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silliness – The Salt-Box http://www.jbj.wordherders.net "A man needn't go far to find a subject, if he's ready with his salt-box."--Uncle Pumblechook Thu, 09 May 2013 17:06:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Why Your Twitter Person Needs to Be Older than 25 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2011/08/17/why-your-twitter-person-needs-to-be-older-than-25/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2011/08/17/why-your-twitter-person-needs-to-be-older-than-25/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2011 03:37:23 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/?p=418 Continue reading ]]>

Flickr user wollombi / Creative Commons licensed

. . . otherwise, this happens:

First, Mark recommended the Diigo iOS browser:

@ @ Why wait? The Diigo Browser app has a share button built-in. (Seems like I should profhack this app....)
Mark Sample

. . . which makes sense, since he’s written about Diigo on ProfHacker. I replied,

@ @ The Diigo browser ate my baby. I can't recommend it.

which makes sense, because I’m an idiot. That’s when things got entertaining:

@ @ @ Could you let us know more details about diigo browser issue by sending an email to joel 【at】diigo.com?

Who knew that the joke was so obscure?

All of which is just to say that Diigo makes a very fine iOS browser, one which, to the best of my knowledge, is not responsible for eating *any* babies, Australian or otherwise.

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I may have watched too much Friends http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/15/i-may-have-watched-too-much-friends/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/15/i-may-have-watched-too-much-friends/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2009 16:47:35 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/15/i-may-have-watched-too-much-friends/ Continue reading ]]> People who follow me on Twitter know that this week has been contractor week at chez Salt-Box, with the focus of most efforts being the upstairs bathroom.  (You can see evidence on Flickr: “Things That Are Busted in Our Bathroom“; “Day 2: Return of the Contractor“; and “Day 3: Still Contractin‘.”)

The bathtub’s not cast-iron or porcelain or anything . . . it’s a composite material called “Vikrell,” which is why we could afford it.  I have no idea if this is a good decision, or not–frankly, it’s the best we could do now–but the name is unfortunate.  All I can think of is this episode from Friends, when Ross invents a former boyfriend for Phoebe, named Vikram.

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Known-new contract FAIL http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:38:54 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/07/13/known-new-contract-fail/ Continue reading ]]> From the AAUP’s “Things to Know Before You Go” page for this summer’s institute:

 There is also a public wireless network available in any building on campus for those with laptops. Please remember to bring your cables. [emphasis added]

Either there’s been a breach of the known-new contract here, or someone doesn’t understand the concept of a “wireless” network. (Because when contractors are ripping apart your house, nothing soothes quite like grammatical snark.)

Snark aside, I am looking forward to this institute!  Apparently I will emerge with the collective bargaining agreement tattooed, in its entirety, on my skin–which isn’t bad, conference-swag-wise.

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Land of the Lost: in which I suffer for the sake of knowledge http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/06/06/land-of-the-lost-in-which-i-suffer-for-the-sake-of-knowledge/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/06/06/land-of-the-lost-in-which-i-suffer-for-the-sake-of-knowledge/#respond Sat, 06 Jun 2009 14:58:33 +0000 geekdadland of the lostmovies http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/06/06/land-of-the-lost-in-which-i-suffer-for-the-sake-of-knowledge/ Continue reading ]]> This weekend at GeekDad I have a “10 things parents should know” post up about Land of the Lost, which was almost no fun at all.  That said, there’s always a silver lining:

10.  Well, is there at least a GeekDad-friendly catchphrase?

Yes!  “Matt Lauer can suck it!” “Science shows no mercy.  And neither do I.”

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Learning from our public schools: What matters in evaluations http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/29/learning-from-our-public-schools-what-matters-in-evaluations/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/29/learning-from-our-public-schools-what-matters-in-evaluations/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2009 03:14:01 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/03/29/learning-from-our-public-schools-what-matters-in-evaluations/ Continue reading ]]> So, this weekend we received a document with two forms: the teacher of the year nomination and a parent survey, largely about satisfaction with the school.  We’re pretty happy with the school, and very happy with the teacher, so no worries there.  (Readers with long memories will recall that I think the district . . . makes poor decisions, but we like our kid’s school.)

The parent survey is labeled “Holmes Brand Survey,” and, after a demographic question about grade-level, the first two questions are . . . wait for it . . . these:

Holmes School focuses on

  1. Leadership
  2. Higher Order Thinking Skills
  3. Science and technology
  4. Global Community

Holmes School’s (motto/slogan/tagline) is:

  1. Raising Readers!
  2. A formula for success!
  3. Launching Leaders!
  4. Scholars at Work!

(The answers, for the curious, are “Science and technology” and “A formula for success,” respectively.  And, yes, the fact that the correct answers have lower-case words is reproduced faithfully from the handout, as if it’s a tell.)

After these critical questions come more usual questions about whether the child’s being challenged, etc.

I hear the Connecticut State University system is redesigning and standardizing our student evaluations–I think we should look to the public schools!  Start all student evaluations (sorry, student opinion surveys [!]) by asking them to correctly identify the motto of the system and of their particular university.*  Because that’s what matters in education: maintaining your brand.


