Wednesday, May 31, 2006
and here is my most common blog reading position... feet on the ottoman, cat on the coffee table, my PowerBook on my lap desk... so, when I comment on your blog, you have a visual.... if you look closely you can see the nail art on my big toe..
yea, it is good to be home
The Cats were happy to see us, my deck "garden" looks good and my TIVO has all the stored junk TV of two weeks....
it is good to be home.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
She writes about her path to becoming a fat 50ish lesbian.... with amazing wit and self-deprecating humor.
I'd give you a great quote -- but we are about to go to dinner and I want to read more... sorry...
if you get the book, the bit about the popcans at the start of 'the pagoda fund" is what I'm tempted to post... maybe i'll edit it in later..
Monday, May 29, 2006
| Haughty Intellectual|
You are 71% Rational, 28% Extroverted, 42% Brutal, and 85% Arrogant.
| You are the Haughty Intellectual. You are a very rational person, emphasizing logic over emotion, and you are also rather arrogant and self-aggrandizing. You probably think of yourself as an intellectual, and you would like everyone to know it. Not only that, but you also tend to look down on others, thinking yourself better than them. You could possibly have an unhealthy obsession with yourself as well, thus causing everyone to hate you for being such an elitist twat. On top of all that, you are also introverted and gentle. This means that you are just a quiet thinker who wants fame and recognition, in all likelihood. Like so many countless pseudo-intellectuals swarming around vacuous internet forums to discuss worthless political issues, your kind is a scourge upon humanity, blathering and blathering on and on about all kinds of boring crap. If your personality could be sculpted, the resulting piece would be Rodin's "The Thinker"--although I am absolutely positive that you are not nearly as muscular or naked as that statue. Rather lacking in emotion, introspective, gentle, and arrogant, you are most certainly a Haughty Intellectual! And, most likely, you will never achieve the recognition or fame you so desire! But no worries!|
1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.
2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.
3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.
4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.
The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test|
After Chadron we went to the Crazyhorse memorial --- amazing and worth the $10.00/person admission... We waited in the chilly wind for a scheduled explosion to carve the rock -- and all we saw was a puff of dust.... kind of a let-down, but the monument is really cool --it will be twice the size of Mt. Rushmore if they ever get it done.
It isn't far from Crazyhorse to Mt. Rushmore -- Which was pretty awsome in itself -- especially after we saw 10.5 with the storyline that a fault opened up between Washington and Jefferson --- it was nice to see it all in one piece. I'll post pictures tomorrow... the camera is in the car....
We are staying at a nice hotel in Rapid City -- after finding the mall an a Waldenbooks so we have something more to read... we tried to find reading material at the Alliance Wallmart -- but that wasn't really the best place to look... the Walden Books at the Rushmore Mall was a significant improvement. Also, Rapid City has a chocolate shop that has -- wait for it -- a DRIVE THRU... how wonderful is that? I almost want to move here for that alone...
Tomorrow the badlands, and Wedneday to home.... overall not a bad trip -- and not too expensive as these things go.. YEA! I LOVE booking hotels on the internet.
This is kind of scary in a strange place. The wind came up and the air was full of dust.
Hubby (being the techno-geek that he is) checks the internet for weather warnings...
There is a Tornado Warning for our area... I do the quick think (warning bad, watch ok..) --- we get dressed, I grab my purse and my computer bag (you've got to have the important shit if everything else blows away...) and head for the lobby.
The storm ended up veering away from us, but not before much drama between hubby-the-policitcal scientist turned weatherman... the German owners of the Days in and the southern redneck visitors... and the Jeep avoided hail damage... so all is well.
Note to self: make sure you know what county you are in when traveling in tornado country...
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Carhenge is just as wonderful and bizarre as I'd hoped it would be. According to the book in the room at our Days Inn, it was created in 1987 after an engineer went to Stonehenge and got inspired. These are real cars... old ones, all sprayed gray. The middle photo should be familiar to those of you who recall a Nebraska liscense plate in the last 20 years or so... it is Chimney rock, there are many more impressive rock formations like this, but this is the one Nebraksa decided to put on the liscense plate, go figure.
If you'd like more info, google "Carhenge" -- it is kind of odd in a public art kind of way... and it is nice that they don't charge admission... it is just out there on land 3 miles from Alliance, NE
Tomorrow we go to Mt. Rushmore...
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Here are the best of the best photos I took.... the top one is me and my foot waiting while hubby scouts out the road to see if the Jeep can make it.. yes, it is Memorial day weekend and that is snow... yes, that is kind of the bad part of the road, but not the worst part by far...no, we didn't get stuck or lost -- yea us. The Jeep is also happy. She gets a bath tomorrow before we go to Carhenge.
If you want to know where we were more exactly... get your Colorado map, look for Steamboat.. yesterday we were between Steamboat and the Wyoming border, up there where your map probabl doesn't have any roads :) -- you can also google "3 Forks Ranch" for a general idea. Today we went south of Steamboat in the area of Gore pass.
My mom is from Slater, IA -- a smallish town between Ames and Des Moines. My grandparents still live there and it ends up being the center of our family universe... We happened upon Slater, CO yesterday -- can I stop feeling guilty about missing a family thing now??
I also took this "family" photo -- although it is incomplete, it does show hubby and his Jeep -- the Jeep is happy -- very happy. We tell it that when it gets to go on rough roads it is getting paid back for the trips to Target and the grocery store.
