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Monday, June 30, 2014

Annual Budgets

            It’s here. The new budgets are coming. This is my chance. I’ve been waiting for this moment, and, hopefully, it’s going to pay off in a big way. I hope to capitalize on government institutions being flush with new cash that they can dispose of, hopefully in my direction.

            Wish me luck.

Friday, June 27, 2014

F3 Lessons in Lying

            Flynn walked with Reese through crowded market, but Flynn couldn’t help but notice that Reese walked with a decided limp in his left leg, and took the opportunity to rub at his thigh any time they looked over the wares in a stall.
            “Were you injured in a battle,” an attractive young woman asked.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tramping About

            I really want to do that. I remember last year, as I wrapped up my trip to Washington DC, I was tired, but I wanted to stay on. I wanted to take some more time and relax and do little trips to see even more.
            I’m firmly convinced that if I can manage to get the financial independence to do that kind of tramping, I will. The wanderlust is building again now that summer is here, and the list of places I want to visit continues to grow.

            A lengthy road trip sounds really good again. . . .

Monday, June 23, 2014

Unrealized Ideas

            “Dream Children” by Charles Lamb is one of my all-time favorite essays. I’ve written before about the children left on the shores of the Lethe, and how I would do my best to make sure that they are rescued from there.
            Not today.
            At least not all the children. My characters and story ideas will absolutely be rescued. I’m not going to stop trying to breathe life into them.
            No, I’m talking about the other children. Other ideas. I have had a host of ideas for teaching, but over recent months I abandon them almost as soon as I have them. They’re going to stay on the Lethe. Particularly good ones I might pass on to teacher friends, but then many of them have the same idea.
            So, to those ideas, left on the shores of the Lethe, I offer a small apology. You will not come to be. At least not for me. I will do my best not to forget you completely, and I have the chance to pass you on to someone else, I shall, but I must tend to my other children.

You have already robbed life from them for too long.

Friday, June 20, 2014

F3 True Weapons of Mass Destruction

            It had been hours since ship’s sensors had registered the launch, which made the launch itself hours old by the time it had reached Flynn’s crew. As soon as he knew the projectile’s course, he had swung Calypso to exit the solar system.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Separation of Business and Business

            I’ve been struggling to get back into writing. A lot of it is other projects and time, but there’s another aspect I haven’t addressed. Space. I have been doing nearly all of my work in the same space. That means grading, coding, marketing, and other side projects have shared the same physical space as my writing area.
            Consequently, I think that my brain has tainted itself to think of other projects even when I want to focus on writing. I used to get around this by physically relocating myself to coffee shops and bookstores. I might have to resurrect that practice, and indulge in the occasional overpriced hot or iced chocolate in order to get the writing back up to speed.

            I also might resurrect an old computer with a simple word processor to create a separate physical medium used solely for writing.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fun & Games

            I’m not as heavily into video games as I once was. It’s an expensive hobby, not just in terms of money, but time. I don’t have a lot of that to spare on games. In fact, none of my friends my age have that kind of time. One friend has a backlog of over 30 games, and he still buys games in the hopes of eventually catching up on that backlog.
            I’ve taken to replaying old classic games in order to stretch my relaxation buck to the max, and it’s quite enjoyable. However, I admit that the occasional new game, especially one that can be played with friends, is absolutely worthwhile.

            Now, excuse me while I load up some classic Legend of Zelda.

Friday, June 13, 2014

F3 Flags

            They exist by tradition, mostly. Flags are holdovers from ancient times before people reached the stars. In space, there really was no point to a flag. More often than not any flag seen was painted on a hull. But only high resolution optical sensors could see them from any real distance, and those were more interested in threat identification through hull design than splashes of paint.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Borg

            Students are the Borg. No, really, they are. No, they’re not a unified hive collective out to conquer.  But, like the Borg, they adapt.
            All attempts at teaching them are eventually adapted to. The techniques simply become ineffective. They no longer work in any way. Moreover, we don’t have a means to identify why these techniques fail.
            Our sleeves and hats run out of tricks. We have nothing else to try, and, to be blunt, inventing new techniques is a losing proposition for us. There’s no money in it for us. We don’t get paid to research new techniques, to spend countless hours scouring the internet and getting in discussions to develop new lessons.
            And the full-timers are immune. Their jobs are secured and they have no incentive to improve.

            So the Borg, relentless, continue on.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Sans School

            I’ve drastically cut back on my school preparations. I deserve what I can get of my summer vacation, but mostly it’s because I’ve shifted my focus away from school. This is both from necessity and by choice. Necessity because of my own project, but choice simply because putting time and effort in on school yields no benefit.

            So I’ll put my time and effort in on that which does yield benefit, even if it’s taking time off.

Friday, June 6, 2014

F3 Wish Fulfillment

            “Matt, you’ve got a client?” Jen said.
            “You don’t sound too sure,” I said.
            “I’m not. He slipped me this note, and he’s covered head-to-toe: coat, gloves, scarf, sunglasses, and ball cap.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Further Incidents from the Past Semester

            Honestly, I’m beginning to think I could fill a book with these. Another colleague experienced another disgruntled student. That’s nothing new. We see those all the time. What makes this special is the depth of the disgruntlement. The audacity of it still astounds.
            The student had been absent for 8 days. Typically the maximum allowed absences in the range of 3-4. This student had nearly missed 3 weeks of class with no explanation, with no prior arrangement. Only when my colleague had begun the paperwork to withdraw him did he return. Moreover, in that time he had missed an essay assignment.
            The student complained (for 3 consecutive hours) that had an absolute right to stay in the class because he paid for it. He complained that my colleague wouldn’t work with him. He complained in front of the department chair, too, and he got his way. He was even allowed to turn in the late assignment.
            Here’s the interesting twist.
            He plagiarized the entire essay.

            Like I said, audacity.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fleeing the Storm

            Animals have keen instincts and the ability to recognize disaster before it happens. When flocks of birds move away from a direction, when other animals flee, there is a good reason for it. Only people are too stupid to recognize that there is something inherently wrong.
            However, the same phenomenon has occurred in my hometown, but it’s not the animals who are fleeing, it’s the teachers.
            In my town’s school district, which I have no part of since I teach at a community college, teachers during the spring semester resigned en masse. Counting retirements and formal resignations, nearly 100 educators (teachers, principals, etc.) terminated their careers. Now the district is fairly large, but this is still a hammer blow.
            Worse still, this only represents the people who could afford to leave the career in some form or another. There must be an equal amount (though likely more) who continued their careers simply because they had no other choice.
            The point I am making with all this is that something disastrous is occurring, but the school board and the parents refuse to examine the cause of so many teachers leaving. Parents express concern, and the board attempts to assuage them, but none are treating it as the serious problem it clearly is.
            The teachers left for a reason.

            They flee the storm and the destruction that comes with it.
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