October 18th, 2006

angle brackets, fed up, html

Things I haven't mentioned until now for some reason

Thing the First

I started school this week.

I've found a school here in Orange County (Chapman University) who're willing to take my Oxford credits as low-level computer science classes. But like all U.S. schools, they're big on general ed, whereas the Oxford program was very specialized. So I'm taking some classes at community college to get some of those credits out of the way. Both of the courses are half-semester, eight-week things.

Specifically, I'm taking:
Introductory Economics
Your basic econ survey course. Tuesday and Thursday, 4–7pm.

I like the teacher of this one; she's definitely into her subject and good at teaching it, and has a good sense of humor. There are lots of quizzes and three tests, but that's okay.

Incidentally, there was an amusing bit today. She was talking about how different resources are better put to different tasks, and as an example she was comparing the resources needed to produce beer vs. vodka. (The students chose the examples. Yay community college.) One of the resources for beer was "brew masters"; when she asked for the kind of laborer needed to produce vodka, everyone kinda sat around silent for a moment, and then I yelled "Russians!" Everyone laughed, and she wrote it on the board, and then proceeded to talk about how brew masters wouldn't be that good at producing vodka and Russians wouldn't be that good at producing beer.
College Writing 1
Basically, how to construct decent essays. Monday and Wednesday, 6–10pm.

I don't like this teacher nearly as much. He seems to fall into the classic trap of writing teachers—namely, "the way I write is the way everyone should write". Therefore, he (for example) feels that when we turn in our essays, we should also turn in a paper trail of notes which he can use to trace how we got to the ideas we talk about in our papers. After all, "you don't really know what you think about something until you start writing about it."

Well, maybe he doesn't. Some of us can manipulate complex data structures, plots, political ideas, etc. in our heads.

He also feels that technology (such as, say, laptops) doesn't belong in the classroom. And his position on cell phones is that he doesn't want to know they exist (i.e. he'd better not even see one).

Oh, and despite the fact that this is a writing class, he's having us do an oral presentation. And it's not like we're supposed to compose and give a speech—we're supposed to argue a point (about one of the books we'll be reading) insightful enough to spark a class discussion. Um.

I don't think I'm gonna like this guy so much. But I don't know that any of the other teachers are any better. I'll just slog through it and try to get someone else for College Writing 2.

Thing the Second

Friday's my twenty-first birthday. To celebrate, my parents are hauling me off to Vegas to enjoy the debauchery.

This is simultaneously really cool and totally lame.