I’ve had several rather unsatisfactory interactions with one of my son’s teachers, and the principal of the school he attends. I’ve even gone as high as the head of curriculum and learning, trying to see if factual accuracy where possible was an actual expectation.
Below is a (nearly) final draft of a note I’m considering sending to the Language Arts / Social Studies teacher, the principal, and the curriculum director (all are female). Other than being too long, any thoughts? Continue reading Schools are failing boys
I built a new computer because my old one was ~10 years old, getting flaky, and slow. After a few hiccups it works fine, as near as I can tell. I have both Windows 10 (because they don’t sell Win7 any more, and I got a good deal on it) as well as dual-booting with Linux. In the interests of maintaining current on popular technology, and because I could not find my MS Office 2007 disks which I had installed on my old machine, I bought a license (again, a very good deal) for Office 2019. Continue reading How is this not fraud?
My parents, who are in their 90s and living in a retirement residence, tested positive for the Wuhan Flu / Covid19. They are in generally good health for their age, physically, particularly my dad. First symptoms earlier this week. I’ll keep this updated as there are more developments.
Update 1: Pop’s doc, claiming studies linked chloroquine to kidney damage (no specifics given, but likely something like the crappy Brazilian or Swedish studies that used high doses of chloroquine, which is known to be toxic (and why we now use hydroxychloroquine instead)), refuses to proscribe HYDROXYchloroquine or z-pax or anything. He’s already taking a multi-vitamin and some extra D3, so they (pop, doc, my sister, who has power of attorney and is heavily involved in parental support and medical things) don’t think that any additional is needed on that front. Treatment plan is “monitor them, if symptoms worsen call 911 and go to the ER.” My dad, who gives great weight to professional / credentialed opinions, agrees. Sigh. Prayers and hopes that generally good underlying health will suffice. If not, I will not be amused.
Update 2: Latest report is that they are improving steadily. Mom in no discomfort, no more coughing, dad back to sounding grumpy rather than just tired and old. General health signs like blood oxygen and temp are good. Basically, a very minor case or strain of it, and good general health, appears to mean that even without any medication intervention things are generally looking good. Once they have recovered, presumably, because they can no longer catch it, they are likely to be out of lock / quarantine.. Continue reading Wuhan Flu in the family
My old machine is old, and starting to act flaky, so I built a new one. AMD 3600, Asrock Steel Legend X570 motherboard, NVME M.2 SSD for the main Windows boot drive, second one for Linux Mint boot, new 4TB HDD for bulk storage, decent video card. I also added some older HDDs for storage, and to get things off of them. I get Win10 installed to the M.2 drive, and it works well. I can remote log into it so I can work with it while I start to migrate things over, get it configured properly and install software while also using my old machine, but using just one mouse, keyboard, and monitor. Life is looking pretty good. Continue reading I needed a DISKPART god…
Now for something totally different. A computer build for the gamer-kid and I. He’d like better game-play, I’ve found that attempting to do video-editing on an older machine is, er, rather painful. Getting OpenShot to smoothly play even a small sample vid was choppy, and a 3-minute clip might take 5 to save as a final version to look at, and then another 5 in Handbrake to compress it to a reasonable size. A 15-min piece? Time enough to go make dinner. So, with that two-part goal in mind, I started shopping at NewEgg.com and Amazon, while reading various articles and watching many videos and comparing features and possibilities at PCPartpicker.com and Passmark. It took a little while. Continue reading Computer build
Long story short, I’m less than enchanted with MSFT these days, as a company, its operating systems, or it’s other products. There is a reason it is called by many “the Borg.”
In any case, I had an old laptop; very old – bought as a WOOT deal by a neighbor years ago, and given to me for free because the kids didn’t want it). It’s only got 2 GB of memory, and a 32GB HD, and the latest “update” to Win10 broke it, and with nothing on it but the OS it didn’t have enough room to update. So I bit the bullet, pulled out an old Linux Mint USB drive I picked up a while back, and tried it out. It worked faster running Mint off the USB drive than Windows did on the HDD. So I paved the windows disk and installed just Linux Mint, no residual Windoze10 at all. It found my network drivers, could surf the net, and do everything you need a small, cheap, expendable laptop to do. And it had ~20GB of disk space to spare for programs, data, whatever. Totally cool. Ran a few largely automated updates, and it all worked flawlessly. interface was windows-like and easy. Libre Office installed fine, so I can write or do normal modest “productivity” things.
If you have an older machine, and don’t like the MegaCorp Monopolies, support the alternatives, so that they can work on better, more moral AI warships :-).
Update – it works fine with an Ethernet cable plugged in, but doesn’t want to see the WiFi . Claims the drivers are installed, doesn’t see any WiFi anywhere, even though it used it two days ago after the initial install just fine.
As a teacher, there are few questions I despise as much as “is this going to be on the test?” It means the student has no interest or concern for the implications or applications, no curiosity, no reason to think about it for more than a microsecond beyond regurgitation on a mandated exam in order to get the gold star, the shiny class participation trophy.
And yet when I asked my daughter’s history teacher what the goal was in using Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” was in an AP US History class, his answer amounted to “it’s on the AP test.”
Continue reading Educational Thought II
We are, sadly, in a largely post-literate society. So, making videos might be the thing to do. Let me bounce this idea off a few people: Continue reading An educational thought
As you likely know, among other things I’m a teacher. In math class today, I made two new (to me, anyway) dad jokes. In geometry, teaching the basics of 3D solids.
What did they do to the tomb robber who raided the pharaoh’s pyramid? They tossed him in prism.
Polyhedron is a Greek word, made of of “poly,” meaning many, and “hedra,” meaning face, or base. It’s the Greek word for “politician.”
Do something new and different.
Do something you’ve been putting off, but will feel better once you have done it.
Make the new year worth remembering.
For myself, I just did a little bit of bullet casting for the first time. Turned out all right, once I got a heat source that worked right.