Sunday, October 02, 2005

You're no problem at all

Class turned out to be ok. The four hours went by much quicker than expected and OneNote performed admirably as a note-taking tool.

We had to form 4-person "writing groups" on our own, which is kind of weird in a classroom full of people that don't know each other. Oddly enough, I did know one person in class - he was in my last group at Microsoft and was part of a group of folks I went to lunch with occasionally. So we decided to be in the same group and found 2 other guys looking for some more people.

I gotta say, group projects terrify me. I'm just more of an independent worker. But none of our assignments are actually group efforts. We each write up the assignment for the week and our writing group reviews it and provides feedback. That I can handle. So far it's working out pretty well - one of the guys set up a Yahoo! Groups site for us to post messages and our drafts. Yay for technology. Oh, and we're planning to go to Happy Hour this week. It works better for me if I'm comfortable with the people who are trashing my writing ;).

The class seemed to be mostly "non-traditional" students, or at least people who aren't 20 years old. So that was cool. And the other students seem pretty interested and motivated. I am really glad I'm only taking one class - I've already spent a couple of hours on the reading and homework, and I'm not even halfway done. I've got two writing assignments to complete this week, which shouldn't be too difficult, but I also have a ton of reading in the 3 (!) required textbooks we have. I think it's going to be a lot of work, but not terribly difficult. (Unless the prof thinks my writing sucks, in which case it's going to be a long and painful quarter.)

I'm having flashbacks to that stupid remedial composition class I had to take at Caltech, when something like 60% of my class got stuck in ESL or remedial English for no apparent reason. The best was the native English speakers who had to take ESL. I wasn't that unfortunate.

Did some cooking today with so-so results. Annie's white cheddar mac 'n' cheese with some fresh steamed broccoli came out pretty dry for some reason. I guess being all-natural has its drawbacks - no chemicals to make the sauce nice and gooey. I also steamed some vegetables in soy sauce and rice vinegar with garlic and ginger, but they didn't taste too good. And I baked the beets I got in the Pioneer Organics box. I think I just don't like beets unless they're the marinated ones you find in the salad bar. Well, at least I have food for this coming week, which is going to be crazy busy.

Here's a special shout out to Kristin who's moving back to DC in a week. I'm sad that she'll be so far away again, but hope she likes her new job better!



  1. yeah, I like to buy Annie's products, but have similar results.
    I hear you about the group projects thing. We had to write a group essay in English class in high school once, and I hated the whole concept. My group divvied up the essay into parts and each person wrote 1-2 paragraphs. I think of essays as a whole which cannot be dissected that way - everything has to mesh together.

    Anyway, I'd no idea Caltech had such strict English/ composition requirements!

  2. The story I got for the reason over half of our class was put in remedial Humanities was that the professor who wrote the essay questions was in Europe when the essays were graded. The essay questions themselves were informally worded and had typos.

    We were put in some form of remedial Humanities class if we made 3 or more "Errors" in your two essays. An "Error" was a mistake that was repeated. I made 5 errors, was placed in En2 and was very bitter.

    A former Ruddock President and holder of a 5 on the AP English exam was placed in Hum 13. One woman in my class took her case public by writing a letter to the editor of the Tech and got out of the remedial class.

    The entering class in 1991 was the only one where there was more than one class of remedial Humanities. To the best of my knowledge there was 1 class of En1A, 2 classes of En2 and 3 classes of Hum13 first term. I think Hum13 was retired from the curriculum after our freshman year.

    It was an experiment that failed miserably insofar as it instilled a lot of mistrust toward the Humanities departments. My experience in En2 and the lack of breadth within the Humanities at 'Tech are part of why I was 5 H&SS classes short of graduating in 1995.

  3. Oh, do I know how you feel about group projects. I'm the type of guy that enjoys pounding out work on my own. I find that other people tend to either a) slow me down or b) piss me off.


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