So, I've finally figured out how to add a photo..
These are the boy kitties on our couch -- they are the victims of "cat gas" -- the stuff that makes them sleep wherever they happen to be. One is a blind manx, the other has extra toes. The blind one is at least 16 years old, the extra-toed one is 11... he's the youngster in the house.
Friday, May 26, 2006
After the break work, we hit the back roads...
This time of year is really early spring or so in the mountains. Most of the more conventionally amazing places we wanted to go -- Buffalo pass, Red something and others weren't open yet. We ended up going north out of Steamboat to Steamboat Lake... or some such unimpressive body of water (at least for two MN natives... boring... more impressive on the map).
From there things got interesting... armed with an excellent map (you know, the detailed ones they sell in big red books for $20.00 and have every possible trail, road or whatever...) we took off to see what was in the area of far northern Colorado and far southern Wyoming.
Wow -- no people --- huge ranches --- cows, sheep, horses, mule deer, jackrabits, antelope (going to make a jackalope -- I think... Wise Woman would bless the union) and really the most amazing scenery I've seen in a long time.
We were on "roads" and I use that term very lightly -- that made my childhood gravel driveway look like I-80. Most of the trip we were kind of guessing that we were on the right path (yea, path is more like it) and often saw signs that said ominous things like "end of county maintenence" and "it is illegal to drive on this road without chains or four-wheel drive" -- some of our most favorite roads were marked with just the forest road number and a set of symbols -- one of them looked like an army jeep...
I'm really not sure I can describe the high grazing land and the amazing not-quite-mountains-but-shaped-like-them land formations. The streams were clear and much of the way we were next to a river suitable for rafting and very fast. It was a beautiful sunny day, white puffy clouds and about 70 degrees...
We saw many places we could live when we get old-- or when we teach 100% on-line :) --- now all we need to do is to convince some really nice people to go with us... the catch is that one couple needs to want to raise horses, the other llamas... I really don't want the responsibility of taking care of livestock -- but I want to be able to visit them often. In exchange you can get your fill of crochety cats by cat-sitting while we go to warm places.... volunteers?
Of course, when I think about our over-priced quasi-ghetto but pretty big apartment at home, I want to move.
Some friends have a nice two bedroom place in a much nicer suburb, they pay the same rent as we do. The problem is that their place is across town from BNCC -- when across town isn't anything to laugh at. I won't do a 90 minute commute in nasty traffic for that.... but, I still want to move.
If hubby is still in flat state next year and I'm still at BNCC, we are moving. I'll move closer to BNCC and cut the commute down even more.
If I weren't dissertating like a madwoman this summer -- or if we had a bunch of extra money hanging around to hire people -- we'd move this year. As it is, I think we'll stay in the quasi-ghetto one more year.
This was on the bottom of a CV I found on a well-respected philosophy website.
Granted, I don't know when his CV was last updated, but people like him are generally pretty good at updating things like CVs...
Since starting at BNCC in the Fall of 2003 I've taught 33 classes with an average size closer to 50 than 40.
Since Fall of 2001 the total is closer to 55 --
In what could easily be the same length of time I taught 55 to his 8.
Yea, I know he has publishing to do, and that does take time -- but, he also has time to do some pretty extensive blogging and rating of other philosophy departments etc..
I still have a hard time geeting over the 55 to 8.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I've also scanned, but not entered "Morality and Contemporary Warfare" (not as good as many others, and repetitive...), "The Ethics of Warfare", "Michael Walzer on War and Justice" and "War and International Justice, a Kantian Perspectice....the last two are by Orend and I've read them and took notes that are at home... I'll get those entered tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow -- we'll play a bit after getting the brakes on the Jeep fixed --- going to the mountains with a shady front break on the Jeep sounds risky -- so, we'll get it fixed and then go explore a little.
Who knows what we'll do on Friday and Saturday -- I'm sure there will be plenty of back roads.
We leave here on Sunday and go to Alliance, NE -- I finally get to see Carhenge! I'm SOOOO exicted. Much more excited than I probably should be. I might even figure out how to post photos just so I can post one of Carhenge... for those of you not culturally aware, Carhenge is a replica of Stonehenge made out of cars -- google it, you'll get the gist.
Monday we'll do Mount Rushmore and stay in Rapid City -- Tuesday we'll do the Badlands.
Hubby made a real funny when he suggested we could stay in Scenic, SD --- I remember Scenic -- Mom suggested we visit Scenic just to see if it has changed since it had the big pink dinasaur with "AIM SUCKS" spraypainted on it...
Yea -- the vacation is going well.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Of course, we had to watch 10.5, parts I and II.
We didn't realize this was a continuation of the 'California falls into the ocean' movie from last year... We were thrilled when we figured it out.
There was much mocking of the psuedo science and logical leaps necessary to have such a movie.
We also enjoyed the splitting of Nebraska --- and were sad that Minnesota would get all 5 residents of North Dakota :).
I always like to think that I can see problems coming and fix them -- or at least not be surprised by negative feedback. This was a situation that reinforced those ideas.
The "weakness" question got comments like -- circle attendance was poor and people came late-- which I can only do so much to control.
Now -- on to Just War Theory... I wonder if I can find a set of readings for my pedagogy conference in July (Timna... you should come next year... we'll have fun!).
She is discussing winter in Minnesota...
