WordCamp Atlanta 2012

I’ve decided that most professional conferences are, as far as I am concerned, not really worth it for me. I’m far more interested in improving my technical knowledge than listening to a bunch of educators blather about what is the most appropriate pedagogical approach to computing, or in listening to a different bunch of academics blather about some esoteric aspect of computing with no practical application to anyone’s life or work. So I love WordCamp because I can hang out with fellow geeks and learn WordPress and web design stuff I can actually USE on an everyday basis to make …

I’d Rather Do It Myself

I found out today that one of the two people we hired to teach CS this year is quitting at the end of the semester. That’s all I know about it because I didn’t want to pry for the gory details in such a public setting, but my suspicion is that he didn’t really have a clue what teaching at a community college is all about. His perception was what he saw the professors doing at the Large Research University where he earned his Ph.D. We don’t teach one or two classes per semester; we teach four or five. That …

It’s Too Soon To Have Short-Timer’s Syndrome

What I was supposed to do today vis-a-vis attending the CCSC:SE Conference: Drive up to Furman University Attend a digital forensics workshop Network with other presenters over lunch Sit through a keynote address Attend two paper/panel/workshop sessions Have dinner with colleagues at the banquet and enjoy the featured speaker What I REALLY did today: Drove up to Furman University Attended the digital forensics workshop Returned to my car and found Dee Went ahead & checked in at the motel Drove all over the Greenville area visiting one closed yarn shop out in the ┬ácountry (at least it was a nice …

After twenty years, a first

One of my students came up after class this evening and handed me an invitation to this month’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society induction, saying that I and my class meant a great deal to her and she wanted me to know that. When I read the entire thing, I was very touched, and quite honored! Apparently each Phi Theta Kappa inductee is allowed to recognize one professor at the ceremony who has been especially important in their academic career so far — I didn’t know that. So I get a certificate and a really meaningful attagirl (really meaningful because …

WordCamp Atlanta 2010

I spent the past day and a half downtown at the inaugural WordCamp Atlanta, which turned out to be one of the best technical/professional conferences I’ve ever attended. Usually I find that there is at least one time slot, and usually several, where there is no presentation in which I am interested. Not so this time — there was at least one interesting talk in every session; because of the shortened schedule there were even conflicts and at least one canceled presentation that I’d wanted to attend. Lucky for me and everyone else, all the presenters are sharing their presentation …

A Followup Letter

Following up with My Latest Special Snowflake: Dear Student, Rest assured, the grade you saw this week on your semester grade report was the grade you EARNED in my class. Let me repeat that. I did not GIVE you that grade, you EARNED it. As far as discussing that grade with you, I do not discuss grades via email, via phone, or in any other way than in person. I will not be back in my office until the beginning of next semester’s registration, therefore I won’t be having any discussion with you until then. Not that there is really …

My Latest Special Snowflake

Received via email tonight (personal data changed to protect the student’s identity): hello professor this is ********** in your ********** class, according to a friend in the class that you gave back the exam 2 grades in class which i asked you for it before i left the class on monday, you told me you didnt have them graded yet and do not know when you will, may i please know my first exam grade(after corrections) and the 2nd exam grade please? if possible, i would like to know my average up to this point before the final exam so …

Photo Woes

I was trying to photograph some of my chainmaille bracelets tonight to get them listed at 1000 Markets and Artfire. Photography isn’t my favorite part of the process, but tonight was particularly aggravating. One problem I’ve had in the past is getting a clearly focused picture because I run into depth of field issues. In automatic mode, my camera shoots at a low aperture, typically around F5.6, which means I don’t have a lot of DOF. If I up the aperture, the camera thinks there isn’t enough light. So I’d gotten a daylight fluorescent bulb for one of the regular …

Oh well, NaBloPoMo Fail

In case you didn’t notice it, there was no blog post last night. It was a crazy but fun day, but at the end both Dee and I were wiped out. I got up yesterday and got on over to Roanoke College to make sure my programming team was ready to compete and to answer any questions they might have. Once I’d done what I could there, I went back to the hotel, picked up Dee, and checked out. We then headed for the yarn store near the airport that Linda Davis (the Roanoke CS department secretary, a FABULOUS and …

Insanity is Hereditary…

…mostly you get it from your children, but if you are a college professor who is also a programming team advisor, you can also get it from your students, especially when they call you on their travels to share with you their more, ah, interesting adventures and observations. Apparently one of those observations included a Honda Civic hatchback, with a gunrack in the hatchback. Not an empty gunrack, either, a gunrack with two shotguns and a rifle (or maybe the other way around) in it. According to their latest Tweet, said students are busily studying in preparation for tomorrow’s contest. …