Academic Faux Pas

June 17th, 2005

Many educators allow the opportunity to review a graded assignment after it is returned so the students may see where they missed points and what was expected. When another student tries to argue a point with the teacher/professor you do NOT have the authority to help explain to them why they are not correct. This is between educator and educatee. If that student is able to talk their way into getting one or more points back on their individual assignment, more power to them. It is not your place to come to the aid of the teacher.

If I am debating an answer on a test with the professor, unless you have something constructive to contribute to MY cause, keep it to yourself. You will not benefit from trying to prove me wrong, so why would you do it? This is between the teacher and me. By all means, if you want to try and get this point back, too, join my crusade. Do not try and keep me from getting my point back.

The mind set of some students is such that it is always the appropriate time to demonstrate their understanding of what was taught and this often times leads to their outright sabotage of your right to dispute your grade.

Equate this idea to a casino. At a blackjack table we are all playing against the dealer, not against each other. When the objective is to get the highest score not to exceed 21; the dealer has 17, you have 19 and I have 20, we both win. We both beat the dealer. In the classroom my debate is not with you, it is with the professor. Please, leave us be. Many teachers will rely on their stubbornness in thought that the answer they chose was for a reason whether they remember it now or not. This leads to an absolute denial of any counterpoint made in attempt to recover a point missed. Others, however, are more receptive and will often heed the evidence provided by a student in his own defense and give him the point. In these occasions, why do you feel the need to interfere?

In high school, you may be too young and ignorant to this matter to know not to do it. In college it becomes unacceptable. When pursuing an advanced degree, there are no excuses, it is downright outrageous. Do not do it.

June 15th, 2005

Don't be hasty, prosperity will knock on your door soon.

Rabbit Redux - John Updike

June 15th, 2005
Rabbit Redux by John UpdikeThe assumptions and obsessions that control our daily lives are explored in tantalizing detail by master novelist John Updike in this wise, witty, and sexy story. Harry Angstrom—known to all as Rabbit, one of America's most famous literary characters—finds his dreary life shattered by the infidelity of his wife, Janice. How he resolves or further complicates his problems makes for a novel of the first order.

After reading Rabbit, Run for a class in college, I never thought I would read another book in that series. When it was suggested that we set the next one as Book of the Month, I had to seriously think about it. In case you were not aware, I did in fact comply with the suggestion. As result of setting Rabbit Redux as Book of the Month, even I happened to read it...

Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is a blue collar worker from Pennsylvania. He has never had the most successful marriage. In fact, since his days as a star high school athlete, he has not been successful at anything. At the point this book takes place (late 60s, early 70s), Harry appears to be hitting an all time low.

The irony of his life is spiraling out of control. He is a man in support of the Vietnam war; he though enlisted, never served closer to the war than Texas. Men were drafted and sent overseas, many did not make it home, while he, who wanted to go, was left in Texas.

The four influential people that come into his life all represent different parts of society with which Harry disagrees. Skeeter is a black man with strong liberal opinions. Jill has her youth though much of her is taken away by drugs. She also, in common with Harry's sister Mim, uses sex as a tool. Stavros, the fourth, is a foreign man who has come to the United States and found success, mostly at Harry's expense.

Walking into Harry's life are three social stereotypes (Skeeter, Jill, Mim) of the era in which the book was written. He is confronted with their ideas and forced to listen to their stance on issues. The world is moving rapidly outside his door and these three influences in his life sit him down and try seeing a new point of view. Stavros represents the oppression which Harry places over himself; hiding himself from the need to exert himself to make any change in his life.

The only interesting part of the book was the conversations that took place relative to the issues of the time. As a social commentary the book held my attention. It failed on all other fronts. The entire first half of the book and many parts contained within the second half were nothing more than filler. It was as if the author wanted to share his ideas on society as it existed and threw together a plot to contain his dialogue.

This was my last "Rabbit" book, and barring some unforeseen event, this was the last book I will read by John Updike. Yes, parts were interesting, but the rest of the book did not come close to holding my attention.

Buy it from Amazon $10.50

Ebay Sellers: The misguided approach to life.

June 12th, 2005

I made a purchase on ebay relatively recently. Since the purchase I have received multiple e-mails from the seller reiterating the fact that I should not forget to leave feedback if I was satisfied with our transaction and he will leave me feedback in turn.

The e-mails began showing up in my inbox reminding me to leave feedback before I received the item that I purchased. Correct me if I am wrong, but my end of the transaction was complete. Why do I then have to wait for feedback? As I only bid on auctions that accept payments from one of the online payment companies, my payment was made within a few hours of auction end. I do this to facilitate the easiest of transactions and so as to receive my purchased item(s) sooner as opposed to later. This has to be ideal from the seller's standpoint.

Sure it is nice as a buyer to have positive feedback left to assure future potential sellers that you are a serious bidder. Is it critical? No. Is it nice? Yes. The feedback ultimately helps the seller more than the buyer; I think that is an accurate statement. What bothers me about this whole thing is the fact that this particular seller is telling me that any feedback left for me, whatever it says, should be read as "Buyer leaves feedback" and not "Buyer pays in a timely fashion and causes no problems".

I think you are all able to deduce from this story that I have not left this guy feedback nor will I. Rationalize that my stance is one developed out of spite if you like; you will most likely be correct. This is not even the first time I have received communication from a seller that essentially told me this same thing, but never with the frequency of this seller. That guy didn't get feedback either.

Cupcake wrapper.

June 8th, 2005

Upon completion of the cupcake did you ever ball up the wrapper and pop it in your mouth? There was plenty of cupcake residue left. No, you didn't eat the paper, there was some skill involved. Or was this only us "healthy eaters" that employed this technique?

Don't judge me.

Note: Also works well with muffins.

Morning commute.

June 8th, 2005

Why is it that you can drive next to people at or even before 7am and they will be contently engaged in what appears to be a healthy, casual conversation on their cell phone? Who on EARTH are you talking to at 7am?!? Mind you, my wake up time is generally somewhere in the 4am-5am range so I am up if you call, but is this the optimum time for chat?

The only reason I can make this acceptable in my head is when the person on the other end of the phone is also on their drive to the job. But, did you wake your friend up with news of what Bobby wore to the movies? Will Jenny just not believe what happened on American Idol last night? I would wager that she will not in fact "totally freak" when she finds out, but I could be wrong. And will she really thank you in the long run because you got the news to her first? I am from the school of thought that it can wait until normal operating hours.

Oh, and in case you did not pick up the bias I notice a grossly disproportionate number of *younger* females guilty of this as opposed to other motorists.

(That is to say nothing of text messages at this the witching hour that may or may not center around the idea of fresh produce. You should be up and expecting those.)

Forums = Hacked

June 7th, 2005

As to the issue some of you have addressed yesterday, here is your update. Yesterday morning shortly after 11am the Forums were hacked. To the best of my knowledge there was nothing personal involved, but it was also not necessarily a random attack. I fit the profile that excited this guy. My forum software was the right version and was configured the right way to allow him to do what he needed. I am not the only one to suffer a loss at his hand, but maybe I will be one of the last. That would be only if he gets bored, however. Bored with senselessly depriving people of the conversations they have had over time and comfort they find during the course of the day.

My efforts since the "incident" have not yielded any results to restore what was lost. If a few last resort attempts fail as well, as I expect them to, then I will move on.

When I get a little free time (hopefully this weekend) I will begin to explore the idea of Forums 2.0. There will be formatting to work on, but it will not necessarily be done before the Forums go live.

There are no less topics to discuss, right now there is only one less place to discuss them. I want to bring back a place where everyone knows your name...that is unless you choose to remain anonymous.

Here we have a chance to rebuild. It is also an opportunity to start fresh. Everyone will have a clean slate and zero posts. I will ask that you re-register and help me rebuild what we had. I invite you to come back, but it is entirely at will. Maybe even one or two of the members who has gone inactive will view this as a chance to get back into the routine.

Hacked by CyberTo reiterate, the Forums as we have known them are gone. They have been hacked. I do not expect to be able to recover what was taken. I am dedicated to replacing to the best of my ability what was once available. Please check back for the new release of the Forums. It will never be the same, but different does not mean worse.

R.I.P Forums (v1.0) 8/31/03-6/6/05

The Q.

June 7th, 2005

That's right. "Good luck <3 Qdoba."

Where do you get your motivation?

I have mid-terms this week for my first semester of law school. Last night Wil and Katie offered to bring me some Qdoba for dinner so I wouldn't have to fend for myself; I could focus on my homework...and the Pistons game. Wil has become quite well known at the Q, much more than I. So he orders me my queso chicken burrito to go. He happens to mention that "that guy that comes in with him" all the time (me) is at home studying for some crazy law school thing and that is the fate of this burrito. It is nice to know that she knew who he was referring to and wrote the note on the burrito. Yes, it says "Good luck <3 Qdoba".

Does it get any better than that? I will go on the record to say it does not.

Sure I didn't get much work done last night, but that is no fault of the employees at Qdoba nor is it of Wil and/or Katie. Thanks guys.

(Go Pistons!)

June 6th, 2005
CroupierJack: Hang on tightly, let go lightly.

Happy Birthday Broski

June 5th, 2005

Took a few pics in the park a few weeks ago that I thought I would have to wait forever to show you. Then I realized your bday was right around the corner.

And no, I did not write that in sidewalk chalk. It was there. Hence the picture. There was a bridge right by the sidewalk pic that had the year on it. Seemed appropriate.

Have a great day bud.