Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Break

Well, Eastern's spring break is about to end soon. It's been a quiet week here in Chucktown.

I've always loved breaks in college towns. Whether it was Kirksville, Tuscaloosa, and now Charleston, the places become so sedate, so quiet.

Here in Chucktown, over half of our population left (12K students), and we 10K+ "regulars" stuck around and enjoyed good weather for a change. As I looked northward from my front stoop this evening, the high rise dorms of Lawson and Carman are conspicously dark. I like that.

I remember back in the 'ville when three-day vacations came into effect, and a number of us would hang around to do our usual antics. Just like the parking lot of Hy-Vee during spring break in Kirksville, the parking lot of County Market here had a whopping three cars in it.

I also remember coming back from the spring break one year with the UAV loaded with a number of cases of longneck Schlitz and Schlitz 40s. That party after spring break was fun.

It's gonna be a good summer.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

White People

In honor Geraldine Ferraro's recent comments about Obama, I humbly provide this link to a wonderfully satirical blog, Stuff White People Like.



Monday, March 10, 2008

"Man, I hate Tennesse."

For a thought provoking interview, punch the link below. This young man speaks the truth.

From Every Day Should Be Saturday:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The iGeneration

I don't know if any of you have read the article linked below, but it's an interesting read that merely reinforces what many professors could easily explain to you about this generation of college students.
They think they deserve above average grades for doing average or below average work. The "gentleman's C" has been replaced by the "gentle person's B." (must avoid gender-specific language, of course)

This generation is increasingly narcissistic and is more focused on whatever affects them, rather than focusing on what's going on in their communities, cities, states, and the US. Forget politics; Facebook is more important.

I read this article after a somewhat heated discussion with a student who was bitching about how he's not making the grades he wants on his professional writing documents. After explaining to him to him that, at the end of the day, I have to evaluate the written product above everything else rather than "how hard he worked," he still has a sense of entitlement, a sense that, "Hey, this professor isn't giving me what I want." The main problem with this particular student is that he wants me to do the critical thinking and writing for him instead of doing it himself. He has a brain and needs to use the damn thing. End of story.

Such misguided attitudes from students such as the one above leave a mark on student evaluations at the end of term, especially when some professors grade heavily (sometimes a third of the overall grade) on "participation," an amorphous category that lends itself to a great deal of grade inflation. We don't want to hurt people's "self esteem," now do we?

If there are symbols of this generation, I can give you two: 1) The response "whatever" merely is an anthem that denotes this: "I don't have anything really intelligent to say, but I'm going to be vaguely sarcastic because that seems to make people look smart." 2) And surely the "participant" trophy that is given to all competitors at various sporting events sums up the idea that no one can "lose." We're all winners.

People lose. And people do poorly on exams. And people write poorly from time to time.

Welcome to reality.

What's perhaps even more interesting about this article is that it lucidly points out how we all are being influenced by this thinking, which is scary as hell.

Anyway, enjoy the read. Thus endeth my rant.

The link to Dan Zak's "Me: If It's All About You, You're in Trouble. Why a Sense of Entitlement Can Wreak Havoc on Happiness":

The Pant Suit Has Not Left the Building

Once again, Billary has proven me wrong. Damn her/him all to hell.

I had hoped that this primary death match would finally end last night.

But it's on to the Keystone State.