sarahmichelef: (Default)
Sheer brilliance, sent by Jeremy.

Too funny

Jun. 22nd, 2006 11:28 am
sarahmichelef: (OMG!)
So my students are taking their third exam right now. And one of them is a rabid soccer fan. Thus, I will be putting the scores of the USA/GHA and ITA/CZE games on the chalkboard along with time remaining for the exam.
sarahmichelef: (Mad)
Yesterday on Talk of the Nation they were talking about the Senate debate of the Marriage Protection Amendment. They had some guy on declaring that the point was to protect marriage as it has always existed - between one man and one woman. I simply turned to the radio and said "Are you trying to make me homicidal?" The good news is that the timing couldn't be better for my class, since we're talking about the gay rights movement and gay marriage on Thursday.

And then this morning they were talking about the damn immigration reform bills. I want them to decide why we need to militarize the Mexican border. Is it because the brown folks are coming and taking all those lovely meatpacking and strawberry-picking jobs that Americans are beating down the doors for? Or is it about terrorism? But the thing that made me jump up out of bed yelling at the TV was the following sequence:

  1. Shrub wants to militarize the Mexican border.
  2. The US-Canada border is the longest international border in the world, and it's really very porous.
  3. The recently-foiled terror plot in Ontario is evidence that we need to tighten border security with Canada.

That's right. Because when a bunch of Canadians make plans to go all Timothy McVeigh/Terry Nichols on Toronto and Ottawa's collective ass, we need to worry about our safety.

Oh, and here's one for [livejournal.com profile] cranky_dragon. Did you know that Canada's loose immigration laws are one of the reasons we need to be concerned? Yeah. Thought you'd appreciate that one.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Last class session today. I showed them Epic 2015 and we talked about how it related to themes of the class. (I love the Matrix-y feel of that film...) And I handed out the final, and that's that. Finals are due a week from tomorrow, when my parents will be here visiting. We figure they'll play with TRex while we grade exams. ;^)

And now, on to my summer class! Gotta get that syllabus settled.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
So I'm downloading a bunch of articles for my summer class (Sociology 235: Sexuality and Society - current enrollment: 4). These are things that I have hard copies of from last time I taught the class but I really don't want to have to make all of them electronic (for putting on e-reserves) myself - scanning to a reasonable .pdf file is a three-step process and I have far better things to do with my time. Fortunately, many of these articles are online. Hooray.

Except that stupid Haworth Press (publisher of The Journal of Homosexuality) has the most ASININE file download system ever.

First off, the files download as .asp files. By default, my computer thinks that .asp files should be opened by system profiler. This means that every time you download one, the computer launches System Profiler to tell you that it doesn't know what to do with the file. Despite the .asp extension, they are readable by Preview or Acrobat. I just had a smart moment and remembered how to tell the computer to always open .asp files with Preview, so that annoying part of it is solved. However...

You can only download one of them at a time. They all come down with the same filename, but for some reason it won't just append a number onto the filename like it usually does when there are duplicate download names. (I haven't cared enough to figure out what happens if you don't delete one before you download the next - but you definitely can't be downloading two of them at a time.) So here I sit waiting for the files to download so I can rename them and then grab the next one.

Man, I lead an exciting life.

ETA: I forgot the bonus. In all this stupidness, I did find a fun article about JenniCam. Which is actually legitimately classifiable as real academic work (since I'll be referring to the webcam phenomenon in my diss).
sarahmichelef: (Mad)
So my students are to submit their take-home midterms electronically - this will be my first go at grading essays without a printout of them. I have one student who only has MS Works. And, because this is MS, WordX can't recognize the file format. What the hell is up with that? Software from within one company that can't play nicely together? (And yes, I've been aware of this particular problem for years and years. And it never fails to irritate me.) I can make Office extract the text from the file, but that's obviously a sub-optimal solution. I've asked her to see if Works will let her save the files as either .rtf or even as .txt and we'll see what happens.

I'm just glad she brought this to my attention several days before the exam is actually due. Hooray for responsible students.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Since my spring break is going to consist of a trip to OK and then working for the rest of the week trying to get ahead on teaching stuff and prepping my course for the summer, I've declared tonight to be Spring Break Preview, and I'm going to not do any academic work once I pick up TRex from daycare. Instead, I'm going to do some sewing, which I haven't done in a very long time (not counting the veil that I've been taking to textile guild for 2 months to work on the hem). Maybe I'll manage to finish my hoods. And then I'm going to watch Numb3rs.

