Monday, May 30, 2011

How to deal with the Clueless Professor

Whew, what a day... I'm going to going to go into details, but the Booger discovered a long-lost marker, & basically dyed himself into a spring green Booger. Oddly appropriate. 'Washable' apparently does not apply to toddler skin.

To continue my 'how to deal with professors' series, we'll be studying the Clueless Professor.

"Like, a good example of like, mitosis, is when like, when I split one
credit card bill over, like, two other credit cards! Get it?"

Who is the Clueless Professor? Proffessor Clueless is the guy (or gal) who got a degree in something completely unrelated to whatever they're teaching. For example, my Art History 101 was taught by a kuma hula (hula teacher). She hated art. I wish I had a video of her description of Donatello's statue 'David'; imagine a very *ah-hem' large Hawaiian woman giving this hilarious statue (look at that hat! look at that tiny weener (edited out)! Why is he wearing boots while buck naked?!) blown up to life-size on a projector her most withering look, & saying 'eh, eet one NEEKKED leetle boy, I guess Donatello he one drunk old perv, yeeh? I no like eet, NEXT SLIDE.' I shed tears of silent laughter.

"Problem, kumu?"

The Clueless Professor is probably a pretty nice guy, & will usually always be quite cheerful, which makes you want to forgive him for his lackadaisical teaching approach. My College Reading teacher was the sweetest lady ever, but then when someone made a comparison between two famous works & she gave the class a blank look, we all mentally face-palmed.

Signs you've got a Clueless Professor on your hands... Classes are usually fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants evens with Clueless Prof on deck. One day it'll be watching a video that barely relates to your subject, the next free study, & suddenly a pop quiz. Hopefully its not as bad as my Psych 101 classes where the prof took requests on what we wanted to talk about. Hint, we're in the class to learn about what exactly we should know about psychology, not infer what we should know.

Another clue they're clueless - asking for more information, or an alternate method of doing something, will lead to an obtuse answer or a stone-wall approach of telling you to research it on your own.

Lastly is my least favorite hallmark of professors who don't know how to teach their subject - group projects. Not every single professor that assigns group assignments is clueless, but those that issue three or more a semester very likely are. Why? Because group assignments require little to no interaction between professor & students. They also usually result in an easier grading process - instead of 40 projects or essays or presentations, they only need to grade ten, or less. Also, a group project can easily take over several classes, unless a professor feels really spiteful, & assigns it to outside of class time.

How to handle a class taught by a Clueless Professor... Tips from my other professors guides stand up well in a Clueless Professor class as well. This prof is more likely to accept a little guidance in how students would like them to teach a class, if you have some suggestions - more demonstrations of concepts, more time in the lab, etc. Team up with your peers to present ideas as a group - if the professor hears a consensus from most of the class (there's always going to be slackers that like a hands-off professor), they're more likely to implement changes.

You're likely to have a group project or two in your college career. I pretty much loathe them, as it always seems like there's a Bossy Leader, an I Don't Care What We Do type, a Guy Who Never Shows Up/Does Nothing, & me. Here are a few tips to get through them!
  1. First off, draft up a plan for the project. It should show a timeline for each step, from research, compiling useful info, conducting experiments/interviews/other activities, recording results, crafting visual elements (posterboards & Powerpoints, for example), generating a script for the presentation, & practicing it.
  2. Involve everyone. Everyone has something assigned to them, & they agree to be responsible for it. Make a simple chart noting what everyone is expected to do, so there's no bickering later about who was supposed to do what.
  3. Trade emails & phone numbers with each other, & note when you can be reached. Consider using Skype or another web conferencing tool to meet outside of class.
  4. If you notice someone failing to meet expectations, try to get in touch with them & find out what's up. If you can't reach them, or they just aren't getting it done, do it yourself. It sucks to have to do more work than your share, but a shared bad grade is still your bad grade.
  5. Mentioned in step 1, but schedule time to actually practice presenting your project! This will drastically increase your project grade, & gives you a chance to see where rough spots are before the presentation is in progress. At the very least, try to meet up 15 minutes before class to run through it once or twice.
Hope this guide helps out when college rolls around again!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dirty college trick!

I'll be getting back to my 'how to deal with professors' guides veeery soon!

Today's a quicky post, as I'm getting ready to drive to the other side of the island - two hour or so trip, each way, joy! With a toddler locked down in a carseat who's hard pressed to entertain himself in ways other than screaming in rage & sleeping, it makes playing Desert Bus sound like heaven.

Pictured - the full eight hours of Desert Bus' gameplay

So, you're all ready to sign up for college classes - however, you run into a problem! One (or more) of your ideal classes are full already! Goddamn, this throws your whole schedule out of whack. So, what now?

