I parked along the side of the road instead of in the parking lot, and as I was getting out of my car the #1 pulled up, and it stopped right by my car to let me board, which I know they're not supposed to do, but which I really appreciated.
I took a seat next to a girl who was reading a rather thick book that was in Chinese.
A girl across from me was studying—what looked like from what I could see—tests she had received back during the semester, as they seemed graded, presumably on her way to the final exam for the class.
A girl to her left studied what looked like semester-long notes in a three-ring spiral notebook. Yes, it's definitely exam week.
The guy sitting directly across from me wasn't cramming, wasn't studying at all. He was either prepared for his exams, or had already finished them and was on his way to a campus job perhaps. He had an interesting bag sitting between his legs on the floor. It looked like a Native American type bag of some sort. He, himself, did not look at all Native American.
I was thankful for a day without meetings today.
I checked out my new office in the basement to see if the furniture that's in it, and staying in it, is "okay with me." I found it to be so. The majority of people who work for my boss's boss are moving from our second-floor suite into offices in the basement of the building, and it's a sore, sore subject—deeply embroiled in reality, perception, and politics.
Somebody I know, and love, got just a teeny-tiny bit older today:
I desperately wanted to get a workout in before going to Salon tonight, as I knew I was going to—and in fact, did—overeat during the night. So, in anticipation of that, I did 300 (15 sets of 20) ab crunches and followed that up with 30 extra-intensity minutes on the elliptical machine.
A guy was on a machine in the row ahead of me, whom I saw there on Friday, and who once again had on a form-fitting Lycra-type shirt. He wasn't fat by any means, but he did have little rolls which were only accentuated by that shirt. I start sweating just looking at something that tight on someone who is about to start sweating themselves.
Salon XVII was held at Anna's house tonight, and we Skyped Kim in. As is always the case, we learned a lot about things and each other, and laughed more in one night than most people laugh all month.
Here's tonight's agenda along with my responses, where appropriate, interjected:
Monday, December 13, 2010
- If you're a teacher, or have taught, what are your experiences with cheating students, and how do you think UCF Professor Richard Quinn handled his situation. Reference Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbzJTTDO9f4 (John)
- I had never heard of test banks before this.
- As for his approach, I like how he started off with the “data” (logos) part and then moved onto the “emotional” (pathos) part.
- I thought that line about, “I don’t care what you have planned. If you have to give birth, you’re going to give birth in the exam room, ‘cause it’s going to take a signed, hand-delivered note from God for you to get out of taking this mid-term exam,” slightly eroded his credibility (ethos) for me.
- I like how he gave them “a choice to determine their future” at the end.
- I found this comment posted under the video on YouTube interesting: “Professor Quinn, you are unethical. I have a PhD, and have taught at several business schools. I have never been able to bring myself to use the canned test banks provided by the publishers, which I KNOW were created by stressed out, busy graduate students. The test bank questions are typically low quality, merely trivial pursuit type questions. Using them is the hight [sic] of irresponsible teaching. To claim that your TAs spent 96 hours coming up with new questions is B.S.”
I was absolutely shocked to find that the salon members, and I believe it was everyone without fail, thought this teacher was a "prick." And I wasn't shocked because I disagree with their assessment or reasoning in reaching that conclusion, but just because, I guess, I thought as teachers, they'd be somewhat in simpatico with him. So interesting.
- How do you like (or not like) reading books written in dialect? What issues, if any, do they present you? What joy, if any? (John)
I really dislike it. I spend too much time analyzing it for consistency and for, in the case of The Help, adherence to AAVE as I understand (or don’t understand) it. It really slows me down and rather than drawing me in contextually, it alienates me.
- Thinking man's version of NCSU alumni's bad sweater party (and an exercise in experiential sharing): Wear or bring something—an article of clothing or jewelry or whatever—that has special significance to you. Per Brad, "Whatever we bring, we need pictures with double-thumbs up." (Anna)
I brought my "Memories" book from high school, which essentially is one big scrapbook. It contains things like my class schedule form senior year, ribbons we wore to sports events, my honor society ribbon, pep really class (S-O, P-H, O-M-O-R-E-S, and J-U-N, I-O-R) ribbons, my junior prom picture, a collage of things that meant a lot to me at the time—one being a trap set, about which one might have asked, "You like drums?" And about which I could never answer out loud at the time, "No, actually, I'm totally in love with Frank who plays the drums."
- From Seth Godin's blog entry: Reasons to work. Let's put these in the order they apply to us, with the first being the one that speaks to us the most. (John)
- To be challenged
- To be appreciated
- For the pleasure/calling of doing the work
- To be part of a group and to experience the mission
- To solve interesting problems
- For the money
- For the impact it makes on the world
- For the reputation you build in the community
- Anna's to read her poem about the engineer. (John)
- New Year's Resolutions (Sarah)
My focus item for 2011 will be my health, specifically my weight, with a goal to be out of the “obese” BMI range in time for the start of the F-A-F plan, which goes into effect July 1, 2011.
- Discuss the point of Spelling Matters (Sarah)
I thought the point was that you should consider a little more critical thinking when these studies and memes are thrown at you.
- Update on Sarah's study abroad: Are we there yet? (Anna)
- Update on Ella's performances and a little background on Jonah's selection as tap dancer of the month. (John)
- If you were in solitary confinement for the rest of your life, and you discovered a cockroach in your room, would you kill it or make it your friend? (John)
My first reaction to this question was, “Are you kidding? I’d kill it in a heartbeat.” I’d still like to think that I could keep my mind occupied and stimulated without the help of a cockroach, but I do wonder.
- Salon Roadtrip (to Durham) (John)
I really, really, really want to see Manbites Dog Theater’s current show with Salon. I’d like to see your reaction to a couple of the five vignettes that, to me, are a “genre-bending” exercise and most, if not all five, employing and abusing various rhetorical devices. There are four shows left, and I’m even willing to go on different nights with different people. I’m even willing to pay for the tickets if that’s an issue for anyone.
- Schedule our Saloniversary meeting, and through first quarter, or first half of 2011? (John)
I am going to send out a Doodle poll for this. Monday continues to be a good day for folks.
Here's another holiday favorite from the country collection: