Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A mixed bag of stuff. First, two unrelated designs I want to comment upon:

I think this is a worthy idea, and I understand why they wanted to include the various elements, but the design is awful! I feel almost guilty saying it, but it is so ugly.

But at least it isn't oddly jarring...

Like this, which has a nice design, aside from the "Upstate American" part. I'm an Upstate New Yorker, capisce? If "American" is to be modified - then I'm a Northeastern American. I guess they chose the label because ignoring the meaning, to the ears it "sounds" better. But I would have either left the slogan off - the design is sufficient - or just used "Upstate." Maybe all lower case. As it is, it doesn't work.

What's worse, it is not at all transparent and seems like someone trying to capitalize on tragedy. How do we know how much is being donated? Who is running this operation? Where is the money going exactly?

I hope it is simply a clumsy mistake by well-intended people. I do like the idea of upstate pride especially in the wake of this tragedy and the logo itself is fine, but it just feels wrong. If it is on the level and they don't intend to profit, why not make this a donation in itself and not try to cover the costs of production? Just give out the tee-shirts as incentives for people to donate to real charities who are helping with the recovery.

That segues to the weather: the fire siren went off today a couple of times. It is becoming a very familiar sound. The Hudson has flooded Main Street again. On facebook, there are reports of flooding, advised evacuations and school closings. Olive Day is canceled in West Shokan - it was scheduled for Saturday. My parents still have no telephone. Stop raining already!

And finally, the semester: Had an unhappy experience in my evening class last night. Very few people had done the reading so discussion was not productive - a variety of excuses including "I don't have the book yet" then when I said both articles are on blackboard "I didn't know" or "I thought it was due next week" and finally when I said I told them about ten times last week: "I wasn't paying attention." But, on the flip side, three students waited for me after class to thank me for calling the slackers out on it, instead of allowing them to take advantage of the few students who were prepared.

That class followed an afternoon class where Blackboard 9.1 wouldn't load the log on page, I called for help, wound up rebooting, was able to log on but it was so slow I couldn't use any document including my powerpoint. I got through class without that crutch, of course, but the dry erase marker I had with me was almost out of ink - made putting anything on the whiteboard a challenge. I told the students, this is a good example for why you have to have alternative strategies in mind when developing a lesson plan. Things don't always go the way you intend!

Then, today, Blackboard was incredibly slow again from home - I rebooted, it gave me an error message when I tried to log on, and I could not hold the real-time chat I had scheduled, or get any of the work done I had planned. Wednesdays are "online class days" so this is not good!

Added: More details here. I'm going with good intentions, but painfully tacky. Donate to something on this list instead.

Still Later: I had a spell where I made silk screened tee-shirts. Eventually, I will dig out a picture of some of my creations, scan and post it here. Gave them out as party favors. Thinking about the clever idea above with bad timing/execution, I came up with a much better phrase: Upstate New York: Resourceful and Resilient.

No comments: