Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hangin' with Mojo, Democrat

TODAY, I HAD A CHANCE to spend some time with Sunny Girl's son, Mojo, a cat and Democrat, residing in Irvine.

He's a handsome bastard, he is. Kinda looks like his mom. (Click on the pics.)

Turns out, he's kind of a nature boy. Does a lot of sniffin' and explorin'. He's adventurous.

I caught 'im pondering something for a second or two. That didn't last long.

He's really into grass.

He insisted on following me to the bathroom. Hopped on the sink.

Jan says the boy has a water fixation. Laurie's more direct: "He's a waterholic," she says. Maybe it was "aguaholic." Not sure.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that he is a fine young man, a credit to his species.

On my way home, I stopped by Modjeska grade and saw some deer. I said hello to 'em. They stared. Then they kept walkin'.

Deer are like that.

Republicans.



MOJO

Sunny and Mojo

SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO, I was married, living in Old Towne, in a house built in 1903, which later became a brothel when the neighborhood declined, or so some old guy told me one day. But the brothel era was 45 years ago, and I’m talking 1990, not 1960. Things were on the upswing in Old Towne in 1990.

Kathie loved cats, and this one skittish brat would come by now and again, and Kathie’d be still and patient and wait, not me. God, that weasely cat was skittish. Tiny and skittish, and way weasely.

One day we heard an odd and disturbing sound from somewhere outside and I was told to investigate, so OK. The sound came from our neighbor’s house, friends of ours. (He wrote for the Times; she was a pretty southern belle who sang like an angel. Saw her sing at the Coach House once. Years later, she called me, I dropped the ball.)

They weren’t home. Their house was old, too. So I opened the Wizard of Oz doors to their basement and descended with my flashlight. I found two dead kittens and two live ones, yammering from hunger, I guess. So we took in these two kittens.

Naturally, the weasely little cat soon came around, cuz she was the mom, though she was barely old enough—so said the vet who was nice and looked like Clark Kent and gave us lots of advice and freebies.

So I told Kathie, “OK, we’ll take care of these brats, but we’ve already got three cats, and we sure as hell aren’t keeping these three new ones! Let’s nurse these babies for a month or two and then find homes for ‘em!” Yeah, right.

We called the weasely cat “Sunny.” Kathie and Sunny were like a team out there, taking care of these two little brats. I made a nice big cage for ‘em, but I didn’t get close, cuz they were movin’ on, and, well, I just didn’t get close.

A few months later, I managed to find a home for one of the little brats. I had a student, Ken, who lived with a woman named Laurie in Rancho Santa Margarita, and they said they’d take one, maybe. So we brought 'em over there and Ken and Laurie fell in love with both weasels, and thus it was that Violet and Mojo came to live in Rancho Santa Margarita, which, as it turns out, is a stone's throw from where I ended up living.

Naturally, we kept Sunny. D'oh!

Later, Kathie and I split and off I went to live in Trabuco Canyon, and I took Buster the Magnificent Cat with me, plus Sunny, who remained skittish and weasely in the extreme, but loveable too. Buster later died, but I don’t wanna talk about that. (A nice gay couple bought our house and painted it like, well, an old prostitute, and the Old Towne Society gave 'em a ticket or something.)

Ken went off to graduate school and had many adventures. Eventually, he and Laurie split, and she kept Violet and Mojo. She moved someplace else.

Shit happens, boy, and you can’t figure it. Last spring, Ken, the new Ph.D., got a tenure-track job teaching Philosophy for Cal State San Luis Obispo, and so I gave him a party out here in the canyon, and waddyaknow, Laurie shows up, and my best friend Jan is there, too, and he notices Laurie.

So, long story short, now Jan is dating Laurie, and Laurie takes a trip to Hawaii, so, naturally, Jan offers to take care of Mojo and Violet, but Violet is all skittish and peevish, like Sunny, and so Jan gets to know Mojo, not Violet. The two become pals.

Laurie returns from the Big Island and recognizes that, like Kathie, she has managed to collect a crew of incompatible beasts (she’s got a dog, too), and so she tells Jan, “Hey, boyfriend, do you wanna keep Mojo?” and he’s a knucklehead like me and he says, “yes.” But he likes Mojo, who is a great cat, so why not.

So, tomorrow, I’m visiting Jan for his goddam birthday, and I plan to grab that Mojo and give him a big hug. And when I give him this hug, I’m gonna say, “Hey, dude, I’m your Opa, did you know that?”

