Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Riding Off Into the Sunset?
|Well lil' buckaroo, it's time for this cowpope to say goodbye.|
The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict XVI will be resigning at the end of the month. Didn't think they could do that? Neither did I but Wikipedia says that it was done back in 1415 (ah remember those good old days when there only was the Old World?).
Want to talk about it? Go on over to Illini6. That's the only place you will hear if they elect me to replace him. Well, actually you will probably see the smoke and hear it from the news agencies. Then you will hear it from Illini6, then probably you will hear it here because I wouldn't be able to keep a thing like that to myself.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Our format is the same as Boardgamegeek.com's con in Texas - you bring it or see someone playing it - jump in or start it up. We have their conference room set aside for our use. The hotel has a limited block of rooms under the group rate "ludophilia".
I will pass along info, and probably post pictures of our eXtreme geekdom.
Friday, December 21, 2012
It'a also, "World End Day." Only I don't think so much. It's more like hoorah, we get a new calendar today. It's just like when you put up that new puppy calendar in January and take down that tired old calendar of tropical islands. Where did you get that from anyway? It was more of a tease, wasn't it, I mean, you were never going to go to any of those islands and it just hung in your little cubicle mocking you all year. I say good riddance to the old Long Count Calendar and let's celebrate the new one.
folks obviously are.
Hey, I know what you can get me for Christmas / Yule, visit Illini6 and vote on the poll, leave a comment, and click on the little boxes below some posts. You know good things come in threes. I'll bet if you do that then the world won't end today.
Can you afford to risk it?
Friday, December 07, 2012
Another kickoff of the season is a Christmas poll at Illini6. I do believe I've done this before. It's not as strong a tradition as Cthulhu Month in October, but I think I'll try to keep it going from here on out.
Why don't you stop on by Illini6 and vote on the pole, er, I mean poll and if you want you can air grievances too (I guess).
Oh and by the way, did you hear that the Pope doesn't like Christmas? It's pravda.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Vote Vote Vote
Mostly you have to be a citizen of the US and not a felon to vote in that one and I know there are folks that follow this blog that are blocked from voting in that election (for whatever reason, I'm not judging, I understand things happen).
As far as I know you CAN vote in blogs though, no matter where, who or what you are.
You know, I hear there is a really fun one going on right now at Illini6. There are only two days left for that one, but you can still get in on it.
Hurry, hurry, make your typing fingers heard!
I'd say, "Vote or Die," but hey, like I said, I'm not judging, just saying.
BTW, I voted in both, you can do that you know.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving and Hatch Night
For an explanation of Hatch Night (Manoga Neeka), go to Illini6.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Best Veteran's Day EVER!
My heartfelt thanks go out to all who came or thought of me on that day.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Happy Birthday to Me!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
One Last Time
|Sunday at the Northwest Armory, Chicago, IL|
When I retired, I sort of slipped out the door with little notice. No big worry, that is how I came into the Army too. But the command had already put me in for an award, so when it came (a bit late) I was asked to come back and receive it. It was more than I had expected (and perhaps deserve) for it was the Legion of Merit. I suppose the 25 years as an officer (2+ enlisted) with several deployments abroad and domestically, with some prior awards of a respectable nature made their choice for them. But it is humbling nonetheless.
|The Legion of Merit|
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Kiwi Army honors their dead
Our way is more somber, but there is really something to be said for the Kiwi's warrior send off.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
A Coursera Update
Monday, July 30, 2012
Coursera: Week 1 - The first casualties
The lower completion rates of students in online courses, in comparison to traditional f2f courses, has been a long-time concern. Online courses are said to work best for students who are motivated, organized, and self-directed. Students in this Coursera class are now starting to post "Gotta drop out," "Considering leaving," and so on. Below are some factors which may (and, in one case I know personally, did) prompt a student to drop the course.
1. Not reading (or not doing so carefully)
The course materials (Syllabus, videos, and webpages) are very clear and concise. Based on questions on the discussion board posts, students are not reading or listening carefully --- "What do we read?, What do I write?, When is it due?, How do I submit?" Or worse yet, they are reading too much into it and/or developing their own unnecessary directions/expansions (in terms of the assignment). The instructor specifically said use only evidence in the story to discuss the story, but students are researching German history, oral vs written traditions, and so on. Expansions and "going beyond" is great for the optional discussion board activity, but the essay assignments (while still requiring reading and contemplation) are (or at least should be) short and sweet.
2. Workload and Stamina
The course has students read either collections of short stories/tales (such as the Grimm Brothers) or complete novels (such as Dracula or Martian Chronicles) each week. In my experience as an online course designer, it is not uncommon for 8 or 10-week online course to be developed/adapted from the original 16-week face-to-face, campus-based model of the same course. Given that, the workload in this course is appropriate. Also, a weekly 320-word essay (or as my 16 year-old son said as he rolled his eyes at me --- "It's not an essay... It's just a 'writing assignment'") is not overly demanding. There are no quizzes, exams, or projects. Discussion forums are optional. Still, while course requirements are comparatively low when compared to credit courses, a student still needs commitment and devoted focus to "stay with it" for 10 weeks. And, for some, this is proving too much...
3. Peer-review of weekly 320-essays and (informally) discussion posts
I personally know one student (a recent high school graduate) who withdrew from the course a few days ago. She expressed that some of the other students had degrees in either English or a related subject area. This is certainly true. She said she was worried about posting on the (optional) discussion boards and submitting her essay (the only requirement of the course) for review by other students. Feeling great anxiety that the other students would "tear her up," she ejected from the course. Personally, I have only witnessed open sharing, courtesy, and academic professionalism on the discussion forums. I assume the same will be true of the peer-reviews which begin this Tuesday.
The Shrinking Classroom (numerically and personally)
Students dropping the course is making the class numerically "smaller." I am also attempting to make the course "smaller" for myself as I reach out to specific students and groups in the course. By engaging on discussion boards with a student from Africa, a woman from Urbana, IL (my current location), or looking into joining student-driven study groups (through Facebook and Skype), I am trying to make valuable (and hopefully lasting) connections with other class members.