"All the seasons here in the north move toward their own end, except winter, which moves toward its center and sits there to see how long you can take it. Spring twitches impatiently in its seat like a child wanting to go outside, straining toward summer, and summer, all lush and showy, tumbles headlong toward the decay of fall. Fall comes and goes os fast it takes your breath away, wrriving in brocades of red and gold and whipping them off in only a few weeks, leaving a landscape asetic, stunned with loss."
This is much better than my favorite passages from "War Morality and Autonomy" -- which I read today....
Later it will be some other book on just war theory...
the good news is that we had an amazing breakfast at Maggie's in downtown Steamboat -- then I had a good long nap.
Tonight we'll have spaghetti and probably watch House -- 'cuz I LOVE House.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I scanned / read / parsed and "endnoted" three books today:
"The Ethics of War and Peace" by Lackey
"On War and Morality" by Holmes
"Just War Principles and Causes" by Richard J. Regan
All are pretty good books, either Lackey or Regan will give good info on the subject, but Regan is better because it is more updated (1989 vs. 1996).
It is nice to be done with teaching and to have time to work on my own stuff...
At BNCC I noticed certain faculty members (none in my discipline, I'm the only non-PhD in the bunch....) turn-up their noses at the prospect of my wanting to work on my dissertation. They also got pretty defensive etc... and I think the only thing that made my summer plans acceptable is that I'm also presenting at a pedigogical conference this summer.
I really hate that attitude. It isn't like I'm a worse teacher because I spend time learning about my own subject --- of course, Wise Woman would tell me that the person who got really bent out of shape is in a made-up discipline and that I shouldn't take it seriously -- as she probably DOES know everthing about her field.
Of course, the person I'm thining about has a BA in education.... hmmmmm. I'm glad other people do that and not me.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Saturday we drove to Denver and had dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, a salad bar restaurant. Then we went to the second-best bookstore in the world, the Tattered Cover... (Powell's, Portland is best).
Today we intended to cross Rocky Mountain National Park to get to Steamboat.. but, a rockslide on Trailridge road stopped us... so... we went around, via the back roads -- the Jeep loved it. Now we are here, the condo is really nice and I'm sure we'll be comfortable this week.
Friday, May 19, 2006
May 12 - May 19 is "Summer" -- Starting the day I turned in grades...we goofed off, cleaned the house, I got a pedicure and generally did stuff I've been meaning to do for the last year or so... it was break time.
May 19- June 1 is "transition" -- Starting today we are going on vacation and taking a bunch of discipline related books and reading with us. Our general plan is to spend a week reading stuff for our dissertations to transition to the next season. We considered flying to Colorado for this vacation, but then realized that we'd have a hard time bringing all of our reading materials with us -- also, our Jeep wanted to go on vacation (it talks to us and says things like "I want to go camping" -- it is a demanding dark green Jeep Liberty... what can I say :) ).
On the way home we'll see Mt. Rushmore and the badlands of South Dakota. On the way out we'll stop tonight in the flat state -- hubby can get his official job offer from his BA school, we'll have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and I'll get a great haircut tomrrow morning. Tomorrow night we'll stop in Denver before heading up to Steamboat.
I'll let you know how the "transition is progressing"... we usually have fun on the road together and we have a couple of new books on the ipod, so things should be fun.
June 1- August 5 is "dissertation" -- that is when we pretend the sun doesn't shine -- we are the only ones at the grocery store with pasty white faces (especially in our heaviliy Latino neighborhood). My goal is to read/write 6 days per week, 6 hours per day. I want two to three chapters in their first draft form by the end of dissertation season... Dissertation season is broken up by a trip to a very relaxed conference in Park City UT. I'm presenting, so that should be fun.
After August 5 a whole bunch of other stuff happens... hubby moves to flat state to teach at his BA school for a ridiculous amount of money.... my family has TWO family parties on back to back weekends in Iowa, I have three duty days between those meetings.... and the hubby is gone trauma.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Today I saved the lives of (i.e. avoided running over) the following waterfoul:
3 Canadian geese
1 pair of mallard ducks
1 Mommy mallard duck and a whole swarm of ducklings.
The geese and the pair of mallards were in parking lots and residential streets -- it wasn't hard to avoid hitting them. The Mommy mallard and her brood were trying to cross a 4-lane HIGHWAY. I wasn't far from my exit when I saw mommy duck on the shoulder of the road -- she was trying to cross taking at least a dozen little ducklings with her. I braked kind of hard (thank God there was very little traffic) and she turned around, leading her brood back to the side of the road.
I really hope she figured out they need to be able to fly before they cross HWY 52...
Of course, all of these heroics were after a day mostly about MEEEEEEE --
This morning I made the following calls / reservations..
1) Confirmed and finally managed to pring flat state reservations for the trip home. Best Western's website hates my PowerBook,...
2) Airline, car & hotel for casual mountain conference (Any of you doing Teaching for a Change??? speak up!)
3) Haircut appointment at my favorite salon in the WORLD in Omaha -- as we are staying across the street from there on Friday night...
4) Eye appointment & pedicure appointment for today --- I needed sunglesses and new toes...
After my flury of reservations / future spending money... I got my new sunglasses (hang on a second, I should go get them... I'm on the porch!)...ahhhh I'm back... I'm not sure I can see the screen better, but when I look out it is better...
I also got a pedicure and some good stuff from Bath and Body Works...
The End of Semester-stress disorder has now officially entered phase 3... Phase 1 was resless cleaning and throwing things away, Phase 2 is spending money on yourself, Phase 3 is ---- hmmmm I don't know -- I usually have to start planning my summer courses about now... hmmmm. I'll let you know.
Monday, May 15, 2006
This morning I finished my Teaching Circle notebook -- my last official committment for the semester.
I also organized the debate cases, so they just need to be scanned and copied for next semester -- YEA!
Then, I picked up the books and miscelaneous stuff I need to bring home (my tennis shoes and my plant -- it would die before I came back...) and left the office until sometime in late July or early August. ... at least, that is what I think now... we'll see if it actually happens :).
The Jeep had a light on indicating it was in 4WD, when it wasn't... turns out that it really WAS just a swich. Hubby and I took it in (I was prepared for a big, scary car repair bill) -- hubby played with the handle and the light went out. We left without owing them anything. Yippee...
We sent the video recorder off for some free warranty work (yea, another thing fixed, no money from us)... mailed some other stuff, returned the carpet cleaner (cats, baaaaad cats...) and headed up to another car place for an oil change, transmission fluid change etc... and a wash and clean inside. For much less than I thought we'd pay at the dealer, we have a nice clean Jeep to take on the road to Colorado on Friday. YEA!
At the Mall....
Lunch (lupper, really -- about 3:30) at Big Bowl and a trip to Franklin Covey for new planner pages. Most of my stuff was discounted, on-sale AND I got the education discount. Good deal there too!
I started an office muck-out Saturday by throwing away four paper bags worth of stuff. Yesterday I threw away another 5 paper bags worth of stuff, plus two white trash bags full of dried flowers (dust catchers -- and I'm allergic... not smart..). Today hubby, hubby's buddy and i rearranged furniture and I put back all the remaining stuff in my new feeling office. YEA!!!!
Now, it is late and I should go to bed -- but, maybe I'll look at my office a bit more before I go to bed.
--- make a list of pre-vacation chores and go to the library for the trip out west... we've got to have good philosophy reading for the mountains...
---- make an appointment at my favorite hair salon in Omaha for Saturday morning. We are staying right across the street and if I don't get an appointment I'm gong to have BAAAD hair in all the vacaiton photos.... and I can't have that.
---- make a pedicure appointment, as I can't go on vacation with bad toes.
---- remind hubby to get us a couple of good books on ipod for the trips across the plains.... Iowa and Nebraska on the way out, South Dakota on the way back... We know from experience that the selections are limited out there.
---- find the debate travel bag, as it has all of our nifty car accessories (ipod transmitter, converter from cig lighter to regular power and miscelaneous chargers... a MUST find... we are a family who can't go far without elecronics.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Now my desk is visible, one bookshelf is organized and dusted...
We got a new printer a while back and put it in the Dissertation Chamber, along with the printer stand -- they were in my office. Now I have a little more space in my office and the inspiratin to move my stuff around -- but first I have to finish cleaning it...
wow.... It seems like I've been waiting a loooooong time to say that.
Monday I turn in my teaching circle materials, bring home a bunch of stuff from my office -- and my plant :) -- and clean it up to sit empty without me for the summer.. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, May 12, 2006
I'm supposed to be finishing grades, but I'm procrastinating for some reason.
I feel hip.
I can't help but picture my step-dad in this place.
A couple of weeks ago my mom told me that step-dad went to StarBUCKS for coffee while she was at a doctor's appointment. They live about two hours north of Duluth, MN --- right up there by Candada. They are much closer to Candada than they are to the Cities...
Step-dad, although he worked for an airline for many years and has been to Japan and all over the US, fits right in to the north woods. His favorite (only??) outfit is a pair of jeans, a flanel shirt with a t-shirt underneath. He smokes a lot (bad health... mom gave up fighting about it) and drinks his coffee plain and black.
His favorite place to get coffee is the local caffe -- the only non-bar restaurant in their "town". It has been the same since the late 70s... they have steak and eggs on the menu and if you are a vegetarian you'd better just order coffee because everything else has animal products in it.... I'm sure you get the picture.
For that matter, their "town" is kind of like going backto 1989. They have satelite TV and a TIVO (because hubby and I went with mom to Duluth to get it), one phone line and dial-up internet. They are too rural for DSL or cable high speed.
Imagine Step-dad walking into your local coffee shop. Imagine what it looks like to him.
The coffee is expensive -- and they give it to you in a paper cup. There are way too many options, when there should only be one question, "what size would you like?".
The girl at the counter has several piercings and a bit of an attitude. He is expected to tip her. He's not sure why.
The stylish (weird -- uncomfortable) tables and chairs are full of people all working on their own stuff. They have their laptops out, their ipods on and they slowly sip coffee and ignore one another. None of them are dressed like him.
This isn't his 50's version of a coffee shop.
He drinks his coffee and gets out before the fashion police or the guys from Queer Eye come to get him.
He is very un-hip.
it is the end of the semester. I just entered your grades. You will get them soon. It is time for a semester review..
A few of you made me proud. You worked hard to understand hard stuff and you actually got it. I hope I taught you something in the process, even if you don't use the information in your normal life (when would you use DeMorgan's law anyway??).
A few of you made me laugh. Either at what you wrote (laugh both at you and with you -- sorry...), or at what you said. The fact that you can add some fun to my class and thus my job . thanks.
A few of you made me mad. Mostly when you lied to me about stuff. When you were rude to me or your classmates, when you cheated or when you generally acted like a twit in class.
A few of you disappointed me. More accurately, you dissapointed yourselves. You slacked-off, decided not to do the assignments and generally set yourself up for failure -- or at least a D. When I make an assignment, I actually expect you to -- you know -- do it.
A few of you overcame challenges. You set-out to fail and decided to do otherwise. I hope you've learned a lesson--- to actually DO the work when it is assigned is a good idea for future college succss.
And... now, my mind is mine -- not yours. My concerns this summer will be about ME.
i'll let you know how it works out--- and I'll see you in August.
It turns out that two of my slacker students had stuff in there one hadn't been graded -- it must have been handed in late enough that it was between the stuff I ploped in there when things were returned. Another's class attendance was so bad that she didn't realize her paper (maybe plagarized, frankly I don't give a crap) was only answer to part of the question...
I'm going to grade these and hope it makes a difference in their grades. The second one may very well not make a difference.. the first may make the difference...
Either way, I'm glad i checked.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
I have at least three students who are failing the class automatically -- by not turning in the major paper. I have a statement in my syllabus that says that if you don't turn in one of the major assignments in the class (an exam or large paper) you fail the class. It is simple... to avoid it you need to write one 5 page paper and take three exams, each worth 50 points. If you do that, then I'll calculate your grade for the course. I announce it in class several times, especially when it comes close to my cut-off for late work and it is on the syllabus.
I have at least three people who didn't turn in the paper.
These same people turned in the final take-home exam and they particpated in the presentations.
What I want to know is WHY? A coupld of them are missing enough assignments that they fail by points. Another needs 95% on their last exam for a D --
Sounds like it is time for a wake-up call for these folks. I'm REALLY glad I got tenure this semester... it could be a long summer of grade appeals for me and the super-dean.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The end of the semester is both sad and happy... I'm happy to be done teaching, but sad that dog mom will be off to bigger and better things... She has a great sense of humor and is really smart -- BNCC is all the worse for not hiring her as a full-time person (although, I do really like the person they hired instead--- dog mom is just that much better... ).
Fast grading techniques:
I'm almost done with grading... one more section to quasi-grade and then the loose-ends for a couple of special students. I finally figured out that If my last assignment isn't worth more than 10% of the grade, getting a semi-final tally of their scores is VERY useful. Instead of thinking... is this a B of B+, you ask yourself, is this worth enough points to push the student into the higher final grade category?
For example, My assignment is worth 50 points, so far in the class Mary Sunshine's grade is 430 out of a class maximum of 500. If the paper in my hands is worth 20 points or 50 points does, it does not matter -- she gets her A (we don't have - or +, which makes the system work). That way, the decision is really easy -- on the other hand, if her grade is 402 -- you have to decide if her paper is nearly perfect enough to earn her the A for the course. If you only have to closely read a few, it cuts the time and doesn't sacrifice anything. If the student wants more feedback, tell them that they need to make an appointment and give their paper a quick read... it is pretty simple.
Grade-grubber-guy (GGG from now on) came in today-- he wanted to comlain about a grade he got LAST semester. Over Winter break we had an e-mail exchange that ended with me telling him that he'd have to come in so I could look at the paper I quasi-graded. When he stopped by to make the appointment he told me that he "felt" that he had done an excellent job. He came to every class (didn't say anything and was often not prepared -- for a once-per week class... yea, I'm impressed) -- and claimed to have done most of the work on their group presentation (impossible to verify, as his feedback sheet indicated the contributions of others...).
GGG was late to the last class meeting of the semester, thus missing the "class time plus 5 minutes" deadline I have for extra-credit. The deadline is uber-necessary, otherwise they just run out and write/print extra-credit during the last set of presentations and it is chaos. Somehow he missed the announcements that everyone else got -- probably because he was late a lot -- and wanted me to accept them anyway...
IF I gave him a perfect score on his last paper, he'd miss an A by 7 points. He had 10 extra-credit points... (so he says now... ).
On Monday I pulled out GGG's last assignments -- the ones he didn't get back. Among them were a 10 point quiz (with really easy answers) he didn't answer ONE question.. also, I took a look at his last paper -- the quazi-graded one. If I could find a valid reason to give GGG a C+, he'd be out of A range... and, what do I find but SEVEN places in which he used facts or quotations without any source citation. Triumph.... I gave it a D, entered the grade into excell, printed his grade summary for him and then got out the version of my syllabus from last year.
The syllabus bit is what clinched it -- I found that I said that ANY written work that uses the ideas of others needs an explicit citation. It then says that if a student does not do this, I consider it "cheating" and refer them to that section of my syllabus tht says I'll pretty much end them if they cheat.
I did a little happy dance when I found it -- and then I sat down to wait for GGG. It was a short meeting. I explained the hypothetical nature of his claim, then handed him his last paper and the places it should have citations, then I explained that plagarism is wrong and that he'd rather not have me open this up --because I could easily have this proven to be academic dishonesty -- I then handed him his copies of all of it all--
He said he didn't think it was "the kind of paper that needs citations" --(after looking for a description of the paper in the class handout) -- I told him that the general handout says ANY written work etc... and he caved.
Slaying the Administrative-type...
I'm convinced that administrators should NOT be allowed blackberries -- EVER. They only read the first part of e-mails they get on them and don't notice the file attachements --- I sent it to her FOUR times, she just figured out that I sent her the info today when I handed it to her on paper. I really hope she keeps her shit together long enough to get me paid... if not, I have another copy.
yea -- it has been a good day -- now, I should do the quasi grading so I can enter the grades tomorrow from the balcony... blisssssssssss
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Of course, we now own the 6th season on DVD -- I'm watching the one where Leo has the heart attack.
Am I the only one that finds the episode a bit creepy, now that John Spencer has died of one?
YEA! They were really nervous about the exam. I designed it so that it has three levels of problems, A, B & C. If they have a grade of 80% or above and just want a C in the course, they just have to do the C problems, want a B --do the C & B levels etc.. If your grade is 70 - 79%, you have to do one level above what you want to get.. Get a C, do the C and B problems...
Almost all of them got the same grade on the exam, and thus the course as they had going into the exam. A few of the low B's got As, but not too many.
Next -- the Intro to Phil grades... back to my ever-so-productive grading jail...
Some in the family still call her "Jean" -- mostly the older ones, and even now they don't do it so often.... most of us call her "Hilary" -- or just "Hil". She's my mom's aunt, or my maternal grandfather's older sister. I don't have the words to do her justic - -but I'll try, just a little.
Hil is single, never married and a former Episcopalian nun. She smokes, swears on occasion and loves to drink gin and tonic. She's 89 and holding -- and in good health. She lives in her own home in a great neighborhood in Madison, WI.
Hil isn't keen on little kids, she likes to watch them and finds them but didn't find her great nieces and nephews very interesting until they could talk to her with some level of intelligence. Her first great-great niece will be 5 this year, in a few years she'll warrant Hil's attention.
Hil spent her post-convent life as an English teacher at Madison Area Technical College -- someplace a lot like BNCC - in the shadow of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She taught chefs, mechanics and EMTs English for 15 years... no majors in her classroom - no sir, that would be easy duty...
Hil ended up at MATC after being told she didn't pass a prelim exam because their department had passed too many people and she didn't have a wife and children depending on her career.... that would have been in about 1970 or so, when that kind of sexist BS was ok. She left UW in disgust and didn't go back.... taking her MA straight over to MATC. It was a couple of weeks before classes started and she bumped into the right dean, asked for a job and stayed until she retired.
Probably because of her experience at MATC, Hil is the person everyone in my generation wants to hang out with. When we visit her in porch weather, she'll make us a G & T and we'll sit on the porch and talk about life. She likes young people -- she challenges us and can give us a combination of encouragement, advise and repremand that our parents can't do... I'm not sure how she does it, but I know I'd have loved to be one of her students.
Hil's most recent idea is that after I finish my dissertation, I should get into administration. She thinks I'd be a great Chancellor... I'm kind of afraid she'd be right, but I don't think I'd like it... (that is another post all together).
One of the things that makes visiting Hil's so great is that she has some great friends. Her next door neighbors are like the children she hasn't had -- amazing people who check in with her, do the little things the family would do if we were around and generally make sure she's doing well. She has another good friend, Jim, who is a recently retired MATC English prof --- he comes over to help with parties and generally hang around our kind of obnoxious family. He's never been married and has no family -- so he's joined ours, and we are happy to have him.
I think that when I get my papers back for revision, and later when I have full dissertation chapters to read, I think I'll take them down to Madison for her sharp eye to read and comment on. I know she'll be happy to help the first of us to get a PhD... (we have several in-laws with PhDs, and we have a JD in the family -- but, I'll be the first of the core family to get one.. and probably the only one in my generation).
At any rate, I'll see her in August for my grandma's 90th -- and Hil's as well... it will be worth the trip to Iowa.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Today I came home with a bag full-o-grading... I plan to have Grading Jail on my balcony tomorrow... the diet Coke is in the fridge, the popcorn is ready to go in the microwave and the radio will be on the Satelit Sisters --
So far it looks like I'll actually get paid for my debate travel -- yea!
Swear Jar and new partner (still no nickname for one of the new guys..) had their first practice round today. It is always kind of fun to see someone lose their debate "cherry" if you will -- they see exactly how hard it is, and how fun it can be. Swear Jar and partner will go to at least one camp this summer, maybe two -- I'm really grateful we have the funds to do this. Swear Jar could be pretty darned good an he wants to be D1... so, we'll see.
This could be a very interesting year for us, as hubby will be in flat state, so he won't be around to help me coach. Right now I'm letting Swear Jar coach his partner a bit, while I coach Swear Jar... I like Swear Jar being more responsible for mentoring his teammates. He's the only one with any real experience coming back, so a lot depends on him. He has good work habits and it seems that his partner is even more responsible than he is -- so I don't think I'll have some of the challenges I've had in the past.
It is finally sinking in that, as of sometime early next week I'm not going to go back to campus until sometime in August. This is going to be kind of strange... right now I have a stack of Intro exams to grade and a slightly smaller stack of logic exams to grade... best not to get ahead of myself.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Thanks to the wonders of wireless internet, I'm blogging from my newly rearranged balcony. I have a bunch of flowers (yellow and white this year -- pansies, daisys and a couple of other things that looked good at Home Depot), some herbs and a lot less pigeon shit than earlier today. Mommy and Daddy Pigeon will have to get used to me, because I'm here to stay until it gets too hot. If and when I ever figure out how to do stuff like post photos, I'll post a photo of my balcony --
We live on the third floor, so I have a good view of the neighborhood. Across the street is a semi-assisted living facility. They are pretty quiet now, since it is getting late (on old folks time) -- tomorrow morning I expect the usual elder-ride busses to come about every 20 mintues or so for trips to the doctor. Thursday is shop at Target day and Friday morning is grocery day... if you need to practice patience, I suggest shopping on their shopping days.
It is good to see them out in the sunshine -- my balcony overlooks their parking lot and the table and chairs they have set up -- that seem intended for the residents to wait for rides etc... out in the sun. If I lean a little I can see their flower garden.
Down the way a little bit is an apartment building kind of like ours -- about the same age with three stories. I like to feel a little bit superior to them, as our garages are under the buileing and theirs are behind it -- so you have to go outside after parking your car in the garage... Of course, somone blogging from their deck looking over here would feel superior because they have an indoor pool while ours is more of a Canadian goose swimming hole in the parking lot.
The traffic is light tonight, there was some excitement earlier when the police were after someone with their sirens on -- but, they didn't stop here so it wasn't too exciting. The neighbor kids are in for dinner and homework time -- school doesn't end until early June (poor dears -- I give my only final tomorrow YEA!!!!).
As for wildlife, I can hear the birds and the omni-present geese. I haven't seen the squirrel who lives in the hole by our patio recently -- maybe the maniac maintenence guy finally got him in a "Caddy Shack"-esq battle they've been waging. I love our squirell (hubby thinks we could get eyelashes from him... see an earlier post :) ) but I like that he just lays on his tummy in the flower pots and takes a nap...
I can see the top of Mommy Pigeon's head from here. She's watching me -- i don't blame her after what the maniac maintenece guy did to her last set of eggs a while back.
I like the new arrangement and I think this will be a good place to grade, work and read until things get hot -- then in the fall it will be good again until it gets too cold.
Student 1: "Can you believe __________ is making us (me) do _________ (something they don't like)."
Student 2: "Why did your teacher (authority figure / parent... someone in power) do that?"
Student 1" "Because they want us (me) to be miserable."
huh?? Especially when it comes to school work, assignemnts or other things -- why do they think that our motivation is to make them miserable? I don't see the logic -- what will happen to them in the next 20 years or so that will make them into mean, nasty, human beings whose only goal is to make people 17-20 miserable...
What happened to ME to make me someone who wants to torture the poor little dears until they are exhausted and bitter...
Do they think that we do these terrible things to them because they were done to us? Do they just have a complex about anybody who asks them to do something for their own good... Are they just a bit lazy?
I don't understand the response -- it is probably because I'm a terrible person who just wants to make them miserable because I can.
or, maybe the response doesn't make sense.
The dad took the little child to a confrence of little people and made the comment that the airlines are very accomodating of little people, and that flying is pretty easy for little people..
Of course, snarky me thinks "well, they don't have leg room issues like the rest of us"...
Then I felt guilty -- maybe the guilt shows I'm not a bad person...
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Today was my last teaching day until the third week in August. 3 months off -- I haven't had that before.... with a paycheck.
I ended up liking parts of every section, and really liking my logic and 4:00 Intro class. The 9:30 had some bright spots, but I could have done without most of them.
Also -- today was BNCC mascot days... they routinely have a carnival or other entertainment in the courtyard outside of my office. It is annoying, hard to concentrate and mostly a pain in the neck -- BUT -- directly above my office is a classroom I teach in regularly. In that classroom you can hear whatever happens in the open next to the room. Today Dogdad asked who he needs to complain to about the noise. This is TWO DAYS after Wise woman and I complained about noise in that area.
I understand that they want to have some fun and music -- but they don't understand what it is like to try to teach while that kind of music comes into the classroom.
I have a pile of grading to do over the weekend -- most of which is pretty quick to grade --
On Monday I'll get another load -- 34 or so Logic exams plus about 75 Intro to Philosophy take-home exams. I should be able to get those done on Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon I'll get the last remaining assignments, calculate the grades and be DONE.
Also -- some fun on Wednesday -- grade-grubber student from last SEMESTER is trying to talk his way into a higher grade. He got an average of a D on the quiz section of the course, and the ass-hat wants an A? I don't think I am going to change it. He tried to turn in some extra-credit beyond the deadline and had a sob story about his car. I'm very unlikely to change the grade for this kid (adult, but immature, jerky -- rude, demanding a change). He can go to my dean... no problem.
I'm not so sure I want to keep that policy... On one hand I'm not sure I want to have an attendance policy at all.... On the other hand, it seems like when I have such a policy I'm saying that 4 absences are ok, but #5 is an auto-F/W...
I dont think there is such a line I can draw..
I'm thinking abou the following... keep in mind that I teach classes that meet twice per week. I also have a policy that provides for excused absences for documented illness, hospitilization, military service or college activites.
Absence #3, 5% end of semester grade reduction
Absence #4, 15% end of semester grade reduction
Absence #5, 25% end of semester grade reduction
Absence #6, 35% end of semester grade reduction
Absence #7, attendance failure. (i.e. 50% grade reduction -- it is mathematically impossible to pass the class.).
Comments??? Especially those of you who are soon to be former students/debaters / people whose opinions I respect :).
We go on vacation two weeks from tomorrow! A leisurely drive out to the mountains (two stops...the flat state and Denver..) a week in Steamboat, then taking our time on the way back via the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore etc... It should be about two weeks...
I woke up after a predictable dream for this time of the semester...
I was trying to run away --the weather was bad (thunderstorms) and myself and dog dad were grading....
hmmmmm no dream analysis book needed for that one.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
They did an interview with her. Her position is that people who are in the minority can't be racist because they lack the power. She says that calling someone a typically racist name isn't racism. I'm not at all sure I agree, but it is a widely held position.. the news acted as if it WAS news (how f-ing ignorant is that... by the way??).
Then the story moved to the person making the complaints and who had obviously made the home video and relesased it to the news... This ass-hat was interviewed as well, his complaint is that "she's on the state payroll, I pay her salary -- she shouldn't say those racist things in public".
Folks, the woman saying the bad stuff is on the state payroll because she teaches at BN University. She teaches a course on racism. This was a MAJOR hook on the advertising etc..
At the end of the story, they tossed in the response from the U of M, which was pretty much "she has free speech".
Ummm--- duh -- AND Academic Freedom. This is an area she knows about. She's an immigration lawyer and an activist. She has the right to express an opinion on her area of expertise. This is a non-story.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
"Top Chef" "Runway") or the life stories kind.. like "Real World", "Blow Out" and "The Real Houswives of Orange County" -- I don't watch the talent contest ones... like American Idol...
This rant is about the Real Housewives of Orange County...
Leaving aside the idea that these are note exactly "real" housewives AND the idea that they are not all "housewives" (3 of the 5 work..) -- I'm kind of irritated about the actions of a couple of these households..
1) the Baseball Player family... The husband is a former baseball player and they expect their son to be the third or fourth major league baseball player in the family. They haven't been very good about making sure this kid has had an education -- they just want to make sure he can throw the ball.
This family went looking for a college for the kid, since he didn't get drafted very high out of HIGH SCHOOL!!! -- His grades won't let him get into a four year school, so they went looking for a CC where he could play ball. Notice, not a CC where he could get a decent education so he can go to a four year to finish a degree and maybe even get a professional education... no, they were worried about how many at-bats the kid would get.
Umm -- get a clue. The kid can't get into a four year school, so you want to send him away to a CC/baseball camp so he can get better at BASEBALL. How about better at SCHOOL? As one of the teachers whose classes this kid will blow off until it endangers his ability to play, I resent you sending your brat to school with the attitude that the classes don't matter. When he's old, gray and illiterate -- he won't be able to play ball -- AND he'll be boring... none of the old ladies in the home will want to hang with your kid -- 'cuz he'll be stupid.
2) the guy who married the young party girl (Jo??) ... dude, you got what you signed up for. She's fun, she's 24 -- she isn't a mom to your kids. She never said she wanted to be, why do you expect that she wants to mother your kids when you won't even marry her so she can have some finanicial security?
Yep, she's cute, has long legs, dark skin and big boobs -- She seems to like your kids, but --- they are your kids. Granted, she shouldn't have gotten involved with you if she didn't want to mother your kids, but that level of involvement is a two way street and only YOU know how much work, committment and hassle kids can be.
i suppose you don't really know that, as your ex-wive (I assume you married her, thus won't marry Jo) probably did all that with your oldest son. Of course it is a surprise to you that the little one is a pain in the butt. Had you been a good father to start with you'd know that -- and you wouldn't have hooked up with a cute party girl.
I don't blame Jo for wanting to get a job. Why shouldn't she, most of the time she's alone in the house -- and you haven't married her so she doesn't have a stron claim of support should you find another hot chick in a few years. When you have the kids you expct her to turn into instant-mom and stop her life because your offspring want her attention.
I think you should hire a weekend nanny... except, that you'd have to pay her and she wouldn't fuck you or help you get ahead in business by being buddy-buddy with the big-bucks people in your neighborhood.
Monday, May 01, 2006
|You are Andie Walsh from Pretty in Pink|
You are original and clever person. Although your family may not be able to buy you all the cool stuff you want, you are able to make cool stuff for yourself. Like a rocking 80’s prom dress.
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
We left home about 7:15 -- we live in a working-class neighborhood in a decent sized metropolis. The main drag was quiet.. almost spooky. Nobody was on their way to work, nobody was waiting for the city bus with their kids in tow on the way to the baby-sitter's. Nobody was stopping for a cheap cup of coffee or a Mountain Dew to get the day going. There was more traffic on Sunday morning than there was this (normally working morning).
My first reaction was something like "YES!!! It is working" -- the naitonal strike day. The day the immigrants stayed home.
You see, we live in a neighborhood where Cinco-de-Mayo is a BIG DEAL. We live in a neighborhood with spanish on store-front signs. We live where you can get authentic Mexican food (actually, not my fav... I like the Tacco Bell). We live where they advertise apartments in Spanish and where Cub foods has 1/3 of their signs in Spanish.
We live in a neighborhood built on immigrants. First generation immigrants with thick accents standing in line at the bank to cash their checks so they can send some money home. First generation immigrants both working at AND eating at Tacco Bell. Second generation immigrants owning business and employing first generation immigrants. Second generation immigrants owning their own homes, proud neat yards with original yard art in bright colors.
We've lived in our neighborhood for 4 years now. Every year I see strong families, who live, love and contribute to the fabric of our state and our country. I see people who work a lot and play as much as they can. I see people who are willing to work hard jobs, jobs that we dont' want to do. I see people who are a lot like previous immigrants to this country. I don't see people who should be forced to suffer the label "illegals" or any of the other crap people call them.
I see people who deserve the respect of our country. I see people we are morally obligated to help, they've already helped us enogh.