  1. Sign up for some other classes. Hopefully they're on your first tier of importance, or at least second. If the following steps don't work out, these are your classes for the semester, tough ****.
  2. Find out when tuition is due. You want to pay before this date.
  3. Pay your tuition ASAP.
  4. Check the online class registration site for the classes you'd rather have, daily, & try to snag a dropped seat.
  5. Time for the dirty trick! On the day tuition is due, sign into your classes registration site just before midnight. At midnight, those who haven't paid will be dis-enrolled from their courses. Sucks for them! Check your ideal courses, & snag those seats if they're open.
I've had to utilize this before, & while I feel some pity for those who lose out, my evil villain side chortles in a sinister manner. Till next time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Childhood nostalgia time!

Most people won't admit it, but one of the very best parts of having a kid is the freedom to act like a kid again yourself. Other parents will gush about the feeling of total selflessness, pride in the child accomplishing everything from smiling to pooping regularly, & the security of care in their old age. Not me. Uh-uh. I'm all about snagging some of that Halloween candy, gleefully running down toy aisles with a Nerf gun in one hand & a toy shield in the other, & buying sugary cereal & fruit snacks of cartoons I've never even heard of. Keep in my mind, my son is only fifteen months old; I'm just getting started with my vicarious second childhood!

Let's be honest, who the hell wants to grow up once they're out of their emo-angsty 'I can't do anything!' mid-teens? Being an adult sucks compared to being a kid - you have to earn your own money, you can't eat whatever you want without getting heart burn & a fat gut, your 'playtime' consists of golf, video games, or gambling, & you're responsible for everything. I'm only 24, & I've realized its all downhill from here, baby.

So with that in mind, I'm regressing to provide my son the most awesome childhood I can, so when he's my age he can do the same for his kid/s. Its a circle of age-denial! And, not to sound shallow & materialistic, a huge part of my fond childhood memories involve the toys of my youth. Most everyone insists their generation had the best toys, & as a 90's kid, they might just have me beat (most everything to do with the 90's sucked). However, I know these toys still will kick most every other toys ass!

Monday, May 23, 2011

100 followers! Upcoming contest!

Thanks to everyone for supporting my blog, I appreciate you stopping by to check out my ramblings! I read every comment, thank you so much for taking the time to leave them! I love the Blogger community, I'm having a great time getting to know new people through it, & reading everyone's blogs.

That might sound pretty disjointed & goofy, due to my having a jackhammer-migraine inside my brain, but thank you all, very much.

I want to do a contest in the future, with a small prize supplied by Swagbucks (my referral link). I'm not sure what form of contest it will be just yet - I want it to be open to everyone, & not just new followers. Maybe a 'make a banner' contest? I don't know, give me suggestions in the comments!

Just going to plug Swagbucks real quick - if you do internet searches, use coupons, buy stuff online, play arcade games online, watch videos online, trade in old video games/movies/books, or take surveys - you could be earning Swagbucks. You've probably heard of tons of point-based websites in your time on the internet, but don't want to waste your time trying to earn an insane amount of points to earn what amounts to nothing. SB rewards you periodically for searching, & its pretty much all I do with it - I usually earn the 450 SB for a $5 Amazon giftcard in three weeks! Also, your recruits' first 1,000 SB are matched, so that's a free $10 Amazon card if they stick with it long enough - you see why I'm plugging it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The McGurk Effect

Quickie post today, as a migraine headache has shown up to rape my weekend!

Have you heard of something called 'The McGurk Effect'? Its the result of confusion between your sense of sight & hearing. These two senses are highly intertwined in humans, but many don't realize this until the two disagree with one another - when you see one thing, & hear another, your mind tries to compensate for the difference by compromising between the two. We can easily test this for ourselves!

Watch this video with your eyes closed - what do you hear? Probably something like 'ba-ba, ba-ba'.

Mom's homemade popsicles!

The weather's been steadily heating up in Hawaii as we slip into our hot & dry season. The only other season we have is slightly cooler & extremely rainy. I'm excited about the rainy season ending, & bought Booger a cheap-o inflatable pool at & a set of foam squirter wands slightly early. We spent yesterday lounging on the deck & in the extremely tiny pool, managing to nearly empty it through splashing & squirt warring.

Most of my summers growing up in Florida were spent in much the same way; I have so many fond memories of how awesome a tiny kiddie pool can be when you've got a bunch of friends, its keeping you cool in the boiling heat, & school is far over the horizon of summer. The only thing better at cooling us down in the 100+ degree heat were delicious popsicles. No self-respecting mom would be caught by a pack of sugar-hungry kids without popsicles! While kids all loved store-bought pops, most moms handed out homemade because they were much cheaper when you're feeding a dozen kids.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to deal with Professor Ben Stein

I'm continuing my series of mini-guides of dealing with interestingly irritating professor stereotypes today! Let's just jump right in, shall we?

"Sleeping through every one of my classes is not an option."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beware of children

Before I get into the second part of my Irritating Professors guide, I'm going to give everyone a tip - children are dangerous. Dangerous to you, not just themselves. You're probably feeling some confusion or disbelief at that statement, unless you have children or have cared for someone's children before & experienced the indiscriminateness of a child-sized tornado. Let me clear that up right now.

