Chris: “send me the gay hobbit one”

Blackboard is the fscking devil. I feel this needs to be said at least once per semester. Blessed are you that need never cast your gaze before it’s unholy visage.

Seriously. BB is a crutch for lazy teachers who want to have some kind of online presence, but can’t figure out how to work (or figure out how to ask a friend to work) a webpage design program. They’re not really as complicated as they might sound… they’re sort of like glorified word processors.

Rant aside, classes are looking to be good so far this semester. My history teacher, Chris Johnson, is a very funny guy. He says he checks on occasion and that last semester for the first time ever, he got a sad face. He went on to make a long, dramatic, self-deprecating speech about how he always wondered if he was “inadequate”, but thankfully now, he knew for sure that he was in fact “woefully inadequate”. And that as of this semester he will strive to do better, he’s going to be reaching to achieve the level of simply “inadequate”, perhaps eventually attaining the title of “adquate” or maybe even someday “mediocre”. And the way he said it with such a hopeful glint in his eye, you just couldn’t help but smile. You just have to see this guy to appreciate him… he started the class saying “Ok, I have three funny things to tell you before we begin” (which ended up taking 20 minutes to tell) “The first is, and you probably didn’t need to know this, that I just had a colonoscopy the other day, and let me tell you, talk about uncomfortable. And the really weird thing is that they have this camera hooked up to a TV so that you can watch the inside of your colon or whatever I guess, and oddly enough, this sort of distracts you from the whole idea because it’s so strange in itself”. He then went on to talk about finding out that he’s on the NoFly List (great articles, btw) and how he had to prove that he’s not a terrorist.

Add in some comments about how Americans don’t pay as much attention to politics as they should, a couple stories about his “anti-militaristic, anti-establishment” boy scout troop that went streaking, skinny dipping, was his first experience with marijuana and the cause of him drinking kerosene from a bleach bottle… well, you can see why I like the guy. Oh yeah. He also tried to make the main book (the 70 something dollar one) reccommended a few semesters back, but got yelled at by the History Department, the Administration, and the Bookstore who all told him that he both *had* to have a required textbook and that he *had* to integrate it into the class. Well, he thinks that textbooks are a good aid to learning, but that most text-books aren’t the best source of information, and are too expensive for most college students besides, so he decided that the way he would integrate the book would be to put up 3 worksheets on his website. Each worksheet is from a different chapter of the book, and has 10 questions such as: “What ship sank in May 1915? Who sank it?” and instructions that to the effect of “just write the answers (you don’t need complete sentences) on a separate piece of paper. If you need to borrow a friend’s answers, *cough* I mean textbook to do so, I’ve got no problem with that. This is all just busywork that Administration makes me do. You don’t need to worry that you’re not going to learn in this class, but you also shouldn’t worry that you’re going to have to memorize a $70 textbook to do so.” Essentially saying, yes, the textbook is required, but if you feel like answering the worksheets in the next week or two, you can still take your book back for a full refund at the bookstore…

I approve. My Cisco class on the other hand is looking grim. It’s right after my C++ class at Palomar:San Marcos, and its a 20 minute drive normally, but I’ll be headed there during rush hour. It’s a self-paced class where attendance is mandatory (huh?). And the teacher seems to like Blackboard…

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