Rain

Filed Under Daris

It has rained here for many many days. Rain gets to people. I read that san Diego county has had twice as much rain this year as Seattle. I mean, we have the gloom already so as a city we are already accustomed to not seeing the sun for days on end, but rain for days on end is different.

Monday we were driving to Oside to see C and M… and we passed six accidents in under 6 miles. Big accidents too. When I was a kid on the bus to school (which was 45 minutes one way) I used to play this game where I named the make and model of every car that we passed. Then one day I started to realize how many new cars there were, and how much they were worth (after my parents bought a new car I started to put these things together). It is amazing how much money is just flying by on the highway. So anyways, those six accidents, probably 12 totalled cars, was like $240,000 just disappearing. Funny. Maybe if the drivers had just checked the depth of the tread on their tires, or maybe fixed those pesky cracked wiper blades, or OH MY GOSH TURNED ON THEIR FREAKING HEADLIGHTS maybe we would still have that $240,000.

Rain rant done. Back to homework.

Getting things done is good

Filed Under Us, Daris

There is something very satisfying about closure. Tonite I finished the upgrade of this website by completing changes to the links page. Yay. One check box can be checked. Now I just have to finish all the other junk on my list… :(

Fraggin books

Filed Under Daris

Ok, a quick rant about textbooks. It seems that there are two very divided camps of college professors (and my guess is department-level political slants). One side, which is the favorite of the students, thinks that books are too expensive and actively subverts the publisher-driven marketing paradigm. The second side, which students loathe and work around at any cost, thinks that publishers who produce utterly useless revisions to completely acceptable textbooks ARE ACTUALLY CREATING SOMETHING OF VALUE.

So my math classes have been of the first camp. Except for Trig and Precalc, I have had to buy one text for multiple classes. For Calculus, they even have you buy an edition called the “classic edition”. For algebra, same thing! The upside is that even new my calculus book was under $100. The downside is… well good luck selling the book when you are done. Not much of a downside however… I budget $100 per class per semester when I do my cost projections. For Calculus I use the same book for three semesters… paid 90-ish for the book… lets see that is 30 per semester. Sounds like a rad deal to me. My History professor this semester is also suprisingly of this camp. His personal opinion: books teach history not textbooks. Awesome. I buy one “Brief Edition” text for 20 bones, and three regular old books (paperback! what a concept!) for under 60. That is a savings from my budget of over 20 bones!

Enter the pinnacle of pedagogy: language classes. Seems like the dominant theories on language instruction change three maybe four times a year. I tried to take Spanish 101 last semester, had to shell out over $120 for a wrapped set of books and workbooks. Ended up that I could not take the class because of scheduling with Liz… So there I was with an unwrapped set and could not return them for full price. So silly me, thinks “save them for next semester, they will use the same book” WRONG. So Prentice Hall decides to publish a new edition. Ok, so I paid 120 for the set, and now the district uses a different text which is WELL OVER $150 FOR THE SET and WOW I cannot sell the old set for more than $40 bones on half.com. SHEESH! I mean how much does Spanish really change in three years? Do you really need a new edition every four?

I think what is really going on is a pedagogic war between educators who publish and those who do not. And I mean educators here, not scholars. There is a difference it seems when it comes to instruction. So you have educators who publish who get publishers behind them with huge capitol investments who drill it into the (apparently) lesser educators heads that their way is better for whatever reason and they should suspend disbelief and blindly follow their methodologies. Ok sure, ask Liz about what is happening in SD Unified with science cirricula. An outside company has taken this pedagogic paradigm to the ultimate level and designed EVERY DAYS INSTUCTION from labs to reccomended lectures. The school purchases the package, books and all, and VOILA your teachers are now robots! Yay! The teachers love it of course… why, they no longer have to make their own lectures. They no longer have to worry about whether or not they are meeting the standards for the course. They no longer have to THINK. Its GREAT! Give me a break… This is where instruction is headed? I fear for our children.

End of rant.

Kites

Filed Under Daris

Ahhh so sitting here in front of the warm glow of the TV today, reflecting on how the stock market went up but DVSA sit around the unchanged mark… yet again… need to sell that crap… I looked outside and saw the wind trying to blow down the palm trees outside… and it occurred to me that there is a child sitting here on the floor who has NEVER EVER IN HER LIFE SEEN A KITE!

So we went to the park, and the wind was howling… the planes were taking off towards the mountains as usually happens with Santa Ana wind days. The wind was blowing directly into the sun however, and Iris was torn. Stare at the kite OUCH stare OUCH where is the kit.. OUCH! Child abuse for sure. Iris, if you are reading this, yes your dad tried to give you retinal cancer. But he put sunscreen on your cute cheeks first!

Must… trim… fingernails…

So after my rant last night about getting things done, I finally completed build 0.4.2.01 of Pearlowis. Amazing how long I have been working on getting that thing done. I still remember when it was a glimmer in my eye… we were living in Vista at the time… I remember making a dual-boot Win98/Linux install on the home computer and using the linux partition to play Civilization… funny when I think back on that. Life was so simple then… sheesh that was like 5 years ago now. I am getting old.

Regardless, I completed the build. And discovered another bug. Life goes on. Code is poetry… and this poet is happy the peak is never passed.

I cheated death today on the freeway. Not a minute ahead of me on the 805 near home, just over the crest south of the 8 interchange there was a huge accident. 6 cars, maybe 4 completely totalled. Three lanes full of debris. Maybe I will see something on the news later… probably not. That is one of the most accident prone areas in the county.

Ok, I have been watching Inuyasha and I have to say, I don’t get it. Who watches this crap. Oh yeah… sorry sods like me who get home from their workday at 10 pm and can’t unwind until 2AM…

So what is it with fat kids and attitude in math classes? I am not sure what the deal is, but almost every math class I have ever taken has had some anti-social fat kid that sits in the back and thinks he knows everything. So today… I just want to hear this lecture… and yes, the teacher is going over things that some people know already (vectors in 2-space and 3-space)… and yes when he asks “are there any physics majors in the class” like a third of the class starts to raise their hands… but this guy blurts out something about a dot product and cosine… Tom ignored him the first time. Then the second time he had to put the smack down. It went something like “This is math class, that was a shortcut you were taught in a science class… if you want to succeed in Linear Algebra, learn it the way I show you. If you want to fail Linear, fine, remember that dumb shortcut”. Two days ago another student who took Tom last semester with me joked that we should start a pool for how many students would be left past the drop date… last sememster it was 12 after starting the class full (40). I think 12 sounds good this time as well. I remember how the first test went over last semester. It was not even a hard test. But every single question was a trick question. It was funny when he gave tests back and was like “This was pathetic. I will give you ONE CHANCE to redo a test, and this is it.” I think we lost half the class right there.

I know it is sick, but I look forward to the first test. We will see what I think then, but now it sounds delicious.

Yet another semester…

Filed Under Daris

Blog post number two. Started class yesterday. Calculus 3… funny how the math classes get easier from this point forward. Not sure why it was engineered that way. Some math majors somewhere got together and decided that a massively difficult semester thrown in somewhere in the beginning would convince more people not to get into their “cool” math classes. Who knows. Regardless, it is comforting to know that I will not have another math-class-experience like last semester.

My professor is Tom Teegarden. He is a hardass but he is upfront about it. He is also very opinionated, but very rarely about anything but math. Which is good.

Here I go again babbling about class! I was just discussing with my wife how we don’t have to talk about how difficult our day was all night. Now here I am WRITING about it. Sheesh.

Things I am thinking about:

Ok, guess I should go do something…