Monday, May 16, 2011

How to deal with a Rage-a-holic professor

Happy Monday everyone, & thanks for all your awesome comments! I'm happy to see a lot of you already enjoy Anki & Cave Story, & I might of gotten a few readers to give The Well-Dressed Ape a try!

Since Mondays are classically crummy days, I guess its well suited to post a guide on how to make a class taught by a difficult professor a liiitle easier to take! I've taken a LOT of classes in the past, & I've enjoyed nearly all of them. A few were pretty dry & boring (State & Local Goverment, whhhhy?), & some were just plain hard (Calculus, math does not compute with me). And a few had 'special' professors. I'll be covering these types of professors in a series of posts, with a random anecdote here & there. All names have been changed to protect the innocent, or just really, really frustrating.

I'll kick the series off with my least favorite brand of professor...

"Don't pick me, don't pick m - OHSHI-"

Proffessor Rage-a-holic

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lazy Sunday post

Well, its Sunday & I have the house to myself during the day, which rarely happens! Its a muggy, breeze-less day though, so its not much good for anything but lounging out of the sun. I live around 1500 feet above sea level, with a clear view of the ocean, & usually enjoy an awesome trade wind that keeps it around 72 degrees (Fahrenheit) year-round. Today is an exception!

I considered posting another college-related guide sort of post today, but honestly - its Sunday. That sounds like work. Look for a post on how to deal with stubborn, pain in the *** professors in the next few days!

Today, I'm going to post three of my favorite things, in no real order or one category!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Textbooks - hunting the rare & elusive beasts

I was going to title this 'Textbooks - god, I f**** hate textbooks', but that sounded a little bitter & unhelpful. So I came up with this stupid title.

Before I dive into my post, I'd like to give a shout out of thanks to my followers! To everyone preparing to tackle college for the first (or second, third, fourth, etc...) time, exams or just life itself - good luck!

So, my last post dealt with selecting courses, & my long, drawn out guide probably scared at least a few people off the process altogether! Now, I'll try my hand at explaining how I go about buying textbooks!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The stresses of college - months before classes have even begun!

Well, Blogger has been giving me some issues, & I have to apologize that the comments I received on my introductory post were deleted! I also have had an issue in posting new posts using the new content updater! So, just in case anyone that reads this also has the infinite loading issue, here's how to get to the old editor, which I'm using now!
  1. Go to your Dashboard
  2. Click 'Settings'
  3. You should be in the Basic tab
  4. Scroll near the bottom of the page, look for Global Settings
  5. The first option is 'Select post editor'
  6. Click the bubble for 'Old editor'
I know, that was an overly complicated rundown, but hey - some people (like me!) are technologically incompetent, & would rather use ctrl-f (find feature) than reading a million options!

Anyway, on to what I actually want to ramble about! Selecting college courses. Besides my duplicitous car, airhead husband & bent-on-self-destruction toddler, nothing in my life gives me more stress. And it doesn't get any better with each semester - nope, experience is no
shield when it comes to deciding how I'm going to spend the majority of my time for four months. As an example, class registration for the fall semester began on April 11th. Since that time, I have rearranged my schedule over a dozen times, & added or dropped over two dozen classes in six or more courses. Insanity, right?

So, in an effort to impart what little wisdom I've picked up over my six semesters of college, I offer a brief guide to selecting college courses.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First post!

Welcome to my very first blog post! I've had journals before, but they were strictly for my own (& occasionally my evil step-sisters) entertainment; I hope this one proves worth reading to more than just myself! Perhaps that's a lofty goal, I'll revise that to 'I hope this one lasts me beyond my next brain reset!' Its the middle of the night, also known as 'mommy's only quiet moment of solitude'.

Anyway, let me put my inane ramblings aside & introduce myself! My name is Lauren, & I'm a 24 year old stay at home mom, & on-again-off-again student! Let me clarify 'student' - I'm a Liberal Arts major, with a minor in Jokes About Liberal Arts Majors, because I've heard all of them. I am quite close to having a measly Associate of Science degree in Liberal Arts after attending a semester here & there since 2006. After I get that over with, I'm moving on to a 'real' degree as a Registered Nurse. I hope to be a grown up with a real job by the time I'm dead! I currently have a 3.87 GPA after 47 credits. Yeah, I know, quite lame to toot my own horn like that, but that's my largest accomplishment behind my little booger, & the rest of this blog will be full to the brim about him!

Now that I'm on my third run-on paragraph, maybe I should explain my blog's title! The eponymous booger is my son, a lovely little toddler who was given this unfortunate nickname through no fault of his own. He's not a particularly mucus-laden kid, nor has he even expertly shot a booger to date - its just a nickname I blurted out early on, & has 'stuck' (terrible pun #1!). Oftentimes, when I'm chasing him across the yard as he clings to our dog's collar, or diving across the kitchen to keep him from pulling out the entire contents of our refrigerator, I feel like a sidekick to an over-reaching super hero, just knowing my contribution to whatever epic deed will be a day late & a buck short, nine out of ten times.

Well, its just after 1 am now, & that means I should get my six hours of sleep while the getting's good! Have a good one, wherever you find yourself!