11 May 2005 @ 3:26 PM 

Thank krishna, thank buddha, thank allah, thank anybody – I’ve completed my last final test for my Bachelor’s Degree. Now I just have to wait anxiously for the tests to be graded, then wait for them to send my diploma. There’s a nice spot above my Army shadowbox for another piece of “I love me” swag. 🙂

Only took me (looks at calendar) too damned long to finish it, but a milestone nonetheless, right?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 May 2005 @ 03:26 PM

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 04 May 2005 @ 6:52 PM 

Evolution on trial in Kansas

bq. The Kansas Board of Education has scheduled six days of courtroom-style hearings to begin Thursday in Topeka. More than two dozen witnesses will give testimony and be subject to cross-examination, with the majority expected to argue against teaching evolution.

C’mon! Are you guys serious up there? Nikki – tell me your neighbors aren’t all insane.

Anyone read the Crucible? I’m so embarassed to be in this country some days.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 May 2005 @ 06:55 PM

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 22 Apr 2005 @ 10:54 AM 

We’ve been playing with Celestia the past couple days, and boy is my graphics card tired.

Alex keeps wanting to look at the lava flows on Venus, and I’ve got models of the Deepspace 9 station and Babylon 5 and stuff all over the universe. This is going to be such a timesink this summer, I’m betting. Wonder if I can get it working on the TV-out for the Linux MythTV box I’ll be putting together. That would be cool – flying around space on the television, making Alex go, “ooh! Let me see the lava, Daddy!” over and over again. hehe

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 23 Jan 2006 @ 09:40 PM

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Categories: Education, Geek, The Boy
 06 Apr 2005 @ 7:16 AM 

Perich has written an essay which captures some of my feelings on the absurdity of some academics pretty well. Not all, mind you – some of you folks are actually adding to the global knowledge base. Others – not so much.

bq. If you can’t include a layman in your conversation, what you’re talking about is trash. He doesn’t need to keep up with you every step of the way, but you ought to at least let him know what you’re talking about. Or why it’s important. “We’re talking about the notion of reader viewpoint in literature, and whether the reader has the same presence in a story as one of the characters.” See? Easy.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 29 May 2005 @ 11:29 PM

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 13 Mar 2005 @ 8:49 PM 

So, my secondary hard drive went tits up (SMART monitor on the motherboard says it’s hosed, and Windows says, “you have a D drive?”) Saturday, with no warning. Now, Windows won’t boot at all, even with the D drive disconnected. I have used the Ultimate Boot CD to do what I can, and copied some files from the NTFS-formatted D drive to an old FAT32-formatted drive with Knoppix (good thing I keep weird shit around, eh?).

Now, I’ve got a 20-foot ethernet cable strung across the living room to my computer so I can use Knoppix (which doesn’t recognize my POS WiFi card), so I can attempt to do some homework (darned online classes have pitfalls after all).

This is fun. And not at all paranthetical.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2005 @ 08:54 PM

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 16 Dec 2004 @ 5:21 PM 

And today marked the third (of three) test finals for this semester. I hereby declare the 2004 school year officially done. One more semester, three more classes, five more months, and I shall be a college graduate. No measly Associates “degree” like my benighted veteran friends think of as an accomplishment, but a real-life, everybody believes it’s real, oh-my-jebus how did it take me until 2005, Bachelor’s of Science degree.

Now, I just have to wait for my grades. Two in Maryland, one in Romania. Anyone want to bet which one is not last?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Dec 2004 @ 05:21 PM

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 11 Dec 2004 @ 9:31 PM 

Well, I’ve finished my homework for the semester. The “big project” (a massive 10 page research paper) is complete, with much websurfing for source materials. Next week, 8:00 am for each of three days, are my finals. Although alloted 3 hours each, I’ve never spent more than an hour on one of my finals and I’m only one semester from graduation, so I doubt this will change next week.

Amusingly, the one closed-book final I have is for the most basic class. I finally got around to taking my freshman science classes this semester and next semester, and that’s the only test which doesn’t allow open book and open notes for the final. Go figure. I guess I’ll have to open that book for the fifth time since buying it. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Dec 2004 @ 09:31 PM

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 31 May 2004 @ 8:31 AM 

I know all my readers (that is to say, both of you) are waiting anxiously to find out what happened since my last school post.

You’ll be happy to hear that my final final was graded finally. Somehow, a percentage grade of 86% for the class (96 on the final, thank you very much) ended up giving me an A in the class. I didn’t think college classes had curves. If you write your curriculum correctly, there is no need to have curves. Take an instructional systems design class and get things straight.

Anyway, that keeps my GPA where it was when the semester started: 3.666 – I have the GPA of the beast. If I get at least a B in my summer class (I’ve never gotten below a B in any UMUC class), I’ll be on the Dean’s List in the fall. Isn’t that exciting? Nah, not to me either. That BS in the spring of 2005, though…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:52 AM

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 05 May 2004 @ 6:01 PM 

I am taking three classes this semester, all online. Two of them have responsive and personable instructors. The third actually has a teaching team consisting of a professor and TA. You would think this would make it the most responsive of the lot. Nope.

Two days ago, the professor posted that our grades from the last assignment would be posted that night, as well as the solution. Still nothing.

I wish I could say I’m surprised, but it’s completely par for the course. It has taken 5-15 days to get a response to a question, the book is bizarrely useless, the online forums have only the vaguest relationship to the course objectives and none with the book, etc.

