1. Summer! 2. Summer in the Northwoods is not like summer anywhere else. 3. Patient people. 4. Grapefruits are available out of season. Yummy! (Bad for the world economy to eat fruit out of season, but yummy in my tummy. Darn.) 5. Bread Pudding coffee from Community Coffee – a taste of Louisiana in the Northwoods. 6. An awesome post-grading night’s sleep. Gosh, that felt so effing good. 7. A kick-ass semester in the can. “It’s a wrap!”   ∞Read More →

Blackboard continues to suck. I’m at a new institution, and I have learned that admin regulation of features accounts for only a small amount of Blackboard’s suckage. My current school has foregone some convenient features, but adopted other nifty ones. In the end this just illustrates that Blackboard’s suckitude and lack thereof amounts to installing car mats, electric windows, and an awesome stereo inside a poor-performing but market-dominating car. Blackboard is gobbling up the learning tech market, and now that it’s the big gorilla, it’s defining the industry with its suckage. Here is why Blackboard continues to suck: 1. Still cannot mass edit exam questions.Read More →

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Great productivity tip: Coffitivity.com is a great website designed to boost productivity. The web app streams different versions of coffee shop sounds as a white noise screen. In college, I learned that some form of white noise helps me work better, and coffee shops made the best white noise. Different learning styles, ADHD, autism, all kinds of reasons explain why white noise aids focus, but music with lyrics can be distracting. Coffitivity is a great idea.  Read More →

Sixty years ago the Supreme Court handed down the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Until around 2005 or so, give or take a year, the East Baton Rouge Parish school system operated under a federal desegregation order, one of the longest running orders in the country. Today, Baton Rouge Community College continues to receive entering freshmen educated under that order. Due to the cult of self esteem, the best of these students have been told throughout their education that they can succeed, that they are smart, that they have a future. In college classrooms over time, these students demonstrate facility with logic, organization, and critical thinking. Even though theyRead More →

I had too many things in my hand today while sharing the elevator with a campus police officer. As I juggled my items in frustration, I had this conversation (or an artist’s rendition thereof): Me: I need another hand. Him: I know exactly what you mean. Especially the other day when I was trying to arrest this crazy lady.  Me: It is a lot easier when you play Dungeons and Dragons. Him: [crazy look my way] Me: [not stopping for crazy look] Sometimes when you’re adventuring you say to your Dungeon Master, “I’m carrying my sword in one hand and my shield in the other.Read More →

Of all the graduation ceremonies in higher ed that I’ve seen, BRCC’s are the best. I’ve attended a couple that were bittersweet due to specific personal relationships. Overall, however, BRCC ceremonies are the best delight. Nowhere are the students and their parents more joyous, proud, and celebratory. The things these students do to earn their place in line are astounding. It is 65 days until my 50th birthday and I am grateful for the chance to witness such an amazing celebration.Read More →

This year was peculiar at school because various calamities kept us in crisis mode all year. As we plod toward April, I find myself worn as thin as some of the most stressful times of my adult life even though nothing overly stressful stands on the horizon except for typical work responsibilities. Perhaps I could weather daily work more easily if the campus’s internal rhythm hadn’t been thrown off balance. I never stopped attending school, after K12 was college, after college was grad school, straight through to work, and here I remain. My body never adjusted to the normal ebb and flow of time thatRead More →

At work we must turn in our portfolios for annual review once again. Portfolios can be used for authentic reflection and self-growth, rather than for the devolved purpose of bean counting. We are all aware of its dysfunction at my job, and yet we still plod through the ritual while we tinker with repairing it. Around the time we submitted portfolios, I found a picture of a quirky chia pet. Chia pets are about wild and quirky growth, after all. This hearty beast makes me laugh. I want to be this fellow, covered in clover, perplexed and amused at the same time, aslant but stillRead More →

Today, I had the joy of witnessing BRCC’s commencement ceremony. I had more fun at today’s ceremony than at most any other I’ve attended. There have been some momentous ones, where I’ve hooded advisees, watched favorite cohorts graduate, or even graduated myself, but this one was particularly joyous. Today, I got to sit on the stage and watch the students as they shook hands with the Chancellor, pose for the photographer, and clutch their diploma folder. The ceremonies at USF were impersonal, even with students I taught. Today the sheer aura of success radiated off the students’ faces. You can see that aura from theRead More →