Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Just got a call from our registration office with the "HUH???" of the day. (Or possibly just the first "HUH???" of the day.)

A student came in saying that he had paid for a class last April, but was now getting collections letters saying that he hadn't paid. Our system showed that indeed he owed the money, and S. asked him to bring a bank statement proving that he'd paid.

He responded that he had paid in that office by cash (that office doesn't take cash), and that he would bring his bank statement to prove it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the past 20 hours ...

... I received the following work-related calls:
  • 11:30 a.m. yesterday -- Instructor T's car was rear-ended (probably totaled). He'll be OK, but wouldn't be able to be in class.
  • 12:00 p.m. yesterday -- Instructor B had a sudden death in her immediate family.
  • 6:45 a.m. today -- Co-worker K's car was towed from its proper parking spot (again).
  • 7:15 a.m. today -- Co-worker T's car broke down on the road, and she was stuck (and freezing) waiting for her husband.
  • After I got in the office (7:45 a.m.), my phone rang. It was instructor M. I answered the phone with, "Hi. If this isn't good news, I don't want to hear it!"
Fortunately, he was just stuck in traffic and was letting me know he'd be a little late. That one's easy.
I thought they said crises came in THREES!?!?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Oh, May has pleasant breezes
That brush dust from the floors.
But I look to November;
Whose winds beat at the doors.

April mints her timid leaves
And small, green buds unfold,
But my trees freely spend their wealth
In a frantic rush of gold.

And June's a dainty, flirting lass
With her roses and sweet song.
But you can't seduce November;
She just laughs and moves along.

tlnw 11-06-05

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some (very) minor statistics from the 2008 campaign

I don't know about anyone else, but we got loads of campaign flyers and brochures in the mail this election season. On Oct. 14 (a little less than 3 weeks from Election Day), I decided to keep them and tally them after the election, just to see if anything interesting showed itself.

Here is what we got in that short period of time:

PRO/ANTI     TOPIC or CANDIDATE   (# received)
PRO                   Full Democratic ticket     (2)
PRO                   State school board candidate  (1)
ANTI                 State issue 6   (4 -- all different)
PRO                   Republican State Senate candidate  (1)
PRO                   Local issues 27 and 28  (1)

ANTI                 Democratic presidential candidate  (1)
PRO                  Democratic presidential candidate  (2)
ANTI                 Republican presidential candidate   (13 -- all different!)

ANTI                 Republican U.S. Congress candidate  (7 -- all different)
ANTI                 Democratic U.S. Congress candidate  (26 -- 3 pairs and the rest all different)

ANTI                 Democratic State Rep. candidate  (5 -- all different)
PRO                   Democratic State Rep. candidate  (22 -- 5 + 4 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2)
ANTI                 Republican State Rep. candidate  (8 -- 4 + 3 + 1)
PRO                   Republican State Rep. candidate   (5 -- 2 + 1 + 1 + 1)

The PRO ones for either Democrats or Republicans tended to be warm and fuzzy with pictures of smiling families, complete with children and dogs. 

A lot of the ANTI ones were incredibly nasty -- the kind of thing that one might get in trouble for in the second grade. 

I'm not sure what this says, except what everyone already knows. The campaign was full of destructive appeals to emotion. Very, very sad. 

On the bright side, instead of recycling those mailers one at a time, I now have the pleasure of hearing the thump as they all hit the recycling container at once. Absolutely the best place for them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A little irony

As I was grading compositions for my ESL class Friday evening, I discovered three cases of plagiarism, in which the students had copied and pasted information from articles found on the Internet.

The irony here is that the composition topic was effects of the Internet on education, which included the fact that a lot of students are using the Internet to cheat.