May 31, 2009

Notes on a Sunday afternoon

About an hour ago, I was fearing that I'd have to drive again to my office because I had left feedback sheets there, in the way that I realized last night I had goofed during the week, failed to print them out and failed to bring home the right cable to transfer student papers from my computer to the ebook reader. One drive to campus early Sunday morning later (with detour to park for walk with spouse), I was back home for the very first transfer of stuff from new university laptop to ebook reader. Works.

I suspect this computer cost the university about 70% of what my old computer did, and like everything else computerwise, it's much faster. Good things: wider screen, same weight, runs cooler, faster, has more flash-card readers, has integrated webcam and mic, universal PC image gives me access to a range of program installation so I don't have to hunt all over the internet tubies to install my essentials, VPN (virtual private network) program that works without clogging the computer. Okay things: twice as much HD space. Since I don't engage in huge amounts of multimedia stuff, that's fine. Weird things: (1) Dell fingerprint reader. Tried it for two days, and now it's off, since I am obviously trying to forge my own identity (or so says the computer). (2) Microsoft Office 2007. I'll deal, but I don't see what the big deal is.

For the 1.2 readers curious about Friday night's odd entry, it came during coming-back-from-cafe-drive pondering time when a few thoughts came together. The motivating issue: what do you do if the relative size of a problem is large enough that targeting makes absolutely no sense? And that wandered into a few ideas about ways to resolve apparently irresolvable problems. There are two ways of looking at the three techniques in that list (fuzzy-logic algorithms, multiple imputation, and limits): each moves away from determinative solutions in some way before returning to one, and each adds degrees of freedom in some way to the analysis. And of the three, I can only figure out why one (multiple imputation) should work, in the larger sense of "yeah, I grok that." There is probably nothing substantive to work with in the list, but I wanted to write it down so I didn't forget it.

As usual, May has been a whirlwind (two birthdays, one anniversary, end-of-K-12-and-academic-year-in-higher-ed stuff, beginning of summer term stuff, ...). This year June will be hectic, but not quite as much.In a few minutes, I will head somewhere with nothing internet-capable, so I can do some reading of student work. I will see how much I can catch up with things this week, before my spouse heads to two weeks of professional-development summer camp/h***. (Not all PD is bad, but her experiences with her district staff has been mediocre at best. But she says it's not h***; it's purgatory, since it'll end.) But time to fit in some peace and quiet. Yes, reading student work out of reach of the internet counts as peace and quiet.

And I'm not sure for whom I'm rooting in the NBA finals. I grew up in L.A., but I live in Florida, and more importantly, I can't help but admire Howard's work ethic and ability to dominate a game. Then again, Bryant isn't exactly porridge. I think I'll just hope for a series anything like the more exciting series thus far in the playoffs.

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Posted in The academic life on May 31, 2009 2:27 PM |