*Every single day it amuses me a little that my school’s slogan/motto/tagline (“Start with a dream. Finish with a future.”) is basically indistinguishable from my father’s community college’s (“From here, go anywhere.”).  I’m *very* easily amused.

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An offer to UConn http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/02/17/an-offer-to-uconn/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/02/17/an-offer-to-uconn/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2009 12:54:45 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/02/17/an-offer-to-uconn/ Continue reading ]]> Readers outside CT may not be aware that there is currently a mini-scandal in the state about retired employees, including faculty members, who keep working and are thus drawing both pension and pay from the state.  Sometimes this is fairly innocuous–some poor soul keeping her hand in by teaching the odd section of composition, but sometimes, well, sometimes it is a little outrageous:

One retired professor, [name snipped, since it’s not really about him, and I’m sure he’s a fine person who doesn’t deserve to be subjected to all this at the end of his career], teaches two introductory accounting classes each semester and is paid $81,650 per year in salary and more than $174,000 in pension, according to public records.

Regarding the salary of more than $81,000, Hogan said, “That’s what the market is” before adding that the market is even higher. UConn, he said, would need to spend $110,000 to hire an accounting professor as a replacement, and that professor would not teach the 800 students that [snip] currently teaches.

So, as I understand it, the offer is $81,000 for 2 intro classes?

As a service to the state, and as a way to get you off the front pages of the Courant,  I will teach two intro classes per year for $81,000.  Why stop at 800 students?  I will teach 1000 students in the two sections.

Now, you will perhaps object, “but you are a Victorianist, not an accounting professor, and can barely keep up with your checkbook and your (fairly simple) taxes,” which is a fair point.  But I have sabbatical coming up in the fall, and I could use that time to re-train.  Plus, let’s be honest: You don’t *really* care about pedagogy, or you wouldn’t  pack 800 kids into two classes.  Give me a few months with an intro to accounting textbook, and some publisher-supplied online/multimedia content, and everything would work out fine. I’m a good teacher: a two-time excellence-in-teaching award finalist, and a semi-finalist another time.  You can trust me!

(Somewhat more seriously, I’m bemused that the UConn union tolerates this: Unions should attend more to pay equity within the university.  When accounting professors earn $81K/yr, while English and history adjuncts earn pennies per hour . . . something’s badly broken.)

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The true meaning of a Ph.D. http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/02/14/the-true-meaning-of-a-phd/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/02/14/the-true-meaning-of-a-phd/#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2009 16:46:46 +0000 academeacademiadoctoral studygrad schoolgraduate schoolhigher educationshaquille o039neal http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2009/02/14/the-true-meaning-of-a-phd/ Continue reading ]]> In the Feb. 16 issue of The Sporting News, Shaquille O’Neal explains what a getting a doctorate means to him:

SN: I understand we’ll soon have to call you Dr. Shaq.

O’Neal: That’s right.

SN: When will that be?

O’Neal: Probably 2010, maybe 2011.  Human relations.  My thing is, I want to go out and help big corporations, do consulting, find out who the mole is and help them fix it.  Do funny speeches, get paid for it.  A la Tony Robbins.  You know, having the doctorate behind it means you’re an expert.  I can go now as Shaq, but they’ll look at me like, “What the (expletive) do you know?”  So, put that doctor behind it, “expert,” and it’ll make sense.

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One sign you’re becoming yet another absent-minded professor http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/08/13/one-sign-youre-becoming-yet-another-absent-minded-professor/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/08/13/one-sign-youre-becoming-yet-another-absent-minded-professor/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2007 15:49:33 +0000 absent-mindedhigher educationsad realization http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/08/13/one-sign-youre-becoming-yet-another-absent-minded-professor/ Continue reading ]]> When you spend three minutes staring out of your office window wondering how to figure out whether it’s stopped raining, the better to return books to the library . . . you may be an absent-minded prof.

Not good.

(One sign you’re a hopeless Apple dork: Your first thought, when thought finally comes, is, “Oh, I’ll check my iPhone.”)

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Students’ research and writing process http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/07/31/students-research-and-writing-process/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/07/31/students-research-and-writing-process/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2007 11:48:57 +0000 higher educationmacworldresearch papersstudentsteachingwriting http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/07/31/students-research-and-writing-process/ Continue reading ]]> This month’s issue of Macworld imagines a typical student’s writing process, and it isn’t pretty:

If you’re using Safari to do so some heavy-duty browsing, you’ve probably got multiple windows and multiple tabs open at once.  For instance, when doing research for a paper, you may open Wikipedia in one window and Google in another, and then [apple]-click to open multiple tabs within each window.

Sounds like a C paper  to me,  magic Safari tricks or no.

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A summertime Friday query on faculty governance http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/07/27/a-summertime-friday-query-on-faculty-governance/ http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/07/27/a-summertime-friday-query-on-faculty-governance/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2007 16:39:21 +0000 faculty governancefrench friesfunnyhigher educationsteak cut http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2007/07/27/a-summertime-friday-query-on-faculty-governance/ Continue reading ]]> If the student center changes their fries (to “steak-cut”), shouldn’t they have to run that by the faculty senate?

Steak-cut’s gross.

(It may well be, of course, that they’re just out of regular fries.  But isn’t it convenient that they’d make this change in the summer, when the senate doesn’t meet?)

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