Later, I’ll be home and Sunny will run around like she does, and she’ll get on her back and roll around on the carpet, as happy as a lark. And I’ll say, “Sunny Girl, you little weasel, your big knucklehead son says, ‘hey.’”

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Red Emma’s War Diary: National Truth in Recruiting—OR Golfers Against the War

I’D BEEN GETTING a little weary of the analysis from liberals about the nation’s presumed estrangement from our brave women and men in uniform. You know, the one arguing that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan surge on because there’s no draft and nobody who is white, privileged, middle-class, educated, urban or who golfs personally knows anybody in the military and therefore doesn’t, can’t, or won’t do anything to stop the killing and dying.

Friends and comrades, Red Emma doesn’t know anybody who plays golf, but I am still opposed to golf. And, no, Red doesn’t know anybody in the military personally either, but still marched against the invasion and occupation, and with military veterans too, though those were, admittedly Veterans for Peace, which I guess don’t count.

By the way, where are the golfers on this one? I’ll revisit my take on the elite behavior-aping, anti-environmental, funny dressing, 1950s-retro American golf constituency when I see a Golfers Against the War or just one pro golfer take a public position against, say, torture, or Guantanamo, or even pesticide run-off.

I was in an empirical mood on Monday morning, and wanted to see if meeting a couple of red-blooded U.S. servicemen would change my position—maybe somehow make me more against this fucking awful war, which Americans say in useless polls that they oppose—so I showed up at the first ever National Truth in Recruiting Day, September 17, which is a great day indeed, in fact, the same day in 1787 that the U.S. Constitution was adopted, for what that’s worth.

Not much it seems. Think: 5,000 preventive detentions and zero convictions.

When I arrived at the Army National Guard Recruiting Station in Santa Ana at 11 a.m. on Monday, there was just one guy there, wearing a white on black t-shirt reading “Iraq Veterans Against the War.” I shook his hand and, finally, just like that, Red Emma had met a real-life American soldier, in this case a four-time tour-of-duty Marine named Jason Lemieux, 24 years old from Anaheim, who is handsome, articulate, and brave, which are probably all perfectly bitchin’ when you are an active-duty infantry dude shooting at the enemy or avoiding roadside bombs but even better, I observed, when you offer an analysis of the war while standing in front of a recruiting station being interviewed by reporters.

Then, bingo-bango, just like that, I met Kevin Stendahl, also an ex-combat Marine, and stood listening to them both, right out in broad daylight, on the lawn on Warner Avenue. Who knew it could be so easy, America? In five minutes I’d doubled the number of soldiers I knew and, yes, let’s see, right, okay, I was still against the fucking war and also feeling pretty darn good about IVAW’s call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, full benefits and adequate healthcare for returning troops, and reparations for Iraqis.

After a few more minutes of hanging with the ex-troops, I had the opportunity to meet even more service folks because, as it happens, this kick-off event was going down at an actual recruiting center, which turned out to be just chock-full of Army people. Soon two, three, four active duty folks came out, wearing camo gear and looking all buff and being polite, shaking hands with the anti-war veteran activists and their posse and—think of this!—all across our proud nation civilians like me with college degrees and mortgages could meet actual vets who were visiting recruiters and high schools, like these two fellas, offering their unshy analysis that Bush lies, recruiters lie and, yes, that lying is wrong.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough to beat the band, I met a local anti-war activist. Thu Trang of the National Lawyer’s Guild OC Recruitment Awareness Project showed up to remind everybody that her outfit helps active duty service people and Delayed Entry Program enlistees get out of the military without shooting themselves in the foot or pretending to be gay, and that parents of public high school kids can sign an “opt-out” form, which prevents recruiters from calling their kids to promise them money for college and that they’ll never, ever get shipped to Kandahar or Diyala where at least their odds of meeting an anti-war liberal, are mercifully small. — Posting for Chunk: Red Emma

The district has a problem


WEDNESDAY'S "OPEN FORUM" concerning the SOCCCD's noncompliance with the “50% law" was good in every way that I can think of. Standing before a relatively large gathering of college personnel, Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore briefly explained our situation, namely, that the proportion of our expenditures on “instruction” has dipped below 50%, contrary to requirements defined by statute.

He seemed to indicate that the DRAC (the District Resources Allocation Committee, which comprises faculty reps, among others) is the venue in which a “fix” will be developed, and that’s good news, for some of us had worried that Chancellor Raghu Mathur intends to blow off shared governance as per usual. Not so, apparently.

