). Here it is: IST News, Announcing the V-PORTAL…”Video Primers in an Online Repository for e-Teaching and Learning." IST professor’s Book, School of Education, Indiana University, January 21, 2011.

In addition, my dean's office has decided on a farily liberal Creative Commons license for them…allowing corporate people or anyone to use pieces and remix them (and even sell them). These videos are available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0.

Remember you can find these videos in a portal from the Instructional Consulting office at IU. They also have links to additional resources, a color PDF copy of the PowerPoint slides used in each of the 27 shows. (Firefox preferred and will play faster).

For faster access, watch them in my TravelEdMan YouTube Channel (use any browser).

p.s. Happy bday dad and Richard. Despite the cold, it is a wonderful week in which to have a birthday. Go Pack. (Yes, that Brett Farve Vikings jersey is still here but I am not wearing it....not this month or the next one anyway.)

p.s.s. Great quote today from my Dalai Lama daily calendar, "We need to embrace the oneness of humanity and show concern for everyone--not just my family or my country or my continent." (so I guess that means I can like the Indy Colts as well as the Packers...and perhaps even the Vikings when Farve is playing.)
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 9:01 PM  
  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    A beautiful post Curt. Moving. I have been trying to decide whether to go back to the UK next week to see my Dad while I am on semester break. He is having chemo again for his leukemia and so is not in great shape.

    Your post just about sealed the deal for me as I weighed up the costs and time away from my two lovely daughters (6 months and 4 years). Wish i could take them too but it would all be a bit much for him I think.

    So I guess I will go online and book some flights. Chance to see family - Mum, Sisters and nieces and nephews should not be missed. I also get to see another sister in March in Melbourne when I go to Global Learn and catch up with you there face to face.

    Go Packers! (A Brit who does understand 'football' as well as soccer)

  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    Hey Dr. Curt

    Why not offer the course as a MOOC?

    I am sure there would be loads of takers - especially knowing your amazing social network and reach.

    Might be interesting for the 'for credit' students to interact with the 'Open & Online' cohort.

    Just an idea, following the work of those Canadians!!! ;-)

  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Yakking Away said…

    a very touching read!

    p.s: like the dalai lama's quote :)

  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger Editor Max said…

    Dads will always be dads... made me think of my dad today as well.

  • At 5:40 AM, Blogger Marcus Perrius said…

    Thanks for the props, Curt. Your memory is still pretty sharp, too, recounting Travis Williams games from 40-some years ago.

  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger Katrina said…

    Such a good memory Curt! Happy delayed B-day to your father and your brother!

  • At 4:09 PM, Blogger Katrina said…

    It's such a good memory Curt! Delayed happy b-day to your dad and your brother! Will watch the superball this Sunday.

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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