Saturday, April 28, 2007


The Educational Jargon Generator looks like a potentially quite useful tool. This weekend I have to re-visit and edit the soul crushing document about which I've lamented previously. The jargon generator should help me come up with spiffy-sounding phrases that our accrediting body will surely love:

  • target strategic applications

  • disaggregate meaning-centered education

  • embrace hands-on competencies

  • streamline synergistic units

The list is endless. (Actually, it's not technically endless. I calculate that there are 204,750 possible phrases. This should be plenty.)

[Via Casing Out Nines]

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Miscellaneous Sunday Stuff

A few random Sunday evening things:

  • This afternoon I participated in a panel for parents of accepted students who were visiting campus. It was fun; I enjoy talking with parents aboutCOA.

  • Also this weekend was the spring meeting of our board of trustees. The meetings went fairly well, although some of the meetings seemed a little random.

  • A student sent out today a link to an eagle cam, a webcam with live images of an active eagle next. It's kinda cool. The eagles even have their own blog. Wing Goodale, the author of the blog, is a graduate of COA's small Masters program.

  • We're bracing for the N'oreaster that is sloshing up the East coast. The next few days look to be very windy and rainy. So the weather will be a little but unpleasant, but the rain will almost surely wash away almost all of the snow that is still around. Hopefully we'll be hearing spring peepers soon and my tulips, which have been in a snowbank for a while, will be able to start growing again.

  • I dealt with 173 email messages today and sent 46.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Procrastination

Having some fun with the Monster Name Decoder.

Fearsome, Evil, Livestock-Devouring, Maiden-Abducting Nightmare

Sinister, Townsfolk-Abducting, Baby-Injuring Nightmare from the Sunless Knobby Yonder

Maybe I should get back to grading and some of the millions of memos that I need to write.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Snow Day

We ended up getting over a foot of wet, heavy snow. And it's not over yet; it's still snowing fairly hard. All classes were cancelled today. It'll be a big mess when it melts, which might be quite soon. But for now, at least, it's beautiful outside. Above and below are a few pictures of the snow. I've already spent a while shoveling this morning. I have quite a bit of work to do before out cars are free.

There are lots of birds at our feeders today: probably a few dozen juncos, and bunches of goldfinches, pine siskins, chickadees, a nuthatch, a morning dove, some sparrows, and at least one house finch. It's quite a feeding frenzy. We also saw a stray (semi-feral?) cat in our backyard. Doreen has seen him before, but it was the first time for me. He's fluffy and is mostly white with a little bit of calico. He wasn't having an easy time getting around in the deep snow. We don't know who he belongs to, nor do our two nearest neighbors. The cat is quite skittish. We put some food for him under the barn. Hopefully he'll eat the cat food and not one of the birds.

There are also squirrels prancing around in the snow. Below is a picture of a rather stylish red squirrel, who has been having fun digging tunnels in the snow.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Snow and Ice Cream

On Monday we had a few inches of snow. It seems that it always snows once in April, so I figured it was good to get it out of the way early. It was quite pretty, and since it had been sunny and relatively warm the week before, it didn't seem like a big deal. The roads were pretty slippery in the evening, though. Doreen didn't quite make it all the way up a big hill on the way home. Fortunately, some nice Maine guy with a truck helped her out. After getting to the top of the hill with the help of the truck, she parked her car (she was right new the park headquarters) and called me on her cell phone. I drove and picked her up and we went home together. Her car doesn't have snow tires, and mine does, so mine is much better in slippery conditions.

Anyway, it is now Wednesday night. The last several days have been quite tiring. My classes are keeping me busy, and there's a bunch of administrative work right now. And ... it's now snowing again. I drove home in a moderately heavy snowstorm. There was already around an inch of snow on the ground. It was kinda odd driving home in the second snowstorm of April while alternating between listening to the Mets game and reggae on WERU.

We're supposed to get between five and nine inches. Some ice, sleet, and rain should be mixed in as well. Could be a bit of a mess. (Note to any prospective students who might be reading this blog: significant snowstorms in April are unusual.) But I like snow, even in April. I certainly prefer snow to cold rain.

I ended up getting home around 9:15pm. It was a long day; I arrived on campus at 8:30am. I was tired, and Doreen and I were both hungry. So, I made ice cream and brownies. The brownies were from a mix. The ice cream was from scratch. Making ice cream is ridiculously easy now that we have an ice cream maker.

So, it is snowing out, it is the middle of the second week of the term, a snow plow just drove by, I am tired and enjoying my classes, and I just ate fresh ice cream and brownies. The Daily Show tonight is a re-run that we've already seen. Thus, I think it's time to read some calculus and go to sleep.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Various Signs of Spring

A few signs of spring, and other thoughts:

  • I have finished my grades from Winter term. My narrative evaluations are done, although I still need to proofread them. I'll do this in the morning.

  • I saw at least a dozen robins on campus today.

  • For the first time today I saw juncos underneath our bird feeder at home. Also this week, goldfinches and sparrows have arrived.

  • It's supposed to snow tomorrow. Not much, though -- only an inch or so, along with some rain. My guess is it'll just be dreary and sleety for a bit. The last few days have been beautiful and sunny, so a little bit of sleet isn't that big a deal.

  • It's only the second week of Spring term, and I'm more exhausted than I want to be. I hope
    week two is easier than week one.

  • I proofread a colleague's grant proposal today. It was fun. I kinda like proofreading and copy-editing, especially when it's not my writing.

  • I dealt with 104 email messages today.