Quality of teachers vs. Quality of classes

This semester has been an interesting one, it marks my first online class at IvyTech and also my second highest GPA since high school. As I prepare for final exams I have to remember some of the teachers who helped me get where I am today looking through my Chemistry book in the nice quiet Panera Bread. But why do we remember teachers and not the classes themselves? the class was not necessarily developed by the person teaching it and a majority of my college classes so far have been put together by a committee of teachers who, if I can be so bold, cannot agree on any changes to save their students GPA. Though the teacher, also especially in college, gets freedom to determine the test questions and what type of lecture they provide. While some teachers are very limited by the course itself it is not always fair to blame either for your mistakes.

I have had teachers ruin subjects for me and some that have made it more entertaining but if you have the first type of teacher it might be good for you to put in a bit more effort. I was failing Calculus 2(ended up dropping it after getting near the end and realizing I could not bring my grade up even if I got an A on my final exam) I realized that it was not my teachers fault and made corrections, though I made them too late. The instructor barely used class time and mostly told stories but many people were still passing, and even excelling, in the class. I asked them what they were doing and it turned out that many of my classmates came to lecture only to review and have already watched several lecture videos online. It was way too late to start that so I decided to drop before my time was up but when I take Calculus and Calculus 2 again I will most certainly be looking for those tutorials online in order to find some help.

There are also many alternative tests out now which really help, CK12 offers flexbooks and lessons that are more understandable than most classrooms! I do not really like the way all of them are laid out but CK12.org has been a great resource since I learned about the project. And if neither of those work go to a tutor of form a study group! This year in Chemistry has been the first time I’ve actually had a study group (4 people works better than 2 I think) and I have been excelling by helping them get the questions and also by asking them questions. I’m at 90% right now and that is mostly because of the slight mistakes here and there. Thats all for today, I’ll hopefully be posting much more often this summer so stay tuned!

Simplifying: applied to life

To simplify a math equation all you need to do is to plug in variables or reduce it down, it’s simple, clean, and unique to each problem. Life is no different, or so I’m told, there are plenty of books out on how and why you should simplify your life and it mostly boils down to one reason (in my circumstance) I have too much crap! I have been accumulating for 21 years! My entire life I have been sentimental about keeping stuff that I don’t need like a way of saying: “I still remember that person who gave me that” but it is time to stop gathering crap and start gathering stuff I actually need. I’m not going to make a 30 or 90 day commitment because I would not follow it anyway and it would be a waste of time to do so, what I am doing is saying that I really need to get rid of stuff before our next move (which might be next week for all I know).

I think my collecting of stuff started when I was young. I would never want to get rid of anything and my room was piled with broken toys that I would get around to throwing away but never did. This is fine for a kid but now I have shoes that are torn apart that I do not need, clothes torn that I will never wear again, and cords that belong to electronics I no longer use or sometimes even own! Those aren’t the larger problems though, in reality I think I have one pair of shoes that really are in bad condition and my clothes are thrown out regularly as they tear but paperwork and physical media seem to be big issues with me. I used to think I needed to own every movie on DVD and all my music on compact discs even after Itunes, Rhapsody, and many other software has made DVDs and CDs pretty much unnecessary since your purchases can even be backed up online. The final push to get rid of my excessive CD and DVD collection (what seems excessive to me may not be too much to you) I will have to repurchase about 30 movies online or make the choice that I do not need these which will be a hard decision though most of my music is already in my digital library and I no longer need the CDs in that form to use the music.

The paper from notes and other school assignments I think will be the hardest  to get rid of since there is still not a simple way to transfer all of it to digital (since it mostly consists of spiral bound awesomeness and drawings in the pages that I will never make again) I just have to make the decision of what I really need, the textbooks are useful but I may never use them again. additionally they take up a lot of room in my bedroom and I never really pick it up and use it so my next task is to take them all and get rid of them but maybe take the name and isbn to put in a database and make sure I can find them if I need something from them.

