Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Can it be that high schools really no longer have the full array of social cliques, as when I was in school?

I started this post on the 16th and it has been in draft ever since. I thought maybe I would draw instead, but haven't done that either. I think it has been a barrier to my writing anything else I am moving on.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I am tired from the weekend, which was long and lovely. We are having a gorgeous fall and I'd like to spend more of it at home. But, "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride," I suppose!
It was a beautiful setting for a wedding reception.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Campus Pet Peeves. Fall 2013 Edition:

1) Today the din in the LC common area was so loud it about knocked me over. Worse, one young woman's irritating shriek-voice could be hears above it. Yes, yes, I know I am an active listener who can't abide noise, but I fantasized elbowing my way through the crowd (as if such a thing would be possible), taking her by the shoulders and say "you ever hear of 'inside' voice?"

2) Skateboards. Ban them from the podium, please. There seems to be more young men riding them every semester. A chill goes up my spine every time one whizzes past me. I have a vision of being knocked down, of my foot getting run over, of my left leg getting more injured, of my right leg joining my left's feebleness, of losing the ability to walk, or at the very least, acquiring an even worse limp. I know I sound like a bitter old lady who doesn't remember the joy of being young, but why can't the d-mn sk8ters just walk?

3) I can't stand Aramark, the new food contractor. Yes, I think it's fabulous that they are featuring some local foods and vendors, but the majority of choices are carbohydrate heavy. Maybe that's what students prefer, I don't know. Pretend to be "green" and "organic" and "healthy" while you scarf down a bagel and hot pretzel. Most upsetting to me, the fruit, yogurt, granola bar is gone! That was one of the things that made it worthwhile to limp over there.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

I’m fortunate to be able to wear clothes to work that are pretty much always in the “business casual” arena. Besides that, my usual garb consists of tattered, roomy tee-shirts and shorts or sweat pants when I am home, or jeans and a “nicer” long-sleeved tee when I am out.

Trying to find clothing to wear to a “fancier” event is a chore. This is definitely complicated by my hatred for shopping. I buy nearly everything I wear online, from LL Bean or Hanes. I have some more formal clothes that I have worn a few times or bought for a special occasion and wore once. Yesterday I tried on numerous items in the closet in an effort to find something decent to wear. Studying my reflection in a few of the outfits reminded me of a hilarious Mimmie-ism: “Looks like a burlap sack of potatoes with a string tied around the middle.”

I finally came across a couple possibilities for a skirt, pants or blazer, but no shirt was right. So I entered the black hole of searching online. It was frustrating to say the least. It seems in younger days you can look good in nearly anything, but I don’t think clothing manufacturers are considering the middle-aged with some of these styles. I finally found what I hope will be a suitable shirt (on amazon!). I’ll know Wednesday whether to bring a hoe or a handbag with me as an accessory.

Friday, October 04, 2013

I'm sort of annoyed about my textbook this semester. The issues I have with the Create book have not been successfully resolved, despite the best efforts (or maybe that should be double talk) of the rep. In fact, I'm considering throwing in the towel, and going back to two books. A Sage representative has been "after" me, and I just might go with them for my second book.

Today was the last straw. I want a desk copy of the Create book that I can see on a tablet or smartphone. I want to see what students are buying, and I want to be able to read it on a device. I've asked several times and thus far have been unable to pry this from the publisher. So I installed Calibre and tried to convert the PDF proof into Kindle format. Guess what? The file is locked by DRM. Of course it is!

Collaborate in the classroom still eludes me this semester. I tried the camera at home, and got the same error message in Collaborate as on campus. So I tried it with other apps, and it worked fine.

I tried google, and discovered these two links:

I haven't been able to get the work around solution to work at home yet, as I don't get an update driver choice in device manager. I will stop trying to figure it out at home at this point, as I have spent too much time on this already and my regular lower-end webcam works just fine. That's what I use at home anyway.

I'm not sure why the widescreen worked fine over the summer in my class, maybe something to do with XP? Or the driver in the room? I still want to use the widescreen on presentation days (all mid-November) on campus. I doubt I will have time to
install/test the work around in the classrooms in the 10 minutes between classes (or the machines will let me).

The response I received so far? "Use your home camera instead of the widescreen."

In the online class, the situation is brighter. Collaborate is perfect for the initial real-time group chats. And yesterday I canceled my evening class and recorded my lecture and slideshow using Collaborate at home for students to watch instead. Worked great!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Recently we went to the City Beer Hall. It's located in a building I've always loved. It once housed the telephone company and the interior wood panelling is gorgeous. Years ago it was a favorite fancy restaurant of ours. Since then it has been a few different bar/restaurants, none of them very good. In between it has been sadly vacant. Well, I'm delighted to report it is a good place again. Not fancy, but the food is delicious and different (and several choices are vegan or vegetarian), and for those into beer, the selection is wide. The wine list is short, but it has one of my NYS favorites (Salmon Run Chardonnay).