Thursday, February 02, 2012
The Boy is doing CYO basketball again this year. At last Sunday’s game, the halftime score was 4 to 2.
Call it a defensive battle. Or maybe pretend it’s baseball...
Folks who think that administration is easy haven’t had to handle personnel issues. The least appealing part of administration is being confronted with things about people that you never wanted to know. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
I’m done with Toshiba. In the last two years, the count is two catastrophic hard drive failures and a cracked screen. In the words of Roberto Duran, no mas. I try not to let anecdotes trump statistics, but at a certain point, it becomes an issue of self-respect. Toshiba may have a good reputation generally, but I’m done.
Nobody really makes netbooks anymore, so the quest for a good portable blogging device is more complicated. Ipads are tempting, but I don’t want to lug around a separate keyboard, and I know full well that the kids would get a hold of it and I’d never see it again anyway. Ultrabooks look fun, as do macbook airs, but I can’t justify the cost. Regular laptops are far too heavy, and writing longhand is out of the question. (My handwriting could be described as “distinctive,” as in the sentence, “Nick Nolte certainly cuts a distinctive figure in a mugshot.”) It is fun to browse, though...
My publisher is getting antsy. A recent exchange, as reconstructed from my handwritten notes:
Publisher: Do you think you could helicopter the poodle by Kwanzaa?
DD: Affirmative-a-rooni, pizza!
So, another reason to replace the latest Toshiba.
I know that “college success” courses are supposed to work wonders, but I’m having trouble getting around having to explain to the student who put it off and did just fine why he would need it to graduate. If it’s mandatory, then it’s mandatory; failing to take it means you don’t graduate. But if the only thing standing between you and graduation is a course on how to be a student, I’m not sure what purpose is served.
Said this to The Boy: “You know what the secret is to writing? WRITING!” Now if I would just listen to myself...
I was once required to take a course that I'd been teaching, because it was a required prerequisite for another program. Successfully teaching it for years didn't count, as it wasn't on my transcript. Which was a problem, as I was teaching it and I couldn't enrol in a course I was teaching…
The Registrar was a petty tyrant, and refused to listen to me, or the Deans of two colleges (one I was working for, one who's program I was entering).
What we do is structure the College Success course so that it satisfies a GE requirement for something like "Lifelong self-understanding" or whatever vague name the category has. Basically, we talk about life skills as well as college skills, and also career skills, and try to get students thinking about their careers as they navigate college. The course is optional (there are other ways to satisfy that GE requirement) but very, very, VERY heavily pushed during freshman advising. By making it satisfy a requirement we get a lot of buy-in, but by not making it the only way to satisfy the requirement we avoid the absurd situation that Dean Dad describes.
On your third item, I send you my sympathies and hope you didn't have one where you earned a year's salary in one day.
But really, it's a lovely little machine, despite that.
Look through the Aspire One product line: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/group/netbooks
I had forgotten about it, so I had to go to Professor Smith's office (seriously, that was her name) and ask for a waiver on the last day of school.
She narrowed her eyes and said, "You know, this class actually has a lot of valuable information".
I nodded slowly, as if in agreement. She signed the waiver and I was able to graduate.
In a CC world where many students are adults and not fresh from high school, it is all the more amazing that a "success" course could conceivably focus on life skills. I wouldn't think most adult returning students would find that valuable, and I bet they'd resent paying for it. I would.