District Director of Fiscal Services, Beth Mueller, was on hand to answer questions, and, I have to say, she seemed to answer our queries forthrightly and to the best of her ability. And there were lots of questions, good ones.

IVC Director of Fiscal Services, Davit Khachatryan, gave a helpful PowerPoint presentation. Our district, he said, is out of compliance with Education Code 8462 for 2006/07, though not by much. According to the latest figures—provided by Beth—we’re at 49.76%. We're talkin' $257,000 — far less than, say, the Chancellor's inexplicably high salary.

That sounds like an insignificant amount in the grand scheme of things, but, for a variety of reasons, a fix will be very difficult, and the consequences of not fixing the problem will be serious.


If we fail to correct the matter, state apportionment funding will be withdrawn, despite our Basic Aid funding.

Davit listed numerous actions that could be taken by the college that would “help,” including faculty salary increases and new faculty hiring. Among the various other helpful actions, Davit seemed to favor adding more classes at ATEP, our district’s new instructional site in Tustin, though that suggestion proved to be somewhat controversial. There was lots of discussion and, for once, it wasn't silly.

The district is applying for a one-time waiver (re the 50% requirement), which is granted only in cases of extreme hardship or when faculty salaries are high compared to neighboring districts. Given our district’s healthy finances, we cannot plausibly claim hardship. When pressed, Beth opined that, if we seek a waiver, claiming the second condition would seem to be the more promising approach.

The audience looked skeptical.

Wendy asked Beth whether the district views our being granted a waiver as likely. Beth said she didn’t know.

But the facts seem to be clear enough. We likely won’t qualify for a waiver. So we have a real problem.

Some members of the audience (including me) pressed to learn how the noncompliance could have been allowed to occur, given that the district moved steadily downward toward the 50% line for the last five years. Our crossing over that line didn't just suddenly happen. But administrators generally deflected such questions.

(Recently, one of our readers [who writes often and knowledgeably] posted this remark:

All community college districts must file a budget report with the State of California each year. It's called the CCFS 311, and it's due every October 15. Part of this form — and your CFO and CEO must verify its accuracy under penalty of perjury — includes the 50% rule calculation.

If your Chancellor is unaware of this, then he hasn't been reading what he's been signing.
(End)

— The State Chancellor's Office has this form. It's a PDF file. Check it out.)


It does seem clear that this "new" problem — the Chancellor insists that it was discovered "just last month"— is a DISTRICT problem.

It will be interesting to see whether and how the Chancellor will explain this nasty little predicament, come Monday night.

I’ll be watching Raghu’s pointing finger.

You know the one.

P.S.: I do believe that another "forum" will be held this morning (Thursday) at 9:30. LIB 213.

GRATUITOUS IMAGERY:

Kids whispering at last week's IVC 9-11 ceremony.

Sunny the cat poking around near my chifforobe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: visioning a world where none is lonely, none hunted

Because she feels like it and because she herself needs it, Rebel Girl offers a poem. She is short on her own prose due to grading the first essays of the semester, keeping up with her own reading and being the mother of a five-year-old rebel. And no, she still hasn't been placed on a jury. She is still playing a daily noontime game of phone tag with the recorded messages at the Harbor Justice Center. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not.

A poem from Robert Hayden:



Frederick Douglass

When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues' rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.




Yeah.

What’s going on in the SOCCCD?

1. THE “50% law” EMERGENCY. The law (see Ed Code §84362.d, et seq.) requires of community colleges that at least 50% of expenditures be devoted to “instruction,” i.e., faculty salaries and benefits. Our district’s expenditures have dipped ever so slightly below the 50% mark (we’re at 49.65%). We need to adopt a plan—and soon—to move back above 50%.

2. THERE’S THE TRUTH AND THEN THERE’S THE OFFICIAL STORY. Evidently, the district has been heading downward toward the 50% mark for several years. If so, this emergency comes as no surprise to the district, whose job it is to adhere to the “50% law.” Reportedly, the Chancellor nevertheless insists that the district found out about this problem “last month.”

3. MORE DISTRICT UNILATERALISM. I’m told that faculty groups are supposed to be involved in the response to this particular difficulty. Nevertheless, evidence mounted last week that the Chancellor had already developed a plan to address the “50%” problem. If so, he (i.e., the district) seems to be moving unilaterally. As I understand it, special all-college meetings are now scheduled that will give to faculty and other groups an opportunity to weigh in on how to address this problem. Expect Mathur to press for reductions in “reassigned time.” (Do take a good look at Ed Code §84362.f. It's interesting reading.)

