Remembering Suzanne

April 4th 2007 Suzanne Klerks passed away. I met her in 2002 when she taught my first year writing course at UCFV. Near the end of the semester I asked for a one day extension on a paper. She responded by giving me a copy of the Little Brown Handbook and telling me I could have a week as long as there wasn’t a single comma splice in the entire paper, a problem I’d been having all semester. I point to that as the pivotal moment in my University experience.

Her guidance over the next few years was key to my progression. It was her who planted the idea of me working in Higher Education, though she originally was encouraging me to look into teaching in Higher Ed. It was her influence that led me to consider my career not as a teacher, but as an educator, something that has led me from high school teaching into Student Affairs with no regrets.

Continue reading “Remembering Suzanne”

Knowing Your Audience

All writing has an audience. That’s the point. Without a potential audience what you are doing is a pointless and fruitless exercise. Writing out your thoughts allows you to put them in a coherent order and reassess whether or not it says what you want it to say, and also whether or not it’s appropriate for the audience. Writing allows something as transient as a thought to be solidified into something that can exist and be passed on to others long after the original thought occurred. And writing allows a thought from a century ago influence a new thought which will influence other thoughts.

Continue reading “Knowing Your Audience”

A Response to “Dear #sachat”

Tim St. John had an interesting post this morning. The part that’s getting a lot of shares on Twitter is:

“Our students and our academic colleagues do not care about your favorite icebreaker. They don’t care about what you think “professionalism” means. They care that you show up to work, do your job, and do your damn best for your students and your campus community.”

That is a great comment. But it then goes on to say

“When articles comment on the inflation of administration – they are talking about us! Yet, we are too busy talking about other things to notice. “

Um… actually I do. See here. or Here. Or honestly any article I post.  I rarely talk solely about student affairs, because student affairs doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Continue reading “A Response to “Dear #sachat””

Soft Skills and Standardized Tests

The governor of New York recently proposed that 50% of teachers evaluations be based on the results of standardized tests. I’m not going to go into great detail about how much of fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of standardized tests that is. The short version is that standardized tests give the most useful information when disaggregated, so for example looking at a district by district sample, or by selecting randomized classrooms from the entire state/province to give an overall picture. Other people have explained what a problem it is to hold teachers responsible for things they don’t have full control over. I’m not going to go into that today. Instead I’m going to focus on the labour market.

Continue reading “Soft Skills and Standardized Tests”

I Am Not a Wallet

I had this thought last night when trying out Sims Free Play on my phone. Everything takes forever to complete. While most of these pay to speed up games take about one to two minutes to do a task early in the game, just long enough to figure out what else you can do, Sims takes 10-120 minutes. So you set one task, close the game and come back to it later. It’s rather boring. But the game is fun when you’re playing it. Which is all designed to get you to pay for premium currency to make the game play faster. Continue reading “I Am Not a Wallet”