Thoughts on wheelchair access

after talking with Jill.

Don’t want to sit in front because if you need to leave, everyone is watching you.

The back is preferable because you need a deeper space for the wheelchair.

A good idea to fix the problem of wheelchair people not being able to see the words is to hand out copies of the words to people who want them before the service.

Putting a sign where it would be clear that pushing the handicap button would open the “locked” doors would be useful. Especially because it is next to the visitor’s spot.

And I should read Joel Rosenberg’s books, starting with The Last Jihad.

Thinking about the Past

“100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About” from Geek Dad

Terminals accessing the mainframe.
Screens being just green (or orange) on black.
Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.
Daisy chaining your SCSI devices and making sure they’ve all got a different ID.
Counting in kilobytes.
Wondering if you can afford to buy a RAM upgrade.
Blowing the dust out of a NES cartridge in the hopes that it’ll load this time.
Turning a PlayStation on its end to try and get a game to load.
Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.
Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.
Recording a song in a studio.

There are a lot more.

We’re seeing history pass by us, like a rushing river, and we are the stones.

What to major in

CNN Money:

Top non-engineering fields. Only three of the 15 top paying degrees were outside the field of engineering — but they each still require math skills.

For computer science majors, who specialize in programming and software, the average salary was $61,407. Graduates with degrees in actuarial science took home about $56,320; and jobs for students in construction management paid about $53,199. Each of these fields has paid well throughout the years, Koc said.

What happened to well-rounded? There are far fewer people graduating with math-based majors, compared to their liberal-arts counterparts, which is why they are paid at such a premium. The fields of engineering and computer science each make up about 4% of all college graduates, while social science and history each comprise 16%, Koc noted.

As a result, salaries for graduates who studied fields like social work command tiny paychecks, somewhere in the vicinity of $29,000. English, foreign language and communications majors make about $35,000, Koc said.

“It’s a supply and demand issue,” he added. “So few grads offer math skills, and those who can are rewarded.”

Major in something that has to do with math. Yeah, E!

I’m in Austin.

I stayed up late last night till midnight talking to Lyn.

I wrote the article I was working on for Friday and sent it off. Talked to Lyn about it and she helped me make it much better. Yeah.

I went to UT and copied $32 worth of stuff on Judith. Good use of four hours.

Then Lynne and I went to Freebirds. We also went shopping. It was good to visit. She had done some really cool stuff at the Arts Festival, performance and making a fine art print…. Sounded like a lot of fun. Her birthday is July 29.

Oh yeah. Lyn’s birthday is Aug. 18th. Need to bring her something.

Tomorrow I am going to take Micah his hair brush. I’m hoping to have lunch with Jill. And I really need to read some Shakespeare and work on an article for the forum.

But I am having lots of fun.

Useful Ideas

I implemented a policy that if students write to me asking what’s going to be on the exam, what the readings are, what we covered in class yesterday because you were attending to your BF who had gall bladder surgery after an allergy attack, etc. – things clearly addressed in the syllabus or course schedule, then the message will be ignored. Likewise for messages without proper salutation or closing. Our relationship is professional.

When they approach me after class and say, “You never responded to me asking about the test,” I ask whether they’ve consulted the syllabus. Works well.

from Anakin

I think next term I am going to start the course with a slide entitled “Things You Probably Learned In Kindergarten But Have Since Forgotten”

from Oseph

Hmm. I may have to do that! It would be fun. Of course, I haven’t had the crazy snowflakes these guys have.

“working hard is expected; therefore having worked hard is not sufficient justification for changing a grade;” grades are not “given,” they are earned.


Quote from: southerntransplant on April 16, 2009, 10:29:36 PM
Me: “Well, I would suggest finding another way, because this one isn’t really working for you.”

“Course grades are posted. Please remember that grades represent the accumulation of performance during the semester, not your potential as a person or a student. Grades are not negotiable. Email requesting a grade change will not be answered. Threatening email is a violation of the X University Code of Student Conduct and will be reported to campus authorities.” Kedves

“I add a line to my standard policies section in my syllabus that says that students emailing me makeup work will get a return email from me saying I received it, and they should keep this as a receipt – if they don’t get an email from me, they should assume I haven’t gotten it, and it is their responsibility to retry the email, fax it, or drop it off in person and resolve the problem within 48 hours.” Oseph
“Email: Students may email assignments with permission from the Professor. If you are emailing an assignment it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the Professor receives the email. I will respond within 24 hours that I have received the email, if you do not get a response you must follow up with a phone call, office visit, or talk to me in class. Any assignments that are emailed that have not been recieved within 48 hours of the time I have agreed to let you email me will not be accepted. Late assignments are still subject to the penalties laid out in the syllabus.” Rowan1

14 Things Obama Hates about America(ns)

Big Lizards has the post:

Americans are self-reliant: They want work, not welfare; their own insurance, not government-controlled health care; and an open choice where to send their kids for school (or to educate them at home).

Obama wants to change America so that everybody must rely upon the government for every aspect of life, from womb to tomb.

Americans are personally generous: We prefer our aid to be voluntary, not coerced, enforced, or expropriated by some government bureaucrat sitting in D.C. (or the Hague).

Obama wants to institutionalize and nationalize all acts of emergency aid, foreign and domestic… and make them into entitlements.

These are only the first two, and he has links to his Obama statements. Go. Read it. Weep. Pray. Fast.

