Archive for January, 2014

Professor Ratings

January 30, 2014 Leave a comment

I have been using a professor rating website to gain advance information on professors as Youth 1 attends the local university. Skepticism is my first reaction as I encountered this site. You can not blindly trust student’s opinions of the professors. As I researched the local professors, I noticed a little interesting fact. When I watch professor rebuttals, I recognized a familiar feature about professors.

Let me tackle professors. I went to college and hated quite a few. There were some I encountered that should have retired years ago. Most of the professors I hated were arrogant, opinionated and plain uncaring. There is one fact in this paragraph and it is nothing has changed since I went to school. You have a great chance of a professor with a PhD having a head larger than their deserved salary. Their opinions of themselves if burst would shatter this earth. We have the professors whose political agenda rules the class. Those agreeing with the agenda will like the class but learn nothing. Those disagreeing will suffer grade-wise and learn nothing. The good side of this are the professors who get it. You will learn and be inspired. These professors understand what their job is at the school. They are worth their salary.

Why don’t schools remove these professors? Why should they? If you go to another school there will be another student to take your place. Schools generally do not care. They are willing to put up with garbage as long as you pay. If you don’t, your neighbor will gladly pay.

Now we encounter students. These people are a bunch of immature and ignorant group of goop demanding everything to be given to them. It has changed little since I went. Students enter college not knowing how to study or participate in class. Thanks public schools!! I was not prepared, and the students today aren’t either. Talking with a gentleman, he stated it was in his junior year before he figured out how to study. There’s a problem here and it is with our public schools. If we would try to educate instead of being educational parents.

How did my review of this site compare to reality? The first professor was loved by the students. He even had a hotness factor. Not sure what that does with education. The next two professors were around average in rating. This past semester the math professor had a very positive rating. The one chemistry professor has a poor rating and the other chemistry professor was a tad better. There were a few professors we stayed away from. So how accurate were these ratings?

Youth 1 loved the first professor. This was a spot on match with the rating. This professor influenced and inspired my child. The website rating matched my child’s opinion. My child worked in the class and got an A.

Professor two and three were of the same rating give or take a tenth. Youth 1 did extremely well and would likely give an average rating. This isn’t to say these two professors were not good. It is their topic that was not the most interesting even though the third professor was very into her field. Youth 1 received an A for each course. So far these were a match.

The math professor was well-liked by Youth 1. The professor was willing to work with Youth 1 and even communicated by email when Youth 1 was studying for an exam. The professor had a nice sense of humor and encourage my child. This professor’s rating was again spot on.

The chemistry professors were different. Youth 1 enjoyed the one professor and understood as long as the work was done there were no problems. The second professor wasn’t the most interesting or taught that well but it was impossible to fail if you did everything. Youth 1 had a positive opinion of these two professors with the first professor receiving a higher rating.

There was a professor my child did not select. This professor had a horrible rating on the professor rating website. Youth 1’s advisor even admitted that Youth 1 should avoid this professor for he would grade Youth 1 more harshly, and this professor was not very good. In fact they were waiting and hoping for him to retire. The intel I received matched the advisor, too. My intel? I had the chance to talk with students that were attending this school as they were interns at the place I work.

The chemistry professors were rated correctly by these interns, too. If Youth 1 did the work and kept ahead there would be no problems. The math professor was also rated well by the interns.

Students on average rate the professors correctly. These sites can generally be relied upon for accurate reporting contrary to what the professors think. Yes, there are students that blame the professor their problems. If you do not do the work you fail. There is more to it than just doing the work. You need to be able to see what these students are saying such as inconsistent grading, impossible exams (yes they can be too difficult for the class) and attitude issue.

To the professors that would somehow stumble on this, take in what students say. You may be doing a greater disservice than anything else. You do not know what it is like to work as a security guard at a prison. You not as smart as you think. You are easily replaceable. You most likely have never worked a “real” job (Yes, teaching at a university doesn’t constitute as real. Try interacting with people on the outside). Why are you responding to professor rating sites? Could it be you know you “suck” and are compelled to defend yourself.

The hard reality is the fault lies with both groups. Most professors may not be very good at what they do. In fact most should not have a job. Most students do not do the work needed to pass but expect the A. They shouldn’t go to college.


Australia Started Everything

January 26, 2014 Leave a comment

I was reading a few posts from someone in Australia. This got me thinking about goals in my life. These specific goals are visitation goals. One of my biggest dreams or goals is Australia. I have long wanted to visit Australia and explore the land. I even stated I was willing to relocated to Australia at my company. The Aussies are not the only ones I have a desire to visit.