4. Re COLLEGES’ ACCREDITATION MIDTERM REPORTS, DUE NEXT MONTH. As we have amply reported, at the 11th hour, the district has produced an obnoxious, poorly documented and inflammatory “response” document ("responding," it seems, to the Accreditors and to faculty). The folks who have for months labored to prepare drafts of the Accreditation Midterm Reports (intended to satisfy the Accreds that the colleges are making progress re trustee micromanagement, the climate of despair, etc.) were ordered last month to “incorporate” the verbiage of the “response.” The colleges were not pleased, in part owing to the timing, and in part owing to the poor quality of the response (which contains factual errors and lacks adequate documentation). These objections were clearly articulated at the last board meeting. I’m told that the Chancellor continues to pressure the report authors, not only to include the “response” verbiage, but to weave that verbiage into their carefully produced reports, something they are not inclined to do (they would prefer to isolate the district’s misbegotten 11th hour contributions in some fashion). The last board meeting before reports are sent to the Accreditors is in one week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

L'affaire Chemerinsky: He's hired! He's fired! He's re-hired!

Enough said for now.

EVENING UPDATE:
Check out Matt Welch's editorial, posted Monday evening on the L.A. Times website:

excerpt:
So, all's well that ends well, right? Not so fast...

But even though Chemerinsky has now been hired back, the story is far from over as far as public interest is concerned, for at least two reasons:

1) We still don't know why Drake fired his new law dean in the first place. This would be a mere personnel mystery, if it weren't for the fact that...

2) Drake, while never giving a sensible reason for the dismissal, did tell people that it had to do with the content of Chemerinsky's political speech (specifically an Aug. 16 Op-Ed in the L.A. Times), and to the "pressure" and "opposition" he was receiving from unnamed Republicans. If an Op-Ed can truly get an academic — even an administrator — fired, then that's a data point about the erosion of our free-speech climate that we deserve to know about.

And if indeed there are Republicans powerful enough to scotch the hiring of a well-known liberal dean, we need to know who they are, and how exactly they wield their power, so that we can prepare ourselves for next time, or take measures to reduce improper influence...

...People who believe Orange County to be the home of knuckle-dragging neanderthals had their biases reinforced this week, as did conservatives embittered by double-standards of "academic freedom."...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jury Duty

THE TIME ARRIVES, as it does every few years or so, when one has asked for and received the requisite number of postponements and actually has to call in and perhaps show up to assist in the judicial process that guarantees every person her or his right to a trial by their peers.

Yes, Rebel Girl has jury duty.

And not just any jury duty. Noooo.

She has been called to the Harbor Justice Center of Newport Beach.

Jury duty with a view, no less—and the option of eating out at some of the finer establishments that Orange County has to offer (though actually she plans to take her lunch, gobble it down in the car and spend the rest of her time at the Friends of the Library Bookstore in the Newport Beach Public Library where the pickings are great).

She does entertain an elaborate fantasy of being installed on a jury of a high profile trial (the Jeffrey Neilson case, perhaps?) which will result in being sequestered in the Four Seasons hotel, with cable TV and room service and strict admonishments to cut off all ties to the outside world. She hopes the hotel has a spa with as steam room and that the air conditioning isn't too cold.

Rebel Girl was instructed to call in and listen to a message on Friday and she did. The recorded message directed her to call back on Monday at noon – and see if her services are needed at 1:15 on that same day. Yes, she teaches from 11-1, so she'll dial from the classroom, mid-class, and see what her fate is.

All things considered, she is happy to serve. Rebel Girl is a girl scout in that way. Six years ago, in the first week of September of 2001, she served on a civil case in Santa Ana. Back then, most people she saw tried their darnedest to disqualify themselves. Rebel Girl was certain that the man she saw with his hands and feet wrapped in plastic grocery bags was sure to get bounced – but later in the week, she saw him marching along with another jury, his hands and feet still bundled in plastic.

Usually, simply stating that one works as a college professor is enough to be removed from a jury once the defense and the prosecution start playing poker with their recusals, but we'll see. Maybe she'll just try and work Erwin Chemerinsky's name into the proceedings and see what happens.

Last time, the case was moved along well, with a few disagreements and some surprising but entertaining drama during deliberations. Rebel Girl enjoyed the experience. Midweek, she discovered that she was pregnant and that the pregnancy, unlike previous ones, was viable. She was keeping that to herself though, on the advice of her doctor. Better wait and see. It's still early yet. But on that last day, Friday, as they were all walking out of the courtroom, people who would never see each other again, she matched stride with an older woman she had been friendly with during the week. A retired stewardess. A grandmother. I'm pregnant, she told her, I just found out. The woman stopped walking. That's wonderful, she said, good for you. Congratulations. They smiled, hugged, went on their way.