If anyone has more suggestions I would love to hear them there is a comment section below, thanks for reading.

STOP!

I just wanted to say hi to anyone who might be reading this. Carry on.

Portable Desk in a Bag

What if what you were just working on just pops open on whatever surface you go to and start to work? My productivity would probably double with how much time it takes to get all of my stuff out and actually start working but would it really be an organized way of doing things? Binders are an attempt to make something that one can take with them and open right to the spot they left off but they don’t give you a pencil and music. Computers are almost as bad, when one turns on a computer it will either start from where you left off (if it’s in sleep) or give you a blank canvas. The big problem with computers is that homework can be translated to the computer with a little effort but it also can be hard to backup and even harder to learn how to translate your equations into code. Even worse is that there is NO guarantee that the program that one uses is compatible with the program their teacher uses.

I have been working on trying to learn how to translate My math notes to PC so that I would have an easier time storing it  but the thing I’ve noticed was how awkward it seems to transfer between programs (aka if I wanted to back it up with evernote then the equations no longer show up) So I am just wondering, why not? The language I am using to type these notes is LaTex and it is a commonly used open-source language but it does not work the same way in evernote as it works in NixNote on linux, in fact Evernote does not even suppport any type of equation writing on its online note editor. My point is: if there is an open standard for translating these to computer why doesn’t everyone support the idea of it?

To be fair nixnote, which is the client I use to upload to evernote, is not an officially supported program but it still is annoying that I cannot find anyway to get my notes taken on a device and back them up simultaneously! I just need one program with some math writing shortcuts so that I can use it to transcribe my notes after class?! I guess they can’t make it easy to do but could people at least make it freakin’ possible?

I Use this as an outlet

Most of the time when I come on to blog here I do not publish what I have written because I am unsure about how it is written or how well I have made the content, and this is because this is my way of venting. I have more than a dozen posts about being mad at people but what is the use of publishing them? It will get NOTHING done by telling moorpark college that their records office will not answer any phone call that I have made in the past 4 months or to post that Mcdonalds has a horrible time getting any of my orders correct. I apologize that I haven’t been posting all too much but I still consider this a way of venting and can barely think of a reason to actually publish half of the crap I write.

Just a By the way, I haven’t seen you even putting new posts into the draft section Crius! but anyway I will be continuing to post just probably not too often as is seen in my past, sorry I hope you can forgive me.

Sorry guys

After seeing how horribly neglected this blog has become as it’s writers move onto bigger and mostly better things, I think now is a good time to apologize to anyone who still attempts to follow this blog. In truth, I haven’t heard from Joey myself in some time, though more recently than the rest of the world. I’m not sure if it’s creator still posts here, but for his sake I think it best to assume his life has had an interesting turn recently.

To anyone who might be reading this, we’re sorry.

Elementary OS Luna Beta 2

Brilliant, amazing, fast, spectacular, and no Bullshit are all things that come to mind when I look at the ridiculously polished interface and very Mac-ish appearance. By Mac-ish appearance I mean that many people actually take me to be a mac user and if they don’t know much about computers they think it is a macbook air but it is my Dell XPS 13 running the polished Luna interface. Luna Beta 2 turns on very fast and I’ll usually turn it off rather than put it to sleep but it wakes instantly (I’m using a SSD your results may be different with an older HDD). The only real problem that I have is that the main browser is Midori, which is very fast but will not support Flash no matter what I do. I would recommend this as an all around great operating system but there are a few words of warning:

  • This OS does not include an office suite so if you plan on going places without wifi be sure to download this before using it.
  • The Music program previously known as “noise” is still fairly slow and has it’s flaws, Be sure to install all the codecs for MP3s if you need them.
  • Firefox is a much better browser and will run flash so it is worth installing.

So even though the interface is flawless the choice in included programs can be questioned but with all of the advantages of the  interface it is still worth getting and trying out. Give it a try by going to Elementaryos.org and download the Image file.

Great programs that just need a bit of work

Great programs that just need a bit of work

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