I was at a smallish meeting about a budget type issue. One of the people at the meeting suggested that a course s/he doesn't teach should have higher enrollment to solve the budget problem. Really, s/he said, it's not a problem to add more people to those classes.
Yeah, right. Does s/he think that the people who teach those already FULL classes will eagerly take on more students to solve someone else's budget overrun? Really?
Sometimes I'm frustrated by administrators. But in this one case, I have to say that I have a little taste of how frustrating my faculty colleagues can be, too.
One of my students insisted that an essay we read in class made X stupid argument. I asked the student to show me where the essay made that argument, and she couldn't. But she still put the assertion in her essay (of course without a page reference) by setting it up as a straw man in her thesis and arguing against it. And she's shocked that the essay didn't get a great grade. ARGH! We have an appointment to talk about it; I asked her to reread the essay so she could show me where the essay makes X argument. (Hey, I could be wrong, even after reading the essay 12 times! If I am, I'll admit it when she shows me. I've been wrong before!)
In class the other day, we were discussing the papers they'd written for an assignment. One of the students noted that he hadn't actually read the assignment before writing his short essay. He said this with a sort of pride.
I hate when I feel that reading and commenting on an essay has taken me longer than writing the essay actually took the student. Usually it's not a sign of a great essay, but somehow I'm supposed to find something supportive to say. It's difficult.
We have a mandate in the state that says that any returning veteran doesn't have to pay tuition to go to a state school. The law doesn't say that the state will provide money for that student, however. So, if we get, say, 50 veterans, that's a fair bit of tuition we're out. Now, I'll admit that I'm not going to take a pay cut willingly so that someone can get a free education. Where's the money going to come from? The law doesn't say. (The money will probably come out of tuition raises, that is, from other students.)
We have to change our computer passwords every several months. There are a few rules: minimum number of characters, minimum number of types of characters (upper case, lower case, wingdings, numbers). Oh, and they can't be regular dictionary words.
I hate hate hate trying to think of passwords. And then trying to remember them. Usually, I come up with some fake Latin sounding word: $hak3sprioRum or something. Blah, I hate changing.
I had to change today, and now I can't remember what I made up. I hope I remember tomorrow. At least I don't put a sticky paper on my monitor with the password, as one of my colleagues does.
Every few years, there are big fires in the Malibu area, and every time, firefighters risk their lives to try to save homes, very expensive homes. The canyons, from what I've read, make for very dangerous firefighting conditions because they've got steep wall and (in the usual conditions) lots of dry stuff to burn.
After Katrina, there was a lot of talk about making some of the lowest, least protected areas of New Orleans off-limits to housing because of the flood risk. The idea is that there's a high risk of recurrent problems, and those problems will endanger rescuers and cost lots of money. It just so happens that those areas were also some of the poorer areas of the city.
So how come no one is talking about making parts of the Malibu area where they have those recurrent fires off-limits to housing? How about at least they don't allow houses to be rebuilt?
Recurrent natural disaster danger
High cost to deal with the danger to rescuers and local governments
Rich residents vs not rich residents?