The U.K. is also on my list. Unlike Australia where I want to explore the land and its beauty plus a few other no land related reason, the U.K. is on my list for historical reasons. There is such a wealth of history on the island that I have a yearning to visit it.

Italy is likely to move into my number one visit. There is a urge to visit some ancestors in the southern part of Italy. History also plays a part in this. This is the most likely visit.

Uruguay is another country I would like to visit live in. There is some attractive quality about the country that I can not put my finger on. I don’t expect to ever live there.

Antarctica is another place I want to visit. I actually applied for a job once where it would place me in Antarctica. I would have love to have spent two years down there.

These are the major places I want to visit. Australia was the first. I don’t know why or what has me wanting to visit Australia. It could be Alby Mangels or some obscure movie or documentary I saw. I’m not sure. Still, I would like to visit Australia someday.

Categories: Outdoors Tags: , ,

A Good Idea To Homeschool

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

I think it is time for those in Wisconsin to send a message. They need to remove their children from the public school system and teach their children.

If you haven’t heard, , a teacher fired for watching pornagraphic and sexually inappropriate material at the school he works was allowed to have his job back at the school. To be fair, the school board fought the losing battle. It was the courts that found this to be appropriate.

This is an interesting issue. There are those that will fight for these silly rights but when it is turned on them, they don’t like it. An example of this are those who published who owned guns in their newspaper. There are plenty of people that agree with this method. When given the option to put a sign in their front yard stating they have no guns in their house in support of their “belief”, they refused to do so. The same goes with this teacher viewing pornography in school. These people defending the teacher would not want their child in this school.

School is not an appropriate place for viewing pornography whether you agree with pornography or not. I would have serious issues if any of my children’s coaches or leaders of the groups they belong to was doing this. Either the individual is removed or my children will be removed.

We are doomed to make mistakes in this country for we continue to make the same mistakes on a belief that one’s rights are violated. Funny how we determine that a right has been violated. I would think the parents and teachers of Kromrey Middle School have just had their rights violated by the potential re-instating of this teacher. How about those paying for the $200,000 in back pay?

This is another reason why I prefer homeschooling. I am not sheltering my children. This is a form of protection. Why would I want to expose my children to a potentially harming situation? If a school district can not protect your children shouldn’t you place them in a place where they are protected? My children will be exposed to pornography at some point in their lives. There is no doubt about it. At least they will have the maturity and development to be able to handle this exposure. It is a sad state when we falsely believe that 7th graders are mentally developed enough to understand and independently construct a well thought out opinion of subjects such as these. There are plenty of older teenagers who are inable to do this. Is this laziness in our society? This isn’t based on intelligence.

A message needs to be sent.

Amazing Use Of Technology

January 21, 2014 3 comments

I have spent some recent posts discussing the positive of modern technology. Today I discovered another use with computers and Skype.

Youth 1 was in the bedroom struggling with a few problems. I was asked to help. Sitting at the small desk in the room looking at the computer was uncomfortable for me. Looking up information with the computer was difficult since we were sharing. I decided to run to my computer and do some work. I memorized the problem and ran off.

Okay, I’m getting old, and I forgot the question. I popped up Skype and after much prodding Youth 1 answered me. I asked for the problem. Youth 1 did better. Youth 1 shared the screen in the bedroom. I was able to do some research and assist Youth 1. Our conversation did not require my being there. I was able to look at the screen in the bedroom, and Youth 1 could look at my screen when needed.

This is a wonderful way to work together. I could not take my laptop to the bedroom, and Youth 1 didn’t want to displace all of the books, notes and computer in the bedroom. This was a win for technology.

I wish I could do a few extras with Skype, but this will do.

Categories: Elections, Homeschool Tags: ,

Wordly Wise 3000 Review

January 20, 2014 Leave a comment

The curriculum I am writing about has been used in our family for a number of years. It has replaced just about all other vocabulary development curriculums we have tried in the past. Youth 2 is the person using this course. Youth 1 has moved past this even though there are times I think Youth 1 should be doing this.

The course is broken down into lessons. There are four lessons before a review is done. Now we break the lessons down. The beginning of the lesson has a word list. This displays the word, how to pronounce the word, a definition and a sample sentence. The student can review this before beginning the lesson or engage in the lesson part A.

Lesson A is about finding meanings. There are ten problems. Each problem has a – d of choices which are parts of a sentence. The student must match two of the four that go together.

Lesson B is crossing out the bold word or phrase in a sentence and replacing it with a word from the wordlist. There are ten problems to work with.

Lesson C is applying meaning. A question is asked and there are four choice for the answer. In this case there may be more than one answer. An example question is: Which of the following can be shammed?

Lesson D is the word study. This is where you circle the words that are synonyms and then do one for antonyms. There is a total of 16 problems for this section.

Lesson E is the passage section where the student read a short story and then answer 15 or so questions.

The review section is a crossword puzzle based off of the previous four lessons.

This curriculum can be done by the child with minimal parental supervision. A lesson a day is sufficient or even a section of a lesson for a day is fine. This is dependent on your schedule. If there are questions, the parent should be available to answer. The parent does grade the work, and this is where the parent needs to evaluate the child’s comprehension. If you think you shouldn’t have to be involved, why are you homeschooling?

What do I think of it? It does the job it is designed for. Are there better methods or curriculum? There may be, but we have not found it. Like all educational material, it is not a one size fit all. This may work well for one child but not the other. This curriculum may seem easy, but do you want difficulty or do you want your child to learn?

We give this a thumbs up.

Do Not Always Believe

January 20, 2014 Leave a comment

There has been a recent mandate requiring nurses to have four year degrees. This takes place in 2014. If you are a current nurse holding an associates degree, you need to go back to school. You are not smart enough to be a nurse. I can not confirm if this is for all states.

This is one of the most useless requirements. How does an extra two years help a nurse? I graduated from a 4 year school and can tell you most of the courses were worthless. I took a class on 50’s television. Who has ever heard of Mr. Peepers? I bet most have not let alone seen an episode. How has taking course on Russian history helped me? It hasn’t. I do not remember the course. The courses I do remember were the courses I was already interested in. There is no memory of economics except for sweating in the classroom because of the heat.

Does getting a four year degree hurt? No. It is not necessary either. Now you can hear the Dean of Nursing tell you why it is beneficial to the nurse and patients. You can hear other academia types feed you the same line. CEOs and other managers will throw this “need” at you. It is pure B.S. They know it but hope you don’t.

We like to think the more educated you are the better life is. This isn’t the case. Ask a “real” nurse about those teaching nursing. They’ll tell you these instructors are clueless. You are taught theory in school and not reality. Unless you do clinical work, you are not gaining anything. I deal with theory everyday in my work and can tell you theory doesn’t work. Theory is in a sterile environment while reality is just that, reality.

Nursing isn’t the only area where forced unneeded education. Teaching is full of this B.S. about going back to school. Look around and you see this education push. Why? It truly doesn’t benefit you other than for education sake.

What about these nurses for ten or twenty years that hold an associates? They lose their job. Their experience and knowledge gone for some newby. I can tell you, a newby is not someone you want. There are plenty of good associates degreed nurses that will not go back to school and why should they.

When you hear how getting additional education will be beneficial think of the source. I can tell you the Dean of Nursing is only thinking of their self and not you. They want you to spend money in colleges. They want you to overpay for a degree.

This is not about being anti-education. It is about being practical. Why overdo something that gains nothing? Why waste money on a non-needed task?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

TOPS Science

January 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Early in our homeschooling years, we struggled to find a science program suitable for our children. Like any new homeschooler we had no idea of what to use. There are plenty of failures out there, but TOPS has been with us for many years.

TOPS offers courses on Physics, Math & Measurement, Earth & Space, Life and Chemistry. Each of these are broken down in sections that have grade levels. This provides a variety for the homeschooling family as well as age appropriate subject matter. These course do have a wide grade range such as grades 6 thru 10.

The course book is broken down into sections. Each section the student does an experiment and learns some physics or earth science. It was never uncommon for me to find some strange concoction around the house. I knew enough to leave it be. Open my closet door and see a lima bean growing. Visitors to our house would not find it so normal. Your children are doing experiments. What better way to investigate and understand.

This course works best with a parent teaching or assisting. You may not wish your child to tackle some of the experiments for a child could get hurt. Maybe a burn here or there or damage part of the house. Maybe it was my youths taking the experiments to a new level. Parental involvement will help the child learn. If the parent isn’t involved how can they ask questions?

There are teacher books to go along with this science. If purchasing from their site, there are combo discounts. You can download these books as pdf or have a hard copy.

For those doing portfolios, you can take pictures of the experiments going on, scan finished paperwork written on the experiments or you can include our write up.

This is a wonderful way to introduce your child to science and keep it fun. Thumbs up for this one.