Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One final battle

There is one more skirmish to complete in my battle with one of my instructors from last semester.  Today I FINALLY got my grade for the course.  Because I didn't trust the teacher as far as I could throw here, I copied all of my grades and emails with grades to a Word document in case I needed them.  Per the points laid out for each assignment, I earned a 95.8% in that course.  You know what my final grade was?  Ready?  A MINUS!  I got a 92% in another course and got an A!  I'm not sure what planet this woman is on to think after all the freaking work I put into that course that I got anything but an A. 

So I did what the school recommends.  I emailed my advisor and let her know that I believed there was a mistake in my grade for that course.  I attached my document with my grade calculation and am willing to fight tooth and nail for that A.  Mind you, either grade will result in the same GPA (3.94 thank you very much) but it's the principle of the thing.  I want the grade I earned.

In other news, we received a bit of a shock this weekend.  The youth coordinator at our parish, someone that has become a friend and part of our "circle" was unceremoniously fired from her position.  We were flabergasted.  No warning, no nothing.  She's holding up well but Ellen and I and some of our other friends are not happy.  Like, not happy enough to contemplate going somewhere else.  With that and some other things we've heard from another friend on staff that had enough and quit, I'm not sure I have faith in the ability of those charged with leading our parish to do so.  It's very sad when humans make a mess of God's church.  We're going to try and plan a proper farewell for our friend with just the families involved in youth ministry.  I think they're going to be hard pressed to get teens involved next year after this.  Parents will not be happy.

I've got more things in the works but alas still cannot say anything yet in public.  I will reveal when the time is right, never fear.

Friday, May 27, 2011

So much going on, so little to say

There are so many things I could blog about.  Unfortunately, most of them are work related and I can't share in a public forum.  Suffice it to say there is a great deal of change on the horizon and it will be a challenge to manage that change.  As before, any prayers you care to offer on my behalf as I go through this process are much appreciated.  I don't fear change as its inevitable, but boy can it be stressful when you're going through it.  I've had the song Lead Me Lord (you can listen to the song and read the lyrics here) going through my head for weeks.  Its almost like a mantra to remind me to let go.  But its not easy.

This being the Memorial Day weekend, you would think picnics and festivities are on my schedule, right?  Wrong.  Parades are on my schedule.  Specifically, all the parades Christopher has to march in!  He has a parade/field trip tomorrow and three, count 'em THREE, parades to march in Monday morning.  It's literally a marathon to do one parade, quickly hop on a bus, go to the next, then hop back on the bus and go to the third.  Throw in some other obligations this weekend and its packed again.  The fun never stops at our place.

Beyond that, nothing much going on.  I could rant about some political type stuff I've seen on TV, but it's not worth the energy right now.  I'll keep everyone up to date on the work stuff as much as I can.  Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Testing my ability to post to my blog from my phone. Cause I need new ways to distract myself.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life out of control

Last week was totally out of control at our house.  We were double or triple booked a few days with activities.  There wasn't a day something wasn't on the schedule.  For example, yesterday all four of us were literally in different places.  I had one kid on a scout campout, another kid marching in a parade with the marching band, I was at church doing a thing with the band, and Ellen was getting her hair done.  Even today we have stuff going on.  Next week is just as bad.  When did our lives get this out of hand?

Luckily, things MIGHT slow down by the end of June.  Then again, maybe not.  My summer semester started this week but I don't think it will be TOO crazy.  Taking only one course is a welcome change.  The only stressful thing will be that the papers we'll need to write have to be done in a week.  But they're only 3 to 4 pages.  Then summer off and finish up in the fall.

We've been wanting to get out of the house and do fun stuff like riding, hiking, or just plain being outside.  But we've gotten like 3 sunny days in the last 2 weeks.  And it's going to rain all this week as well.  Makes it kind of hard to enjoy the outdoors.  Anyway, the weather is bound to get better, right?  Let's hope so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I shouldn't have done it...

But I did anyway.  Remember my pain in the ass instructor?  The one that made me crazy all semester long?  Well, I got the grade back from my final paper.  Never mind the fact that I had some MAJOR heartache about what the instructor REALLY wanted versus what the assignment stated.  However, here is her feed back:

GRADE: 13.5/15

Comments: Comments: - This is an interesting paper that appears to be well-thought-through and well researched. The conceptualization is noteworthy and convincing.  There are a number of concerns, however. The documentation is poor. Each piece of researched material needs to have a proper documentation.  Each paragraph (each new idea sequence) should end with a citation. Sometimes it will be just a page number. The approach you used for parenthetical citations did not provide me with any way of checking your sources.  In the analytical section, although not called that, you do a pretty good job. I would have liked inclusion of illustrations from your own background. All in all, the paper is a good product, but I wanted to mention these concerns because they will probably arise in some of your further writing. Grade B+

