Friday, January 22, 2010

A Modest Agreement on Attendance

Study Hall Teacher
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
I wrote the following over the Christmas break following the completion of another semester where students disappeared around midterm and miraculously reappeared as finals were upon us.

I agree the only excused absence shall be defined as a communication to the instructor of this class from another NWC official requesting so. If an absence is classified as excused, assignments may or may not be postponed according to the instructor’s judgment. However, any quizzes, in-class assignments or exams can be made up without penalty. It will be my responsibility to make such arrangements with the instructor. This is all that an excused absence covers. The instructor is under no obligation to repeat the information from classes missed. I take full responsibility for recovering all material and assignments from a class where I was not attending (whether excused or not).

If I am sick (complete with doctor’s note), if my transportation fails me, if there is a death or serious illness in my family, it is not excused. Whether I am to blame for missing class or someone else (including an act of God), I take full responsibility for what I have missed. As a result, I will do my best to take care of myself by getting sufficient rest, nutrition and exercise to at least control those things I have some control over. If I miss a quiz, in-class assignment or exam as the result of an unexcused absence, I accept the “no credit” grade that will likely result.

I will make an honest effort to acquaint myself with fellow classmates. As a result, we can assist one another when one of us is unable to attend via sharing notes or information about the class and provide assistance in the comprehension of the course materials and subject matter to one another.

I understand there is no “extra credit” to make up assignments I have not completed. Missed assignments are “credit,” so why would the instructor/should the instructor give me a chance to earn extra credit when I haven’t completed the regular credit?

Failure to sign this will result in an incomplete grade for this class.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The mistake of a “Foxy” Sarah Palin

Gummy Rubbers
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
OK, so I’m not a Fox News fan and I’m certainly not a Sarah Palin fan, but that doesn’t mean I wish eternal damnation for both. And so, I don’t get it.

How does a network that uses the jingle “fair and balanced” believe that bringing Sarah Palin on board is going to give them more credibility in the fair and balanced arena? How do they expect skeptics like me to tune in when they’ve taken another step toward the dark side? Talk about reinforcing stereotypes that have everything to do with Fox News being way right of center—and thus off-balance...

Perhaps what is most saddening is they let Lou Dobbs slip away after he left CNN unexpectedly. Who knows, maybe he’s still on their line, and they simply haven’t reeled him in yet. He’s every bit as big a fish as Palin and much more substantial.

And I’m not as naive as I sound. I understand what this is all about—ratings folks, ratings! But at what cost? Fox News is one step away from becoming the classified television version of a supermarket tabloid magazine like the Globe or National Enquirer—neither one known for their astute journalism ethics/practices.

And if Fox News can’t get Lou Dobbs, perhaps they should look at Oliver North or Ted Nugent and leave Sarah Palin to QVC... which will undoubtedly send sales through the roof.

PS: Do you suppose there is any chance that Sarah Palin will get to return the favor and interview Katie Couric? Perhaps Palin can ambush Couric herself with questions like, “So Katie, what do you read?” At the least, I’d tune in for that!

Friday, January 08, 2010

New NWC T-Shirt Design

Taylor Spartacus
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Just in time for the new semester... show your support for Mike Taylor who suffered from a firing only because he wasn't in with the right people at Northwest College... shame on you Mike!

Just goes to show, it's all about who you know, not how good you are at your profession.

If interested in a t-shirt purchase, contact me via email ( all proceeds go to Mike Taylor, of course.