Rebel Girl was practicing, she sees now, just wanting to see what it was like.

****

FROM THE SOMEBODY OUT THERE LOVES REBEL GIRL DEPARTMENT:

Last week Rebel Girl received the gift of five CDs in the mail - the live recordings for five recent concerts by Lucinda Williams, each concert dedicated to one album in its entirety.

Yowza.

It's nice to have friends out there, especially ones who still go to concerts.

Rebel Girl used to see Lucinda Williams back in the day when Lucinda played fish restaurants in Culver City. She knows all the words to Pineola, including the verse that Lucinda doesn't sing anymore.

Lucinda's music meant a lot to her then, still does now.

That cool new high-tech campus in Tustin (part 2)

1. OK, so here's part 2 in my series about the SOCCCD's new "ATEP" campus in Tustin. I posted part 1 on Friday after visiting the new facility.

2. ATEP's administration building may be small, but it's pretty spiffy. Here are some pics from inside. Naturally, everything looks new—because it is new. The staff is terrific.

3. As one enters, one encounters computers for student use just off to the left. It's a nice atmosphere for work.

Check it out. Say "hey" to the gal at the desk for me.

4. This is some sort of conference room, I think. Someone explained it all to me, but, on Friday, after class, my mind is a sieve.

5. This blue gizmo is part of ATEP’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), which, according to the ATEP webite, "this year was designated a National Center for Photonics Education, a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence...The prestigious designation was awarded to thirteen centers across the U.S. that have committed to increasing the pool of well-trained technicians in optics and photonics by creating a secondary-to-postsecondary “pipeline” of highly qualified and strongly motivated students...."

6. No, it's not a vending machine. This gadget makes models. It's called a "3-D printer," but it really makes models, like that one you can see inside and that doohicky sitting on top. It's extremely cool to watch models slowly come into being in this contraption after having been created on a computer.

Students are all over this thing, of course.

7. This equipment is near the model-making gizmo. I dunno what to tell you. Students learn to make cool stuff, and then they get jobs somewhere.

And why the hell not?

LET'S GET ON BOARD.

Lemme change the subject for a second. First, some logical truisms.

When you’re evaluating something, some facts are relevant and some are not (to the question of the worth of the thing). So, for instance, the fact that, say, Senator Larry Craig is a hypocrite is relevant to his character, but it has no bearing whatsoever on the merits of his policies or philosophies.

The origins of a thing, too, are irrelevant to its worth. For instance, the founder of chiropractic (“medicine”) was a crackpot, a nut. But that fact has no bearing on whether chiropractic adjustments (of the sort he advocated) are an efficacious treatment for back pain.

This is all obvious, right?

“Guilt by association” is a similar fallacy: maybe Hitler—or was it his German Shepherd "Arsch mit Ohren"?—was a vegetarian, but that fact surely has no bearing on the merits or demerits of vegetarianism.

SO HERE'S THE THING. I say all of this because we in the South Orange County Community College District have this thing, this ATEP, and it is what it is as a facility and a potential campus.

I think it’s pretty exciting. No, I won’t be happy if the Young Americans end up camped here, but, even if they do, they’ll be a small part of something much bigger, and it all strikes me as exciting and forward-looking.

I could be wrong, but I think many of my colleagues are having trouble seeing all this—or at any rate, they’re having trouble seeing ATEP for what it already is and what it can be—because, of course, ATEP is “associated” with our spectacularly unpopular and loathsome Chancellor, Raghu P. Mathur and perhaps the current board, which is, well, Neanderthalesque. Flintstonian even.

But, as the Chancellor asserted recently, ATEP is here to stay. So we may as well make it work.

But what about process? Yes, absolutely, Mathur and crew have screwed that up. If one asks, what will ATEP be?, the answer really is: ATEP will be the outcome of “negotiations” that are occurring now, very much behind closed doors, between the private Money People and the District.

One day, a door will open, the Chancellor will emerge, he'll have a big smile on his stupid face and we’ll finally be told what ATEP is gonna be. Mathur will arrange to get awards for his labors. Maybe the Medal of Freedom. Maybe fabulous cash prizes.

That sucks, I know. But, in the meantime, we’ve got ATEP Jr., and it is what it is, and what it is is cool.

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary