Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1) Great column today.

2) So incredibly happy about this. (More here.) Two of the four U-Haul dogs are recovered and up for adoption today at MHHS. The remaining two will be available once they gain more weight. And, it turns out two of the U-Haul dogs are the parents of the Railroad Puppies (not really a surprise). The father is one of the dogs available today. I know there will be many good folks there hoping to be chosen as the forever homes, hopefully the ones who miss out will adopt one of the other needy dogs in the shelter!

3) My personal email account receives so much crap on a daily basis. It isn't necessarily unsolicited spam. It's caused by the necessity of providing an email address for various reasons, with the result being 10 emails a day from the site or vendor. I try to remember to click don't send me email alerts but often that only prevents email from their "partners." It has gotten as bad as paper junk mail. Such a time waster.

4) Yesterday in my evening class, the (rhetorical) question was asked, "what was done in school before computers?" The student didn't mean what did we do before email or texting or google or GPS, ie, how did we live without them. She was marveling at the change in her experience between grades 3 and 12, and wondering how was the time filled, how was the curriculum taught, before K-12 students had computers in the classroom. 

I've sometimes discussed a similar question with friends and family. What did we DO (in offices) before the computer? Now we sit harnessed to machines, writing email, researching on the Internet, typing in word processors and spreadsheets, looking up thing in databases. When the machine is down, might as well go home. 

I remember an enormous amount of time spent on carbon paper. Whiting out and retyping. Hours spent looking thing up in filing cabinets, binders and print-out tomes. And a lifetime spent on the telephone.

5) I have to work on my website. Tweaking necessary...usually I'd spend this week doing things like that, because I'd have winter break. But the kegs 'n' eggs fiasco of '11 resulted in a March week off rather than a February or April break. I loved the old spring schedule, which was five weeks-break-five weeks-break-five weeks. Perfect. So this sucks.

6) My class has been chosen as part of this spring's sample of students to respond to the counseling center's survey. It's used as marketing to challenge the stereotypes of UA students. Here's the one that is plastered in my hallway right now:

You can see the others from this semester here. I've always thought the campaign silly and the research design suspect, but whatever. I'm OK with allowing my class to participate. However, right now I am thinking, if most students don't do these things...why am I losing my winter break?

7) I'm reading I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I've Ever Had by Tony Danza. I can't say that it is great literature exactly, but it seems sincere (if occasionally a bit sappy -- did he really cry that often?), despite his year as a teacher being the basis for a reality show. (The network pulled the plug after six episodes, but he continued to teach for the full academic year.) It's definitely an enjoyable read. Here's the article I found a while ago that made me aware of the book.

I'm the type of person who can be very undisciplined when I like a book. What I mean is, I will do nothing but read...slack on all else. Stay up until 3 am every night. Just one more page, just one more chapter, just until the end of this section. So I am forcing myself to be happy with one chapter per night, with maybe a few pages sneaked in here and there during the day. It's not easy, but so far I'm managing. I'm rationalizing that this way I can read more books, without having to wait until I have the time to do nothing else.

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