Saturday, May 11, 2013

random end-of-semester images

 Things are pretty busy, and crazy, down at the IVC Writing Center and similar places around campus

Somebody, be a dear and explain this cartoon to Glenn.

 The original Saddleback Community College District Board of Trustees: seriously right-wing

 A100: time passes slowly down here in the valley

 The original site of Saddleback College

 We still don't know what this place is gonna be.
Tod and Glenn are still fighting over it

 A doodle from last semester, or even before that.
Things get crazy right about now.

 It's Orange County. People get mad when you show 'em factoids.

 SOCCCD Chancellor and colleagues: note the footwear

A tree out where Rebel Girl and Red Emma live.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

IVC's Distinguished Academic Lecture Series: Michael Shermer, "Skeptic"

Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

I mildly entertaining presentation
But "skepticism" is important

IVC's Performing Arts Center: a full house

Shermer is, well, shorter in person

Professor Roopa Mathur

Professor Michael Cassens

Performing Arts Center

Jason Troia Won't Stay Quiet (OC Weekly)
     …He laughs. The 32-year-old [Jason] Troia is the talk of Long Beach. As the student representative on the Long Beach City College (LBCC) Board of Trustees, he has declared war on his own board, specifically over its decision this year to cut 11 of the school's vocational programs over budget concerns. His arsenal is a backpack filled with thousands of pages of documents that the English major has painstakingly combed through and highlighted to blast the trustees during board meetings. He can cite minutiae from LBCC's Academic Senate and College Planning Committee, as well as numerous districtwide reports that, he says, show all sorts of government malfeasance, from fudging stats about the programs' success rates to ignoring the pleas of students to flat-out breaking the law by refusing to comply with the Brown Act….

Grand Jury Describes 'Atmosphere of Fear' in County Agencies (Voice of OC)
     …“This atmosphere of fear seemed to come from the very top of County government,” according to the 16-page grand jury report titled The Culture of Harassment: Change on the Horizon.
. . .
     The grand jury based its findings on information it learned as part of the Bustamante criminal case and from 21 witnesses who, the report said, painted a “disturbing pattern of sexual harassment claims being overlooked, ignored, poorly investigated and even surpressed.” It said the witnesses came from all levels of county government.
     “The Grand Jury found a severe lack of understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment,” the report said. “Also distressing was a strong tolerance for inappropriate behavior, especially when it concerned high-ranking elected officials and executives.”….

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

IVC has balloons—blue and white ones—on the brain. Here's Rebel Girl with seven of 'em.

I was so pleased to find that Buena Park broke with the recent trend of cities adopting "In God We Trust" as a motto

Red Emma visited and quaintly insisted on communicating in broad gestures

I forget why we came up with this one. I think maybe it was inspired by a condescending email

Rebel Girl found "Gregor" on the floor inside the A200 Building. She was determined to memorialize his passing, told me to take this pic

Gary Poertner's feet. Really.

We've had one or two horse head episodes at IVC.

Nobody will believe me but, yes, TigerAnn occasionally speaks. Here she is making a typically snarky remark.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SNAFU Valley College: “What a great college I go to”

     Recently, we posted about the endlessly half-assed IVC scholarships program (see The IVC Foundation: situation normal, all f*cked up).
     That post attracted many comments, including this one from someone who identified him/herself as an IVC student:
IVC student
6:23 PM, May 06, 2013
What’s even [worse] is that today all the students who applied (including me) got an email saying that they got a scholarship and an hour later another email came through and it said there has been a mistake, you will be notified later [if] you actually won. What a great college I go to........ they can’t even get their emails sent out to the right people
   I’ve looked into this and I have essentially verified the student’s account. More later.
   P.S.: haven't learned much. Evidently, the "disregard earlier email" message was sent soon after the original message. I'm told that "they" (Darryl Cox and Co?) were testing the system when the error occurred.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Special board meeting Tuesday afternoon (re ATEP)

     There will be a special board meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, at 4:00 p.m. In accordance with the Brown Act, the following notice appears at the district website. 
     (As usual, the board will open the meeting publicly, solicit public comments, and then retreat into closed session:)

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