kevin lawver on sxsw

For those of you who couldn’t make it to SXSW, the fabtabulous Kevin Lawver has gathered summary notes for fost of the panel discussions.
Aside: If you see more strange typos here than usual, it’s because I got a new keyboard at work. My Home/End/Delete/Insert/PgUp/PgDn keys have all moved around (a la Greywolf here). So random letters may end up missing during an adjustment period. Consider yourself forewarned.

back from sxsw, candy bars

Just got back from SXSW. A lovely experience, as always. Seemed a bit more muted in some ways, but that’s probably just my arteries hardening and my youth disappearing.
For those interested: has assembled all the stories that won the National Awards for Education Reporting. In case you (somehow!) missed all those links the first time around on
A Century of Candy Bars: An Analysis of Wrapper Design: Proof that master’s theses need not address issues of global import.

tanzanian teachers with aids

For those who followed my stories about AIDS’ impact on Zambia‘s educational system: This story from Tanzania.
“HIV/AIDS is also a major cause of absenteeism and has affected the provision of education in various ways. First, experienced teachers are dying in droves. Tanzania’s Education Minister Joseph Mungai recently announced that more than 140,000 teachers had died of AIDS-related diseases in the past two decades
“This attrition and absenteeism due to illness has increased workloads on the other teachers. ‘I am teaching Kiswahili and mathematics and I have 16 periods a week,’ a female, Grade A teacher in Ludewa urban district said. ‘In the classes that I teach, there are between 120 and 150 pupils. This is a very unsatisfactory situation.'”

nyc teaser

Another travel alert: Turns out I will be in New York in a couple weeks, from March 23 through 26. (Amusingly enough, an NYU professor/ reader has asked me to speak to her writing class. Little does she know that this blog is actually written by seven poorly-paid Cambodian day-laborers. I am, in fact, functionally illiterate.)
Any NYC readers of el crabwalko who may wish to share a meal or beverage should make contact through any of the various well-established methods.

my cell phone

A pre-SXSW alert, for any homies slinging back Shiners in the Austin sunset who wish to request my presence:
My cellular telephone can be reached by typing the following numerals into your own cellular telephone: 214-914-9998.
The dashes are optional, although pleasantly horizontal.

new column, kids say the darnedest things

Here’s my column from today’s paper. Not my finest work, I think, but some folks liked it. The opener: “I’d like to apologize in advance for the quality of this column. I just ask that you keep in mind that I have the writing ability of a below-average 15-year-old.”
Also, for the first time in Dallas, my name appears in today’s paper in a spot other than the byline.
True story: I was giving a little talk to a third-grade class a few weeks ago. I was supposed to be explaining how a story gets put together and explaining its different parts: the headline, the dateline, the byline, etc.
Anyway, the kids were all supposed to be finding each of these elements in a story in the paper. I was wandering around the class and stopped at one little girl’s desk. “Okay, in this story, show me the dateline,” I said. She pointed to the byline (“By John Doe”).
“Are you sure?” I asked. “I think that’s the byline.”
“No, that’s the dateline,” she replied. “It has the writer’s name so someone can ask him out on a date if they want to.”
Kids, they say the darnedest things!

sxsw bittorrent

Music fans with a phat broadband pipe: Download this BitTorrent file to get 2.6 gigs (!) of MP3s — 750 tracks from just about every band playing at SXSW this month. And it’s even legal!
(I pulled it down last night — took about eight hours on a cable modem. It’s a good thing to get going before you go to sleep at night — free music when you wake up.)

new foreign correspondent blogs

Long-time readers may remember that I snagged a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism back in the fall of 2003, which allowed me to spend six lovely weeks in Zambia.
They may also remember that I blogged about my travels there at
They may also remember that I have also set up blogs for close to a dozen other journalists going overseas. And if they’ve ever gotten me drunk, they may also have heard me ramble on about my grand plans for, a site of mine that has been for some time and very likely will always remain In Development. (Nothing to see there now.)
Anyway, I mention all this because I am currently hosting blogs for four more globetrotting journalists, all of them current IRP Fellows (IRP being the new name of what used to be called the Pew). These fine reporters just left for their target countries Saturday, so their blogs are not yet overflowing with local color, but they will be soon — all have had promising starts. They are:
– Pakistan: Subcontinental Drift, by Aryn Baker
– Colombia: 8,300 Feet Above Sea Level, by Fernanda Santos
– Mozambique: To Mozambique, by Adam Graham-Silverman
– Ghana: West African Days, by Cathryn Poff
You should read them all over the next five weeks. You shan’t regret it.