Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Yes that's the Sneetch converter machine from the Doctor Seuss book. I'm using that image on a presentation for chapter 3 of Think Python, which is all about function calls in Python.

Had a busy Labor Day weekend. In fact, I'm tired. Vacations can be so ... rushed. We were visiting family and friends in Colorado Springs. Necrophagist was playing at the Black Sheep, but we had seen them in Denver less than a year ago with Cannibal Corpse, so I passed. Five Finger Death Punch will be at the Black Sheep for two shows in late September. I may go. Springs has long had a better metal scene than even Denver has, IMO.

Joe Haldeman is working on the Obama campaign. Haldeman has long been one of my favorite science fiction writers, and his online journal is always fun to read. While in Springs I picked up a copy of Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson. It's a bit intimidating at 900 + trade paperback pages--and we know I'm a relatively slow reader--but I've heard it's quite good. It was fun to open it up at random and come upon some PERL source code in there.

Checked up on CJTurt, who switched to Ubuntu a while back. Not only is he not having any real problems with Linux, he's also gone and installed Limewire on his own. I tend to go to the command line a lot, but Ubuntu has made living with Linux so easy that you can really almost forget it's there. Heck, I often use it now by choice, passing up on some GUI application just for old time's sake. Anyway, I ramble. The cool part was that CJTurt's wife has had enough of watching him happily surf the net using Firefox on Ubuntu, while her identical laptop slugged along with IE running on Windows and suffering from, well, something (viruses, spyware, bloat). By the time I left, her laptop had been properly Ubuntu-ized. Installing Hardy Heron has become a very easy process that takes under an hour. I just wish my friend Jim had more luck installing Ubuntu on his ASUS EEE PC.

Didn't get all my schoolwork done, which stinks. I've heard English teachers propose that they alone should be given a half-time employee to help them grade all their papers. Many people have the view that teaching math and computer science means I just have to correct multiple choice exams or have some fancy computer grader. Well, try teaching IMP math and a constructivist approach to teaching programming. Sheesh.

Haven't talked to my parents in days. Unforgivable. Gotta write to them tonight. I remember the Labor Day a couple years ago when they came out here and helped us re-shingle our house. That was a massive job. They'll be coming out soon. I'll take a rare day off of school to visit with them.


Jackie Ballarini said...

IMP grading... don't get me started! :-)

I try to schedule it so that all POW's are due on a Friday or the day before a day off. As for the daily assignments - do you collect and grade each day? I don't. I can't.

RichSkyline said...

No, I don't collect and grade daily homework. I have a seating chart that has a small 3-week calendar for each student. I then give them a check for having done the homework (I check as I walk around the room--doing attendance at the same time).

If you'd like to see an example of the seating chart, let me know. I'll have to scan it into a jpeg file, but it sure made my life a lot easier since I was shown it by another math teacher!

I tend to collect all group work, often having the students present them before they are collected. I don't grade them all, but at least one a week. Those are much easier to grade, as each group produces one artifact.

Anonymous said...

Me and my wife are happily surfing the web tonight on ubuntu. It's a funny thing that when I had windows, I could not get the IE. But now we have it.

I continue to chuckle my way through college in this new fall semester, watching all my teachers try to do powerpoint presentations for our notes, but most of the time it takes so long for windows to even start working, we get a dry lecture with no notes. Ubuntu is much like a city thats growing fast, and I believe in a few years will run windows right off the road. Lets hope anyway.

Well another week has gone by and football season is looming. I will be in Green Bay to watch their season opener.

Another great post by Richskyline. anyone reading this blog around the globe, if you have any questions about how to get your computer running right, you have came to the right place. Just ask Rich. He won't bite, and asking is always free:)