Archive for the 'wcc' Category

You keep yourself out of my business

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Mouse: “moom i am in the library surrounded by three books, four volumes of scholarly articles, and i have an annotated bibliography, the first page of my paper, the library search engine, and two more articles up on my computer screen. i don’t think you need to worry about it today.”

Well, okay, by now I know better than to worry about whether Mouse is doing her homework and that was a much better response than, “You *keep* yourself *out* of my business,” which I got from her once in fourth grade. I think part of the problem that time was that she had been assigned to work with “one of those others who are not girls.” No longer a problem as far as I know unless you get paired up with one of those young men who write like dinosaurs and are incapable of reading and replying to email. No, they are not extinct. I frequently get them as partners. Just what I need, another kid 😉 Anyway, I wasn’t *really* worried, only that I might be distracting her by emailing her about knitting and the like.

Annotated bibliography? Glorp. I don’t even know what eez that. Well, at least I didn’t until last fall in one of Jason’s killer classes, Web Coding III. We were assigned to write a research paper complete with an annotated bibliography. I picked the topic “Asynchronous Javascript and XML.” Interesting topic and a lot more controversial than you might guess. And yes, I did figure out how to make an annotated bibliography all by myself without any help from either of my smart-alecky little munchkins 😉

Stage Fright

Friday, April 28th, 2006

I do not know exactly what is going on but I am not afraid to speak in front of a group any more. I used to be petrified. I am just about terminally shy. I mean I am shy enough that it is hard for me to even call friends up to ask them if they want to meet for coffee. Yes, it is that bad. From about junior high through college, I couldn’t even ask or answer questions from my seat, which was always as close to the back of the room as I could get. Giving a presentation to a room full of people was a fate worse than death.

It took me two whole years to work up my courage to sign up for the web development program at the local community college. I can still remember how scared I was to hit the submit button after I filled out the on-line admissions application. Pooh emailed me and said, “sit in the front row.” Say what? Sit in the front row? Pooh is my ultra-smart cousin and I doubt she has ever been afraid to speak up in class or anywhere else. But me? In the front row? Right where the teacher can see me? Not on your life!

I was terrified that first day of school and I was five minutes late and I didn’t exactly know where the classroom was and I was pretty darn disheveled by the time I got there. grok grok. You are ALWAYS disheveled. grok grok. I was thinking, “Kee-reist, what the heck am I doing?” There was one seat left in the front row and Pooh was haunting me so I took a deep breath and *willed* myself to sit in that seat!

School is all about participation nowadays and the teacher made it clear that people who did not speak up on their own would be asked random questions. You can’t just slide by with getting As on tests and papers any more. This was not going to be fun and it wasn’t easy that first semester. The teacher would ask questions and before I could even begin to get my thoughts organized, other people would just sing out all kinds of intelligent opinions. How the heck did they come up with that stuff so fast? I did not think I would ever be able to keep up.

Slowly and gradually, I began to force myself to speak up. The first time I had to do a presentation, I got full credit *only* because I covered everything in the assignment and *miraculously* did it within the specified time limit. If points had been awarded for elegance, I’d have earned about a negative 400.

I do not know exactly when the tipping point occurred but during the one class I took this semester, there were times when I just about had to clamp my hand over my mouth to shut myself up and give some of the quieter people in class a chance to talk. grok grok. Yeah, you need to shut up sometimes, you ugly old bag. grok grok. Presentations? Lemme at ’em! I can even be funny! I don’t know what happened. I guess I just do not care what people think about me any more. grokGROK!

Now, if I could just manage to extend this newfound self-confidence or whatever it is into making somebody want to pay me for something… :-/ grok grok. Yeah, then you can buy me more flies and things. grok.

Final Exam

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Final exam. And presentation. Group presentation, that is. I have no idea what grade I’m gonna get in this class. There were a couple of assignments I didn’t quite finish due to hanging around at one hoosegow or another and I missed one whole class. That was the first class I have missed since I started this little college adventure, but it was March 23rd so I had a pretty darn good excuse. Anyway, since studying for today’s final exam was making me try to crawl out of my skin, I had to find an alternate activity. And all of you PC users are in luck today because that alternate activity ended up being putting my wonderful little videos out on Click here for the fire eaters and here for the Burns Harbor. Cheers!


Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Hmmm, critical thinking or creative writing?

One More Week

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

One more week of this crazy class. Business on the Internet. I like the teacher and my classmates a lot. I won’t say exactly what I think about the class. My own personal little blahgger’s statute of limitations on what to post about school won’t run out for quite a while. Uh, actually, I guess I already said it was “crazy.” Take that however you want. That’s all you’re gonna get for now. Just count your blessings that I didn’t blahg about some of the other stuff that was on my mind today. None of it would gel into a coherent entry and that is definitely to your benefit. You did not want to know and, anyway, other people are much more interesting than me. If you want cutosity, Sam has duckies on her blahg and, in news of the weird, Alfred has risen to new heights over on the dawg blawg (April 17 entry). Or perhaps he has fallen to new depths. It can be difficult to tell with Alfred.

Group Projects

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Group projects. They are the bane of my college experience. I was thinking that thirty years or so ago students didn’t do a whole lot of group work. Then I realized that was not exactly true, at least not for me. But the groups I was in were different. There was always a maniacal dictator who stood up in front maintaining order by waving a sharp-pointed object around. He (sorry, but it was always a he) reigned supreme over the group, often thundering with anguished rage when someone did not pull their weight. “You kids are killing me!”, an Interlochen director once screamed when somebody missed an entrance. It was probably the trombone section because they sat way up in the back and typically got away with all kinds of shenanigans behind the dictator’s back. I, however, always had the wonderful luck to sit right smack underneath the guy with the baton. Mind my Ps and Qs? You betcha! I was petrified of playing a wrong note or counting wrong or being sharp in the high register. And flutes are *always* sharp in the high register. Sigh. I dunno, I suppose it was just a different set of group issues.

One Hundred Percent

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Good news? Hmmmm. Yes, I do actually have some. By some miracle, I managed to get 100% on the mid-term test I took a couple weeks ago. I had all but forgotten about that test because I blasted up to the Yoop the next day. For the life of me, I do not know how I got that score. There were some truly surreal multiple choice questions. I had to parse them right down to individual words about five times before I could even begin to figure out what they meant. That is all. Yeah, I know, that’s not much, is it? I am happiest when I am operating in a head down, one foot in front of the other mode, preferably at full-tilt boogie. In other words, when I have a mission, even though I may not always completely understand what the mission is. But I have been adrift this week. Not fun.

Update: Good news item number two: Jacob the cat actually came out and let me *pet* him a bit today! His sister Sarah is a pretty good friend of mine but Jacob is quite a bit more skeptical.