Funny Lines

Another sighting for my “Natural History of the Common Troll” article.
from Mouseman

Oh, yes, and there is a HYSTERICAL citing of a troll on that same page:

March 26th, 2009, time 19:01. I had another sighting of a troll today. As I observed, it marked a thread with its urine, and disappeared into the underbrush. Interestingly, its calls are similar to the cry of a young human, and have been mistaken for actual speach. It seems to feed off attention, and will appear out of nowhere, interrupt a conversation, and derive nourishment from the response of the persons participating the conversation. It has been known to actually repeat words from the conversation that it interrupted, albeit in a garbled and nonsensical manner. This particular troll seems to be attracted to conversations that mention the words “students”, “professors”, “colleagues”, and “relationship”. Since the troll do not understand speech and language as we know it, it would be very interesting to know just what these particular words mean to this specific troll, and why the evoke a response. A study of the cognitive processes of troll may be very enlightening in this context, but such a study remains beyond the scope of this project.

by mouseman

That is funny!

Dr_Evil added:

This research is sponsored by the other NSF: National Society of Fantasy. Trolls were long considered to be creatures of fantasy until the creation of the internet. At that time, sightings dramatically increased, much to the annoyance of everyone else.

Then Anakin suggested grant money from the stimulus for the trolls to mountainguy and frogfactory. After that Mouseman said s/h/it was appalled that s/h/it wasn’t invited, since s/h/it had done most of the preliminary work.


You must not be a zoologist. It’s well-known that trolls are a genus containing many species, including trollus schadenfreudus, which thrives on annoying others; trollus aburridus, which thrives on posting pointless drivel; and trollus penderatus, which thrives on making minute and insignificant grammar corrections.

Teaching and Literacy and other interesting quotes

“Students aren’t required to be literate to take my class, according to official policy, and it shows.” Fosca Student email forums


I would just like to know how the student is so familiar with the sound of giving birth to Satan. Now there’s some life experience that worth some credit hours.

from Conjugate

“the textbooks are his new talismans against failure.” from Llanfair

I do try to offer as much fake help as I can. That’s just the kind of guy I am. t_r_b

“The world needs people who can do things, not explain why they couldn’t.” Geonerd

Magistra: “never, EVER become the Dean of Students. It is NOT a promotion. It is the lowest rung of Hell.”

“If you need help learning, great, that’s what I’m here for. If you can’t think, what good is learning?” Fosca

A Final I would not want to have

the final that my roommate my frosh year had in Old Testament Survey — this is it, in toto: “Trace the history of the Hebrew people from the Exodus to the fall of the Southern Kingdom.” Literally no joke. If I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’. Some people used 4 blue books.

I could probably fill four blue books, but I’m not sure it would be what the prof was looking for.

from the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s fora

Definition of Death, but Not Life

We now record fetal heartbeats at 14 days post-conception. We record fetal brainwaves at 39 days post-conception. And I don’t expect you to answer this, but I do expect you to pay attention to it as you contemplate these big issues. We have this schizophrenic rule of the law where we have defined death as the absence of those, but we refuse to define life as the presence of those.

Sen.Tom Coburn,
speaking to Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor,
confirmation hearing, July 15, 2009


The Unborn Remember

The unborn have memories, according to medical researchers who used sound and vibration stimulation, combined with sonography, to reveal that the human fetus displays short-term memory from at least 30 weeks gestation – or about two months before they are born.

“In addition, results indicated that 34-week-old fetuses are able to store information and retrieve it four weeks later,” said the research, which was released Wednesday.

From The Washington Times

May I just say here, prophetically, that this, like the anti-global warming science, will be ignored, discounted, and disbelieved.

Because we can’t have babies remembering when we want to kill them, can we?


Someone tried to write a college science paper on the “natural phenomenon” of werewolves, vampires, and zombies.

Despite the fact that the student did not get the topic approved, as per the syllabus, s/he did a lot of work on the paper and developed it well. S/he looked at when those creatures were discussed using scientific language, etc.

It reminded me of my genetics class at SLU and that disease that made people’s bones (and teeth) red and for them to be sensitive to light and very hairy.

Apparently it reminded someone else (Macaroon of the same thing:

“there is a “disease” called Ambras syndrome that causes people to look like werewolves. Perhaps the other prof could suggest he take an incomplete and add a page about Ambras syndrome, thereby “fixing” the problem by actually describing a natural phenomenon. Dunno if I’d take off points here if it were my student.”


I am. I am. I even woke up the doggie.

Read pages 353 and 354 on the Chronicle forum on “favorite” student emails.

It’s on feminine problems, that not so fresh feeling, etc.

Page 355 on what men do when they get that “not so fresh” feeling.

What a lighter side to some really depressing student emails.

Okay… and now I am giggling over all the Princess Bride references fortuitously beginning at the top of the page.


Words Fail Me.

But it’s a good thing they don’t fail her.

He is a critically injured combat casualty, and she is Army Sgt. Jennifer Watson of the Casualty Liaison Team here.

Although a somber scene, it is not an uncommon one for the Peru, Ind., native, who in addition to her primary duties throughout the last 14 months, has taken it upon herself to ensure no U.S. casualty passes away alone. Holding each of their hands, she sits with them until the end, no matter the day or the hour.

God bless her. And the families of those fallen.

Laugh at a Book Review

For a very funny review, on (apparently) one of the worst books ever, go look up Shadow God on Amazon and read the first review. It is hysterical. Okay, maybe I’m hysterical. But it was fun and funny to read.

Of course, I am an English teacher.

Vocabulary: Tranche

A portion of something.

I have a tranche of students re-taking the final.


I love new words. You can tell I am an English geek, because inside I am doing a little happy dance about new words.