I fully expect the final to be written in ancient Greek and Aramaic, and consist entirely of electronic engineering problems (it’s not an engineering class) dealing with combinations of dilithium crystals and unobtanium produced under intense pressure in a low-gravity environment.

Please just let me get a passing grade so I get reimbursed for tuition. Horrible class.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:51 AM

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 31 Mar 2004 @ 7:07 AM 

Girl Banned From Prom For Smoking Away From School

Here’s a girl, 18 years old, who smokes. Now, smoking is stupid but it’s not criminal. She doesn’t smoke at school, she smokes elsewhere. This, however, somehow affects her eligibility for extracurricular activities. Huh?

Proving once again that public schools are counterexamples to the democratic freedoms and principles this country was founded on. Sure, we have to limit some freedoms in schools. We don’t want the kids to yell and scream and shoot firearms while conducting various religious rituals. But, c’mon! How does this girl doing something legal and not immoral while nowhere near school affect her schoolwork in any way? Stupid rules.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2006 @ 10:29 AM

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School

 
 30 Aug 2003 @ 10:27 AM 

The Friday Five is all about Back to School.

  1. Are you going to school this year? Yep.
  2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc)? If no, when did you graduate? I graduated High School in 1988, but I’m a junior in college now. Sad, eh?
  3. What are/were your favorite school subjects? Math, sciences.
  4. What are/were your least favorite subjects? Anything liberal arts. This semester, I’m thinking “ethics” is gonna suck ass.
  5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite? There was a teacher in high school that let me get away with murder, so that was cool. But, my favorite would have been Mr. H (long German name escapes me) from 7th and 8th grade. He’s my favorite because he gave me high-energy electrical things to play with. How many 13 year olds get to build a Jacob’s Ladder?
Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:56 AM

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 04 Sep 2002 @ 2:20 PM 

While at the mall bookstore recently, I overheard a woman say things that just did not compute for me. She proclaimed, almost proudly, “I have not read a book since they made me in high school. I sometimes get through a magazine.” Then she went on to talk about how proud she was of her son, who was 14 but reading at an 11th grade level. Wonder where in the world he developed that skill?

I can’t imagine how empty life would be without books. I get the majority of my news online, and much of my interaction with friends from out-of-state. Yet, living in a world where my entertainment was exclusively from television or movies or the radio scares me. There’s a reason why people always claim the book is better than the movie – unless you’re a chucklehead, your imagination is much better than anything Lucasfilm can put on the screen.

Thanks mom.
current_music:
current_mood:

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:51 AM

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 17 Dec 2001 @ 9:33 PM 

I’ve got two online instructors this semester, one in English and one in Economics.

The economics professor is actually a high school teacher who picks up the online course in his spare time. He barely interacts with the class at all, and his midterm included vital terms not defined in this edition of the textbook – way to review the test and book. He signs emails with “Professor Xxxxxxxxx.” The only assignments in this class have been ungraded discussions.

My English professor is in the forums constantly, emails whenever something of import occurs, and is basically a good instructor, considering the limitations of the medium. She also signs her emails with her first name. She has had 4 graded assignments so far.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:51 AM

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 12 Nov 2001 @ 10:24 AM 

OK, so I’ve been harassing my English classmates on LJ for the past week, but they’re actually looking good this week. We’re finally turning in assignments that are expected to be structured and formatted according to the MLA style, and so far (three of us have completed the assignment that is due today) it’s looking reasonable.

Now, my Economics class is another story. One of the students has posted his reply to the latest assignment (also due today), and at the end says, “I want to point out that I took this answer from the following URL” as if that makes it ok to plagiarise the entirety of his assignment. Is there some new rule in college that makes it ok to just take an entire doctoral thesis and post it as your own? I was reading through this entry and thought, “Wow, someone actually put some time and effort into this lame class. How amazing.” And then, I came upon that final statement.

I’m a fiddler crab, it’s fiddler crab season!
current_music: Five For Fighting – Love Song

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:57 AM

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 10 Nov 2001 @ 1:33 PM 

Oh, geez, yet another moron has brought forth his comments on life and the universe. The first assignment for this lame-o English class was to introduce ourselves. Yes, this was an assignment for an entire week of class. Frightening, eh?
So, here are some excerpts from the latest person to finally get around to posting his first assignment, only two weeks late.

I may encounter works that I am truely interested in I may tole around for hours just for marginal success and if it is in my belief that this work is of perfection I’ll have my satifaction.
I am a student, a security officer in a shopping mall and in a half-way house and I am an investigatiogator mainly woeking within the Criminal Justice Act.

Ouch! My head hurts just reading that crap. These idiots made it out of high school? I can only imagine the fun my teacher friends have on a daily basis…
current_music: Prince – The Rainbow Children

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:55 AM

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 08 Nov 2001 @ 12:01 PM 

OK, once again, from someone who is taking a Junior-level college English class, the title being “Critical Approaches to Literature” we have this gem of great literacy:

I have to appreciate liturate in every form.

Um, how can you appreciate something you can’t spell, even with the correct number of syllables? Shoot me now.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:58 AM

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 05 Nov 2000 @ 2:57 PM 

What has happened to our society, when even college graduates don’t seem to possess a vocabulary that exceeds that of an elementary school dropout?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 Jul 2004 @ 11:57 AM

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