Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bring'em Home

I am for returning our troops, but I do think we shouldn't leave Iraq, unless that is what they would like. Maybe a referendum would be a good idea for that fledgling democracy. But this post is really about holding our leaders to their own words.

The president has warned against making a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Such a power vacuum would only encourage the insurgents, we are told. At the same time he tells us we do not need a draft to replenish the troops we have there. Our forces are entirely sufficient. Lastly, we are told that the Iraqis are training thousands of police and military of their own to eventually take the place of our troops.
So rather than set a timetable, here is an elegant and simple solution. For every Iraqi soldier or police officer trained, we remove one 'coalition' soldier. There will be no vacuum of security for the insurgents to take advantage of, and since we are making such great progress in training the Iraqis, we should be able to begin at least to pull out of there soon.
This is of course, assuming that we don't need any more troops, and that we are making very good progress with the training, and that the insurgency is 'in its last throes' as we've been told. But, why shouldn't we believe our leaders, have they ever lied to us before about Iraq?
Is there are reasonable objection to this the republicrats can make?
US.... I mean Coalition Soldiers are wey better trained then Iraqi police? Well, okay, make it one US soldier for every five Iraq police trained. Fair enough? Of course, that means we won't get out until they have 1 million police/security personnel.. That might be worse than during Saddam.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

lonely dad

Kinda of like angry dad... only lonely. :)
I've been home alone for the last couple of days. Carly and the kids are down at the beach. I had to come home to give a final and prep for classes. Actually, it hasn't been too bad. Today I slept in to almost 9am (not counting being awakened by the Admin at school). So that was good. Also,I've been fairly productive. I went and got the minifridge I wanted. I cleared out the yard sale stuff (most to Goodwill). I did laundry, and prepared for a M&M game.
Still I miss my family. The bed seems huge and cold. The house is eerily quiet.
When Carly puts Sophie on the phone I just want to reach through the lines and hug her to me. I guess that is good.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Unrelated Updates

Work : I have finally moved into my old office... does that sound weird? I guess it is. But, it is a good thing. It is remarkable how much better I feel about being at School with my own office. The walls have my diplomas, my maps, my pictures of the babies. My bookshelves are filled with.. gasp... philosophy books! The closet has my robes and gym clothes, and I look forward toward getting a mini-kitchen...microwave and minifridge.
Now.. if only the air conditioning were working. It got up to 100 today. My office my sauna.

Will is taking a 2 hour nap and going down well for bed. He still gets up twice or thrice a night, and lights 5:30 in the morning. But it is a start.

Sophie after running around tonight naked after her bath was standing there looking a little awkward. I whisked her up and put her on her little potty. And... well nothing too impressive, but a little pee! Pee in the Potty! This is a good thing.
She is also talking a lot more. "Daddy" and "Mommy", "Chicken", "Bye, Bye", "Knock knock"(while tapping on the window to get daddy's attention),"Duck!" (the bird), "Pea/Bean" (not and obvious distinction).

Bargain Hunters Notice We are participating in the neighborhood yard sale this weekend. Some lucky person is going to get some crystal or other high end items at a low low price. I don't know how much it is worth, but it is getting sold. Clearing out the attic. Anything we don't sell will go to Goodwill... clean sweep.

Grandparents visited last week. It was good. They even stayed the night one night allowing Carly and I to go to a local B&B, have a romantic dinner, go to coffee, and play mini-golf. It was a much needed mini-vacation. Thanks Mom and Dad and GG (great grandma Betty)!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hard not to read too much into this one

So I get pulled aside by my department head the other day, between classes. It went something like this:
"The Provost and I were talking, and your name came up. She thought of something you said during the faculty development week about Ethics being a senior level class, and maybe that is why there the complaints.... (pause)
Really it should be a two hundred level (rather than 400 level) class for sophomores... so while we work to change the numbers you should go ahead and think of it that way."

Since then he has repeatedly told me that this was not an indictment of my teaching, or a claim that I was too demanding, or any sign that I was not respected by the administration.

Still.... one my think that he doth protest too much.

Truthfully, I've hardly been teaching this as a "senior" level course. I use an introductory text, I give eight one question quizzes which anyone with passing knowledge of the subject should ace, and I assign two four page papers. Anyone who has a basic knowledge of English and who does the readings should get an A.

But I will admit to getting several students complaining, crying, desperate every semester because they need to pass the class to graduate. I do hate being the gatekeeper... pass my course ot don't graduate. But I would say no more students fail my classes than say English 131 or the required Math classes. But my classes frequently get taking later in the college careers of the students, so instead of taking the class early when they have the time needed to repeat it, they wait until it is too late. Of course, those students who for whatever reason didn't realize that they need to take the class to graduate, are also the students who lack the study skills to do well in a rigorous class. So there is the problem.

The message I got was.. make your class less demanding. (Of course, they have all denied this)
But I am not sure how to do it, and still teach a college level course.
So the latest suggestion is that I drop one of the papers. Again.. two papers is too demanding? Hmmmm. It is hard to know how to progess.

I've been told not to worry too much about this. But honestly... I still am.