Friday Five

There used to be Friday cat blogging, Friday fun, and on Twitter, Friday follow. I bring you Friday five, lists of five things, mostly random.

Five things I’m thankful for this week:

  1. Friends near and far who’ve let me know they care.
  2. Nuclear and extended family
  3. Having enough
  4. The ability and motivation to learn and change
  5. My pets, who love me no matter what

Five things I want to do:

  1. Finish painting the bedroom (today maybe!)
  2. Use my new mixer to make something yummy
  3. Do something fun with my kids
  4. Prepare a month of classes–ha!
  5. Finish decluttering the main areas of my house

Five interesting things I found this week:

  1. An article about how we view our past and future selves: NYTimes: Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be
  2. Tenth Grade Tech Trends — Product Design — Medium
  3. Different ways of looking at New Year’s Resolutions: Alternatives to the New Year’s Resolution
  4. Applying New Research to Improve Science Education by Carl Wieman: Value of Competitions?
  5. The 10 Skills That Will Get You Hired In 2013, lots of CS on this list!

Friday Fun: Funny tests and day of me

Though there is plenty to do around here, I’m taking the day off.  I’m going to eat breakfast out, go shopping, and generally not do anything productive (mostly).  I realized yesterday that I’d mostly worked, in one way or another, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.  Sure there were breaks for lunch and dinner, but guess who makes those meals?  Plus, I developed some lovely back pain on my right side which makes it difficult to work at the computer for very long.  Basically, all week, I’ve spent an hour at the computer, then went off and ran errands or did laundry for a while before coming back to the computer.  Bleh.

If you read the Huffington Post, you might have seen these.  They are exam answers, real ones presumably.  And they are hilarious.  Enjoy! And enjoy the long weekend.

Friday Fun: File formats

I remember eons ago when file formats were a huge issue.  A .doc file couldn’t be opened on a mac.  A later version of something couldn’t be opened in earlier programs.  This is less of an issue now, but it’s still worth remembering that proprietary formats are more limiting than open ones.

Friday Fun: Cartooning

First, a political cartoon.  I’ve actually gotten quite worked up about various things happening in politics these days.  Here’s a post that pretty much wraps up my thoughts.  Read some of the comments, too.  A few days ago, I decided that our government no longer really functions the way it should.  And I don’t think it in any way represents “the people.”  I don’t feel like my interests are at all represented and honestly, I don’t think my counterparts’ in the other party are either.  It seems to me it’s a small slice of either crazy people or corporations.  The vast majority of us are basically screwed.  So here’s a cartoon, which doesn’t make me feel any better, but seems right on the money (pun intended).

On the fun side, I’ve been working with animation tools for my class.  And they were very fun to play around with.  Here’s a little something I whipped up during class: Underdog! by lblanken

Like it? Create your own at It’s free and fun!

Friday Fun? More on the class.

I wish I had something witty to post here, but I’ve been working for the last three hours, retooling my class schedule.  Not only are we behind, but I started having some philosophical differences with my textbook.  They put Web 2.0 tools in with multimedia stuff like video and audio.  I mean, yes, one of the great things about blogs and wikis, etc., is that you can make them multimedia quite easily, but I wouldn’t lump them in with stuff created with a tool like Adobe’s (now obsolete) director.  Interestingly, I’m finding that I think of everything as being online and as part of the internet.  I find it weird now to think of audio or video or animation as separate from the web, though I know it can be.  I am constantly reminding myself and my students that internet access may not be available, possibly even at the school level.  But it is hard for me to imagine learning without it.

I have a million other things on my list to do today–going to the school to pick up some volunteer materials, dropping off the car for inspection, and laundry out the wazoo.  Chances are I’ll be relaxing quite a bit this weekend.

Friday Fun: Alternate Careers

Today, I have a question for you.  What are some jobs you’d do if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?  These are things that seem fun to you, that you do as an amateur but would never pursue professionally, etc.  Here are mine:

  • A wine maker, or similarly a sommelier.
  • A chef.  Pastry chef sounds fun, but I don’t think I have the design skills for it at all.
  • Restaurant critic (see a theme?)
  • Something that involves travel to exotic places, like a travel book writer or something.

What are your pie-in-the-sky careers?

Friday Fun: Academia vs. Business or Faculty vs. Staff

This comic perfectly describes how I often felt in my staff position:

I was often thinking like the Academia side of things, but the response to my ideas, from both faculty and staff, was like the Business reaction. I got the Academia reaction from colleagues elsewhere, which helped ease the pain of the Business reaction. Long-time readers might recall stories where I was asked to help with hooking up DSL, sort email folders, or upload documents in response to my reporting on the latest research in teaching with technology. No matter how academic I sounded, what people often saw was the mechanical side of my work. Sigh.