First of all, 13.5/15 is a 90%.  Which is an A (which is what is on my grade report in the school application).  Second, I followed a proper citation methodology.  I was a little annoyed (even though I'm going to get an A for the course).  So I couldn't help myself from sending off this parting shot in reply:


Thanks for the feedback. I used the APA guidelines for my citations, which I've used for all of my research work so far at ESC. The citation style states:

In APA style, in-text citations are placed within sentences and paragraphs so that it is clear what information is being quoted or paraphrased and whose information is being cited.
Works by a single author
The last name of the author and the year of publication are inserted in the text at the appropriate point.

from theory on bounded rationality (Simon, 1945)

If the name of the author or the date appear as part of the narrative, cite only missing information in parentheses.

Simon (1945) posited that

If you were looking for a different style of citation, it was not specifically stated in the guidlelines for the paper. Thanks again for your feedback.
Should I have done that?  Perhaps not.  But in the actual paper she wrote notes and stated it was insulting to the authors of the work I cited that I didn't use their full names.  Excuse me but it's insulting to me to say I didn't properly cite their work when I did.  Is it my fault Phyllis hasn't done her homework on other styles of citiation?  Or that she didn't specify a citation style if that's what she wanted.  So really I just helping to educate a person on other citation options, right?  However, if I know Phyllis, she probably won't even read the course email as she did all communication with us through personal email.  Either way, if my grade is not an A, I'm going to raise blooddy hell.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Should I feel guilty?

I think I may have offended someone via Facebook.  I'm not a HUGE fan of Facebook because much of what's out there is drivel.  I use it mostly to keep up with family and friends I care about.  Like most, when I first got my Facebook account I was accepting friend requests from pretty much anybody I knew.  However, some of my Facebook friends were either posting things that only made sense to them or stuff I couldn't care less about.

Enter an old neighbor of mine.  We grew up from each other a few doors down.  She was 2 years older than I so we hung around a little when we were younger but basically after I graduated from high school (MANY years ago now) I don't think I ever spoke to her or saw her face to face once.  She was one of those people posting all kinds of stuff on Facebook that just took up space to me so as part of a "housecleaning" I de-friended her (along with a bunch of other people).  A few months later she must have realized I wasn't on her friend list and sent another friend request, which I ignored.

So yesterday she sends me a message wondering why I de-friended her.  I didn't want to be rude and tell her the truth, which is I really don't KNOW her any more.  We were merely neighbors from over 20 years ago and have not had an actual conversation (even on Facebook) in all that time.  But I was polite and said it was nothing personal and that I was making my Facebook friend list smaller.

The response I got?  "Whatever!".  She "respects" my decision but thinks it's great remembering old friends.  I didn't respond to that but truthfully, I don't have time for the friends I have now that I really want to spend time with.  People I actually talk to on a regular basis.  As for the "old" times, there really weren't that many to look so fondly back on.  Get togethers with friends on New Year's Eve, perhaps.  But I have much fonder memories of the people in my life now.  So I think this person was offended that I didn't value those memories as much as she.  I mean, we just weren't that close.

Was I a bad guy for not wanting to be someone's Facebook friend?  Perhaps I should quote Audry Hepburn's character in Charade when Cary Grant is trying to befriend her. "I'm afraid I already know a great many people. Until one of them dies I couldn't possibly meet anyone else."

Monday, May 02, 2011

What are we coming to

I had thought to put this on Facebook, but somehow a quick note didn't seem right.  So Osama bin Laden has met his end.  Many people, including those calling themselves Christians, are "happy" and feel justice has been served.  I cannot comment on whether or not justice has been served.  I'll leave that to the Lord.  I can say that I'm saddened at the loss of a life.  Osama bin Laden was a bad person.  No question.  Ordering others killed due to religious or any other type of fanaticism is inexcusable.  But I simply cannot rejoice or be glad in the death of another human being, no matter how bad the person is.  His death does not make up for the death of all of those people in the trade center.  NOTHING can make up for their deaths.  So forgive me if I don't think today is a victorious day in American history.  Osama bin Laden needed to be stopped.  But I don't know if he needed to be dead.

Our Lord said love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  Who, besides me, has the courage to say a prayer for Osama?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Prayers requested

I hate to sound secretive, but I've got something going on that I can't make public as this site is open to everyone.  What I would ask is that you please pray for a special intention for me.  If such time arises as I can give details, I will.  Thanks in advance.