August 31, 2002

Saturday, again

I'm in my office again this afternoon, working on some data that came to me late. I've been cleaning it up and getting it in shape to pass to the next person in line to use it. I need to get it done both to help the project director involved and also to get it off my plate, now that the semester has begun.

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Posted in Random comments at 1:44 PM (Permalink) |

August 28, 2002

A personal touch

Because I'm paranoid about technical problems, I've been trying to call all my students in my distance-learning course as I can, and I'm discovering something—I'm learning some stuff about the course that's entirely unrelated to technical problems, as students read the syllabus and ask me questions they may not have if they only had e-mail contact. That's obvious in retrospect, of course, but I'm glad I was paranoid in this way.

And, of course, I'm making all sorts of beginner mistakes.

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Posted in Teaching at 11:37 PM (Permalink) |

August 25, 2002

Classes begin

I've started my first distance-learning course this semester and had the orientation session with most of the registered students on Saturday. They seem a nice bunch, and apart from the complete lack of tech support to show them the system—and except for the fact that most of them didn't have the proper net access—it worked out quite well. I know we'll be doing some improvising, and I'm fine with that. This week I meet my other class for the first time, in a graduate course I've taught several times before.

Judy Genshaft, USF's president, did not in fact fire Sami Al-Arian on Wednesday. See UFF's web page on the Al-Arian affair for more details about current events.

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Posted in Teaching at 11:02 PM (Permalink) |

August 21, 2002


I am in the middle of the week from Heck (as Dilbert would put it). Yesterday, I began listing my tasks for the week and squeezed in everything I had to do, barely ... and then realized there were two huge projects (finishing a chapter and working with a set of data I should've had in my hands a month ago and maybe received properly yesterday) I hadn't scheduled. So I was in my office tonight getting stuff done for one class that meets for the first time on Saturday afternoon. I got back home at 10 p.m.

Also tonight, my union, the USF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, found out that that our campus president has called a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m., probably to announce that she is firing Sami Al-Arian. I'll be at a new-faculty orientation to press the flesh from 8:30-10:30, so I blessedly have an excuse to avoid the event itself, though I'll probably go back to my office passing through the administration building. I will be in a suit and wouldn't mind showing my face just to document that a number of faculty oppose the firing—or, on the unlikely chance that Dr. Genshaft has decided not to fire Al-Arian, to show some magnanimity and defend her from the inevitable carping.

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Posted in Random comments at 12:04 AM (Permalink) |

August 4, 2002

It can't be the end of summer already

But it is... the children start school again on Wednesday, the academic year contract starts this year, and of course I finally received the data I had been hoping to work with this summer ... in the second half of last week. So I'm in today working with said data (or the start of it). I may need to rework the syllabus of the new course a bit, depending on whether I can get permission to use a pre-publication book MS in the course, and I need to look seriously at my other course before the end of the month (when classes start).

This is the first time in a while of weekends when I didn't choose just to work on what I would get satisfaction on. Today's been a bit frustrating, even if I've made some significant headway with the data. It'll be several more long days' worth of work to get it in shape and cleaned up. But there are other folks who need it, so...

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Posted in Random comments at 4:49 PM (Permalink) |