Teaching and Learning

Regardless of where you are in the world, you’ve had some form of education. It could be as complex as grad school, or it could be as basic as your dad smacking your hand when you reached for the hot stove. You learned early on that someone would teach you a lesson and then you would be expected to carry that knowledge forward to the next opportunity.

If you’re lucky and make it through high school (sorry, non-US readers, this is going to be somewhat biased for a moment as I don’t know non-US education hierarchies, but for reference, we’re talking about steady school through about age 17), you have probably experienced the spoon-feeding education theory. This is where your instructor walks you through each and every logic point. They slowly and patiently explain the itty-bitty steps from no-knowledge and knowledge. For example, if you’ve ever taken Speech in school, you probably had to give an instructional speech where you explained something simple but in great detail… like making a Peanutbutter and Jelly sandwitch.

By the time you reach college-level courses, the instructors/professors assume that you have a certain baseline set of information already stored in your head. So rather than spoon feeding you, they try to move faster… driving your thought process, but always doing something of the “read this, then we’ll talk about it, then I’ll assign something for you to practice on with your new information” type process. You see this by reading assignments, followed by class lecture/discussion, followed by a graded exam.

If you’re really masochistic, you decide you want to go to grad school. And if you’re REALLY hell-bent on killing yourself, you choose law school (mostly because you realize that MD’s have a lot more school than law and may/may not have as much earning potential. Law school is usually taught in the Socratic Method… designed to inspire terror a greater learning curve. The method is based on a question/answer format where the professor guides the “student” to discovery of the miniscule point of law a specific case is trying to illustrate.

So, as you might have guessed by now, I survived all of this so far. But thought, what the hell, I want MORE… and enrolled in a local MBA program.

My first two courses are Stats and Marketing. Stats has its own challenges (perhaps the topic of another post on another day). Marketing is my focus today. Specifically, we have to do case studies… also individually geared towards a particular marketing point (such as defining your target market, pricing, etc). However, in each and every case, we get the lesson AFTER we have to turn in the case assignment! I’ve considered that I was missing something. But no, the reading still was done before class… as well as the particular case. The case is turned in first thing when we arrive… and then we are taught the lesson for the day.


March Madness

I’m sure that if you’re reading the title, you’ve thought that I would write about how much I like one team or another… or how I am doing well/poor in my office bracket gambling event.

But no. I’m writing to say that I hate college and professional sports. Not because I hate the players, because I don’t. I think many of them are incredible athletes and I’m glad that they have a way to do something that they love to do (and be paid well for it).

What I can’t stand are the fans.

Especially now that I live in ACC country, I am simply amazed at the quantity of time people spend thinking about basketball, dreaming about basketball, watching basketball… and getting completely over-worked about their team(s). And yes, I’m probably talking about you, too.

What amazes me most, however, is the level of seriousness taken on by the fans. It’s like their own personal lives hinge on the outcome of the game! Really! They take it as a personal affront if their team doesn’t win… and as a personal “win” if the team does well. And what I really think annoying is when the fans get sad ON BEHALF OF the players.


I have to believe that they realize that the players are going to (or already do) make more money in a single year than many do in a lifetime. I have to also believe that the players don’t really care about the fans… (you wouldn’t have things like a hockey strike if fans were the reason for playing). And to top it off, fans PAY MONEY to see the various teams play.

Don’t fans realize that they’re taken advantage of? Don’t they realize that their hard-earned money is going to pay for it, too? And that when they get emotional, they’re paying for that, too?



Jim Crow laws were wrong. They are wrong today and they were wrong 50 years ago. Arrests made under those laws were just as wrong. Rosa Parks (and the many men and women who came before and after her) are heros because they stood up and announced to the world that those laws were wrong.

Today, some folks are still looking to apologize in some way (as we should – and oh, btw, as long as we’re talking about this… let’s just say it all… we have to start with a very obviously missing “We’re SORRY!”). And the latest attempt is pardoning those people who were wrongly arrested, starting with Parks. For those folks who are still alive and for whom the pardon would erase their “criminal” history, that’s great and they should receive one. In many cases, however, the pardon comes 50+ years TOO DAMN LATE!

For example, Lillie Mae Bradford (now 75) has suffered the effects of an arrest record since 1951. Yes, she wants a pardon and should be granted one. But that’s still not going to undo the injustice suffered for the last 55 years. It’s not going to make her career better now (she had trouble landing government jobs because of the record). All we (and I’m speaking for the average white citizen here) are doing is trying to appease our conscience.

And if that’s what “we” want to do… start with a sincere apology. Then fix the friggin’ problem (which STILL exists in many parts of this country).

For an “advanced” society, we’re still pretty messed up.


I don’t want to make a habit of complaining… it just doesn’t ever seem to solve the underlying problem.

But why in the world do people think that being pissy is going to somehow be manageable, especially in the workplace?

I had a thought today at work… researched it, had a possible methodology… and then took it to the person who was responsible for maintaining the existing process (keeping in mind that this person doesn’t actually own the relationship… they’re merely a middleman).

This person then proceeded to rain on the parade. It won’t work because… We’ve already looked at things similar to that… If we ever did anything different than what we are currently doing, it wouldn’t be that…

I just don’t get it. Why wouldn’t you just listen?

time to change

“Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology. Where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory thoughts. Our Unification of Thought is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people. With one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!”

So I’ve moved my domain to just be a blog. About time, I know. And to mark the occasion, I’m going to try to attach a photo for the first time, too.


Well… we did it! We finally bought a house. And in the last few weeks, I have actually cataloged ALL of my books.

This might seem trivial to most people, but I needed library-quality software to accomplish the task… and Delicious Monster did the trick. Granted, I’m still waiting to get the barcode scanner (which would’ve made the initial upload faster), but overall it’s a really cool tool.

Boxing 20 boxes of books and hauling these heavy suckers up into the attic, however, was no easy task. My back hurts, I have trouble breathing from the stuff in the attic, and Tina’s afraid that the stuff is going to tumble down on top of us. But it’s all up there. And anytime I need to go get one, the boxes (thanks to my extreme anal retentiveness) are numbered so I can go right to the box that contains the book I’m seeking.

Then we had the toilet in our bathroom decide to not really flush. And the toilet downstairs run constantly. Oh, and the heating system had a bad blower wheel which wasn’t covered under the home warranty purchased at the time of sale because it was improperly maintained. But hey… the joys of homeownership.

Next up? Fixing the automated sprinkler system that the prior owners said didn’t work (but we’re pretty sure they are idiots)… reseeding the lawn (cuz’ they didn’t do any yardwork either)… and cleaning the carpets (because they let their two full-sized goldens run rampant through the house).

God I love my house.