Saturday, October 23, 2010

Things Going on Academically, Or Not

  1. Nothing new to report about statistics class because the last time it met was on Monday, October 4. Class has been cancelled since then because the professor has been out of town. He did leave us that mistake-riddled exam to work on in the mean time. Apparently many people were confused by the exam because the TA scheduled office hours during class time on the day before the exam was due and sent an email to the whole class that read, in its entirety:
    I hope to see you today,

    I will answer the all the questions from the exams for your good grade.

    [Your TA].

  2. Who knows if statistics class will even meet again. The professor has another trip planned this week.

  3. I went to my former students' Halloween party last night (held a week early because they are going to Washington, DC next week). I have discovered why your students do not have time to study for your class. For one, they are maintaining a knowledge of the past 40 years of pop culture. Costumes were inspired by Saturday Night Live skits, movies, and music from the 1970s. In addition, they have developed a comprehensive knowledge of the alcohol laws of this state and the ones bordering it. If you need high-proof grain alcohol or 24 oz. cans 12% abv caffeinated kool-aid, they will tell you in which states you can buy such things.

  4. The 24 oz. cans of 12% abv caffeinated kool-aid were very popular. One partier claims to have consumed three of them before coming to the party and could hardly remain vertical. About an hour or two later I saw him drinking a beer, and I took on the role of responsible adult and suggested that he should exchange it for a glass of water.

  5. I taught a training session on inscrutable software. Installing this software on the Macintosh requires running a shell script (and providing it with the correct arguments!) and adding the install directory to your path. Then, once the software is installed, it needs to be launched from the command line. This is also true of the Linux version, but Linux people sort of expect this sort of stuff. So much of what I work with has a fairly high barrier to entry.

  6. What I really need is some sort of virtual system on a disc (or on a stick) with everything already installed so that people don't need to install anything on their laptops. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do this.

  7. I have an unfathomable number of classes and conferences and such planned over the next several weeks, and I was just invited to speak at another conference. I did realize, however, that I could cancel the one that was causing me the most stress. That was quite possibly the smarted thing that I did all week.