Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Xmas

I really didn't know an appropriate title for this post other than Merry Christmas, partially because apparently it's not politically correct to say "Merry Christmas" any more.  Seems like those of other faiths or none (or my infinitely sensitive Jedi faith) are routinely offended by a day that is supposed to celebrate the birth of a carpenter (that most don't care about) instead of celebrating what most Americans should be celebrating; buying useless gifts for people that will probably return them and dreading family get-togethers.  So if the title happens to offend you this holiday season, just wait until you open your gifts from Wal-Mart.

I'm in the midst of the yearly Christmas Road Tour, coming this morning from Ashland, Oregon.  We'll be heading back home via Chico to visit more family, briefly hang out with our beautiful cats at home, and then hoof it out again for more family.  Since I just got out of school two days ago and have been basically driving ever since, I could use a day to do, well, nothing.

The end of school brought a smile to my face when about half the students that came to me with Short Term Independent Study contracts chose instead to delay their trip until Finals were complete.  That makes me happy.  Very happy.  They instead participated in Mock Congress, were very involved, got the Finals review, and completed the Final with a much better chance of success than if they were to have left for a month and taken it upon return.  Those that left?  Well, I can't say that I'm very optimistic about not only the end of Government, but also the beginning weeks of Economics that they will miss.  One out of the half dozen has remained in contact via the Internet.  One.  And she's trying her ass off to keep up while being out of the country.  I totally admire that.

I had my first Finals cheat this year.  Initially I thought it was a phone but it ended up being a cheat sheet.  How to did I deal with it?  I stepped to a corner of the classroom and asked the student if cheating was taking place.  After initially denying the allegation, a confession was made and the student retrieved the paper.  I calmly went back to the desk and allowed the student to finish the Final.  Afterwards I told the student that the Final would be scored a zero.  You might ask "Why have the student Finish?  Why not make the consequence immediate?"  With the Final about a quarter over I had to ask myself if I wanted the incident to be a complete distraction to the other 30 students.  The measure was taken for the good of the class and the minor debate about whether or not a zero on the Final was "fair" was done when class was over.  I think it was the right move.

I have two and a half weeks off, which really aren't weeks off of basketball (which resumes in a week) and are not timed very well with my wife's school district (which returns in a week).  Maybe I'll catch up on some blogging.

By the way, our basketball team is 10-2.  Kinda cool.
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