It's an exciting life I lead.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Hee! )
Didn't make good use of my long weekend to get ahead in my lecture prep. Of course, since TRex is home from daycare on Mondays anyway, it's not like the weekend was really any different than usual for me.
various TV musings - Grey's Anatomy spoilers )
sarahmichelef: (Default)
M has a non-league raquetball match tonight...with the league coordinator, becasue the guy wants to assess the skill level of people. We went out and bought him new court shoes the other day because he's been using his old ones to mow the lawn, which might not go so nicely with the court.

My FL got to play a role in class today - they read Lisa Nakamura's article "Interrogating the Digital Divide", and one of the main points that she makes is we need to look at how minorities are using the Internet for PRODUCTION rather than just CONSUMPTION in order to assess the impact of differential access and use patterns.  So I mentioned [livejournal.com profile] xayide79's posting about the offensive theme park & how the Internet plays into the discovery, the response, and the possibility of mobilization (one of the things that Nakamura mentions is the Internet-facilitated mobilization of the Asian-American community in respones to the horribly offensive A&F shirts that came out a couple of years ago), and then of course yesterday's flak about WoW.
Project Runway, of course! )
And now I'm off for the rest of my madcap Thursday (gym, quick stop at home, doctor, pick up TRex...).  Tomorrow is Friday and thus DISSERTATION DAY!  Whoo.[profile]

La-dee-da!

Jan. 17th, 2006 03:45 pm
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Class was. There are many of them; they displayed varying levels of live-ness today. Lots of tech stuff to sort out for my classroom, including the best place for me to stand... the projector is so far away that it shines on the ENTIRE SCREEN and I can't stand stage center without blocking it. Meh. Also, the VGA port is on one side of the screen and the ethernet port is on the other - how's that for brilliant? Fortunately the e'net cable that's in the room is super-duper long and so this semester may be the "watch Sarah try not to trip over the cables" show. Ah well... Gym was gym-y. I've decided the single best way to dry off after a shower is to go in the sauna for a couple of minutes. Mmmmmm... sauna. Nothing better when it's 40 degrees and raining out than going in the sauna.

Interesting thingy for the day: I did an internet use survey that we're going to talk about in class on Thursday. 4 people (myself included) indicated that they use the Internet 30 or more hours per week.

3/4 of them were female.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Found out on Wednesday that my class for next semester already has 35 people in it - and here I thought it was capped at 20! Good thing the bookstore keeps an eye on enrollment! I'm having to rethink some stuff about the class because of it, but that's ok.

Weatherstripped the doors in the entryway the other night. Much less cold in there now. 1950s-era weatherstripping is scary, scary stuff. Gotta get some housecaulk this weekend to try to seal up some other various leaks.

There's another itinerant sociology grad student in Buffalo. We're going to have a dissertation group starting next semester. Yay!

I feel like I have a bruise in the inside corner of my eye - clogged tear duct maybe? Just a random weirdness? I don't know. We were frenzied this morning anyway, so I didn't put in my contacts (plus! cute new glasses!). It only hurts when I poke at it.

We got crappy sleet yesterday afternoon with a couple of inches of snow dumped on top of it overnight. The lake effects snows are supposed to kick in this afternoon and give us several more inches, although it's nice and sunny now. I think every school in the entire area is closed today (but not the universities), but TRex's daycare is open so off we went this morning - I'm going to keep an eye on the weather and if it starts looking like I'd have trouble getting there to pick her up at the usual time, I'll just go early - that's the advantage of it being only 5 minutes away.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
I'm going to be teaching "Internet and Society" at Canisius this spring! I'm super-excited about the course, and have been poking the web for ideas all day. I really need to go dig through all of my files that are stashed in the closet in the study for ideas about what I'm going to cover, since I need to write a course description by Friday. I definitely know that we'll be covering Internet dating on Valentine's Day. ;^)
sarahmichelef: (Default)
A few years ago, I had a young lady in an intro class that I was teaching who had a reading comprehension learning disability. We worked together to come up with a plan that would let her work with her tutor while still getting her work in to me (the class involved reading responses for every class meeting, and her tutoring sessions were timed such that she often hadn't seen the tutor to go over her assignments before the responses were due...). At the beginning of the semester, she did not have much self-confidence, but over the 14 weeks that she was in my class she really started to get it - to look at the world critically, etc. I saw her confidence grow. At the end of the semester, she told me that I was the first teacher she'd ever had who told her "You can do it - you just have to figure out how to work around your learning difficulties."

Last year, I think it was, I ran into her in the hall and she told me that she'd declared a sociology major and my believing in her was a big part of why.

This morning, the undergraduate program director sent out the list of seniors who are being considered for departmental awards.

Her name is on it.

I nearly cried for joy. I'm asking to be there to help present any award that she gets. Whenever I talk about why I want to teach college students, I tell her story.

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